Yellow cake with raspberry filling and Swiss Buttercream frosting
“I figured if I was going to make this a better place. I’d do it with cake.” –Ana Pascal, me-
Well here it goes..After many years of procrastination and the words of encouragement from family and friends to start a food blog . I finally said to myself that “someday” will be today. Until recently I have shared my cooking and baking adventures on facebook. I think this forum will keep two of my passions nice, neat and focused. No political rants here, Ok stop the cheering out there who know me, I swear I can hear you. This will be a soft fuzzy place to hang out at, but don’t get comfortable so fast. I just started this blog and I have already broken one of Food Blogs 101 “Don’t do”. It reads, do not add recipes into blog that you haven’t made once or twice . I think, really and why not ? Most recipes don’t come out perfect on the first or second try and isn’t blogging supposed to have a spontaneous quality about it? My goal here is to keep it real and fun. If its perfection your looking for in a blog then keep on moving. But don’t get me wrong when I do start a new dish or dessert I will research it, compare recipes and tweak here and there. In other words I will post the good, and not so good and explain why it did or didn’t work. Im very passionate about baking. When a recipe doesn’t come out as planned, I have been known to make late night trips to 24 hr stores for do-overs. I also look forward in sharing some of my favorite Peruvian dishes with you. Throughout the years I have learned a thing or two from, who in my humble opinon, is the master of Peruvian cuisine..my mom.
- My grandmother Amalia who is missed by us everyday.
Carrot cake, covered in fondant (view from above)
Pescado a Lo Macho
Early last week I decided that my go-to carrot cake recipe would be a nice dessert to follow my moms Pescado a lo Macho dish. Some might say its a winter cake and I agree. However, this carrot cake I made is light on the spices. Helping to lighten it up even further I folded into the cream cheese frosting, whipped cream. I also skipped the walnut crusted sides traditionally found on most carrot cakes. I wanted to try something totally new. Instantly I thought to myself, “How about fondant? ” Yes, I have always wanted to try this beautiful frosting and I could already see the cake in my mind. So I got in my car and made a quick dash to the supermarket. That afternoon I did something I rarely do with a new recipes. I googled fondant in the parking lot and went with the first web site that offered a recipe. I Ignored the voice in my head asking me to do a lil more research. It all really seemed fairly easy, a little sugar here, some unflavored gelatin there. I once whipped a delicious swiss buttercream frosting at first try, so how hard can this be?
They say you should never try a new recipe on an important occasion. It’s best to try it out first and save yourself unnecessary stress. But I do love me a challenge and the reality is, even if it didn’t turn out quite right, my family would still eat it, so its all good.
The cake part was easy. I have a recipe that I follow from the blog Smitten Kitchen, but I made it my own by adding and taking a thing or two. This cake is a favorite and a much asked dessert by my family. I have seen die hard carrot haters love this cake. Plus, it was my beautiful abuelitas most favorite. The ingredients are fairly simple and easy to find in any store and putting it together is a breeze. Ok, now lets talk about the fondant and the tedious task of kneading it, ugh. But first here’s a little fun fact about me. I was a massage therapist for over 10 years. I had to stop because, besides it being an extremely tiring job for a mom who took care of a family, it wrecked havoc on my wrist. Unfortunately, I know Mr. Carpal Tunnel all too well. Trying to get it to the right consistency felt like hours. I also needed to dye it orange too look like a carrot. The instructions were to add the food dye a little at at a time which meant more kneading. Finally, I got it to what all the videos and recipes say it should feel and look like. I stuck it out with the recipe from thecookduke.com to the letter, well sort of. When I was done I plastic sealed the fondant and put in an air tight tupperware. Days later when the big moment came to put the fondant on the cake, I had to re-knead the three colored fondants I made <whimpering> . Through the sweat I rolled it out, mending the tears with vegetable shortening. In one held breath, I placed the fondant gently over my sculpted carrot cake. Yes, sculpted because apparently there isn’t any carrot shaped cake pans in the universe. So if any one reading this by chance stumbles upon a carrot shaped pan. Please e-mail me or message me immediately. As I rubbed and tucked in the fondant without any more major tears, my fears began to melt away. Moving quickly, I pressed in the the lines to simulate those on a carrot and gave it some last adjustments. To my relief and great joy there before me was the carrot I envisioned. I skipped putting the green fondant on the stem part and opted for green colored cream cheese frosting(minus the whip cream). I gave myself a mental high five and thought, I conquered the fondant! yeah right.. There is still so much to learn about this frosting and all its possibilities. Please click on the carrot cake pictures as this will (hopefully) take you to the recipe page. Keep in mind this is my first blog and like the fondant, Im still trying to work it out.