Sunday, June 27, 2010

Lemon Buttercream

There is new favorite at my house and I cannot get it out of my mind! Lemon Buttercream. It all started with Ella's birthday in April. She requested a lemon cake with lemon frosting. It was the first time I made it and have been hooked ever since. It goes amazingly well with raspberries. And now I am playing with recipes and looking for more ways (and excuses) to make the stuff. It doesn't help that my Dad keeps giving me bags of lemons from his tree.

Monday, June 21, 2010

Fruit! The Easiest Way to Decorate Dessert

Summer is here! And the bounty of seasonal fruits are all around us. They are the easiest way to decorate any dessert. And you can get the kids involved, too. This cake was from Everyday Food, their Tres Leches Cake. Really yummy way to end a meal on a warm night!

Wednesday, June 2, 2010

Magnolia Bakery is coming to LA!

The world famous, Magnolia Bakery will soon be opening a west coast location in LA. The New York City bakery that helped ignite the cupcake craze is tops. We used to live in Greenwich Village, not far from their original location. I frequented them more times than I care to admit. There is something pretty special about getting a freshly frosted cupcake. It is simple and delicious. Vanilla and chocolate with vanilla or chocolate frosting. It reminded me a lot of my childhood, smelling my Mom's kitchen. And since I was homesick when I was living in NYC, this helped fill a void. Thankfully, I was walking constantly so the extra calories were not a problem. But every so often I would buy a half dozen and surprise my husband or visiting friends with them. They were always a hit. It wasn't long before I discovered their banana pudding. And then I was addicted to that!

When we moved back to Los Angeles I made sure to take one of their cookbooks with me, which is now a well worn part of my library. Whenever someone asks me to suggest a fabulous cake recipe, I always mention their vanilla birthday cake recipe. It is just what you would expect in a classic cupcake. Nothing fancy, but perfectly fulfilling.

The romantic part of me wishes that they would never have branched out from their original location. Yes, I understand their need to expand. But to me, half of the fun was walking down Bleeker and hoping that the line was not too long. So I am a bit torn over the fact that they will soon be in my neck of the woods. I guess it is a good thing. But I still think I would rather get one when I am in New York. Call me old fashioned! But let's be honest... I will probably visit their LA store the first week they open. I hope they have the banana pudding...

The Caramelized Banana

Gabe got to choose his birthday cake this year. He wanted something with chocolate and banana. So I whipped up my favorite chocolate layer cake (Darn Good Chocolate Cake from the Cake Doctor). I used whipped cream and chocolate frosting to separate the layers and then piled lots of banana slices on top of each. For the candy topping (the stuff that looks like glass) I made a simple brickle with sugar and water. For me the cake was a bit rich and sweet. But Gabe and his friends gobbled it up.

Cherry Chip 2010

Last year, I made a similar cake for Ella on her birthday. With this one, I incorporated layers of cherry vanilla cake (+ chocolate chips) with cherry buttercream frosting and chocolate whipped cream. Of the many cakes I made over the course of 2 weeks, this one disappeared the fastest.

Tuesday, June 1, 2010

Lemon Layer Cake

So I like to bake. Sue me! And it seems that I also have an inability to resist any request Ella makes of me. She really wanted a lemon cake for our family celebration. And since she is allergic to wheat I couldn't go the traditional route with my chosen recipe. Boy, was I happy to discover that one of my favorite Gluten/Wheat Free cookbooks had a recipe for one. (Gluten Free Baking Classics by Annalise Roberts). The cake is even on the cover of the cookbook. And for good reason. This was so incredibly moist and absolutely one of the best lemon cakes that I have ever had. Ella, well being 5, thought it was a little tart. But I am still going to be making this one again.