Wednesday, May 25, 2016

Cake Decorating: Mother's Day Edition

Cake decorating has taken off, as well as my academics and aerial training.  So this post is a little bit belated. I ended up baking three cakes for Mothers Day, 1 on commission and 2 for family - one for my sister in law and one for my own mother.

The commissioned cake was ordered the night before Mothers Day and all they wanted was chocolate upon chocolate. Straightforward enough, so to spruce it up a bit I cut the cake layers thin, so that the cake ended up being 7 layers of cake and 7 layers of filling, frosted with a chocolate buttercream filled with shaved chocolate.  This may not have been the infamous Death By Chocolate cake (as that takes 2 days to make) but it came pretty close.
 The picture to the right was taken by the cake recipients after they'd had a few pieces. Hmmmm. So many layers of chocolate. From all accounts it was pretty delicious!

The next cake I did was for my mother, and was also a round cake.  She requested lemon and vanilla flavors, so I made two cakes, one vanilla, and one my special lemon curd cake, filled the cake with alternating vanilla cream and lemon curd between each of the 4 layers, and frosted in a lemon whipped cream.  The decorations were buttercream because I still haven't found a good recipe for decorative frosting that doesn't lose shape over time.

You can kind of see where I accidentally dropped my spatula into the chocolate glaze, but for the most part I think it turned out looking pretty good. From partaking in the cake later that day I know it tasted good. I'm going to have post my lemon curd cake recipe at some point because it never fails to be absolutely scrumptious.

The third cake I did for Mothers Day was a sheet cake for my sister in law who is also very pregnant with twins. She loves peanut butter and funfetti cakes, so I played around with a few healthier, from scratch recipes, and made my own vanilla funfetti cake with a peanut butter cream filling.

As you can see, my newly developed rose making skills were a theme this month.

Monday, May 2, 2016

Cookbook Treasures: Hippopotamus Stew

So in the past few weeks I have moved, I have helped a friend move, and have restarted work on two major building/crafting projects. During the packing and transporting and gifting of various boxes, a friend offered me two bags of cookbooks for me to look through.

At my writers group meeting the next day I was flipping through the FAHA Ladies and Friends Favorite Recipes - 1986 and found this particular gem nestled between a pasta dish and champagne punch recipe:
Hippopotamus Stew
(From the Wambasi Tribe of Tanganyika)
1 medium size hippopotamus
300 lb. potatoes (white)
189 lb. yellow onions
111 lb. carrots
85 lb. celery, diced
16 lb. pepper
38 lb. salt
1 clove garlic (for just a hint)
1/4 ton parsley
2 rabbits (optional)
          Skin hippo - make certain you remove all the hide. Cut hippo into bite-size pieces. Lay them out and season with salt and pepper. Place in rather large tub. Rub rim of tub with garlic. Add enough water to cover. When water boils, reduce heat and simmer over kerosene stove for about 4 weeks. The day before serving add remaining ingredients. Simmer a little longer until done. This will serve 900 guests. If more are expected, add the 2 rabbits.
Barbara Costa

So there's that.
It's amazing what you can find in some of these older cookbooks.