Okay, I didn't really start my diet; I'll start tomorrow.
For now, I'm going to get this post in. I will resume the series I started below in my next blog entry.
Patrick and I have had a rather exhausting month and a half, and we're both happy to be at the end of it. Tonight we kick back. He's picking up a movie, and I'm going to surprise him with this:
I halved the recipe for Golden Butter Cream Cake from Rose Levy Beranbaum's The Cake Bible then divided the batter into two 1.5-cup heart shaped cake pans. The batter filled the pans half full and came right up to the top after baking for 25 minutes.
The dots and letters were made with a parchment cornet filled with dark chocolate. As usual, I don't fuss with precise piping. Gives it a certain je ne sais qua. I'm only kidding. You will notice the guide lines I have on the icing. I thought I was going to write something long and uplifting, but decided for to go for something pithy but loving.
Initially, I was going to write "J ♥ P" as an ambigram to take advantage of the two letters that are probably the easiest to place in an ambigram. I sketched a simple design but decided not to use it - while I was already piping the chocolate!
Once again I used my impromptu Swiss meringue buttercream, this time using orange jam so it is complemented by the small amount of bitter chocolate.
I've now tried a few recipes from The Cake Bible (ahem, yes, on the week when I was supposed to have started the South Beach Diet). I find that Ms Beranbaum's cakes have an extremely pleasing velvety texture. Also, I am happy that with her two-stage method, I am able to mise en place, prepare the batter, bake the cake and clean up the kitchen all in thirty minutes - which is perfect for pulling off a surprise.
Alright, this is it. I will return to posting about my early baking attempts while I go on a diet. (Yes, this time I mean it - I even signed up for a 10K running group).
Next post: How I learned to bake, thanks to the cookbook Baking 911.