Monday, September 10, 2012

Dessert Adventures

I have to tell you about a cooking victory I accomplished last Friday. Every Friday a friend of ours tries different recipes and cooks dinner for us. And he is a GOOD cook. Last Friday we had the opportunity to cook for him. For dinner, spinach and feta stuffed mini bell peppers, garlic rolls with butter and avocado spread and chicken quesadillas accented with cilantro.

For dessert, well, I wasn't sure what I wanted to do while shopping at the grocery store. Then I thought, "Oh! I have supplies for chocolate cake." Rosey Little Things has an absolutely wonderful recipe that I first saw here. Dark chocolate cake, fluffy white frosting, and berries! I figured I would do my mother's cake frosting recipe to plop on top of the cake.

I bake the cake, with a few minor adjustments, such as a bit less flour since all I had was wheat and it takes more moisture than white. Perhaps she uses wheat flour, the texture was so wonderful.

 For the frosting I figured I had enough Crisco. Not so much. I had a 1/3 cup to work with when I could have used 2 cups. I had just under a cup of powered sugar when I needed 3. To top that I couldn't find my mother's recipe. I worked off the top of my head adding vanilla and almond extract, (was out of butter extract). The consistency of the mixture was not working, so i recklessly poured a bit of brown sugar in, then more, and more. Tasting it, it was still a little to runny and I resulted to white sugar. It ran in my mixer for 15 minutes with the false hope of dissolving the sugar grains. Then "Oh! Eggs! My mother uses egg whites to fluff up her frosting.

Well, it became a fluffy, grainy, eggy, criscoy concoction. I didn't want to put it on the stove in fear of burning it and then having to go back to the store, but finally I headed to the mental suggestion. As I mixed like crazy I realized "oh yea! glaze, take off heat right before boiling point." And so that's what I did.
Yes, it has bubbles, but I can deal with that. I'm willing to have imperfection.  Having little time left, I gave it a ice bath. I even put salt in the ice water to keep it cold. I felt like a genius at this point. I tasted it and heaven hit. It was a smooth sugar with a hint of brown sugar spice and a soft aroma of vanilla and almond.

 And I poured the glaze over the cake (after dealing with cracks and holes missing in the layers) and garnished it with berries. I wanted leaves just like Rosy Little Things Blog so I went to the garden to pick some Basil. Wasn't sure if basil was desert herb. Later our friend told us was. And here was the result.

The glaze was a nice non overwhelming compliment to the cake. I love the roughness of the cake. It tells a great story for the process of which it was made.

Special thanks to husband for taking the pictures.