I’ve been busy, honest!
Life has definitely intervened to keep me from composing well thought-out and manicured blog posts. As a compromise, I’ve been (and will continue to be) active on Instagram and Facebook.
I might just be, also, picking up this blog again and retooling a bit.
This year’s occurrence of the geeky new tradition, Pi Day, coincided with a rare snow day in the Northeastern U.S. and I had an unlikely opportunity to throw myself into a little baking to celebrate.
Cherry Pi’s – As individual, hand pies with a pate brisee crust, which I admit I completely underappreciated before now.
Fancy Meat Pi – This one uses my favorite, old fancy game pie mold. As with other times, I used a challah dough instead of the traditional, boiled water crust due to the spouse’s preference. This one has a chicken stew inside. I think any future instances will include a gravy on the side (per my preference, at least) – or at least more of a robust moat than the puddle that appears in this picture.
Posted in Fruit, Holidays, Other Desserts, Pastry, Savory, Themed
Tagged fancy meat pie, fancy pie, Geek, Holidays, meat pie, Pastry, pi, pi day
This weekend presented me with a low-pressure opportunity to try some creative things that were new to me.
Some were spectacular, visual failures, and others turned out relatively acceptable.
I did learn a lot of things along the way, though, so it was still time well spent.
Relatively Acceptable (It’s always fun when your baking project is staring at you…)
If I want to pipe softer edges and points, I should probably try a French meringue instead of a Swiss meringue next time, though sometimes that can be mitigated post-piping by a clean, damp finger (which was how the bunny tails wound up rounded instead of spiky).
- I totally want to do more ganache.
- Ganache or chocolate frosting. The flavor difference is too negligible/nuanced to be worth the time to make two different things.
- Raspberry jam (hot) coating a chocolate cake before ganache/frosting? Yes, please!
- Always have a back-up plan. – OK, I already knew this, but this weekend totally reinforced that for me.
F@&% it. I’ll just make brownies.
It was getting late in the evening, the night before I’d committed to “bake something” (well, yeah…) for a little brunch with friends the next day. I can’t well recall what had kept me busy all day, but it was something, legitimate, that sapped my energy and left me reaching for an easy fallback after tucking the little ones into bed.
Once committed, I found myself starting to rise to the occasion when I made the pivotal realization that, just because I’d chosen brownies, that didn’t mean I was locked into the traditional, plain rectangle. Soon after that came the admission that brownies seem dressier with frosting, but that I would, personally, have a lot more fun whipping up an Italian meringue than making a buttercream.
A solid plan started to take shape.
Some guesswork landed me the three, graduated pans that seemed to best fit the (luckily forgiving) recipe.
I wanted to capture a toasted coconut marshmallow flavor and texture, so I popped each layer for few minutes under the broiler as I assembled it – though I goofed by not accounting well enough for the ever increasing height. (A torch got me back on track.)
A bit of a sugar bomb, but at least a pretty one…
I got to have some fun making a cake themed around a Nerf birthday party.
I struggled on a creative direction, but decided to go more traditional.