Monday, March 8, 2010

Cakes, condos, and more raw adventures!

First off, I'd like to mention that I have finally moved into my new condo with my boyfriend. We've been living here officially for a week now and we absolutely love it. It's also got a much cooler colour scheme than that of my parent's home so my forthcoming pictures will look less dark and overwhelming. It also doesn't help that we're on the 3rd floor and south facing. Lots of sun! Which also means if I ever need to get butter soft for buttercream, the microwave isn't necessary... I have my 82 degree apartment to do it for me!

Secondly, I'm learning how to make my pictures look better. I don't have a fancy-schmancy camera so I'm relying on iPhoto to help me out, so bear with me as I experiment my way to prettier food photos!

It's always an adventure trying out new stoves and ovens, seeing how long it takes to heat up, how off the oven temperature actually is, etc.

First picture is of my signature cake - Chocolate Cardamom Cake with Muscovado (or Demerara, depending on what's on hand) French Buttercream and Caramel. I used to use a Genoise cake, which is a traditional French sponge cake. I had received feedback saying that it gets a little dry after a few days. This is true, as it barely has any fat to keep it moist, and it rises purely because you whip so much air into the eggs and sugar that it rises like a souffle. And like any baked good that only has air in it to keep it up, it gets dry eventually. So after a bit of research I found a new cake that I think will be a good replacement. It also happens to be HUGE.

This cake is around 3"-4" high. Lots of slices!

I have been feeling very unhealthy recently. I know, I know, I'm a pastry chef so consuming tons of refined sugar on a daily basis goes with the territory. Perhaps it is a bit of an oxymoron but I am very conscious about my health and maintaining a good balance of the good and indulgent. I used to do eat things in excess but now find them more enjoyable if I have them once in awhile. However, at work I've been sampling far too much and I do notice a change in my cravings and my skin. But I do have a sweet tooth, so what am I to do? Well, make raw chocolate mousse of course!

I found this on Rawmazing. This is the first time that I've been to their site, and I was so delighted with the result that I hope to find more raw desserts that satisfy my cravings. Instead of using a full 3/4 cup of cacao (different than cocoa... not refined. You can find this in health food stores at a pretty penny), I used 2/4 cocao and 1/4 carob, because I like the malty taste. I also used cashew butter instead of almond because that's all I had on hand.

I tried to feed this to my boyfriend pretending that it was regular chocolate mousse, but he could tell right away that it wasn't. Foiled again! He said it tasted very powdery and that if I could somehow dissolve the cocao/carob in the almond milk than that might improve the texture and taste. We'll see how that goes next time! I like that this has a lot of good things in it, yet it tastes so rich and indulgent.

I'm also in love with the robin's egg coloured tea cups that I got from my Omi. Perfect pretty mousse cups!

Today was one of my day's off so I went with my mum to a couple of kitchen stores to buy St. Patty's Day and Easter cookie cutters. Being the addict that I am, I bought a cookbook... Oops.

I put off buying this book for awhile, but then as I kept browsing through it I knew I had to get it. I hope to someday get into vegan and gluten-free baking. There was a glimmer of working in a vegan bakery at one point, but alas it wasn't to be, so for now I will practice on friends and family! I find it to be a huge challenge to recreate baked goods with no eggs, butter, and flour so I think this will be a good first step. Then I will take my knowledge and apply it to recipes that I currently have.

The book I really want right now is Raw Food Real World. Next time!

I messed about with a cropped version of one of 'mousse and me' photos, so I think I'll make a nice header out of that soon. I also have someone making me new business cards - I'm so excited!

1 comment:

Jennifer said...

Have you tried any of the recipes in Babycakes yet?? I just picked up the book too (how could I not with such amazing pictures!) but don't know where to start!

Jenn the red...ish