Batter Licker

December 14, 2011

project wedding dessert bar: part 13 (jay’s secret chocolate cake)

It’s taken me awhile, but this is the second-to-last post in my Project Wedding Dessert Bar Series. Did I mention this recipe is for a surprise cake? For THE cake-to-end-all-cakes (at least in Jay’s book)?

Jay loves chocolate cake with chocolate frosting, as it was present at all his childhood birthdays and celebrations. Somehow I baked, chilled, frosted, hid, and transported it without Jay finding out, even though he tried to ruin the surprise – TWICE.

First, after driving back from a morning client meeting, he came up to our apartment to check in on me and my dessert bar baking shenanigans instead of dropping the car in the garage and going straight to work like he usually does.

Photo by Dana Hargitay of enLuce Photography

Then, when my mom and sister Cassie helped me transport the desserts to the venue a day before the wedding, he took an early lunch break – without giving me advance notice – and walked over the venue to help us unload everything. Thank goodness the cake was on a covered stand and Cassie had a jacket to throw over the top of it. While we unloaded everything else, we hid the cake on the passenger side floor of the car. When we dropped everything off in the venue director’s office, I awkwardly hesitated to leave, even though she had another bride and groom in her office. The look on my face must have indicated I was on the verge of a meltdown (I wasn’t; worst case, the surprise would be ruined, which would not be the end of the world but hopefully would be avoided); she immediately came up and gave me a concerned look and a hug. I whispered that there was one more load coming up, then ran down the hall to catch up before Jay noticed. But how would my mom and Cassie get the cake upstairs without Jay noticing?? (more…)

September 28, 2011

project wedding dessert bar: part 3 (fudge)

It’s time for some more wedding dessert bar preparation. This time around, instead of baking, there will be candy-making.

[Queue the oooohs and aahhhs.]

Waiting … waiting … AHEM! … any minute now … What’s that? You already know how to make fudge? Fine. But won’t you be sad if you miss out on the quirky commentary, and additional tips and observations – like the fact that fudge freezes well for 3 months if tightly wrapped? Thought so.

Now that we’ve settled that … first, clean up that kitchen, little piggy! (I really let things go this week. Just wasn’t feeling the whole sponge-and-soap thing. Or even the at-least-soak-things-in-water thing. Pretty much a total mess all around. Good thing I didn’t get a good shot of the sink’s contents, much less the rest of the apartment.)

Now that I’ve cleaned everything up (mostly), it’s time to pull all the ingredients out and clutter the counter again. I’ve said it before and will repeat it every time I share a candy recipe, but you know that whole mis en place concept you hear all over cooking shows that normally is helpful but not entirely necessary? Yeah, it’s actually essential when making fudge or any other type of candy. Candy cooks up fast, especially towards the end when time is of the essence.

So open those bags and containers, and measure out those ingredients to lessen the chances of burnt candy tragedies. Seriously. I’ve done it. Multiple times. First world problem, perhaps, but I still cried.
(more…)

September 25, 2011

project wedding dessert bar: part 2 (coconut macaroons)

It’s coconut macaroon time! Which also means it’s party time! And part 2 of my Project Wedding Dessert Bar series! Are you excited yet?!?!?

Okay, I’ve clearly had too much coffee. Time to calm down and get this show on the road.

First, we’ll need a whole lotta whites. Egg whites, not people – and certainly not in a discriminating way.

We’ll find another use for all those delicious yolks later. Mayonnaise? Hollandaise? The yolks will make a TON of either, that’s for sure. The key is no waste! There are always more delicious things to be made with the discarded parts of the ingredients. The more I cook and bake, the more I know this to be absolutely true.

But for now, just sit back and admire the skill it takes to crack that many eggs and separate the whites, while only breaking a single yolk (and it broke post-cracking because I dropped it too violently into the bowl). (more…)

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