Sunday, May 25, 2008

Catching up on some baking

During my bouts of hopelessness, nothing could console me. I knew that I should be keeping busy, especially in this "low" time, but I couldn't get myself to pick up the knitting needles, much less crack an egg open. As I started to come out of the funk, however, I developed the overwhelming urge to BAKE. Before, it happened maybe once a week but I had a lot of catching up to do, resulting in baked goodies for my co-workers twice a week for a while. Unfortunately, this sudden upswing in KitchenAid usage also resulted in my regaining of the 3 pounds I lost during my dark period (I know, I know....we can't have it all). The following are pictures of my yummy creations from the past month, omitting a few where I didn't remember to snap a shot before devouring them (chewy brownies and chocolate chip cupcakes)!

Champagne cupcakes with strawberry buttercream frosting. The fresh strawberries in the frosting really made all the difference!
Mango cupcakes with champagne buttercream frosting (trying to use up the rest of that bottle of champagne!) This was my first time using a pastry bag, so a little practice on a firm surface was called for beforehand! I got a little carried away. I still can't believe how much powdered sugar is needed in the frosting to get it to the right consistency so your shapes will hold!

Lemon bars (recipe taken from Smitten Kitchen here). What a pain in the ass to sqeeze all those lemons, but soooo good and worth it in the end! I love all things lemon, but fresh lemons take the cake!
And last, but certainly not least, white chocolate hazelnut mousse, courtesy of Giada De Laurentiis! This was only my second time making this scruptious dessert, but it has been received with much excitement every time I tote it along to get-togethers with me (making it again next weekend!). I have to say, it is one of my favorites. My advice to anyone making this would be to get your hazelnuts pre-husked if you can, because that is the most time-consuming step in the whole recipe! I didn't know how to accomplish this at first, but after a little Google searching, I found a seemingly simple apporach. They make it sound so easy! My ass the husks come off when you rub them in a towel! I resorted to scratching the majority of the husks off with my fingernails! Well, I have the hang of working with phyllo now, at least!

And just to throw things into the mix, progress on my Anti-Moping Deployment Tee (pdf)

Ok...I'm tired now. Time for bed. Need to rest up for more knitting and baking!


Jaime said...

Yummy!!! I want some! ;)

raecatherine said...

wow--what an impressive baking agenda! I tried a recipe for Mango Muffins once and they came out pretty gummy. If you can, please email me what you used! raniculescu AT g mail. com

when can i come over for dessert? =)

Tania said...

Hey Rae! The mango cupcakes were kind of a bust because they failed to they turned into mango muffins! There's something about the mango that doesn't let the cupcake rise, but they were still good and my co-workers loved them. I'll email you the recipe soon! Feel free to jump on a plane anytime you want dessert =P