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Random stuff I've been up to

Today I went shopping and ended up looking at Shun knives. I didn't buy any because that's some serious cash, but now I know what I want so I can save up for it.

I got home in time to handle my on-call shift for work. Fortunately it was a quiet shift so I spent some time in the kitchen. I made french onion soup and an angel food cake. The soup was ok by itself, but once I added the cheese toast it became quite good. I think that my substitution of mead for the white wine resulted in the soup being a bit too sweet. Next time I'll use something drier. The cake came out quite well (I've been making it a lot lately) and we topped some with strawberries and macadamia nut liqueur. That was quite a treat.

In other food news I've been practicing making coconut cake. I've made it three times. The first was an unequivocal disaster (the cake was dry and the frosting thin resulting in the cake absorbing the frosting overnight effectively un-frosting the cake) so it went in the bin. I got it right the second and third times, but I think that it can be even better with some tweaking. I really like the 7 minute frosting, it's easy to make and quite tasty, not heavy like butter cream.

Work has been going very well. My project is approaching beta launch which is very exciting. I'll be down in the bay area in a few weeks, anyone want to hang out?

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Comments

( 9 comments — Leave a comment )
prettyh
Mar. 2nd, 2008 07:55 pm (UTC)
What you ACTUALLY need to be shopping for is BIGGER CARRY-ON LUGGAGE for your friends, because you've already missed one golden opportunity to visit my faboo city. It must never happen again!!

I'm making pound cake tonight. I hate pound cake, only because of the lemon involved. Any suggestions with which I can replace fruit flavours? Would using vanilla- instead of lemon-flavoured pudding work...??

Edited at 2008-03-02 07:56 pm (UTC)
matthew
Mar. 2nd, 2008 09:57 pm (UTC)
I've been trying to figure out how to swing a side trip to Toronto when I next visit NYC for work. That way I won't have to ride in the hold. :)

I've never actually made pound cake, nor have I known what I was eating when I've had it. Are the lemons part of the cake batter, or just in the frosting? If it's just the frosting you should be able to substitute something else (like vanilla). If it's in the batter then you can't just take it out since the acid is probably helping with the leavening. Of course if it's lemon flavored pudding that carries the lemons then yes you should be able to just substitute the vanilla flavored. Just for fun I pulled out my Alton Brown baking book (who didn't see that coming) and found the following recipe that uses buttermilk instead of lemons:

8oz Unsalted butter at room temperature
14oz Sugar
3 Large eggs
1 tsp Vanilla extract
14.5oz All purpose flour
1/2 tsp Baking soda
1/2 tsp Salt
8oz Buttermilk

Preheat oven to 325F (162C). Lube bundt or tube pan and set aside.

Combine all the dry ingredients (sugar is not a dry ingredient! So this means the flour, baking soda and salt.) by pulsing in a food processor or whisking in a large mixing bowl. In a small bowl beat together the eggs and Vanilla extract.

Place the butter in your stand mixer (you have one right?) with the paddle attachment and beat on medium speed for 1 minute. Slowly add the sugar and beat until the mixture noticeably lightens in color and increases in volume slightly.

Reduce speed to the lowest setting and add the eggs very slowly, scraping down the sides of the bowl as necessary. Work in the dry ingredients in three installments alternating with the buttermilk. Start with the dry ingredients and finish with buttermilk. Don't over mix (gluten is bad for cakes!)

Pour batter into pan and bake for 1 hour, or until the cake pulls away from the sides of the pan and the internal temp reaches 212F (100C.)

Remove from oven and allow to cool for 15 minutes in the pan then turn out onto rack and cool thoroughly. Kept tightly wrapped at room temp the cake will keep for 1 week.

mmm... now I want to make some of that myself. :)

Edited at 2008-03-03 06:40 am (UTC)
prettyh
Mar. 4th, 2008 03:32 am (UTC)
Oooh, right - buttermilk, not vanilla. Okay. I'll print that off & experiment on the weekend, methinks.

And yes, do that. Although I'm very, very far away from NYC - it's a 10-hour drive (only maybe 2 hrs by plane, I think) - so you'd need quite the stop-over. I also live an hour from the airport. Yeah. How much does THAT suck? Even so, if fate ever sees fit to deal the cards right, I make a pretty good tour guide.
matthew
Mar. 4th, 2008 06:49 am (UTC)
It turned out quite tasty actually. I ended up having to bake it a bit longer than an hour, but my oven seems to require that for other cakes too.

As for NYC: we'll see, stranger things have happened. :)
qfemale
Mar. 3rd, 2008 02:23 pm (UTC)
I would definitely try to make the Coconut Cake if only I knew what some of those ingredients are. *wonders*

Also I have come to the conclusion that men who make food are happy. So yay :-)
matthew
Mar. 3rd, 2008 03:56 pm (UTC)
Which ingredients don't you know?

I think that we're happy because we're eating so much ;)
qfemale
Mar. 3rd, 2008 04:00 pm (UTC)
- fresh coconut cream
- coconut extract
- coconut water

I only know what coconut milk is. Well I guess the real question is if the stores here sell all that stuff!

LOL yeah my BF is good at eating much :-p
matthew
Mar. 3rd, 2008 04:44 pm (UTC)
The coconut water is the liquid from inside the coconuts. The other two (and the coconut milk) can be made at home and are infinitely better when you do. Here are the recipes:

Coconut milk and cream
Coconut extract

qfemale
Mar. 13th, 2008 01:19 pm (UTC)
Thank you, at some point, i will try this!
( 9 comments — Leave a comment )