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Just a simple gal living on the outskirts of Portland making ends meet. I have lived in Portland for over 20 years and I am happy to call it home. On this blog you will find everything from cooking to my crazy life. I hope you enjoy.

Monday, December 9, 2013

Birthday Cake

So yesterday was my sons birthday, and over the course of the years I have tried to not incorporate too much of the holiday into his day. We used to not get the Christmas tree on the same weekend of his party, not serve anything remotely Christmasy (should be a word) at his party, but last night I took a different approach I wanted to bring some of the Holiday cheer into his party without having it overwhelm.
For the dinner I simply took a 4 lb chuck roast, de-boned it and cut out some of the fat. Placed it in a crock pot with some taco seasoning, 1 diced onion and 1 large can diced green chilies, 1 diced red pepper and put the lid on flipped the switch to high and walked away. Came back after about 3 hours of cooking and turned it down to low for another 3 hours...done...Taco's for dinner.
Last nights cake was fantastic. I used a cake recipe from Epicurious. It was a gingerbread cake recipe that I slightly altered to suit my needs and tastes. In the recipe where it calls for mild flavored molasses and light brown sugar I used full flavor molasses and dark brown sugar. I also incorporated a enough whipping cream into the recipe at the end to get the batter to a spreadable consistency (you could probably use apple cider or liquid of choice to do this, cream is what I had on hand). I also baked the gingerbread in two greased and floured 6 in. cake pans until toothpick test said done. It worked like a charm.
I usually have a hard time finding a gingerbread recipe that has the flavor I am looking for. I really like the addition of fresh ginger in this recipe
Typical gingerbread recipe very dense and thick. The addition of just enough liquid to make it spreadable really helped.
The cakes baked super evenly which is also makes a great platform for frosting.
I was really happy that they rose as much as they did. Made for a really pretty 6 in. layer cake. The frosting recipe was just a simple cream cheese frosting recipe 8 oz. cream cheese, 1 stick butter, 1/2 lb powdered sugar, but then instead of adding vanilla I simply used 2 generous teaspoons of fresh orange zest. The addition of the orange zest really made this frosting pop and added huge flavor that really complimented the gingerbread. Look at how pretty this cake is.
My son really liked the cake and he is fussy about his cake for years his favorite was a chocolate zucchini cake that my mom used to make, but in recent years he decided it was no longer his favorite, so this cake was a real risk. Worked like a charm. More recipes this week.

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