Baking

Lemon, Lemon, CHOCOLATE!

It’s closing in on the end of the semester, and do you know what that means? It means I like to bake more than study. I’ve had this urge to make almost EVERYTHING I’ve seen on baking blogs, and it finally got to be too much and I cracked. And I baked. More than I should have. It’s not like this desire was just an “Oh, yum, that would be a great thing to bake. I should try it sometime.” No, it’s been more like “You. Must. Bake. Me. Now. And. Forget. About. Homework!” And this reaction hasn’t just been about one thing, which makes it even worse. Fortunately I think it’s subsided for a brief moment right now, and hopefully I can get through this next week without one of those attacks.

The first thing I absolutely HAD to make was the Lemon Ricotta Pound Cake from Two Peas and Their Pod. I saw it on their blog before spring break, and I was dying to make it, if only because I had ricotta cheese I didn’t want to go to waste. Surprisingly, the ricotta survived in the fridge past spring break and I was finally able to make it last week. Either that or the urge just took way, way, over and I no longer had a choice in the matter.

I may have been a bit delayed in taking pictures of this cake. . . . About half of it was gone by this time, which is understandable, because it was SO DARN GOOD. You see the shininess on top of the cake? I made a glaze with the juice of one of the zested lemons and some powdered sugar. SO DARN GOOD. I also poked a bunch of holes in the top of the cake to let the glaze seep down inside.

I happened to get some batter on my finger before baking, and so I tried it. I wanted to stop right there and eat the batter with  a spoon it was so good. I’m actually surprised that most of it made it into the loaf pan. I showed great self restraint ;).

Though I should have just eaten all the batter, because the baking process was a horror. I guess I still don’t “know”  my loaf pan, because I followed the directions and put it in at 350 when I should have lowered it to 325 after other things have come out too browned. I took the cake out at one point to cover it in foil, and I ended up burning the fleshy point where my thumb meets my palm. OW!

I also should have known that eyeballing leavening agents (aka baking powder) in an actual spoon is not a good idea. It’s not much fault though, I HAD to. You see, the measuring spoons were buried under a MOUNTAIN of my suitemates’ dirty dishes in the sink. There was no way I could physically get to them. And as a result, my cake collapsed in on itself. It didn’t affect the taste or outward appearance, but once you sliced into it you could see the effects. My cake looked like one of the blocks the kiddies play with at school.

From now on I will use measuring spoons, no matter how deep they’re buried. Lesson learned.

I must be on a lemon kick or something, because even after that cake I still wanted MORE LEMON. I was looking around online for kicks and giggles and I found this Blueberry Cake with Lemon Buttercream on Recipe Girl. I’ve made and loved blueberry/lemon things before, so I knew this would be great to make.

The blueberry cake is delicious. I’ll probably make it again and not even use the buttercream, just so I can have a pure blueberry taste. LOVE.

Thankfully there was no collapsing this time around, and it baked up wonderfully. I did turn the oven down to 325 to prevent it from over-browning/baking, which proved to be a very good idea. You see? I’m learning :).

I was so impatient to eat this cake that I started frosting it before it was at room temperature. Whoops! The buttercream started melting as I was smoothing it across the top, but that was nothing a little fridge time couldn’t fix.

I also took some pictures of the view from my window after this little photo shoot. I’m glad I did.

And here’s one from as I’m posting. The weather looks really nice, even if the sky isn’t completely blue and cloudless.

And finally, as the last part of the title indicates, CHOCOLATE CHIP COOKIES! I haven’t gone back to my simple roots and made chocolate chip cookies in ages. I thought it was about time to do so on Thursday.

Perfect. I could have had a lot more cookies (not all are pictured here), but that self-restraint from the pound cake flew out the window and I devoured the cookie dough. Whoops! It was well worth it though. I forgot how much I love and missed these cookies. Sometimes this urge to bake has some pretty good results beyond yummy creations. It’s always nice to make something nostalgic and that can bring up fond memories.

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Baking

It’s a Lemon and Pancake Party!

I can’t even begin to express the sadness I felt as I ate the last piece of this lemon blueberry loaf with a lemon glaze last Friday morning. While the lemon flavor was slightly over-powering, I think it was a fantastic first attempt at this recipe. For future baking endeavors, though, I think I’m going to cut down on the lemon and sugar so that it has a more subtle flavor, rather than a BAM *sour face* one (even though that was thoroughly enjoyable and made me think of Damo and his lemon love each morning). I’m not sure if I want to make this same loaf again Sunday morning, or if I want to try something else for next week. I’m going to have to have a look around the All Recipes site to see if anything new will jump out at me. Whatever I end up baking, though, I hope it will be just as enjoyable as last week’s breakfast was, especially to make up for my lack of breakfast this week (big mistake, because I realized I NEED to eat breakfast every morning).

In other lemony news, I tried my hand at making lemon squares a couple of weeks ago. I can’t believe what I’ve been missing out on. The recipes was SUPER easy, and the results were SUPER yummy. The little squares were “suitemate-approved”, and so now I know what I can make when I want to make a dessert for my suite, since one girl doesn’t like chocolate (I’m going with it, even though I can’t quite wrap my head around hating chocolate. Oh well, to each her own.).

In non-lemon news, I made pancakes. They were also yummy. It was a tried and true recipe, so I wouldn’t have expected anything less than perfection.

Baking

Catching Up

This past week has been insanely busy, thanks to finals and work, which means it was the PERFECT time to bake up a storm. Right? Well, that’s what happened. There was the bread and cake from Sunday, but then it just continued.

Tuesday was the school-sponsored "Midnight Breakfast", and I have learned my lesson and won’t be frequenting that event again, partially because it’s held so far from my dorm. So, like last semester, I took matters into my own hands and created a wonderful Midnight Breakfast for myself and my suitemates. Unlike the food from my school, this breakfast was actually hot and GOOD. Rather than cold waffles/pancakes/bacon/dry muffins, my creations consisted of homemade cinnamon rolls with copious amounts of frosting, pancakes, blueberry sauce, strawberries, whipped cream, nutella, and scrambled eggs. I know it wasn’t a wonderful cross-section of the breakfast world, but any more and we wouldn’t have been able to move or study.

The cinnamon rolls made the kitchen smell heavenly when they were in the oven; so much cinnamon-y goodness. The pancakes decided to be extremely temperamental, and so only a couple of them cooked up nice and evenly golden. 

  

 

Thursday morning prompted the baking of lemon blueberry scones, and the first batch was okay, nothing amazing. If I hadn’t been in a rush to get to an exam I would have baked them for a couple minutes longer to get them a bit browner. When I finally got around to baking up the rest of the batter, it had been sitting in the fridge for a couple of days, and so they turned out more akin to fortune cookies in respect to their taste. All in all, this scone-venture was a failure. I think i need to make one more batch so I don’t end on a bad scone note. 

I admit I didn’t make this cake. One of the secretaries at the school I work at bought it for the little party we had for my last day there. It was a pretty little cake, but once I saw the ingredients list it became much less pretty. I think I’m becoming a bit of a baking purist. But it’s the thought that counts, and it’s not like I’m going to hold this against her, partially because it was such a cute little cake.

Tomorrow, I’ll be baking up a cake for my suitemates’ graduation, so I need to start thinking about what it’s going to be and what it’s going to look like. Hopefully it’ll turn out well.