Sunday, June 1, 2008

From the Archives

I haven't cooked or baked much lately, due to school, work, and our latest vacation to Lake Tahoe. I wanted to update my blog, and I have some photos and recipes in the archives, so there you have it!

My best friend is currently attending culinary school at Western Culinary Institute. Her ultimate goal is to become a pastry chef and open her own bakery. For the first few weeks, I was able to reap the benefits of her efforts. She did a cake class, and for an entire week, it was focused on different types of cakes, frostings, ganaches, etc. Lucky me!

Below are some photos of the amazing cakes she made. Hopefully, I don't butcher the names of them.

Devil's Food Cake with Chocolate Ganache

Genoise Cake with Buttercream Filling
Peach Upside-Down Cake
I personally tried all three cakes, but my favorite was the Upside-Down cake. It was just sweet enough without being overpowering. Of course, my friend happened to come over after class that night, and it was close to 10:00pm. I couldn't resist and had to have a piece of the Upside-Down cake. The other kinds sat in my fridge until the next day.
Of course, I don't have recipes for these beautiful cakes, because I am sure they are trade secrets. However, I do have a recipe for a Pineapple Upside-Down Cake that I can vouch for. I have substituted peaches as well as pears in this particular recipe because my husband does not like pineapple. All three fruits are delicious!
It isn't nearly as good as my culinary friend's cake, but it's pretty darn tasty!

Pineapple Upside-Down Cake
from: Glamour Magazine
6 tablespoons unsalted butter
1/3 cup firmly packed dark brown sugar
1 can (20 oz) pineapple slices, preferably in juice, drained
1 1/4 cups flour
1/2 cup sugar
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 egg
1/2 cup milk
1 teaspoon vanilla

1. Heat oven to 350 degrees.

2. Place 2 tablespoons of the butter in a 10-inch oven proof skillet, cake pan or pie plate. Place in oven for 5 minutes or until butter is melted. Sprinkle brown sugar over melted butter. Arrange 6 pineapple slices on bottom of skillet. Cut remaining slices in half and place them, cut side up, around the edges of the skillet (like smiles). Set skillet aside while mixing cake batter.

3. In a 2-quart saucepan, heat the remaining butter until almost melted. Remove from heat and let sit until completely melted. Add flour, sugar, baking powder, and salt. Then add egg, milk and vanilla and stir ingredients until no visible lumps are seen. Scrape batter into the skillet over pineapple slices and spread evenly to cover them.

4. Bake 40 minutes or until cake is golden and firm to the touch. Let cool 10 minutes. To unmold cake, place a large plate over skillet and flip (If any pineapple slices stick, gently pry them off with a spatula and place them firmly back on cake).