In the spirit of doing something new, I have decided to dust off my old, forgotten love for baking and resurrect it. So far I have made oatmeal-raisin cookies, banana-walnut muffins and just this weekend a lovely pineapple-flavored layer cake with whipped cream icing.
I really had forgotten how much pleasure (and near-instant gratification) baking can provide - it's a complete project, has a set start and finish, has an end goal that you can see/touch/taste, and if done right provides satisfaction to all stakeholders!
The best part is that even if you fail abysmally at your first few attempts to see your baking project through, the time and effort commitment isn't so exorbitant that you wouldn't want to try again. For example, the oatmeal-raisin cookies turned out less chewy than I would have wanted and the muffins were too dry, so now I get to go back and experiment with the recipes to make it just as I want. Even then, everyone who ate both end-products thoroughly enjoyed them.Wouldn't it be fantastic if projects at work could be this way too?
The food is long gone (even before I had a chance to take a picture or two) ... but I will be better about capturing my culinary attempts in photos for future posts.
Tip: to get really moist cake layers and a more intense pineapple flavor, pour the syrup from the pineapple cans onto the yellow cake. To ensure even absorbency throughout the cake, poke tiny holes all over with a toothpick (or a bamboo skewer).
I made the yellow cake layers based on a recipe out of a book called "The Modern Baker" by Nick Malgieri. It has some really great recipes for breads, quick breads, cookies and cakes that I cannot wait to try. Good thing hubby has a gym membership and I'm so pregnant I don't really care if I get a little fatter!
Here are a couple of sites that I enjoy reading and/or searching for recipes -