As most of you know, yesterday was Thanksgiving here in the United States. Like most people, we had the usual fare – turkey, ham, mashed potatoes, stuffing, and 5 gallons of gravy. I realize now, as I sit here typing this post, I forgot to prepare a green vegetable – whoops! But amid preparing all of this I decided I would make a dessert. Normally, we just pop over to Marie Callender’s and purchase a pie, but I thought I would change it up this year.
You see, I have been watching The Great British Baking Show on Netflix. Even my boys love to watch to show. They settle down in front of the TV with their gallon bottles of water and will watch episode after episode. Their friends come over and soon, they too are entranced by the preparation of the lovely pastries and baked good. I love the show, I love Paul Hollywood and Mary (she reminds me so much of my Grandmother) and the British participants are so polite and well-behaved – it is a delight to watch!
I have had a hankering to get in the kitchen and bake some stuff. Last week, I made Australian meat pies, and Mini Triple Chocolate Mousse cakes. They turned out well and everyone seemed to enjoy them immensely. My boys have watched The Great British Baking Show so much, when they cut into the meat pies, they said – in a Paul Hollywood voice – “It’s a lovely bake, the flaky pastry has great layers, the pie pastry is just the right thickness, and no leakage on the bottom. Well done!” I kind of cheated on the pie pastry, because I used (gasp!!) store bought pastry. Please don’t tell Paul Hollywood and Mary.
Yesterday, I decided to make a Tuxedo Cake with Raspberry Buttercream. My husband went off to buy the ingredients. Thankfully, he doesn’t mind going to the grocery store. I hate going to the grocery store. I found the recipe on the Pineapple and Coconut website . It didn’t look terribly difficult, but there are many components to making this cake. It is an 8-layered cake with a raspberry buttercream frosting (the meringue method), a raspberry puree, and two different types of cake (vanilla and chocolate), and then topped with a ganache (I love that word – ganache, I say it with gusto, please say it with me Ganache, Ganache, Ganache).
The recipe stated the preparation time was 60 minutes, and the cooking time was 60 minutes too. Well, I don’t know if the lady who came up with this recipe is living in some type of parallel dimension, or a black hole or I don’t know what. I started preparing the cakes at about 8:30 in the morning. And the finished product was ready to eat by about 10:00 in the evening. I spent hours and hours covered in flour, chocolate, and meringue. The frosting had two pounds of butter mixed into a meringue. It took me an hour and a half of slowly adding tablespoon pieces of softened butter to the meringue, and mixing with my hand-help mixer.
I suppose if I had one of those fancy Kitchen-Aid mixers, it might have gone a bit faster. My husband has been trying to buy me one of those Kitchen-Aid stand mixers for years, but my Krups hand-held mixer I purchased in 1985 is still working a treat, and I see no reason to plunk down several hundred dollars for an appliance that will take up even more of our limited kitchen counter-top space.
My husband also purchased a nice cake plate, to store the cake. We have had this running discussion for years, about cakes being stored in the fridge versus leaving them out at room temperature. I like my desserts, especially cakes – cold, he likes his cakes at room temperature. And we have invariably ended that particular discussion by me saying, “Besides, we don’t have a cake plate!” Well, we have a cake plate now. The thing is – this cake that I made yesterday, the cake I spent over 13 hours making, 13 hours of my life I will never be able to get back – the cake is so tall, it doesn’t fit under the cake plate. So, I had to improvise. I made a cake plate cover out of yards and yards of aluminum foil. My makeshift cake plate cover is made from so much aluminum – I am pretty sure I could receive communications from alien life form out in space.
Anyone want some cake, because we have lots?!