Monday, February 7, 2011
Third Time's A Charm
I have been neglecting this blog. I can be honest. I am stressed and anxious and busy and this is the thing that has fallen by the wayside. In part because there has been no food in my house. It is incredibly hard to blog about cooking when your meals consist of things like the heel of a loaf of bread with some peanut butter on it. But I was determined to fix this, to cook something tasty, to have a worthy post. So to that end I planned and grocery shopped and tried out not one, not two, but three new recipes on Saturday night.
Most unfortunately the main result of this was me realizing just how much I can hate trying out new recipes. I tried making roast chicken with bacon and brandy, inspired by Nigella and Tyler Florence. It came out distinctly uninspiring. Also dry. But I'm blaming the meat thermometer for the dry part. I made these fancy shmancy potatoes that I once saw on Cooking for Real. They only took an extra 30 minutes to cook. Let me be real with you, I do not have an hour and a half to spend on something that looks like an armadillo and tastes exactly like a normal baked potato. Oh hell no.
It was no small blessing that dessert turned out tasty. If it hadn't there's no telling what would have happened over here. The applesauce cake is simple, old-fashioned and easy. A definite winner.
SPICED APPLESAUCE CAKE
from SmittenKitchen who is clearly better at recipe writing and testing than those suckers at Food Network
2 C flour
2 t baking power
1/2 t baking soda
1 t cinnamon (SK used 3/4, but I'm a cinnamon kind of girl)
1/2 t ground ginger
pinch ground cloves
1 stick butter (I almost always use salted butter, which is NOT ideal for baking, but then I omit the salt from the recipe, things usually even out)
1 C light brown sugar
1 t vanilla extract
2 large eggs (that's 1/2 C eggbeaters for those watching their cholesterol)
1 C unsweetened applesauce
Preheat your oven to 350 F. Cream together the butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Add the vanilla and mix well. Add the eggs, mixing between each one. Then add the applesauce. Again, mix to combine. In a large bowl, combine flour, baking powder, baking soda, cinnamon, ginger and cloves. Stir to combine. Add in small batches to the wet ingredients, mixing between each addition until all are incorporated. Grease and flour a round cake pan (I'm not a square kind of gal). Pour in the cake batter. Bake for 30-45 minutes (mine took 30 flat). Remove carefully from pan and set aside to cool. Frost when cool.
5 oz cream cheese, softened (cream cheese has these awesome lines like butter so you can cut it right, who knew?)
3 T butter, softened
1 t vanilla
1/2 t cinnamon
1 C confectioner's sugar
Whip together the cream cheese and butter until uniform. Add the vanilla and give it another whip. Sift the confectioner's sugar and cinnamon into the mixture. DO NOT skip on sifting because you are lazy. It will result in little lumps like I had. I don't do frosting really, so this was a learning experience for me. I realized as poured in the sugar that I was being an idiot but it was too late for me to do anything. Save yourselves. Make nice smooth pretty frosting. Sift in the stupid sugar. Beat again then frost the cake!