As I meandered the aisles of the local drugstore, I realized that the holidays were just around the corner. Well, less 'realized' and more 'hit-in-the-face' with all the seasonal chocolate already on display. Out with Halloween, in with Christmas! I admit, I do enjoy holiday chocolate - especially the novelty box sets. I am looking forward to the Loacker Advent calendar! Maybe I'll buy one for work and one for home. Hee hee....
Anyway - this past week I made two cakes, a Boston Cream and a Maple Pecan. The Boston Cream was for a coworker and I forgot to take photos - but another colleague did, so I'll have to remind myself to ask for the pics.
I didn't quite realize that the Maple Pecan birthday was quite so soon. As a result, I had to pull together a cake in an afternoon. A fully frosted and assembled three-layer cake. It was ambitious, but I knew I could do it - if I was smart. Here are the results:
The cake itself was flavoured with maple with a very generous helping of chopped pecans. It was frosted with a maple buttercream (it worked this time!). I used a different recipe for , provided by the lovely Martha Stewart. It was a lot easier than the Joy of Cooking version, although it did get a little soupy. A quick 15 min in the freezer solved that and it fluffed up nicely after that (also with the help of about 1/2 cup of icing sugar as well as a stabilizer).
I couldn't get a good pic of the finished and decorated cake, I hadn't really thought of a good concept on how to frame the shot, so here are a few of cake slices.
A few final comments.... This year for Christmas, I'm going to ask for the following:
- cake decorating triangle
- cake decorating turntable
- cake decorating book
Almost forgot - the cake was decorated with candied pecans. Very easy to do - caramelize 1 cup of sugar over medium high heat until medium-amber in colour. Gently stir in 1 cup of pecans and make sure each nut is coated. Take off the heat (if you haven't already) and CAREFULLY remove each pecan onto a parchment-lined cookie sheet. They recommended two forks. I recommend a long skewer. It's less messy if you work quickly and doesn't collect as much caramel build-up. Let cool 5 min and then decorate (or eat)!