Wednesday, March 20, 2013

Leaked Steubenville Rape Video

A group of guys sitting around and making jokes about how "dead" the girl is and  about her rape. Sickening.

The Sourdough Cake that Wouldn't

As I mentioned in my last post, I gave up cake for Lent which was a bit inconvenient considering that this month's Sourdough Surprises challenge is cake. I decided to make mini bundts so as not to add to the growing collection of cakes that I can't eat in my freezer.

I really wanted to experiment but decided to keep it simple and make a chocolate beer cake. I used this chocolate cake recipe from King Arthur but since I only made a quarter of the recipe, I didn't use eggs but added a little vinegar and a extra liquid. I also swapped half of the milk for Red Stripe beer.

The recipe called for making somewhat of a poolish and this is where I made a huge mistake. As I mentioned, I was using half milk and half beer. The polish called for mixing the milk, starter and flour together. I wanted to add the beer later so I didn't add it. Apparently I forgot that I was making cake and not bread. With less liquid, this was perfect kneading consistency and I got a little mix-happy. And that meant GLUTEN!

There was really no way to "dissolve" all those gluten strands and there were specks of gluten strands in my cake. I could have tossed the batter and started over but really, that's a waste. I knew it wouldn't taste bad. It would just have a lump or two in it. Yeah.. that didn't sound appealing to me either but hey. I baked it anyway.

It smelled great. I could smell the beer. And since the batter tasted good, I assume the cake itself might be good too. Who knows? On March 31 I will be able to tell you. The recipe used a really yummy look frosting that I really wanted to make. But since this was only heading into my freezer and not to a friend as I had originally planned, I decided to just skip it. Yeah, the pics would have been really great with the frosting but I can't be too concerned about it.

After Lent, I will try this again. I'm sure there are great cakes elsewhere for you to drool over so hop on over to the other blogs and have a look.

Friday, March 8, 2013

On Lenten Sacrifices

We never gave up anything for Lent when I was growing up but I was always fascinated by others choosing a "vice" and trying to abstain for the 40 + days. I tried in the past, halfheartedly, and never succeeded. I think I'd make it a week before I was back to doing whatever it was.

It's always hard to find something to give up though. I could give up meat (and all animal byproducts) but I did that for 30 days one November (yes, that meant I did not have turkey on Thanksgiving) and while it wasn't extremely difficult, it was just a lot of work trying to plan my meals. Also, I know that I can do it so it's no longer that much of a challenge.

I don't drink coffee or sodas. I no longer eat ice cream by the pint per meal. I don't eat that much chocolate anymore either. Besides, I gave up chocolate when I had TN and I'd rather not give it up again. So what can I give up? Well, someone suggested that I give up cake. Yes, cake. I am pretty sure that person will no longer be my friend but I decided to try anyway. It didn't help that the day before Lent started, I made an Oreo stuffed chocolate bundt cake. What do I do? Eat as much as I can on Fat Tuesday or freeze it and forget it? I decided to freeze the remaining slices. Forgetting has not been that easy.

I have thought about cake every single day since February 13. I have craved cake every single day since February 13. The funny thing is that I know that I probably would not have had much cake anyway but the fact that I can't have it is driving me crazy. I NEED CAKE. Last weekend I made over 4 dozen cupcakes for a shower. Do you know how many I had? ZERO. I did have a lot of frosting though. A LOT.

The hardest part about baking these was not knowing if the cupcakes were moist enough and if the frosting paired well with them. I have one of each flavour combination in my freezer so on March 31, I can feast. 

Now you may have realised that while I talk a lot about cake, I also talk a lot about sourdough. I'm also doing the Sourdough Surprises baking challenges each month. Do you want to guess what this month's challenge is? I'll give you one guess. 

Yes. Cake. 

I'm still not sure what to do about this. Bake it, blog about it but not taste it until March 31? Skip the challenge? Decisions. Decisions. I'll figure it out this weekend, hopefully. And hopefully sourdough chocolate cake isn't what makes me break down.

Did you give up anything for Lent? How's that going?