January 7, 2011

Cake Flop and Pizza Pie

This is the photo from the cookbook.

Well, today I was feeling ambitious.  I decided to attempt the
 "Apple-Spice Layer Cake with Caramel Swirl Icing" page 72, from Rebecca Rather's cookbook, The Pastry Queen Christmas. I think I might be classified as Ms. Rather's" Bakery Groupie". I am sure she has many committed followers.  I love to read anything I can about her, and I for sure love her 'big texas' style of baking. I visited her cafe in Fredericksburg, TX a couple years ago.  For me it was like visiting the cook's version of Graceland.  I know there are many loyal lovers of all of the chefs, but Rebecca Rather does it for me.
The cake I made today has 3, yes 3 cups of sugar! 6 eggs! Let's get real, she is not afraid to serve up some serious 'Sweet'.  Unfortunately, I did not do her proud today. I do have every intention of righting my wrong, but nonetheless, I flopped her cake today! Sorry Rebecca!

One of the layers after the flop!

 Well here's how it went.  First I was out of ground ginger, which was my first indication to stop and regroup.  Cake baking was very successful, sans ginger.  But things went south when I decided to omit the reading of the last six lines of the cake/frosting istructions.  It's a buttercream icing mixed with mascarpone cheese and a melted caramel.  Well, I had executed the preparation of all the parts, just forgot to mix the mascarpone with the caramel, and proceeded to frost the layers with the buttercream/mascarpone mixture.  ALL the layers and put it together. Boo Hoo! Mixing the caramel and mascarpone is key to the whole deal!  Funny, I was wondering, hmmmm, why do I need so much caramel.  Anyway, I deconstructed my cake, scraped all the white stuff off and mixed mixed it all together, stuck it in the fridge, hoping maybe it will chill and I can whip it into shape, LITERALLY! Stay tuned for the results as you admire my sorry layer of cake flop above.  In the meantime I managed to whip up some good pizza dough for our dinner tonight.
I retrieved this wonderful and simple recipe for thin crust pizza from  I always double this for our big family (yeah right, there is one in this family that eats us out of house and home, no names mentioned)  
Instead of baking right after kneading as the web recipe advises, I let the dough rise once.  Then we make our own sauce, sometimes my really yummy roasted tomato sauce or the one we used tonight, a very simple recipe:
3 tbsp olive oil
2 tbsp of each, basil, oregano, minced fresh garlic, or garlic powder

The crust as it is baking
1 tsp fennel seed
1 tbsp sugar
1 tbsp kosher salt
1 28 oz can crushed tomato-I prefer using a crushed italian tomatoes 
In a saucepan, add oil, herbs, garlic, fennel, and sugar.
Cook until it sizzles. Add salt and crushed tomato. Simmer on low for about 20 minutes.
Oven 425, If you have a pizza stone, place it in the cold oven and turn on the heat.
Meanwhile, roll out your crust. Bake on a pizza stone until done. 
Spread sauce over crust, add toppings, sprinkle with your cheese choice, (we use a mix of mozz, swiss, and provolone).
Bake again until cheese is melted and a bit bubbly.
Get it while it's hot and before your teenage boys eat all of it!

Finished! Delisioso!

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