Monday, November 12, 2012

Baby Shower Nibbles

I got the opportunity to play caterer for a friend who was hosting a baby shower recently. I did not take photos of the goodies because they were not all assembled until they got to the party site. However, the gracious mom-to-be, Bethany, snapped these gorgeous photos of the final product. I am so pleased! Also I had a lot of help, so big props to Brian, Kiley, and Karl for digging in and being so great.
Cake pops - Kiley's masterpiece. They're blue because it's a boy. :)

Baked potato bites.

Berry salad with Champagne vinigrette.

Cucubmber cups with chicken salad.
Thanks to the hostess with the mostest for letting me help!

Saturday, November 10, 2012

Rich Red Velvet

It's baking season, hooray! In anticipation of guests this weekend, I wanted to make a dessert that we could nibble on for a few days. Obviously, Red Velvet cake is always a winner. Plus, who doesn't love lots of food dye?
Verdict was mostly positive. I don't take "messy to cut" as too hard of a critique. :)

I used one of Sara Moulton's recipes, and added my own favorite cream cheese frosting.
Vegetable oil for the pans
2-1/2 cups all purpose flour
1-1/2 cups sugar
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon fine salt
1 teaspoon cocoa powder
1-1/2 cups vegetable oil
1 cup buttermilk
2 tablespoons red food coloring (1 ounce)
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
cream cheese frosting
crushed pecans, for garnish
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Lightly oil and flour 3 (9 by 1 1/2-inch round) cake pans.
In a large bowl, sift together the flour, sugar, baking soda, salt, and cocoa powder. In another large bowl, whisk together the oil, buttermilk, eggs, food coloring, vinegar, and vanilla.
Using a standing mixer, mix the dry ingredients into the wet ingredients until just combined and a smooth batter is formed.
Divide the cake batter evenly among the prepared cake pans. Place the pans in the oven evenly spaced apart. Bake, rotating the pans halfway through the cooking, until the cake pulls away from the side of the pans, and a toothpick inserted in the center of the cakes comes out clean, about 30 minutes.
Remove the cakes from the oven and run a knife around the edges to loosen them from the sides of the pans. One at a time, invert the cakes onto a plate and then re-invert them onto a cooling rack, rounded-sides up. Let cool completely.
Frost the cake. Place 1 layer, rounded-side down, in the middle of a rotating cake stand. Using a palette knife or offset spatula spread some of the cream cheese frosting over the top of the cake. (Spread enough frosting to make a 1/4 to 1/2-inch layer.) Carefully set another layer on top, rounded-side down, and repeat. Top with the remaining layer and cover the entire cake with the remaining frosting. Sprinkle the top with the pecans.