"Place, with a trace of humanity" Photography/Photo of the Day/Pittsburgh

Posts tagged “cake

Greatest Cake in America says Huffington Post

 

 

 

 

Burnt Almond Torte WEdding CakePrudence and Jordan’s Burnt Almond Torte wedding cake-    assisted by his father wielding the fire axe  September 2012

 

Julie R Thomson of the Huffington Post thanks “Pittsburgh for the greatest cake America has ever made”

 

Prantl's Burnt Almond Torte

and a link to a previous blogpost with the copycat recipe

 

 

Prantl's Bakery Pittsburgh

 

 

 

 

 


Mini-Celebration in the Midst of Sadness

When we gathered in to Aunt Linda’s and Uncle Frank’s to mourn the passing of Aunt Theresa, there was lots of food to share and it kept pouring in from generous neighbors and friends and relatives.

Anna’s other Grandma, Marlene, sister of Aunt Theresa, Aunt Linda and Aunt Georgeann wanted to acknowledge the excitement and accomplishment of Anna(9) qualifying to swim Freestyle and Breaststroke  in the Junior Olympics in Ohio next weekend.  Marlene bought a cake- a 3 pound 12 ounce cake!  (We read the label, didn’t we Aunt Linda?)

Because the occasion was the gathering in and remembering Theresa who had passed, I never took my camera out of the car.

It didn’t seem like a time to take photos.  But of course when the cake came out and Marlene was videoing our singing Happy Junior Olympics to you, I felt compelled to take a photo and slipped out the trusty old iPhone and took one shot.  This is it.   Of course we are so proud of Anna. On the left standing up and smiling is her Mom, Erika. And cousin Shannon, in the red on the right was very gracious.  Lots of love and affection over this past week.

Cake


You Have to be 8 to Take the Cake Decorating Class

When I got to Ohio Friday evening, Anna(9)  was out with a friend, taking a cake decorating class for kids.

When she got home, she put some finishing touches on her Kitty Cat Cake while her younger sister Maura watched intently.

Then Anna put the lid of the cake carrier on the cake to protect it and left the kitchen

Maura watches Anna

There Perfect!

IMG_0497 (1)

cake carrier

Peeking In Cake Carrier

cat cake eyes

Maura licked the frosting knife.

Licking the Knife


Weekly Photo Challenge: Surprise

Seven surprises!

The weekly photo challenge: surprise.

I’m thinking about Stef’s Three Daily Delights blog and how she faithfully lists three delights from her day.  Thanks Stef for the inspiration.

Here are 7 surprises captured by the handy iPhone, save #2,shot with Canon 5D.

1. Jack found the fresh snow when he opened the front door Saturday morning.  That’s my unpacked suitcase by the front door.  Surprise!

jack finds the snow

2. My wonderful DIL Erika sent a hot cup of coffee out with Anna as I was watching the kids play in the snow in the backyard.   (this is the only shot with the regular camera) Yes, that’s a Roadside America souvenir travel cup. Surprise!

coffee in the snow

3. Penny the Golden Doodle actually watches TV(Christmas Vacation) at Laura and James’ house.  Matthew and I arrived Friday night and ate delicious bowls of chili and cornbread, after a 6 hour drive in the snow and traffic (usually a 3 1/2 hour trip).  

Surprise!

Penny watches TV

4. My SIL James’ parents sent the wonderful gift of perfect, juicy pears.  I sliced one and it disappeared in seconds. Thanks Chuck and Sharon.

Surprise.

the gift of pears

5. Thursday afternoon I was stuck in traffic in the rain and saw this pink building and two pink vehicles for Bread and Pastries. This is the true color, not enhanced!    Surprise.  

Bread and Pastries Truck

6. Anna(9) baked a cake all by herself then took a sandwich bag, turned it inside out and filled it with buttercream and then snipped the tip of the corner off and proceeded to decorate the chocolate cake.  

anna makes a cake

7.   Kerry, the student teacher(Art Department) did some serious baking and made special message cookies for the last day of school before Winter Break.  Surprise!

carrick Cookie


Turkeys of the Day

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The haystack turkey is in Roanoke VA

And the live turkeys are at the farm next door in Hardy, Virginia

The turkey chrysanthemum centerpiece is from my sister who is visiting at E’s in Albany. She sent it on her phone.

The gluten-free pound cake I posted early this morning was appreciated but best of all it tasted good! Some added ice cream and others ate it plain. My grandson Michael ate some and gave me the thumbs up and a big MMMMMMMMMMMMM!

What else could you askfor? Grateful for family and friends, far and near.

and Flat Ruthie is with the main course on Cardboardmetravels

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A Failed Cake is a Reminder

What really matters. It’s good to be reminded by the universe. There’s no time for a do-over. Be humbled.

I was so disappointed. Wanted to take this to the feast today and feel I had really outdone myself for them. For me. Or really i wanted to feel good about my offering. I baked a special cake for the gluten free portion of the family. For my grandson Michael.
but the picturebook result did not go as planned. It stuck to the bundt pan despite my preparation. Like cement. A bowl of chiseled crumbs and a raggedy looking cake? It’s gluten free and has a cup and a half of butter in it. Five eggs.

I think a dollop of ice cream, a ladle of crushed berries, and the loving hugs if family will make everything all right.

I’m taking it and we’ll have a good chuckle. The being together and feeling their love and affection is what will feed my heart.

20121122-064952.jpg


Celebrating 39 Years of Teaching!

It’s hard to keep this friend anonymous since her name is on the cake. In chocolate letters!

Ellen is a blog follower and I hope she doesn’t mind….

Colleagues, family and friends gathered together to honor Ellen today.  Effusive praise and accolades aren’t  what Ellen would wish for but let me just say – there are thousands of students who have benefitted from having been taught by her in her classroom.

I didn’t see the smiley face on the cake until I looked at the photos.

 Jean-Marc Chatellier baked this and decorated it so beautifully. It tasted delicious, too.

(You remember the colorful macarons?)

Enjoy your retirement Ellen. You deserve every happiness!  A job well done.


Anna, Her Best Friend, A Special Day

Just before we left for the church, Anna stood with Murphy.

He was sad he didn’t get to go in the car for a ride.

Friends and family gathered in to celebrate Anna making her First Holy Communion at St. Patrick’s, Columbus OH

I’m a proud grandma.

Just before going into the church to line up. Quiet contemplation


How to Revive a Slice of Cake

Place in a bowl and pour some cool fresh milk over it. Eat with a silver spoon. My father used to do this and I'd turn my nose up. Boy, was I wrong about this practice! Delicious


Vanilla Buttercream on a Six Layer Cake in Winter

You might remember the  vanilla buttercream white cake on the front porch in late summer. The one I posted for Marlene’s birthday. (looks good in summer light- click here )

I made this cake by baking 1 cup of batter in 3- 8″ baking pans at a time. (350 degrees)

Did that twice to make six layers.  Vanilla buttercream icing.

The insides of the cake will be revealed another time.  I used the 1-2-3-4 cake recipe

1 cup unsalted butter, room temp

2 cups sugar

3 cups of cake flour (with 2 tsp baking powder and 1 tsp salt)

4 eggs

1 cup of milk + 1/2 cup warm water

I used the Cake Bible method of mixing all dry ingredients with the butter and then adding the vanilla, egg and milk mixture to the dry mixture. Apologies to  Rose Levy Beranbaum  as she describes it so well in her cookbook but I gave Laura that volume and so it is in Columbus now. Laura and I did Face Time and she showed me the cookbook in her hands but when she read the recipes in the back for the wedding cake proportions and the breakdown for a smaller cake, I just decided to go with my grandmother’s and mother’s old 1-2-3-4 recipe.  I couldn’t refer to the other recipes as I mixed and baked.  I will have to borrow that cookbook back and commit it to memory, too.


Maura Eyes the Wedding Cake Being Cut

First cousins once removed on her mother’s side. That is such a strange sounding label! She’s also my youngest grandchild. Fun to be part of a family wedding. Congratulations to Jaclyn and Michael. It was a happy night.

WIsh I had a quote from her. Will have to show her the photo and add it!


What My Dad Gave Me in 1986

There was a time when we lived in Kentucky and the kids were young,  I used this Kitchen-Aid stand mixer almost everyday. It still works perfectly. I wanted this mixer so badly when we returned after living in Germany for 3 years. I don’t remember any color choice except white or off-white/almond?  A couple of years ago I asked for a new beater as the old one’s coating had started to peel.  The dough hook, the whisk like beater beats egg whites to stand in peaks in short order.  All so useful and good.    Laura was just turning three when he got it and now she’ll be 27 in a couple of months. I used to ask each child what kind of cake they wanted for their birthday.  That year Laura asked for a “Piggy Cake” although I am not sure why. Mark asked for a State of Kentucky cake and Matthew a GI-Joe cake. Good thing  my friend J and I took a class in Cake Decorating in Grafenwoehr!

I was thinking about what to post for Father’s Day this year to remember my dad. This gift from him has mixed a lot of cake batter and bread dough in our house.  Last year I posted a slideshow of my dad’s life in a minute.  This year I’m posting a photo of his generous present that’s been well used and appreciated.

He’s been gone almost nine years.  Missing him everyday, not just today. What special things remind you of your father?

So many possibilities.....


Jozie’s Mother- Genoeffa Sciulli- Baked a Biscotti Cake

The unexpected gift of cake!   Her daughter Jozie brought it to me at Mama D’s retirement picnic down the hill in the park on Friday night.  Mrs. Sciulli taught me how to make this cake in her basement kitchen a couple of years ago.  It is like an Italian sponge cake, light and not too sweet, perfect with coffee. Just delicious.   Today she baked one and sent it to me.  So nice of her.  I came home, cut a piece with a serrated knife and photographed it in the living room before I ate it. Mrs. Sciulli calls it biscotti but it is not like biscotti we think of biscotti, a twice baked cookie., hard and ready to dunk. This cake is light and eggy and has a beautiful crumb. Thank you Mrs. Sciulli.  And Joz for bringing it to me. What a nice surprise! It is delicious.


Steelers’ Family Preparations- Pittsburgh and Beyond

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See Maura two years ago dressed for Super Bowl 43 and now at two years + @ the piano bench,  Steelers hat by her side, ready for Super Bowl 45.              Not my house- the mansion of Fifth Ave. with the huge gold and black banners on the porch at night.

And a friend at work, Ann and I, decided to knit  obsessively and make four Steelers hats. Used a double strand of Cascade Superwash 220.  I mailed mine to the grandchildren but forget trying to get a photo. We had fun trying.  I think.

Sue B made the yellow pepper black olive topped salad for the AFC championship game and the cake was as Black and Gold as I could get it.  No one would eat a licorice cake.  A Brown Mountain cake (recipe) from Farm Journal with classic buttercream icing.    No buttermilk in the house so I soured the milk with a T of vinegar and it tasted fine.

Smiley Cookies are from Eat ‘n Park and they were on the sign-in counter so weren’t consumed by me.

Mark has a Steelers flag to fly in the daylight and a blanket to keep warm and an Official Terrible Towel.

The last shot is the snowfall today.  Hear there has been snow in Texas too. Thanks everyone near and far for the well wishes. And for putting up with the hoopla if you are a diehard Packers’ fan. (luv ya Rob)

A Longest Day

Sunday. Some things to cook.
We’ll wait for the game to begin.
Today a snowfall and weather reports.
I think I’ll knit one more hat!
The act of knitting reduces anxiety.


Jean-Marc Chatellier’s French Bakery in Millvale PA

Crossed the Allegheny River to go to Millvale.  After I went to Panza’s to pick up Joan’s painting I had reframed, I went to get some brioche  and a loaf of crusty bread from Jean-Marc Chatellier’s French Bakery. 412.821.8533   Everything in the bakery is beyond delicious. There are samples on the counter of the melt-in-your-mouth butter cookies and a French shortbread called Breton Cake. There are little fruit tarts, apricot tarts and flaky croissants, even Key Lime pie slices.  As I was about to pay for my order, I saw him frosting a cake in the back.  I asked the young woman waiting on me if it would be all right to take a picture. She said,” Just take it!”  So I did.  Magnificent artistry in cake making.  And delicious.  I have eaten memorable wedding cakes made by him.  Once I bought a cake there for Laura’s graduation from Marquette and drove it to Milwaukee WI.

Memo to self: Drive across river more often to Millvale and buy delicious pastries from Jean-Marc Chatellier.


Birthday Cake on the Front Porch

After I had baked the layers and let them cool, I knew I’d frost them before heading out to the Steelers game at Cj’s.  Set a table on the front porch to photograph the effort while I waited for Steve to come home to go to the game.  The occasion? Happy Birthday Roberta!

Vanilla with vanilla

Vanilla cake with vanilla icing. 1-2-3-4 Recipe and Buttercream.


Cupcake Tree and 1-2-3-4 Cake Recipe

My friend Joanne in Omaha shipped a box of cupcake items to Columbus so I could create a 4th of July/Birthday Cupcake Display Tree  and marthastewart.com directions/photo of flag cupcake.

Cupcakes are all the rage around the city these days.  You can bake them at home but not today in the heatwave.

1-2-3-4 Cake Recipe from Swans Down Cake Flour Box and Grandmothers who came before- Anna used Red White & Blue Sprinkles and red licorice lace Joanne sent.

1 cup butter+  2 cups sugar + 3 cups cake flour + 4 eggs +1 cup milk   3 t baking powder and 1/2 t salt and 1 t vanilla    I used  buttermilk so added a tsp of baking soda (made 36 cupcakes- 1/4 C batter per)

Basic Buttercream Icing- 1 C butter+ 4 C 10X sugar + vanilla +2 T milk

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Tunnel of Fudge Bundt Cake Baked on Sunday Afternoon

The inventor of the Bundt Pan (Nordic Ware) Mr. David Dalquist, passed away in January 2005.  I read his obit in the Times. Having never owned one, that week I bought a Bundt Pan, bid and won a Bundt Cake Cookbook on Ebay. I had plans.

Four years later I finally baked the Tunnel of Fudge cake for Sunday supper guests, a farewell to summer meal on the front porch.  I sliced up some pieces and slipped them into wax paper lunch bags for them to eat later- or for breakfast.  I followed the recipe to the letter even though I wanted to add vanilla and salt.  A side of vanilla ice cream would have been good.

Tunnel of Fudge Bundt Cake on Cake Stand Kitchen Counter, Waits for Guests

Tunnel of Fudge Bundt Cake on Cake Stand Kitchen Counter, Waits for Guests

Great article in the Washington Post  January 11, 2005  by Mr. Hank Stuever but it cost too much to republish.  Heartily recommend you “google it” though.   and the recipe is all over the web

The Tunnel of Fudge Cake, a second-place Pillsbury Bake-Off winner in 1966, was developed by Ella Rita Helfrich of Houston, Texas, who won $5,000.

1  3/4 c. butter, softened
1  3/4 c. granulated sugar
6 eggs
2 c. powdered sugar
2 1/4 c. all purpose flour
3/4 c. cocoa
2 c. chopped walnuts

GLAZE:

3/4 cup confectioners’ (powdered) sugar
1/4 cup cocoa, like Hershey’s
1 1/2 to 2 tablespoons milk
  1. Heat the oven to 350*F. Grease a 12-cup Bundt pan or 10-inch angel cake pan. Dust with flour and tap out the excess.
  2. In a large bowl, beat the butter and granulated sugar using an electric mixer on medium speed until light and fluffy, for 1 to 2 minutes. Add the eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition.
  3. Gradually add 2 cups confectioners’ sugar, beating until well-blended. By hand, stir in 21/4 cups flour, 3/4 cup cocoa and the nuts; mix until well-blended. Spoon the batter into the prepared pan and spread evenly.
  4. Bake for 58 to 62 minutes. (Because this cake has a soft tunnel of fudge, an ordinary doneness test cannot be used. Accurate oven temperature and baking time are critical.)
  5. Let the cake cool upright in the pan on a rack for 1 hour, then invert onto a serving plate and let cool completely.
  6. To make the glaze: In a small bowl, combine 3/4 cup confectioners’ sugar, 1/4 cup cocoa and 1 1/2 tablespoons milk. Mix until well blended, adding the remaining 1/2 tablespoon milk to make a spooning consistency.
  7. Spoon the glaze over the top of the cooled cake, allowing some to run down sides. Store the cake tightly covered.

Kitchen Memories Happy Day Cakes and Vintage Pans

1-2-3-4 Cake or Happy Day Cake with Penuche Icing? or Angel Food and Berries?

1-2-3-4 Cake or Happy Day Cake with Penuche Icing? or Angel Food and Berries?

rutheh.wordpress.com

  • 2 1/2 cups SWANS DOWN cake flour
  • 3 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1 1/2 cups sugar
  • 1/2 cup butter
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 cup milk

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