TWD Chocolate gingerbread cake

So I love ginger!!! Ginger in Chinese food, ginger in chili, gingersnaps; but I’m almost ashamed to say that I’ve never eaten gingerbread. I made this weeks recipe after much hemming and hawing about different types of ginger; as best I could. It calls for three, different ginger preparations. One being fresh ginger, that’s a no-brainer. Second powdered ginger, easy as pie. Thirdly STEM GINGER??? Well there was no stem ginger to be found in my quaint suburb so I opted for “Sugar Ginger” made by a company named Dynasty.

Fresh ginger

Fresh ginger

Curdled loking batter

Curdled loking batter

According to the recipe the batter will look curdled, this is true. It looked so nasty that I thought it wasn’t going to turn out at all.

Adding "Suger Ginger"

Adding "Suger Ginger"

Next time I make this recipe I would double, yes double the “sugar ginger” it added some really nice sweet “crunches” to the cake that I thought were great.

Finished cake and mini cake

Finished cake and mini cake

I had enough batter to fill an 8×8 pan and 2 ramekins. I did make the frosting a little too early and it began to set up way before I needed it. So I decided to frost the cake while it was still warm, this worked alright except the frosting lost it’s nice gloss. Still tasted great though!!

Really bad photo

Really bad photo

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TWD Nail biting, nerve racking Berry Surprise cake

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Getting started

Due to my crazy schedule at work I can see that I will be a last minute poster. It’s 11:12pm and I still have to frost the cake for my hungry minions at work tomorrow. After reading all t he discouraging posts in the P&Q I was really worried about this recipe. I’m the general manager of five flower shops, getting ready for Valentine’s day and I just couldn’t get this cake out of my mind!!!!! I really wanted it to turn out. So I did a lot of research about genoise, read the recipe four times, measured everything in advance, and I think I got it right!!!!
I started with room temperature eggs and whisked them continuously over simmering water until they were almost hot. Then I pretty much followed the recipe to a T with only minor adjustments.

Eggs after cooking and beating

Eggs after cooking and beating

I then oh so gingerly sifted part of the flour into the egg mixture, then the butter, then said a prayer and the remaining flour.

Shhh be very quiet....don't deflate my batter!!!

Shhh be very quiet....don't deflate my batter!!!

I prepared my pan and also used my magic cake strips. I f haven’t tried theses I highly recommend them. They’re simply a cloth strip that is soaked in cold water and wrapped around the outside of the cake pan and secured with a pin. Apparently it helps to distribute heat evenly and therefore your cake rises evenly as well. I can tell you in this case it worked like a CHARM!!!

I did it I did it!!!! It rose!!!

I did it I did it!!!! It rose!!!

AHHH success, now if I can cut it evenly I’ll be happy.

My nest

My nest

Lucious fruity filling

Lucious fruity filling

Ready to chill before frosting

Ready to chill before frosting

Here is the finished product…keep in mind I’m a florist and a baker, not Ansel Adams!!!
Ta daa!!!

Ta daa!!!

Ooo la la!!!

My Finished tart!!!p1060046p1060047p1060048

French Pear Tart….My first time!!!

Well after a long day at work I couldn’t wait to get home and make the French Pear tart. My tart pan did arrive today and its in the oven. Here is my progress so far…..

Tart crust

Tart crust

Almond cream

Almond cream

ready for the oven!!!

ready for the oven!!!


I found the crust a bit difficult to pull together. I don’t have a food processor so first I cut all the ingredients together, then I did small batches in my 3cup mini food processor. It seemed to work out fine. Again without the aid of a processor I ground the almonds in my mini and combined the rest in the Kitchen aide with the wire whip as recommended. By the way I looked at ground almond flour in the store tonight and it was $13.99 for a 16oz bag….Holy cow!!!
Finally I decided to go with the canned pears in the interest of time. Twenty-nine minutes and counting and my tart will be done. More pictures to come!!

My First TWD challenge

I will be dreaming of almonds and pears tonight as I prepare to participate in my first TWD recipe. I have already made tons of goodies from Dorie’s awesome book, but this time it will be different. I’m so excited to discuss and enjoy the French Pear Tart….which will probably end up in my favorite recipes folders. I have ordered my first tart pan from Williams-Sonoma just for this recipe, I guess most well stocked kitchens should have one. Hopefully it will arrive tomorrow in time for me to make the tart, if not I’m sure a 9″ pie plate will suffice.
Wish me luck!!!

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Perfect Party cake

This is my version of Dorie’s Perfect Party cake.