Whew! What a weekend!
On Thursday and Friday I took the cardio-boxing and step class at my YMCA. Both classes are taught by the same instructor and she plays hip-hop gospel music - remember me pumping my arms up and down to "Praise him!"? This week, besides totally kicking my butt so that I was completely sore all weekend, she says during our cool-down stretching:
Pretend there is a flashlight on your butt and shine it to the sky!
Oh yeah! This little light of mine, I'm going let it shine!
After class, I shined my light on making some knock off Mrs. Field's Chocolate Chip Cookies and Cupcakes with Chocolate Frosting. I got the Mrs. Field's pseudo recipe from the Los Angeles Times S.O.S. section. The main deal is that you blend oats and flour into a powder for the dry goods. You also grate some chocolate so you'll have little flecks of chocolate in the every bite. However, this is one of those starts-great-ends-bad stories.
I used my new Silpat non-stick surface for my 1/2 sheet pan (which I so love). I think the Silpat made the bottoms of the cookies a little darker than the parchment paper cookies, but both worked fine. I do love the parchment (cut into perfect rectangles that fit on the 1/2 sheet pan) that I picked up at Surfas restaurant supply.
When they came out of the oven, they were so pretty and smelled great. I ate one and they were delicious. However, when I tried them on Saturday at the start of the completely awesome Simpsons Movie, they were bad. These cookies are definitely only good warm! Oh well, at least I ate two of them while they were hot.
On Saturday morning, I made Baking Illustrated's Yellow Cupcakes with Simple Chocolate Frosting recipe (page 345). I made the frosting before for the Sound of Music Sing-a-Long. However, this time I didn't whip the ganache and just let it cool down in the fridge. It made for a nice dense frosting that was way chocolately. Also ate one of the these during the completely awesome and hilarious and wonderful Simpsons Movie. (Really, go see it!)
(This has nothing to do with baking but it was almost surreal. My friend's cat was sick and we took him into the emergency vet on Saturday night. Dude, that place was hopping! We met a chihuahua named J-Lo and a few other cats and dogs (including one with little blue bows - sorry, that is always a bit disturbing). Anyway, when we were leaving around 11 pm, we saw a dog walking out with a cast on his leg. A full-on, hard cast with blue wrapping. After a long night of worrying, we just busted up laughing. I wonder if he had a bad skateboarding accident and if the other dogs are going to sign on it...)
Today, I went to Empress Pavilion for some dim sum with my friend Julie. Then, we went to Hipcooks in Lincoln Heights (near Chinatown) for a Knife Skills class. It totally rocked! Sharp knives can save your life and your cooking. Not a hyperbole, but a fact! :) I have a new wish list for knives. I'm looking forward to the Persian Immersion class next weekend!
Tonight, I tried to make a Boston Cream Pie from Baking Illustrated (page 357). I made the pastry cream first and then tried the sponge cake. Things started out fine (oh, you know where this is going...) and I used my new Magic Line 9x2 cake pans with Even-Bake strips for the sponge cake. By the way, here is how the little strips attach to the outside of the cake pan (yes, Miss D, the outside of the pan :)
After they came out of the pan, the instructions say to pop them out onto a plate and then reinvert onto a rack. Sounds simple, no? Well, when I tried to go from the plate to the rack, it totally fell apart because the cake stuck to the plate. Cake particles seemed to fill the kitchen. D'oh!
I ran out of eggs (this cake takes 5 eggs and the pastry cream takes 5 eggs) so I gave up. I'm just going to watch some trashy TV (Have you seen Confessions of a Match-Maker? [link opens to music] One word - The Best!) and stretch my completely sore muscles. Yeah, you know it. I'm going to shine it.