Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Make 1000 Desserts

Make 1000 desserts is on my life list.  Everyone (hopefully) has at least one thing they know they are really, really good at.  Fashion isn't really my thing, decorating doesn't come incredibly naturally, I can't sing, I can't even clap on beat, and even though I like myself I know I'm not the most smart or the most funny or the most pretty.  But cooking and baking?  That I know I can do really, really well.  And I love it.  I don't make any secret of the fact that I really want to go to pastry school and open a bakery one day.  I dream about it.  I know what I'm going to name it and how I want it designed. 

But I'm going to be a lawyer first.  No one is putting any pressure on me to be a lawyer.  Every person close to me (including Joe and my parents) who knows about this dream tells me to go for it.  Do what I love.  I even have a sweet and lovely cousin, who is actually in a position to make good on such a promise, offering to back me financially to make it happen.  But the thing is that it's not a right now dream.  It's a later in life dream.  It's so big of a dream for me that it has to be done right.  It will take years for me to acquire the necessary skills and then test and develop enough of my own recipes to sustain a bakery that lives up to my vision.  So in the meantime, I will make delicious treats for family and friends.  They are not complaining.

To qualify for the 1000 desserts list means the dessert has to be completely homemade and should be slightly more complicated than your average I just want something sweet on a weeknight concoction.  Not a very scientific standard but I'll know it when it happens.  I'm not yet at the point where I can develop my own unique recipes from scratch, so I make recipes I see on TV or find online or in cookbooks and think about what I like about it and how it can be better and then I tweak a little.  Sometimes it works and sometimes I ruin it, but it's a lot of fun to play.  Especially when you get to eat the results.

Sorry for the picture quality.  One day I'll be able to take pictures worthy of the deliciousness.

1) The most delicious chocolate cake with homemade chocolate buttercream icing you've ever had in your life.  I'm only counting this cake once but I have made it six times in the last six months because everyone keeps requesting it.

2) Carrot and pineapple cake.  This cake is moist, delicious, spiced perfection.  And the homemade cream cheese frosting is representative of everything that is right with the world.  I left out the raisins because I hate them.  They serve no purpose.  No one has ever gone back for seconds of a dessert because the raisins just could not be resisted.  Though I did not do so here, you should replace raisins with chocolate chips whenever possible. 

3) Homemade white and dark chocolate bark studded with cashews, pecans and dried cranberries.  A great hostess gift and so, so easy.  Just melt the chocolate, pour it onto parchment paper, cover it with toppings, let it harden and then break into pieces. 

 These I did not make but my cousins spent the morning of my birthday making a table-full of yummy cupcakes offered in several flavors and varieties.  I love cupcakes because you can only really get away with eating one or two pieces of cake but you can have like 5 cupcakes before anyone notices.  Yummy.


SG said...

You're definitely top 5 for funny.

chickster said...

ummm, I don't get a shout out for the carrot and pineapple cake recipe saver??? I guess you can make it up to me by baking me my very own CP cake =)

Christina said...

Yes, you did read the recipe to me over the phone when my internet was down on Thanksgiving-eve. I will be forever and eternally grateful and happy to make you whatever you want. You just have to come here to get it.

Kelsey said...

So, yes, I'm putting in a request in advance for your chocolate cake with chocolate buttercream icing... I love chocolate more than my husband, so I might be returning home with the cake. Not sure what you'll find for him to do, but he can be quite helpful around the house. We'll take you out for dinner as a thank you!

Christina said...

Kelsey, I will definitely be more than happy to make you this cake when you visit. Just out of curiosity, can Russell make me a headboard? :-) Though this cake is ridiculously easy to make if you're up for it. I probably shouldn't tell you that since you're gearing up to train for a marathon.

Kelsey said...

You know, if we had a garage and the right tools, Russell would LOVE to make you a headboard. I think building things makes him feel like a man. Or he just likes tools. Unfortunately, we live in an apartment and his building projects don't work as well there. But, I can guarantee that he will unload your dishwasher for you, he's a professional at that, and he's also good at folding laundry. Anyway, I'd love the recipe for this cake, marathon training is actually (in my mind) the perfect time for treats like these. I refuse to feel badly about eating chocolate cake after running 15 miles! For this reason (and this reason alone) I can't wait to start training!