I was asked by a friend to make some baked goods for a bake sale she and a group were hosting this week. It was a pretty scary proposition, 320 baked goods (Linzer Cookies, French Macaroons, Fortune Cookies and Red Velvet Cupcakes) made over a few days in my wee kitchen with 1 oven, and two 5 quart blenders.
I had two wonderful people helping me out yesterday (thank you Jamie and Sarah!) and I don't think I would have been able to complete everything without their help.
I made many test batches of goods, especially the macaroons, which I had never made before. I tried two recipes and ended up liking the flavor of the first, but the look of the second. The red velvet cakes also ended up being rather difficult due to the consistency of the batter, but we figured out what worked best.
The recipe that worked (we tried three) was:
Red Velvet Cake (taken and only slightly adapted from "Joy of Baking" http://www.joyofbaking.com/RedVelvetCake.html)
2 1/2 cups (250 grams) sifted cake flour
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 tablespoons (15 grams) Dutch-processed cocoa powder
1/2 cup (113 grams) unsalted butter, at room temperature
1 1/2 cups (300 grams) granulated white sugar
2 large eggs
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1 cup (240 ml) buttermilk
3 tablespoons liquid red food coloring
1 teaspoon white apple cider vinegar
1 teaspoon baking soda
The macaroons were another matter. As mentioned earlier, I loved the taste of the one from Cooking Illustrated Holiday Baking edition, but the texture wasn't right. They were flat, and the color was too bright. So I tried the wonderful Tartelette's macaroons (very similar to: http://tartelette.blogspot.com/2009/02/i-heart-macarons.html).
I thought they looked lovely, I used both pink and blue food coloring (I added the liquid food (4 drops of red to one drop of blue for a very light pink batter) coloring to the sugar and let it dry out so it wouldn't effect the consistency of the batter). I like the look, but not the flavor as much, so I would add some vanilla extract to them next time I made them, in the same way I added the liquid food coloring (to the sugar).
All up this was an experience. Many late nights, lots of planning a nd pricing. It was an interesting project, and if given enough time to plan ahead one I would love to do again!
- ▼ February (7)
- ► 2008 (90)