Posts Tagged 'pride'

Pipe Dream #141: To Be Perfectly Precise, A Question of Pride – Plum & Nutmeg Tart

I’ve gotta say. I worked pretty hard to make this look pretty. And I am pretty dang proud of it. Do you think all pride is bad? I hope this is pride in a good way, because I would have a really hard time repenting of this pride in my work. Maybe I’ll say I am really “pleased.”

Here’s why I’m so pleased: I have a hard time being so precise, usually.  Remember this galette? I had such naive aspirations about making the apple slices all picturesque and aligned just so. But after peeling dozens of wild apples by hand, I was kind of at my wit’s end with the whole project.

Not that I’m making excuses. Lack of precision is definitely one of my amateur baking flaws. I would say that I got it right on this plum tart, but before I actually post a Got It Right post, I want to test out any newfound precision skills. Once is chance. Two times coincidence. But three times is pattern.

The crust on this was some kind of wonderful. I added nutmeg into the recipe for a little bit of kick. It was just the right thing to do.



Plum & Nutmeg Tart

Adapted from Barefoot Contessa Parties!

2 cups all-purpose flour

3/4 cup finely chopped walnuts

3/4 cup light brown sugar, lightly packed

12 tablespoons cold unsalted butter (1 1/2 sticks), diced, plus 2 tablespoons for dotting

1 egg yolk

1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg

2 pounds firm, ripe Italian prune plums, pitted and quartered lengthwise

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F.

Combine the flour, walnuts, nutmeg and sugar in a large bowl. Add the butter and the egg yolk. Mix until the mixture is crumbly and sticks together in clumps.

Press the crumb mixture in an even layer into the bottom of a 9 inch pie pan (or tart pan, as this is a tart. ha.). Arrange the plums in the pan, skin side down, to form a flower pattern; begin at the outside and work your way in.

Bake the tart for 20 minutes. At this point, I removed it from the oven and dotted a bit of butter over all of the plum slice. They were looking a bit dry. Return to the oven and bake for an additional 20-30 minutes or until it is lightly browned and the plum juices are bubbling. Remove from the oven and cool for 10 minutes. Remove from the pan and transfer the tart to a flat plate. Use a serrated knife to cut. Serve warm or at room temperature.

Pipe Dream #51: To Pipe Buttercream Roses

It has finally happened. I feel like I could just shut this blog down now because I have accomplished my main life/baking goal.

Ok, more overstatement, but seriously. Buttercream roses? I have been decrying my ability to produce these since the beginning of time.

Two of the main reasons I didn’t want to try this technique: 1) I’m lazy. 2) I like to be good at things.

I don’t like things that I have to practice a lot, which means I’m basically super undisciplined and prideful. I don’t want to get shown up at anything, but at the same time, I don’t want to work hard to make myself better at anything.

Isn’t that a horrible combination of traits? I know. It’s a problem. But there is hope! Because God is teaching me to be more disciplined and humble. It’s practically penance to post these shoddy roses on this blog, see?

I tried these on one of those flower-making nails you can pick up at any craft store and used a pair of those little blunted scissors to transfer the roses to the cake. Because the frosting was getting too soft and I was in a hurry, the roses were kind of flippy and misshapen. If I was really cool/motivated to be really excellent, I would have chilled the frosting for a minute, done the roses on little squares of parchment and waited for them to dry a bit before placing them.

Here are a few videos explaining how to make buttercream roses, should you want to show me up. You could easily do so and be better than me, which would be good for my pride issues.

This girl is the fastest I ever saw. She uses a sharpened dowel rod instead of a flower nail.

This is a little slower. Plus, I like SeriousCakes. I feel like we are friends because I watch her videos so often, and she shares her recipes.

Best wishes from the pen of a recovering instant gratification addict,


Piping Dream #25: To Be Humble – Oreo Cupcakes

I get requests for these cupcakes. I don’t mean to sound proud or anything, I just mean that they are a really good recipe. That is, the Oreo you can find on the bottom is really clever, and the frosting is so amazing that I might take it over the previously-exalted peanut butter cream cheese frosting. Right??

But I can’t take credit for any of it. The Oreo in the bottom idea is not mine; I can’t remember where I saw it, but I am sure glad that it happened. I just use a one-bowl recipe for chocolate cake, pour it over the cookies…

and voila! Neat, eh?

Make these for your enemies any day of the week. It will turn them into lifelong, self-sacrificing friends. And besides, loving your enemies is Biblical.

I can take no credit for the abundance of goodwill flowing in your direction after you pass these babies around,


Oreo Cupcakes with Oreo Cream Cheese Frosting

Adapted from somewhere

For the cupcakes:

24 Oreos, divided

One bowl chocolate cupcakes recipe

For the frosting:

8 ounces cream cheese (light works fine)

8 tablespoons (1/2 cup) butter

3-4 cups powdered sugar

24 oreo halves

Halve the Oreos, and place the side with the cream face up in the bottom of a lined cupcake pan. Reserve the other halves. Whip up your chocolate cake of choice and divide evenly over the cupcakes, filling no more than two thirds full. Bake as directed. Let cool.

For the frosting, beat together the butter and cream cheese. Add the powdered sugar, beating until you reach the consistency you want. Crush the reserved Oreo halves in food processor…or with your hands and a Ziploc. Just make sure they are really fine crumbs, whatever you do. Stir the crushed Oreos into the frosting and pipe as desired.

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