Sammy the Seal

Archive for December, 2013|Monthly archive page

Peppermint red velvet cake

In delicious, You're a kitty! on Sunday, 22 December, 2013 at 13:09

peppermint red velvet cake 1

Red velvet cake, italian buttercream flavored with peppermint oil and pulverized candy cane bits folded in. Not surprisingly, this was for a holiday function. Despite my indifference/relative lack of enthusiasm for chocolate cake, I quite enjoyed this. However, I don’t know what the big deal of red velvet is–  it’s essentially chocolate cake with red food coloring! I think the use of the word “velvet” makes the speaker/consumer feel fancy. It’s chocolate cake, yo. Italian buttercream, however, always a good choice. It’s lighter and less sweet then American-style buttercream. (I like boiled icings, they’re fun.)

I often have trouble decorating and finishing cakes, mainly because I want something other than a standard type of border, rosette, flowers and such. Fortunately, crumb coating is easy and utilized all my extra scraps. But the rest took me a while. Thank goodness for my #96 tip. A smooth surface is nice, but I like texture. Plus, it hides any uneven parts, ha. That being said, I can’t keep replicating this, as pleased as I am with how lucky I got. I don’t want to have to resort to merely aping things I liked.

peppermint red velvet cake 4

The finishing part took a bit too. Simple worked better this time. I saved the larger bits of candy to sprinkle on at the end, but, having little icing left, I was wondering what to do to the top. Lines, flowers, rosettes? I kept changing my mind and screwing up, and the icing got soft and changed color a little from being piped over and over. It got so soft that I just decided to spread it on intentionally unevenly by pulling up at random, then sprinkled. The irony is that it had a better effect than when I was trying.  Messing up is great, eh?

peppermint red velvet cake 3

Once again, time to critique layering. It felt good, but somehow that bottom layer still got too much. But around the sides and on top, I thought I did well– not much thicker than the layers.

peppermint red velvet cake section 1

Unfortunately, the cake was still relatively cold, and I didn’t have a knife and pitcher of hot water, so this it’s kinda crumbly and ugly. I really wish I coulda sliced this when the icing was room temp.; with the exception of the bottom layer, I think it would’ve looked nice.

peppermint red velvet cake section 2

The slices look a bit classier though. With the close-up detail showing, I would once again like to thank my 96 tip.

peppermint red velvet cake slice 2

peppermint red velvet cake slice 1

peppermint red velvet cake slice 3

Unintended crumbing creates cute, photogenic touch:

peppermint red velvet cake slice 4

I think this is one of my better cakes, by far, even if the cake and icing was still a bit firm for cutting purposes. Oh well, can’t have everything.

peppermint red velvet cake 2


Oh, hello there, princess:

cute furry cat 1

cute furry cat 2


Turtles (pecan, caramel, chocolate)

In delicious, funny ha ha on Thursday, 19 December, 2013 at 10:42

turtles 1

Hey, they do look like turtles! I wonder if there’s a turtle shell mold somewhere, to get the indentation/pattern, that you build in reverse: chocolate, caramel, pecan. I guess slapdash is part of the charm. I was in a rush, so not in perfect temper, some streaking visible. But, no crappy oil or palm fat in the chocolate (commercially made boxed– ha– turtles), actual couverture.  Though I didn’t like this one. It was way too thick, even at 90°F. Whether hand-dipping or fork-dipping, pain-in-the-ass too viscous. Tried dipping some truffles recently, same problem. Different brand next time, and probably lower cacao percentage. This one was only 63%, I didn’t think it was that big a deal, but I am used to 52%. Also, with the truffles, I made peanut butter ganache, and I think the 63% drowned out some of the peanut butter. The taste was too dark, not enough peanut butter. Waste of money, that. I’m not fond of milk chocolate (even the real stuff) because it’s so sweet, but the peanut butter would be able to shine at least. Maybe just a 50% or so.

They’re naked!

turtles nude

Thank goodness for Puritan values, one of the few instances where they have a positive effect:

turtles 2

Whew. I found myself to be aroused and titillated by all this (reference at 4:26, but you need the background on the character first):

Folk Festival and Jelly-off. Ha. Classic sketch.