Thursday, January 20, 2011


Hello again dear readers now that you've come to listen to me...

the best way to make something yours is to practice it again and again.  So...I have decided it was the proper time to put to practice what I learned in the first lesson.  And...I thought to make a treat for my choir so I made a cake.  I decided to make the Mixed Berry Streusel cake. 

First step--washing my hands.  :)  Didn't forget what I learned in class. 

Heat the oven--not to waste time (170C).  Thermometer read 170 exactly.  (I love my oven!)

Third step: scaling the ingredients.  This does two things--first of all, you know that you have all the ingredients in place before you start (and don't need to run to the supermarket to get more eggs), second it reminds you of what is involved in the recipe because it's all in front of you. 

Everything scaled correctly and waiting for me--started the process of making the cake--cream the butter, add eggs, then flavors and finally the flour and cream--1/3 of the powders, 1/2 of the liquids, etc til all just barely mixed.  Of course--as soon as I turned on the mixer, the phone rang.   let it cream the butter while I"m on the phone (this doesn't need babysitting).  Hung up the phone, next step and the phone rings again...and again...and again.  (don't they know I'm baking???)  Finally got it all mixed in and ready to move on. 

I poured 1/3 of the batter into the cake ring, then put down a layer of berries.  I used raspberries.  then the rest of the cake batter, then finally the streusel topping.  Streusel topping--what is it?  It's pie crust with almond powder and lemon zest.  Cut it until it's crumbs and then store it in the freezer until it's ready to use.

Finally, into the oven.  The recipe was called for baking 45 minutes--I set the timer for 35 minutes to make sure it didn't bake too fast.

I just put the cake in the oven and the phone rang.  (I didn't have this many calls the whole of last week!) Choir rehearsal cancelled--the cake is all for us.  (they don't know what they're missing!)

At 35 minutes, it was like hard jello so I set the timer for 10 minutes more--then another 10 minutes, finally it it seemed firm to the touch.  I tested the center with a piece of spaghetti (the cake is too tall for a toothpick!), the spaghetti came out clean so my cake is done.  Good thing the rehearsal was cancelled--I needed the extra time for the cake to bake.

I thought to save the cake until tomorrow--save it for guests...yeah right!

Now gentle readers you can't taste this, but I can tell you the cake is exactly what you want in a cake.  Light--Moist--Sweet but not too sweet, Tart--but not too tart.  TEXTURE--Wow--I could write a page about that--let's just say that the crumb is smooth and even, nice and light and inviting--Aroma--lemon--Berry--butter--Cream--just the best ingredients you can get.   Finally--the raspberries gave the perfect tartness (is that a word?)  It was better than the one we made in class--and the texture was the same so I say for my homework--a grade of A+ (or as they say here in Israel, 100).

happy baking,

chef eli

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