September 25, 2006

Surprise! It's Sugar High... Monday?!?!?!?



Yes, Monday.

But I can explain...

My oven woes are over. And in retrospect, it wasn't really that bad. Unlike my friend Creampuff, I didn't find myself having to replace the *entire* oven - just the control panel. It only took two weeks. I've got the stovetop, the grill, and in a pinch the microwave -- I can get by without the oven for two weeks.

But a repair appointment on Friday afternoon followed by an every-minute-scheduled weekend meant my sugar high contribution had to wait until Monday. Alanna graciously obliged and allowed me to join in the fun a little late. So like my father before me and my grandmother before him, I came home frustrated with work and pulled out the Kitchenaid and fired up the oven to unwind.

I creamed butter and sugar.

I sifted a mix of pastry flours with seasonings.

I got into a groove and forgot the stresses of the day.

Even if the dessert fails, as my kitchen and living room are overwhelmed with the scents of fall, I can claim without reservation that the evening's been a success.

What? You're wondering what I'm baking?

I started with this recipe for Ginger Spice Cake. Modified the ingredient list a bit to suit my baking style. A cup of whole grain pastry flour to replace the pure-white flour and give my cakes a bit of a nutty taste. Baking powder and milk adjusted up a bit accordingly. Baked in my newest kitchen indulgence -- those adorable mini pumpkin bundt forms from Williams Sonoma.

The surprise?

The pumpkin pastry cream featured here is chilling as I type. I intend to pipe the chilled cream into the bottom of my ginger-pumpkins, for a creative take on a childhood indulgence -- *without* the stabilizers, preservatives, trans-fats.

Stay tuned for photos of the finished product -- and reviews from my coworkers coming tomorrow.

Update - My pumpkin cakes were a hit at the office. My pastry box was empty in a record 8 minutes, I had 9 requests for the recipe, 14 requests for an encore, and 1 request to cater Thanksgiving dinner. The pastry cream delighted my tasting panel -- it turned a slightly dry, nutty spice cake into "a cream-filled taste of autumn".

Curious about other contributions? Check out Alanna's roundup -- there are a whole lot of surprises in the food blog world this week.

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Alanna Kellogg said...

Overcoming an oven ~ good for you! And the little cakes look great, no doubt we'll be hearing the groans all over ... Alanna

Baking and Books said...

Pumpkin pastry cream?? *swoon*

Baking and Books

Anonymous said...

Can't wait to see the final product.

Brilynn said...

These look super! I need to get some of those cute little molds.

Anonymous said...

so glad to hear that the problem was resolved ... with minimal pain.

I just love your little cakes!

Emma said...

Thanks for your entry to DMBLGIT - have a look at the rest here.

Nothing like working out the stresses of the day in the kitchen, much better than the gym!!!