Greetings all! At last I, the mysterious roommate, forced by my Christmas break separation from my dearest room/blogmate, have decided to take matters into my own hands and share with you all what I’ve been cooking up this holiday season. While still in New York, my lovely roommates and I hosted (in my opinion) a most excellent Hanukkah replete with Jewish goodies of every kind (i.e. Challah, Latkes, a cake shaped and frosted like a dreidel). But, alas, all photographic documentation of said event lies on my roommates’ camera, and since we are no longer located in the same apartment, it is much more difficult for me to goad her into making a blog post.
SO – Onward to Christmas!
My family loves a good Christmas party, and for many years now we have been celebrating the holiday with a Christmas eve dinner with friends. This year – as is often the case – I was appointed to make dessert, and never one to shirk from a challenge even in the peak of the holiday season and a mere 22 hours after completing the last final exam of the semester I commenced baking of not 1, not 2, BUT 3 Christmas cakes.
I’m not going to repost these recipes (it’s not like I discovered them, CLEARLY) – you can find them using the above links. I just have a few suggestions should you choose to invite them to your next holiday gathering.
Chocolate Stout Cake
(1) As a proud Irishwoman – I assure you that you do not sully the name of Guinness when you put it in your chocolate cake. You just end up with RIDICULOUSLY EXCELLENT chocolate cake. I have been told by more than one person that a human being could subsist on Guinness and orange juice alone. So put it in your freaking cake – IT’S GOOD FOR YOU.
(2) This cake sticks the pan like white on rice. I actually had to make two because the first one fell to pieces. SOLUTION: grease pan with at least a 2-3 Tbsp of butter. My preferred method is using a pastry brush and softened butter. Also advisable, using a bundt pan that is nonstick or at least not so old that it has totally lost its nonstickyness.
NOW Action SHOTS!
Melting butter in saucepan with Guinness.
Whisking dry ingredients.
In the oven!
Gingerbread Apple Upside-down Cake
(1) This recipe called for a 10 inch cake pan – I have no such thing nor have I ever encountered one. If you find yourself in a similar situation, never fear! I just used a 9 inch spring form cake pan (the kind generally reserved for cheesecake, which I hate so I’m not really sure why we even have of these pans, but whatever). Using a 9 inch pan just involves less apples – but then you get to eat all the extra apples you cut up, so who cares? – and gives you a taller cake than intended. Still tasty!
(2) This was very yummy – but not for those who are bigger fans of cake than gingerbread.
Again – ACTION SHOTS!
Apples lining the bottom of my silly spring form pan.
Mixing up the batter (Reunited with my stand mixer!)
Into the oven it goes!
Fourteen Layer Cake
(1) I went with the disposable pans – GOOD CALL. I would have felt like an idiot trying to wash pans between baking these skinny layers for a fourteen layer cake.
(2) To be honest, I wasn’t that impressed with the flavor of this cake. It seemed almost a little doughy to me. But heck, when you serve your guests a cake with fourteen layers the sheer impressiveness of the thing ensures tastiness.
(3) I went ahead an added a layer of vanilla bean frosting to the outside to avoid serving a cake that looked like a stack of chocolate covered pancakes. I am big fan of this frosting recipe
– it is my go-to vanilla.
You guessed it! MORE ACTION SHOTS!
Disposable pans taking over my kitchen.
Half-eaten cake – Observe astounding layers!
Thus ends my Christmas cake odyssey! Happy Holidays to you and yours, and stay tuned for more exciting blog post this winter because no homework = more food!
The Final Product! (In case you forgot what it looked like because this post was so absurdly long.)