Wednesday, July 17, 2019

What's with that strawberry?

Another day, another student cake and it's on his birthday!!!  Our visiting scholar from Barcelona celebrated his birthday with his student cake month contribution.  He opted for a Boston Cream Fruit Pie. i call it that because it is a Boston Cream Pie with fruit in lieu of chocolate on the top. You might think it is a fruit flan but that would be wrong.  It is a small layer cake with some pastry cream between the layers.  This one came from Dave's and was fine.  We have had similar things before and this one was comparable.  Good moist cake with the aforementioned pastry cream and some glazed fruit on top.  It hit the spot and we sang happy birthday before digging in. We give him 3.5 stars with extra consideration as it was his natal day.

A somber birthday boy it seems!!

Our birthday boy was a little bashful when it came to taking a picture and remarked that he was not good at smiling.  Check out the video and the two resulting pics that show how we got him from A to B after his comment.
And we get some teeth!
And what was on that Strawberry. If you look at the strawberry closest to his right arm you notice there is something white on it.  We could not firmly establish if it was mold, you know, the aspergillum kind, or some frozenness since the cake was kind of juicy on top.  Being uncertain we removed it.
Just like a Boston cream pie minus one furry for frozen strawberry!

Monday, July 15, 2019

Earl Grey Cake

Our third entry is upon us and we found, prior to the baker arriving, a heart shaped cake with vanilla frosting and some kind of crumble on the top.  What could this be and why the heart shape?  We were intrigued!  But it turns out that our student participant only has a heart shape pan for baking which is sweet. Every time she bakes she says I love you!!
Thumbs up for her creation!
The cake that says I love you!
The cake she made she described an Earl Grey cake.  We took that to mean that Earl Grey tea somehow figured into the cake batter prior to baking and that turned out to be the case.  It appeared to be a basic white cake with some kind of Ear Grey infusion or perhaps liquid tea was added to the batter. We will have to get back on that.   The frosting was a basic butter cream type vanilla frosting and the crumble....? That was a bunch of smashed vanilla wafers-creative?  So we have a tea flavored vanilla cake with vanilla frosting and crushed vanilla wafers.  It is truly a vanilla day!
Crumble on top, crumble on the bottom!
You can see that it is a little dense - where are all those air bubbles?
The cake was good and tasted something like a spice cake or banana bread sans banana. It was a tad dense and the frosting was a bit congealed most likely because this is one of those cakes that should have been taken out of the refrigerator prior to serving. So many people forget to do that and the icing then tends to have the consistency of hard butter rather than a soft creamy texture.  The vanilla worked and the vanilla wafer crumble visually looked good but should have been crunchier.  We give the cake 3.5 stars with extra credit as it was homemade!

Thursday, July 11, 2019

The brownies have nothing to do with Germany

For those of you who have not seen some previous posts and might have gone to Germany and wondered why you never see a German chocolate cake there is because the recipe has nothing to do with Germany. For that matter neither do the "German Chocolate Brownies" that were our second offering for student cake month. Anyone who knows the cake recognizes it as a chocolate cake with chocolate frosting and caramelized coconut on top. We have a number of the cakes and today we got the brownies.
Not shy with the number of brownies!
Enough for several helpings!

So these were made from scratch brownies that were chocolate, of course, with toasted coconut and pecans on the top. I think they pre-empted the name "German chocolate" because of the coconut and chocolate combo. 
It's the topping that makes them "German Chocolate Brownies"
The pecans were a great addition!!
Dense chocolate brownies!!
In any event they were a hit!!  The brownies were soft, moist and chocolatey.  The topping with the added pecans was awesome and to top it off there was some more vanilla ice cream from Edy's!  There were plenty to go around and most people had two with some left over for another day. Good work from our second entrant, another Brown undergrad, and 4.5 stars to her for her great baking job!
Throw in some vanilla ice cream!
And it's 4.5 star treat!!
And in case you were wondering the cake is called what it is because the recipe came from the "German Chocolate Company" not the country.

Tuesday, July 9, 2019

They didn't have a cheesecake!!

It is July! This year we actually have a good bunch of summer students and medical students trying to whet their research appetite.  So Student Cake Month is back...sort of!  This is an informal friendly competition to see who can be the most original and creative in making of procuring goodies for cake hour.  Years ago, with a lot more students it was cutthroat and produced the likes of the famous pregnant rat cake and the BCA cake made of progressively darker shades of purple.  So our expectations are down but that's fine.
I was looking for a cheese cake but this will do!
Our first participant, an undergrad at Brown and a future physician likes cheesecake as his favorite dessert. So he went to Whole Foods but they didn't have a cheesecake!  So he opted for his second most favorite dessert - classic pie and ice cream.  Whole Foods makes a good looking pie, as you can see, and they have their own 365 brand for ice cream with vanilla the chosen flavor - of course.  Who does pie and ice cream with anything but vanilla.

Classic American apple pie!
Cooked to the right color with those flaky edges.

The pie was very good. The apple filling was not too sweet and the fruit slices were in between mushy (preferred) and crisp (not preferred.) The crust was nice and golden with a flaky edge and well cooked so as not to be too soft.  The ice cream was also good and certainly good quality since Whole Foods ostensibly uses only fresh organic ingredients with no preservatives etc.  That limits the selection and squeezes out a lot of brands but their 365 brand totally acceptable.  The pie and the ice cream went great together so all in all a good start for student cake month and we give thee and half stars for his contribution!!
Not to soft not too hard for the apple filling!

Nothing like pie and ice cream.