This is posting almost 3 months after the fact, and you might think peaches aren’t ideal in October…but here is K’s birthday cake from this summer. I am here to let you know that the peach in the cake is purely from a jelly, so you can make it anytime of year. He requested a peach cake. When I looked into cakes with peaches, I saw that usually they are more of a topping since that is the best way to enjoy peach (raw). I thought about making a strawberry shortcake type of peach cake, but then saw a mascarpone buttercream that I thought would be really yummy. I then decided a peach jelly would be good to connect the flavors. I ended up using a peach/mango flavor I found that K really liked.
After K commented on how many cookies I had been making recently (and he had a point), I decided to branch out. And not just make brownies (although I did that later), but make something special. Cake, it was! I didn’t want to make just any cake I’d made before, but rather wanted to try something new. Because I was making it for K, I wanted to do coffee frosting. My pictures might look a bit different for the frosting than when you do it. The recipe called for just dumping the instant coffee into the frosting, which is different than I’d done before. I tried it, and it was not a good idea. So, I’m including directions to match what I’ve done before.
You might wonder what is up with all of these cakes lately. I made a chocolate cake the other week, then a strawberry cake this week, and now another cake. Well, I guess my birthday month puts me in a cake mood. I am hitting a milestone this weekend (can you guess which one?) and it feels like just any other day/year. No biggie for me. Last year I celebrated on here with some chocolate chip cookies.
I surprised K with a fancy cake that had absolutely no chocolate in it. I made it kind of on a whim. I was in the mood for a strawberry cake, and this cake basically tastes like strawberry shortcake. Besides wanting to enjoy the strawberries, I also wanted to try out some meringue powder I had bought. I ended up only using about 4 egg whites, and the rest of the egg whites in the buttercream came from the meringue powder.
This post is by far not done. I definitely am still in the beginning stages of learning to decorate cakes, but as I learn tips, I will share them here. It was great having my friend Lisa over to practice making cakes. We made a chocolate cake from the Miette cookbook, then used French buttercream to decorate both. Hers was beautiful:
Mine was a work in progress:
I have made homemade Oreos before, but the filling is always so-so for me. It’s hard to match the regular filling, so I decided to do something different. I did half with vanilla buttercream and half with cookie butter buttercream. After making the Cookie Butter Cups, I felt ready to make these cookies. They have the perfect amount of salt to go with the sweet filling. We loved the cookies, and K felt really special to have cookies with his initial on them. You can feel free to have fun with the shapes since you are basically making chocolate shortbread cookies, so they will hold their shape pretty well. The K’s were less clear after they were baked, but if you looked carefully you could see them.
Celebrations require happy sweet desserts, and this is a perfect winter celebration treat. One of my favorite activities before returning home after visiting the family is planning what food we will eat, particularly what dessert I want to make. I forget when it started, but at some point I stopped buying desserts and just started making almost all of the ones we eat. Occasionally K wants a certain ice cream or maybe we are out at a nice bakery and pick up a few treats. In general, though, we have gotten used to homemade treats. I think he is okay with it, and I like it. It does mean that I am a BAR (Baking Aisle Regular) which makes me a bit cranky around the holidays. All of the “tourists” come to the aisle and hog prime locations near chocolate chips or confectioner’s sugar. Then, they refuse to budge or make room so that I can pick up one of my basic pantry needs. Ugh! Well, unless your pantry needs some stocking, you should be able to make these without buying anything fancy. The peppermint is super refreshing and perfect for winter, but you can also opt to leave it out. As in, leave out the chocolate entirely, or even just use regular chocolate.