Sunday, August 31, 2008

Plum Cake and the Absence of Eclairs

Plum Cake
Originally uploaded by watchjennybake.
If you are a Daring Baker, chances are you came by to check on my chocolate eclairs. As usual I procrastinated but then today ended up with bad baking mojo! I have learned from experience that when one recipe fails, I may as well hang up my apron for the day.

I may attempt the eclairs tomorrow if I end up with time on my hands. I do have the day off, and all the ingredients, so we'll see.

These plum cakes are a gem from the Baking with Julia tv series and accompanying cookbook. I have been recording all the old episodes on PBS to try to learn something, and this recipe seemed so simple and summery - finally, a fruit dessert that doesn't cover up the taste and freshness of the fruit!

I even bought ramekins for this dish, since I didn't have enough.

Well, I think I just tried taking too many shortcuts. I didn't have buttermilk, so I added vinegar to the milk, and probably didn't wait long enough. I mixed everything by hand so I'm not convinced the butter and sugars creamed enough. I divided the recipe by half.

It isn't ... bad, exactly. The batter just isn't holding the plum as much as it should. The creme chantilly that I made is good though. And you can definitely taste the plums, maybe too much.

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

Summer Means Blackberry Pie

Blackberry Pie
Originally uploaded by watchjennybake.
On the day of the great wine berry quest, all I came home with were blackberries. So I made a pie. And it was beautiful.

That's all you're getting out of me for tonight, I'm afraid.

What dessert means summer for you?

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

Just Baked Bakery Cafe in Topsail Island, NC

I spent last week at the beach in North Carolina. Bakeries in tourist towns have always interested me, because I have wonder if it is really possible to survive as a business with seasonal customers. Just Baked Bakery Cafe proves it is possible.

Two years ago, Just Baked was just a small little bakery, and it has now expanded into a larger space, also serving lunch and dinner. It is to my chagrin that I only decided to go here on my way out of town, since their lunch menu looked amazing and the smells that were coming from the kitchen would have brought me back daily.

Blueberry Croissant from Just Baked
Since I was there during breakfast, most of the offerings were pastries, muffins, and scones. They had already put out cookies, pies, and breads for the day, and I could see cupcakes and cakes cooling in the back.

You can look at the Just Baked Bakery Cafe website to see pictures of their cakes and other menu items. One night for dinner we had some bread that was like a cross between Italian and foccacia, and was delicious - nice air pockets, chewy, and flavorful.

Originally, I thought I'd just want to return to Topsail Island for the beauty of the ocean. Now I have two reasons to return!

Categories: Bakery, Blueberries, Pastry