Tuesday, October 2, 2007

In U End D'oh

Ok...my goal this week was not to wait until next week to get the blog done...check one thing off my list of things to do...

I have to say that I don't like bloggers who talk about the difficulty of getting the blog out without explaining why....so, here's why...I've been battling a very nasty sinus bug...caused either by allergies or a cold or the stress of starting a new job...by the way, I had a busy Saturday...woohoo...just wish my sinuses would clear....Am I bordering on TMI?

This week was a quick week...for a lot of reasons...one, we only made the Zucchini Cupcakes (pg 73). Why would we only make the one, you ask? because last week we made a zillion of them....(ok, honestly, last week was so much fun, but the conversation we had during it was fractured....too many things to do and not enough time chatting with each other....we made up for it this week however.....)

J said that last week she and K didn't get back until almost midnight after delivering all the goodies...granted they did spend some time talking with Jessica & Mark, at least I hope it wasn't a drive by drop off....by the way Kathy, did Geoff and Hil and Lila get their samples or did they stay at your house?

The other reason we didn't spend so much time doing the baking thing is that K's parents are coming into town. They should be there sometime later this week. M & I get to meet them on Saturday. Can't wait! So, J is frantically cleaning the house. For her, that includes painting some items- talk about clean!

(OK, frantically makes me think
of the Looney Tunes Tasmanian Devil).

Did you know that they are a real animal?

Not as cuddly as I would have hoped....but really how cuddly could a devil be?

Well, really, she wasn't racing around like that, but she did have a long list of things to do....Now that I think about it, J always has a long list of things to do....hmmmm....

This cake (remember we are here to talk about baking cakes, right?) is very similar to the Pumpkin Walnut Ring that we did last week. The differences are really that this has zucchini in it and therefore needs more flour. RLB straightens that out for us in her "Understanding" section, which for me is a great section. I love the whys and wherefores of baking science.

One theme for us was what is the difference between this Zucchini "cake" recipe and the usual Zucchini Bread recipe? And, if it is a "bread" recipe, why is it in the Cake Bible?

RLB uses the words Cupcake and Muffin almost interchangeably. Are they really the same thing? I have a distinctive image of a cupcake that isn't at all like a muffin. The cupcake while it has icing, rich sugary icing....it isn't as domed usually. The muffin is a domed and usually sans icing/frosting.

My little research yields:

A cupcake or fairy cake is a small cake designed to serve one person, usually made in a small paper cup container. As with larger cakes, frosting and other cake decorations, such as sprinkles, are defining characteristics of modern cupcakes. (wikipedia.com)

A muffin is an individual cup-shaped quick bread made with wheat flour, cornmeal, or the like, and baked in a pan (muffin pan) containing a series of cuplike forms. (dictionary.reference.com)

Perhaps there is no difference and they are interchangeable. Anyway, what do you see as the differences? Discuss.

So this time, due to its ease, we decided to double the recipe. We split the work load thusly: I did the dry ingredients and wet ingredients, while J prepped the pans, preheated the oven, toasted the walnuts and grated the zucchini.

We are both working away at our tasks and I'm standing over a bowl talking to myself. Those of you who know me may realize that math isn't my strong suit so I spend a lot of time talking to myself while I do figurin'. (For those of you who really know me, this is strange because I was a Math Education major when I started at Purdue, all those years ago.)

Really we were working away until while J was grating the zucchini on the box grater, I heard, "I probably shouldn't spend the next half hour 'pleasuring the zucchini'. I'll use the grating disk for the food processor." The silence after the sentence was complete, no dogs barked, not a bird chirped....then, I giggled and broke the mood...

Having gotten the dry ingredients ready, I'm putting together the wet ingredients, packing the brown sugar (this recipe uses brown sugar, which gives them a darker than golden brown color and really makes the edges crispy...in a good way), counting the eggs and doing numbers aloud to myself. When out of my mouth, I say, "Are my nuts warm yet?"

Still pleasuring the zucchini, J looks at me and laughs out loud.

We added the optional raisins and a bit of currants. I have to say I was a strong liker of the currants as they were smaller, yet gave the flavor of a dried fruit, to me the raisins were a bit too grapey and the different texture threw me off.

J on the other hand loved the raisins and didn't really mention the currants. What she liked about them was the change in texture ("They keep it from getting boring.") We both liked the flecks of green that we could see in the muffin/cupcakes. Also, when you cut it, it looked more like bread to us. Dense, but not too soggy. When they came out of the oven, they were quite heavy, so heavy I thought they might have needed a bit longer in the oven to complete baking, but I was wrong. It sliced like you'd expect a pumpkin/zucchini bread to cut, crumbly, but not falling apart.

This, as far as we were concerned, was the best ever. It was even tasty with a bit of cream cheese.

This is what it's all about folks, hanging out with friends, talking about family coming to visit and baking a cake or two.

By the way, J's in laws are going to have the Zucchini Ring we made (pictured in the center of the muffins at left) for breakfast their first morning. You can check that off the list, J.

Bake Through,


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