Tuesday, January 28, 2014

What makes tree rings so amazing?

This months Daring Kitchen Challenges was one I almost did not complete and then I realized the connection, I will get there but I will ask that you indulge me a bit in a rant, ramble, grumble, which ever you would like to call it. Here of late I have been a touch frustrated with the situation at work. We have an increasingly larger number of patients coming to the hospital with psychiatric needs, and it is prohibiting the Social Workers from doing more of the support work that many of us enjoy. I obtained my Masters Degree as a way to honor my grandparents. It was a way for me to make meaning out of the loss I was feeling after my grandmother's death. Anyway I have had little things that I have found over the last month that have helped me to connect with her, something as silly as the rhinoceros animal cookies that I was nibbling on at work. So when I finally put it all together, this cake was the absolutely most perfect thing for me to make. Why you ask? Well when my mother was a teen she and her family travelled to live in New Zealand for roughly 9 months, and I enjoyed hearing the stories so often about their trip to New Zealand and then back. The thing that connects this story to a cake though happens to be that while there my grandmother took on a project studying tree rings, if the link works, you are able to read her journal posting that she wrote with my grandfather here. So in my own little way I found yet another reason to connect to my grandmother this month...

Blog-checking lines: The January 2014 Daring Bakers' challenge was hosted by Francijn of "Koken in de Brouwerij". She challenged us all to bake layered cakes in the tradition of Baumkuchen (tree cake) and Schichttorte (layered cake).

Baumkuchen is a cake that I had once seen before on a Food Network Special, I even looked to purchase it at one point for Christmas; I was thrilled to finally get to try this cake out. It is not as challenging as I initially thought it might be. I did a bit of research and decided once I was layering my cake batter in the pan that I would cook it under the broiler like so many other people had suggested on various internet searches. The cake came out great, and looked fantastic. The cake tasted great, and as always the fact that my sweet husband enjoyed it was a plus! so here are some photos..

Cake fresh out o f the pan.
Close up of the layers, after the apricot glaze has been put on top.
Enrobed in a milk chocolate glaze.

The layers were just beautiful!
Close up of the layers, looks like I got at least 9 layers.

Delicious Slice waiting for a fork.  

And another close up of the layers.

Well this was yet another successful challenge. I ended up leaving a forth of the cake at the house for us to enjoy, and took the remaining to work, and as always the crew at work enjoyed it. This is certainly a cake I would make again!

On a completely different note, as we get closer to the end of January, almost 4 months later we are almost completely done with the repairs following the flood of our kitchen. I am beyond ready for the process to be completed. Once things are back to normal in the kitchen I will be a much happier camper when it comes to spending time in there. Having the kitchen turned upside down has helped me to purge a bit of the unnecessary kitchen tools; which has made Ashley thrilled, I have gotten rid of utensils, baking tools, and mugs thus far. There are many more things I could get rid of, but I am taking this slow.

Looking forward to the next Daring Kitchen Challenge, thanks for reading!

1 comment: