I literally almost died and went to heaven due to hyperventilating the second I saw this cake. Williams-Sonoma has the greatest things in their catalog this time of year. I look forward to it every year (I look forward to everything this time of year). Everything makes me gasp and go oh my goodness I need that! But I definitely cannot afford to pay $89.00 for this cake. So I am determined to recreate it myself. It will be a little tricky, but I'm up to the challenge. I already have the Great Pumpkin Cake Pan so I figure that gets me off to a good start. I'll just have to find a great chocolate cake recipe, make some ganache, cut the layers, and learn how to fondant a cake. Just wait and see...
A few recent discoveries that I just can't resist sharing:
"If You Give a Cat a Cupcake"
"If you give a cat a cupcake, he'll ask for some sprinkles to go with it. When you give him the sprinkles, he might spill some on the floor. Cleaning up will make him hot, so you'll give him a bathing suit . . . and that's just the beginning!"
Okay, not only is it about a cat, but it's about giving a cat a cupcake! Genius! Whoever decided to combine both of two of my favorite things (obviously Laura Numeroff) and make it into an illustrated story, obviously knows what's going on. Yeah, I pretty much gasped with excitement when I came across this. Mark your calendars for September 30th, because it's not out on the shelves yet.
My most recent trip to Target lead me to discover these little amazing treasures of gold:
Pumpkin Spice Hershey's Kisses! Pretty much all of my wildest dreams have come true. Read all about it here!
And not only did I find those pumpkin flavored treats on the Halloween candy isle, York Peppermint Patty also has a pumpkin colored creme filled version of a pumpkin shaped patty! It still has the regular peppermint taste though, which is kind of disappointing (for me, anyway). Basically I was ecstatic and clapping my hands together with joy in the isles of Target. No one saw me though.
A few weeks ago I felt the urge to make a batch of almond butter cookies, something I'd never made before, since I had a huge double-sized jar of expired almond butter that I had gotten at Costco a little while back. Natural nut butters don't really expire that quickly and they're usually okay, just a little hard to stir to get the oil blended in well. Plus there was no way I could waste all of that goodness... that stuff's not cheap! So I took a chance and found a really simple, easy recipe online and they turned out fantastic! A little dry and flakey, but full of almond-buttery goodness. Only 6 ingredients! (I added some spices in there for an extra kick.) Oh yeah, they're vegan and pretty healthy, too!
a few pinches of cinnamon, ginger, nutmeg, cardamom, allspice, or whatever you prefer
a little granulated sugar for dusting/rolling the balls in
Preheat oven to 300 F.
Lightly grease a baking sheet (or use a nonstick one). Mix together almond butter and oil; beat until smooth. Mix in maple syrup and vanilla extract. Stir together flour, salt, and spices, if using. Add to almond butter mixture and mix until just combined. Cover and refrigerate for 10 minutes. Roll dough into 3/4-inch balls.
Roll balls gently in the sugar to coat evenly on the outside. Place on baking sheet and flatten with a fork. Bake in preheated oven for 25 minutes, until bottoms are lightly browned. Cool a couple of minutes on the baking sheet, then transfer to a cooling rack. Variation: try with other nut butters.
Pretty much all I can say is that this is one of the best cakes I've ever made. Hands down. It's pretty, elegant, girly, moist, lightly spiced, nutty, flowery... I could go on and on. The frosting came out PERFECTLY, better than any other time I had made it. No problems what so ever. For a while I was a little skeptical about making this cake (or cupcakes) because it sounded so odd. Rosewater? The ingredient that I enjoy most in my night cream, facial toner, and other hygienic products? I wasn't sure how I would like the taste. But, as always, just like other liquids and alcohols that one incorporates into baking, it cooks off and gives it the greatest flavor. This would go so, so well with an Indian or Persian feast of some sort, but a mug full of spicy chai and some soy milk on the side works just as well. I made this for a co-worker of mine's 17th birthday, which she really enjoyed, and that made me the happiest. I'm telling you, all I want to do is bake mini birthday cakes! All the time! Well, at least most of the time. I don't think I would enjoy it as much if it were my job. That's why it's on the side...
Vegan Pistachio Rosewater Cardamom Cake with Buttercream Frosting
Adapted from VCTOTW
1/2 cup vanilla soy yogurt
2/3 cup soy milk
1/3 cup canola oil
3/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons granulated sugar
1 to 2 tablespoons rosewater
1 cup plus 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
2 tablespoons cornstarch
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt
Generous pinch of cardamom
1/3 cup finely chopped pistachios, lightly toasted if desired
1/2 cup more of finely chopped pistachios, for decoration, if desired
1. Preheat oven to 350 F. Lightly grease two 6-inch cake pans.
2. In a large mixing bowl, whisk together yogurt, soy milk, oil, sugar, and rosewater. Sift in flour, cornstarch, baking soda, baking powder, cardamom and salt. Mix until relatively smooth. Fold in pistachios. Fill cake pans about half way, until both are even. Bake 25-28 minutes (time varies). Transfer to a cooling rack and let cool completely before inverting and frosting.
For the Fluffy Buttercream Rosewater Frosting (I halved the original recipe):
1/4 cup nonhydrogenated shortening
1/4 cup nonhydrogenated margarine
1 3/4 cup confectioners' sugar, sifted if clumpy
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 to 3 tablespoons soy creamer or milk
1 to 2 teaspoons rosewater
Beat the shortening and margarine together until well combined and fluffy. Add the sugar and beat for about 3 more minutes. Add the vanilla, soy milk, and rosewater, beat for another 5 to 7 minutes until fluffy.
Frost the bottom layer of the cake, sprinkle chopped pistachios before putting on second layer, and frost the rest of the cake. Sprinkle/press pistachios around the outside of the cake, and sprinkle with light pink or peach crystals if desired. And there you have it.