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Author: Pia

Swirl methods

Swirl methods

Birthday cake time!

One kid wants an ice cream cake with strawberry and vanilla. Easy enough — and for the middle layer, I’m using Good Humor strawberry shortcake bars. I think this will turn out to be a stroke of genius. Plus I don’t have to crush up little cookies.

The other kid wants a strawberry cake. And he specifically does not want any kind of cream or frosting. My plan is to make this cream cheese pound cake with strawberry coulis, with an added swirl of strawberry jam in the cake (plus a drop of red food coloring so it will be pink).

Now, how to swirl? Here are some different techniques from around the Internet.

  1. From Bake or Break: Thin 3 tablespoons of preserves with 1.5 teaspoons of water. Put in 1/3 of the batter with half the jam on top and swirl. Repeat. Then put in the rest of the batter.
  2. From Go Bold With Butter: Swirl 1/3 cup of preserves into half the batter, then repeat (so, 2/3 cup of preserves total — this seems like too much).
  3. From Baking Bites: Mix 1/2 cup of cake batter with 1/4 cup of preserves and follow swirling method from #1 above.
  4. From Taste of Home: Mix 1/2 cup of preserves with 2 1/3 cups of batter. Layer in half the plain batter, all the batter with preserves, and then the rest of the plain batter, and swirl all the way down to the bottom.

Most of the recipes I found were similar to #3, mixing preserves with batter and swirling that in. The ratios of batter to preserves were all over the place, with #4 above being one of the highest. I’ll probably follow the Baking Bites process but maybe try a little more jam than it suggests.

That’s my birthday cake research for this year. Tomorrow is baking day.

P.S. – After all that, I was doing six things at once while baking the cake, and I forgot about the swirl completely. I made a plain, non-pink cake. But as it turned out, the birthday child only cared about the cake as a vehicle for sprinkles and candy toppings.

Hello world, wanna buy a duck?

Hello world, wanna buy a duck?

I have a blog again! It took me several months of building up my resolve and a week of painful IT issues to get here. My goal is to get back in the habit of writing. So I’m going to write whatever crosses my mind in my twelve minutes of free time each day.

Today I discovered the Lexicon Valley podcast by linguist John McWhorter.  While I had fun learning about the origin of the word “eleven” and the existence of a 1970s musical about the Rothschild family, my favorite part was an obscure tidbit about the origin of “Wanna buy a duck?” It comes from comedian Joe Penner, who enjoyed short-lived popularity in the 1930s and starred in films with Betty Grable and Lucille Ball before dying at the age of 36.  Penner was all about the catchphrase, and for some reason this one has lived on for nearly a century.

Tomorrow: More boring IT stuff. New theme. Cakes.