Off Topic... meet my little family

This is my favorite guy! Soooo Handsome! Can you believe he is 24 years old?

His name is Saudi and he is an Arabian horse.

This is Saudi last winter. He is wearing his raincoat. I think he looks good in green! Winters here in Oregon are wet and muddy so every good horse mom makes sure to get a good raincoat for their pony.

Then there is this goofball!

Conveniently located during a photo shoot of some cake...

His name is Scout. He will be turning 4 this year.  He is part husky, part akita, and part recipe tester!  Twice now  I have walked away from a photo prop (baked good) and returned to notice a very happy dog and a tongue swipe spot on my frosting! 

It's impossible to stay mad at him for long!

The Cake Slice August 09: Pistachio Petit Four Cake

I'm really glad I gave the August Cake Slice challenge a try. The recipe for the Pistachio Petit Four cake from Sky High Irresistible Triple-Layer Cakes by Alisa Huntsman and Peter Wynne was a bit intimidating since it called for marzipan and ganache. If I have not said it before I really love this cookbook. The flavor combinations are interesting and the instructions are clear and easy to follow.

The Cake is a simple butter cake that has roasted pistachios added for a slight crunch and nutty flavor. Each cake layer is then glazed with apricot jam, covered with a disc of marzipan, and topped with dark chocolate ganache. Once assembled the whole cake is drenched in the remaining ganache. I was not sure I would like the taste of this cake because of the apricot jam but, it is rally tastey. Especially the combination of the marzipans delicate almond flavor and the dark chocolate! This is a very sophisticated cake!

I was able to simplify this cake by purchasing pre-made marzipan.

I scaled the recipe down to make a 6 inch 3 layer cake so I had some marzipan left over after cutting disks for each layer. I Decided to try Marzipan roses. I tinted the marzipan with some pink gel food coloring and kneaded it until the color was uniform. A little coloring gel goes a long way!

To make the roses you start with a cone shaped base of marzipan.

Roll out for small sized balls and 5 larger balls.

Flatten the balls 1/4 inch to make your flower petals. If it gets too sticky use a little corn starch. Press one edge of each flattened disk for the edge of the petals. The thinner you can get your petals the more realistic they will look.

Wrap the small petals around your base cone allowing each one to overlap. Next attach the larger petals. Once you have all nine petals on squeeze off the base and you have a Rose!

The recipe is available at Apple & Spice

Mixed Berry Cobbler

I scored this flat of mixed berries at the Eugene Farmers Market. Raspberries, marionberries, blackberries, and cherries all perfectly ripe and locally grown. I did my best to gobble them up the second I purchased them. 

Aren't they beautiful! I think I managed to eat a fair amount the first day. By the second day the berries stated looking a little sad so I put them in a cobbler. The recipe is really simple. The cobbler part has a nice hint of citrus from the orange zest. I used a ratio of 2 parts raspberries, 1 part marionberrry, and one part blackberry. I got a really nice cobble pattern don't you think?

Want the recipe?