Sunday, April 4, 2010

Happy Easter!

Happy Easter, friends! Any special plans? We will be having a traditional Easter dinner, with ham and rolls and green beans and potatoes. It will be a low-key (and sadly for me, still very horizontal) celebration around here. My sister and brother-in-law are being much more ambitious, making their traditional lamb Easter dinner. Lamb! I have not had much success with lamb, but their recipe is tried-and-true, so perhaps next year we will give it a try. Mom and I are also planning on baking some traditional hot cross buns later today. Or I should say that Mom will be making them and I will be on a stool watching and overseeing. There has been a lot of vicarious baking in our house lately. I am not sure if its because the baking itself makes the time pass by, or because the eating makes the time go by. Either way, I think we probably need to cut back, since all the sitting combined with all the eating of baked goods can't be good for me. Here are a few of the baked goods that have paraded through our house the last week or two. Yesterday, Zach made double blueberry muffins- a delicious recipe by my favorite chef, Gale Gand. What I love about Gale Gand is that she is a true American pastry chef. When I was in pastry school, there was such an emphasis on traditional French pastries. Don't get me wrong, I love a croissant as much as the next girl, but when I stumbled across Gale Gand, it felt like meeting a kindred spirit. Here was a pastry chef who had taken french training and french techniques and utilized them to elevate American classics, like German's chocolate cake and ice cream cones and red velvet cupcakes. As someone who went to pastry school because I loved true American desserts (chocolate chip cookies, cherry pie, peanut butter cookies, oatmeal cookies, homemade hamburger buns, oh my!), Chef Gand was like a breath of fresh air. Finally a pastry chef who loved American classics as much as I did! And her recipes have never failed me.

Another American classic that has recently graced the Holmboe table was this chocolate cake:

I loved this cake. It was rich and chocolatey. But best of all was the frosting. I have spent a lot of my life looking for a go-to, standby chocolate frosting. The closest I have come is a chocolate Swiss meringue buttercream. I love Swiss meringue buttercream frosting, but I use it often when I am baking wedding cakes for loved ones, so sometimes (because I make it in such high volume), the thought of using it on cupcakes or something I am baking for myself is just not appealing. So this frosting was a discovery. It is a chocolate mascarpone frosting. It is incredibly creamy and light (the best part of a meringue buttercream frosting, I think) but has a deep chocolate flavor. I think that this may well become my go-to chocolate frosting. More updates to come on the hot cross bun experiment later today. Here's to hoping that your Sunday is filled with a little laziness, good food, family and friends...

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