Booze, Baking, and Food

3 cake tips from mom every baker should follow

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I was having a discussion with my mother this afternoon about baking, since I plan on trying to make madeleines again Sunday morning.

My mom has always been a really great baker. We have always had homemade deserts for all special occasions. At Christmas time, we have cannoli, around 10 different kinds of cookies, and more.

Recently, I have decided to use Evernote to collect recipes and different tips from her (and likely other places too). As we were discussing my madeleines, we started talking about cake.

I thought I’d share these things here, too! These 3 tips is something she said was on most recipes, but a lot of time people skim over them and don’t follow them directly.

  1. With most cake, all diary has to be brought to room temperature.
  2. Gradually add sugar into beaten butter.
  3. Add dry ingredients alternately with milk, and you only stir them in you don’t beat them in.

Ok, that’s it! Hope these tips are helpful to some other (perhaps newb like me?) baker.

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Reckless Optimism, One from the Quiver, Rap–wine box subscription order from Club W

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Can you guess what these all have in common? They are all booze, of course.

Next Sunday I have a nice relaxing date with myself, and because of this I decided to order some wine from Club W. What’s Club W? Well, I’m glad you asked, because I happen to have a referral link right here in case my undying wine passion spurs you into trying them out. You’ll get 2 free bottles out of it, so it’s a pretty good deal.

I’ve already tried Club W before in October, and I have to say I am definitely a fan. Especially if you are kind of new to trying out wine, they make it very easy to learn about different wines, vocabulary, and more.

My favorite part of their box subscription service is they feature a video with professional winemakers, Sommeliers (which is a trained wine professional according to Wikipedia), and more. They talk about each wine they have available for purchase. They also pair a recipe with the wine, which they send in half-page recipe cards in your box.

Besides this, Club W also asks you to take a quiz, and rate wines you’ve purchased in the past all in the hope of suggesting wines you will like each month. As a relative newbie to this delicious drink, I don’t know enough yet about wine for this to mean much to me. I know I like dry, red wines, but that’s about as detailed as I can get so far.

This box I ordered the 2012 Reckless Optimism Red Blend, 2013 One From the Quiver Malbec, 2013 Rap Cabernet Sauvignon. I’m pretty excited to try them; however, I have already tried the Reckless Optimism with some friends and enjoyed it.

Once I pop one of these babies open, I will be sure to share my thoughts with you. Until then, remember that if you are interested in trying them out, please do me a solid and use my referral so I can get more wine, too. I’ll even toast one for ya.

Psssttt… you can now Follow my blog with Bloglovin.

Baking honey madeleines with chocolate sauce

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Friday, I went over some friend’s house for dinner (after the gym), so Thursday night I attempted to bake french madeleines from Martha’ Stewarts recipe you can find here.  I also made a chocolate dipping sauce created and found on White On Rice Couple blog.

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Halfway through making the recipe, I realized the first time I made these I had actually used the recipe from White on Rice Couple‘s blog, not the Martha Stewart one. I’m pretty sure I liked that one better, because it seemed lighter (likely from the addition of baking soda in particular).

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Still, Martha Stewart’s recipe is very easy to make. Which ended up being good (I think), because I burned the first batch slightly. I used two different pans for baking, an older one my mother had, and a newer one I bought when making it the first time. Ironically, by the time I finished making two batches, the ones in the new pan ended up both burning on the outside. The ones baked in the older pan did not.

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The chocolate sauce was so delicious, and also easy to make. Completely bad for you, of course–but oh, so worth it! I neglected to take many after pictures of the cookies and sauce, however.

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We paired the madeleines with wine from Club W–a wine subscription service–Alchymist. Club W describes the wine, stating:

“Plush and juicy with sweet flavors of candy-coated fruit, it’s smooth strawberry taste and rich body make it amazing as a glass on its own or paired with chocolate. Chocolate and wine? Sounds like baby making music to us.”

And from that I had decided on madeleines to pair it, given the chocolate suggestion. Though what wouldn’t taste good with chocolate, I’m not completely sure of. Seems impossible.