The weekend before Christmas the ladies of ‘club’ (formerly book club) and I got comfortable at Big Canoe in the Georgia mountains. The easiest way to describe Big Canoe is a mountain community. It is more than just homes in the mountains. It has a lake, marina, golf course, swimming pool, a spa, as well as restaurants.
Big Canoe is great for a group who want to do a variety of activities. Naturally, club participated in none of these. We did manage to stop at the outlet malls on the way. We were focused on wearing pajamas, chit-chat, drinking wine, and baking.
If this wasn’t a travel blog, it would be about the disappointment in the appearance of food that I bake in comparison to their pictures online. I always get a fail. Case in point, the rosewater pistachio cake that we made. We found a delicious recipe on The Baking Bird blog, and the taste did not disappoint. As a huge fan of icing, we doubled that portion of the recipe. Unfortunately, this might be the ugliest cake I’ve made. Ever. It is also my new favorite cake. And here is the recipe straight from The Baking Bird.
Ingredients:1/2 cup vanilla soy yogurt2/3 cup soy milk1/3 cup canola oil3/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons granulated sugar1 to 2 tablespoons rosewater1 cup plus 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour2 tablespoons cornstarch1/2 teaspoon baking powder1/2 teaspoon baking soda1/4 teaspoon saltGenerous pinch of cardamom1/3 cup finely chopped pistachios, lightly toasted if desired1/2 cup more of finely chopped pistachios, for decoration, if desired1. 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 shortening1/4 cup nonhydrogenated margarine1 3/4 cup confectioners’ sugar, sifted if clumpy1 teaspoon vanilla extract2 to 3 tablespoons soy creamer or milk1 to 2 teaspoons rosewaterBeat 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.