Big Canoes and Uglier Cakes

As we wrap up Thirty4Thirty in 2011, you may have noticed we moving closer and closer to Atlanta. Because as much as a love to travel, it is great to come home to somewhere you love. The first week of 2012 will be Staycation Week where we feature the best of Atlanta. But, I’m getting ahead of myself, we are still comfortable over here in 2011.

Plenty of Room for Canoeing

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.

Think I Need A Boat

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.

The Hero (baked by the Baking Bird) - The Zero (baked by Club)

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.

1/2 cup vanilla soy yogurt
2/3 cup soy milk
1/3 cup canola oil
3/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons granulated sugar
1 to 2 tablespoons rosewater
1 cup plus 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
2 tablespoons cornstarch
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt
Generous pinch of cardamom
1/3 cup finely chopped pistachios, lightly toasted if desired
1/2 cup more of finely chopped pistachios, for decoration, if desired
1. 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 shortening
1/4 cup nonhydrogenated margarine
1 3/4 cup confectioners’ sugar, sifted if clumpy
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 to 3 tablespoons soy creamer or milk
1 to 2 teaspoons rosewater
Beat 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.
I did make a serious comeback when I made this cake for Trip #30, it turned out PERFECT (inside and out). I’m pretty sure the Food Network is going to be calling.

1 Comment

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One response to “Big Canoes and Uglier Cakes

  1. Susan

    Thank you for not posting a pic of us in our jammies! xo

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