Tuesday, May 27, 2008

My little baker

For the past 8 or 9 months, if you ask Ava what she wants to do when she grows up, she says "I want to make cakes for brides." OK, so it comes out more like "I wan make caykes for da bryeeds," but I digress. We have no idea where she came up with this since she hasn't been to too many weddings, and also hasn't had any wedding cake due to her allergies. I really think that part of it is genetic as I come from a long line of amazing cooks. My mother and great grandmother are/were serious threats in the kitchen, and my mom had me helping her in the kitchen as soon as I could hold onto a spoon. I've done the same with Ava, and not a day goes by where she doesn't ask me to help bake or cook dinner.

Obviously, she loves taste testing best, but she also loves to help add ingredients, stir, knead dough, and lately, watch the yeast bloom when we make bread (seriously, who would have thought that something so slow would keep my kid standing still for 10 straight minutes?!?!).

In the past few days, she spent some time at Nana's house where she helped decorate a wedding cake, and she helped us make a chocolate cake for us to snack on, brownies for a get together, 2 loaves of bread, pizza, and oatmeal. I have no doubt that when it comes time to fix dinner this afternoon, she's going to want to help me mix up the following to serve with our sausages and blueberry compote:

Custard Filled Cornbread
Recipe By : Marion Cunningham

1 cup all-purpose flour
3/4 cup yellow cornmeal
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
2 eggs
3 tablespoons butter -- melted
3 tablespoons sugar
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 cups milk
1 1/2 tablespoons white vinegar
1 cup heavy cream

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.

Butter an 8-inch square baking dish, and place it in the hot oven while you prepare the batter.Sift or stir together the flour, cornmeal, baking powder and baking soda. In a mixing bowl, beat the eggs and the melted butter until well-blended. Add the sugar, salt, milkand vinegar and beat well. Stir the dry ingredients into the egg mixture just until the batter is smooth.Pour the batter into the heated dish. Pour the heavy cream into the center of the batter. Do not stir.Check the cornbread after 45 minutes. It is done when the top becomes lightly browned.

I also have to post the recipe for the chocolate cake that she helped me make over the weekend because it's insanely good:

Easy Chocolate Cake
From Off the Shelf by Donna Hay

8 oz butter
1 1/2 cup brown sugar
3 eggs
2 cups AP flour
1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1/3 cup cocoa powder
1 cup sour cream or plain yogurt
8 oz dark chocolate, melted

5 oz dark chocolate
1/3 cup heavy cream

Heat oven to 325. Grease 9 inch round cake pan.
Cream butter and sugar together in an electric mixer until light and fluffy. Add eggs one at a time. Sift together flour, baking powder, and cocoa and add to the butter mixture. Add sour cream and chocolate and mix until just combined. Pour into cake pan and bake for 45-50 minutes. Cool in pan 10 minutes and then turn out onto a cooling rack.

When cake is cool, heat cream over a double boiler until warm. Remove from heat and stir in chocolate. When mixture is smooth, allow it to cool for 5-10 minutes, then pour over the top of the cake.

Ava's favorite part of making cakes:

Oh drat! There's batter on my fingers!

Where'd it go?!

The "bride's cake " she made with Nana:

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