Wednesday, February 27, 2013

Baking Cakes

Had the great pleasure of taking new shots for my Aunt this past weekend in Atlanta.  Her company - St Rita's Cakes (new website coming asap) - is founded on quality ingredients, faith, and love.  Her cakes?  Indulgent - sinful - incredible.

Seriously, you will need to get your hands on these ASAP.  In the meantime, enjoy some of my favorite shots from the shoot!



Traditional Southern Pound Cake

  • 3 cups of all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1 cup (2 sticks) of unsalted butter at room temperature
  • 2-1/2 cups granulated sugar
  • 5 extra large eggs at room temperature
  • 3/4 cup half and half
  • 1 tablespoon pure vanilla extract

Preheat oven to 325 degrees F. Prepare a bundt pan or loaf pan using shortening and dust lightly with flour. This will ensure easy release of your pound cake. Recipe makes enough for a 12-cup bundt pan or two to three loaf pans. Put the flour, baking powder and salt into a strainer and sift into a bowl; set aside.

Beat the room temperature butter on medium speed until creamy. Add the sugar into the butter 1/2 cup at a time and continue beating on medium until mixture becomes fluffy (about three minutes). Add eggs, one a time, to the butter and sugar mixture, blending each egg in before adding the next.

Reduce speed to low and begin to alternately add the flour mixture and the half and half into the creamed butter, starting and ending with the flour, until all is fully incorporated. Add the vanilla and blend it in. Pour the batter into the prepared pan and spread out the top evenly. Bake at 325 degrees F for about 1 hour or until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean. All ovens have their own personality, so check your cake at 55 minutes.

Place the pan onto a cooling rack and cool the cake in the pan for 10 minutes. Turn cake out onto the rack and allow to cool completely.

Try this:
Dust with confectioners sugar
Drizzle your favorite glaze on top
Serve with your favorite ice cream or fruit
Toast a slice and serve with butter or fruit spread

Wednesday, February 13, 2013

Valentine's Day + Cupcake Vineyards

Yes gents - what a great day indeed.  No need to fret about buying diamonds (hmmm, she still might like those) or snagging a fancy restaurant rez - follow my game plan for a killer Valentine's day dinner at home!  Trust me, your lucky lady will appreciate your efforts in the kitchen more than that expensive restaurant tab.  Use all that extra cash to splurge on some fresh cut flowers, a heartfelt note (said like a true Southern gentleman), and an incredible night at home.  Better yet?  You won't have a hard time trying to convince her to come back to your place after the meal . . .

I'm going all out this Valentine's Day to make sure you are 100% covered!

Check out The Better Show today - I'm pulling off a vegetarian friendly recipe that your lady will love.  Carnivores included.

And - for those who need step-by-step details on everything from prepping for the date, choosing a great wine, easy-to-follow recipes, and fun videos that put it all together - well, look no further than to my friends over at Cupcake Vineyards.  I've partnered up with this great wine to ensure you Love Deliciously this Valentine's Day!  Go to their site, like, right now.