Monday, May 30, 2011

Can cheaters ever prosper?

You all have probably read my theory on cutting corners by now - if you haven't, and it is a whole lotta words, here's a synopsis: I don't like it. I don't like pre-made components in my baking, but let's face it: we all have to sleep sometime. Last Shabbat was Ayelet's (English) 15th birthday, and though her birthday Shabbat celebration with friends will take place for her Hebrew birthday, she still needed - if not deserved - an acknowledgement of the event. This was not the time or place for a fancy birthday cake, but a Boston cream pie would suffice nicely, thank you very much.(We all share a nostalgic fondness for Dunkin Donuts Boston creams, whether or not we actually liked them in the flesh. The idea is what counts here.) My cake recipe, while requiring the whipping of the egg whites, comes together rather quickly (some other time I will tell you why I feel obligated to hand whip the meringue here, as soon as I come up with a valid, non-crazy reason). But pastry cream on Friday afternoon after a nearly-no-sleep Thursday night was not happening. Enter the mysteriously shelf-stable pareve vanilla cream I happened to have in the pantry. Make a little ganache, and voila! You have a really yummy dessert with a minimum of fuss, not to mention a 15 year old who is reasonably happy and even grateful for her b-day dessert. But if you are looking for a picture, you will have to try Google. I can either make cake or take pictures. They ain't both happening!

But as a consolation prize, I will offer you a few pictures.

A six inch birthday cake for a very lucky daddy. Chocolate chip cake, chocolate filling, light blue vanilla buttercream, fondant stripes and polka dots in shades of blue.The six inch is such a cute size, perfect for a small family celebration, or as a tier on top of a larger cake, or even to crown a cupcake tower.Shabbat platters, some with special touches, also kept me busy. This was for the Shabban Kallah in anticipation of the marriage of Edit and Lior.A similar assortment graced the kiddush table of the Sheva brachot for Yoni and Suzy. I was feeling all kinds of Cake Boss-y, and chose a cke design I really liked, then translated it into cookie.Here is a close-up of the wedding cake cookie. Mazal tov!

This week's assortment looked pretty darned good too! Glazed lemon cookie,s oatmeal fudge bars, chai shortbread sandwiches, cherry chocolate chunk cookies, and cinnamon squares.

So in short, while I may have cheated a little on the birthday girl's cake, I think we all prospered. Lots of cookies and cakes got baked and decorated, we enjoyed our shortcut cake, and Ayelet knew she was being celebrated. I guess ordering sushi for seuda shlishit didn't hurt either. And sometimes it's okay to let someone else take a little of the burden whether it's the sushi guy, the pre-made filling, or anything else, as long as you are honest about it.


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