Sunday, April 18


cakejam has moved! update your bookmarks, friends

Thursday, April 8

So, it's April. Which is usually my favorite month, aside from all the crap in the air suffocating me. But man, this April. It's cold! Cold and dreary and disgusting. Everyone here thought winter was over; we all ditched our coats and the plants were budding and the birds were singing and life was happy and THEN IT WAS 41 DEGREES AGAIN.

It's enough to make you want to die. I was going to stick my head in the oven, but then I made these sweet potato biscuits in there instead. Much more delicious!

sweet potato biscuits

Minimal in effort but maximum in starch, they are lopsided and ugly but somehow that makes them better. You guys get an iphone picture because I was just that lazy.

Rolled Sweet Potato Biscuits

2 c AP flour
1 T baking powder
1/2 t salt
1/4 c olive oil
3/4 c vanilla soymilk
1 med sweet potato, baked and mashed

Combine the dry ingredients in a bowl. Add the wet ingredients in a well in the center and mix just until combined. Roll the dough out into a rectangle and sprinkle generously with brown sugar and cinnamon. Roll up into a log and cut slices with a serrated knife. Bake at 450 until lightly golden. Eat warm with some honey butter and coffee. And then snuggle.

it's cold again

Sunday, April 4

That's me hiding from the camera on the right there. I can't take credit for the awesome food that won the contest (the soup and savory marshmallows pictured on the top left), but I did spend a good portion of my youth peeling and cutting those marshmallows (garlic, bacon and ginger ones... so effing good).

Saturday, March 20

I suck at updating this lately, I know. I've been working a lot (sometimes even for money!) and I've discovered a new outlet for my OCD:


cake two!


Wednesday, March 3

Plated desserts are tricky. Done well, they can be really elegant:

blackbird dessert

Done badly, they can look like the art deco movement pooped all over your plate. Or like Freud took a shift in the kitchen:

I'll admit that at the start of this class I kind of thought I'd be an instant genius at this shit. I mean, I went to art school! I eat out and make snobby comments about the food all the time! I can make up smart-sounding crap about balance and harmony IN MY SLEEP!

Turns out, like most things, it's a lot harder than it looks. Funny how that works.

Anyway, our final was today and we had to come up with four platings for some surprise ingredients, iron-chef style. We ended up getting pear, dark chocolate, mascarpone, and phyllo.

I made chocolate ice cream, caramelized pears, a mascarpone cream with creme fraiche, and did as little as possible with the phyllo because I hate working with it. Here is the evidence...I wish I'd gotten better shots but Chef was waiting and my ice cream was melting.

plated desserts final plate 1

plate 2

plate 3

plate 4

Chef's favorite was the one I thought was the goofiest. I guess I'll never be a plated dessert genius. Crepe stand here I come.

Saturday, February 20

...and chocolate. Apparently this combination is starting to pop up everywhere... I guess it was the logical next step after bacon and chocolate. That trend is still going strong here, by the way, but then pig fat in general has a mighty following in this city.

Anyway, as much as I want to roll my eyes at food trends sometimes, anything that involves chocolate and salt gets my automatic support. Combining these two will definitely get you a mixed reaction-- about 50% OMG THAT SOUNDS DELICIOUS and about 50% I AM VOMITING IN MY MOUTH AT THE MERE THOUGHT. I bet even your more skeptical friends might be convinced, though, if you can just get them to try it. I find that taunting people and calling them pussies usually does the trick.

Flourless chocolate cake with blue cheese whipped cream

10 oz dark chocolate (anywhere from 58-70%)
5 oz butter
5 eggs
3.5 oz sugar

Whipping cream
A tasty but mild blue cheese (I used Roquefort)

1 Preheat the oven to 350.
2 Heat the cream and blue cheese together gently, just enough to melt the cheese into the cream. The ratio is pretty much to taste-- but start with a small chunk, if only because you'll have an easier time getting a nicely-textured whipped cream. Chill.
3 Melt the butter and chocolate in a double boiler.
4 Whip the eggs and sugar until very light and thick. Spoon out some batter and let it fall back in the bowl; it should make a "ribbon" or hold its shape for just a couple seconds before it melts back in.
5 Fold the chocolate and whipped egg mixture together.
6 Pan and bake for about 20-30 minutes, or until the center springs back lightly when touched. The cake will sink a little after baking.
7 Whip the cream to a soft peak. I found that it had a tendency to start to curdle with all the extra fat from the blue cheese-- if this happens (and you haven't made butter yet), just add some more liquid cream and fold it in gently until it's a good texture again. If you have made butter, just start over.

Thursday, February 18

that supposedly one meal at Alinea is enough additives for one person, for THE ENTIRE YEAR.

My hippie organic anti-artificial-shit half and my ooh! science! half are fighting. What say you, people? Should food just be food already, or would it be WAY AWESOME to eat what amounts to some guy's food science experiment?