Ok, so I've been playing hookey the last few weeks ;) I baked both my Oasis Naan bread and French Strawberry Cake on time... life just got in the way of posting about them! Summer is in full swing here, we took a trip down to New York City (that turned out to be more of an adventure than we expected) and have a new niece expected any day now, so I've been keeping busy.
This past weekend was B's dad's birthday and Father's Day so I volunteered to make dessert. I have never, in my life, made a Genoise before (come to think of it, I'm not sure I've _eaten_ one before, either), so I read through the P & Q post for some pointers and dug right in.
It didn't *seem* difficult... until I got to the point where all the ingredients were added and I was folding gently to combine... and folding... and folding... and folding some more. Every time I though it was my last fold, another pocket of flour would appear, and I'd have to keep going, until I basically beat all the bubbles out of the damn thing. So frustrating!
I tried baking it anyway, and got a depressingly flat (and dense) cake as a result. That was the night before, so the next morning I was up early and tried again... this time being _super_ careful with the folding. I still ran into the same problem with the pockets of flour (what gives?!) but this attempt seemed to come out a little fluffier, at least, and I was able to get three thin layers out of it.
It is strawberry season here in Montreal, so I snagged some local Quebec berries at the market (they are smaller and sweeter than the usual grocery store variety) and let them soak with a bit of sugar and brandy over night. The juices added a welcome moistness to the cake layers and it all came together fairly easily, though I realized I need to consider getting a cake plate (if not a cake stand) for future attempts at all things cake-y... my dinner plates are the perfect size, but they are slightly concave which made frosting rather difficult :P
So here is the finished product, all ready for the candles to be blown out:
And here it is about 5 minutes later:
Not a crumb was left, so I'll put this one down as a success, though I found it a little on the heavy side. That might be entirely due to my clumsy folding, but I expected it to be a little bit more light and delicate. It seems we will be revisiting that recipe later on, so I guess I'll have more chances to practice! By the way, the recipe can be found here and here if you want to have a crack at it...
The naan bread was easier to make, but came out more pretty than tasty, in my opinion. I did some with green onions and salt (way too salty!), some with sesame seeds (my favorite) and some with an herb mix. They were a little on the dry side and the flavor just wasn't that impressive... except for the over-salted ones, they were fairly bland. And man, these things do *not* keep well, as the recipe warns. They were fine the evening they were baked, and were on their way to being hockey pucks by the next day. Doubtful I will be trying this one again... for the effort to end product ratio, I would sooner make focaccia than these guys. But hey, at least they looked nice!