Happy Valentine’s Day!! Hailey here, after a long hiatus from the blogosphere. Business school has turned out to mean much more work than I anticipated, but with the internship recruiting season behind me, I am excited to have more time to blog. This is officially my first post since the beginning of fall semester, and I have to say I’ve really missed it! The longer I live in New York the more I feel that I am conforming to the NYC lifestyle which involves minimal cooking and lots of eating out, so I am going to make a conscious effort to reduce these bad habits.
Last night one of my girlfriends hosted a “Gal-entines Day” dinner to celebrate love among friends. She cooked a fabulous meal, we drank wine, we watched Justin Bieber music videos…ok maybe I shouldn’t admit some of these things. But I was really excited to try out a Valentine’s Day Cake Truffle recipe that I sort of made up, but took inspiration from cake pops. I really don’t like cake pops very much — they are adorable but always taste way too sweet and dense. I started this recipe with my favorite white cake batter, but cut the sugar in half since I knew I wanted white chocolate on the outside. I also improvised a white buttercream frosting to condense the cake truffles a little bit and help them stick, but also added much less powdered sugar than typical icing.
How do you deal with stress? Some run; some do yoga; some read; I bake. Whenever I am really stressed, I find baking to be therapeutic. I don’t know exactly why, but something about creating the perfect cake, cookie, bread, brownie or pastry helps me get out of my brain. Maybe it’s because I know that with just a few hours in the kitchen, I can whip up almost anything. Or maybe it’s because I like taste testing the fruits of my labor. Who knows.
For the past couple weeks, my work schedule kicked my butt. So, I spent last weekend baking up a storm. It was a spur of the moment decision to make this chocolate “stress” cake, so when I found that I didn’t have all the ingredients I would usually need to make a cake, I had to improvise.
After I already started making the cake, I found I didn’t have two crucial ingredients — milk and butter. I rarely buy milk these days (I’m trying to cut back on my dairy intake), but not having sticks and sticks of butter in the fridge and freezer was very unlike me.
Today is the day — my birthday! This year, I’m feeling pretty blessed so I decided to do something a little different, and give rather than receive. Yes, that’s right. I baked my own cake (or cakes).
I follow quite a few bakers on Instagram and really dig the “unfinished” cake look, so for my birthday, I decided to emulate it with two of the cakes. I used a mascarpone whipped cream frosting in place of butter cream because: 1) I think the cake is sweet enough that buttercream is overkill and 2) mascarpone whipped cream is decadently rich without being overwhelming.