I've dropped the ball quite a bit with my weekly posts, but I'm sure you guys can totally understand because it's summer and who really wants to spend their whole weekend in a kitchen, especially when I spend 12 hours a day in a kitchen already. I've been out doing things on my weekend and hanging out with friends and going hiking and just generally having a life, which is something that I haven't had for a while. It's easy to throw yourself into your career when you're passionate about it and the fact that my hobby (this blog) is also related to my career makes it even easier to spend all day every day baking.
One of those weekends of actual living included this amazing hike up Mt Rohr with my dad. We drove for 2 and a half hours, past Pemberton, and set out with our packs. About 2 and a half hours, we reached a perfect spot to set up our camp. We only saw two other people that day! It was so quiet and beautiful and peaceful. I was a bit bummed before the hike because of some boy troubles, but once you're up there in the mountains, the little stuff doesn't matter anymore. Not much matters up there. You realize that all the extra crap in life that we surround ourselves with - whether it's possessions or distractions or whatever it is that we try to fill those voids inside us - it's all just noise. Living your life and doing what truly makes you happy is what matters, not just what makes you temporarily fake happy like getting a bunch of likes on an instagram photo. So I encourage you guys to get out there this summer (or this coming summer for you guys in the southern hemisphere) and experience nature - real nature! Don't get go park your car in one of those car campground places where there's a faucet for water and a store five minutes away, that doesn't count. Really get out there and experience the quiet beauty of nature and you'll see that every worry you might have will just fade away.
It might seem like a contradicting thing to switch to blog news after I've been all hippy "get out in nature, don't care about social media, blah blah blah" but whatever, this is my blog and I can write whatever I want.
I got the email as my dad and I were driving back from the hike and started freaking out in the car. This is something that I've had on my mind for years now but this is the first time that I've nominated myself and asked other to nominate me because I finally feel like I'm good enough to have a shot at winning. But I didn't really think it would ACTUALLY happen. But here we are. I'm so thankful to everyone who has ever read my blog, pinned a picture of mine, liked one of my instagram photos, left a comment on my blog, and basically supported me and encouraged me throughout the 3 and a half years that I've had this blog. It means the world to me.
This is a massive deal to every food blogger out there - it's like the Oscars of food blogging! All the nominees are invited to a big ol' party (this year is in NYC!) and it's basically a real-life meeting of all the big food bloggers. So....why am I gonna be there?! I mean, this is just my hobby and I'm not a BIG food blogger, I'm still just a little guy. At least, it feels like that. It's mind blowing that I have so many people reading the shit I write here (I'm not nominated for Best Writing, after all...) and actually taking the time to leave a comment! Seriously, just crazy.
So I guess this cake is to celebrate!! I'm really hoping I can go to NYC to meet everyone, but it's totally dependent on my work. Getting time off in a kitchen isn't like anywhere else - even getting just one day off is a hassle - and there's no guarantees. But I'll try my darnedest, you guys! I only had one day in New York back in May and that just whet my appetite, so I'd love to get...well, more than one day in New York. I want to hit up a bunch of restaurant ands cafés and bakeries and shops and that cool store where you bought a funny fridge magnet that one time like four months ago, so hit me up with suggestions!! I wanna know!!
Stay tuned for more updates on this, if I get my butt in gear and actually make things on my weekends and have things to post. But yeah!
Peach, Raspberry, and Brown Butter Cake
Brown Butter Raspberry Cake
Makes 3 x 6-inch layers
Recipe adapted from Call me Cupcake
300 g unsalted butter, at room temperature
195 g granulated sugar
225 g eggs, lightly beaten
100 g brown butter, warm
6 g vanilla paste
2 tablespoons vanilla extract
337 g all-purpose flour
3 teaspoons baking powder
1 g salt
3 cups of fresh raspberries
Peach and Vanilla Compote
535 g ripe peaches, blanched, skinned, and diced into 1/2 inch
53 g light brown sugar
4 g vanilla paste
1/2 lemon, juiced
100 g egg whites
150 g granulated sugar
340 g unsalted butter, cut into 1/2 inch dice, at room temperature
2 g vanilla paste
Red and white currants
To start, make the cake. Preheat the oven to 350 F. Spray three 6-inch cake rings with non-stick spray, then line with parchment paper and spray again. Set aside.
In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, cream the butter and sugar together until pale and fluffy. Add the eggs a little bit at a time, beating after each addition, until fully incorporate. Combine the brown butter, vanilla paste, and vanilla extract and add it to the mixture, scraping down the sides and bottom of the bowl. Beat again for 2 minutes.
Sift the dry ingredients and add to the mixture, mixing on low until just incorporated. Gently fold in the raspberries by hand (note: I pressed the raspberries into the cakes and thought they would sink into the batter while baking, but they didn't! So definitely fold them into the batter so they can be evenly distributed in the cake, unlike my layers)
Divide evenly between the three cake rings and bake for 30 to 35 minutes, until a skewer inserted into the middle of each cake comes out clean.
Remove from the oven and cool on a wire rack for 10 minutes, then invert the cakes and cool completely.
For the peach compote, combine all the ingredients in a saucepan set over medium low heat and cook until the peaches have disintegrated and the mixture is thick, about 20 minutes. Remove from the heat and let cool completely. Store in an airtight container.
For the buttercream, combine the egg whites and sugar in the bowl of a stand mixer set over a bain-marie and cook, whisking constantly, until the mixture reads 60 C or is no longer gritty when rubbed between your fingers. Transfer to the stand mixer and whip until glossy peaks form, about 6 minutes.
Add the butter a few pieces at a time and whip until the buttercream is creamy and smooth. Add the vanilla paste and whip for 20 seconds to combine. Transfer half of the buttercream to a piping bag with a medium circular tip and reserve the rest in the bowl for masking the cake.
To assemble the cake, first trim the tops of each cake layer so they are flat and even. Place one round on a cake turntable and pipe a border of buttercream around the edge of the cake. This will act as a border and make sure the compote doesn't squish out the sides when you're assembling the cake. Spread one third of the compote inside the buttercream ring and smooth it to an even layer. Place the second round of cake on top and repeat the process.
Refrigerate the cake until the buttercream is firm, about 20 minutes. Remove the cake from the fridge and mask it with the remaining buttercream (you will not use all of it). Refrigerate the cake again until the buttercream is firm, 20 minutes.
Remove from the fridge and decorate with the extra buttercream and fruit.