In the mean time I thought I'd share this with you. I was asked a couple of weekends ago to make a cake for a birthday party. Aside from choosing chocolate when I asked what flavor she wanted the host gave me free reign on everything else. That aways makes me nervous, but I finally settled on a bunt cake, since the party was pretty small and I like the way they present (plus it is easier to transport than a dozen cupcakes).
I used a pretty basic "wacky cake" recipe. I like it because the cake itself is not tooth-achingly sweet, so you can add other stuff and it won't be overkill. To this one I added semi-sweet chocolate chips to the batter which become little, melty surprises as you eat the cake. I frosted it with a poured chocolate fondant (inspired by VeganYumYum's post). It was my first time working with poured fondant and my result came out a bit... lumpy, as you can see here:
There was some remaining in the pot after I poured most of it over the top, so I reheated it and painted it onto the sides of the cake. It worked pretty well. Then I gave the whole thing a sprinkle of confectioners sugar - which covers a multitude of sins as you can see from the first picture. I made a simple strawberry sauce (chopped fresh strawberries and some sugar, mix and let stand) to serve alongside. The host told me later that everyone enjoyed it, which gives me warm, fuzzy feelings. I was glad for the opportunity; I love to cook for others.
Tip of the Day:
If you like to take salad for lunch but usually avoid it because it gets soggy from the dressing by the time you are ready to eat I have a solution for you.
This is just a $1 spice bottle with the shaker top removed. I like it because it is small (I always feel silly putting a tablespoon or two of dressing in a 1/2 cup container) and glass, so it won't hold on to smells. The lid screws on securely for leak-proof transport and easy shaking when you are ready to eat (I was using a baby food jar for awhile, but it was difficult to properly secure the lid and it frequently leaked). In this case I made the dressing right in the jar - 1 tbsp flax oil, 2 tbsp red wine vinegar, 1 tsp Italian seasoning, and a pinch of salt. I buy nearly all my spices in bulk so this is my standard spice bottle, easily found at you local home goods store. No more soggy lettuce!