Monday, April 28, 2008

DIY Fest 2008 at Pack Memorial Library!

I love a library.
I love a librarian.
In fact, I've loved many a library- and librarian- in my life... and count many librarians among my friends and heroes. (basically, Jen Cwiok, I'm talkin' to you.) So when Meg from the Downtown Library asked me to donate a few dozen cupcakes to the DIY fest she was planning at the library in conjunction with the Guerrilla Girls thing at the art museum, I was like, hell yeah!
So I went, and brought the cupcakes (oh, they were vegan chocolate with a vegan vanilla pastry cream filling, by the way- sorry, didn't get any pictures of the cupcakes, too excited about the librarians). And there were cool workshops set up for blogging and knitting and zine making and they showed a film and THEN- I got to screenprint a shirt for the very first time in my life! And i got to keep the shirt! And this really sweet and lovely children's librarian named Lauren Biehl showed me how to do it. And, Ashley Halsey took the photos.
Thanks, Pack Memorial Library!

Wednesday, April 23, 2008

Anatomy of a Pineapple Upside-Down Cake

An Illustrated recipe for Pineapple Upside-Down Cake
By Jodi Rhoden
Short Street Cakes
Asheville, NC

Here's what you will need:

a 400 degree oven
a big, well-seasoned cast iron skillet

These dry ingredients, all sifted together:
1 1/4 cup unbleached all-purpose flour
3/4 cup sugar
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt

these wet ingredients:
1/2 cup milk
1 egg
2 tablespoons syrup from the can of sliced pineapple
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
3/4 cup melted butter

and these ingredients for the topping:
1/4 cup butter
2/3 cup brown sugar
1 can sliced pineapple
Pecan halves
Some maraschino cherries

Have everything measured out. Sift your dry ingredients. Combine the wet ingredients, and melt the butter. We in the trade call this "mis en place" which is French for "everything in place" or more loosely translated as "makes you feel like Julia Child because all your stuff is in neat little bowls." Like so:

Pour the melted butter into the wet ingredients like so:

Now combine the butter and brown sugar in the skillet and simmer on low until combined (just a minute or two. Remove from heat. a-like so:

Now, pour your wet ingredients into the dry ingredients and, as Scott Peacock says, "whisk assertively.":

Now, arrange your fruit and pecans in the skillet, on top of the brown sugar mixture, like this:

Now pour the batter on top of the fruit, gently, now, so as not to disturb the fruit:

Now stick it in the hot oven (you might want to put a cookie sheet under it so the drippies don't burn on the bottom of the oven):

Bake for 25-35 minutes, or until a toothpick comes out clean. Pull it out, and let it sit like this for 5-10 minutes.

Here comes the fun part:
Place your plate, or foil-covered board, or whatever, on top of the skillet. Put one gloved hand on top of the plate, and one under the skillet, and quickly flip the whole thing over. Gently lift the skillet off of the cake. If any of the fruit sticks in the skillet, just pick it out and quickly put it back in place. Nobody will know the difference. Let cool, enjoy, be proud of yourself. You just created a thing of beauty.

Friday, April 18, 2008

West Asheville Walk-In Theatre 2008!

OK, Friends, its that time again. The good folks of Orbit DVD and the Bledsoe Building and whoever else organizes this thing have started the Walk-In Movies for this season! What does this have to do with my life in cake, you may ask? Well, Short Street Cakes sells cupcakes at the walk-in theatre, that's what. Which basically means: free bar nite for Jodi, yummy cupcakes for you. Exhibit A:

This photo features the rare cupcake-selling cameo of my husband and son! But anyway, anybody that buys me a makers on the rocks gets free cupcakes. A little background for those of you who may not know what I am talking about, the Walk-Ins are behind the Bledsoe (pub, coop, orbit building) in West A. Once a month the parking lot is closed off and a film is projected onto the side of a building, and folks can bring their blankets (but not their dogs, or their coolers) and hang out and watch a movie. You can buy popcorn and beer and cupcakes. This year, its happening on the SECOND FRIDAY of every month. So for April, it was Indiana Jones and the Raiders of the Lost Ark. It was fun except that we had to stop halfway through because of the rain. But don't be discouraged! The possibility of the walk-ins getting rained out just adds that extra element of excitement to the whole thing. Anyway, without further ado, I will introduce to you the lineup for 2008, which is really, really exciting to me:
May 9: The Gods Must Be Crazy
June 13: Repo Man
July 11: Golden Blade III
August 8: Babe
September 12: Double Feature! Reefer Madness and Spinal Tap! Hell Yeah!
Come see me. Buy a cupcake.

Sunday, April 6, 2008

Vegan Banana Pudding Cake!

I came up with this new recipe this weekend, using the Vegan Vanilla Pastry Cream recipe from Vegan Cupcakes Take over the World, used my basic vanilla vegan cake recipe, added bananas and "nilla wafers" (I had to use those swedish vanilla snaps because nilla wafers aren't vegan). It's pretty and YUMMY. I think it will go on my new menu when I open my cake shop...I suggest serving with fresh whipped cream (or vegan whipped cream) and fresh sliced bananas. Again, I say, YUM. xo jodi