Friday, June 26, 2009

New Cakes!

Today we introduce two new cakes at the cake shop: Lemon Sunshine Cake, and Shannon's Checkerboard Cake!
The Lemon Sunshine is a lemon pound cake with a lemon curd filling and a lemon buttercream icing, and the Checkerboard is alternating squares of Dark Chocolate and Sour Cream Poundcake. Yum!

Sunday, June 21, 2009

Fresh Coconut Cake with Seven Minute Icing: an illustrated recipe in 30 parts.

Or: On Doing Things the Hard Way.
By Jodi Rhoden
Short Street Cakes

My mom has been in town for the past week, renting a house in Montreat for her lady friends to come visit, as is her tradition every summer. On Tuesday, as I was hanging out on the porch with the ladies, the conversation turned to cake. Several of my mother's guests were reminiscing about making cake "the old way," and how they had to crack and peel coconuts for their mothers, because "you just couldn't BUY shredded coconut back then, you had to make it." My mom said that her mom (my Mimi, from Cordele, Georgia) used to make fresh coconut cake for special occasions. The kids would have to crack and peel the coconuts, and the Mimi would grate it. She used seven minute icing and would put loads of fresh coconut on top. After gathering the descriptions from the my mom and her friends, I went to work this morning on making a cake from fresh coconut. Here's what happened:
To get fresh coconut from a coconut, first, you poke a hole in one of the three eyes. (two of the eyes will be too hard; one will be just soft enough for an ice pick or candy thermometer).

Puncture the coconut, then wiggle your pick around to widen the hole, then drain out the water.

(Shannon Approves.)

Taste it. The water should be fresh, and coconutty. If it is at all greasy, or foul-tasting, start over with a fresh coconut. (Mindy told me today that coconut water has the perfect balance of sugar and electrolytes for the body. So if you are ever in a tsunami, and need a source of nourishment, try to find some coconuts.)

Then place the coconuts in the oven at 400 degrees for about 15 minutes to loosen the hull.

Pull the coconuts out, and go at them with a mallet until they crack.

Peel off the hull with your hands,

and peel the inner rind with a vegetable peeler.

Grate your coconut meat.

Here's where it got tricky. The coconut was really hard, and was making the food processor jump and whine. Eventually, we had to cut the coconut meat into small chunks, and coax the food processor a little bit at a time. And eventually, we had all the coconut grated.

Viola! Those two small organic Mexican coconuts yielded a surprising 5 cups of grated fresh coconut.

And now: The cake.
I will reproduce the recipe here, and you can follow along in the pictures below. This recipe is Short Street Cakes' adaptation of several basic coconut cake recipes.

Sift your dry ingredients:
3 cups all-purpose flour
3 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt

Cream in a mixer:
8 ounces salted butter (softened)
2 cups sugar

add, one at a time:
4 eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla

Add, alternating with dry mixture:
1 cup coconut milk

when combined, add 2 cups fresh grated coconut.

Divide batter into three nine inch pans (we did two eight inch layers and a dozen and a half cupcakes)
Bake at 350 degrees until the sides pull away from the pan and a knife inserted into the center comes out clean.

Now: The seven minute icing.
(recipe straight outta the Joy of Cooking, Seven Minute Icing Method I.)
combine in the top of a double boiler:
2 unbeaten egg whites
1 1/2 cup sugar
5 tablespoons cold water
1/4 teaspoon cream of tartar

(By the way, this recipe is from the beloved Joy of Cooking- 1975 edition)

Place ingredients over rapidly boiling water and beat constantly with a wire whip, for seven minutes.

Remove from heat, whisk in one teaspoon vanilla, and beat until spreadable consistency. (I had to ask Anna to take a turn, as my arm was getting tired). Y'all, I swear to god, this stuff tastes just like marshmallows.

Spread it on yer cupcakes.

Put some of that there fresh coconut on it.

Spread the icing between the layers of the cake.
Ice the sides and top, pulling the spatula back from the icing every so often to form soft peaks.

Cover that mammajamma with fresh coconut.

Make it beautiful.

make some people happy.

My thanks to Shannon and Anna, who tolerated my coffee-and-sugar-buzzed self today, and who helped me with the recipe, the photos, and creative direction.
Thanks, also, to my Mom and my Mimi, who inspired me to (re-)create this cake.
Look for this cake in the "deluxe" section of the new fall menu, coming out sometime in the "future."
And who's the lucky duckling who got the pretty cake? Why, Duncan, of course. Happy Father's Day!

Saturday, June 20, 2009

Happy Birthday Ada!

This is Ada.
She's one of my Number One Cake Fans (there are at least 4 others... Heather, Linda, Ryan, and Lexi, just off the top of my head, so don't anybody get mad that I'm giving preferential treatment!)
But today is Ada's special day. And the birthday girl came in for a cupcake.

She chose triple chocolate ganache.

And made a wish!

And headed to the forest to swim.
Happy Birthday, Ada!

Howard Street Handmade Today!

At 227 Haywood Road, right next door to the cake shop.

Thursday, June 18, 2009

The Gypsy Mermaid!

This is Keri Frank, AKA, the Gypsy Mermaid.

She lives in Efland (down east NC), has two kids, was my freshman college roommate at UGA, (oh, just wait 'til I bust out the scanner and upload some keri pics circa 1994...) and recently quit her job to pursue her dream of owning her own jewelry business. She makes badass earrings and necklaces out of a converted shed in her backyard.

Her jewelry is made from recycled sterling silver, is affordable, and super style-y! Her earrings are also for sale here at the Cake Shop, in the Birthday Boutique!

We've already sold a bunch! (um...check's in the mail, Keri)
Keri just started a blog. You can read it here. I'm so proud of you, Keri!

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

A few words about Shannon.

This is Shannon.

We at Short Street Cakes are lucky enough to have Shannon this summer as our A-B Tech culinary intern. Shannon works really hard, gets paid very little, she's committed to her program, and, while we are trying to give her a good, hands-on experience that will help her towards her goals of a degree and a career as a chef, we also feel that we have learned as much, if not more, from her in the few short weeks she has been here than she has from being with us.

So... I'm writing this post to encourage you to support Shannon and the A-B Tech Culinary team in their quest to represent Asheville in the National Championship of the American Culinary Federation. The won the regionals in April- this is quite an accomplishment! Asheville should be very proud to have them representing us. And with the support of their community, the team can represent, on the national stage, the truly great wealth of culinary resources we are blessed to have in this fair city.

That's not enough reason for you? Well, let me tug at your heartstrings: Shannon has put herself through school, as a grown-up, and as a single mom, because of her love of food and her desire to take her culinary skills to the next level. This competition means alot to her. And we are so grateful to have her at the cake shop, and so proud of her accomplishments, that it means alot to us, too.

Here's how you can support the team:
Follow this link to "buy a mile." $8.35 buys you one mile and one chance to win from a selection of great prizes, including gift baskets and dinners out. For more information, go to A-B Tech's website.
Thanks and Love,
Jodi and Short Street Cakes

Tuesday, June 9, 2009

This weekend's Wedding

This is one of three weddings we did this weekend (whew!). The other two remain undocumented as my camera ran out of battery. But I really enjoyed this one: it took place at Melange B & B in Hendersonville- a very sweet and beautiful venue. I was happy doing this wedding- I had a good feeling about the bride and groom, their friends, the music, and I think the cakes reflected that. The orange roses were provided by the client and I think they had the perfect effect.
stay tuned for more pictures of the next 6 or 7 June weddings we have coming up.

Sunday, June 7, 2009

Happy Birthday, Duncan!

Happy 35th Birthday to my rockstar husband!
You're the best... friend, sweetheart, partner, daddy.
Much Love and Gratitude!

(and introducing the Cake Shop's newest flavor: Orange Creamsicle Cake!)

Friday, June 5, 2009