Happy 2015!

Happy 2015!  We've already had an exciting 2015 with visits to friends, family and a celebration of MSA and MJA's wedding!  Thankfully the snow held off until the last hour or so of the reception, and it was a cozy day inside!  
We also spent the afternoon at a table with many close friends, and generally enjoying ourselves!  There was even carrot cake, and although it wasn't our recipe and was a "naked" cake (where's the frosting!?), it was tasty! 
We also enjoyed some cinnamon chip oatmeal cookie pancakes, complete with actual fresh ground nutmeg and brown sugar whipped cream!  And they were made in a awesome pancake flipper pan from mom and dad S. that means I can actually make pretty, circular pancakes!
The freshly ground nutmeg was courtesy of NES's first cocktail made with his new cocktail cookbook and shaker from Christmas!   Yum! 
 Also, I've been finding homes for all our Christmas presents.  Do you think it's well known that I love cookbooks?

What about cupcakes?
 And that's just a sampling.
 NES also totally surprised me with some ceramic measuring cups I'd been admiring (with the help of conspirator KH)!  Huzzah!
 And BMM got me a sampler of David's Tea dessert teas.  I wish you could smell them through the picture.  Mmmmm.
 Ok, now comes the baking.  Enough Christmas recap!  Mom and dad M. gave NES a Booze Cakes cookbook for his birthday so that I could bake for him.  Well, after a busy later summer and a busy semester, it was still yet to used.
 KEB asked for something from it for New Year's Eve, so NES and I decided on a champagne cake, even if we did kinda make it a Moscato cake.
 The cake went pretty smoothly.  It was kinda cool watching the wine make it fizzle up at the end!
 The batter looked a little funky, but it worked!
 And, well, the baked cakes looked a little funky too!
 I also expect much lighter cakes, but they turned out kinda dense -- I guess 2 cups of wine will do that to a cake.
 Then came the frosting. The first sign that things were not going to go well: I was half a cup short on powdered sugar, stuck without a car to drive to the grocery store, and everywhere within walking distance was out.  Oh boy.
 NES was kind enough to get some for me on his way home.  Then, I mixed up the rest of the frosting, plus the rest of the box of powdered sugar NES brought home.  I said I was half a cup short, not 4 cups short.  Even with all that sugar, it was still more like a glaze than frosting.  I tried frosting the cake, but it was just sliding down the sides.  I had big plans for decorating, so it wasn't gonna cut it.  So, after a short spurt of giving up, I regained resolve.  I scraped all the frosting off the cake (no, that's not just a crumb coat), and added an extra stick of softened butter.  It did the trick!  But then again, as the old family adage goes, "everything is better with a stick of butter!"
 I was able to frost the cake with minimal oozing, and thus, decorate according to plan!  I found a gold shimmery gel in the cake decorating section, and went crazy with it!
 I guess that just shows that when life gives you gloopy frosting full of wine, try, try again!

Champagne Cake 
adapted from Booze Cakes

3 cups flour
3 tsp. baking powder
1/2 tsp. salt
1 cup butter, softened
2 cups sugar
1 tsp. vanilla
6 egg whites
2 cups Champagne or sparkling Moscato

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.  Line two 9 inch cake pans with parchment paper, then grease and flour.

Combine the flour, baking powder and salt in a bowl and set aside.

Beat the butter and sugar together 3-5 minutes or until light and fluffy.

Add the vanilla and beat in the egg whites one at a time.

Alternate mixing the flour mixture and wine into the butter mixture, starting and ending with the flour.

Pour batter into the two pans and bake 35 minutes or until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean.


1 cup butter, softened
approx 6-8 cups powdered sugar
1/2 cup Champagne or sparkling Moscato
1/4 milk or cream
1 tbsp. vanilla

Beat the butter until fluffy.  Add the sugar , wine, milk or cream, and vanilla gradually.  Beat until creamy.

When the cake layers are completely cooled, place the bottom layer on the cake platter and cover with a generous layer of frosting.  Place the second layer on top, and cover the cake with frosting.

Try not to eat the remaining frosting in one sitting.


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