Oktoberfest at Baked True North

I am reading this great book right now called “Bread and Wine” by Shauna Niequist. My fiend Kim lent it to me and I have been TEARING through it.  Nick is thoroughly surprised as I usually do not read through book suggestions this quickly… or through any books at all! I have this wonderful habit of reading a book 1/2 to 3/4 through and then starting another book and forgetting about it.  I actually did this twice consecutively this summer leading up to this book.  But it won’t happen this time as I can hardly put it down and will definitely have it finished within the 2 week mark.

Shauna’s simple and honest chapters have drawn me in and I have connected with them.  They seem to be teaching me a few things.  One, to experiment more with food and test and grow my boundaries. Two, she has rekindled my love for entertaining and instilled in me a desire to throw fantastically normal get-togethers at our house.  What I mean by normal… is just, the reminder that things don’t have to be perfect, they will never go how you planned, but people, love, and community are the important parts to make central to the event.

I got to practice this “let go and host” mentality for an Oktoberfest event for our small group.  I was only asked to provide dessert and open my doors and everyone else would bring the rest.  I invited a few last minute guests as well to test my welcoming spirit and 2 out 3 invites came and made the party so much better!

The recipe I chose for Oktoberfest challenged me as a baker to make something pretty, not just good tasting.  Most of the things I make are not difficult or detailed in presentation and I am not a detailed person so I do not often try complicated recipes. “The Best German Chocolate Cake in All the Land” was the base for my cake. I made a few adjustments based on need and preference, but just about followed this recipe from Yammie’s Noshery.

0928161925

This picture describes the massive, messy, chocolaty German cake we had.

The alterations I made to the recipe (linked above) was as follows:

  • Cake:
    • Midnight Cocoa (high in protein) instead of dark cocoa
    • Canned coconut milk instead of cow’s milk
    • 2 cups sugar + 1/2 cup Stevia instead of 3 cups sugar
    • All-purpose gluten-free flour instead of rice flour
  • German frosting:
    • Unsweetened shredded coconut instead of sweetened
    • Pecans only for the top layer, not throughout
  • Milk Chocolate Frosting:
    • 4 cups powdered sugar instead of 5 cups
    • Leftover evaporated milk instead of cow’s milk

So, a few of those things I changed out of necessity and might not have otherwise… like the pecans.  I didn’t have any and by the time Nick got home with them the cake was done, so I sprinkled them on top. I do try to replace some sugar with Stevia when I can, and there is SOOO much sugar in this recipe that you will NOT notice a difference in taste. I also almost never put as much powdered sugar into frosting recipes as they call for, just on general principle that I am appalled at how much sugar it takes to make frosting!

Although I am not adding it to the Baked True North menu, it has inspired a few new recipes that I will be experimenting with and you may see those on the menu in the next month (German chocolate cookies…?)!

Overall I had a blast making this recipe and everyone loved how rich it was, even though they couldn’t eat more than a small piece.

HAPPY OKTOBERFEST!!!!!!!!!!!!

092716201609271620370927162127

Advertisements

Farmhand Fair!

For 3 weeks in July I was at a farmers market at the Sewickley Mount Nebo Agway.

125 McAleer Rd, Sewickley, PA 15143

I’ll be there again This coming Saturday, August 13, assuming I get time to bake!

I tried out a new recipe the first week I was there; something I came up with on accident. I was out of chocolate chips and I had purchased honey peanut butter, instead of the regular stuff, so what resulted were my mini honey nutters! They have no added sugar, just organic honey and bakeable stevia, so they are much lower carb than my chocolate chip masterpieces. And people have loved them! I think I sold out of them 2 out of the 3 weeks I had them!

They also inspired me on how to turn my chocolate chip cookies into a sugar free ones! I’m almost there! I want to have the yummiest healthiest chocolate chip cookies ever! I will likely start debuting my sugar free chocolate chip cookies this fall. I have been making so many cookies for the farmers market, friends, family, and a Pittsburgh wedding cookie table, that I haven’t had much time for some good old fashioned chemistry experiments.

Also my cookies have been featured the first weekend of every month at a wonderful local boutique in Avalon, called Reposhture!

reposhture.blogspot.com

The shop is absolutely adorable. I’ve purchased cute stuff there like a window made into a work of art for my wall, vintage hat, handmade fabric flower magnet, and another vintage plate I’m picking up. Love Kim’s (the owner) style and really appreciate her heart. Stop in September 3 and 4 to check it out and grab a cookie while you’re there.

That’s all for now… But leave a comment and you could be picked, in my next blog post, to win one of my new sugar free cookies!

Thanks all!