Lemon Passion Fruit Layer Cake

Lemon Passion Fruit Layer Cake

KBC is now two years old! Well, two years and a month because it's taken me a while to get to this celebratory post. 

And we'll also celebrate because I made a cake! And after making this cake, I'm not sure I'm really good at making cakes. But more on that later. 

I know last year, I said I was going to do all of these things like be better at blogging, share more and make my site the best it can be. I was ambitious about wanting to increase readership, tracking traffic and religiously posting and liking on Instagram. But lately, I am less likely to check stats and post on Instagram daily. I mean there is the daily check to make sure I had some readership and the leisurely scroll through Instagram but I think I got burned out from focusing on numbers and likes rather than the content and stories themselves. I had to let that go and accept that it was okay to not post on this blog every week and to not be obsessive about scrolling through my entire Instagram feed so I never missed a photo or get annoyed about losing followers. Okay, I will admit, getting below 1,000 again would be annoying. This year, I'm going to try to focus on posting things because I care about and like rather than wondering if this is going to be the next post that boosts my readership. 

I have found that things take time and sometimes not doing anything for a while and just letting the cogs and wheels turn is what is needed for both me and this site. 

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Boston Cream Pie Cupcakes

Boston Cream Pie Cupcakes

Per the start of this blog, I made Kristen her special requested birthday dessert. 

Last year it was this cake and the year before (and first blog post!) it was this cake

But this year, instead of a full-blown layered cake, I went with cupcakes instead. I liked the idea of being able to assemble these so that they were fresh and when you wanted to eat them. With the custard inside, Boston Cream Pie is one of those things that is best eaten the day you make it and if your party is on the small side, cupcakes are a lifesaver. 

Each part can also be made ahead of time and individually assembled so that these are ready to eat right when you want them. 

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Savory Apple Hand Pies

Savory Apple Hand Pies

With mushrooms, rainbow chard, onion and Gruyère cheese but that title was way too long.

I was inspired to do these for Pi Day but wanted to take a stab at something savory because all I make are sweet pies. Hello, Yuzu Meringue, Cranberry Apple Ginger or Mini Apple Hand Pies!

One of my friends spent part of January in Australia/New Zealand where he was obsessed with their meat pies. Granted, these are not meat pies but I had a similar flashback to all of the meat pies I consumed when I studied abroad in the UK. I decided to start with a vegetarian version because this flavor combo is a tasty one. But, really, the cheese is what makes all of the difference. 

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Mandarinquat Upside Down Cake

Mandarinquat Upside Down Cake

I've been on the fence when it comes to upside down cakes after having difficulties with them several times in a row.

But after those mishaps, I realized that I can't treat an upside down cake like the cake I want to eat.

A fluffy, moist cake, like this chocolate cake, is not going to cut it for a upside down cake. Instead, you want a dense cake that will only soak up that sauce on the top or bottom (depending how you look at it) and keep the rest of the cake sturdy and solid. In a more porous cake, the caramel sauce that the fruit nestles in will soak all the way through making the cake soggy.

 It makes for very sad results.

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Maida Heatter's Mile-High Cinnamon Bread

Maida Heatter's Mile-High Cinnamon Bread

I have a fascination with swirled breads.

And this cinnamon bread is a beast. But a beautiful one.

But, so unlike the cinnamon bread that I am used to. For example, this and this. The one my mom makes has thick swirls and an ooey gooey center. 

I am a big fan of that ooey gooey center but am willing to sacrifice that for the amount of swirls that you are able to achieve with this method. 

This post on Food52 caught my eye for many reasons. 1) It's Food52, 2) It's bread and cinnamon bread at that and 3) Maida Heatter. Maida Heatter's smiling face has graced the bookshelves of Popo's, my mom's and now my kitchen since as far back as I remember. In particular, Maida Heatter's Book of Great American Desserts which I was sooo happy to pick up at Powell's Books in PortlandBut this bread is from another book of hers (Best Dessert Book Ever) so of course I didn't know of it's existence or I would have tried to tackle it years ago. 

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