Starry Wisdom

Entropic Words from Neilathotep

Sunday, November 20, 2005

Fruit Cake Experiment

I mentioned this experiment to some people earlier, and here is the explanation:

So my brother sent me this Kitchenaid silicone bakeware set for my birthday last month. It’s kind of interesting… it has a muffin pan, two pie pans, and two SMALL loaf pans. I don’t think I will use the pie pans, pyrex is just too good, but the muffin pan and loaf pans, well…

So the past couple of years I’ve made fruitcake around this time. The first year I made a single fruitcake, following the Good Eats tv show recipe. Then last year I made the new, improved recipe from I’m Just Here for More Food, Alton Brown’s baking book. I made a quadruple recipe and cooked up four loaves, and sent some of them off to family and friends.

Anyway, I wanted to make more this year, but the full loaf is, honestly, too much. The cake is pretty good, not what you think of typically of fruitcake, since it doesn’t have radioactive, gooey candied fruit in it. It’s mostly dried fruit, some toasted nuts… oh I guess it has candied ginger. Anyway, so I wanted to see if I could make a single recipe work to make two loaves out of the small pans I got in the cookware set.
So last weekend I made “ersatz” fruit cake… all I used is raisins and cranberries, and I skimped on some other ingredients, and spread the single recipe across the two small loaf pans. Well, it worked out pretty well proportionally, and somehow it managed to brown somewhat, despite the non-conductive material of the pans. I let the cakes age one week (far short of the month I let the normal ones age) and tried it on friday, and it was the correct consistency. So, the plan would work.

I prepared to create another 4 recipe batch of the fruit, rum, and spice base on Friday night, and cooked it up yesterday. I then spent the entire day cooking eight loaves of the bread, in four batches. I had to wait for the loaves to cool between starting each new one, so it was about 1 hour 30 minutes to 1 hour 45 minutes per batch. It was along day. The cakes look good and they are currently mellowing on the table.

posted by neil at 8:12 pm
under Uncategorized  

Wednesday, November 9, 2005

Victory in Defeat

I am quite relieved that all 8 statewide ballot propositions failed yesterday. At best they were misguided, at worst they were malicious power trips by the proponents. Either way, I feel a bit guilty at being happy, since so much time and money was wasted over this.

I just wish that the idea that some other people on irc and I had – that if you call a special election and every single initiative on the ballot gets defeated you have to leave office in disgrace – was more than a hopeful fantasy.

posted by neil at 10:19 am
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