Friday, July 18, 2008

My Lucky Little Sister

My younger sister is at Interlochen this summer; she plays viola, and is up there for a whole 6 weeks for the High School Orchestra session. Always somewhat of a picky eater, we promised to send her lots of edible goodies and flagrantly disregard the note on the bulletin forbidding perishable care packages. Along with oatmeal-chocolate chip cookies, I made these beautiful "Moonpies" for her during her third week away. This recipe is out of "Cooking Light" the other cooking magazine to which my mom subscribes. Although cookie sized, they really are more like little cakes, with a sweet marshmallow filling.
The batter was absolutely beautiful, with possibly the nicest texture of any cake or cookie batter I've ever made. It had these beautiful holes, and the silkiest texture, really more like pudding than batter, but still nice and light. It tasted pretty darn good too...

While the small cakes didn't puff up all that much, they were nice and light, despite the rich batter. I think in the future I'll try making these as cupcakes, as the two small cakes together were a bit much-ish...I had trouble finishing even one of my sandwich cookies.

However, I had some issues making the marshmallow cream filling. To begin with, I didn't have any unflavored gelatin, and decided to try first to make it using powdered fruit pectin. Total failure. It didn't set up sufficiently, and thus despite quite a bit of beating, the cream never thickened. So I set off to Kroger's and bought a nice box of unflavored gelatin, and finally broke down and bought a candy thermometer. Prior to this occasion, I'd always just guessed as to whether or not a liquid was ready to pour/ready for frying, but I will admit that the thermometer made it a whole lot easier the second time around. And it was just fun to watch the temperature of my boiling syrup rise. With the gelatin, the cream thickened quite nicely, though it still took my poor 27-year-old KitchenAid handheld mixer quite a while to beat it to the proper consistency. There, however, I faltered. It certainly looked too liquid to pour, but my recipe specifically reccomended that I pour the cream onto the cakes immediately, else the cream would solidify and become impossible to shape. However...I needed to have waited just a couple minutes, as the liquid cream was rapidly absorbed by the cakes, instead of forming a puffy layer in between. They ended up rather unattractive, but still absolutely delicious.

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