{sms} perfect pound cake

This week’s Sweet Melissa Sundays selection–Perfect Pound Cake–marks my return to blogging. I’m still getting my life and house in order, so this post will be short and sweet. The cake was delicious and the crumb was perfect.

I grilled a couple of slices and topped them with a slather of Nutella and some caramelized bananas. It was a good idea in theory, but the awesome flavor of the  Nutella and bananas overpowered the subtle flavor of the cake. I prefered the cake plain.

Thanks so much to Michele of Veggie Num Nums for hosting this week’s pick. It was the perfect choice for me. If you would like the recipe, please visit Michel’s blog or buy the book.

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Oh–last Wednesday, I was lucky enough to attend the Foodbuzz Community Table/Visa Signature dinner at Beso. It was amazing, the food was wonderful, and I got to meet Eva Longoria. Here are a couple of great posts by other bloggers on the event:

SippitySup

The Food Addicts

Caramelized Shallot and Golden Raisin Focaccia

I was a good baker and read the recipe instructions for Focaccia from The Bread Baker’s Apprentice ahead of time. I knew the dough required an overnight rest in the refrigerator. I planned on making the dough Saturday night after my day of diving and baking it Sunday. Little did I know how exhausted I would be after the dive. Wow. It was a great day and a horrible day all rolled into one, but the great outweighs the horrible.

I ended up getting seasick on the way out to Catalina from Long Beach. It was bad. Everyone told me I would feel better once I was in the water and it was true! The nausea went away once I was underwater.  The first dive was amazing. The kelp forests were cool, it was a magical and peaceful place. Unfortunately once I surfaced, I felt sick again. It took all my strength and willpower to gear up for the second dive. I had to keep telling myself, “if you can do this, you can do anything…”.

The second dive was even better than the first, but by the end of it I was so weak and tired it wasn’t safe for me to attempt the third dive of the day.  I was disappointed with myself. I really wanted to be PADI Open Water certified by the end of day. The good news is that I get to go diving again. 🙂 On Saturday we’re doing a beach dive and I can’t wait.  I really like diving and I’m considering going for my Advanced Open Water certification (which amazes all my friends because all I did was complain about how I don’t like dealing with the equipment and prep).

Back to the Focaccia. Because of my long day, I was almost too tired to brush my teeth let alone make bread. I wanted to complete the Focaccia on Sunday, so I omitted the overnight rest in the refrigerator. I did chill it for a bit, but I don’t think anyone considers two hours to be overnight. 😛 The overnight rest is to enhance flavor, but when you are drenching something in olive oil how much more flavor enhancement do you need??

I incorporated golden raisins into the the dough as suggested in a side bar and topped the Focaccia with caramelized shallots and rosemary. I was inspired by my recent meal at Bouchon where I had the most delicious Gnocchi à la Parisienne made with caramelized shallots and golden raisins. I just borrowed the Bouchon cookbook from the library and it turns out that Parisienne gnocchi is different from traditional gnocchi in that it is made from pâte à choux, the dough usually used for profiteroles or éclairs.  No wonder they were so good. I’m going to attempt the gnocchi in the near future…

Gnocchi à la Parisienne

Gnocchi à la Parisienne

The Caramelized Shallot and Golden Raisin Focaccia was awesome. The taste was great. I really love the taste combination of sweet and savory.  I made the focaccia as part of The Bread Baker’s Apprentice Challenge. We’re a group of bakers baking our way in order through the book. This is also my Vegan Tuesday recipe. I had some for lunch yesterday. YUM.