Sunday, February 19, 2012

Okinawan Purple Sweet Potato Cake

I made this cake for two ladies who comes to my basket group to celebrate their birthday.  I'm not sure how Purple Sweet Potatoes are available in your area but in Indianapolis, you can find them most of the time at Asia Mart near Castleton Mall.   You can also use Asian Sweet Potatoes but I'm not too sure about the yams or the stuff America calls sweet potato.   Yams are way too watery and squishy in my opinion.  

I bake the sponge first:

Base recipe: 1 egg, 30gm sugar, 30gm cake flour, 10gm butter, 10ml milk, drop of vanilla extract.    Multiply the base recipe to make enough batter for the size of cake pan you plan  on using.               7" round uses 3 eggs, 8" uses 5eggs,  9" use 7 eggs. prepare your pan by cutting parchment paper to fit and line the pan.

preheat oven to 335F

beat eggs and sugar

whip like crazy until it turns thick and white

sift cake flour 2 X and set a side.
melt butter set aside

add the sifted flour and mix gently making sure you didn't leave any flour unincorporated, add butter.  Pour the cake batter into prepared pan, and bake in 335F oven for 20mins.  touch the cake and and if it springs back, its done, take it out of the oven and drop it on  your counter from about 6-8inch above the counter top. (this keeps the cake from shrinking)

cool on wire rack for about 5 min then take it out of the pan, peel off the parchment paper and cool until easy to handle.

While the cake bakes make the sweet potato cream.  boil the potatoes whole to keep the color from bleeding out. once soft  peel while its hot, puree in food processor, adding 3tbsp butter and add some heavy cream maybe 2 tbsp? all depends on how your thick your potato paste is.  if its too thick add more cream.  You don't want to add too much! it should be pasty but not runny.

once completely cool, slice and half  

Make quick custard cream while cake cools
2 egg yolks
40 gm sugar
20gm flour
180ml milk
drop of vanilla
1 tsp butter

mix egg and sugar well in a microwaveable bowl, add flour and mix until smooth.  add milk little at a time while mixing with a whisk until all milk in incorporated and liquid  is smooth.  microwave uncovered  for 1 min, take it out of the microwave, mix well, microwave again for 30sec-1min.   custard should be thick and smooth, add butter and vanilla mix until butter  melts and vanilla is incorporated. put plastic wrap on the custard  to keep it from forming skin.

when cake and custard are cool, gently place bottom slice of cake on a plate of your choice, spread or pipe custard on top of the cake, place top slice of cake on top of custard.

cover the cake with whipped cream.

*2 cups Heavy cream, sugar to taste and 2 packages of Whip it and whip it until hard peaks! don't over do it or you'll end up with butter!!

I use this piping tip to decorate the cake.  its like a giant grass tip

decorate it with purple sweet potato cream

Happy Birthday!

Rib basket

8" square melon basket with round handle

I'm currently working on a traditional 12inch melon basket,  a round rib basket.  Its really hard to find a free pattern/instruction on how to make a rib basket so I'm posting some that I found out there.  I'm actually using one of my old books I have titled "Rib Basket" by Jean Turner Finley which is still redily available on line (basket making supplies, amazon, etc)

Here is a link to a small egg basket free pattern

Here is a link to tutorial at handwovenlife .

The basket above was made using 1- 8" square and 1- 8" round hoop, # 7 ribs and 3/16 flat flat reed.  I was told to use #6 but all I had was #7 so that's what I used.  I used 6 pices cut at 13 1/2" and 4 pices cut at 12".  I used round as the handle and square as the rim. 

I've also made some 10"  round ones in the past using these specifications: 2- 10" round hoops, #6 or #7, cut 6 pieces at 15 1/2" and 4 Pices at 14". 

The current basket I'm making uses 1/2" flat oval as primary ribs and round reed as secondary ribs. I will make sure to take a picture when I'm done.  I thought it was done but I saw some flaws so I'm fiing it.  Also I'm contemplating if I should stain it or not.

happy weaving!

Saturday, February 4, 2012

adding accent colors

I've been making baskets but not from new patterns so I don't have any pattern to offer you but I  wanted to show you how you can change your basket's look by changing or adding accent colors.  You can make 2 identical basket and give it a different look just by changing the color or adding more colors.  (The bottom pic was taken before the feet, handle, and rim was put on but you get what I mean right?  Same basket with not only different color but added color weaver.  On the finished basket I lashed it with purple dyed) This is my grocery sack waste basket, Don't tell my mother in-law but I made this purple one for her.

This is picture of inside of my basket.  When I make solid woven base, I  personally like to do the chicken scratch, v tuck or what ever you call it.  I like it because I think it looks decorative even though its inside and not often admired but when someone do look inside I think its pretty.

Take these baskets, they are practically identical basket but by changing the rim (simple braid to regular rim) and adding spiral makes it totally different.

this is different basket pattern then the ones above but I wanted to show you the difference between the single color spiral and spiral using 2 colors. 

try changing the rim, add a curl, a spiral or just dyed weaver! its your basket do what you want to do!  Now that I'm done with my mother in-law's basket, I need to make 2 baskets to donate to my youngest son's school's silent auction.  I hope someone wants it.  Maybe I should put something in there.