Monday, March 30, 2015

Baking By the Book: November Cakes from The Scorpio Races

I'm finally back with another Baking By the Book! Hooray! I've actually had the pieces for this post for about a month, but I didn't want to post two too close together and then I kind of kept forgetting. :)

Anyway, This time around I'm baking November Cakes, as featured in Maggie Stiefvater's wonderful The Scorpio Races. This was a recipe I wanted to try from the moment I read about it in the book, and I've had the link to Maggie's recipe for it saved for years. This was the recipe that I think gave me the idea for the feature, so yay for finally making it! And y'all said more pictures, so there are definitely more pictures this time!

After making the Cinnamon Bookbinder Bread, making bread this time around wasn't quite as intimidating, though this was certainly a more involved recipe. But who could think a bun with a glaze AND icing could be bad? (That icing is actually heaven in a bowl, I swear. I was tempted just to eat the whole thing and make a second batch for the cakes.)

All of my ingredients, assembled in one place. This always, always makes things easier for me. And I put them away as I use them.

My wet and dry ingredients for the buns, right before I mixed them together.

The dough after I finished mixing it and before I put it aside to rise. Maggie has great advice about pre-heating your oven to 100 degrees (mine won't go that low, so I don't let it heat up all the way), turning it off, covering your dough with a towel, and putting it in the oven to rise. This has worked really well for me multiple times.

The dough after it rose. It has a really weird, sticky consistency at this point, and was hard to handle to form into the buns. It tasted good, though!

Buns on the pan, ready to bake!

Buns right after they baked. They were still pretty light in color, with golden edges, but they're still really soft.

With the honey glaze, which pooled a lot, and made the buns even better later--after they'd been sitting in it for a while.

And the finished product! My icing abilities are clearly not up to par, but it doesn't hurt how they taste. Again, these were a hit in my house. I'm actually not the biggest fan of honey, and the glaze uses half a cup of honey, so they have a strong honey taste. It didn't mean I didn't like them--not at all--but were I to make them again, I'd probably go a little lighter on the honey, just to please my palate. My parents weren't bothered by that at all. They reheated really well, too. I'd stick one in the microwave for ten seconds and it'd be hot and gooey all over again, without getting weird. Fresh out of the oven is when they're best, though.

Now, should you like to try these (and you totally should!), Maggie posted the recipe via Flickr, where you can download it from, and here's the photo:

Needless to say, you should read the recipe just for her little asides. They're wonderful.

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