I began my connection with Martha in 1990.
I have a copy of her prototype magazine "Martha Stewart Living" before it was a subscription and before it was offered to the public.
I had Martha autograph it on the cover.
I have over 200 copies of the magazine.
I own most of her books and several of them are autographed.
I have admired the fact that she is hands on and actually creates, designs, has input and physically works hard at what she does.
Over the years my opinion of her has changed...... however I still believe in what she does and how she has influenced so many people.
I like the first years of the magazine more than the recent ones.
In the beginning, the magazines were filled with information that could be used as a resource of invaluable design, crafting, cooking and her Holiday issues were the best. There was nothing else available that was as brilliant as hers. I wrote to her and suggested that she create a book that would be an index to look up a recipe or a craft without getting out all of the magazines. She created it and I have a copy.
I wrote to her once when I was a single dad, explaining that I wanted to raise my son in a home filled with all of the traditional values that I had when I was raised in a family with two parents. I used Martha's magazine to provide my son with the most amazing meals, design and holidays that I drew from her inspirations.
Whenever I have a question about a recipe, I still research Martha.
My obsession with her is fading, but she is still the first place I go if I need the Best of the Best on any creative subject.
With all of that said, I was watching Martha Bakes on television yesterday and she was making her father's favorite birthday cake.
There were two components of the cake that I was impressed with, the Orange Curd filling and the Chocolate Ganache Frosting.
The cake was a homemade yellow batter and it did look good, but when I can get a box of Duncan Hines cake mix, I believe it's worth it more than going through the trouble of creating something from scratch.
Duncan Hines is the only cake mix I use.
Here are the recipes:
12 Egg Yolks
Zest of 2 Oranges
1/4 C + 2 TBS of Freshly Squeezed Orange Juice
1/2 C + 1TBS of Freshly Squeezed Lemon Juice
1 1/2 C Sugar
1/4 tsp Salt
1 C (2 sticks) + 5 TBS Cold Butter, cut into cubes
In a saucepan, combine:
Cook on med. high heat, stirring constantly with a wooden spoon or a heat proof spatula.
Be sure to scrape down the sides of the pan until the curd is thick, about 10 minutes.
Simmer vigorously, continuing to scrape down the sides for about 2 minutes.
Remove from heat.
Add Salt and add the Butter, one piece at a time.
Continue stirring until smooth.
Cover with plastic wrap directly on the surface of the curd.
Refrigerate at least 2 hours.
Chocolate Ganache Frosting:
16 oz. of Semi Sweet Chocolate, very finely chopped.
2 2/3 C Heavy Cream
1 tsp Light Corn Syrup
Place the Chocolate in a heatproof bowl.
In a heavy saucepan over medium heat, bring Cream to a boil and immediately remove it from the heat.
Pour the Cream over the Chocolate and let it sit for 3 minutes.
Gently begin to whisk it until it's very smooth.
Whisk in the Corn Syrup.
Cool to room temperature.
Refrigerate ( continue to stir and scrape the sides of the bowl, frequently, with a spatula until it's slightly stiff and cool enough to spread) about 1 hour.
If it becomes too firm, re-heat slightly over a saucepan of simmering water.
The Ganache should be smooth and spreadable, but not runny.
This combination would be great with a Yellow, Chocolate or White Cake.
Peace in the Kitchen!