Thursday, February 18, 2010

100th Day Celebrations

It was the 100th Day Celebrations on Tuesday at Stirling's school. I ended up halving my recipe as I needed 4 eggs and only had 3. It still turned out well, and using my convection setting on my oven has made for some more even cakes too. I made a little 6x6 square; lemon flavoured cake(at Stirling's request) with vanilla pudding filling, lemon buttercream and lemon fondant. I made the numbers using fondant molds the weekend before; twice I might add, as Madison found where I was drying them, snuck behind the curtain and proceeded to devour one 0 and half of a 1 before I caught her - sneaky girl - oh and then get this...She ate a corner of the cake Monday morning while I turned my head for 30 seconds; it was still cooling! She even snuck off to eat it in her room this time; thought she wouldn't get caught I guess. A little extra buttercream and some cake from the top from when I leveled it and voila.

The teacher and class loved the cake; its nice to get to sample the top I cut off of most cakes, I thought it had turned out well, wished we could have had more.

Valentine's Day

If you hadn't already read about my busy long weekend of baking and decorating on my family blog, here are the pictures I promised.
For these cupcakes I used up leftover icing and the royal icing hearts from the cookie demo; I love how this stuff keeps when stored properly. I didn't have that much pink/white buttercream left yet (as I wasn't starting to decorate the heart cake until Sunday)so I opted for canned cream cheese icing to finish off; I can't remember the last time I used canned. It was in the fridge - petroleum products keep well past the so-called expiry dates anyways :oP I also used a blend of white and pink to give it the swirled look. I used my infamous yellow cake recipe that I alter and made this batter raspberry; while my heart-cake cooled I decorated the cupcakes. Got to have something to tide the kids over until they can eat the cake at dinner Sunday night. :oP

Certainly nothing too professional looking, but my kids really don't mind.
I made up raspberry buttercream and a Boston cream filling for the heart-cake on Sunday. I also made up dark chocolate shavings and edged it with raspberry jam. It was delicious. Tasted kind of like Viva Puffs :oP

Sorry about the glare, I thought this one illustrated the different sections better, and the colour was more accurate. However; my piping was a dark pink and the base icing was light pink.

Saturday, February 13, 2010

Pie & Cookies

Last week I got a great deal on bags of apples from SOF and decided to work on my signature deep dish apple pie more. Last time I baked it I used a crumble (for the top) from a apple crumb recipe that is really yummy, but I didn't have any Peak Freans Shortbread cookies, so I tried another recipe. It called for walnuts or almonds, I chose walnuts. This pic was before I baked it; I piled it on so much but by the time it was done baking it looking like a normal height pie. The crumble was beautiful, but I think it would be even better with toasted almonds instead. I also decided that next time I will skip the higher temp bake for the first ten minutes as it seemed to over brown some of the walnuts; still delicious however.

(Sorry I didn't realize it was so shiny)

Since my demo cookies got mangled a la sales staff, merci :o( I promised to post pics of the ones I did up for Stirling's kindergarten class for his Valentine's party that was yesterday. I started decorating them on Thursday so the cookie icing could dry well. The teacher was so impressed and thanked me personally (for the first time I might add). I overheard his classmates telling their mommies all about them, I think having their names on them really won them over :o) Parmaan was on and on, anyways. I love to see their reactions and smiles especially. I planned to do borders, but didn't want to make up a batch of royal icing to do it :oP I was feeling lazy, but I still think they turned out great. I bless whomever invented edible markers as I am terrible at hand piping letters on anything as of late.

I also still have to figure out how to maintain the same temperature during baking, as I always end up with batches browned on every other batch. I think I need to babysit it more I guess.