Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Final Cakes for Fondant & Gum Paste Sept 28

I tried to get all these posted the end of September, but was having issues with this blogger.
I apologize in the delay as I love to showcase the accomplishments of my students. I had two students finish the Fondant & Gum Paste Course 3 the end of September. Here is there finished products. I was very impressed by their talents. Can't wait to see them in February when Wilton allows us to start Course 4.

Baby Shower Cake Take 2 Oct 1

I got an order for a baby shower cake for the exact cake I made her for her baby shower almost two years ago! It was that much of a hit! This one was for her friend. I felt much more confident making it this time, being able to utilize all the right tools and having the template for the carriage sure helped a bunch. Last time I free handed it all. I had a little trouble doing the lettering as my chocolate icing was too hard. I was also able to make this a two layer cake as I had the correct pan. This was a chocolate cake with raspberry flavoured fresh whipped cream filling and raspberry buttercream, topped with baby pink fondant and chocolate fondant accents. I heard it was a great hit. The baby had already been born - I've noted Madison has become very popular, as it has it these days. What a great name. What can I say it was a very busy week for baking.

Birthday Party

Madison really couldn't make up her mind and she was still on her orange kick for icing when I decorated this cake for her birthday party. I made a yellow cake with an orange creamcheese/buttercream filling w. orange flavoured buttercream. Turned out really nice; she wanted Hello Kitty again at the last minute, hence the candle. We've been having camera issues off and on all year and I didn't get a picture before the party and made sure to get D to take one before it got cut. It's better than your typical slab cake, that was for sure; especially all homemade of course.

Birthday Cupcakes

Miss M's birthday was on the 22nd of September; these were the cupcakes I made for her preschool class to share. She wanted cupcakes with pink icing and heart shaped cookies, so I incorporated the two. Except near the end she decided to have orange icing so I flavoured the buttercream orange too and it made a yummy cupcake. I redeemed myself on the confetti angel food I did in June for her yearend. I managed to find a confetti cake mix this time. If it weren't for having to make another birthday item for the Sunday I would have spent the time to make this one from scratch, but I'm not sure what would be the best "confetti".

Monday, August 29, 2011

Marketing Poster??

I haven't completely abandoned my business this year. I have been working on ways to market my work better. I have also been looking into launching myself as a Community-based instructor as well. Not sure how that will pan out so I am working on teaching at Michael's again in September in the meantime; here is a look at what I've worked on.

((insert word file here--Does anyone know how to make a word file a file that will work on here??)) Stay tuned for picture :o(

Right now I think it's too much and I haven't done much with it. I was thinking of emailing this to all my clients in hopes of generating more business; but not sure how that will pan out. Here's to hoping.

For my clients stay-tuned to your emails as it will be out soon. :o)

Home Made Jelly Roll - August 22

As I mentioned before my blended jam turned out very well, but there was a reason behind making more even though the first batch hadn't been eaten up yet.
The weekend before last we had bought a jelly roll from the local grocery chain. Some prepackaged jelly-like roll with ingredients and a flavour I couldn't quite wrap my head around. It reminded me almost of a Twinkie or a pink sno-ball (I'm sure that's not what it's called); except the cream filling was off in the odd spot. I hadn't even finished a bite when we both decided I could make better. So the following day I proceeded to make my own. I made the cake portion in my 12 x 18; jelly roll style and pretty close to the same size. I really should pay attention when the recipe asks for wax or parchment paper; I thought my Wilton Cake Release would be sufficient to get the 3/4" cake out of the pan. Not so much; so unfortunately without being able to peel the wax paper away eliminating the "film" from the bottom of the cake; it was garbage. I wasted almost a dozen eggs that morning. I hadn't felt defeated as I already knew what I had done wrong. After lunch, my second attempt was a success! A lot in preparing the baked cake, but well worth the effort.

As the cake cooled I prepared my jam, strawberry/raspberry for the filling. I also whipped fresh cream and spread that on the jam on the cake. How do you keep the cream from squishing out the direction you are rolling? I had at least half of a cup I scooped off of the foil once I rolled it. I really need to work on my rolling skills. I need to sit and read that section a little more thoroughly in my Joy of Cooking cookbook. I only skimmed through the "Tips on how to roll the perfect jelly roll". Once it was chilled it held together quite well; and my rolling wasn't so imperfect as I had imagined it looking like. It was delicious sprinkled with icing sugar. As it sat in the fridge over a few days the icing sugar almost became a sugary crust on the cake making it even tastier. You know that old saying; gets better with age - this applies here as well.

(I apologize for the not-so-fancy tinfoil.)

It sliced very nicely showing all the layers perfectly; the end didn't do it justice.

Red Berry Pie - August 16

I have had so many raspberries this summer. I found this lovely little recipe in the Kraft What's Cooking Magazine Summer 2011 issue. I was also able to get some really great deals on strawberries at my local grocery store this summer. 50% off 2lbs. - and I was able to take advantage of this sale twice; yey.

I made my rich & flaky pie crust from my Five Roses and used the remainder of the recipe from the magazine. I think it turned out quite well; those raspberries couldn't have a fuller fresher flavour; I wish this were scratch n' sniff blogger :oP I still chose to serve this with Cool Whip as I thought it was just synonomis with the raspberry jello. I think I could do this even more justice and change the jello to a regular glaze and use whipping cream; the grown-up version.

2-tiered Dolce de Leche Chocolate Baby Shower Cake - Aug 7

My one true project so far this year was for my $50 Voucher winner from my son's Christmas Concert winner from December. So really I have yet to make any real income this year. Oh well; too much stuff going on in our lives, hopefully will die down and I can focus on it more soon. This cake was probably closer to the $75 range but whatever, it's all good. My client requested Dolce de Leche filling; I had never made it before. I didn't even realize I didn't have a recipe for it until I needed it of course. Good old Internet, you can find anything on there these days. Very simple to make, but I messed it up right away, forgetting to cover the baking pan...I peeled off the gooey de leche that had formed on top (which I sampled until all gone, yum) and continued baking it with the foil on.

It turned out wonderfully anyhow, but I couldn't for the life of me keep it in the cake once I iced it. My icing dam didn't help; I even kept putting it in the fridge in between icing to make the surface hard and it still kept springing leaks in my fridge. I only had the top tier do a little leaking and it fixed up after I added another layer of icing after being chilled. The bottom 10" layer, would not cooperate; I just warned the client the dolce de leche was trying to escape as it was just too yummy to contain :oP It stopped leaking long enough to drop it off, but I mucked it putting it on the table a little; I'm sure it was a hit. I was invited to stay but we had some personal issues going on at the time too that needed to take precedence, unfortunately.

Raspberries the size of Strawberries!

My raspberries put both the store bought clam shells and the strawberries to shame this year. I've never seen them strawberry size in my life! We've had this bush growing only for a few years and last years shoots were abundant with large berries this season.

(Note this is my husband's large hand; very big berries!)
I took off at least ten cups worth over the summer so far. I tried for the first time in my life to do some canning. You certainly can't eat all of them I suppose. I tried a recipe from Martha Stewart's cookbook of using just fruit and sugar. What a very simple method, and no weird ingredients. It was unfortunate that I scalded the jam as I was getting my jars out of the canner. Doh! I still thought it tasted fine as the it had only just started to, but I hadn't realized until the next day that it had solidified! Ack! Note scalding bad, even in the least. It is a delicious jam but requires a little heating in the microwave to get it out of the jar. I have two jars of it. :o(
I have since made another jar which I chose to do half raspberries and half strawberries that I didn't over cook and turned out quite lovely. Tastes wonderful on toast.

Confetti Angel Food Cupcakes - June 23

I completely forgot to take a picture of this one. It turned out to be a very interesting concoction; especially for the icing lovers in the crowd. I wanted to make a confetti style cake and use it for cupcakes. I was thinking of modifying one of my cake recipes, but couldn't decide the best tidbit to use for the "confetti". I left to the last minute and decided to cheat, but the only mix I could find was a confetti angel food cake mix. This baked up nicely in the pretty pink, yellow, purple, blue cupcake wrappers; although no matter how many times I tell myself; you still can't tell what the wrappers design or colour is by the end of baking, I still pick the cutsie stuff.

These were topped with pink buttercream icing as per my daughter's request. They were quite interesting once finished. Biting into it compacted the angel food cake making it almost taste like icing. At least my icing tastes good, and it was perfect for the all the preschooler's as that is their favourite part. You'll have to picture them with there little pretty pink swirls of icing ( I use a large rosebud style) with the pretty baby colours of pink, purple, yellow, blue wrappers. I really need to work on a recipe of my own for the cake, icing isn't my big draw when it comes to cakes.

Happy Birthday Pie ~ June 17

This year my husband wanted the ultimate chocolate lover's pie. All made to his specifications; with a little fresh whipped cream to decorate it. I made this chocolate mousse pie from scratch with a graham crust. It was so heavenly. He had other choices for pies as well, but this was his first.

I've made many pies this year; especially when my raspberry bush was in full swing this summer. Try the the Red Berry Pie in the latest Kraft's What's Cooking Magazine it's not bad; it gives you something else to do with your raspberries. I have also taken up canning this year and must say I'm getting better by the moment.

Chocolate "Cause I'm Desparate" Cake ~ May 28

I have done a whole lot of nothing this year as you can tell. Personally my family and I have been swamped with so many things.
I haven't documented my baking projects as well this year either.
In March I did my usual St. Patrick's Day Shamrock Sugar Cookies for the schools, always a hit.
I did another project in April for both my son's and daughter's classes for Easter. -I sent decorated sugar cookie eggs all individually wrapped. For Madison's I sent undecorated and sent all the Easter colours (2 of each) in buttercream from for her and her classmates to decorate and take home to their families (if they didn't eat them first :oP) They all loved it.

The end of May I made a cake just cause I'm so bored :oP. I used my decorating triangle. Not bad for a first. I made chocolate pudding for the filling, my usuals, for the ultimate chocolate fix . It was a tasty cake. I made many other things between pictures, but regular baking isn't always ahh inspiring for photographs. Although I suppose this one isn't really either, lol.

Thursday, August 25, 2011

Course 2 Final Projects - January 25

I do apologize for my lack of updates on my website as of late. You wouldn't believe that I just spent most of my morning trying to get pictures off of my blackberry so I can post them. We have been having camera problems off and on this year among other things.
There should have been an insert for my students from my last class before the Valentine's Day blog entry and I do apologize in my tardiness. I took a little break from teaching after my class finished in January with the intent that my students would complete Course 3 back in March. It is now August and I will be teaching Course 3 in September, which I'm sure will make my Supervisor out in Ontario very happy.
I only had two students in Course 2 ~ Flowers and Cake Design; my devotees that have waited all this time to take the third course; I love their determination and can't wait until Course 4 is officially released as well.

I really enjoyed working with these ladies and can't wait to see the projects they produce next month for Gum Paste and Fondant.

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Valentine's 2010

What a busy weekend it was, kind of glad Valentine's has come and gone. I made my heart shaped sugar cookies with red poured cookie icing. The icing needs to dry for better than a day before writing on them. I personalized them all - twenty for Stirling's class party for Monday and fifteen for Madison's on Tuesday. The kids really love them, although with the grade ones reading I think I should have printed their names as some of them didn't recognize the written forms of their names, which is to be expected - they are only six and seven. :o) I had frozen icing I used up first, but had to make new for Madison's. I made it a little on the thin side and was still not completely hard by Monday afternoon, so wrote on them anyway. I would hate to see Wilton's idea of a thick FoodWriter, I found it difficult to not have fat letters with the softer icing. Still had a couple dozen for us to munch on, beginning Saturday, I baked them all Saturday evening and started icing them Sunday morning (just for those of you who might think we ate them in one day, lol)- they didn't last long - kids ate the last one yesterday, lol.

I also spent Monday making our cake for the family. We are on a tight budget right now, its funny how with nothing really to eat in the house I can still bake! Wow! I officially used up my butter with this cake. It didn't need egg yolks so I used Meringue powder for the 8 whites it needed. It is a delicious moist white cake. I used up the last of the frozen Europe's best blueberries I had leftover in the freezer from Declan's cake in November. Defrosted them slowly and added some Knox gelatin and a bit of sugar. How do I avoid my gelatin being grainy? Anyone know? Is it best to dissolve it in choice 1 or 2 on the package? Choice 1 seems not to fair so well on two occasions now. Didn't notice texture while eating the cake and it all came together well with simple buttercream icing. I'm having issues with my apple blossoms lately too, for some reason I'm getting peeks at the centers of my flowers, maybe I'm turning my bag the wrong direction...hmmm. It was a really yummy cake - looking forward to another piece after lunch.

See my writing is getting better too :o)

Friday, January 7, 2011

Our Christmas Open House

Aside from all that other baking I finally had all the baking to do for our holiday festivities. We had a little open house and this was what I put out. Lots of h'ourderve type stuff (meat, cheese, crackers, veg and dip, spring rolls, meatballs), but I rebaked all the goodies I baked for the Christmas concert and then some.

I doubled the toppings on these as I found them on the thin side in the 9x13 pans I made for the Christmas concert that I had 1 1/2 x the recipe - raisin squares and lemon squares, I would quadruple the original recipe next time! The date squares and chocolate cookie buttons (biscotti like) didn't need any change, so I just made another recipe of those. I also made rumballs, which I ground for the first time with my Magic Bullet, the cake crumbs I dried in the oven. A little too fine though, so it was a little more difficult to get the ball to bind, but once it sat for a bit the moisture started to help; frangipan tarts, mincemeat tarts, reindeer antlers. I never got back around to making more shortbread or making the gingerbread house that I had planned to work on with the kids. The time just ran away from us all. We are almost finished all the goodies - only a few more rumballs to go. I did however buy fruit cake that turned out to be too dry - will buy from regular supplier next Christmas, and I also bought stolen, which I should have bought from the German supplier in our old neighbourhood :o( You eat and learn right? I wish I had pictures of my 28 pund turkey to share, but no one bothered to take a picture of dinner before it was devoured as I have always. This year I was too busy making sure everything was on the table and forgot all about it, until yesterday when I downloaded all the pictures. :oP

Gingerbead Boys and Girls

I made Gingerbread boys and girls for forty seven for Madison's Christmas party craft in December. I provided enough for the three year (Tues/Thurs, AM/PM) and four year old (Mon/Wed/Fri, AM/PM)programs. This was part of the Gingerbread Man theme for the month. I sent them in individual bags so the kids could take them home after decorating them during the party. It was a success. It was a craft that the teacher and I put together and I did it free of charge. Much more time consuming than anticipated as well. Was expecting to make two batches of cookie dough - ended up making four, as each batch only made about twelve 5" cookies, unlike the 24 it mentioned! The dough also needed to rest for two hours in between. Now I know if I offer my services next year.

I had a little dough leftover so instead of making cookie dough balls I used some cookie cutters and made a couple special ones for my kids. I don't usually take the time, but they had waited so long to try them.

Next year I'll supply the royal icing too :o)

Madison's Christmas Concert

300 treats for 150 moms, dads and children? Sure can!
I made these the day before my daughter's concert as a last minute favour for her playschool that I am on the executive for. I had fun, and what do you know - I can make 300 treats in one day!

Chocolate Dipped Shortbread and Chocolate Cookie Buttons

Raisin Squares, Date Squares and Lemon Squares

Autobots Cake

This was the cake I made for my son's sixth birthday. This was a chocolate cake with chocolate pudding filling if I can recall - maybe someone else might remember :o(, I think that was his request. Chocolate icing too. Another buttercream transfer I did up. Turned out well. Yum!

Mr. Happy

This is a buttercream transfer of Mr. Happy I did for my girlfriend's son's fifth birthday in November, a couple days before Stilring's birthday literally. This was a white cake with bavarian cream and blueberry filling. It turned out really well, and tasted great!

I'm so sorry...

Well I have no excuses anymore. Santa brought me a new computer yey. I can't delay any longer. I apologize in advance for the borage of blogs your about to receive...