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.