Sunday, January 25, 2009

This is not a cake

These little cakes are devious - they're not cake at all! They're candy in disguise! (That's Charlie the Unicorn, for Dan, btw)

Well, I guess that's the idea, to emulate the candy they were made to taste like - eating it is just like biting into a nice rich candy. 
I wanted to make a cake for my Mom's birthday visit yesterday, and when I came across this post over on How To Eat a Cupcake I stopped looking. (I won't post the recipe here, as she explains it very well)

First, the making of the buttercrunch candy - it took me three tries to get the candy right - first batch was grainy, second batch burned, third batch - perfect! I documented this with photos. The sacred heart is the second batch, fitting no? (The colors on my camera are coming out weird. Hrmmm..)

God I hate making candy. Sugar requires too much perfection/patience for me to handle.
The candy then has a layer of poured chocolate, and a sprinkling of pecans and sea salt. (Yes, sea salt!)

I decided on a simple white cake (actually, the recipe on the back of the SoftAsSilk box, it's not too bad). This I baked in  a 12in round pan, and then sliced into 4 thin layers. Then, in the most wasteful way, I used cookie cutters to make cute individual cakes. The leftover tidbits were munched on, but in a fit of anger I threw them out the following morning. Dangerous stuff.

Two more steps, almost done - next, the making of the caramel filling. This was awesome stuff, and you may question the salt, but don't, simply do not question the salt. Try it - you'll like it! (this goes for the sprinkling of salt on the candy as well, it is so critical to the taste)

After filling eat layer of the cakes with caramel, the final step was to make the ganache. Sadly, I only had half and half - which of course turned out some thin not-so-ganachey-ganach. it of course tasted and worked just fine, but didn't create the lovely silky chocolate coating I had envisioned.

These cakes were so rich, thick, and very tasty! 

Friday, January 23, 2009


It's been a while since I've been able to sit down and blog. (or bake, or craft, or...)

Here are two little things I've done that I wanted to share!

Purple Elephant!
Gemma and I played with Sculpy the other day - I made a purple elephant! She reminded me of Chris, and so was gifted.

Every time I go into the garage, I see this half full bag of wild bird see and think "I should get a bird feeder"  - well this past weekend was so pretty, I finally had a chance to clean the backyard, and decided that we needed a bird feeder, so I made one! Super simple - peanutbutter container, and a broken hanger. 

After I got it put up, Des stood under the bird feeder holding seeds from the ground in the air saying "HERE BIRDY! COME EAT! STOP HIDING!" (she told me the birds were hiding in the trees)
Today is the first day I've seen birds at the feeder, it's a drizzly rainy day, so I'm glad to cheer it up a bit for them! I can't wait for Des to wake from her nap so she can see them!

So Sorry, Cupcake!

A weekend or so ago, my niece and nephew came over to visit. Dan took them to the aquarium in the afternoon, and I had planned to make cupcakes in the evening.

Victoria helped me bake chocolate cupcakes, some with chocolate chips, some with mint chips - yum!

The plan was to make shark cupcakes, from Hello, Cupcake! for Ricky.

Photo from the Hello, Cupcake! Blog
I had asked Victoria's dad before what her favorite animal was - sea turtles! So i had a "brilliant" idea for how to make turtle cupcakes! (Madeline cookies and gumdrops somehow = turtle in my mind)

Well, I'm just going to say that the ideas in Hello, Cupcake! are good, they're cute, they're downright awesome - and they *look* easy.
I should have practiced, or at least played with these before hoping to have kids replicate the fantastic pictures. 

While I was stressed out about how it just wasn't working, Tori reminded me why kids rock - she had a great time! (We all did, how can you not have fun when there's sugar EVERYWHERE?)

BTW, that blue blobcake in the lower right? That's a shark. Yup.

Sunday, January 18, 2009

De-lurk d'lurkers week

Saw this over at Wandering Cyote's blog, and felt the need to make use of it.

Just say hey, let me know you're there.

(This is one of those posts that could end up with only 3 comments and thus make me very sad, so please do comment!)

Sunday, January 11, 2009

That's a funny fish!

That's what Des says about her new fishie, Brownie!

We went to the pet store yesterday, and since Hitler recently passed, I figured she could get her own fish. Since we have goldfish and a catfish - really the only other compatible fish are more goldfish.. so we chose a Moor Goldfish from the large assortment of possibilities. All the while, wearing her fairy princess crown and making the sales associates fall in love with her.

On the way home I asked what her fishie's name was. At first is was bubbles - but then she decided solidly on Brownie. Very cute.

Cheesy Awesome!

I love cheese. Loooove it. So does Des! So we made these super easy cheesy bites today. As you can see, while I was taking photos - Des managed to take some biscuits for herself!

These are a huge hit with Des and I! It's hard not to eat them all!
These were great to roll out with Des, as the dough wasn't sticky and melty like cookie dough. They came out softer than I expected, but I may not have cooked them long enough, they are also kinda greasy, I will try these again with less butter (and maybe sneak some veggies in them? Hmm...)

Super easy Chicken Pot Pie

Yikes! This was easy. Not only that but pretty much all of it can be substituted, added to, removed.... The whole wheat biscuit top makes this very hearty - but if you don't have whole wheat flour, just use all white flour.

You will need..

Chicken (i used 2 breasts, cubed)
Carrots (2 carrots, halved longways and then sliced)
Peas (1 can)
Potatoes (2 yukon gold's)
Can of Cream of Chicken Soup
Mushrooms (about 10 button)

Cut things up into moderately sized pieces. Put into a casserole dish or otherwise large enough vessel (I used a round deep cake pan). Pour in soup and equal amount of water. Mix it up.

Whip up this biscuit recipe using an extra cup of water and pour the dough over the top, spreading it over the whole dish.

Bake @ 400 for an hour.

10 minutes of work - rave family reviews.

Friday, January 2, 2009

Ah the bounty!

The holidays seems to have eaten into my desire to blog.. maybe that a good thing - I can focus on life instead...

I thought it would be fun to post the exciting items procured during the Christmastime whirlwind that is my winter Holiday.

From my Brother in law and his wife (sister in law in law?) - Hello! Cupcake - a book I've quietly coveted online, but would never have afforded myself the luxury (Thank you!) So many cute cakes.. Des loves this book as well.

From my Sister, who responded to my request for arm protection (I currently have 3 healing burns on my left wrist.. it's pathetic) with super cuteness (and I hear some seriously awesome failed effort to do it herself <3 ) these awesome mitts (Check out their website for some uber adorable aprons!) - If you know me, you know that these two mitts really are like old-me meets new-me (I had like 6 parakeets when I was 12 - bird crazy)

And my Mom provided me with much awesome in the kitchen.

One of those super awesome push measures for sticky liquids - for the spoon sizes ( keep picking these up and putting them back before I get tot the checkout in the store)
A set of small cookie cutters (I've been hunting for something just like this for fondant useage)
A pretty cake decorating set of items from Wilton
And a scoop measure (perfect for shopping nuts, veggies, etc.)

Also - monies to spend at Sur La Table - my new favorite online shop! Oh did I have fun on that shopping spree - they were having a winter sale too, so I think I got a decent about of stuff from the cash!

This will be awesome for my next multi tier cake!

These are so cute! I got the Unicorn (!), Butterfly and Dress

From this set I got the shooting star - I love it!

My SilPat is getting worn out - it's got cuts in it :( so I ordered another!

I constantly *almost* buy the leaf mold when i'm at Micheal's

Tiny fruit shaped cutters - sure they're for linzer cookies, but they could do so much more!

While my current verification of conversions involves running to the computer and looking it up - my computer could do with some less flour in the keys, so maybe this will help!

In making about 10 Krantz this holiday - I often needed to measure more than 1 cup of liquid, so I got myself a 2 cup measure - sadly, they just told me it's on backorder, so I'll have to wait.

And these - this are just *cute*

And there it is. I have more happy to play with than I think I can handle. The joy is thick in here!

Des wasn't left out of the baking funtimes, though! From each of her gransmothers, she got some super cut cookie baking fun!
From Grandma, she got a wooden slice and bake cookie set - the cookies and frosting stick together by velcro! Des is constantly feeding me cookies! (and she uses the mitt when she opens her little oven, so cute)

From Nana she got a real cookie baking set- cookie pan, cutters, apron.. we made cookies the other day! Des cut them out herself. Totally cute.

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