Posts Tagged ‘Cake Decorating’
I don’t know about where you live, but summer is “officially” here in May despite what the calendar says; and, because we live here (Visit Pensacola), summer means visitors. What better way to get these visitors ready to spend the day seeing the sights around our beautiful adopted hometown than with a yummy coffee cake for breakfast? Now, I know Marissa has bragged previously about find the Coffee Cake recipe to beat them all, but this old family favorite will never be replaced as far as I’m concerned…and, if those are surprise visitors, you don’t have to worry, chances are you’ll have all of these ingredients on hand! We’ve even called it “Poor Man’s Coffee Cake” because the ingredients are simple and bound to be found in your kitchen pantry.
1 cup sugar
2 cups flour
½ tsp. ground cinnamon
½ tsp. ground ginger
½ tsp. ground nutmeg
1 stick margarine or butter
½ tsp. baking soda
1 tsp. baking powder
1 egg, beaten
½ cup milk (I use 2%)
½ cup chopped nuts (I like to use pecans)
½ cup raisins
Beat together sugar, flour, cinnamon, nutmeg, ginger and margarine until you have fine “crumbs” – RESERVE 1 cup of dry mixture. Into the remaining dry mixture (still in the mixing bowl), stir beaten egg, milk, baking soda and baking powder. Add nuts and raisins (optional, but make the cake so much better!).
Sprinkle half of the reserved dry mixture in bottom of lightly greased 8”x8” baking dish.
Spread the batter and then sprinkle the remaining reserved dry mixture over the top.
Bake 30-40 minutes at 350°, or until pick comes out clean.
And, if you don’t believe this is an old family favorite, take a look at this recipe card … tattered and stained — proof! :-)
Do you ever have those days? You know, the ones that you wake up totally unaware of how terrible it is going to be?!?! I certainly do and this day was no exception. The day proved to bring on a serious match for me.
In one corner, 5 inches tall and weighing in at 5 pounds, born from a serious love for all things chocolate, the infamous Chocolate Bomb cake. His opponent, 5’10”, blankety blank blank pounds, brunette, known to her friends as Betty “the Beat” Crocker…Marissa. The battle began in the early hours of the afternoon. Marissa started out with a quick mix, tossing all the ingredients she had at the Bomb. After throwing in some serious heat (350 degrees to be exact), the Bomb took a shot back and came out swinging and burning. Marissa went at him again, pouring in a whole other round of flour power, beaten eggs and some pudding to make him extra gushy. She came out ahead after this one and the two proceeded on to the next round. The Bomb resisted the gooiness of the ganache and went all grainy on Marissa…creating the necessity for ANOTHER repeat. He was trying to slowly wear her down and stomp all over her gusto and glory. Marissa, “the Beat,” wasn’t through yet. Oh no. She melted the Bomb’s ganache the second time like the Wicked Witch of the West. She covered the Bomb with a right, then a left, then a solid pass around the top of him. It looked like there was no hope left and he was done for. Finally defeated by the super mom. But wait. What’s this? Marissa is getting into the car to leave and what does the Bomb pull out in the final minutes of the match??? That’s right! He slides to the right and INTO the wall of the ring, smooshing his ooey gooey frosting all over the ropes! His beautiful icing detail work all a mess! Marissa has been conquered!!! She falls to the ground as the crowd is yelling “boos” and “oos.” She cries back, hands over her eyes “Not right now kids! Leave Mommy alone!!!!”
That was at 6:32. The cake was supposed to be in my friend’s hands at 6:30. I ran into the house, scraped off the damaged buttercream, whipped up a new batch and re-iced the details. I managed to get it over to her house by 7:00 after threatening my son’s life if he were to tilt, drop or squish that cake. Well, not really, but I’m sure HE felt that way!
I have made this cake a MILLION times. It is by far my favorite, and popular with everyone else who has tried it. I am certainly no master baker, but I am proud of my Chocolate Bomb. I guess we ALL have our off days.
My husband jokingly calls this the most expensive Christmas gift I gave this year. It is actually one of the cheapest gifts I made but while a friend and I were making them, I broke my foot. I was walking outside to spray the coasters and as I walked out my front door I fell flat on my face. I had to have an xray and have been in a cast and on crutches for five weeks now with no end in sight…probably about another 4 weeks and then another 4 in a walking cast. Hence the reason this is the most expensive gift I gave this year!
Aren’t these tile coasters great? And they are cheap to make!
What you need:
- stamps of your choice
- StazOn Stamp Pad
- clear acrylic spray
- tiles of your choice (I wanted a smooth look so I spend a little bit more on tumbled tiles)
- small circle furniture protectors
First, clean off your tiles. They are going to be very dusty.
Using your StazOn stamp pad and stamps, decorate the tiles however you would like. I went with an easy pattern and just covered the whole tile with a flower stamp. After that, I put a stamp in a different color that read “You only live once, but if you do it right once is enough”. You will want to use StazOn stamp pads so it will not rub off of the tile. They are a little bit more expensive than regular stamp pads, but with a coupon it will only cost about 5 dollars!
After the ink has dried on the tiles, take them outside and spray them with clear acrylic spray. This is where I recommend you only carry a few at a time so you won’t fall out your front door and break your foot!
Once the tiles have dried completely, put a little furniture protector on each corner of the tiles.
A quick, inexpensive gift!
When we look back over the year, Threaded Together has come a long way. We went from one post in January to posting more than 3 times a week now. We talked my sister-in-law into joining us and Marissa challenged herself to bake an amazing dessert every day for 30 days. We joined the crafting community and have met some amazing people. We found fantastic projects to try and shared a few of our own. We have had lots of people stop by and see what we have to say, leave us awesome comments, and for the that we are thankful. We appreciate you!
I think that the best part of our top ten viewed posts is that all four of us had a post on the top ten list! Here are the ten most viewed posts of 2010:
And the #1 MOST VIEWED POST this year?!?!?! Amazingly enough, it is a post that was just posted on December 6! This post also had the most Facebook shares!
What does the future hold for Threaded Together? Hopefully lots more crafting, cooking, and sewing. We are so excited to share our holiday gift ideas with you over the next few months, tasty new recipes and fun projects!
My husband loves those incredibly unhealthy, gooey, sticky bundt cakes that you can buy in the grocery store bakery. When we were first married, that is what he requested every year for his birthday. Eventually we moved to other treats, but he still loves those cakes. When I saw a picture and link to recipe for Orange-Lemon Cake in this month’s Taste of Home Simple and Delicious magazine (LOVE that magazine!), I knew that my husband would love it. It turned out beautiful, tasted pretty good and he loved it!
In a mixer or large bowl, mix the first five ingredients together.
Pour into a pan. The recipe calls for a fluted pan but I used a sunflower pan with a middle (something I won’t do again…see below!).
Bake for 35-40 minutes at 350 degrees. My cake had to bake for about 45 minutes. Let cool for 10m and put on a wire rack to cool completely.
After cake has cooled make the glaze by combining the powdered sugar and orange juice. Pour glaze on cake. As you can see, the glaze is not the gorgeous white color that it is in the magazine picture. Does anyone know how to get that beautiful bright glaze color?
Next time, I would probably use a bundt pan of some sorts. The sunflower pan has a middle and when I was pouring the glaze, it pooled in the middle of the cake. When you are finished, you have a beautiful cake that tastes pretty good too!
Remember During 30 Days and 30 Bites when I tried drawing with melted chocolate? Well, I was incredibly unsuccessful. Maybe not incredibly, but pretty darn close! I tried again, only this time took the easy route and used Wilton’s candy melts. Boy did that work a lot better!!!
Today is day two of working to create the cupcakes for J’s wedding anniversary. Last time I posted was to show you the homemade cupcake wrappers that will be going on the cakes. I am getting more and more excited as each day goes by! Today I worked on the toppings for the cupcakes. I used the candy melts to create intertwined hearts. I placed a small amount (a few wafers goes a long way when it comes to making candy outlines) into a freezer quality storage bag. I placed the bag in the microwave in ten second intervals, squeezing the bag in between to smooth the candy. When the candy was at piping consistency (30 – 40 seconds of melting total) I made sure there was no air in the bag and squeezed the melted candy to one corner. I snipped off a small piece of the corner of the bag, just enough to allow a steady stream. If you are looking for a thin outline, it is important that you cut off a very small amount of the plastic to keep the hole very small.
Now that the candy is ready, pipe your design! Place a piece of wax paper on a cookie sheet and pipe your pictures onto it. I drew freehand with the candy since all I was doing was hearts. If you are looking for something more intricate, print the picture out first and place it under the wax paper, as I did in the previous candy post. Before the candy has time to harden (the melts harden pretty quickly when you are piping them out this thin) tap the cookie sheet on the counter a few times so air bubbles can escape and to take away the rough edges of your outlines.
You should notice that the bottom heart in my design continues down pretty far. That will be the part of the candy that will stick into the cupcake, hidden away from the world.
Put the candies in the refrigerator until you are ready to use them but be careful…they’re fragile! I can’t wait to make the cupcakes and put all of it together!!!
Can I please tell you how excited I am that this thing is almost over? I cannot even believe I have made it this far. I really am not that interested in tasting my creations anymore. I think there is a reason why it isn’t too uncommon to find thin bakers. It’s because it doesn’t take long to not want to even SMELL sugar anymore, let alone eat it. If I owned a bakery, I don’t think I would ever be able to eat a cake again! Phmph.
So, now that my venting is out of the way, another day of technique it is. I was going to try to do butterflies and calla lilies. The butterflies were a bust and the calla lilies were a success. At least I am one for two! I have learned something every important this month about my trusty marshmallow fondant. It isn’t so trusty. There is a reason why cake decorators don’t use it. It doesn’t set well. It is fine for basic decorating and covering cakes. But once you get into the more extravagant things such as calla lilies and Mario Bros figures, you really need something that is going to stand on its own. I have stayed away from using gum paste because it tastes horrible and I don’t want to put something disgusting on one of my cakes! I may have to give in to this at some point if I want to continue with the decorating aspect though!
So, back to the point of all of that. I tried to make 3D butterflies but the fondant just would not set, so the butterflies were just a floppy mess! The picture here does show the proper way to dry butterflies so they will be 3D! I would have put their bodies and antennas on and decorate them a little after drying. So much for that!
The calla lilies, however, were fairly easy to do. I use d a heart cookie cutter to cut out white fondant. I wrapped the heart around a paper cone (pointy part of the heart is the top of the flower, not the base) and left it out to dry (never really did). I rolled up a couple pieces of yellow fondant to insert later for the stamens. The results are below. They are so easy to do considering how nice they look when they are on cakes!
I LOVE raspberry. Raspberry drinks, raspberries in parfaits, just plain old raspberries out of the plastic container. I tried pretty hard to find a raspberry cake, with no success. Lots of cheesecakes and layered desserts with cool whip. No cakes. So, I decided to use one of my “from scratch” recipes and put a raspberry twist on it.
Since a lot of the desserts I found with raspberry in them also involved lemon, I decided to fill the cake with lemon curd. I heated a small jar of lemon curd, just until spreading consistency, in a small saucepan. It was just the right amount of filling for the middle of this cake.
Not one to waste materials, I used my marshmallow fondant from yesterday for the topping. I cut squares out of the fondant using a cookie cutter. After they were cut I dipped them in sprinkles and made a checker pattern on top. For the side I used the lemon buttercream icing that I also covered the whole cake with (not the filling) for a crumb layer. There is a reason why I am only showing you the top of the cake though and that is because it does not look pretty everywhere else! I didn’t take any special measures like piping a trim around the edges of the cake to make a smooth transition from fondant to buttercream. Since you are the only people who are going to see it, I didn’t think it would matter much!
I am not going to taste this dessert tonight because I am going to wait until my husband can share in it with me! I’ll let you know how it tastes tomorrow!
Raspberry Lemon Cake
- 2 1/3 c. unbleached flour
- 1 tbsp baking powder
- 3/4 tsp salt
- 1 1/2 c. white sugar
- 1/2 c. oil
- 2 eggs
- 1 c. milk
- 1/2 c. raspberry syrup (I buy mine from Starbucks)
Lemon Buttercream Icing
- 4 cups sifted powdered sugar
- 1/2 c. butter, softened
- 1/2 c. shortening
- 2 tbsp lemon juice
- 2 tbsp milk
Sift together flour, baking powder, salt and sugar. Mix in oil, then eggs, then milk, then raspberry syrup, mixing only until blended each time. Our batter into 2 greased 8” round pans and bake at 350 degrees for 25 minutes or until inserted toothpick comes out clean.
Spread lemon curd as filling in between cake layers and top with lemon icing.
For lemon icing: cream together shortening and butter. Add lemon juice. Mix in powdered sugar until well blended. Add milk until you reach desired consistency.
The raspberry cake was actually pretty good! I finally tried it today and was presently surprised by its tastiness! I am, however, torn on whether I LOVE the lemon curd filling, or HATE it! :) I think I probably prefer the cake all by itself, so next time I will be putting them in cupcake form with a simple cream cheese icing on top.
The Great Chocolate Melt of 2010! Today was what I would pretty much call a dud. I wanted to continue with my “technique” work. Turns out it didn’t work so well. For the sake of ease and productivity, I used the cupcakes I had previously frozen from the pink and green day. After I defrosted them I covered them with store bought cream cheese icing. Tough, I know!
The special part of today was supposed to be the toppers for the cupcakes. I thought I would practice free form chocolate melting. I went online and found a bunch of typical clipart pictures. Things like shells, hearts, animals, stars, etc. I printed the pictures out on a couple pieces of paper and taped them to a cookie sheet. Over the top of the pictures I taped a piece of wax paper. The idea was that I would trace the outlines of the shapes with a piping bag filled with chocolate, creating the shape to put on the cupcake. Easy enough, right?
Well, the chocolate melting went fine. The tracing even went fine after I practiced a bit (I do not have the steadiest hand for details like that). I chilled the chocolates and took them out to put on the cupcakes. I literally could not get more than one on a cupcake before they all started melting!!! I tried sticking my hands in ice to keep them cold. I put the spatula on ice that I was pulling them up with. It didn’t matter. Even when I perfected the method to get them off the cookie sheet and onto the cupcake, they still continued to melt.
I think the best thing to do to try to remedy this would be put the ICED cupcakes in the fridge before ever putting the chocolate on. That way, the chocolate will stay cold as soon as it touches the cupcake. But still, doesn’t that mean the cupcakes will ALWAYS have to be cold? Won’t the chocolate still melt as soon as you take it out to sit for an event? Anyone have the answers for me?
I am also attributing the melting to the fact that the chocolate is so thin. But that is the whole point of the free form melting. Oh well. As you can see in the pics, the chocolate pieces I tried to stand on their ends melted and kind of flopped over. If I laid them flat on the cupcake it seemed to work better…for the most part!
I took a departure from baking again today to do some more decorating practice. I have a friend whose son is having a birthday soon and she asked me to make the cake. Her boy is a fan of the Mario Bros and is having a party with that theme. Since I have never made Mario Bros figures before, I thought this would be a good place to practice.
Please ignore the colors! This was a practice in MOLDING not in COLORING! I really didn’t want to waste my icing colors on pieces that will never actually get to sit on a cake. Especially since these need to be some pretty intense colors. Bright red not pink, beige not brown (skin), black not blue (Bullet Bill) and I know Mario’s hair should be darker. Those of you who color icing, you know how much it takes to make black and bright red! So for all intensive purposes…pretend!
For the most part it was just a matter of shaping the figures by rolling the fondant into balls and molding it the right way to make it look like the character. I was able to take a few shortcuts. To make the clouds I used a flower cookie cutter and cut the flower in half. To make the bullet (which is blue here, not black) I used a football cookie cutter and just cut one end off. Last but not least, of course, a square cookie cutter for the question mark block. I know Mario looks like a monkey disguised as a trucker. In my defense, I had problems with the fondant being a little too malleable when I made him. The balls that create his head and body kept sinking and making him way too short and fat. Easily remedied, but I wasn’t going to redo him tonight!
Overall, I am pretty happy with the little buggers and glad the first time making them went so well! I know I need to get some play doh to practice or something, but a lot of my issues are usually just in how to make the FONDANT do what I want it to do. It would be pointless to practice with something else that doesn’t act the exact same way.