Wednesday, July 30, 2008

"We're goin' to the zoo, zoo, zoo" ~ Peter, Paul, and Mary

A picture of Miss Agnes on the zoo train today. I am playing around with picture sizes so I can figure out this blog layout. I am so technically savvy. LOL

“If you wake up at a different time, in a different place, could you wake up as a different person?” ~ Chuck Palahniuk

Wow, this blog of mine has changed over the past few months. I originally started this blog as a diary about me trying to lose weight. While I am still really struggling with my weight (see this post for proof). I tend to get bored sticking with the same subject. There is so much more out there in the world that I am interested in besides my big butt.

It looks like this blog is slowly turning into a food blog but I am pretty sure in a few months it will take another new turn. It's just that I have found three interesting, fun, and brilliant food groups that I am proud to say I am a member of.

Here they are:

Daring Bakers - This is the first group I joined. I found them while reading The Hungry Housewife's blog. Every month we are given a new baking challenge and at the end of each month we all post our challenges on the same day. I have met some really great people so far! They are a great group of bakers!

My Kitchen, My World - I found out about this group while reading Xplicit Sweetness. I saw a comment left by Susan (founder of My Kitchen, My World) and sent her a message right away. I knew this was a group for me. Every week we cook a meal from a different country and post our recipes on Saturdays. I am extremely excited to post this Saturday!! I can't wait to share what I made.

Operation Baking GALS - Of the three groups this is the one I feel the most honored to be apart of. It all started when Susan of She's Becoming Doughmesstic sent out an email asking for some friends to make cookies to send to her cousin and his troop in Iraq. Can you think of a better reason to bake? I can't! I think it is an absolutely brilliant idea. Agnes and I shipped off 6 dozen (well, a few short. Miss Agnes had to taste a few LOL) cookies on Monday. I am keeping my fingers crossed they arrive almost in one piece.

I think this blog needs a new look. I think the next few days I am going to be tweaking with layouts, fonts, and colors. I stink at HTML so I can tell you it won't be fancy.

Anyhoo, I will still chat about my weight struggles I think it is time to focus on some the more positive aspects my life. I definitely think it is time to be different.

Filbert Gateau with Praline Buttercream
 -July Daring Bakers - My First Challenge

This was my first Daring Bakers challenge. Boy, was it a challenge!! Chris of Mele Cotte was our hostess this month, and she chose a Filbert Gateau with Praline Buttercream. Who knew a cake recipe could be so long? The first time I printed it out it was about 7 pages! It took me about 8 hours to finish the whole thing. It probably would have gone quicker if I had a good way to skin hazelnuts and a 3 year old daughter who doesn't like cake.

The recipe is below with pictures and comments for some of the steps.

Filbert Gateau with Praline Buttercream

From Great Cakes by Carol Walter

1 Filbert Genoise 

1 recipe sugar syrup, flavored with dark rum

1 recipe Praline Buttercream

½ cup heavy cream, whipped to soft peaks

1 recipe Apricot Glaze

1 recipe Ganache Glaze, prepared just before using

3 tablespoons filberts, toasted and coarsely chopped

Filbert Genoise

Because of the amount of nuts in the recipe, this preparation is different from a classic genoise.

Hazelnuts before the scraping. The skinning of the hazelnuts was horrible! After 2 hours of scraping the skins off I gave up. Some of them still had skink bits left on.

1 ½ cups hazelnuts, toasted/skinned

2/3 cup cake flour, unsifted

2 Tbsp. cornstarch

7 large egg yolks

1 cup sugar, divided ¼ & ¾ cups

1 tsp. vanilla extract

½ tsp. grated lemon rind

5 lg. egg whites

¼ cup warm, clarified butter (100 – 110 degrees)

Position rack in the lower 3rd of the oven and preheat to 350 degrees.

Grease and flour a 10” X 2” inch round cake pan. 

Using a food processor, process nuts, cake flour, and cornstarch for about 30 seconds. Then, pulse the mixture about 10 times to get a fine, powdery mixture. You’ll know the nuts are ready when they begin to gather together around the sides of the bowl. While you want to make sure there aren’t any large pieces, don’t over-process. Set aside. 

Put the yolks in the bowl of an electric mixer, with the whisk attachment, and beat until thick and light in color, about 3-4 minutes on med-high speed. Slowly, add ¾ cup of sugar. It is best to do so by adding a tablespoon at a time, taking about 3 minutes for this step. When finished, the mixture should be ribbony. Blend in the vanilla and grated lemon rind. Remove and set aside.

Place egg whites in a large, clean bowl of the electric mixer with the whisk attachment and beat on medium speed, until soft peaks. Increase to med-high speed and slowly add the remaining ¼ cup of sugar, over 15-20 seconds or so. Continue to beat for another ½ minute. 
Add the yolk mixture to the whites and whisk for 1 minute. 

Pour the warm butter in a liquid measure cup (or a spouted container). * It must be a deep bottom bowl and work must be fast.* Put the nut meal in a mesh strainer (or use your hand – working quickly) and sprinkle it in about 2 tablespoons at a time – folding it carefully for about 40 folds. Be sure to exclude any large chunks/pieces of nuts. Again, work quickly and carefully as to not deflate the mixture. When all but about 2 Tbsp. of nut meal remain, quickly and steadily pour the warm butter over the batter. Then, with the remaining nut meal, fold the batter to incorporate, about 13 or so folds. 

With a rubber spatula, transfer the batter into the prepared pan, smoothing the surface with the spatula or back of a spoon. **If collected butter remains at the bottom of the bowl, do not add it to the batter! It will impede the cake rising while baking.

Tap the pan on the counter to remove air bubbles and bake in the preheated oven for 30-35 minutes. You’ll know the cake is done when it is springy to the touch and it separates itself from the side of the pan. Remove from oven and allow to stand for 5 minutes. Invert onto a cake rack sprayed with nonstick coating, removing the pan. Cook the cake completely.

*If not using the cake right away, wrap thoroughly in plastic wrap, then in a plastic bag, then in the refrigerator for up to 3 days. If freezing, wrap in foil, then the bag and use within 2-3 months.

I was so proud when I pulled my cake out of the oven. Then I was even more excited when it just fell out of the pan. No sticking what so ever. It was so pretty…until…Agnes the Horrid came along. I was busy making another part of the recipe so I wasn’t really pay attention to what she was doing. BIG MISTAKE! When I turned around she had taken huge bites out of one side of the cake. LOL She just looked up at me and said “Good.” Then walked out of the kitchen licking her lips. I guess this is why it called Daring Bakers!!

Sugar Syrup

Makes 1 cup, good for one 10-inch cake – split into 3 layers

1 cup water

¼ cup sugar

2 Tbsp. dark rum or orange flavored liqueur 

In a small, yet heavy saucepan, bring the water and sugar to a boil and simmer for 5 minutes. Remove from heat, add the liqueur. Cool slightly before using on the cake. *Can be made in advance.

We don’t like GM very much and I didn’t want to buy a wee bottle so I used Kahlua. It was divine!

Praline Buttercream

1 recipe Swiss Buttercream 

1/3 cup praline paste

1 ½ - 2 Tbsp. Jamaican rum (optional)

Blend ½ cup buttercream into the paste, then add to the remaining buttercream. Whip briefly on med-low speed to combine. Blend in rum.

I didn’t add the additional Kahlua. I didn’t think it needed it for flavor. It was already delish!!

Swiss Buttercream

4 lg. egg whites

¾ cup sugar
1 ½ cups (3 sticks) unsalted butter, slightly firm

1 ½ -2 Tbsp. Grand Marnier or liqueur of your choice

1 tsp. vanilla

Place the egg whites in a lg/ bowl of a elevtric mixer and beat with the whisk attachment until the whites are foamy and they begin to thicken (just before the soft peak stage). Set the bowl over a saucepan filled with about 2 inches of simmering water, making sure the bowl is not touching the water. Then, whisk in the sugar by adding 1-2 tablespoon of sugar at a time over a minutes time. Continue beating 2-3 minutes or until the whites are warm (about 120 degrees) and the sugar is dissolved. The mixture should look thick and like whipped marshmallows.

I used my immersion blender. It seemed to help get it to the “marshmallow” stage quickly.

Remove from pan and with either the paddle or whisk attachment, beat the egg whites and sugar on med-high until its a thick, cool meringue – about 5-7 minutes. *Do not overbeat*. Set aside. 

Place the butter in a separate clean mixing bowl and, using the paddle attachment, cream the butter at medium speed for 40-60 seconds, or until smooth and creamy. *Do not overbeat or the butter will become toooooo soft.*

On med-low speed, blend the meringue into the butter, about 1-2 Tbsp. at a time, over 1 minute. Add the liqueur and vanilla and mix for 30-45 seconds longer, until thick and creamy.

Refrigerate 10-15 minutes before using.

Wait! My buttercream won’t come together! Reheat the buttercream briefly over simmering water for about 5 seconds, stirring with a wooden spoon. Be careful and do not overbeat. The mixture will look broken with some liquid at the bottom of the bowl. Return the bowl to the mixer and whip on medium speed just until the cream comes back together. 

Wait! My buttercream is too soft! Chill the buttercream in the refrigerator for about 10 minutes and rewhip. If that doesn’t work, cream an additional 2-4 Tbsp. of butter in a small bowl– making sure the butter is not as soft as the original amount, so make sure is cool and smooth. On low speed, quickly add the creamed butter to the buttercream, 1 Tbsp. at a time.

Refrigerate in an airtight container for up to 5 days, or can be frozen for up to 6 months. If freezing, store in 2 16-oz. plastic containers and thaw in the refrigerator overnight or at room temperature for several hours.

I was lucky my buttercream worked like a dream. This is the best icing I have ever tasted. Oh my. It is so rich and decadent! I can’t wait to use this on another cake. It is so light and easy to decorate with. It tastes so grown up and fancy.

Praline Paste

1 cup (4 ½ oz.) Hazelnuts, toasted/skinless

2/3 cup Sugar

Line a jelly roll pan with parchment and lightly butter. 

Put the sugar in a heavy 10-inch skillet. Heat on low flame for about 10-20 min until the sugar melts around the edges. Do not stir the sugar. Swirl the pan if necessary to prevent the melted sugar from burning. Brush the sides of the pan with water to remove sugar crystals. If the sugar in the center does not melt, stir briefly. When the sugar is completely melted and caramel in color, remove from heat. Stir in the nuts with a wooden spoon and separate the clusters. Return to low heat and stir to coat the nuts on all sides. Cook until the mixture starts to bubble. **Remember – extremely hot mixture.** Then onto the parchment lined sheet and spread as evenly as possible. As it cools, it will harden into brittle. Break the candied nuts into pieces and place them in the food processor. Pulse into a medium-fine crunch or process until the brittle turns into a powder. To make paste, process for several minutes. Store in an airtight container and store in a cook dry place. Do not refrigerate.

This was the only part that gave me some trouble. I had to make two batches of the brittle. My first batch was a wee bit burnt. This stuff is so good. I am surprised there was any left after I taste-tested it over and over. I didn’t grind mine all the way into a paste. I wanted to be able to sprinkle it on stuff. I have used to decorate this cake, in the buttercream, and I have also used it to top a new cookie bar recipe.

Apricot Glaze

Good for one 10-inch cake

2/3 cup thick apricot preserves

1 Tbsp. water

In a small, yet heavy saucepan, bring the water and preserves to a slow boil and simmer for 2-3 minutes. If the mixture begins to stick to the bottom of the saucepan, add water as needed.

Remove from heat and, using a strainer, press the mixture through the mesh and discard any remnants. With a pastry brush, apply the glaze onto the cake while the cake is still warm. If the glaze is too thick, thin to a preferred consistency with drops of water.

Ganache Glaze

Makes about 1 cup, enough to cover the top and sides of a 9 or 10 inch layer or tube cake 

**Ganache can take on many forms. While warm – great fudge sauce. While cool or lukewarm – semisweet glaze. Slightly chilled – can be whipped into a filling/frosting. Cold & solid – the base of candied chocolate truffles.

6 oz. (good) semisweet or bittersweet chocolate, like Lindt

6 oz. (¾ cup heavy cream

1 tbsp. light corn syrup

1 Tbsp. Grand Marnier, Cointreay, or dark Jamaican rum (optional)

¾ tsp. vanilla

½ - 1 tsp. hot water, if needed

Blend vanilla and liqueur/rum together and set aside. 

Break the chocolate into 1-inch pieces and place in the basket of a food processor and pulse until finely chopped. Transfer into a medium sized bowl and set aside. 

Heat the cream and corn syrup in a saucepan, on low, until it reached a gentle boil. Once to the gently boil, immediately and carefully pour over the chocolate. Leave it alone for one minute, then slowly stir and mix the chocolate and cream together until the chocolate is melted and incorporated into the cream. Carefully blend in vanilla mixture. If the surface seems oily, add ½ - 1 tsp hot water. The glaze will thicken, but should still be pourable. If it doesn’t thicken, refrigerate for about 5 minutes, but make sure it doesn’t get too cold!

All I am going to say is YUM!!

Assembling Cake

Cut a cardboard disk slightly smaller than the cake. Divide the cake into 3 layers and place the first layer top-side down on the disk. Using a pastry brush, moisten the layer with 3-4 Tbsp. of warm sugar syrup. Measure out 1 cup of praline buttercream and set aside.

Spread the bottom layer with a ¼-inch thickness of the remaining buttercream. Cover with ½ of the whipped cream, leaving ¼-inch border around the edge of the cake. Place the middle layer over the first, brush with sugar syrup, spreading with buttercream. Cover with the remaining whipped cream. 

Moisten the cut side of the third layer with additional sugar syrup and place cut side down on the cake. Gently, press the sides of the cake to align the layers. Refrigerate to chill for at least 30 minutes. 

Here you can see the damage Miss Agnes did to my beautiful cake! ☺

Lift the cake by sliding your palm under the cardboard. Holding a serrated or very sharp night with an 8-ich blade held parallel to the sides of the cake, trim the sides so that they are perfectly straight. Cut a slight bevel at the top to help the glaze drip over the edge. Brush the top and sides of the cake with warm apricot glaze, sealing the cut areas completely. Chill while you prepare the ganache.

Place a rack over a large shallow pan to catch the ganache drippings. Remove the gateau from the refrigerator and put it the rack. With a metal spatula in hand, and holding the saucepan about 10 inches above the cake, pour the ganache onto the cake’s center. Move the spatula over the top of the ganache about 4 times to get a smooth and mirror-like appearance. The ganache should cover the top and run down the sides of the cake. When the ganache has been poured and is coating the cake, lift one side of the rack and bang it once on the counter to help spread the ganache evenly and break any air bubbles. (Work fast before setting starts.) Patch any bare spots on the sides with a smaller spatula, but do not touch the top after the “bang”. Let the cake stand at least 15 minutes to set after glazing.

To garnish the cake, fit a 12 – 14-inch pastry bag with a #114 large leaf tip. Fill the bag with the reserved praline cream. Stating ½ inch from the outer edge of the cake, position the pastry tube at a 90 degree angle with the top almost touching the top of the cake. Apply pressure to the pastry bag, moving it slightly toward the center of the cake. As the buttercream flows on the cake, reverse the movement backward toward the edge of the cake and finish by pulling the bag again to the center. Stop applying pressure and press the bag downward, then quickly pull the tip up to break the flow of frosting. Repeat, making 12 leaves evenly spaced around the surface of the cake. 

Make a second row of leaves on the top of the first row, moving the pastry bag about ¾ inch closer to the center. The leaves should overlap. Make a 3rd row, moving closer and closer to the center. Add a 4th row if you have the room. But, leave a 2-inch space in the center for a chopped filbert garnish. Refrigerate uncovered for 3-4 hours to allow the cake to set. Remove the cake from the refrigerator at least 3 hours before serving.

I didn’t follow the decoration suggestions. I figured since my cake was lopsided and lumpy from “the incident” that I would just do a simple decoration and try to hide some of it with a border and drop flowers. I sprinkled praline crumbles onto the little drop flowers.

Leftover cake can be covered with foil and kept in the refrigerator for up to 5 days.

Sean, Agnes (very small piece), and I each had a piece the same day I finished it. We couldn’t wait for it to set for a few hours. The next day I sliced a piece for myself and sent the rest to Sean’s office with him. It was a thousand times better the next day. Everyone at Sean’s office absolutely loved it.

I would definitely make this cake again. It was worth the 2 hours of peeling hazelnuts, Agnes destroying my cake, and discovering the most wonderful icing on the face of the earth. However, it is an extremely decadent cake. This recipe is only coming out for a special occasion and then only if it is requested.

I wonder what next months challenge is going to be!

Saturday, July 26, 2008

My Kitchen, My World - Greece

I joined a group of cooking bloggers called My Kitchen, My World started by Susan at She’s Becoming Doughmesstic . Every week a new destination is chosen. We all pick a recipe from that country, cook it, and post our pictures and blog on Saturdays. This was my very first week and I am so excited! This weeks country is Greece.

Now, I didn't cook a very tradition Greek dinner. I went for the Greek diner experience. There is a coffee shop in Denver called Pete's Kitchen. The place is an institution. They have been on the corner of Colfax and Race since 1942. I have spent many a tipsy evening eating gyros or breakfast burritos after a night out at the bars or many a still wearing my sunglasses hung-over mornings eating breakfast burritos at Pete's. If you live in downtown this is where you go when the bars close. Saturday and Sunday mornings the place is so packed you can wait up to an hour for a table. But it is so worth it. They have this gyro breakfast burrito smothered in greasy green chile that will cure any hang-over.

I miss Pete's. I miss the greasy food and I miss the experience of hanging out there. This is my tribute to Pete!

Gyro sandwiches on whole wheat Greek pitas (made locally at Alexis Restaurant) with homemade hummus, tzatziki sauce, locally grown lettuce, and locally grown Walla Walla onions. Seved with hand-cut fries. YUM!

I purchased the meat and pitas but made the rest. For the recipe source click on the links.

Hummus ~

Prep Time: 20 minutes


2 1/2 cups of canned chickpeas, drained and rinsed
1/3 cup of freshly squeezed lemon juice
1/4 cup of tahini
2 cloves of garlic, crushed
1-2 tablespoons of olive oil
1/2 teaspoon of ground cumin
1/2 teaspoon of cayenne pepper
pinch of freshly ground black pepper
1 teaspoon of salt
1/3 cup of water
parsley and olive oil to garnish

Put 1/2 the lemon juice and all ingredients into the blender except the chickpeas (and the parsley and oil for garnish) and blend for 5 seconds. Add the chick peas and blend on high until it reaches the the consistency of sour cream, but granular, about 10-15 seconds. Blend in remaining lemon juice to taste. If the dip is too thick but you don't want to add more lemon juice, add a little water slowly and blend until it reaches the correct consistency.

Pour into a serving bowl, cover and refrigerate for a few hours before serving. (It can be eaten immediately, but becomes even more flavorful if left to chill well.)

Drizzle of olive oil over the top and add a garnish of parsley before serving. Serve with pita wedges or slices of whole grain breads.

Note: Be sure to rinse the canned chickpeas well to clear away the taste of any ingredients used in the canning process.

Tzatziki Sauce -

Prep Time: 15 minutes


16 ounces (2 cups) of thick Greek yogurt
4 to 10 cloves of garlic, finely chopped
1/2 cup of diced or grated cucumber (Kirby or "English")
1 tablespoon of olive oil
2 teaspoons of lemon juice

Prepare all ingredients in advance. Combine oil and lemon juice in a medium mixing bowl. Fold the yogurt in slowly, making sure it mixes completely with the oil. Add the garlic, according to taste, and the cucumber. Stir until evenly distributed. Garnish with a bit of green and serve well chilled.

Yield: about 2 1/2 cups

Add mint or dill: Slight variations include 1-2 tablespoons of finely chopped fresh dill and/or fresh mint. Tasty additions!

Shopping Tip:

The thick, full-fat yogurts available at Greek, Middle Eastern, and specialty food markets - or a commercial full-fat strained yogurt - will give the best results. You can also make your own strained yogurt using full-fat, low-fat, or fat-free commercial yogurt.

Preparation Tips:

Kirby or "English" cucumbers work best (usually wrapped in plastic wrap at the market). If not available, peel and seed the cucumber before dicing or grating.
After dicing or grating the cucumber, pat it dry with absorbent toweling to remove excess moisture.
The longer the tzatziki is refrigerated before serving, the more intense the garlic taste will become.

Tzatziki will store safely in the refrigerator for several days. If excess liquid accumulates on top, just pour it off.

The whole thing put together ~

Friday, July 25, 2008

Sweets for Soldiers!!

My friend Susan over at My Kitchen, My World sent out an email today asking for help. I thought I would post it here to see if anyone else would like to join in on the fun.

Here is her email:

Here's the deal. I have a cousin (though more like a brother since we grew up together) in the Army JAG Corp. He and his wife tried for a long time to have a baby, and finally did in January. The thing is, Daddy got shipped to Iraq in March for 15 months. I have been getting emails from him, all sad, all missing his wife and baby so much. He's been reading my blog and knows that I bake now and has been hinting that he and the other members of his division could really use some sweet treats to "boost morale." (Apparently, the Dallas Cowboy cheerleaders didn't do a good enough job there last week.)

Now, I fully intended to make a care package and load it as full as possible. The problem is, I simply don't have enough hours in the day to bake 5 or 6 things for the troops, the Café, go to work, feed my family AND do chores. I can get one thing done, but how pathetic of a care package would that be?

So, I am looking for some volunteers. Could you maybe bake one thing, seal it up and ship it to him? If we all do this on the same day, maybe he'll get them all about the same time. Imagine how happy all those homesick troops will be to have homemade goodies!! You can make anything you want, and you really only need to wrap it in plastic and then a freezer bag (with a piece of bread to soak up moisture) or, if you have a vacuum sealer, that would be great. It takes about 7 days for them to get packages, so bear that in mind when choosing something to bake. Cookies of all kinds, bars, even things like trail mix would work well.

If you would please let me know that you are up for the task by emailing me, I would SOOO appreciate it. I would hope that we could all get our packages ready by Tuesday (yes, July 29). Then if you would be willing to take a picture of the baked good and email it to me, what I will do is make a big post on my blog linking your site and your sweet contribution next Wednesday. I think I will call it Operation GALS (Give A Little Support) – and if it works out as well as I hope, perhaps we could continue sending things to different troops, especially to anyone who has a special family member serving our country.

Again, please just shoot me a quick email back ASAP letting me know if you are up for this (I really hope you are, I chose my favorite friends and bloggers – and hey – get the kids in on it too – maybe they will get a patriotic boost from it!)

Once I hear from you, I will shoot you an email with the address to send the goodies.

Thanks for taking the time to hear me out. I really do appreciate it. And while we may not be Cheerleaders, I think this could be a really great morale boosting endeavor…don't you??


I am going to bake up a couple dozen cookies this weekend. I thought it would be a really fun thing to do with Agnes. It is a fun way to let our troops know we support them!!

If you want to participate leave a comment and I will email you the address.


Monday, July 21, 2008

"I got friends in low places" ~ Garth Brooks

A few months ago my best friend of almost 20 some years sent me some pictures. She had found the long lost disposable camera we had taken with us on a night out. This wasn't just any night out though. It was the first time I had gone out after Agnes was born. It was the first beer and booze I had had in over a year. Until a few months ago we didn't even remember we HAD a camera that night.

Yeah. It was something else.

What made me post these? I was over at Jody's blog and she has an entry about taking her friend Catrin out on the town. Catrin had a baby girl 6 months ago. Her post made me laugh and hope that Catrin remembers her night out a little better than I do!!

Here is a little slideshow dedicated to my best friend and sometimes evil cohort.

Wednesday, July 9, 2008

"Oh wait... was she a great big fat person? " ~ Jame Gumb

Since my back surgery at the end of May I have been taking it kind of easy. I have been doing Bikram but I do a lot of it at home instead of the studio. I think it has to do with the weather. It is finally summer here. The sun is out, the sky is blue, and you can actually feel warm!! Hurrah! I love practicing Bikram but it is so hard to go into that studio when it is so beautiful outside. I am thinking it may be my cold weather work-out. There is so much to do around here for exercise that I don't necessarily need to be in a stink studio heated to 105 degrees.

It makes me laugh when I look back at my blog. Here I am trying to lose weight but I keep posting pictures of sweet treats I have made. The good thing about making so many is that I don't like to eat them anymore. Trust me that is a good thing! I stepped on the scale today and I think I have hit a plateau. I haven't gone up or down for a couple of months. Totally frustrating. I'm not sure what is going on. I think the change up in my daily exercise will help.

Today is one of those days I feel like I am destined to be the fat girl. One of those days when I look in the mirror and realize my head is too small for my big body. Ugh. I am usually a pretty self confident person but there are some days when my weight gets the best of me. I hate these feelings. I truly do.

I guess all I can do is walk around the park again and cut my portions in half again. Hmmm, I have a feeling today is going to be bitchy.

Sunday, July 6, 2008

"Who throws a cupcake? ...honestly." ~ a young Dr Evil

These were made for a guy who works with Sean. He and his wife had Alex a few weeks ago and Sean wanted to give them a little something. The cuppies are double chocolate iced with cream cheese icing, topped with fondant and gum paste decorations, and sprinkled with edible glitter.

"Where's my cake, Bedelia? " - Creepshow

The cake doesn't look that great. The woman I made if for gave me 20 minutes to get it put together before she needed it. I didn't even time to do a border around either cake. She kept sending Sean to see how much longer. It really made me mad. I had spent a long time making all the decorations and wanted the whole cake to look cute. Grrrr....The icing job looks like crap to me but she loved it and that is all that matters. I do love my flamingos and curly things. The leis are the only inedible thing on the cake. Everyone at the party freaked out and thought it was the cutest cake ever. That made me feel good but I know it could have been better.

The cake was a simple with cake filled with fresh picked Shuksan strawberries and whipped cream.

***EDIT*** This is the whipped cream icing recipe! I forgot to put it in my post.

Combine whipping cream and sugar in mixing bowl. Whip to soft peak stage. Add piping gel and vanilla, then continue to whip stiff peaks. Do not overbeat.

YIELD: 1 1/2 to 2 cups.

I made some cupcakes for the same party. These are vegan white cake with a vanillia "butter" cream icing. They are like rainbow cupcakes except they are just red, white, and blue on the inside.