Sunday, 24 April 2011

A Day Off

I have a day off. I also have to run around and visit lots of people (whom I love) today. There is no time to bake. The closest thing I will get is whippin up abit of left over ganache and butter cream for the cake Thea made for dinner. I do find myself with afew extra minutes right now between visits. I suppose I will blog about a previous baking adventure.
I made a cake in school that has always been one of my favorites

I just love the simplicity of this cake. it was part of the final display, you can see hints of petite fours on the left and fougasse bread on the right. It was a project that really challenged my inner voice of "more is better" Rather than making it over done and tacky i tried to keep it elegant and pretty. I was very proud of the result. I cant believe how far I have come from working on it. All the things I have learned. The excitement is still there though. in that moment when I step back from something and see a finished project. The moment I realize that my work will bring an extra smile from a child on their birthday or a fantastic photo memory for a new bride and groom.
That's all I got for now... its ham time!!!

Tuesday, 19 April 2011

Learning as I go

When I decided to take baking seriously as a career, I didn't know what I wanted to bake. I had never seen a cake show, seriously... I didn't even have TV. I didn't know fantastical cakes existed. When I started my education, I had very little interest in the cakes. Perhaps I will post a pic of my first cake someday. it makes me laugh when i see it now. As we moved along, I became more enthralled with the idea of cakes and decorating. It gave me a creative outlet and released a competitive side of myself i didn't know i had. I felt proud of something I made, which was new to me. I like that feeling which is probably why i tend to be most critical of myself. The turning point i think was the first time i was involved with gingerbread projects for festival of trees. I felt good doing something that would help so many people, and I really loved making my ideas come to life and the  challenge of making it all edible. As you may have guessed, I am completely infatuated with decorating now. I see the world as ideas, flavors, and inspiration for cakes. I'm so happy, and hopeful for a future I never would have conceived even 5 years ago.
Most of the stuff I have dreamed up, I have done so through alot of trial and error. I spent alot of time reading, researching, and trying new things. I still have so much to learn, but I have to be proud of what I have accomplished. This blog is another learning experience for me. First I learned to post. then came pictures. slowly I am building this to be something I want to show to my friends and family. who knows maybe someday I can be an inspiration to a novice baker like so many others have been to me. I hope to teach, amuse and inspire everyone who  tunes into my rants, including myself.
today I learned how to add a slide show of pics... GLEE!

Monday, 18 April 2011

Thea rainbow

Not long after I started baking (professionally) my bestie sent me a pic of a cake she thought was cool. it was a rainbow cake. It took me acouple of years, but this year for her birthday I finally made it for her. Making this kind of cake would have been much easier if I was at work,  and I had more than one 8" cake pan. But since she is so rad, it was worth it. and since she is so rad, she didn't complain that that cake was a tad dry.

It was super cute. I finished it with a vanilla bean Italian butter cream, and if i remember correctly a honey syrup. The cake was tall, colorful, classic and adorable! just like my bestie!
AND her Mr man took these lovely pics for me because the pic i took with my sad camera looked like this

thanks Mr bestie. the pics are awesome.

This project reminded me of another rainbow i made. A skittles vodka rainbow. Before giftmas I soaked a whole lot of skittles in a whole lots vodka. then after they were fully dissolved, I strained the mixture and portioned it out into little jars. Before I gave the little bundles of joy to ms.waffles. I had a little taste. scrum diddly umptious! I think it would be great with soda, or as a martini, or even in shots.
tastey rainbows

Spring almost sprang.

I don't know if it is the bipolar weather in this city, or what, but I have had a case of the ickies all week. Physically I have just felt off somehow. And my brain is stuck in a funk. I'm doubting myself and my abilities.
So in an attempt to launch myself out of said funk I decided to make more of the yummy "pizza pops" I made awhile ago. I have already learned that if you are in a bad mood your food doesn't cooperate, and yet i did it again. I forgot to snap any pics of the shameful food pockets. I'm kind of glad. I suppose I could grab one from the freezer... but I don't wanna! The plan was to make another batch of the pepperoni ones (cause they are yummy) and try a new batch of Bison Chili style filling. the fillings were tasty. Unfortunately I made the mistake of changing more than one of the recipe variables, I used a different dough recipe AND substituted some local whole wheat flour and garlic infused grape seed oil. Somewhere along the line something went wrong. my dough was tough and not as tasty as I had hoped. I don't think the flour is to blame. I have used Gold Forest Grains before and the end result has always been wonderful. So I'm pretty sure that it was the recipe switch that threw it all off. enough about what did not work...

On a more positive note. I went to a friend's birthday party this weekend. I adore this guy, but since Amywaffles already baked said darling gentleman a cake, I had to come up with another idea to make for him. Above you see a big ol batch of marshmallows. Which are quite easy really. unless you are me and you start out with plans for one or two flavors, and end up running two hours late because you made 8 flavors instead and your entire kitchen is covered in a thinn layer of cornstartch. The birthday boy did seem pleased with my offering. I chose this particular treat because within the first week of working together (many moons ago) He saw me making marshmallows at work, and he commented quite enthusiastically how much he liked them. we have had many discussions about ideas and techniques since, but whenever I make marshmallows it reminds me of him. I adore him because he has such an unapologetic passion for food, flavors and hopefully marshmallows.
I started with a basic recipe.
1/2 cup H20 (cold)
18g gelatin
1/2 cup egg whites
455 g sugar
1/2 cup H20 ( yup another one)
cornstarch for dusting the pans
start by blooming the gelatin in the first half cup of (cold) water.
start the egg whites whisking on a low speed.
then turn your attention to the sugar. which needs to be boiled to 245. the best way i have found to do this is to add about half of the second portion of water, making sure all the sugar is moistened with as little stirring as possible. then carefully wash down the sides of the pot and set it on high. watch the pot and make sure no crystals develop. brush down the sides of the pot as necessary.
when sugar reaches temperature, stream it slowly into the whipped egg whites (turn down the speed so that you don't get the goo everywhere) this can take some practice. And be mindful that the sugar is very dangerous. ALWAYS RESPECT BOILING SUGAR!!!
once its all in turn the speed back up and gently warm up your gelatin until it is dissolved and stream it in as well.
then just let it go, whisk it until it cools and gets light and fluffy. like... marshmallow. then spread it out on a cornstarch covered pan ( or pipe into shapes) and allow to set over night.

toasted coconut covered piped pineapple marshmallows

peanut butter, vanilla bean, chai spice, matcha, chocolate chip, earl grey, cherry cola, anise, pineapple
these are my experiments du jour.
I think he was quite pleased with the results. and I even ended up with afew extra for me
and a kitchen covered in cornstarch.
there is always room for homemade marshmallows.

Thursday, 14 April 2011

Plants VS Zombies

Wanting to challenge my self, and see what I could do with my "Fundant" I have done afew little models and projects which may or may not become cakes some day.  If you are unfamiliar with Plants vs Zombies it is the coolest game ever. I play on my PC, the XBox, and on my phone. Yes, I am a nerd.I'm OK with that. So these little characters are from that game. I spend alot of my time giggling to myself while making ridiculous edible creations. I love my life.

Try try again

I finished the tabby cat and the dalmatian for the cake yesterday. then I realized the proportions were off. Not a little bit off, but waaaaay off. So I scaled down the dog, carved p the cake and ended up with this...

I like how it turned out. I especially like the dog. I think i could have been abit more careful with quilting on the pillow, but it was a last minute decision that I think adds to the look. I think it will make the birthday girl happy. plus look at the puppy!

Wednesday, 6 April 2011


I made a dalmation today. he is ADORABLE! I love my life.
step one ... slightly creepy albino dog made of fundant

Step  two ... Painted dalmation dog ( painted with cocoa butter )

step three ... smile. 

Monday, 4 April 2011

Work, work, work.

It was particularly busy at work this week, which is fantastic. I hope we get a bit more help soon, but its great! Sadly it didn't leave me much time to work on side projects. Yesterday I made some slightly healthier version of "pizza pops" for Bunz and I to snack on this week. I have a freezer full now 8) it started with the bread dough above, I was going to make whole wheat, but I was out. And I was feeling far to lazy to go get any.

 So start with white bread split up and rested I cooked up acouple fillings. One was ham, leeks, peas, garlic and low fat cheddar. The other was Pepperoni, red pepper, onion, garlic, onion and Roma tomato with mozzarella. Once the fillings are cooked up, I rolled out the buns and filled them with yum. I baked them off and then we had a sampling, you know just to make sure they were OK.
And if I do say so myself they turned out quite delicious. And now I have a freezer full of snack that I know the ingredients to. that makes me happy. I had to have a couple for breakfast today to get a pic for the ol' blog, cause I was to excited yesterday to remember to take a pic.


I have been obsessing about what to make for the Books2Eat gala. I decided to donate a cake for the Public Library Fundraising Gala. I'm very excited to be involved with such an awesome event. I do love me my literature (especially the undead lit section at Greenwood's, but all books are good). I just cannot seem to decide what to make. The cakes are auctioned off, like the gingerbread at Festival of Trees. So I want to make something that will fetch lots of money for the cause. I also want to be creatively fulfilled. The theme is SPLASH! kind of specififc, but still open to interpretation. I'm seriously stumped, but I have to fill out my entry form soon. YIKES!
I'm off to make some Fundant before running my errands. Until next time adieu.