Monday, 30 May 2011

Quick Fix

You just never know when life is going to throw you a curve ball.
my cheesecake looks funny...

It doesn't matter who was wrong or right. In the end you just need to have faith that it will all be OK. Even when it doesn't seem possible, the inevitable will happen. Time will march on, and no matter how deep the wound, it will heal.

The important thing is chocolate. my old friend polysporin burn cream may heal my scrapes and burns, but chocolate makes everything else better. there should be some kind of chocolate pharmacy

bad day at work   =   1 chocolate chip cookie
fight with your in laws   =   milk chocolate mousse
Quit your job   =   a box of truffles
bad hair day   =   white chocolate blondies
fired from your job   = a box of truffles and a bottle of wine
you dog died   =   triple layer fudge cake with butter cream and ganache
cramps    =   chocolate dipped potato chips
break up   =   brownies.... lots of brownies
Surprised brownie is surprised he can cheer you up! 
Break up brownies. Everyone has a favorite recipe, I like the moist, dense fudgey ones. And I like to keep eating them until the world seems nicer. this actually works well with other situations as well. I think now I am just eating them preemptive in case anything might go bad
I suggest you give these a try

4 squares (28 g each)  unsweetened bakers chocolate
3/4 cup                       butter
1 1/2 cup                    sugar
3                                 lg eggs
2 tsp                           vanilla
3/4 cup                       flour

preheat oven to 350  grease an 8" pan
melt butter and chocolate together
in a separate bowl mix the sugar eggs and vanilla until smooth
stir in the chocolate mixture
fold in the flour, just until incorporated.
you can add whatever you crave at this point. fold in some m&ms, peanuts, pretzels, walnuts, dried fruit, chocolate chips, almonds, anything your broken little heart wants, bake it!
bake it for about 35-40 minutes to be exact, until a toothpick comes out crumby.
then enjoy with your girlfriend with some laughs, or by yourself on the couch watching "Say Anything" again. Whatever you gotta do 8)

Tuesday, 24 May 2011

A Freakin Dorable

I spent a few hours yesterday with an old friend and his young girls. I genuinely enjoyed my time with them, I'm realizing more and more how much I love teaching. And every once in awhile I love kids. I know I have a reputation to uphold.  Don't get me wrong, I am sticking with cats for myself for now, but there is something about kids, these gals in particular are alot of fun. So full of joy, and laughter, it's hard not to catch the giggles. We were working on a cake for the older munchkins birthday, she is turning 4 this week! So She decided we should do flowers and a kitty. I made the kitty, but almost everything else was made by little hands. I showed up with a lemony cake covered with white fondant and ready for her creative genius. I gave her afew ideas, and then let her do her stuff. She is a natural, and mastered more techniques then alot of adults i know. After we had a whole pile of flowers and other funky decorations, she decided where they should go, and we put them on the cake together.

Her proud poppa is a photography buff, so he was on hand to take some wonderful pics. We may have to recruit him again sometime. I wish I could show you more of his handy work, alas I am the opposite of photogenic. And as lovely as his girls are, I don't think its right to put up any pics of them until it is cleared by the 'rents! Later this summer we are going to make a cake for his birthday, expect many photos from that adventure. The whole experience gave me an idea for a possible business..... but more importantly I had a wonderful time with young 'uns and the folks. Children's laughter is good for me. 
Thanks for letting me come over and play! 
(taken quickly with my phone...not his fancy camera lol, but i had to get a quick pic)
A freakin dorable

Wednesday, 18 May 2011

Cake of Pi

Settle in guys... this is gonna be a long one....
I welcomed a new challenge to my repertoire. I was asked to donate a cake for the Books2Eat Gala Fundraiser for the Edmonton Public Libraries. The theme this year was "Make a Splash" and I was asked to create a cake for auction based on a book with a major theme of water. After much deliberation I decided on the book Life of Pi. I read the book years ago, and some of the twists an such elude my memory, but I remember that it was a profound story that held my imagination and toyed with my emotions. I apologize in advance for the mish mash of pics. I didn't always have my bloggin camera (courtesy of Mr Lemur with me)
Being ever so slightly the over thinker (yup thats sarcasm) I tried to tie the story into every aspect of my design. I also changed my design about 47 times. In the end I was pretty happy with my submission. It told the story and fit the theme. I started with 3 vanilla cakes. The largest symbolized India where the tale begins, flavored with mango and cardamon. For the middle sized tier I tried in vain to come up with a flavor to symbolize the ocean voyage. So instead of making a seaweed and sardine butter cream, I went with browned butter and burnt honey, just because I like it. And finally to represent the intended destination, Canada, I went with maple and bacon. yes you heard me bacon. It tasted like when you roll up a strip of bacon in a pancake. YUM.
then I coated all the cakes in a bright teal fondant to match to cover of the book. In retrospect I think I would have colored the tier in gradients. Darker on the bottom and lighter on top, a lesson learned. After doweling and stacking I was ready to decorate. which is where the fun begins. 
First i carved a boat shape out of rice krispie treats, and coated it in strips of fundant textured to look like wooden planks. then I worked on the tiger, and the main character, Pi. I planned to have them sit in the boat, bobbing on the top of the cake. Mr Lemur set to work designing a small motor to set the life boat in motion. 
the first attempt at Pi, was a bit off scale, but easy enough to fix with a butt-ectomy. I just sliced off his rump and readjusted his limbs. Since the tale is slightly on the morbid side i tried to lighten it by cartooning the characters. The tiger was particularly adorable, if i do say so myself.
Adjusted Pi, and a finished tiger make me smile. 

After final inspection Lemur and I found that the boat would not be a-rockin. which is OK, we  learned alot about cake mechanics ( and by we I mean he, lol) despite the set back, I forged onward and started final assembly. I wanted to add the man eating moss island, and its inhabitants the meerkats, as well as the flying fish from the cover of the book. I even painted the symbols for Pi's 3 religious beliefs on the back of the boat. 
The most time consuming part was the waves, each rolled individually and attached painstakingly. i tried 4 or 5 different techniques for the waves, and although I wasn't completely thrilled with the result, it worked. I was happier after brushing the tops of the waves with luster dust. it gave them some depth. I struggled with wanting to add alot more elements onto my cake. But I stopped myself. I think sometimes it is better to have less clutter on the cake so that there can be a clear focus.  
Bunz and I whisked the cake over to the library just in time for me to come home and get gussied up. I wore a dress. That's right!!! I wore a dress!!! My niece and I attended the gala, a first for both of us. I was nervous, but there was a lot of friendly faces. I made a few new friends, and passed out a couple business cards. I cant wait till next yer to do it all again. They sent me the date already, all i need is the theme and i can start all over again!

Tuesday, 17 May 2011

I Hart

It was my niece's birthday recently. She is such a sweet young lady. I really wanted to go all out and make her something super rad for her. Unfortunately her birthday was smack dab in the middle of my crazy week of stupidness. So i decided to make her a simpler cake, because I know she appreciates the thought. I appreciate that about her 8)
The only trouble i had, and the lesson I learned AGAIN, is that you cant rush. I decided to do a mickey mouse club hat for her, cause she is into Disney and animation, and is no slouch in the drawing department herself. I'm actually very proud of her, she is quite an artist. I wish I could be as good as her... eventually I am going to be forced to tie her to my baking bench and exploit her talents. As a bonus she likes baking, so when she comes over i get to talk about baking as much as i want... i kind of love doing that. Now as I was saying, even though I did  a less complicated design, I still had to bake, make icing, ice, sculpt, and cover the cake. And since I was mildly distracted from the previous few days which had been filled with enormous amounts of baking and drama,I was rushing.I'm not proud of it. But it is what it is, and I'm sure she understands. I was very sad to give her something i knew i could have done better. I should have made the ears of the hat much more in advance so they would stand up nicely. The good news is that I'm really happy with how my bows have been turning out! and polka dots, when do i not love polka dots.
I hope she still liked it. 

Monday, 16 May 2011

More Than Meets the Eye

I woke up this morning feeling like I have been hit by a truck. A truck made out cake. Which is ironic, because this weekend I made a cake, that looked like a truck. Well more specifically it looked like Optimus Prime. For my little nephew monkey I made a chocolate and yellow marble cake, with milk chocolate Italian butter cream (heavy on the milk chocolate).

I got some feedback from his Grandma.... my momma, and donater of said huge amounts of milk chocolate (as well as so much other baking related awesomeness but that is another post) oh yeah the feed back... I guess it was abit to sweet for him,which is funny cause I made a conscious effort to make it sweet. I figured 7 year old birthday + sweet = good. I forgot I was dealing with the only munchkin in the world who doesn't like ketchup. he has some weird food habits, but i suppose all kids do. I think i went through an orange phase myself. Maybe ketchup is a genetic thing like cilantro or rolling your tongue, cause I don't like it either. Regardless hopefully he liked it, I love the little guy, and I want to make sure he knows he has people who believe in him and love him.
OK I'm gonna get all sappy. back to cake talk. In my head i really wanted to do more with this cake, but I was pressed for time, and well I figured a 7 year old would love it no matter what? right? cause it was cake, and Optimus Prime, and the cool auntie with the purple hair made it!

So for decoration my local transformer expert (Bunz) suggested I do Optimus Prime's chest. It turned out OK, I wish i had more time to add more details, but I'm at peace with it. the only major issue was when I went to drop it off, and I almost dropped the whole thing and it cracked down the middle where three layers connects to the 2 layers.  I was proud of myself for not completely freaking out. I fixed it as best I could, reminded myself it was for a 7 year old, and that I wasn't getting paid. LOL. Then i dropped it off, kissed his handsome little head and told him to behave. I couldn't stay for the party, I had to rush home to finish my cake for the Books2eat Gala that evening.
stay tuned for a post soon about the books2eat gala and my Cake of Pi

Monday, 9 May 2011

Girlie Girl

A former coworker called me up and asked for a last minute cake for her daughters second birthday. Foolishly I accepted, thinking this is time I could be spending on my Books2eat cake... what am I thinking. But I just can't say no to being part of peoples celebrations. Her only requests were pink, girlie, and chocolate.
So this is what I came up with... vanilla bean cake, with milk chocolate butter cream, covered in bright pink fondant, and fundant decorations.
first I made lots of little flowers and a bow

then I covered the cake in fondant

I smoothed down the sides and made it all pretty, I didn't want to do a real border on the bottom, so I made sure it was neat and tidy

Get all the decorations together and get inspired

I think this is the best bow I have done so far, I'm glad I learn from my mistakes, cause I have made some terrible bows before 8)

little clusters of flowers

I'm am not very girlie, but i do adore the little hearts inside the flowers, does it get any girlier?

And here is munchkins cake all put together. She seemed to like it, I hope they were happy with it!
One more pic from my phone, cause i like the angle...

Now off to work on more cake. and more cake. and more cake...

Thursday, 5 May 2011

I must really like you

I have a friend who is having a week... month...? To make her smile I am posting a pic of the first cake I did at school. I remember how incredibly impressive I thought I was, I even wrote ( almost legibly) happy birthday on it and presented it to the adorable Ms Mander at our joint birthday party. I giggle when I see it now, and it humbles me. This cake reminds me that there is always something new to learn, and no one is good at anything the first time. LOL
This friend of mine is a pretty rad chickie. Always ready to bail me out of a bad mood with her mad dance skills. She has the patience of a saint and the face of an angel... although I'm sure she has a little devil side too with that wicked grin! Thank you for all of your help <3 you inspire me. You are gonna go places girl!

Wednesday, 4 May 2011

Hello Friends

I sent out a message to some of my friends to check out my shiny new cake nerd blog. Hopefully they check in here... if you are one of those friends THANKS BUDDY!

Tuesday, 3 May 2011

Oops I did it again

I have completely overbooked myself. So for the next to weeks I may not have too much time to post, but after that I should have all sorts of exciting stories and photos to share. 3 birthdays and a my first "gala". May is going to be an exciting month, I hope I can pull off all my plans!

While I'm away, here is a pic of a cake I did for a friend who's birthday is on Black Friday (the anniversary of the tornado in Edmonton) I feel like I'm in a tornado right now, but I admit I kinda like it... for now anyway 8)