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Vintage Bakeware

20 Jul

Some years ago when my grandmother passed I got this vintage bundt cake pan of hers. This was before I started baking and I was just happy to have it because it was hers and I thought it was pretty.  A few days ago I used it for the first time and found it incredibly satisfying to be baking a cake in a pan so entrenched in the nostalgia of my childhood. My grandmother used this pan a lot.

Vintage Bundt Cake Pan

I decided to make a chocolate mayonnaise cake.  For those of you who have never used mayo in baking, it sounds pretty gross but makes one of the moistest cakes you will ever have in your mouth (it adds extra egg whites and oil to the batter.)  I had a ton of cold brewed iced coffee in the fridge so I replaced the water with that. when it was done I sprinkled it with confectioners sugar.  Yum!

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I was at The Good Knight the other night and had a delicious pot de creme made with earl grey, so I would like to give this cake a whirl with the earl grey instead of coffee.

Next I want to make the Tunnel of Fudge Cake. If you are not familiar with this gooey amazingness,  it won the Pillsbury Bake-Off  in the sixties. My grandmother made it all the time when I was young so it became one of my childhood favorites.  I wish I had her recipe, as I remember her telling me it was different, saying she was surprised when it won as she had been making a similar cake for years.

I found a recipe on the Pillsbury website but it’s not the same. Word on the street is that the original Bake-Off cake recipe called for a powdered frosting mix that is no longer available.  Plus, I know it did not have nuts in it. There are tons of recpies I’ve found that claim to emulate the original. I guess I’ll just have to bake a bunch of cakes until I find the right one and my poor friends and neighbors will just have to eat them.

Mustache Cupcakes

24 Feb

My friend Maddie’s birthday was last month and as is our tradition I made a huge batch of cupcakes for her party. This year she had requested robot cupcakes but due to time constraints I was unable to make that happen. As disappointing as it was to me I had to make her these mustache cupcakes again.

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I molded each nose by hand from marzipan. The question everyone asks every year is “Is this nose edible?” Yes. Eat.

Scultingnoses

Last year I made 50 of them and was stuck icing on chocolate sheriff’s mustached all day. This year I only did two dozen and it went super smooth. I have to say they were quite the hit. Even strangers at The Hole in The Wall were stopping to admire them and everyone running around with cupcakes on their face. Success.

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Zombie Jesus Day

15 Apr

To celebrate the day Jesus came back from the dead, as zombies do, I had a Zombie Jesus Day barbeque on Sunday. I roasted a cuban style pork shoulder and cooked a ton of food. Unfortunately my landlord hasn’t had our lawn taken care of in months, so the grass was way to long for the planned bocce ball. Sad.

I love themed pastries so I made some stigmata cookies. I used a hand shaped cookie cutter on some lofthouse dough and then cut a hole in the center before baking. I played around with the size if the hole in a test batch to find the right size. Topped them with a prepackaged rolled fondant and then squeezed in some buttercream icing colored with red candy coloring.
Stigmata Cookies

Stigmata Cookie

I baked my first layered cake. It actually made me cry. I made a basic lemon cake with a filling made of lemon pudding and raspberry preserves. The cake cracked terribly twice. After the second one cracked I stuck the pieces back together as best I could and then just iced over it. It wasn’t the prettiest thing I’ve ever made but I thought it was still quite delicious. I racked my brain for days trying to come up with a cleaver idea for cup cakes and as the tears fell on my cake it finally came to me…crown of thorns. Oh, how I wish I would have thought of it just three hours earlier. So I edged the cake with a squeeze icing like a crown of thorns…next time cupcakes. It would have been better.
 

Zombie Jesus Day Cake

You should checkout Boots In The Oven for their awesome (and quite flattering) post on my Easter events, complete with way better pictures. They keep my favorite food and travel blog,.

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Sugar Skull Cookies

30 Apr

I finally used the new cookie cutters that I made.
I made some lofthouse style cookies with rolled fondant.

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The decorating was amazingly fun
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I also made some cookies with the sacred heart cutter.
They had a little issue with the flames getting knocked off after they were baked.
But the ones that made it through were pretty.

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D.I.Y. Cookie Cutters

19 Apr

I made my first cookie cutters today. I decided last week that I wanted to make some sugar skull shaped cookies to decorate with fondant, so I needed to make some custom cookie cutters. I picked up some medium weight aluminum sheet metal and cut it into strips a little over 1 inch wide using a pair of tin snips. I decided to go with the heavier gauge metal which was harder to work with, but they wouldn’t easily lose their shape with all the banging around in the kitchen.

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I used a pair of pliers to bend the sheets into shape, I used my paper sketch as a guide. Then I just filed down the sharp metal pokies with a metal rasp. I don’t really want my cookie cutters to bite back.

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I found some food safe metal adhesive and applied it to the overlap and secured them with a C-clamp

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Then I waited 4 hours……

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Next time I’m soldering them together. I’m going to get a soldering iron next week!
I ended up making a sacred heart one as well.

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I’m waiting for its four hours to pass right now, as I only seem to own one set of c-clamps…

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I can’t wait to try them out!
They are a not perfect, but I’m not too worries about it this time.
Tomorrow I’m going to experiment with rolled fondant on my pretty new sugar cookies. Fondant scares me a bit, but do not fear…I will win.

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Chocolate Peanut Butter Cupcake Restlessness

18 Apr

Yesterday I made chocolate peanut butter cupcakes. I tried out a few different things with them, again I was trying to get a peanut butter filled center.
I made a chocolate fudge cake batter to start. Then, for about half of them, I stuffed peanut butter chips in the center of the cups of batter. But instead of melting, they jut sank to the bottom and hardened once they were cooled.

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Still yummy, but not what I was looking for. For the other half, I finally broke down and stuffed them the way everyone keeps telling me to. I’m not sure why I’m so resistant to cutting the hole in the center, but I just want to find another method. But as I said, I caved.  I just cut a hole in the top after they were baked. I just made a cone shaped cut with a knife and removed the extra and slathered a tablespoon or so of peanut butter in the hole

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I made a peanut butter-chocolate icing by just mixing together 2/3 chocolate icing and 1/3 smooth peanut butter and then topped it all with chopped peanuts

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I took some up to a friend at the coffee shop, which were shared liberally. They seemed to be a big hit. Although I forgot to mark which batch was which, so it was a surprise as to if you would get a big gooey bite of nuttiness inside. It’s so much fun bring people cupcakes. Especially delivered in a pretty white box tied up with baker’s twine.

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Lemon Cupcakes

29 Mar

I’m still making a lot of cupcakes.

I tried something new this time. I wanted to make lemon cupcakes with a lemon pudding filling. After some poking around, looking at different cake recipes, I decided I didn’t want to scoop out the middle as I was sure I would end up mangling the cakes too badly. But I came up with an idea…yes…an idea. I made the cupcake batter and scooped a little bit in each paper, then I put about a teaspoon of lemon pudding in the center (I just used an instant pudding mix that I prepared and chilled.) Then filled the rest of each cup with batter. The plan worked…kind of.

The pudding created a hollow center of each cupcake, with a small neat hole on top where the pudding escaped. This is good. I was able to then just squeeze pudding into the center with a pastry bag. The bad part…there was also a larger unintended hole at the bottom of the cake, making for some messy if not delicious eating. I may try putting the bit of putting closer to the top next time. Maybe that will create the opposite effect, but my math might be off…

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I just used a pre-made vanilla icing, I really need to invest in a hand-mixer. I find store bought icings too sweet.

Then I candied some lemon peel. I just used the left over lemon peel, boiled them in water for 5 min. rinsed with cold water. Then I scraped off the pith, which was much easier after they were cooked. I then stuck the peel in a 1/2 water, 1/2 sugar mixer and boiled for 10 min. Pulled them out and packed them in sugar overnight.

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Except the bottom issue, I was pleased with the results. Gooey, lemony, yummy- yummy cupcakes and a gummy sugary lemon topping.

I also learned that my kitchen is not a good place to take photos. Overhead lighting is bad, very, very bad

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Cupcakes

21 Mar

I figured the world needed yet another post about cupcakes. But, I don’t care. I love cup cakes. Yummy, yummy cupcakes. Just the perfect self contained little sweeties. I often go in and out of cupcake obsession. Sometimes when I’m having a particularly shitty day I’ll treat myself to the terrible combination of cupcakes and champagne…mmm

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No self-pity this time. I just wanted to make a special treat for a special person. I was wandering the baking aisles of the crafting store and came across…Edible Glitter! This maybe old news to everyone else, but I had never seen such things. I immediately snatched some up in a pretty blushing pink and grabbed some candy coloring gel in a complimentary tone and made a beeline to the grocery store. Cupcakes!

I decided on doing a vanilla cake and an almond icing. Pink almond icing?…why not?

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The glitter was easy to work with. After I finished frosting the cupcakes, I let them sit for a bit so the icing could set up some. After they were past the gooey stage, I just brushed the glitter on with a dry, soft fan brush.

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I found that I could work the glitter on in layers to create different tones and effects.

I just adore the aluminum style cupcake papers, something about them just seems so old-timey to me. Plus, they come in the “jumbo” size and I like my cupcakes oversized.

I can’t wait to deliver these! I was really pleased with the iridescent effect, although I was hoping for something more “glittery.”

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Three Cheers for Cupcakes!

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