Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Cake Decorating Graduate

For the very last class I opted to go with the Duncan Hines Extra Moist Marble cake mix. I had no time to spare after a weekend of friends and showers. I also opted to use the Wilton icing recipe in a chocolate flavor. The cake actually rose more evenly than ever before when using BOTH strips.

Here is a view of my work station in the classroom. This is only 1/10th of the mess I made in class last night. Notice the little sweet pea flower towards the bottom of the picture on the practice board. I loved those but I couldn't really picture them on my cake. So you won't see any more of those for now. (And no, I wasn't the only one taking pictures in class.)

Here is a close-up of my first roses. I know one day I will look back at these and laugh.

Here is my attempt to do a cluster of roses. I had a few difficulties last night. My icing was TOO SOFT. For weeks I've battled with it being too hard. The roses wouldnt harden when I would try to transport them. I could have used a freezer in this case. Unfortunately, I did not have that luxury last night. Oh, and I lost about 2 to the floor.

But I managed.

The inside...

I couldn't resist. I figured I need to try it to see if it was good enough to make again. Notice the clump of icing on my plate.... I still don't REALLY like icing. I know, but I just took a class.

If judging how good the cake is by how fast it disappears in the office, this is the winner!

Pleased as Punch: Part 2

Ok, I must admit. I forgot to take a picture of the slushy consistency (as it was found at one point on the floorboard of my car). I even planned to take a picture of Julie's cute punch and water dispenser set-up. I got distracted. So instead here is a picture of the spread at the shower with miss party planner herself, Julie. Seriously. We are all trying to convince her to quit the whole dentistry plan and go into catering. I think she could be the next big Food Network star.

We had quite a bit of punch left. Note to self: make half as much next time. Even with 20 people (some of which ditched the punch glasses for large glasses ;)), we still had half left over. We did add another ingredient or two and it served up a great afternoon cocktail after guests were gone. Is there such thing as a punch belini? We think so.

Friday, August 21, 2009

"Pleased as Punch"

No, it's not a baked goods recipe. It's not even a cooking recipe. It's a punch recipe (and one that I've volunteered to make for a shower this weekend). Among my friends this punch is called the "Mother/Daughter Tea Punch" because I made it in college for my sorority's mother/daughter tea. We always hoped for leftovers. Thankfully it is a HUGE recipe because whatever you make normally disappears. You can see from the list of ingredients it is easily halved.

Mother/Daughter Tea Punch (for lack of a better name...I don't have one)

2 cans 42 oz concentrated pineapple juice
2 cans 42 oz concentrated orange juice
2 small packages of unsweetened cherry koolaid
lemon juice to taste (1/4 cup or so)
12 cups water
4 cups of sugar

It's simple. You pour all the ingredients into the bowl and mix with a slotted spoon. I actually split this recipe when making the punch because I do not own a container large enough to make it all.

I thought this looked nifty, so I took a picture. When I dumped the koolaid into the concentrate it swirled around on its own to create this:

(Not the most appetizing picture but pretty darn nifty...)

You can see it also made this huge bowl of punch as well. I put both containers in the freezer to leave overnight.

You will want to take it out a good 12 hours before the shower. That is the hard part. Put a reminder in your phone if you need help remembering. That is what I do.

It's best when it has a good slush to it. Slushy pics to follow!

Monday, August 17, 2009

Piece of Cake

Ok, remember when I said I was going to refuse to do clowns? I lied. The sweet woman across from me was very insistant upon offering me one of her clown heads...so here you go. There is a lot going on this week but it was good to take a break and think of nothing but cake for a couple hours. :)

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Red Velvet Cake...doesn't like me.

Unfortunately, I like it...a lot.

I have problems with uneven baking. I've suspected it when baking cookies in the past. I think this confirms the problem:

I bought bake even strips for this very purpose. Believe it or not, I used them. Does anyone have any recommendations?

P.S. Red velvet stains. EVERYTHING it touches.

Monday, August 10, 2009

Crisco Creation...

The book lesson plan was to do a rainbow. Um, people really don't do rainbow cakes anymore. I think Wilton needs to update their handbook. Next week we are to lean how to do gigantic sit-up clowns and roses. You can decorate your cake with either. You can guess which I will choose.

This is my creation. I dedicated it to my office (WPT) since I hope they will be the ones consuming this tomorrow. I have smelled so much icing I really don't think I can touch it. Sad, but fortunate, since this weekend is my beach trip. I may change my mind when I see the dark chocolate fudge inside, however!

Oh, and don't judge the WPT letters. I threw that on to fill in space. I didn't follow the 'technique.' I do think that is the icing tip I will be using on cupcakes from here on out. I am excited about that...

I cut a slice because I have noticed something. Nobody wants to be the first to cut into a cake. That and I wanted to see the layers. I had never sucessfully layered a cake.

Just as I took this picture, it hit the ground. I had it balanced on the server. I DID salvage just enough to sneak a taste. YUM

Sunday, August 9, 2009

Class Preparation

It takes this:

To create this:

This is much harder than I thought! I feel pretty satisfied with my first try at the cake. I can tell you what. I am going to be sick of the clean-up. Mom can attest for the MESS the Wilton icing recipe makes. Let's just say Wilton has to own stock in Crisco....

Friday, August 7, 2009

Birthday Cupcakes for the Bday Girl

Michelle had her big 2-7 this week. We celebrated Tuesday night. Since I was in cake decorating class till late Monday night I didn't get to do anything "fancy" for her bday cupcakes. Sad...

But then there's the option to go with the classic yellow cake mix with chocolate icing (I tried dark chocolate....yum). Store bought. My personal favorite. I also put sprinles in the batter. That's always a fun surprise.

Note to self. Don't buy white liners for cupcakes. They don't stay white. They turn a dirty yellow. Sad.
Of course, they were still yummy. Happy bday Michelle!!

Monday, August 3, 2009

Class is in Session

Tonight was my first night taking 'Course 1: Discover Cake Decorating' by Wilton. It was a long class lasting 2 hours. It was closer to 2.5 hours by the time we all left the cake isle. I learned more than I ever imagined and it's yet to be "hands on!" Just think what I will learn next week! THIS will make for some interesting blogging. It is late, and I have yet to accomplish anything tonight so I will leave you with this...

5 random things I learned from class:

1. The icing you buy from the store will never harden. So we must use the recipe given to us. Not sure how I feel about that. I like store container icing. (I think I owe some of that to you, LP-G).

2. Crisco has changed their recipe lately so Wilton had to change theirs. It HAD transfat in it. Not anymore. (Wow, so that banana bread I used to make WASN'T so healty after all.)

3. You can spend a FORTUNE on cake decorating nick nacks. My favorite item today was the Wilton Cake Leveler. You better believe I bought one. From now on I will be torting.

4. To get true white in icing you have to buy clear vanilla. It is artificially flavored.

5. Monday is the perfect time to take the class. You have all weekend to prepare because you must come equipped with a cake and variations of icing. I got lucky - I hadn't even thought of that!