"if you wish to be glamorous, become a cake baker" -The Joy of Cooking

Monday, April 2, 2018

Oh hello again...

It has been a minute since I posted on my beloved baking blog.  I haven't lost the passion for it but I was just a teensy busy...  I guess technically I was doing a lot of baking this past year but not the cake kind.  I had a little sweet, amazingly beautiful and lovely baby girl that I baked to perfection! She just turned 4 months and i'm so in love.

To say my world turned upside down is an understatement.  Nothing is the same anymore, I'm not the same.  In a good way.  In the most amazing way. I can say that now but man was it was a bumpy road  to motherhood.

First pregnancy wasn't as easy as I thought it would be and giving birth was NO JOKE, not to mention the first few weeks of being catapulted into this daunting new life was extremely difficult for me to cope with and top top of the whirl wind of emotions/hormones, I had just lost someone very dear to me.  However, I (just) feel more "normal" and more like myself a little each day.  I'm taking it one day at a time and being mindful to enjoy every moment with her.

During all this life change, baking and cake decorating were just not on my radar or even something I wanted to attempt.  Recently, while planning my daughters upcoming baptism, the creative side of me that loves to bake, decorate and create took over.  I am so super excited to make the cake for this joyous event.

Here are some flowers I've made ahead for her cake:

I use like using Wilton gum paste with Wilton White White food colour so that the flowers are bright white and coloured the gum paste for the peonies 2 shades of pink.
This is my first attempt at making a peony flower.  I think they came out so pretty, they are such a lovely flower.  I ordered the FMM Easiest Peony Cutter from amazon.  Click   HERE to check it out.

I also followed this tutorial I found using this cutter on youtube HERE

I really had to plan ahead for these since what used to take me a few hours took me days to make now.  I could only work on them when my husband was home.

Sunday, March 19, 2017

Homemade Dole Whip - A Classic Disney Treat

One of the most recommended treats to try while at Disneyland was their famous Dole Whip.  It sort of has a cult following among Disney goers and I finally joined the band wagon.   If you're not familiar with this yummy treat it's Pineapple soft serve that you can get just swirled in a cup or as a float like this:

The Dole Whip float is pineapple soft serve with pineapple juice.  It was created by The Dole Food Company in the 70's.  While it's not exclusive to Disney, Dole credits it's popularity to them.

My husband liked it fine but wasn't that impressed, I on the other hand LOVED it! Pineapple is my favourite fruit and the juice with the soft serve together was sooooo nice and refreshing after walking around Disneyland for hours.  In my opinion it was the perfect snack break to recharge and keep me going for many more hours walking around the parks.

So until yesterday, I thought I would never be able to have another Dole Whip until my next visit to Disney 😢 You can imagine my surprise while perusing Snapchat, of all things,  a recipe for home made Dole Whip on the Tastemade feed popped up!! If you don't have Snapchat you can also download the Tastemade app.  It's super fun, has tons of short cooking/baking videos and tons of recipes like this magical treat:

IT TASTES JUST THE SAME!!!! it made me so happy and it's soooooooooooooo EASY!
 I don't have a blender so I just dumped all the ingredients into a food processor and whizzed everything up until smooth.  I did have to stop it a few times to scrape down the middle and sides to ensure that everything would get whipped up nicely.  I just scooped it out into bowls but you could put it in the piping bag if you want to go that extra mile and make it look like a swirl.  It was so creamy and smooth and delicious !
Be sure that once you make it you're able to serve it right away.  It does freeze up very hard once you put it in the freezer.
I topped mine with a piece of pineapple and a maraschino cherry or 3😊

Make it! and share the joy!

Saturday, March 4, 2017

Mickey Mouse Rice Krispie Treats

Last month my husband and I celebrated our 1 year anniversary!!!! wooooo! 💘  I can't believe how quickly a whole year has gone by and how strong my love for him keeps growing. I'm so blessed to have someone so wonderful.

We didn't go on a honeymoon after we were married so for our anniversary we decided it would finally be time to take a trip of a lifetime to California! It was AMAZING!!!!!!  We rented a car and started in LA, drove up to San Francisco, Napa Valley & Sonoma, Carmel, Cambria back to LA and then down to San Diego.  It was more than I could have ever expected.

While we were in the LA area we went to DISNEYLAND!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! 😀🌟🌞🌈🚗🍦🍪🍩🍭💗  What a dream come true! I never thought I would ever get to go to the original Disney Park. It was magical!!!!  So now that i'm back home and in a little bit of post vacay funk I'm so glad I get to recreate a little magic in my kitchen from my Disney visit:

This is the Mickey Rice Krispie Treat we shared at Disneyland. I HAD to have the right Mickey cutter in order to recreate this at home

First you need to make the Rice Krispie treats. You'll need 1/4 cup of butter, 5 cups mini marshmallows or 40 regular size ones, 1/2 tsp vanilla & 6 cups Rice Krispies Cereal

Once you have all the ingredients measured out and ready to go, melt the butter in a non stick pan

Once the butter is melted add in the marshmallows and stir so that each one gets coated with butter and keep stiring until they are all smooth and melted

like this 

Add the vanilla to the melted marshmallows, stir in the cereal and mix until everything is evenly coated. Press evenly into a greased 9x13 pan

Let the Rice Krispies cool and set before cutting out your Mickey shapes. I'm sooooo happy I picked up this Mickey head cutter while at Disneyland.  It's actually labeled as a sandwich cutter but works perfect for this and would be great for cookies too!

I love it 😊

Next I melted a mix of milk and dark chocolate in a heat proof bowl set over simmering water

I dipped each treat in chocolate and then added sprinkles before the chocolate set, I think they are so cute ! 

We are having a little party with family for our anniversary later so i'm excited to serve these cute treats along with the top tier that we saved from our wedding cake!  To me these treats represent what a magical time we had not only at Disney but for the whole trip in California and the awesome ride we've had so far as husband & wife 💘

Wednesday, February 8, 2017

C.J's Half Birthday Cake !

My little nephew C.J just turned 6 months last week. 😊
He is the sweetest little baby boy ever. I love his chubby little legs, his sweet, sweet smile and his cuddly gentle nature.
I'm so proud to be his aunt and godmother.  I poured extra love into his half birthday cake.

The cake is one 8 inch vanilla buttermilk cake that I cut in half and sandwiched together with vanilla buttercream icing.
The letters and the elephant are fondant

Wednesday, January 25, 2017

Monday Night Baking: Strawberry Donuts

Sometimes the case of the Mondays just needs a little strawberry donut action.  I got home from work  and did the usual dinner and washing up and once everything was clean and put away I couldn't ignore the urge to make these donuts here.

I was in Williams-Sonoma store about a week ago with my mom and had to buy these cute little donut pans they have for making baked donuts.  I also purchased the Williams-Sonoma Doughnut Cookbook which you can check out Here and had to make the strawberry donuts ASAP! Check out this YouTube link Here of William-Sonoma's page if you would like to see a quick demo.

Here is the result:

So Pretty ! The main ingredient are fresh (or frozen) strawberries. The recipe calls for 2 cups quartered strawberries that you will need to puree in a blender or food processor, I used a food processor. Then pour the pureed strawberries through a fine mesh sieve to get all the seeds out.

Pour the puree into a sauce pan and simmer for 5-7 mins until syrupy.  Some of this strawberry syrup will be used for the glaze later on

Here is my batter all mixed and ready to bake.  I transferred the dough into a piping bag which made it so much easier to get into the pans.  

I brushed the wells of the donut pan with a little vegetable oil then piped in the batter

Ready for the oven: the recipe supposedly yields about 16-18 donuts.                                                  I found I was only able to get 12

Bake for about 10mins in a 375 oven rotating the pans half way through baking

Making the strawberry glaze

Such a pretty colour! And not a drop of food colouring! yay!

These were soooooooooo good! I'm definitely going to try out some more recipes from this book and hopefully soon I'll work up the courage to try out some of the fried donut recipes too!

Tuesday, December 20, 2016

Christmas Cookies: Gingerbread Madness!!

Every Christmas season the sheer longing to bake gingerbread and construct fun festive things like a jolly house is so overwhelming I find myself day dreaming about making one all day.  Details like how the door will look or what candies I should buy to adorn it, how and where I should display it in our home takes over my brain until I get into the kitchen and start.

I purchased this book Here a couple Christmases ago and LOVE looking through it to get inspired, learn royal icing techniques and it has great house templates in it as well.  I definitely took the house on the front cover as a guide for the house I made this year, although it isn't nearly as perfect, I really love how it turned out.  

I also made a gingerbread tree and some good ol' gingerbread men.  The tree and house are purely for decoration, the men I baked to actually eat.   I must admit as much as I love baking and making gingerbread this didn't get done all in one day, it actually took days to make, 2 batches of royal icing and sprinkles everywhere that by the time I finished, it really does take me a whole year to recover and get the urge to make another! 

I used 2 batches of this recipe HERE from Wilton.  For the men I substituted butter instead of shortening.

My templates placed on the rolled dough.  I printed this cute gingerbread house template from an amazing blog I follow sweetopia.net all about mastering beautifully decorated cookies.  Click  Here if you would like the template

House pieces ready to bake.  I put the cookie pieces in the freezer for about 15mins before baking

This year I decided instead of using candy I would decorate my house with royal icing and some sprinkles.  Here i'm using a fan to help speed up the drying time.  

Decorate your walls and let them dry flat completely before assembling the house.  I'm very new at piping royal icing and need to work on perfecting the perfect consistency for piping decorations

I LOVE the way the front door came out.  I covered it with sugar pearls and the pink door knob is just perfect.  It makes me smile every time I look at it

Back of house

Side windows

I absolutely love it :)

Here is the recipe I used for royal icing also from sweetopia.net 
It is a super thick consistency which is perfect for putting house pieces together.  You will need to thin out the icing with water in order to do any detailed piping.  This is where I definitely struggled.  My icing was probably a bit too thin but I just went with it and like the way it came out

Gingerbread men! I got the gingerbread man cutter form Williams-Sonoma.  I think next time I will use a smaller icing tip for the face that I used for the outlining 

 And last but not least the tree!! I used this  cutter set from Wilton.  I just cut and baked 1 of each graduated size star. Once cooled and I stacked the stars using royal icing and then sprinkled over gold and silver dragees and snowflakes. 

I hope I inspired you to get in the spirit of baking gingerbread!! Although it was very time consuming it was really fun and by the time next christmas rolls around i'll be ready to go again!  


                                                  PEACE ~ LOVE ~ JOY ~ BAKE