Catch up on cake type things!

September 7, 2010

Still trying to catch up with blog stuff, during the busy period I was baking cookies, cakes and going to George Brown courses – well ok, a George Brown Course (Breakfast Breads which I will talk about in another post).  I have already put up some of the cookie pictures so now I will put up some cake pictures. 

Marshmallow Chocolate Cakies – these are from Martha Stewart’s Cookies book.  I am classing these as a cake as they are far more substantial than your standard cookie and also, the final product I got was very soft and cakey rather than cookie like.  The base is a chocolate cookie base although as mentioned a very very very soft and cakey cookie – this might have something to do with the fact that I made them quite thick rather than thinner cookie size.  This base is baked and then a marshmallow is placed on top and melted slightly.  All of this is then coated in chocolate.  Cake, marshmallow and chocolate all in one delicious mouthful.  Extremely moreish!

Maple Marshmallow Cupcakes – I first made these cupcakes as plain maple syrup cupcakes with no topping and they went down really well … you can’t go far wrong with something maple syrup flavoured.  However, in my opinion they really did need a topping but I wanted something more than standard buttercream or whipped cream.  So the topping we went with was mini marshmallows browned off under the grill (broiler if you are from the US or Canada) – this was a rather messy process as I didn’t want to grill the cupcakes so made little mounds of marshmallows on parchment and then transferred them to the cupcakes while they were still warm … have you ever worked with melted marshmallows …. may I recommend well oiled tools.  Following all this work to get a topping on them I felt very satisfied when they went down EVEN better with the topping on.

Triple Chocolate Brownies – dense and fudgy chocolate brownies, white chocolate chips and milk chocolate chunks … what more can I say … …. I think the picture speaks for itself.

If you do want any further details about any of these cookies do feel free to contact me.


Catch up on cookie type things!

September 1, 2010

So, I was so busy that I didn’t updated my blog between March and August. However, during this time I was not too busy to bake … I’m pretty sure this would be impossible but that isn’t a reason to test this theory. This means there are lots of photos and things which need to be shown the light of day. So first things first I will update you on my cookies.

Fig bars – these are a shortcrust pastry for both the top and bottom and then filled with a mixture of dried figs an sugar which is boiled together to make a sticky jam type filling. After making these I will never buy the shop variety as they really aren’t worth the money as these ones are sooooooo much nicer.

Fruit and Nut Cookies – these are a version of a cookie recipe from Martha Stewart’s Cookies book. Martha’s original recipe calls for certain types of dried fruit and a nuts however, this is where my pantry falls down … I never have the type that she actually states in the recipe so I ALWAYS have to improvise with whatever I have so I’ve had everything in these at one point or another including cranberries, apricots, mango, cashews, peanuts, pistachios, pralines, walnuts, raisins, sultanas, figs, prunes, dates and pineapple the only constant that I have in these cookies is the desiccated coconut which I think adds a nice layer of flavour to them.

In fact, I’m going to be making these bad boys again tomorrow for my husband’s work picnic!

Orange Macaroons – not sure what I can say about these they are the classic macaroons with an orange flavour. The recipe I used was in one of my cooking magazines from the UK. The only problem is that they did end up a little on the flat side but other than that they were lovely.

Striped tuiles – one day I just felt the need to make these. Again they were a recipe from Martha Stewart’s Cookies book but … well just look at them aren’t they fun! They are actually easier to make than they look. The taste is just as good as they look as well, a lovely light vanilla flavour. All in all well worth the time!

If you do want any further details about any of these cookies do feel free to contact me.

Baby Shower Cake

August 30, 2010

Back in May, a friend from work asked me to make her a cake for her Baby Shower. Now, the only other times I had made large cakes I had done it for free and so I was a bit concerned about having to do it and have her rely on me not to mess it up. This was made worse by the fact that she insisted on paying me for the cake. All in all a fairly stressful thing to have to do but, I took the challenge and embraced it.
She sent me a couple of pictures of cakes she had seen on the internet to give me some ideas of what she was looking for which gave me a good starting point but otherwise I didn’t really have much to go on. So, I went to it.
I invested in a large tub of fondant icing, some cut out shapes, cake boards, pillars, a large rolling pin and some additional food colourings. In addition to all of this I felt that now was a good time to get some new pans to make sure that everything would fit together well.
Now, was the time to choose cake flavours … my friend was not particularly helpful at this point as, so long as there was no chocolate in it that was fine. After much persuasion I managed to get her to chose Banana and Vanilla for the two tiers. Then came the tasting – I made a few sample cakes and got her (and of course the rest of the office) to taste and decide on the best for each tier. Once this was done we were set.
The cakes themselves were made on Wednesday, filled on Thursday, buttercream iced on Friday and then on Saturday the fondant icing and decoration went on. This was a long effort but it was definitely worth it … what do you think?

And, yes … it was a little girl!

Slightly late but …

August 23, 2010

So a little while ago, just around Christmas time I went to a cookware shop that I love to browse in but very rarely buy in (Williams and Sonoma) but unfortunately this time I took my husband with me. You see this is unfortunate because when I take my husband with me he actually makes me buy things. It was his lab Christmas party that week so he was insistent that I get a pan to make him a shaped cake to take (as it was a pot luck party). So I ended up with a Snowman cake pan … it is very nice but it is also a fair bit more than I usually spend on cake pans.

So the next thing I know I am making the first snowman I have made since I was a kid.

He is a vanilla sponge cake (of course made from scratch). Filled with strawberry jam and buttercream. We then made a seven minute frosting to cover which to give additional texture we then sprinkled (well it was more of a throw but let’s not argue) dessicated coconut over the top. We finished with the remaining buttercream coloured to yellow, blue, brown, orange and black for the different details. The amazing thing about all this decoration was that the hardest part was getting the black buttercream black … even though we had black food colouring it just didn’t seem to want to go black it just stayed a dark grey … I’m glad it does look black in the photo.
So what do you think?


July 30, 2010

Well, I’m sorry I have no excuse it has been FAR too long since I was last on here updating!

Anyway, I won’t be able to update until the middle of August but I promise I will update you all on my baking efforts then!

Speak soon