Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Cardamom Crumb Cake

This crumb cake was so easy to whip up.  I made a few minor changes to the recipe.  At my daughter's request I omitted the nuts.  She was very happy!  I didn't have any oranges so I substituted lemon zest, and instead of butter I used olive oil.  You couldn't even taste it!    The lemon was very fresh and the cake was a hit with all my family!

If you want to try this recipe look in Dorrie Greenspan's book Baking From My Home To Yours on pages 38-39.  Or you can look on Jill's website (she picked this week!):  http://jillbert.wordpress.com/2010/12/21/tuesdays-with-dorie-cardamom-crumb-cake-my-pick/

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Baby Shower Cake & Cookies ~ Bananafish Bubblegum Design!


A 9" three layer, Devilishly Moist Chocolate Cake from Tish Boyle's The Cake Book, with Billy's Vanillie  Buttercream, topped with a fondant icing.    I made matching onesie cookies to go with it.    

I made all to match her bedding- Bananafish Bubblegum, from Target.  So adorable!

Welcome little one!  

Saturday, November 27, 2010

50th Anniversary Cake!

My very first formal cake!  I had so much fun designing this cake and making it.  Debra wanted the cake to be gold and cream, with black accents.   I made two sketches for her, and this is the one she chose.  I used a 6" round Golden Cake for the top, and a 9" round Devilishly Chocolate Cake for the bottom half (Thank you to Tish Boyle's The Cake Book), under the fondant icing the cake is covered in a cream cheese frosting.  

I was so honored to make this cake.  What a special day- 50 years of marriage!  

Hope you are all enjoying your Thanksgiving weekend!

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Cranberry Lemon Galette with the BEST Pie Crust RECIPE!!

Today's Tuesday with Dorrie from Dorrie Greenspan's Baking From My House To Yours, is a simple rustic type of pie~a galette.  This is my first galette, and it was so simple and easy to make.   This Galette is a scrumptious combination of sweet and tart, so, so good!!  Dorie you have done it again!! Delicious!

I didn't have a lime, it was supposed to be a Cranberry Lime Galette but I only had a lemon, so that is what I used.  I also substituted homemade strawberry jam for the raspberry jam.  I believe in working with what I have on hand!  :)  Simple substitutions like this do not really alter the recipe much in my opinion.  Sure the taste will be slightly different but the principle is the same.

I baked my Galette on my stone cookie sheet.  The stone prevents the crusts from burning, ie. the cookies, galette, or whatever I'm baking.

I love Dorie's pie crust, but I have a recipe I love even more.  My cousin from WI gave me this little cookbook from the Sheboygan Christian School (they are famous for their pies!) and I make the crust from this home grown book~100 Years Of Butter & Love.

Here is my pie crust recipe, enjoy it with your favorite pie.  I'm sure you'll be baking one up here pretty soon as we are just one week away from Thanksgiving!

Pie Crust 
Makes enough for two pie crusts.
4 C. flour
1 T sugar (optional)
2 tsp salt
1 3/4 C. butter
1/2 C. water
1 T vinegar
1 lg. egg
Mix together flour, sugar and salt.  Add butter and mash with a pastry blender until crumbly.  In a small bowl beat water, vinegar and egg.  Combine the two mixtures, stirring with fork.  Divide for rolling.  Works best if chilled about 30 minutes.  Roll out on floured surface or between parchment paper to prevent sticking.

The crust does not taste at all like vinegar, once cooked.  It has a wonderful consistency and is easy to work with.  Rose Levey Beranbaum author of The Pie and Pastry Bible says "The vinegar helps relax the dough with out loosing the flakiness, making it easier to roll, shrink less and be more tender."  She is also the author of The Cake Bible.

If you would like the recipe for the Galette look here at Celestial Confections blog, she picked the delicious recipe this week!

Friday, November 12, 2010

Baby Shower Cake (Gluten Free) - Monkey Design!

I recently made this cake to match the bedding below for a friend's babyshower.  She is having a little boy!  Isn't the bedding adorable?  

Silly me, I forgot to take a picture of the cake, but I'm so glad she sent me this one!  I made the cake Gluten Free using white rice flour.  It was perfect!  I used Tish Boyle's The Cake Book's recipe for Golden Cake and just altered the flour to rice flour and added a little Guar Gum to help with the consistency.  
I used BillyVanillie Buttercream, and I made the monkey with fondant.  I even learned how to pipe my words with a new technique!  

Welcome Baby Avery!!  

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Not-Just-For-Thanksgiving Cranberry Shortbread Cake

This shortbread cake is perfect for this time of year.  The flaky sugar cookie crust is scrumptious and the cranberry center is a nice compliment.  It's pretty easy to put together.  I used a spring-form pan and that worked great for me. 

If you want to try it check out a Singleton in the Kitchen's great blog!  Or look in Dorie Greenspan's cookbook Baking From My House To Yours page 208-209.

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Pirate and 70's Cakes!

What fun projects I had this week!  The Pirate cake is a delicious Devilishly Moist Chocolate Cake, and the 70's cake & the Green Cake are Vanilla Cakes (Golden) both recipes can be found in 
The Cake Book by Tish Boyle.

All cakes are 8" cakes.  On the 70's Cake,  
I used Cream Cheese frosting and fondant decorations.  I just love this look!!

The Pirate Cake has buttercream under a fondant icing.  
Isn't he sweet? "I matey!"

I'm trying out a new buttercream decorating style here.  FUN!!

Hope you are having a great week!!

Thursday, October 21, 2010

Italian Cream Cake, and Buttered Pecans w/Recipe!!

My sister-in-law recently had her birthday.  She really wanted an Italian (Wedding) Cream Cake, but her friends couldn't find one for her.  They ended up getting her chocolate, which she said was very good.  So, when she came to town to visit, I surprised her with her long awaited Italian Cream Cake!  

I found this recipe in an old local cookbook I've had forever.  I love little finds like this.  I've made this cake several times over the years, and it always comes out perfect.  I love to top this cake with buttered pecans, it's the perfect compliment.  I've included all the recipes below with a few minor adjustments.

Austin Heritage Cookbook 
Italian Cream Cake
2 sticks of butter
2 cups sugar
1 tsp. salt
6 eggs, separated
1 tsp. vanilla
2 cups cake flour, sifted with 
1 tsp. soda
1 cup buttermilk
2 cups coconut
1 cup pecan pieces
1/2 tsp. cream of tarter

Cream butter, shortening, sugar, and salt.  Add egg yolks and vanilla.  Add flour alternately with buttermilk.  Stir in nuts and coconut.  In a clean bowl combine egg whites and cream of tarter, beat egg whites until stiff.  Fold in gently.  Pour into a 9x13 inch pan and bake at 350 degrees for 25 to 30 minutes until done.  You can also use three 8" round pans and cook for about 30 minutes.

Cream Cheese Frosting
1/2 lb. cream cheese, softened
1 stick butter, softened
1 lb box of powered sugar
1 tsp. vanilla

Combine all ingredients an spread over cake

Rachel's Buttered Pecans
1 cup pecans
1 tbs. butter

Sauté pecans and butter in a skillet (I like to use my cast iron).  Cook about 10-15 minutes on med high heat.  Once pecans are fragrant and slightly darker they are ready to remove from heat.  Cool on paper towel and they should be slightly crisp once cool.  You might want to make a little extra to make sure you have enough.  I know I do, because my husband always likes to taste them before I can use them.  :)

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Carmel Pumpkin Pie- with nuts or without?

I started with a whole pumpkin.  It's the season isn't it?  It's so easy to do.  Next, I grabbed the leftover pie dough from the fridge (we made quiche this week).   I rolled this out and put it in my deep pie dish.  Little did I know this was too much room. The crust fell over just a little bit during baking because it was too high.  Still tasted good though.  I ended up making the filling in my Kitchen Aid mixer because that seemed the easiest way to break up the pumpkin.

The filling called for homemade caramel.  This was my first time making caramel and I loved it!  I have made candied pecans so it was similar to that.  I was so excited I hollered from the kitchen when I finished, and my husband didn't get it.

So Tasty!!  I made homemade whipped cream ahead of time and it was a little cold when I took it out of the refrigerator.  That is why it looks a little "lumpy" in the picture.

I love nuts, my kids don't.  So, I ended up sprinkling buttered, toasted pecan pieces on one half of the pie and leaving the other plain.  Everyone's happy.  If you want to see this recipe check out Mortensen Family Memoirs, or you can find it in Dorrie Greenspan's book Baking From My House To Yours, pg. 322-323.  

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Hoot Owl Vanilla Sheet Cake

My good friend Ms. W over at Haphazard Happenstance asked me to make a cake for her daughter's birthday, and not only did she know what she wanted, she sent me this design!  How cute is that?  

I told her it wouldn't be exact but I could do something similar.  So, I got to work and made the cake.  I used buttercream and fondant accents.  

This is a 11 x 15 sheet cake, made with Vanilla Cake and my Billy Vanillie Buttercream. 

The Hoot Owl is my favorite!  

Happy Birthday Kyla!