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1  COOKING / Dessert / Wedding Cake (image heavy) on: June 18, 2008 08:03:13 AM
So I made this wedding cake for a friend last February. It was tough...especially since I'm still scared to use fondant. But I think it turned out nice and she really loved it.

The top cake was three layers, with raspberry filling in between. I couldn't find a filling recipe I liked, so I made one up and it was SO good.

The bottom cake was four layers with the raspberry filling.

Here they are frosted all pretty. I love it that they look terrible without the frosting, but smooth and perfect once frosting is on. It took some work...

And then I stacked them. I'm pretty sure I held my breath the entire time I was stacking them. I've never done a stacked cake before, so I kinda just learned as I went. The bride wanted black ribbon around the bottoms, which worked nicely to hide the cake seams.

And the final product. She wanted these blue fake flowers all over it...which looks nice. I can make frosting flowers, but she opted for this instead. And, really, I'm fine with that. I think it took over 12 hours for me to put this cake together with the baking, frosting, chilling, etc. So I was a-ok with not making frosting flowers, too!

Hope you enjoyed!
2  COOKING / Recipes and Cooking Tips / Pretzels! on: May 09, 2008 07:25:21 AM
I ran across this recipe a few weeks ago and HAD to try it. Last night was the night and, let me tell you, this is SUPER easy and so so so so good.

The recipe is very simple with ingredients that are usually on hand:

2-3 cups bread flour
1 tsp yeast
1 tbsp brown sugar
1 cup warm milk (110 degrees, or about a minute in the micro)
1 tsp. salt

Mix all of these together until they form a ball. Start with 2 cups of flour and then add it a tablespoon at a time until it becomes workable with your hands.

Knead the dough for 5 to 10 minutes. Let it relax for 5 more minutes

Meanwhile, get a pot of water and 4 tbsp. baking soda to a simmer.

Cut your dough into 6 pieces. Roll them into "snakes" and make the pretzel shape. Carefully, with a spatula, dunk the pretzels into the simmering water for 5 seconds. They should begin to float.

Take them out and place them on a greased cookie sheet. Sprinkle with Kosher salt and bake for 12 to 14 minutes at 425 degrees.


I ate mine with cream cheese....so delicious.
3  COOKING / Dessert / Cream Puffs! on: April 30, 2008 11:07:09 AM
I found an excellent recipe for cream puffs that I HAD to try. Most filling recipes call for instant pudding mix (icky), but I found one with a more custard-like filling. They turned out SOOOOOO good. My hubby and I ate them up and they were a big hit at work.

I've made cream puffs before and I've found it's difficult to get them to look nice and puffy and golden. These came out just beautiful...and I give props to my new oven with the "bake" feature that circulates the heat more evenly. I love it.

4  COOKING / Dessert / cake carving...results on: February 18, 2008 07:59:28 AM
Well, I made the Yoda cake, as planned. I was only working with a 9x13" cake because it was a small party, so I drew it out on paper and then cut around it. I carved out and added cake to give it dimension in the lips, eyes and ears. I ended up using marble eyes instead of trying to create them out of gum paste or fondant. Everything else is butter cream icing.

Personally, I think it came out looking ugly...but then...how cute is Yoda? Not very. Just totally awesome.

I posted a picture of it in my photo album on here.


Hopefully that link works...

By the way...I'm in the first trimester of being pregnant and the cake was SO ugly that I couldn't bring myself to eat it. Everyone else was impressed and said it tasted great.

Not my best work...but it was a tough challenge.

5  COOKING / Dessert / Cake carving on: February 14, 2008 12:50:21 PM
I'm making a cake for my nephew's first birthday this weekend and his mom wants it to be  Yoda (from Star Wars). I've found several great looking cakes online, but my favorite is carved like this:

yoda cake by debbiedoescakes, on Flickr

Has anyone ever carved cake like this before? Any advice before I dive in?

Thanks in advance!
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