23 1 / 2013
16 7 / 2012
Chocolate and Peanut Butter cake
sooo…I had a family reunion to attend yesterday. I know you all know how much fun they are right? I decided to make something that would ease the pain. Going back to my love affair with peanut butter, I knew exactly what I had to do. Since I am trying to hone my baking skills in the hopes of someday adding some extra income with them, I decided I was going to make a zebra cake. I had limited time and a box of each of the white and chocolate cake in the cupboard. I saw on Pinterest how to spruce up a box cake and I decided to try it. I used milk instead of water and then added another egg white to the eggs called for by the instructions. Off I go.
The cake is baking, and I decide to make my peanut butter frosting. YUM!! I have to make more than I origianally intend because I have to taste so much to be sure it’s right. HAHAHA…believe that and there is some land I want to sell you!! I just love that frosting. Back to the cake…I made two 8-inch round cakes. I did the typical layer cake thing. Got it all frosted and then used some chocolate frosting from a tub to make what ended up looking like Hershey kisses around the top of the cake and around the base. Now, for the final touch….I cut up mini Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups and spread them on the top of the cake. OMG!!! I couldn’t wait to get there and have everyone marvel over it. Here’s where I went wrong……
I forgot to take a picture of my masterpiece at this point, and now I regret that. I forgot to mention at the beginning of my story that the family reunion is a 2-hour drive north…and it’s July. You do the math. I failed miserably in the task of cake transportation. By the time I got to the reunion, the peanut butter cups had melted into some kind of chocolate peanut butter mosaic on the top of my cake and some of my chocolate kisses on the top of the cake slid down the side of the cake. I was so embarrassed I thought I would die.
However, let me tell you how wonderfully delicious that cake turned out to be. The gooey mess on the top of the cake ended up just enhancing the flavor of the frosting and the cake. Everyone loved it (or they were just being nice, as the Pennsylvania German folk often are).
This is what was left of my cake after the reunion. It was an adventure…
01 7 / 2012
Coconut Cream Cupcake
My husband loves his mother’s coconut cream pie. I do not eat coconut, so I can’t tell you whether it’s actually good or not. I decided I needed to make something to rival that pie. After looking around on Pinterest, I found a coconut cream bar recipe. TA DA!! I can change a few things and have myself a coconut cream cupcake.
Step 1: Toast the coconut. I put the coconut in the oven at about 275 until the coconut got “toasty” looking…that’s a technical term, by the way. The picture here is darker than the actual coconut.
Step 2: Make the pudding (Ok..I cheated. I used instant pudding). When the pudding sets up, add about 3/4 cup coconut to the pudding).
Step 3: Make the cupcakes!! I used a regular vanilla box cake and bake according to your stove and box instructions (my stove runs hot, so I bake at 300 degrees for about 20 minutes) After they cool, cut out the center of the cupcakes.
Step 4: Put the pudding/coconut mix in the holes. Add frosting (I used white frosting from a can and mixed in about half a tub of Cool Whip….dear hubby doesn’t like frosting too sweet) and then top with the toasted coconut from step 1.
Here’s the finished product. Again, I don’t eat coconut, so I can’t say whether or not they are good, but hubby at 4 or 5 already tonight….you do the math!!
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24 6 / 2012
Happy Birthday Baby Boy
My son turned 17 on Thursday. When I asked him what he wanted on his birthday cake, he made a list the length of my arm. He is very proud to be a Red Land Marching Patriot. He wanted a red, white and blue cake (school colors) with drums and the uniform, etc., etc. Well, I knew I was not going to be able to deliver that…especially since I was not able to even start the cake until Thursday morning, the day of his birthday. So, I set out to make the best cake I could in just a very short time.
He was very adament that he did not want fondant on the cake. He wanted buttercream only, and keep that white. He wanted red on the bottom and blue on the top. Sheesh!! Specific instructions!! I set out to make this cake, and this is what I ended up with. It is way too sloppy for my taste, but he didn’t seem to mind.
The red and blue bands around the middle (and the black lettering) are sugar sheets. What a timesaver!! I also had a can of blue spray food coloring that I used on the cake to give it some dimension. I thought he would be disappointed, but he seemed to be really pleased! Whew!!
I have been seeing so many posts with zebra cakes. I decided it didn’t look too hard, so I gave it a try. My son, much like me, has an addiction to peanut butter. I made some peanut butter mousse and put that between the layers of the zebra cake and then the white buttercream frosting over the whole cake. Yum…Yum…Yum.
14 6 / 2012
I have decided to plunge headfirst into this whole cake/cupcake decorating thing. I realized that there is only so far the “swirl” will take me. So, I bought some fondant and away I went. First up…the rose..and this is how they turned out.
Next up..a carnation….and this is how that turned out.
Not too shabby if I must say so myself. I want to put this to practical use now. I wonder if my husband would mind a cake with fondant flowers for Father’s Day?
08 6 / 2012
My lovely baking assistant…
I would like to introduce you all to my lovely baking assistant. We all know a good baking assistant can make or break your efforts. I have one of the best in the business. Her name is Annabel. She is very supportive, even when I get a crazy idea. She is not afraid to show me some love after a long day of baking. Heck, she even cleans up the messes I make on the floor. Who could ask for more?
Here she is!!
03 6 / 2012
02 6 / 2012
01 6 / 2012
01 6 / 2012
Where it all began…
My love of baking goes back to my childhood. I stayed with my grandmother while my parents worked. She was a no-nonsense kind of woman whose religion and family were the things she held dear. She and my grandfather did not live in luxury. I remember early in my childhood “helping” her put the clothes through the wringer washer. She made her own clothes until shortly before her death, and my job was to catch the material as she would sew it. I thought I had a really important job back then, but I now know she was probably just trying to keep me busy.
As I grew up, I kind of forgot all the things I learned from my grandmother. I got busy with my life being a young adult, getting married, having and raising children. What I’m finding now as I get older; however, is that I’m drawn back to the things I learned from her. I find myself doing things now that remind me of her. I look at my hands and I see hers, quite literally. They look like I remember hers looking.
Now that I am
more mature, wiser, older, I am now getting back into baking. I have always enjoyed baking, but I now have a great love of it. I would just love to have a little shop where I could bake and bake all day (with someone else to clean it up). That is my “if I win the lottery, even though I don’t play the lottery” dream. I have often also thought about starting a catering-type service for baked goods wherein if you don’t bake and need something, you call me. I will make something homemade (Made by Mimi) for you. Until I get that going, I will continue to provide my friends and family with baked goods at parties and events.
Thanks Gram, for giving me such a great gift. I can only hope I can give my children and grandchildren as great of a gift as you have given to me.