Monday, October 24, 2011

custom cakes and goodies: wedding, anniversary and birthday cakes

I've been meaning to post some of the most recent cakes that I've made, but quite frankly, I forgot. The wedding cake was for the same couple who's engagement cake I had made a little while back. They wanted a very simple design like their engagement cake. It was so hot that weekend that the fondant was shiny as soon as I took it out of the fridge!


I also made a really fun cake for my friend's birthday party that was marble chocolate and vanilla with praline buttercream. It's a nice big frothy mug of beer with pretzels and peanuts! My favorite part was definitely making the wood grain effect on the board. So great!

The last cake was for my brother and sister-in-law's 5th wedding anniversary. I made a chocolate cardamom spice cake with honey buttercream. They prefer simple designs so I created this flower and feather look all in white. I enjoyed making the flower and am anxious to learn how to make lots of other models of flowers.

Let me know what you think!

Friday, October 21, 2011

apple fig galette: only in dreams

Can't sleep, clown'll eat me.


A little light Simpsons humour, brought to you at 2:30 am. 

I am not a night owl. I need sleep. In fact, some of my friends call me a granny because I tend to fall asleep quite early most of the time. No such luck tonight apparently.

I've been a little sick the last couple of days and for some reason, my body just won't go to sleep. I honestly don't know what to do. What do people usually do when they stay up so late? This is seriously unsettling. I mean, common' brain, just shut off and let me get some sleep. Plus I'm kind of getting hungry...and possibly being a little nonsensical. How can people possibly deal with insomnia on a regular basis?

Or maybe these non-drowsy cold pills have something to do with it. Blurgh. Whatever it is, I need some kind of a lullaby - stat.

I wish I had some of this galette left because it was delicious. Fresh figs are not easy to find around here, and when I saw them at my local market I knew that I had to make something with them. And since I still had lots of apples left over from galette! This is really easy to make and quite customizable. You can use berries, plums, or almost any fruit, really. So if you're reading this late at night because you can't sleep, why not make some pie?

Galettes are quite simple to make if you're looking for an alternative to pies. Just simply roll out to any size as long as it can fit on a baking sheet and fill with whatever fruit you like and bake. You can even make mini pocket fruit pies! However, don't make the same mistake I made. Once you roll out your dough, cut a circle and then place it on a baking sheet and fill it there...instead of on your counter where it can get a little messy trying to lift it up to transfer.

One recipe of pate brisee: click here 
For a 9 inch galette, roll out dough on a lightly floured counter to an approximate 14 inch circle and place on a parchment-lined baking sheet. Keep refrigerated until needed.

Apple-fig filling

3-4 medium apples, peeled, cored and sliced into 1/4 inch thick pieces
8-10 figs, cut in half lengthwise
1/2 cup sugar
2 tbsp cornstarch or flour
pinch of salt

1 tbsp butter
1 egg

Preheat oven to 375 F. Mix all ingredients except butter and egg together and place in middle of dough leaving about 2-3 inches all around. Fold over the dough, overlapping and pressing to stick folds together. Use a little bit of water if dough isn't sticking together. Dot with a few pieces of the butter on apples.

Beat egg with a little bit of water and brush all around edges of dough and sprinkle with coarse sugar if desired. Bake about 50-60 minutes until crust is golden brown and juices are bubbling. Cool slightly before serving.


Wednesday, October 5, 2011

sprinkle brownie pops: stick(y) fun

I'm not sure what it is, but lately I've been drawn to comfort food as if I'm afraid of trying something new. Even when it comes to desserts, I keep gravitating towards what I know best and can rely on.

Like these amazing brownies that I've made time and time again. Yes, I could try making a different kind, but sometimes I think, why mess with something perfect?

It's not that I'm actually afraid of trying something different, I think it just goes back to that laziness. Sometimes I go through these phases of being unproductive, but that usually comes to an end as soon as I notice what I'm missing out on. But I still believe that the tried and true are usually the best. So instead of laziness, let's call it "extensive product testing for constant consumer happiness", as in: what I know won't let me down. 

I hope you're not thinking that it's always going to be this way. No no, there are heaps of recipes that I want to try. In fact, I just went apple picking, which pie, apple cake, apple strudel, apple sauce...apples apples apples! Oh yes, this is my favorite time of the year so get ready for a lot of apples, and I'll probably throw a couple of pumpkins in there too for good measure.

So as I mentioned, these brownies are incredible, but this time I decided to make brownie pops - large brownie pops. I dipped them in chocolate and covered with sprinkles. So sweet, but so delicious and just perfect with a nice bowl of frozen yogurt. Now excuse me while I wipe all the chocolate off of my mouth.


Make this recipe or your favorite recipe for brownies. After baked, leave to cool completely then remove from pan and place in freezer about one hour. Cut into squares or rectangles with a large chef's knife. 

Depending on the size of your brownies, stick an appropriately-sized popsicle stick into each brownies and place on a baking sheet. Place in freezer for about 30 minutes. Meanwhile melt about 500 grams (1 lb) of chocolate (any flavour you want) until smooth. I like to pour it into a tall glass and dip the pops half way into the chocolate. Place on the baking sheet and immediately put sprinkles on top before chocolate hardens. Continue with others. If chocolate begins to thicken up, just warm it up a little again.

There you go! Super simple and super cute brownie pops! 

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