oh how i miss ally mcbeal, and how it always made me feel normal with the random songs that pop into my head...Well today we are officially 13 weeks away from Christmas!!!. I had high hopes and dream to have all my gifts doing done and dusted by the end of September,currently I stand at 100% away from that goal lol. This year we are having a homemade Christmas theme. All gifts must be homemade Fairy orders lol, and strangely enough everyone is on board with that idea this year. As time s ticking on though, am realising that unless i grow a further set of arms (have been trying for months now), i don't think i Will make the cut, but i said homemade, it might just not be homemade by me ( how i <3 Etsy).We already have our theme set for next year to :).
In case you haven't noticed i LOVE Christmas time, the whole eat yourself silly ( am all about good home cooked food), spend time with loved one, our movie marathons and just being together.
This year the Fairy has a few tricks up her sleeves and acts of randomness planned, call it making up for last year when baking was non existent ( having 2 1.5 month olds kinda scared me out of the kitchen for a bit :P).
Probably not a huge surprise to those who know me but have a Christmas favorite folder that is overflowng with ideas, which i have been working on for months now. whenever i saw something that made me squeal (yes the Fairy has squealing episodes, usually when she sees something that completely floats her boat, I have tred many therapies to loose the squeal but nothing has worked so far :P) .
Since the mini Fairy loves spending time in the kitchen to, thought what better way to count down to Christmas then with a baking project :). Ok ok it's more for me then her, but she wll love it. So this week we are kicking off the 13 weeks to Christmas countdown!!!!!
So what does one get with a sugar cone, some green candy melts, 4 less then perfect leftover cupcakes, some brown card stock & a dinky dinky cake board?
will be back with the TADA reveal later (see there was method to my madness with the kind of Magic reference lol)
no not THAT F word..The much nicer slightly unbelievable pinch me please one. FULL. i almost don't want to jinx things by even typing those four letters out, but that is exactly what September is turning out to be for the Fairy. So many neat ideas and celebrations happening and i am lucky enough to have been asked to bake away for them .
Feeling very lucky and very blessed and slightly giddy at all the fun things coming up :).
tonight i also got to play with new butterfly cutters i recently purchased (they are being used for an upcoming first birthday party, that i seriously can't wait to tackle), but i couldn't wait until then (surprise surprise lol), so made cookies with them tonight, to get my mind off my eldest having her first full day of JK tomorrow. ya it didn't work, but i love love love these new cutters :)
It seems like forever since i have stopped and taken the time to ramble here. So much GOOD things have been happening i must sit down and jot them down :) . I am an official believer in the power of word of mouth now lol!!!! I am almost fully booked for September & already have a few orders all the way into November!!! I feel blessed beyond words, and for someone who loves to not have any attention pointing in her direction(i like my corners at parties lol), I love that my baking is slowly speaking for itself, and people seem to be enjoy it :)). The fairy is working on taking a couple of steps away from her corner though:).
My website is officially live! The website fairy has been BEYOND patient (which is more then i can say for me). It was more then worth the wait though. He's done a smashing job, at getting it, exactly how i wanted it, and i admit i am sporting a pretty cheesy grin these days. It was extremely hard not to ramble away on it, but i hope it gives potential customers a great first impression of the cupcake fairy :P. I cannot thank my cheerleaders enough, for all of my non stop cupcake talk, for being overloaded with pictures and for acting as both supporters/taste testers/website reviewers :). I seriously wouldn't be doing any of this if it wasn't for your pushes/shoves (ha ha ha) support and continuous encouragement. I hope you ALL know just how much you guys mean to me & thank you will never be enough :)
Ok all that ramble to say here's the newest member of the fairy family :
Lauryn from Bella Baker chose Flourless Chocolate Cupcakes for July. I completely let the ball drop on last month cupcake (eventhough i have made the strawberry cupcakes before i just couldn't get it together to make them in June). so i was determined to get her or them done early :p. As soon as i found out that i could top these babies with ice cream, i HAD to pop then in ice cream cones. ok before you even think of pointing out the obvious i know i kinda cancelled out the whole no flour thing by pooping them in cones, but i can live with that. I halved the recipe and managed to get 6 cones from it. I am still anti trying anything i make, but mint chocolate chip ice cream was calling my name. My taste testers (who got maple crunch ice cream...i know sharing is caring....just not the mint ice cream :p) loved them, especially in the cones. I have to admit, not too fussed. i really think something's wrong with me i really don't "get" the whole dark chocolaty thing. So thumbs up from the testers a meh from me, but i will definitely be making cupcakes in a cone again (actually planning a play date where they will come in handy)
Are those that i can bake in the oven lol. I made this bouquet for a friend's best friend's wedding shower that she couldn't make :(. The sage green and chocolate brown are her wedding colors. I can see all the faults :s. I wanted it perfect as like anything i make for anyone that is for a loved one should be nothing less. I really really really hope that the bride to be loves it, or at least the thought :p. It was fun to make none the less and i got to try out a new "fastening" system for the cupcakes (will have to find out if it held lol), and am currently working on fairy bouquets (really excited about these!)
cupcakes: chocolate cupcakes icing: green icing is deluxe buttercream (Italian meringue buttercream with vanilla bean crème anglaise folded in half flavored with coconut the other half with orange). "brown" icing is dark chocolate frosting.
I used to be a HUGE strawberry lover, i could eat them by the bucket load, but i lost my strawberry mojo back in November and never found it until this posting by brown eyed baker Strawberry pretzel squares !!!. They are a MUST try, i never eat my own baking (yes the weirdness of the fairy continues lol), but i have to say i inhaled this, and was quite tempted to leave the fork in the pie (i never cut it into bars) as i knew i would be back for second and third. I love love love baking from scratch and i have to admit that when i read jello, i was almost ready to not have a go. then i really started craving that strawberry pretzel squares that i never heard or had before (as you do). I was determined to alter it a bit because I really don't do jello. I had plans of drizzling some chocolate over the pretzel base (ya i also have a chocolate covered pretzel problem) then instead of the strawberries in jello, simply making the strawberry pie filling i had on hand which i love, then drizzling some more chocolate on top to make it all pretty and stuff....
but i got lazy lol and for once just decided to try it as is...i made it late one night, and it was waiting for me in the morning...i may or may not have had it for breakfast X2 that morning ( hey it has 3/4 of my food groups depending on who you are asking lol)
I am actually going to make this again for a get together we are all going to next Saturday (it's the only way for me to have a piece, without inhaling the whole thing). ok my picture makes it look less then appetizing but i was too busy inhaling it to stop to take a decent one. I guess this fairy will have to admit that Kraft might be worth another look on my part.
2 cups finely crushed pretzels ½ cup sugar, divided 2/3 cup butter or margarine, melted 1½ pkg. (8 oz. each) PHILADELPHIA Cream Cheese, softened 2 Tbsp. milk 1 cup thawed COOL WHIP Whipped Topping 2 cups boiling water 1 pkg. (8-serving size) JELL-O Brand Strawberry Flavor Gelatin 1½ cups cold water 1 qt. (4 cups) strawberries, sliced
PREHEAT oven to 350°F. Mix pretzel crumbs, 1/4 cup of the sugar and the butter. Press onto bottom of 13×9-inch baking pan. Bake 10 min. Cool.
BEAT cream cheese, remaining 1/4 cup sugar and the milk until well blended. Gently stir in whipped topping. Spread over crust. Refrigerate until ready to use.
MEANWHILE, stir boiling water into dry gelatin mix in large bowl at least 2 min. until completely dissolved. Stir in cold water. Refrigerate 1½ hours or until thickened (spoon drawn through leaves definite impression). Stir in strawberries. Spoon over cream cheese layer. Refrigerate 3 hours or until firm. Cut into squares to serve. Store leftovers in refrigerator.
I kinda like that the word "can't" doesn't have a place in my vocab, it's usually more like i "don't" or "won't" lol add to that a very bad case of the " i think i can" and you have a pretty neat experiment at times. When something flops i sulk, might momentarily gain the mouth of a well verses Irish sailor ( why Irish? no idea first thing to pop into my head, must say i LOVE the Irish accent though!- ok back to original scheduled broadcast)
up to now two things have had me almost sticking my pinkie toe into the river of "can't":
1) Singing - ok i am no Mariah, and the only people i subject to my nails down the chalkboard renditions are my poor kids but i am already popping $$$ into their therapy fund as i type :p.
2) cookies of any kind that i want to decorate with royal icing...i can't flood to save my life. then i stumbled on bake@350 and she lit that fire again that just maybe maybe i am not an absolute lost cause and i should try and try and try until i can toot my own horn on this one. I visit often and drool and dream of trying everything maybe someday or finding someone to physically walk me through where i am going oh so wrong.
Then i stumbled on her cute as a button cookies, and i HAD to make them. I love the fact that Bridget MADE the buttons!! Luckily i was out of icing sugar, so no royal icing for me but since the fondant was already out. i used that instead, and i have to say i love finding ways around my Nemesis and i think i love the look even more (ya ya i am in denial and avoiding the royal icing for a bit longer.)
lets just say i went to bed late that night, and a couple more nights that week...but i am HOOKED even though i so cheated lol
The June 2010 Daring Bakers’ challenge was hosted by Dawn of Doable and Delicious. Dawn challenged the Daring Bakers’ to make Chocolate Pavlovas and Chocolate Mascarpone Mousse. The challenge recipe is based on a recipe from the book Chocolate Epiphany by Francois Payard
what would the cupcake fairy be if i didn't attempt to make this in a cupcake form :-p. I was hoping to make the mascarpone from scratch using THIS recipe...but 1.5 litres of whip cream down the drain later, i bought some. that was the most expensive mascarpone cheese ever. They were easy to make (minus the cheese lol) and per taste testers they were lovely and rich (really couldn't eat more then one). I am not a lover of chocolate (i know i know there's something wrong with me lol). A fellow baker poster her own twist (using white chocolate & cream cheese instead) now THAT sound like an amazing combo. Can't wait to see what i will get to bake next month :)
this is what happens when someone tries to get clever with her blog, it was having a bad hair day :p. Thankfully i am also blessed with a computer/website fairy who made my very short web designer career appear like it never happened.
so here are the pictures, but because this is attempt number 3, you're spared the rambling lol
The cupcakes : lemon cupcake filled with homemade lemon curd, topped with whipped cream and fondant flowers. Payment for some much needed chalkboard paint (pics to come) , why can't i pay for everything this way ( shoes? handbags? wallets? baby/kids clothing????)
The cake: my 1st (??last??) tiered cake, for my baby brother's birthday :). Very short on time and due to blurry vision (sinus headache), it's officially been put into my disaster pile, but the main thing is that he loved it, even with all it's manly-ness lol. chocolate cake . bottom tier has strawberry Italian buttercream (2 layers). top tier is filled with mocha buttercream. The bottom tier should have been covered in a new MMF recipe i found (hmm mistake number one) but it was way too dry, so the layer on there is paper thin (i'll give satin ice that, it didn't tear considering). Either way with this cake i have officially establish a new rule with my loved ones, i bake because i care, so in return you must care for the cake you get warts and all lol...So far it's working :)
Ok it's been way too long and i would love to say that the reason that i haven't written is because i have been curred from my baking addiction. sadly not, i have been VERY busy in my lil' kitchen these last two weeks. i am going to try and not make this too pic heavy or for once not ramble on and on and on lol. So baking wise best bits of the last fortnight??
1) We had my 4 year old's circus themed birthday this Saturday. I stressed and faffed around sooo much with it, as i wanted everything to be perfect. But after a venue change, not being able to get my hands on some "planned" goodies & simply it being next to impossible to get out for any lenght of time & severe sleep deprivation. i was feeling kinda bummed that she would be disappointment or her friends would be bored (i never got around to making the circus games i had planned).
I really need to get down to her level on stuff like this more often and remember that she has yet to be lumbered with the curse of adulthood. Simply seeing the balloon arch i whipped up at the entry way of her play room (at 1 AM lol) on waking up Saturday morning had her exclaiming how it was the "most wonderful thing she had ever seen" and that this was the best birthday ever...so through the eyes of my heart next year this mama is going to keep it simple stupid . who knew that a balloon arch would be all it took.
I also made my own mini corndogs, they went down well. For her birthday cake, Madame had rich (Well mama thinks a bit dry) vanilla/white chocolate cupcakes turned into unscary clowns. And chocolate cupcakes turned into popcorn which is a good thing since i burned the real deal.
I also made cake pops & soft pretzels and if i could have made the cotton candy i would have to lol. Everyone seemed to have a good time even though it was a bit squished, and if the noise level was anything to go by all the kids had as much fun as the birthday girl did, she unfortunately for me is still running of sugar from yesterday, but so so so so worth it!!!!
2) i first fell in love (seriously!) with bakerella when i fell on her cake balls/blog by accident, i have been a avid fan since then. I haven't made them in a wee while, but i had promised baked goods to an organisation i am member of. Due to a freaky, sticky yucky heatwave i chickened out on making the lemon meringue/ tres leche and tiramisu cupcakes i had planned (oh i am so tackling them soon :-p), and opted for cake balls. because i love the added stress i chose to try 3 new flavors i had yet to make ( i am the chocolate fudge cake ball queen). I made coffee cake & coffee Italian buttercream balls, and topped them with a hazelnut coffee bean. the pink ones were apple caramel flavored and the yellow/white ones were vanilla cake & cream cheese frosting rolled in coconut. my home testers weren't keen on the apple caramel,but i included them anyways..still waiting to here if the were edible.So hope they went down well.
3)pretzel bark...ok i forgot to take a picture...but so so simple and so so so yummy!!! i made these for a much needed intervention night for myself . Read catching up with some very dear friends who are good for the soul :-) and did the very bad bad thing of trying them ( i am a closet chocolate covered pretzel addict) and usually NEVER even eat or try my own baking but since this wasn't "technically" baking it doesn't count lol will definitely make again.
4) i had promised baked goods for a bake sale for a meetup group i am a member of, the best bit is it allowed me to use some of my new bakeitpretty liners...it was a long day as i made a booboo with the first batch of strawberry cupcakes, so had to start again, and because i am am glutton for punishment and i was miffed at messing up said cupcakes i added vanilla and chocolate ones to the mix to lol. This was only remotely possibly due to the stand mixer...i seriously don't know how i did so long without one, it makes things soooo much easier and i am quicker which = more baking win win in my books (thanks you once again kitchenaid fairy!! <3 )
ok so i lied about not rambling, but come on it's been two weeks, and these are the highlight that spring to mind right this second so i am being kind lol...i won't admit to just how much baking took place this last fortnight anyways :)
I personally think that may 16th is a grand day for such an important celebration. I hope that a very special little boy with an absolutely cracking and vivid imagination likes his celebration cupcakes , warts and all. Happy Brachiosaurus Day !
cupcakes: butter cream cake icing: white chocolate italian buttercream
these last few days have been BUSY, trying to attempt my mother's day drop offs of a lovely bunch of roses. I am not going to lie, it's taken me a few goes to get to the stage of being ok (just) to actually give these away. Boy was that bit fun. I just need to look into better packaging & am currently working/thinking away on baby showers bouquets that i will hopefully give a whirl once i come down from my sugar high lol.
I don't eat my own baking, but icing is fair game, especially when it's Italian butter cream...seriously you just need to hand me the biggest spoon |:-p. I made 6 "small" bouquets with mocha, vanilla and chocolate mini cupcakes. The purple "roses (well they should be, but coffee butter cream is a pig to re-dye lol) are coffee flavored Italian butter cream, the yellow roses are vanilla Italian butter cream & the pink roses are strawberry Italian butter cream. I have to admit whipping them all up was easy as pie in the kitchen aid (thank you again and again kitchen aid fair <3), and it definitely helps to have a new taste/look tester lol , huge thanks T :)
I can't wait to make these again and again, with any luck i will just get better and better at them :). I am not one to toot my own horn, but i think they look slightly better then ok and i am happy with that. Especially since all 3 kiddies are sick :-((, and there was alot of stop and starting. I just had to see these through :-). so today i am definitely running on sugar fumes.
before i forget i would like to take a moment to remember those (cupcakes) that perish for the greater good. One bouquet never made it to destination as it had a small tipping over incident while in the car (and no this has nothing to do with my driving style). You fought a brave fight bouquet #6. ok picture overload coming your way.
I have found something that has got me doing a jig. I cannot wait to try it and see how it turns out, this could be the start of something beautiful, and for me it would be mainly error free (huge bonus for the anal Queen). I cannot wait to get stuck in :-), this week is going to be amazing! All will be revealed by Sunday.
today my DD turned 4. I seriously do not know where time has gone, and on days like today i really wish it would slow down. Her first party isn't until the end of the month (must get my act together!!!!) but i was determined to make her a "special" cake anyways, and i can use the practice.
I will class what i ended up with as a "disaster", but all madame wanted to do since getting up was eat said cake. I decided to make the Debbie brown, pony in stalls cake. that was mistake #1.
Mistake #2 was attempting said cake on roughly 4-5 hours sleep total in about 3/4 days.
Mistake #3 was not letting go of my anal tendencies :p, and refusing to just buy premade butter cream to crust the cake, then realising no time to make butter cream thus resulting in someone winging it and choosing to make/use ganache
and what finished it off was not following my gut. the stable is/was meant to be white (ya why did i choose dark ganache again??) and the instructions called for putting on each side of fondant one side at a time.
At this point i raise my hand in shame. i gained the mouth of a well versed sailor, trying to pick up said ganache cake to position it, to the uncovered side Repeat X3. from the get go it would have been easier to just fondant the whole thing in one piece, and add detailing last. instead of the opposite.
a dear friend referred to it as a structural compromised stable LOL...and you know what the shoe fits on that one.
i have been on a roll as of late, and it would have been soooo nice to continue with it, but i will take one for the team, shame it had to be DD's cake though.
At least the innards where edible (chocolate cake with cookies n cream filling)
Happy Birthday Madame, thank you for making the last 4 years the most memorable. I am blessed beyond words to have been chosen to be your mama.
I'm seriously starting to believe that everyone should believe or at least have a fairy or two rooting for them. As of late i have discovered that i am surrounded by them :-). This morning the kicthcenaid Fairy, made an appearance very quietly at my front door.
My brother tells me theres a box on the front porch quickly followed by a " what have i ordered again" ( i also have baking gadget addiction :-p). since i wasn't expecting anything, i said it wasn't me. Then comes the well there's a kitchenaid box sitting here. Cue me getting up and all the while saying oh it's probably for next door or something.
So there we are both staring at the box of a kitchenaid mixer lol. No name or address on it. All that was attached on the top was a unaddressed envelope. cue some you open it..no you open it.no YOU open it (i think stubbornness runs in the family) i lost that one and opened said envelope, and literally got the shock of my life.
Someone (who i am determined to discover their true identity :p i have a few leads lol--am even considering putting up a reward for the safe & friendly capture of said fairy) has made me speechless & done something remarkable (but so not needed!!! i don't feel worthy). I seriously can't thank you enough, you have to turn yourself in!. I promise that for once i will keep my stubborn streak at bay, and all i want to do is thank you in person, and tell you how blessed i know i am to have fairies like you in my life. I haven't done anything out of the ordinary, but i WILL follow my dreams/passions and wherever they might lead me.
It's taken me until this evening to unpack said mixer, i have passed the box so many times, each time just gawking at it ( i know i know i shouldn't stare). It's almost too pretty to even turn on (i know my addiction will remedy that fact pretty sharpish) and i am determined to "earn" my mixer.
Since i cannot just accept such a huge gift, am thinking out a plan to "pay it forward", i have a few ideas up my sleeves already :-)).
In the mean time, i would like to introduce the newest member of my family (kitchen aid fairy, picked THE stand mixer i had my eyes on <3). Please take a moment to note the clear counter space. This couter space is NEVER clear, i lovingly refer to it as the Bermuda triangle in my kitchen. All that is missing is a dedication plaque to the KA Fairy, who i am seriously forever indebted to. Whomever you are, you are a complete loon (but in a good way lol) and i seriously cannot thank you enough
3 boxes left on three unsuspecting doorsteps in the wee hours of this morning :-). THIS is definitely a great way to start off a Saturday morning. unfortunately in the rush to just "get out" i never took a picture of a "finished" box :(. saying that who am I kidding there's always going to be another opportunity.I really hope the intended enjoy them even though 2 of the 3 cupcakes are definitely sub-par :s.
Mood= awesome! This is a GREAT start to a great weekend.
so i realised i hadn't baked baked in a wee bit, which for me is just plain odd. Especially since my ban was lifted a while ago. For whatever reason the blahs had taken over, so big where these blahs that even mustering the strenght to whip up some butter was just not there. I have officially entered sleep deprivation meltdown, i never thought i would say it, but 4 hours on uninterrupted sleep right about now would be awesome, it would even be better then a glitch free baking session (there i have said it! lol).
to make up for lost time tonight i have maybe gone a bit overboard??? i made 3 batches of cupcakes last night, and tackled the icing and filling tonight...i am pooped but the deed is done. The cupcake fairy is firmly back in the saddle again...she's hoping to strike early tomorrow morning (you can't beat cupcakes for breakie right). As long as 3 pint size munchkins cooperate in her scheme, as they are joining the clandestine operation, pj's still on :-p.
out of the 3 cupcakes attempted, only one meets my strict criteria (meaning they look as they should) the other were slight buggers (excuse my french). unfortunately the XW#$@#$$%% 7 minute icing, wins again, as it flopped,but i "tried" to salvage it??? bah who am i kidding. Supposedly they all taste lovely warts and all. Hopefully my victims think the same too :-)
and because it couldn't have happened at a better moment, my still barely standing hand mixer, bit the dust mid way through my dark chocolate frosting...may it rest in peace :-((. I would out of principle refuse to buy yet another one, but May is going to be a very cake-y month for me. Grow fund grow!!!! hopefully this will be the last hand mixer to cross my palm
my daughter's 4th birthday is fast approaching (i seriously have no idea where the time has gone). Up to now i have kept her birthday's to immediate family only, because i am the lover of low key.
This year, as it's been a year with alot of changes for her i thought she well and truly deserved her "1st" birthday party with her friends/family. Since when asked what she would like for her birthday, Madame only request was that there was cake & that her birthday meal consist of honey garlic chicken wings (or sweet wings as she calls them), fries, peas & spinach oh and pizza (i <3 that child lol) i have "chosen" for her and i hope hope hope that she likes, as all the preparations for the shindig are hush hush.
Well apart from my archnemisis...how i dislike thee let me count the ways!!!Madame is having a circus themed birthday party. Thanks to a fab & creative friend, her invites are all ready to be sent out, but NO hold on wait a sec...I HAD to put on my "i think i can hat" lol. To finish off her circus themed invites, i thought why not do something slightly different and attempt to make a themed cookie to go with said invite, and pop her friends name on them.
Maybe this should have been my first warning that this would end badly, with cookie slivers slamming the patio window and floor below it (i have NO idea how they got there- blaming lack of sleep on that one--instead of the fairy throwing a fit lol).
i cannot for the life of me do sugar cookie run outs...they are the bane of my existence! This is my 2nd attempt at the cookie favor fiasco...and i think i am just going to have to take off my " i think i can" hat on this one. It is not my friend. I definitely did not inherit the creative genes in our family. This big tent cookies, where iced free hand using the template i cut out the cookies with. I was going to go all anal retentive, and trace them with the royal icing meticulously on wax paper , then meticulously transfer and "glue" them on to said cookies afterward, but sanity curbed that idea off the bat.
I of course used Martha's sugar cookie recipe, and after finding this blog entry on making your own cookie cutters, using a clip art file, i took the lazy lady way (and i knew i wouldn't need that many" and laminated (yes you can't take the anal out of the queen :-p) the big tent clip art i liked, and with a very sharp knife just traced around it directly onto the prepared flatten cookie dough.They worked out great, no spreading (i popped them back in the fridge to harden up a bit after being rolled/cut).The cookies are supposedly awesome (i never eat my own baking, and i am suppose to avoid dairy)
So i think it's safe to say the invites will be going out solo this week. I am actually admitting "defeat" but only for now. I am way too anal to give up without one last ditch effort.......eventually......third times the charm right?
now say it with me...." YOU WILL NOT GO OVERBOARD WITH THIS PARTY" "YOU WILL NOT GO OVERBOARD WITH THIS PARTY"....and the sad thing is i have 1001 food ideas whirling through my head for said party, but i WILL NOT GO OVERBOARD..scouts honor :-p
following from my jersey cake and my cupcake fairy drop offs...and because i can never turn down a dare/challenge..i have spent almost a WHOLE week without baking...and i haven't developed the sakes either!!!!!! no one here thought i would last this long, or crack under the pressure of my hand mixer, my favorite baking blogs and the blocks and blocks of unsalted butter that have been whispering my name inticing me over the cake side...i haven't caved ONCE...
ok that's a slight lie, my eldest daughter, has been obsessed with bunny cake since we attended an Easter cake decorating afternoon at the local grocery store over the weekend...so who am i to get in the way of her creative juices. unfortunately being not quite 4 she required adult supervision, and i would be a very bad mama if i didn't "help". bah it's not exactly cheating...thanks to gold old Duncan hynes & some shredded coconut :-p
all this hiatus had done is given me some time to plot my next cupcake fairy drop off(s), and discover a few new baking blogs (will have to remember to add them to my list). I have also found THE cake for a dear dear friend who also happens to be obsessed with coffee/Starbucks (i still don't get it lol). It's kinda handy that her birthday is coming up in a few weeks...as per usual couldn't choose something "easy" but i hope she like it :-p.now to practice once this week is up :-)
i have been on a roll with the Martha cupcakes book, at this rate i might actually whiz through the whole thing in record time :-). The book has already seen better days but the way i see it it only means it is well loves :-). it has multicolored sticky tabs, which let me know MUST TRY now recipes, and those that can probably wait a bit...today i actually chose 6 more, that are going to be my next victims. I cannot recommend this book enough...i have even found cupcakes that will be cute favors for my daughters first proper birthday bash!!!!. Thought i would take a second to list what i have tried so far, and by try i mean baked and given to others or my taste testers (who are quickly approaching burnout lol) i cannot stomach my own baking, probably a very very good thing these days.
1) mocha cupcakes
supposedly the are very yummy...but after 7 tries and 7 flops at the 7 minute frosting that should go on them i have lost that battle for now...stiff frosting my butt, it's always a gloppy mess...a delicious mess (i have tried it) even for the coffee hater that i am..hence no piccies...but i have a lovely stock of mocha cupcakes keeping the freezer nice and full.
2)chocolate chip cupcakes:
just in time for some st paddy's day fun...the where edible (well no one ranted and raved about them lol) albeit a bit too firm for my liking
3)Boston cream pie cupcakes :
can you belive i didn't have enough stuff in to make the full amount of ganache :(. According to my taste testers, they made them think of a cakier eclair. Since i have never had boston cream pie i don't know if that's a compliment or not lol
4) peanut butter filled chocolate cupcakes:
these are a keeper, even the not a fan of peanut butter liked them.
5)cookies n cream cheesecakes:
these were sooooo easy to make, and quick to, the longest part was the "setting" time. but since you can bung them in the fridge tin and all and kinda forget about them, job's a goodin' :-)
6) one bowl chocolate cupcakes:
this one i am particuarly fond off as it has NO dairy. since i am trying to get back on the no dairy train, this is my go to recipe when i need a choclate fix, sub some of the oil for applesauce and it's even more moist.yummy!!
these i have to say are for the time being the all time favorite, they make my kitchen smell so so lovely and summery :-)). and they look so pretty to.
8) orange vanilla bean cupcakes:
cupcake really yummy...but not to self...must master the art of candying oranges, bitter tasting candied orange "almost" spoiled the cupcake.
9)roasted banana cupcakes:
i have never in my life roasted a banana before to pop into a cupcake, but these also went down really well, even though i found them "stiff/hard" looking
10) triple-citrus cupcakes:
these where really fun to make, and for the best of reasons two. they were my first drop off to a dear friend as the cupcake fairy.
with the 7 minute icing another "no i can't" moment here..i compltely botched the pineaple flowers that should have gone on top, and they were in the oven for ages!, but these cupcakes really didn't last long even withut them :-p
phew i feel slightly more sane now, as i am only up to 11...that not excessive at all is it? i probably shouldn't mention that some of these have been repeats :-p
the next upcoming victims??
coconut cupcakes stout cupcakes chocolate salted-caramel mini cupcakes mint chocolate cupcakes
now where will the cupcake fairy deliver to next? Trust me my family are loving the idea of the fairy at the moment...
i know months ago i joked about leaving cupcakes on doorsteps...well the nutter has been let loose and i am doing just that...i have already left my calling card on 3 very deserving doorsteps, and hoping to hit a 4th tomorrow :-p...yes you might be thiking that i have started my burnout party early and have lost the plot, but making 3 batches of diffrent cupcakes in one evning, while watching a flick and icing them and leaving them without prior warning is actually quite fun lol...ok i have lost the plot ;-p
i really need to keep this updated...i have been very busy in the kitchen. my family would argue that i have have spent too much time in there and they are all caked out...never thought i would see the day where i have been asked NOT to bake something for a wee while...have to admit i have gone into baking overdrive these days...i completed my first proper proper cake order for a friend who had faith in me (which means more then she'll ever know). All K mentioned was that her son LOVED hockey at the moment and that he was a huge senators fan...because i never do anything by half,lil old me decided why not attempt a hockey jersey cake for one special boy... this is how it turned out....i for once won't point out all the mistakes :-p, but they are there...all that matters is that the cake went down very well. with this cake i have also officially started my kitchen aid trust fund...i am on my 4th or 5th hand mixer in less then 2 years....and although i cannot justify spending that amount of money on myself...the 5 hand mixers would have more or less covered the cost...so since i am so so stubborn (i know who would have guessed it?! lol), any money i make baking wise is going in said trust fund...if i can only get over the whole i just want to bake for free thing, it might grow faster lol...even though we had to rumble in her hallway :-p K huge thanks for being the first contributor to my trust fund, and for even asking me in the first place....
ok there might be something to this baking my way through the Martha cupcake book. I LOVE this book, i also have the cookie version which i will eventually go to town with also. This week i have already tackled 2 of the 175 recipes. the orange vanilla bean cupcakes (note to self master the art of candying oranges for next time, bitter oranges kinda ruin the whole thing lol)& the Boston cream cupcakes. I swear i really wish i could bake every single day,even though i am nearing that anyways, think if i did people might really start thinking i have a serious problem. I am at the point that even though i was joking (sorta) about the Robbin hood of cupcakes thing, the idea is kind of appearing, everyone loves receiving something baked right??? My family seriously love me right now, usually when i bake something intricate looking, it's usually to give away or take with me LOL. They're currently on cloud 9 with the fact that the cupcakes for now are staying put, hopefully that will last for a while, but i am secretly plotting to spread the cupcake love (stay tune).
OK i know shoot me for mentioning the C word, but still playing catch up. I was very lucky this year and got lovely chapters gift cards, they have in fact been the main reason for this blog. i went to town getting new baking books. and i have an ever increasing "i really want these to" list, but alas the cards ran out. I invested in 2 new fondant books, and caved and got a couple of Martha bibles. I am a blog addict and a few mentioned Debbie brown, so i am now the proud owner of her 50 easy party cakes(thanks for Mr Dino and madame ladybug) and her enchanted children cakes. I have to admit that i look at these two books daily (ya i have no life) trying to find a reason to work my way through each of her creations. of course this is only to help me build my skills of course.
I have to say Martha.'s cupcakes and Martha's cookies have been both a pleasant surprise and a curse...i go to bed, dreaming of some of those dang cupcakes, wishing that i could work my way through her books more effectively...there would be nothing wrong with making a cupcake recipe a day right? i could be the robin hood of baking and feed the masses by delivering lil treats in the middle of the night :-p
so i am so playing catchup on this blog thing. I have been busy on the baking front, and really wanting to improve on my first mess ( i swear i am my worst critic). short and sweet this time around. these two cakes were two very special "just because" cakes. there should definitely be more of those in my book. The dinosaur was a pig, i ain't no sculptor, and Mr dino proved it. Unfortunately his neck couldn't take the heat, and mr dino was sporting a permanent bowe by the time a very special little man could see it. My sweet DD got the ladybug, minus antennas (no licorice around) and she was NOT happy on missing out on the dino action. both cakes were a new recipe for butter cake from the whimsical bakehouse by Kaye Hansen & filled with cookies and cream filling (i could live on this stuff) covered in ganache. i went all out for these two loves :-). They are both covered in satin ice fondant, i have to say, if it weren't for the price i would switch to using it ALL the time, so easy to work with, it actually made these two cakes look smoother then they should be ;-p.
I set up this blog, to document to just what extent i have a baking problem. Since the first step is admitting there's a problem i should be well on my way. Since chrismas i have had it in my head that i can so teach myslef the art of fondant...come on how hard can it be right? and if i get awesome, what a great way to make at least some of my addicition pay for itself. this is attempt number one with MMF (marshmallow fondant...love love love the stuff)..gotta say it put a serious dent in my " i think i can attitude". it's a 4 layer vanilla butter cake with strawberry preserve & italian chocolate buttercream..the only way is up surely from this disaster.
What more can i say i am a baking addict. I love anything baking related and with my "i think i can" attitude there is no challenge too big for me to convince myself that i should at least try. In my spare time i am also the very blessed mom of 3 under 4 :-p