When in Doubt…Leave it at 350

baking, cooking, and other adventures

Tuesdays With Dorie: French Strawberry Cake June 19, 2012


This weeks Tuesdays With Dorie is being hosted by Sophia of Sophia’s Sweets and Allison of Sleep Love Think Dine. They were magically chosen to provide deep insight into the French Strawberry Cake, which is located on page 273 in Baking With Julia.

I decided to make this cake for Emma’s 1st Birthday which was last week. Only the adults got to eat this cake because I have not attempted to see if Emma is allergic to strawberries yet. For her birthday Emma got to eat a yummy carrot cupcake with cream cheese icing. We celebrated her birthday twice, once on her birthday which was a Wednesday (with most of my family) and the other on Saturday because her Uncle John came to see her. The first go around with the cupcake was Emma trying to figure out what was going on and her feeding me the cupcake. The second go around she literally palmed the cupcake and tried to take a bite out of it.

Another reason I decided to make this cake for her birthday is that I wanted to practice icing a cake because I am making my brother-in-laws wedding cake in October. So I actually made Vanilla Italian Buttercream for the icing. I think I actually did a pretty good job icing the cake this time. I decorated it with one of the hydrangea flowers from our garden. The cake turned out great and everyone enjoyed it. It was the perfect strawberry shortcake in actual cake form.



Tuesdays With Dorie: 2nd Anniversary: Cocoa-Buttermilk Birthday Cake January 5, 2010

This weeks Tuesdays with Dorie was chosen by the members of Tuesdays with Dorie.  We were given the choice to either make Dorie’s Cocoa-Buttermilk Birthday Cake or Tarte Tartin, which are located on pages 256-257 and 312-313, respectively, in Baking: From My Home to Yours.  I decided to make the Cocoa-Buttermilk Birthday Cake because who wouldn’t want a yummy piece of chocolate cake for their birthday/anniversary 🙂

Tuesdays with Dorie was founded by the wonderful Laurie of Slush.  She wanted to bake a recipe a week from Dorie’s Baking: From My Home to Yours and decided that she needed a little nudge and asked others to join her.  It has been 2  years since she started the group and I must say that I am so happy to be a member of this group.  When I started my blog 1.5 years ago, I was just searching the internet for ideas and came across this group and I haven’t looked back.  Each recipe is a chance to try something new and yummy. (more…)


Tuesdays With Dorie: Perfect Party Cake June 30, 2009

tuesdays-with-dorie-logoThis weeks Tuesdays with Dorie was chosen by Carol of mix, mix… stir, stir.  She chose Dorie’s Perfect Party Cake which is located on pages 250-252 in Baking: From My Home to Yours. I made this recipe almost a year ago for my Nanny and PaPa’s Anniversary.  I have also used the base recipe of the cake to make other cakes, like my lemon cake with raspberry buttercream, fresh raspberries, and lemon cream.  I love this cake.  The cake recipe is perfect for anyone that wants a lemon cake.  It has a nice tight tender crumb. (more…)


Happy Birthday March 28, 2009

100_2059I made this cake for my friend, KW, this past week.  I thought I wasn’t going to finish it in time, but I put the final decorations on it 1 hour before she even picked it up.  It is a yellow buttermilk cake (Dorie Greenspan’s recipe) filled with White Chocolate Mousse (Florilège Gourmand ) and fresh raspberries, and iced with my go to Vanilla Italian Buttercream recipe (CIA).  I also made 3 fondant roses to decorate the cake with.  As you can see I was trying to make dots on the cake, but the icing was alittle soft and it ended up looking like spikes which I thought looked cool.  So I left it that way.  I haven’t heard the verdict from KW yet, but I had some left over filling and cake and I thought it was perfect.  If you eat the white chocolate mousse by itself it can be a little much, but together with the cake and fresh raspberries it was perfect.



Adventures in Wilton Cake Decorating: Fondant and Gum Paste Class 4 February 26, 2009

When life gives you lemons…

Don’t leave them in the fridge to get all moldy like I did.  Make a lemon cream tart or a cake; then everyone will be happy.

100_1983Yesterday I finished my final Wilton Cake Decorating Class, Fondant and Gum Paste.   Our instructor gave us a choice on which final cake that we wanted to do that was in the book.  At first I was going to do a square cake and make the colors black and white, but then I accidentally made an 8-inch round cake so I ended up picking another cake and decided not to change the colors.  The cake I made was a Red Velvet box cake mix.  I made a cream cheese icing filling and iced the cake in Vanilla Italian Buttercream and covered it with Fondant.

When we started off class, we all rolled out our fondant to cover our cakes.  This weeks I decided that I wasn’t going to make any of my fondant because I didn’t have time so I just used the Wilton pre-made stuff, even though it tastes like crap.  I rolled it out pretty thin because I was starting to see through it and I knew that it shouldn’t get any thinner.  I placed the fondant on my cake and started to work it around the cake and it started to tear.  I didn’t even pull on it or anything.  My instructor came up and told me it was rolled a little too thick.


I keep working with the fondant and it is going pretty well and then another side tears, and the fondant is starting to get hard.

What is going on?

Meanwhile, all the ladies at my table are having tear problems with their fondant, but the other 10 people in the class are doing just fine.  I think our table is cursed because alot of us didn’t have this much trouble covering our wedding cakes.

My instructor comes up in the middle of my disaster and feels the fondant (it started to get hard) and asks what I was using (Wilton).  I also tell her that it is a brand new package and I just opened it at the beginning of class.  She leaves and comes back with a free box of fondant for me because apparently I had a bad batch….grrr.

I finished covering my cake, tears and all.  I wasn’t too worried about all the imperfections because I knew that the handkerchiefs and the band around the bottom would cover most of the crappiness.

Our instructor went over how to make a favor box, inlays, and different borders.  Then we were to finish our cakes.  I actually finished my cake before class was over, but I had one more problem.  The instructions for my cake said that I needed to cut out 8 handkerchiefs .  When I was about to cut them out I realized I forgot my pastry wheel at home so I had to borrow someone elses.  For my entire table, one of us forgot something so we were actually sharing everything 🙂  I cut out the 8 and then start to place them on the cake…..

Well I actually needed 8.75 handkerchiefs.  I told my instructor and she asked if I cut out the right one (yes) and if my cake was the right size (yes).  So I added another one to the back of the cake so  you can’t see the crappiness of it 🙂  From then on it was easy sailing.  I put the favor box on top with the daisy and then I finished off the cake with the bottom border.

While taking pictures of my cake Theoden decided to watch and hope for a piece.


There is a rumor going around that later this year there is going to be 3 more classes added to the Wilton Cake Decorating lineup, but no one knows what they are or when it is going to happen.  When the classes finally get announced, I will take a look at them to see if it is anything worth persuing.


Adventures in Wilton Cake Decorating: Fondant and Gum Paste Class 1-2 February 12, 2009

Last week I started my final set of Wilton Cake Decorating Classes.  The first class was pretty short.  We covered out cake boards in fondant and then learned how to cover a cake in fondant.  It was nice to actually see the instructor demonstrate instead of just looking at pictures and being talking through it.  For our second class we had to bring in an 8 x 3 inch cake iced with buttercream that we would be using to learn a handful of different techniques.

The instructor liked to call our cake a sample cake because it just had a bunch if different things all over it.  We made a drap, one handkerchief, a border, and drop stringy things.  I don’t have my book on me currently so I am pretty sure I got the correct names for things wrong 🙂 I knew that I didn’t want my cake to look like a sample cake for its final design.



Initially I decided that I was going to cover the cake in black fondant and put a white bow on top.  That ended up going out the window when my black fondant went to crap and I had to throw it out.  I ended up deciding on a red cake with a black bow.  I used the multi color fondant back in Primary and Neutral.  For the red fondant I combined one 4.4 oz package of red fondant with 24 oz of white.  It ended up turning hot pick and I didn’t feel like adding color to it so I left it the way it was.  For the black fondant, I used the Neutral fondant packet and mixed the black, dark brown, and light brown together.  After that I added enough black gel color to turn the fondant from gray to black.  It actually worked really well, unlike the chocolate fondant incident that ended up in the trash 🙂

In the end I went with a hot pink cake with a black bow, black dots, and a black band on the bottom.  The black band covered my mistake of not paying attention when I am trimming my fondant 🙂  It worked out perfectly.

For the cake base I was initially going to use a box red velvet cake mix, but then realized that I had to make a cake for Tuesdays with Dorie next week.  In the end, I baked up the Red Velvet Cake and froze it for my final cake, and baked up the Tuesdays with Dorie Cake.  The TWD is actually a Devil’s Food White Out Cake.  The cake and the filling was by the recipe and then I iced the cake in Italian Buttercream and then covered it in fondant for class.  I will post more about the cake and its flavors on Tuesday 🙂

But for now my creation, which I call my Birthday cake.  Even though my birthday isn’t for another 2 days.



The recipes that I promised February 2, 2009

100_1933Okay, so below is a list of the recipes that I used to make my tiered cake last week.  After tasting the cake with one of my friends, I ended up giving all of it to DrFaulken to take to a bunch of his friends at the comic book shop.  It turns out that they all really liked the cake.  So that made me happy.

In addition to the cake that was made.  I also took the left over cake from leveling the tops of both cakes and made mini cakes.  The leftover buttercream is currently residing in the freezer until I need it for another cake.  The leftover lemon cream was used to make mini tarts.  I used Dorie’s Sweet Tart Dough recipe to make the crusts.  I then filled the bottom of each tart with raspberry puree and topped it with lemon cream.  When the cream had set I piped rosettes with the leftover raspberry buttercream. (more…)