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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.



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 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…)


Adventures in Wilton Cake Decorating Course 3 Class 4 Final January 29, 2009


I finally finished the Wilton Course 3 class.  Next month, I start taking the fondant and gum paste class.  So I am not done yet, and rumor has it there will be two new classes coming out 🙂  I guess they really want my money 🙂

Final class went by pretty smoothly.  I didn’t random scream any cuss words 🙂

I have been preparing for this cake since Saturday/Sunday. (more…)


Tuesdays With Dorie: Berry Surprise Cake January 20, 2009


This weeks Tuesdays With Dorie was chosen by Mary Ann of  Meet Me in the Kitchen, she chose Dorie’s Berry Surprise Cake located on pages 273-275 in Baking: From My Home to Yours.

For this cake I actually decided to kill two birds with one stone and use it as my cake for my Wilton Course 3 Class.  I ended up baking it in a 8 x 8 x 3 inch square pan.  The first cake didn’t rise enough so I baked a second cake and it rose enough for me to divide into two layers.  I brush each layer with the Chambord syrup and  I piped a buttercream border and then filled it in with the cream cheese filling and fresh raspberries.  I covered the cake in Italian Buttercream because I am boycotting the Wilton Buttercream because it is just not as good 🙂  I took the cake to class, covered it in fondant, decorated, took pictures, and then took the fondant off and decorated it all pretty in buttercream and raspberries.

I think the cake tasted great.  I am glad I didn’t add anymore sugar to the filling then the recipe called for because the buttercream made up for the sweetness.  The cake was awesome.  The only thing I would change is that I would have divided the top layer of cake into two layers to make it a four layer cake.  I think the top layer was just a little too thick.  It was actually the first cake that I baked that didn’t bake up high enough.