Peppa Pig Cake

8 Sep

I can’t believe how long its been since I’ve written on here….I have no excuse other than being crazy busy and exhausted. But really, aren’t we all?

I don’t have anything real exciting to share, except the coffee shop is doing ok. I wish it was taking off a little faster but I’m learning to be more patient. 

I just had my daughter’s 3rd birthday party last week and for about a month she was asking for a Peppa Pig cake. If you haven’t been fortunate enough to be exposed to Peppa Pig, it is a kids show on about well, pigs. Its actually pretty cute and I was excited to make the cake for her. I looked on Pinterest of course and found some really cute ideas. This was one of the inspirations for our cake. 

I’m not a professional cake decorator so believe me when I tell you that if I can do this, so can you. I’ve decorated many cakes but most of what I’ve learned has been from looking it up online, help from a talented friend and dumb luck. 

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I don’t usually work with fondant but I wanted to try it out this time and I figured the pigs were a pretty simple form to work with. The cake would have looked much “neater” and cleaner if I had used fondant to cover the whole thing, but I’m not a huge fan of the taste and I figured a 3 year old wouldn’t judge me. 

I baked 2 10″ cakes in springform pans and then made some cupcakes. Actually the cupcakes were made from a gluten free mix and were delicious! I substituted milk for water, butter for oil and added some chocolate chips and they were moist and rich. 

Once the cake was cool, I tinted the icing and frosted the top half blue and the bottom half green for the grass.

For the figures, I used white fondant and colored it with gel food coloring. It would have been a lot easier buying colored fondant but I couldn’t find the exact colors I needed and it would have been a lot more expensive. To get the shape of the pigs, I found a coloring page online, printed it out, cut out the different parts, put them on the fondant, cut around and then drew in the details.  If I had to do the cake again, I would give myself much more time to cut out the figures and get them just right and also, I would find a tool specifically for cutting fondant because using a knife just didn’t cut it.  Hehe

I took a couple of in process pictures of the pigs, but not too many(I forgot). You can get the basic idea though. After the pigs were on and arranged, I shaped some tails and then made a rain hat for Peppa. The mud and clouds were made using a fondant shape cutter thing I found at the craft store. 

So if your child asks for a Peppa Pig cake, don’t panic! Get some fondant, bake a cake and wow them!

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Catching Up

11 Aug

Ahhhh Sunday morning! Its the only day I have a few rare quiet moments where i can sit and write without interruption. For a few minutes at least.

Update on a few things going on:

We took our first family camping trip and I loved it! Granted, we camped in a cabin not a tent but the cabin had no bathroom so that’s as close to “roughing it” as I get. I loved sitting around the fire with the kids and getting up in the morning without the help of my alarm clock to sit on the porch swing and drink coffee. It pretty much rained off and on for the two days we were there but we had a good time anyway. I’m looking forward to our next camping trip together. It was just the mini vacation I needed to spend some much needed quality time with the family and step away from the coffee shop for a second.

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Speaking of coffee shop, it is doing pretty well. Not the masses of people I would like every day but its growing slow and steady…..and really that’s all you can ask for. I’m seeing a lot of regular customers along with some new faces each day. My signs are up on my window, my flyers are printed, coffee cards ready to hand out and I’m working on the other odds and ends. I’ve also ordered a few new syrups and sauces and I’m excited about creating some new drinks.

I’ve been asked if I’m going to carry pumpkin lattes soon…..at first I thought it was way too early, but then I realized that I’m not really one for following rules. I drink iced coffee in the winter, wear sweaters in the summer and start thinking about Christmas when June hits. So in answer to my customers, yes I will be doing pumpkin lattes maybe as early as this week. Or as soon as I can get my hands on some pumpkin syrup. If I’m feeling adventurous , I may even try to make some of my own. We will see.

Other than that, not much else going on. I can’t believe school starts in a couple weeks….I haven’t done any back to school shopping yet. I just don’t feel ready for summer to be over and I don’t feel ready to have a sophomore in high school, a 4th grader and one that will be in preschool very soon. Well, once she decides that using the potty is a good thing.

Ok i guess thats about as much time as the kids are giving me today. I will be creating a new blog for the coffee shop soon. I will use that blog to post new drink creations and anything coffee shop related. I will still keep this blog so you guys can still follow my random ramblings 😉

New changes…..and lots of confusion.

27 Jul

I’ve been chatting back and forth with my friend David, and he motivated me to write on here today. I will be sharing his new adventure with you very soon….hint hint – it involves coffee! I love when a new place opens up in town, but when its people you know and like, its just that much more exciting! So, be on the lookout for details later!

Ok so if you guys have been following along (like I know you have 😉 ) , you know that my coffee shop has been open for a few weeks. The original name was Loco Bean, but due to lots of different reasons I had to change it. One of the big reasons is that I share space with B.Loco, a mexican restaurant and I kept getting phone calls to place orders for burritos and when people walk in they are super confused about where to order what. Anyway, this is one of the many reasons I’ve renamed the coffee cart. It is now:

Espresso Yourself and the tagline is,  The place to BEan.

Yes, I know I’m a dork. I can’t help it though, I amuse me.

The name change will go into effect next Wednesday once my signs go up on the windows and the canopy is painted on my cart. Yes, I will post pictures as soon as I get them.

I’m still planning on having a separate blog for the coffee shop, but I’m not starting it until all the changes are made…..and until I get some sleep. Oh, glorious sleep, how I’ve missed you!

You can like Espresso Yourself here on FB so you can follow along with us!

 

For now, until the new blog is ready, I’m posting about a delicious drink I made at the shop. I call it

Apple Pie a la Mode Latte

It is delicious! I’m not a huge fan of sweet coffees but this has the perfect blend of coffee and sweet and will be amazing to drink in the fall.

I used espresso and steamed milk and then added some apple pie and vanilla syrups. And of course you can’t have the a la mode without the whipped cream! This may be my favorite…so far. If you are in the downtown Canton area M-F 7am -2pm and want a delicious treat, stop in! I’m always getting new syrups and stuff to play around with so order something on the menu or if you are feeling adventurous, create one yourself and I will make it for you.Image

My New Venture…..join me won’t you?

17 Jul

As most of you may know, I just opened up a coffee shop in the downtown area of my city. I want to be able to blog about what’s going on and I decided the best way to do that is to add another blog that’s dedicated just to Loco Bean Coffee Shop. I will still be writing over here at Geli’s Goodies, but when I have coffee shop related information I will be using that site.

I would love if all my current readers would consider following me at my new page.  There isn’t anything set up yet but I would like to have everything up and running by next week. I hope to see you guys there!

My first week at The Loco Bean

12 Jul

I don’t think I will ever have to say “I’m bored” ever again. This week has been so crazy and busy that I have literally been falling in bed every night and passing out from exhaustion…..but I love it! Its so exciting and scary at the same time to start a new business but I love setting things up the way I want. I opened the coffee shop officially this last Tuesday and I already have regular customers! Its been fun meeting new people every day and creating fun new drinks to try out. 

Some of the best drinks and desserts are created from mistakes and accidents and we’ve definitely had a few of those. Yesterday instead of house coffee, we put Chocolate Macadamia Nut coffee in a mocha frappe and it was so good that we are adding it to the menu. 

I also forgot how much I loved working downtown and I’m so glad to be back there again. There is never a dull moment and I work in front of huge windows so I get to watch and see everything going on. 

My favorite compliment today was when a woman ordered an iced mocha and said she loved it and it was better than where she usually gets it from. I hope each week can be like this one and that we continue to meet new customers so we can stick around for awhile!  

When things settle down a little, I will be posting from the coffee shop and taking pictures of drinks I create and hopefully some new desserts also. I’m thinking the color of the place is a little too calm for my liking so my next post will probably be pictures of the new paint…..because I had too much extra time on my hands 😉

The Loco Bean

7 Jul

I can’t remember if I mentioned it here or not, but I’m opening a coffee shop! I’m sharing space with B. Loco, a mexican restaurant, and I thought “The Loco Bean” would be a perfect name.

This new venture is moving pretty fast and I may be open as soon as this week. I will be going in today to get my menu up on the board and I’m thinking I will use tomorrow as a trial run. The building we are in has eight floors so I’m hoping to have a lot of coffee drinkers. I will be adding things as I go along because I don’t want to start out with too much going on. For now it will be coffee, espresso drinks, iced coffees, teas, smoothies, frappuccino style drinks and pastries. That alone will keep me busy for awhile. The place is a little different than other coffee shops because I will be working from a coffee cart instead of a counter. It provides a few more space challenges, but its unique and more fun this way.

The way the place is set up will be very convenient not only everyone in the building, but the surrounding areas also. You can come in the morning and grab a coffee and muffin and at lunch time run in for some mexican.  It is set up similar to Chipotle and you have choices of wraps, fillings, etc. I sampled one of the burritos they offer and it was delicious!

Okay, back to the coffee 🙂 If you’ve been paying attention you know that I’m pretty much a coffee freak. I used to only drink brewed coffee or an unsweetened latte but lately I’ve been branching out and sampling all different kinds. I know, my job is so hard. My goal is to make and sample everything on my menu in the next couple days. The other night I went in and played around with some new things and they came out pretty good. My husband is going to have to peel me off the ceiling.

We will also offer muffins and other pastries that I will either bake fresh myself or buy from other local bakers. I may at some point offer a couple “diet-friendly” options, but the majority of my pastries will be made with sugar, flour, butter and of course a few secret ingredients. I think desserts should be mouth watering and special. Not that some low fat or sugar free can’t be good, but I would rather spend money on a rich, gooey piece of dark mocha cake and have to fit in an extra workout that week. I will however be continuing my search for a low carb cheesecake that not only doesn’t suck, but that is delicious.

Nerves are now taking over and I think I will head into the shop and get some things ready. I have a few pictures I took when I stopped in the other week and they aren’t very good but I promise to add more as soon as I get it together.

This is right after we moved the cart in and before I put any of my stuff in.

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Tangy Citrus Sandwich Cookies….about 100 of them

28 Jun

I made these cookies for a wedding as a favor this weekend and its the first time I’ve ever baked with citrus powders. I love them! They can take the place of zest in a recipe or you can just add it to cookies, cakes, icings, etc. In my opinion, it gives it a much more concentrated and flavorful taste than the zest.

I usually don’t follow recipes exactly, but I was handed a King Arthur Flour recipe and since I wasn’t familiar with these kinds of cookies or the powders, I figured I better do it the way it was written. Image

The first batch was ass. I always bake my cookies at a lower temp for longer, but this time I followed the directions and they came out too crispy. Instead of 375 for 7-8 minutes, I tried 6 minutes and it was perfect. You may have to adjust a bit depending on your oven. Once I made this adjustment, the other batches came out pretty good.

I made four different flavors – lemon, lime, orange and pineapple. This was very time consuming because you not only have to flavor your dough, but the coating and filling too and then try to keep them separated and coordinated. The four batches, which yielded a little over 100 cookies, took about three hours to make the dough, roll in sugar and bake. I put the cookies in separate air tight containers.  I then made up a big batch of the filling without adding any flavor and put it in the fridge overnight. Today I separated the filling into four different bowls, flavored each one and then iced the cookies and put together. This was by far the easiest step. Also, its a cream cheese filling so I chose to refrigerate the cookies in their containers.

The cookies came out very flavorful and they will be perfect for the garden wedding. I will definitely make these again, with my own adjustments and I am already finding uses for the powders that I haven’t even bought yet. I think each jar of powder is about $9.00 which seemed expensive to me at first, but you only add a few tbsp and even if you bake a lot, they should last for months.

I followed this recipe from the King Arthur flour site. If anyone else has any experience with citrus powders and have any suggestions of what I can make with them feel free to share!

My suggestions:

– Try baking for a minute less than recommended.

– Bake on parchment paper – much easier and no mess.

– Use a measuring tsp to make the dough balls

– I put the sugar and oil for the coating in a plastic ziplock sandwich bag and then put about 8-9 dough balls in and shook the bag. Much faster than rolling each one individually.

– If you are doing more than one flavor, put them in separate containers and mark them.

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