Tag Archives: Dessert

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. 

Image

 

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!

ImageImageImageImage

 

Advertisements

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

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.

IMG_6293 IMG_6298

Eat me.

17 May

I imagine this is what my carrot cake would say if it had lips. I don’t usually love anything I make because well, its me. I have a tendency to be a bit hard on myself because most of the time I think I can do better. I have to say thought that I think I have perfected my carrot cake. Its really the first cake I came up with where I didn’t use a base recipe. I was curious one night and wondered what would happen if I just made my own amounts up and threw everything in a bowl. Apparently what happens is yummy goodness. I will warn you that this cake is neither low calorie or healthy. But it is delicious!

And of course, what is a carrot cake without the cream cheese frosting? Well, I don’t know what but definitely not as good. A couple of weeks ago I was at Panera and my daughter chose a big carrot cake muffin…..it was really good and it had cream cheese in the middle. My husband really seemed to love this idea so I thought I would try it out. Delicious! If you are looking for a good cake or muffins to try out or bring to an event you won’t be sorry.

I couldn’t find any good muffin tins so I decided to make it as a bundt cake. It came out moist (sorry, I hate that word!) and full of flavor. The original recipe can be found under “carrot cake” ….I made a couple adjustments. Yes you are reading it right….there is cayenne in it. It brings out the flavor and gives it a kick but its not too spicy.

Carrot Cake

  • 4 eggs
  • 1 1/4 cups vegetable oil
  • 2 cups white sugar
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 2 tsps baking soda
  • 2 tsps baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
  • 1 tsp nutmeg
  • 1 tsp ground cloves
  • 1 ½ tsp cayenne pepper
  • 3 cups grated carrots
  • 1 1/2 cups raisins (optional)                                                                                               I imagine this would be good with chopped walnuts or pecans but I haven’t tried that yet.

Cream Cheese Filling:

1 8 oz package cream cheese

4 tbsp butter

1/2 cup sugar

1 egg

1 tsp vanilla

Cream Cheese Frosting

1 package cream cheese (8oz)

4 tbsp butter, softened

1 tsp vanilla

powdered sugar

Preheat oven to 350 a spray a bundt pan with cake release spray, or grease and flour.

Cake:

Mix together the eggs ,vegetable oil, sugar and vanilla. Add other ingredients in order one and a time until well mixed. Spoon 2/3 mixture into bundt pan.

Filling:

Cream together cream cheese and sugar and then add other ingredients until well mixed. Spoon onto carrot cake mixture.

Add remaining carrot cake mixture and bake for 1 hour or until toothpick or fork comes out clean.

Allow cake to cool before frosting. I suggest letting cake cool for at least an hour and then putting in freezer for about 45 minutes. When cake is completely cool, ice the cake.

Frosting:

Using a mixer, blend together the cream cheese and butter until well mixed. Add vanilla and keep mixing on low. Add powdered sugar a little at a time until it gets the consistency of icing. I don’t have a good measurement for this since it depends on a few factors….but maybe 1/2 a bag. If you use too much, thin it with a little milk.

Oh and one more thing. I took terrible pictures of this cake so please don’t judge on looks alone. I was way too lazy to get the good camera out and worry about lighting. I took them from my phone and I was lucky to get a picture before it was gone.

This is a pic of the filling spooned on….before the final mixture was added.

Image

Image

Still no coffee……but a fun new project!

28 Mar

Two weeks of no caffeine.  I feel much much better than when I started. The headaches are gone and I’m starting to get a little bit of energy back. I’d like to say that all sorts of magical things happened once I quit coffee, but sadly that is not the case. I don’t really feel all that different than when I was drinking coffee, but its only been two weeks. 

I will be starting a new project soon – a coffee shop! Yes, I see the irony 🙂 I’m hoping it will be done and ready to go by early summer. I may also be selling pastries, cookies, etc. I’m really looking forward to this new adventure – and I will have new things to blog about. I’m thinking I will be able to work on the cookbook and run the coffee shop at the same time. Or maybe I will be so slammed with customers that I won’t have time for both. Either way is fine with me!

Now I’m off to find some good recipes for Easter dinner…..and maybe a cheesecake for dessert. Oh wait, I gave up sugar too. Damn.

 

Time to make the cookies…..$%^&!

19 Dec

I don’t think I’ve gone into a full rant about cookies on here before….I guess you are in for a treat. I can’t stand those little mothers…..I’m not talking about the chocolate chip or peanut butter or oatmeal raisin. No, I’m talking about those stupid little cut out sugar cookies decorated in royal icing…..you know, the perfect looking ones that are so pretty and would be perfect for gifts. It just so happens that there is a certain holiday coming up and of course teachers gifts and what did I decide to make?…..oh I think you know.

In the last six years I can only remember one time where I’ve made these decorated cookies and they’ve turned out good…one! I believe it was when I made snowflake cookies for my daughter’s teacher in the 3rd grade….she’s now a freshman in high school. My son is in 3rd grade with the same teacher and I’m going to give it a go. Why, I have no idea. I fail at this more times than I can count….I curse, cry, stomp around and pretty much turn into a whiny baby, but I’m going to do it anyway. Damn you Pinterest for making it seem like I can do this!!

I have eight teacher gifts to make….which is crazy by the way, but I figured all I need is two pretty cookies each, then I will put them in the clear cookie bag, tie with a ribbon and maybe put in a gift bag with some hot chocolate and chocolate dipped spoons or marshmallows. Easy peasy right?

Just tune in tomorrow for either my success story with pictures or my disaster rant….still with pictures.

Update:

Ok, so I didn’t end up making the mittens since I forgot I lent the cutter to my sis, but I did make some round cookies with snowflakes that I will hopefully post about later. I’m still debating getting the mitten cutter and making some today but the gifts are for tomorrow so that might be cutting it a bit close…..although I do like a challenge.

 

Chocolate Spoons!

4 Dec

I’m making up some Christmas baskets this year to sell and I’m trying to come up with some cute ideas. I know for sure there will be a coffee mug, a bag of yummy coffee, and for sure some chocolate dipped spoons. You can use them to stir your coffee or hot chocolate or do like my 2 year old does and just eat it off the spoon.I used to make these years ago when I had the coffee shop and people really seemed to like them. I know that you can probably buy them at the craft stores but making them is less expensive and very easy.

IMG_1160

What you need:

Spoons – either plastic, wooden or if you are doing something a bit fancier you can use a real spoon….maybe a small decorative one.

Chocolate to melt – I used both white chocolate and chocolate almond bark

Double boiler, or measuring cup and microwave or you can make your own double boiler like I do. I get a sauce pan, fill it half with water and then put a measuring cup in it. Then turn the burner to medium high and add the chocolate and keep stirring until melted.

Sprinkles, small candies or marshmallows(optional) – I didn’t use these with the batch I just made because I was just experimenting but the next batch will probably be made with some sort of candy.

The Method:

Melt the chocolate in which ever way you decide, dip the spoon until its coated, add candy or a swirl of other chocolate and lay on wax paper until dry. Then you can put a ribbon around and use them in baskets, gifts, etc.

I will show the final result when I’m all done and have some baskets made.