Tuesday, October 4, 2016

New Youtube channel coming!!

As hard as I tried, I just could not finish all the editing on this cake in one night. :) I am going to break it down into manageable videos and get it out as soon as possible! Make sure to Subscribe so that you will be informed when the videos do become available! 

I promise that I will give you all the info on how to make THIS dramatic diva! 


Thursday, March 17, 2016

Traditional Irish Soda Bread


Since my roots come from Ireland, let's make this super easy, Traditional Irish Soda Bread
to go with our Irish Stew for dinner!



Irish Soda Bread is a rustic, dense bread with a crusty exterior. It's basically a large biscuit...sans the copious amounts of butter. Butter was more of a luxury back then in famine-stricken Ireland. But not to worry, when you slather it on the bread after it is cut, it is amazing!

Irish Soda Bread was traditionally made with only the most basic of ingredients: flour, baking soda (used as a leavening agent instead of yeast), soured milk (or Buttermilk) to moisten and activate the soda, and salt. This is more of a peasant bread. Let us save a space on our dinner tables tonight for this humble bread and be thankful for all that we have today. 

Traditional Irish Soda Bread

4 C. Flour
1 Tbs. Baking Powder (Not super traditional but it's GREAT for levening!)
1 tsp. Baking Soda
1 1/2 tsp. Kosher Salt
2 C. Buttermilk or Sour Milk* 
1 egg (mixed with a splash of water for egg wash)

Preheat the oven to 375 degrees
Place a sheet of parchment paper on a baking sheet.
Add flour, salt, baking soda, and baking powder to a large bowl and  mix well.
Make a well for the buttermilk. Pour in the buttermild and mix until the flour is moistened and partially comes together. If necessary, add a little more buttermilk if your dough is too dry.
Pour this mixture out onto a lightly floured surface and gently knead until the dough forms a nice ball and holds together. DO NOT knead it too much or your bread will be tough.
Shape the dough into approximately an 8-inch disk and place on your prepared baking sheet.
Using a knife cut an X about 1 inch deep on the top. Not only does this make it look beautiful and rustic, but this helps it cook in the middle.
Brush the top of the loaf with an egg wash and sprinkle some flour on top for a more rustic look.
Bake for about 35 minutes or until the bread is golden brown and sounds hollow when you tap on it.
Transfer to a rack to cool. Serve warm with butter. Leftover bread, if you have any, is wonderful the next day sliced and toasted and topped with butter and jam.
*To make sour milk, combine 1 Tbs. Lemon juice with 1 C. Milk


Thursday, March 10, 2016

Ruffles are everything...


Today we are talking RUFFLES!! This cake is so versatile depending on how you dress it up. Here is the tutorial!! 

P.S. Here is the link to the most AMAZING rolling pins that I used on the show! You will never see a higher quality and more beautiful rolling pin! They are the only rolling pin that I will ever use and they are heirloom quality pieces that can be handed down  from generation to generation. I got a custom rolling pin with BEEHIVE handles!! Eeek! I heart the Beehive State. :) hubcitywoodcraft.com

Here's a quick shot of the pins on the set with me: 


K, back to the tutorial:


Here's what you need:


I LOVE this set by Wilton. I used the ball tool for this technique but I'm really excited about the cutting tool that has the  needle tool on the end for Sugar Cookie Decorating!!


 1. Prep your surface with cornstarch.


 2. Roll out your fondant. Seriously, my favorite rolling pin will get it to the thickness that you need! CLICK HERE for some rolling pin eye candy!


3. Make sure it's really thin!


4. Cut out your large circle out: 


5. Now cut your small circle out. Just eye-ball it. ;)


6. Make sure to keep them in a ziplock bag until you are ready to use them. 










Start at the top!


Keep layering until THIS happens. ;)





Friday, January 22, 2016

ALL the Meringues!

Today's post is all about Meringues and all of the wonderful things you can do with them! I did not have time to do a tutorial for you but I will include some great links that will help you get the PERFECT meringues.



But first...There is a new trend in the cake world and I am LOVING it! It is called the "drippy cake". It is a tall, buttercream cake, with a glaze or ganache dripping down the side and then piled high with ALL THE THINGS! I am obsessed with it. The Australian Baker, Katherine Sabbath, does this style very well. HERE is a great article about her and her drippy cakes.

http://www.delish.com/kitchen-tools/a42545/drip-cakes-katherine-sabbath/ 

I. am. inspired. There really are no rules when it comes to piling anything and everything onto these cakes. My own version that I created for Studio 5 is more of a Marie Antoinette style and it has a million meringues on it. Also, the doughnut and the croissant put it over the top! And the gold leaf? Get out! I literally had to restrain myself from putting it all over everything. I would not could not stop. You can find Edible Gold foil on Ebay or Amazon.






To create the verticality on this cake, I used huge meringues as my base then built around them. There are many different types of meringues. I have used the French Meringue recipe foreverbut I have recently switched to the Swiss Meringue recipe and I found that I liked it more than the French Meringue. In a Swiss Meringue, you heat the sugar and eggs together and the heat stabilizes the mixture a bit more and helps it to hold it's shape a lot better.

HERE is the link for the recipe that I got from Cocoa Cake Land. She does such a great job at explaining all the tricks to making the perfect meringue. 

http://cococakeland.com/recipes/lean-smooch-make-meringue-kisses-recipe/


Here is a French Meringue recipe that I modified from Ina Garten's Pavlova recipe. 


French Meringue base for Meringue cookies, Meringue sandwiches, Meringue kisses, or Mini Pavlovas:

4 egg whites, room temp
Pinch of Kosher salt
1 C. Granulated sugar (preferably super-fine sugar)
4 tsp. Cornstarch
1 tsp. White vinegar
1 tsp pure vanilla extract

Directions:

Preheat the oven to 180 degrees F.
Place a sheet of parchment paper on a sheet pan.
Place the egg whites and salt in the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with a whisk attachment. Beat the egg whites on high speed until firm, about 3 minutes. With the mixer still on high, slowly add the sugar and beat until it makes stiff, shiny peaks, about 3 minutes.
Remove the bowl from the mixer, sift the cornstarch onto the beaten egg whites, add the vinegar and vanilla, and fold in lightly with a rubber spatula. Use mixture IMMEDIATELY. It will start to break down and separate after just a hour or so. Carefully place mixture into a piping bag with your choice of tip size. Pipe your various shapes onto  your parchment paper. Bake for 45 min. If you are making small meringue kisses and up to an hour if you are making large cookies or pavlovas. Turn off the oven, keep the door closed, and allow the meringue to cool completely in the oven, about 1 hour. It will be crisp on the outside and soft on the inside.

Here are some fun things that I did with my Meringues and you will see on the Studio 5 episode that I also dipped them in chocolate, nuts, and sprinkles. Those were my fav.



















Tuesday, October 20, 2015

Harajuku / Kawaii Style Cake Slice...and a little Gwen Stephani!

Eeeeek!! You guys...I got to do the FUNNEST thing! I got to make a cake for a photo shoot for Gwen Stephani's new Harajuku Lover's Party Collection!! My sweet friend, Loralee Lewis  designed the adorable collection and you can find the whole collection on Chasing Fireflies Online Shop HERE!! These photos of the photo shoot are AMAZING and they are brought to you by the fabulously talented  Lindsay Salazar at www.lindsaysalazar.com

We are going to do a simplified version of this cake that you can do in your very own kitchen, I PROMISE! :) But first, the Gwen Stephani Harajuku Lover's Collection Photos!!!




And there is my cute daughter on the lower right in the polka dots tights. 


 Ok, NOW, the simplified version that we are going to do together! :)


SO, there's a lot of elements to this cake even thought it looks very simple. Don't worry, I will hold your hand through them all. (*wink) At the end of this post, I have a link to the Studio 5 segment so that you can actually see the demonstration because sometimes seeing it demonstrated helps you more than a photo tutorial.

First step: Prepping your cake

You HAVE to have a clean cake for this. It has to be straight and very smooth because fondant does tend to show all your flaws. Buttercream hides flaws, Fondant will show them.
Being a "carved cake", once you have torted and filled your cake, you will need to CHILL, chill, CHILL! At least 30 min in the freezer.


Now that your cake is prepped, the biggest key to this cake is to make templates.
Simply place some Parchment paper up against the side of your cake and crease along the edges of the cake. (Remember, it's super chilled so it should be sturdy enough to do that.)


Now, roll out some bubblegum pink fondant and lay your templates on top. Then cut with a mini pizza cutter.





Then, just place the fondant panels on the cake! It's that easy. Make sure you paint your chilled cake with the LIGHTEST layer of water so that the fondant will stick. :)



If your panels are too high, just trim with a pair of clean kitchen scissors.


Gently pinch together seams.


Smooth seams together with your fingers.


Then smooth them with your fondant paddle.



Next, let's make the "drippy icing"! It's so easy. Just lay your triangle template on top of some white rolled fondant and use a new, very sharp exact-o knife to free-hand the "drips".




Now, pipe on a large, oversized shell border on the top and bottom of the cake with a large star tip like Wilton's 3M tip. You also want a big dollop swirl right on top for your fondant cherry. ;)Also, Those adorable pastel candies at the border of the cake are just sixlets that you can find in the Wilton isle of your local Walmart or craft store like JoAnne's or Michael's. Just tack them on with some royal icing or piping gel! Seriously, they were like,zero effort. ;)


Now...SPRINKLES! Super easy. I used a little cutter that I found in my mini letter set. I think it's an i or an L or something. Maybe it's an exclamation mark?? Anyway, it worked perfectly. You can also use the Wilton 12 tip for the sprinkles too for round sprinkles and they will be perfect.



The cherry on top!
Just roll a piece of red-ish fondant with a into a ball.



Use a skewer or the end of your kitchen paint brush to make a hole in the top of your fondant ball.


Roll a tiny rope of pastel green fondant for your stem.


Use piping gel or royal icing to secure your stem after it's dried out just a little bit so that it holds it's shape. 

The highlight here is SUPER important. It's these little details that MAKE the cake. Harajuku and Kawaii style is dink of defined by these little highlights.


I used a Wilton 12 tip to cut out the highlights on the cherry and the large highlight on the eyes.



Eyes! These eyes are what define Harajuku. Wide set, highlights, with a thin smile in the center of them.


You can use a circular cutter if you have one the right size but I didn't have one so the shape of my Americolor food color was the perfect size so I just used that.


Add your highlights!


Add the little "blushies" under the eyes for a true Kawaii look. You can cut these out free-hand or I just used the same cutter that I used for the sprinkles.




 The smile: The smile is super easy to make, it's just hard to apply and I don't have any tips on how to do it other than be careful and make it more of a "u" shape than you think you will need. I usually get it slightly wet so that it's tacky, then put it on carefully because the black fondant will make anything it touches black so you kind of have one shot. If it's stressing you out, take a black edible marker and just draw it on!



Now...can we just talk about that ridiculously adorable bow that puts the whole cake over the top?
I will probably never use the rest of that blue disco dust that I bought for the bow but it was worth the $5 just for this one use.

I just kind of free-handed this little template so just create the same shape out of an exact-o knife.


Piping gel to secure the ends of the bow in the middle.


Fold over the ends to meet in the middle.



More piping gel to secure the middle strip...



Flip bow over carefully to wrap the strip around the back.


Place some tissue paper rolled up into logs in the bows so that it doesn't flatten as it dries.


I like to stand the bow on it's end as it dried OVERNIGHT so that all sides dry completely.


After your bow has dried overnight, paint it with Piping Gel and sprinkle some disco dust all over the front of it!


Ta-Da!!


Now place that adorable thing on your cake with some royal icing Make sure to hold it there until the icing sets. It's a heavy bow.


And there you have it. You can do it! I want to see all of your variations and creations!

Happy caking everyone!


Here is a link to the Studio 5 segment as promised at the beginning of this tutorial: