Wednesday, March 27, 2013

Cheaper than a KopyKake

First, let me say I would love, love, love a KopyKake. Or an ipad so I could download that projector app. Either one. I'm not picky.

However, I will not be deterred! One of my most favorite purchases this past year is the $20 lighted tracing pad from Crayola. Found it at Wal-mart. Didn't even have to pay shipping.

Just short of projecting images on to cookies or cake. I can print an image and tape it to the tracing pad. Then roll out gum paste or fondant onto wax paper or clear acetate. I bought the acetate to make chocolate cake wraps, but works for this too :-) If you don't want to use fondant, buy a Wilton Sugar Sheet in white. Already on the acetate.

Once you tape your fondant or sugar sheet over the image, trace with food color pens or paint with thinned gel colors. I love this technique.

You can even pipe royal icing transfers this way too!

I think this picture explains the rest. 

 Tape the picture to the pad. Tape the sugar sheet on top of that. Trace away.

I know not very Easter-y. But hey, anything for my first born. Isn't that what mothers do?

There is a great tutorial on about painting and drawing on fondant. Everything  Melissa describes in her video is true, just add the tracing pad behind your image. The trick is not to smear the black food coloring. I choose to trace all the bright colors first, then outline in black last. 

 These images are on fondant/gum paste. I outlined with the black first and quickly realized I had a problem. There was a little smearing of the black but that did not stop me. I forged ahead. 

One day I might get that Kopykake but until then I think I can create some really neat cakes with this tracing pad.

Tuesday, March 19, 2013

Easter Vigil and Cake!

With Easter just a few weeks away, once again I'm googling cake ideas for our parish Easter Vigil reception. Let me just say the pickins' is slim. Apparently celebrating Easter Vigil with a show stopping cake just isn't something everyone does. Here are a few that I have made over the past years might inspire someone else too <3.

First, I have to recognize sweetcreation on Cake Central. Her design is right on the mark! Loved her design so much, I used it two years in a row. Each of these cakes is enough for 100.

Any exciting baking plans for your holiday?

Sunday, March 10, 2013

Apple Puff Pasty

Apples, apples, apples! I love apples. Apple pie, apple sauce, apple butter, apple jelly. And apple cake!! If an apple can be put in it, I will love it.

This weekends test kitchen was about the Apple Puff Pastry. I mean how easy, peasy and Pepperidge Farm, thank you. However in searching for a recipe, I stumbled across this Quick and Easy Puff from scratch.

Could it really be that easy? Would the layers puff like Pepperidge Farm? Oh yes, just like Truc describes. Light, flaky, buttery layers, puffed around lightly spiced and sweetened apples!

 Pepperidge Farm is on the left, from scratch on the right. True, the frozen dough 
puffed a little more, but the freshness and flakiness of the from scratch wins by a mile!

Preferred the honey glaze on the from scratch to the powdered sugar on the frozen.

This is the last batch from scratch. Got the temperature and time just right 
as well as the honey glaze with cinnamon sugar dusting on top.

Only three changes to the original recipe is the baking temp, changed to 400 degrees for 25 mins. Then brushed the edges with an egg wash to make it brown so nice. Oh yes, I used all purpose flour instead of unbleached all purpose flour because that's what I had.

If you are up for a little Test Kitchen at your house, I highly recommend this recipe. And the Pepperidge Farm puff pastry, you know to be diligent :-)