Friday, 6 December 2013
Bazaar-o-Rama, I bought the Cut-Up Cake Party Book which shows you how to make different shaped cakes like spaceships and turkeys. There was one for a Christmas tree and I thought, “Looks easy enough.”
I should’ve known better. I often sit in front of puzzles and cry. So even though this cake looks like a tree, the tinted coconut and icing is covering up a lot of Franken-weirdness underneath.
Now, I’m about to say two things that terrify me:
1) Make your cake from scratch. The reason being is that I used a cake mix and the cake was too light. It was hard cutting the pieces. So you need a dense cake.
2) Make the icing from scratch. One container of Duncan Hines frosting will NOT give you the coverage you need to hide your screw-ups. I made the Seven Minute Frosting the book suggested. It rocked. Even if it took, like, seven minutes.
While I’d like to take credit for the decorating, I can’t. My niece did that. She's obviously way more talented than her uncle.
My fellows cakers, if you decide to make this, remain calm. Reserve one day for figuring out how to bake a cake from scratch, one day for making the frosting and one day for decorating. Christmas may be over by the time you finish, but that's the risk you take.
Here’s what you need:
1 baked 9-inch square cake
5 ½ cups Seven Minute Frosting, tinted green (recipe follows)
1 ½ cups flaked coconut
½ cup chocolate coated coconut
Green food colouring
So do this with the cake:
Then do this:
Tint the coconut by adding a ½ teaspoon of milk and few drops of colouring and toss it with a fork.
For the trunk, melt one square of Baker’s chocolate. Add the coconut and mix well. Spread on a baking sheet and separate coconut with a fork. Chill until set.
Seven Minute Frosting
3 egg whites, unbeaten
2 ¼ cups sugar
1/8 teaspoon salt
½ cup water
1 tablespoon light corn syrup
1 ½ teaspoons vanilla
Combine egg whites, sugar, salt, water and corn syrup in top of two-quart double boiler. Beat about 1 minute, or until thoroughly mixed. Then place over boiling water and beat constantly with rotary beater (or at high speed of electric mixer) seven minutes, or until frosting will stand in stiff peaks. (Stir frosting up from bottom and sides of pan occasionally with rubber scraper, spatula or spoon.)
Remove from boiling water. For a very smooth and satiny frosting, pour at once into a large bowl for final beating. Then add vanilla and beat for one minute or until thick enough to spread.
Put the frosting on the cake, the coconut and the decorations. Then mop the sweat from your brow.
Source: Baker's Cut-Up Cake Party Book
(Look how everyone is having a good time. Obviously, none of them have made a cut-up cake.)
Wednesday, 4 December 2013
And all through the house,
Not a creature was stirring
Not even a…walnut?!?
Oh, ha ha! I meant a mouse.
Or did I?
My month-long Caker Christmas celebrations continue with this squeaklingly fun Christmas craft. Alls you need are walnuts, five minutes and a vision. Oh, and googly eyes.
Here’s how you make them:
1) Buy some walnuts. Make sure they’re still in the shell. Otherwise, your mice will look weird.
2) Take something sharp and split open the walnuts.
3) Scrape out the nuts and reserve for your next batch of Church Windows. Or mix with vanilla ice cream, top with maple syrup and serve to a senior. They go bonkers for maple walnut ice cream.
4) Glue some googly eyes onto the shell, along with a pompom for a nose and two for the ears. Take a pipe cleaner and twist it around your finger. Then glue the tail to the back of the shell.
It’s that easy! If you really want to get creative, put some wires in the nose for whiskers. Or make a miniature Santa Claus hat. Or a smart little pantsuit. The sky’s the limit!
See you back here on Friday for a tree-tastic recipe.
Monday, 2 December 2013
I couldn’t think of a more festive way to kick off the celebrations than with the stained glass majesty of Church Windows. Can’t you just hear the out-of-sync senior choir now? In fact, you couldn’t get any more festive unless you ate one while dancing to Grandma Got Run Over Reindeer in a pair of knitted slippers with a maraschino cherry stuck to your nose.
Word to the wise: when rolling these, it can get a little messy. Roll them up using a piece of waxed paper so your hands don’t get all choclity.
See you on Wednesday with a “nutty” holiday craft!
1 16 oz package semi sweet chocolate chips
3 cups coloured miniature marshmallows
¼ cup butter or margarine
½ cup pecans or walnuts (optional)
½ cup shredded coconut
Melt butter in saucepan over low heat. Add chocolate chips and melt. Cool. Stir in marshmallows and nuts. Divide in half and shape each half into a 6-inch roll. Roll each in coconut and wrap in waxed paper. Keep refrigerated until ready to use. Cut in 1/2" slices. Makes 24.
(Yep, that's a real construction paper cover with a piece of green ribbon holding everything together. It doesn't get more high tech than that.)
Saturday, 30 November 2013
And that means it's time for my month-long Caker Christmas extravaganza. Starting Monday, December 2, I'll be posting three times a week. No need to pinch yourself; you're not dreaming.
As if that weren't exciting enough, I'll also post all the highlights from my Caker Christmas party on December 21. That's when I
Speaking of desserts, come back Monday for some caker granny holiday goodness.
Friday, 29 November 2013
Monday, 25 November 2013
This is Terrible - The Soda is Overwhelming” Cherry Pudding or the nothingness of Cheese Snacks or the horror of Special K Meatless Roast?
Just when I thought it wasn't possible, the caker elevator plummeted another floor down.
When I saw this recipe, I figured “potpourri” was some kind of French gourmet word. And it looked easy enough to make.
Let me go on record by saying this is the worst soup I ever ate! It tasted like someone stirred it with a sweaty gym sock. The caraway seeds got caught in my teeth and the cinnamon stick was impossible to gnaw through. (I gave up after an hour and then made a dentist appointment.)
While it made my kitchen smell nice (for once), I wouldn’t recommend you make this soup. Ever. Just do yourself a favour and stick to Campbell’s cream-of-anything.
On a brighter note, Caker Christmas, my month-long extravaganza leading up to my annual Caker Christmas party, starts Monday, December 2. I’ll be posting three times a week. Recipes! Crafts! Thought-provoking essays! (Okay, two out of three.)
In the meantime, don't forget to check out the
2 bay leaves
2 cinnamon sticks
1 tablespoon each – whole allspice, cloves, caraway seeds
Bring 4 cups of water to a boil. Add above ingredients and boil 5-10 minutes. Simmer as long as desired. Add water as necessary. Refrigerate and reuse.