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Wednesday, 29 February 2012

postheadericon Review of 'The Cake Bible'

I haven't baked or made any deserts in a while, having some withdrawing symptoms though! :( I should be making more soon though so I will be back with cake posts next time :D


I always see reviews of lots of different things, so I thought that I would do a
reveiw of one of my cake books. I would have tried to review them all however I have not gotten round to trying many of the recipes yet. So the one that I will focus on is The Cake Bible by Rose Levy Beranbaum. I got this two Christmas's ago from my mum and I love it!


This book has over 500 pages so quite a hefty read! There are different sections to this book:

-Foolproof Cakes which go through butter cakes, fruit, vegetable and bread cakes, custard cakes, breakfast cakes and sponge type cakes. I havent managed to even make a dent in all the cakes yet as there is such an extensive amount of them- even including a chocolate mayonnaise one!

-Showcase Cakes; There is a few pages at the start of the book with pictures of some pretty ace looking cakes. In the rest of the book there isn't any other pictures. But the pictures at the front are then linked to the chapter of showcase cakes so that you can learn how to assemble a cake to look like it.

-Fillings and Icings which has sub chapters with the different types of filling and icings: custard cream fillings and sauces, cream frostings and fillings, buttercream frostings and fillings, fruit toppings and purees, and fondant.

-Special Effects and Decorative Techniques which includes piping skills and chocolate techniques.

-Section which explains the uses of certain ingredients and why they are used and also the types of equipment and tools that are useful.

-The end bit is all about professional cakes and has a section for formulas if you are making a cake for a large scale even like a wedding.

As you can see there are a lot of sections, just showing the extensive content that the author has put in to the book. There is even a section in the contents to tell you which cakes are specialized e.g if you are looking for one that has little or no cholestrol or saturated fats, one with no flour or no egg yolks.
Each of the recipes has a small introduction to explain why she has put certain ingredients into it to make it work, why you would use the type of cake or filling and with each cake she recommends fillings for it.

The recipe that I would go back to over and over is the "All-Occasion Downy Yellow Butter Cake". It is a basic recipe which can be altered to have different flavours.

As you can see I do like this book alot. If you are after something just for basic recipes to make a cake occassionally then I think that it would be maybe a bit too extensive and you would be overwhelmed by which cakes to make. However if you want to understand cakes a bit more then I think that this book is for you! I can still sit down and read the tips and advice and find the something new to learn!

Hope that this has helped anyone looking for a new cake book!

If anyone has any of her other books or even this one, how would you rate them? Do you have other books that explain cakes a bit better?







Saturday, 25 February 2012

postheadericon Homemade Sushi!

For Valentines this year my lovely boyfriend bought me a sushi making kit and bought a few extras that you need to make it. It was very thoughtful and creative since we have been getting into sushi more! My best friend, Jasmine, has made sushi before, successfully, so she came over and we started our sushi quest.
End result:

 We made double this, it was so much sushi!!!

This is all the things that I had to make it:



There is sushi rice (I went and forgot to add it to the photo though!), bamboo mats, sushi vinegar, nori sheets, ginger, soy sauce, wasabi paste.
I would also recommend that you have clingfilm on hand if you are wanting to do the inside out sushi and a sharp knife to cut the rolls.

You have to get your own fillings but it means you can be quite creative with what you fill your sushi with. We didn't go down the raw fish route as although I have tried raw fish, I am not a huge fan =/

The picture shows what I made plus what Jasmine made but I will show you the 3 different rolls that I made!

I didn't get a good enough picture of my first one finished, although on the top photo there are the three of them 2nd from the top (sorry if that didn't make sense!). Obviously too excited that I managed to do it reasonably okay! I filled this with tuna mayo, green peppers and some spring onion.

This is the 2nd one:
Maybe you can just about see the rice is on the outside. This was probably the hardest one to do I think but it looks the most impressive skill-wise. The fillings were prawns, green pepper and spring onions. I think next time on both of them I will try and get a thinner layer of rice.

The third one has the clearest photo I think:

This one I think looks the easiest, the hardest thing being getting the rice in a clear rectangular shape! It is topped with sweet chilli sauce then a crab stick and then some spring onion ( I really do like green pepper and spring onion!)

I was quite happy with my first attempt and they even tasted not bad! I am not sure how often I will make sushi however due to the preparation time but to show off I think it works =P

Would you ever think about making sushi? Have you tried to already? What combinations of fillings do you try and go for?

Thursday, 23 February 2012

postheadericon 101 Things in 1001 Days Update

 I thought that I would do a wee update on my progress on my 101 things list, which can be viewed on the top of this blog!

Number 30: New movies that I have watched are;
-Lethal weapen 4











I still haven't gotten round to watching the first 3 but this was ace!

-Dare devil










Again, I rather enjoyed this movie. It was a good mix of action and romance and the fight scenes were pretty epic!

-The importance of Being Earnest








I have been trying to get into a more variety of films and this one definitely encouraged me! The cast was sectacular and I would thoroughly recommend it! The storyline was amusing and lighthearted to watch! I have seen a lot of negative reviews about it not living up to the Oscar Wilde play but perhaps unfamiliarity with this play was to my advantage as I didn't see any flaws with it. I would absolutely watch it again!

-Death Becomes Her









I actually missed a wee bit of the start of this movie but I quickly got into it. Meryl Street was pretty good in this I felt although I could not believe that it was Bruce Willis also starring! Without his bare feet and terrorists trying to kill him, I had to keep looking twice at him! =P The storyline was quite interesting although it was not one of my favourite movies!

-Up











This movie definitely got me welling up from the first part of the movie! There was a lot of emotions in it but it was also a very entertaining storyline. Don't watch without some tissues though =P

Number 31- Eat at 25 new restaurants- This weekend when I was back home my damily went to the Maltings in Perth. I thought that it was pretty average although the butternut squash and sweet potato soup was super lovely! :)

Number 42: Average 1 blog post a week. I have been doing quite well with keeping up with my posts. I have been doing quite a lot of baking however so once

Number 82: For my Valentine's cake and cupcakes I checked a new cake flavour off of my list as I have never tried to make Red Velvet before. I would definitely recommend and make it again.

Number 89: Bake something every 2 weeks: I made my chocolate brownies! Although I would probably try and find a new recipe for brownies if I make them again.

Number 96: Make more of an effort to see family more- Last weekend was my Gran's 80th brithday (I made the 80th golf cake for this!) So I went home to see my mum's side of the family as they had all come up. Apart from last Christmas I haven't seen most of my aunties and cousins for over at least a year! So it was a lovely reunion, glad that I made the trip home!

Number 98: Write about my list progress- So far so good with this one! Hopefully this will continue while I get busy with university!
Tuesday, 21 February 2012

postheadericon Golf Cake

This cake was made for my Grannies 80th birthday and since she is an avid golfer, it wasn't a surprise that I got asked to do a golf themed cake.

I had to finish the decorating at my family's home which was very stressful, just by forgetting some things and being in a different kitchen that my usual one.
However I tried to capture the theme as much as I could.


So I had seen this 'jokey' type golf cake before where the person is so mad at the ball being so close to the hole and so I tried to create this by having my Gran angry with a broken 'golf club'. The non-edible things on this cake are the flag post, the golf club and the wee tee that on of the balls are on.

The sandbox I made by cutting out a part of the cake and filling it with digestive biscuits!
The cake is a lemon cake, the same one I made for the sushi cake, with just strawberry jam between the layers and some apricot jam underneath the fondant.

I did try to make raspberry filling the night before but it never set in the fridge! How annoying =( I am not sure why it didn't work so I will have to try it again at another time!


I piped some green buttercream around the bottom of the cake as a wee border to make it look like grass. I ended up forgetting my 'grass' piping tip so I used a small writing tip instead. I did the same around the trees and the sand bit as I quite liked the different textures.


 For once my writing is actually readable and I like it! Obviously my Gran is very good at golf but I thought that I would be a little bit cheeky =P


I did want to add an aligator to the pond however I settled on a lily pad instead =P The bridge was made from marshmallow fondant as well and I just modelled it on one of my rolling pins and let it dry for a couple of hours. Ideally I would have preferred to have made it not so high but ah well!

Sunday, 19 February 2012

postheadericon Valentine's Cupcakes!

Since I was already making the red velvet cake I decided to make some cupcakes for a couple of my friends as well. I don't normally make cupcakes because I don't like to decorate them as much as there is not as much space to put details onto it.

I am slowly getting converted to cupcakes however as I had a lot of fun with these ones:

Before they went into the oven. Look at the vibrancy of the colour! I used my wilton red food colouring gels which I think is why it was so vibrant and bright!


After the oven:


Looking quite brown but actually once you cut into them the red colour really shown through! The cupcake cases I actually got from Hobbycraft in the Christmas sale, I don't have a proper picture of them but they have cute hearts on them, how fitting for Valentine's day!

After they were decorated!



I used the cream cheese icing as well just with pink colouring. The chocolate hearts were made just by melting some chocolate and piping them into heart shapes. I melted them onto my parchment paper just to stop them sticking. After a wee while (I didn't bother to time it!) they harden up and you can just stick them into the frosting!
After that I just sprinkled on some hundreds and thousands because I love colourful things!

I was quite happy with the way these turned out since usually Ii struggle to pipe the icing in a spiraling way but they were well received!
Friday, 17 February 2012

postheadericon Valentine's Cake

I tried my hand at making a Red Velvet flavoured cake for Valentine's this year and I have to admit I loved it! As well as making a cake for Chris I also made cupcakes- they will be shown in the next post though.

The recipe that I used I had no problems with although I did substitute the white wine vinegar for white rice vinegar, to me it taste bad but next time buy the right vinegar and compare the tastes!

The inspiration that I used for this cake was from a cake lady on cakecentral and here's a link to her cake, I am not sure if this is the original but its where I found the idea!
http://cakecentral.com/gallery/1315625/valentine-cake-a-little-bit-special
It's quite appropriate for Chris as he has to put up with my cake addiction!

Here is my version of it:





I quite liked the contrast of the black and the baby pink colour. For the black 'background' I didn't use fondant but instead a cream cheese frosting. They both worked well with the cake and the frosting hardened up nicely! For the hearts I used a cookie cutter but for the letters I carved them out myself. It definitely would have taken half the time if I had an alphabet cutter so I am putting that on my wish list!

 I couldn't figure out how to the the twisting technique for the fondant border to get it even all the way around the border however.
Chris approved of the cake however so I was happy with the result! =D
Wednesday, 15 February 2012

postheadericon Chocolate Brownies!

So I made these partly because I haven't made them in a while and because I haven't baked in a while! I used a recepie that I used previously but just didn't add white chocolate chips because I managed to forget! What a silly sausage!

This can also be ticked off of my number 89- Bake something every two weeks at least.

I haven't yet got into the hang of photographing during the baking process but for next time I will know =D



The pros were that it was sooooo chocolately because as well as cocoa powder, chocolate was also added. I wasn't as happy with the texture of them because they turned out more like a chocolate cake rather than proper brownies with the soft and gooey centre.

My 'analysis' is that this problem is because they were in the oven for a wee bit longer than it should have been, despite me taking them out earlier than the time stated. Next time I will adjust the times and add in the white chocolate chips and hopefully they will turn out much better! =D
Monday, 13 February 2012

postheadericon Strictly Tour!




So on Saturday I went to the Strictly 2012 live tour! And it was fabulous! Obviously I voted for Jason Donavon but Harry Judd won =(

I am going to add this to my 101 list, 37-Go to theatre or pantomine for play or musical- there was definately a lot of ace music and a lot of amazing dancing!
On Saturday I also went to my first new restaurant to start completing number 31- Eat in at least 25 new restaurants. We went to 'Ketchup'.
It seems to specialise in adventurous burgers and the range of vegeterian burgers was quite nice however I stuck with a pretty basic chicken burger with bacon and cheese =D Although the burger was lovely, I don't know if I would go back again.
Sunday, 12 February 2012

postheadericon Sushi birthday cake (made mainly by Chris! =D)

This cake was made for my best friend Jasmine's 22nd birthday!



I had my exam on the day that wanted to get this cake done by so very stressful! Chris said that he would do a lot of it since I apparantly had to study!
He did the sushi bit, which I thought were so cool and since she was having food at Yo Sushi, it was very appropriate :)

He also made the wee sherlock's hat, bee and the Jasmine flower and made the ebay sign as she loves ebay and the crochet ball! The wee flowers were made using my new flower plunger cutters that got for Christmas, you see the detail too well but they come out looking quite cute I thought :)

Since I only remembered to take a photo once the cake was in the box, I didn't get a chance to photograph the sides which I had written philosophy and film quotes that related to her!

Here is a close up of the sushi board! Since I don't have brown colouring, we tried mixing a couple different colours to get a 'wood' effect, obviously something I will practise more! Didn't Chris do an excellent job with the details of the sushi?! I did make the wasabi green pile though :P




Saturday, 4 February 2012

postheadericon 101 in 1001

Hey!

So I have added a new page to my blog with my list of 101 things that want to do in the next 1001 days- finishing on the 26th of October 2012! Althoiugh this blog is mainly for my cakes, I wanted to share my list as motivation for me to actually get everything done!
I have started on  couple of the things already and I am hoping to blog about my progress when I complete them.

No 30. - Watch at least 100 movies that I haven't seen yet
So me and Chris watched 'The Rock' which has Nicholas Cage and Sean Connerystarring and we both thought it was an awesome movie! I ws sceptical at first and was doing other things while it was playing but then I was so excited about the movie! Would definately recomend it!
We also watched Due Date with Robert Downey Jr starring. I thought that it was a good movie and got a few laughs but was not majorly awesome!

No 32. - Visit an art gallery and museum, both at least once every 3 months
On the 2nd of Feb my best friend Jasmine  and me went to the Aberdeen Art Gallery. We were hoping to see a new exhibition of some of Van Gogh's private collections, but we were 2 days early so we just checked out the rest of the gallery!

No 37. - Go to the theatre and pantomine for a play at least twice
On the same day as the art gallery we went to see a one man show of sherlock holmes. I hadn't been to a one man show before but I was pleasantly surprised! :)

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I am a 21 year old student who loves to bake and make yummy sweet things
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