Simple Wedding Cake

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I said I would not do another wedding cake, but I caved!  I made this simple wedding cake, chocolate cake with vanilla icing.  Sometimes simple ones are the hardest.  It turned out OK.  Hope they liked it.

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My Top 10 of 2011!

Wow! Where did 2011 go?  Seems as I get older the years just fly by.  This year  I did a lot of baking, most were good, some were amazing and a few were total flops!  There were some  new recipes and others were tried and true favourites.  The Daring Bakers took me way out of my comfort zone as I was truly dared with some amazing recipes.  As for the “flops” I posted them too, not everything can turn out well.  I thought I would end the year with a “top 10” list of my favourite recipes of the year.

 10. Perogi Day

Perogi Day was a day I will never forget! Mom, Etta, Jen and myself were at it for almost 12 hours.  We made 9 different flavours, used 25 pounds of potatoes, 7 tubs of sour cream, almost 2 bags of flour and a lot of bacon, cheese and onions.  We ended up with, get ready for it……471 perogies!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! They were delicious, not sure I will be able to go back to the frozen ones from the store.  It was a great day and the results were amazing! We all agreed that we would definitely do it again, just not anytime soon…

9.  Apple Sauce Muffins

These Apple Sauce Muffins were something I stumbled across when visiting Gramma one afternoon.  They were hot and fresh and delicious!  You can’t really taste the apple sauce, they are a little bit sweet and have an amazing texture.  I think I have made them at least 6 times since then.  A wonderful recipe with simple ingredients, Thanks Gramma! 🙂

8.  Baklava

This one was special for me.  I was asked to be the host of the June Daring Bakers Challenge!  Being host meant that I was able to pick any recipe and have all the members make their variations. I had always said, way back when I joined, that if I ever got the chance to host I was going to pick Baklava.  It was amazing to see the different variety of baklava that were made.  I was a little daring (mean) and had everyone make their own phyllo dough.  Some people enjoyed the process, a lot did not, but all in all it was a wonderful experience.  It was a true honour to be picked to be the June 2011 host.  My baklava was delicious.  I will definitely be making it again but, like many other members, I will probably use pre-made phyllo!

7.  Puppy Chow

Puppy Chow was new for me, I had never even heard of it.  Jen had come over to do some Christmas baking and she brought all the ingredients for Puppy Chow…hmmm.  I was pleasantly surprised!  Unlike the name this is a wonderful treat!!!  Very simple, cereal, chocolate, butter, peanut butter and icing sugar.  It is very addicting!  It was a great gift to give away in little Christmas sacks.  Thanks Jen for a great recipe that I will be using for many years to come.  I may have to come up with a more appealing name….

6. Cupcakes, Cupcakes and more Cupcakes!

This was a scary one! Making 130 cupcakes for Kris and Selena’s Wedding!  I had never done anything like this before.  I mean I had made cupcakes but never 130 in one day!  I was a nervous wreck, as I think the wedding cakes is a huge deal.  Sadly it’s the food aspects that people remember more at a wedding then the actual ceremony.  I thought if they don’t turn out I’d have people thinking “god, their cake was horrible”.  Thank goodness everything went smoothly and the cupcakes were a hit!  So much so that there was not near enough 😦 If there is a next time, I will know people will eat more than one! Thanks Kris and Selena!

5. Bachlorette Cake

When Coralee asked me to make Chrissy’s Bachlorette Party cake I was thrilled!  I had just recently taken the Wilton Fondant course and figured this would be the perfect opportunity to give my new skills a try.  For my first try at creating a formed fondant covered cake, I think it turned out pretty good.  I hope to make more in the future.  Unfortunately I fell ill that night and was unable to make the party, so I didn’t get to try it.  Hope it was good!

4. Wedding CakeS!

No, I did not make a typo in the title I meant for the ‘S’ to be big!  This was by far my biggest baking event ever, let alone in 2011.  I was asked to make the cakes for Jen and Martin’s Wedding.  At first I was terrified and think I even tried to talk her out of it, as I mentioned above, the wedding cake is a huge deal!  When I calmed down I was truly honoured and accepted the challenge.  Jen had a wonderful idea of having a cake on each table.  The cake would then be “the wedding cake”, centre piece and dessert.  It really was a good idea.  It was a ton of work but I enjoyed every minute of it and would do it again in a heart beat!  Thanks Jen!!

3. Povitica

This recipe was from the October Daring Bakers Challenge hosted by Jenni of The Gingered Whisk.  She introduced me to something I had never heard of.  Povitica?? I could barely say it let alone make it.  As it was a bread recipe I was very hesitant in even trying it, bread and I do not get along well.  I was pleasantly surprised, it was an amazing dough and so versatile.  I was able to make both savory and sweet loaves out of the recipe.  They were delicious!! This one rang in on my top 3!  I will be making this a lot more in years to come.  Thank you Jenni!!

2. Whoopie Pies!

I was a little late jumping on the Whoopie Pie ban wagon.  Not sure what rock I had been living under but I just heard about these in July.  Apparently they were quite the craze a while ago.  There is even a “Whoopie Pie War” with two States as they both say they are the founder of the Whoopie Pie.  Well, I don’t care who came up with the idea, I’m just glad they did!!  These are little pieces of heaven!  Surprisingly they are not sweet, they have a lovely light texture and a wonderful marshmallow filling.  I have only made the “Classic Whoopie” but I have a book and plan on making many different kinds.  What a wonderful find!

Drum roooooooooooooooooooollllllllllllllllllll…………………….

1. Salted Caramel Shortbread Bars

Without question this was my favourite recipe of the year!  I mean look at at…it’s not only the best tasting dessert bar ever, it’s also a thing of beauty!  This recipe was not even intended for me, haha.  When Jen came over to do some Christmas baking, it was for her to take to her baking exchange.  I had one bite and almost had to sit down.  It is one of those treats that after your first bite you have to stop before you start chewing and your eyes grow twice their normal size as you cant believe this piece of magic in your mouth.  It then turns into an eyes closed slow chew as you take in all the textures and tastes, and then it hits you…the salt!  Your taste buds jump into high gear.  It is like no other dessert experience I have ever had.  Don’t believe me, Try them!!!  Thank you Jen for my FAVOURITE treat of the year!  This recipe will remain at the front of my recipe book to be made time and time again!

I would like to thank my many followers for stopping by throughout the year to see whats up in my kitchen. When I first started this whole blogging thing, I really didn’t think anyone other then family would read.  I was shocked and so happy to see when I had over 20,000 hits!

Thanks again and Happy New Year!  Please come back to see what’s baking in 2012

Wedding Cakes, Wedding Cakes and More Wedding Cakes!!!

At Christmas time my good friend Jen got engaged!  I was so happy for her.  She asked me if I wanted to make her wedding cakes.  I was kind of taken aback, I had made many a cake but never a wedding cake!  I think I even tried to talk her out of it, are you sure? I’ve never done a wedding cake before.  She told me she had complete confidence in me and wasn’t worried at all,  I’m glad someone wasn’t because I was terrified.   So after I agreed to take on the challenge I questioned the “Wedding Cakes”? Thought maybe she made a mistake or perhaps there was going to be a grooms cake.  Nope! She wanted 14 wedding cakes, that were also doubling as centre pieces on each table.  I thought it was a really nice idea, had never heard of doing that before.

After many ideas, including a few really bad ones (we won’t mention those) Jen decided she wanted 2 layer round, red velvet, fondant covered cakes with simple red calla lilies and a few leaves.  A simple elegant look.

This is the picture she sent me for inspiration, she wanted it to look like just the top layer.

The Tale of Jens Wedding Cake

First off I must apologize to everyone, I was a bit obsessed with this project and its pretty much all I have talked about for the past month, so for that I’M SORRY.  I know it would bore more people but it was exciting to me.

The flowers

I needed to make 75 flowers, really only needed 65 but made extra just in case, and I am glad I did, a few didn’t make it.

It started here, 3 bags of gum paste and 3 jars of red die

I didn’t feel the need to purchase expensive tools that are made for this project so I got creative!  I made 75 cones out of note pad paper.  In order to get the angle on the flower I could not just sent them down to try, they had to hang on a slant.  It took me a half hour (yes, I know how sad is that) of searching around the house for a way to dry them. My solution, knitting needles in glasses.  It worked perfectly!! Once they set I was able to set them down flat

The flowers centres

Put together

Now onto the baking of the cakes…

I really didn’t think it was going to be as big of a job as it was.  After the 4th cake I had the recipe memorized, I’m pretty sure I will never forget it.  It took 20 hours but the cakes were baked! Now where do I put them?  Wrapped tightly in the living room was the only place I had room.

In between each cake while they were baking I made 10 batches of butter cream icing and 5 batches of marshmallow fondant so they would be ready to assemble the next day.

Assembly

The cakes had to be leveled.  I am left with something that reminds me of a Seinfeld episode lol

Iced

Forgot to take a picture of them all fondanted

Final product ready for the ride to the wedding

Cakes on all the tables

Approximately 60 hours and an astronomical amount of ingredients later my job was done, cakes were delivered and places on the tables

The table Jen and Martin sat at had their cake topper on top.  It suited them so well.  Him on the phone and her cheering on her sports teams

All other tables

Destroyed in seconds…

The cakes were a hit.  Got many complements and everyone said they tasted great…relief!

What an amazing experience!  A lot more work then I thought but would do it again in a heart beat! I was honored to be part of Jen and Martins day and wish them a lifetime of love and happiness.

Thanks Jen 🙂