Friday, September 6, 2013

New Site!

I'm moving!
(okay, not me personally, just this site)

I have a new project in the works, and a new site to go with it.
The new blog is:

Enjoy! xo

Wednesday, May 22, 2013

Nerds Filled Pinata Cake Tutorial

Happy Birthday to my Husband, Cam! We normally celebrate Cam's birthday along with several others at a cottage (check out previous birthday cakes here) over the May long weekend, but this year we were at home. I made a cake inspired by his favorite candy - Nerds.

But this wasn't a regular cake. This was a pinata cake! Filled with his favorite candy. What a surprise when he cut into it!

So how did I do it?

Step 1 - Baking and Cutting the Cake

  • Bake a regular cake. I chose Red Velvet, one of Cam's favorites. Any size will do, but it needs to be tall enough to be able to fill, while still having actual cake to eat. I baked three small round cakes, but only used some of it. 
  • Use a sharp knife (or cake leveler) to level the first cake for the bottom layer.
  • Cut a thick slice from your second cake - this will be the top of your cake.
  • Level a third cake layer, and use a knife to cut out a circle in the center, being careful to leave a large edge, a minimum of 3 cm around the outside.  
If your cakes are thick enough, you can use only two layers, hollowing out half of one layer and using the other half of the layer to top the cake. My cakes were only 1.5 inches high, so I needed the third cake to work with. 

Step 2 - Assembling and Filling the Cake
  • Ice the top of the bottom layer and place the hollowed out piece on top. It will look like this: 

  • Fill the hole with the candy of your choice. Of course, I used nerds. Be careful in choosing your filling, it needs to be small enough to easily cut through. Once filled, it will look like this: 

  •  Ice the top of the second layer, and add the third layer of cake to top the cake. 

Step 3 - Decorate the Cake! 
You can decorate the cake however you wish. I used a rainbow of colors to match the nerds. To do that:

  • Make a batch of icing (I used cream cheese icing) and divide it by the number of colors you want to make. In my case, I had 5 bowls - white, blue, orange, pink, and yellow. 
  • Use any of the icing to crumb coat the cake. This means spreading a thin layer over the tops and sides of the cake (I used the white for this). 
  • Wrap approximately 1/3 of a cup of each icing colour in saran wrap (like a sausage, they should be long and thin) and twist the ends of the saran wrap tightly. Tie one end of the saran wrap in a knot. 
  • Gather all your saran wrapped colors together and cut the non-tied ends of the saran wrap before carefully dropping them into a decorating / piping bag.
Note: I don't have photos of this process, which are really helpful. Google the plastic-wrap method for rainbow icing for a few other tutorials. Next time I make it I will remember to photograph the steps! 
  • Use the piping tip of your choice to decorate the cake. I used a star tip and made overlapping circles around the whole cake. I then topped it with more Nerds!    

The finished cake! 
The messy (but fun!) half-eaten cake

Sunday, May 12, 2013

First Mother's Day!

Happy Mother's Day

... For the first time, to me! And my dear mother of course. :D

I got my very first handmade mothers day card this year. This was also Jack's first craft project, at the tender age of 5 months. I'm so proud!

Yes, those are his adorable footprints. He had help making this at daycare  - I love that she took this on with a baby in addition to the toddlers in her care! It now hangs on display on our fridge. The first of many fridge-worthy projects to come.

Sunday, March 31, 2013

Jack's 1st Easter

 We celebrated Easter with baby Jack's Nana Linda (Cam's mom) this weekend. We visited a garden center event where Jack got to meet the Easter Bunny and participate in his first Easter Egg Hunt (with daddy's help of course). Here are some of the photos:

Hunting for eggs
Found one!


Thursday, March 28, 2013

Royal Icing Flowers

I recently whipped up some cupcakes for a potluck event and wanted to make them interesting. I didn't have much time to spend experimenting - I have a new baby after all - so I tried something quick and simple.  Flower decorations made of royal icing!

Specifically, Swirl Drop Flowers:

1. Using my royal icing recipe (tutorial here) I created a stiff consistency and coloured it blue. I prepped my piping bag with icing tip 2D and spread out a sheet of parchment paper to work on. 

2. Holding the bag upright (90 degrees) I held the tip just slightly above the paper and turned my hand 1/4 turn while squeezing out the icing. Getting the flowers right took some practice, so I only kept the best looking ones. 

3. I placed an edible pearl in the center of each flower and let them dry overnight. 

4. Once they dried I stored them in a plastic container until I was ready to decorate my cupcakes. 

I loved that I could make these in advance. I could see myself making a few different types of flowers in a variety of colours and storing them so I always had something on hand to decorate my cupcakes or cakes with if I wanted to do some last minute baking. 

And voila, I think these flowers add a little something to otherwise simple cupcakes: 

Monday, February 18, 2013

Tutorial: Valentine's Day Man Bouquet

Have you ever heard of a "Man Bouquet"? I hadn't.. until Pinterest. I searched for Valentine's Day husband gifts and all sorts of fun Man Bouquets popped up. Most involved mini-liquor bottles and cigars in a pot or mug. As usual, Pinterest inspired me to try my own DIY.

The result, is this Man Bouquet of Cam's favorite things:

My finished Man Bouquet
To make this, I used supplies I already had at home but that would be easy and inexpensive to find. You'll need:
- A container - mine is an Ikea plant pot. I've also seen mugs, glasses and tin pots.
- Foam brick or styrofoam
- Lollipop sticks
- A glue gun
- Ribbon or other things for decor
- A bunch of relatively light items for the bouquet content 

In my bouquet, I included:
- Beef Jerky
- Candy (Fuzzy Peaches, Nerds, Jelly Bellys)
- An iTunes gift card
- A Starbucks gift card
- Scotch (200ml)
- Jack Daniels (200ml)

Step 1: Make the Base
Cut your styrofoam down to size so it fits nicely in your container. It should be high enough to support the candy sticks without being so high it's easily seen.

Step 2: Glue Lollipop Sticks to Items
Use a glue gun to glue candy sticks to each of the items. I used two on the bigger candy boxes.

Step 3: Assemble Bouquet and Decorate
Experiment by inserting the candy sticks so the items are at different heights and fill the container nicely. I added the wide red ribbon to the pot and used curled gift ribbon pieces to hide the foam block.

With a little creativity and 20 minutes with a glue gun, I had myself a nice personal gift for my husband. Which he tore apart in about 20 seconds. :D 

Thursday, February 14, 2013

Valentines Day Cookies

Once again I've created holiday-themed sugar cookies with royal icing. Here are my Valentine Hearts.