31 August 2008

DB: Yummy Eclairs

Hey folks! It is challenge time, Daring Bakers style! I have to be honest, the last Daring Bakers challenge almost sent me to the pastry nut farm. I was delighted to see that our challenge this month was a familiar one for me. ECLAIRS! *Yeah*
Our lovely hosts for this moth were Meeta from What's For Lunch Honey and Tony from Olive Juice. This recipe was adapted from Chocolate Desserts by Pierre Homme'. You will never guess who the author is: Dorie Greenspan! With that being said, we had to create another pate a choux, which was the same puff pastry for the Minty Cream Puff Ring, a vanilla pastry cream and a fab chocolate glaze to drape across the top!

Since I am an expert in the fine art of pate a choux, this one was an easy one for me. I am VERY happy to make this again. It is SO delicious and SO easy. OK, well, not as easy as buying them in the frozen section of your grocery store. But simple enough and elegant for a special function.
Stop by Olive Juice for the recipe!


Enjoy!
Miss P

29 August 2008

Tuscan Themed Wedding Cake & A Giveaway!!

Well friends, here it is!! My very FIRST wedding cake!! I am SO proud! Who da thunk my first wedding cake would e for 200 guests! 200... With a urn in the middle of it!! YIKES! And let me tell ya, I lost a LOT of sleep over this one.


The wedding was held at the Lake Mary Events Center on 8/8/08 for Stephanie and Ron, two of the most wonderful clients. Eight cakes make up this gigantic cake (which happened by accident). AND if you look closely at the topper, it is in the shape of an 8. They also had eight bridesmaids and groomsmen!
The bottom tier of the cake was my Alrighty Amaretto and the three tiers to the top were my Classy Razz. Burgundy drapes and ivory gumpaste lace adorned the cake with sugared fruit. The cake was airbrushed with gold and gave it a very rustic, antique look.



I was working on that cake until 5am and I literally slept 2 hours that night! If you could clearly see my face in that picture you would see the enormous black bags under my eyes. (I thought I
was going to fall asleep on the way to the venue! ) I woke up to work on the groom's cake, a helmet in Redskin team colors.


The helmet was a challenge. I never worked on a helmet before. Live and learn! Clearly, there are a LOT of issues with it. (The cutout for the head is way too small...) I know better for next time. My wonderful son, Alex, was my second set of eyes, because mine were almost shut...) and did a fantastic job at critiquing for me. He is the best!! That is 99% of the time!!

I had the pleasure of working with my mom, Charlotte, also! She is a fantastic floral designer, in the business for over 15 years and handled all of the floral needs for the wedding! Here is what she made for the tables.


OK! On to the GIVEAWAY!! My girl, Melody, of My Sweet & Saucy, has inspired me to hold a giveaway for my readers! In the next few weeks, I am going to be working on some wedding cake designs AND I am going to ask YOU, my friends, to help me out! I am giving away
Betty Crocker's "Decorating Cakes and Cupcakes" book to one of you! Check it out! It is a wonderful book for beginners with really great and fun ideas!

Here's what you have to do to enter:
  1. Think of a GREAT wedding cake design that you would love to see me create.
  2. Post a comment to my blog that you would like to be in the drawing with your wedding cake creation by MIDNIGHT on Friday, Sept. 5th.
  3. I will randomly select the winner and post the results on Saturday, Sept. 6th. It is that simple!!

I am looking forward to reading ALL of your creative ideas!!!


Enjoy!!
Miss P

A Happy Cake

First of all, I have to apologize for this HORRIBLE picture. My camera was set on sports mode and I didn't realize it until the cake was delivered. I have decided that, going forward, I NEED to focus on improving my photography skills!


Anyhow, here is a very bright, fun cake I made for my girl Vania. It was here daughter's 19th birthday. I think this has got to be one of most favorite color combos. I always feel so happy **sigh** when putting them together. If I were surrounded by the colors everyday, my world would be a better place!



The cake was a Hot Pink Velour (a not so RED velvet) with a cream cheese filling that included chopped pecans and shredded coconut, and iced in Italian meringue buttercream, covered in fondant. The "Happy 19th Sabina" tag was made from an edible image printer that I just bought. I LOVE my printer. I absolutely HATE to write on cakes. Looks so grocery store.




Happy 19th to my girlie Sabina!!



Enjoy!!
Miss P

26 August 2008

TWD: Chocolate Banded Ice Cream Torte


Hello my Tuesday visitors! Hope life has been treating ALL of you kindly!! What turbulent times here in Florida! Fay did a number on us. Goodness Gracious... Fortunately for my family, everything is fine. Many people are flooded though.

Moving on to a happy place, today is you know what, Tuesdays With Dorie! I didn't think I was going to make this one. BUT, I did! This week's selection of the "Chocolate-Banded Ice Cream Torte", on pages 288-289 was chosen by Amy of Food, Family and Fun. Since the choice for this week was ice cream, I was psyched.


I have to tell you that this was absolutely fabulous!! The original recipe calls for raspberry ice cream in an 8" spring form pan. Since I didn't want the "temptation" lingering in my freezer, I halved the recipe. I made a rum vanilla ice cream mini-mini torte, topped with whipped cream, caramel, chocolate sauce and slivered almonds. The results were out of this world!! I used a small pyrex bowl for the shape.


Very easy make, although it does take sometime between steps for freezing. Overall, thumbs up! Be sure to stop by Amy's for the recipe. AND, of course, be sure to check out all of the fab TWD Bakers!!

Enjoy!!

Miss P

14 August 2008

"Happy Mothes Day" Cake Wreck

Mother's Day. A holiday that ALL Mom's look forward to each year. The only day we receive our LONG awaited "Thanks" for changing 950,000 poopie diapers, catching our sick child's puke in our shirt before it landed on the couch, for all of the "lost socks" we found companions for. I was ready for my day, folks.



My son, Alex, came home from school frantically waving a permission slip in his hand. "Mom!!! Our school is getting cakes for Mother's Day and we are going to decorate them." Knowing my LOVE for cake decorating, I said, "Wow! That's great. Let's sign up!" $6 for the Mother's Day, huh?? I guess I will go ahead and pay for my OWN Mother's Day cake. I mean, he is going to use his creativity on it, right???

Friday before my BIG day finally rolled around. Alex proudly returned home from school with his cake. He placed the cake on our counter where I immediately inspected it, anxious to see his decorating skills. At first glance, it was pretty impressive. The piping work, the sprinkles, divine! "Did you do this?", I asked. "No.", he said sadly. "Why?", I asked. "The guy from P*blix wouldn't let us." "Oh Really?" I took a closer look at the cake and noticed something wrong. "Did you write this?", I asked. "No, the guy did.", he answered.


I tried. But, I couldn't hold back! Hysterical laughter burst right out of my mouth. "Happy Mothes Day! Happy MOTHES Day! I am going to post THIS one on the blog!" Needless to say, this is my life. Filled with dirty diapers, vomit, socks and misspelled cakes. And people wonder what the difference between "their" cakes and my cakes are. Hum...
Think this one is bad?? If you want a REALLY good laugh, check out this site: Cake Wrecks. It has the MOST hilarious cake wrecks you have ever seen.
Enjoy!
Miss P

GREAT COOKS Blogroll

Great cooks! Great news... You guys know that I LOVE to bake. "Caking" is my passion. I may love it more than my husband! LOL!! However, making dinner for my gang of thieves every night is becoming a truly mundane chore. Boringsville.... Right next to Gag-ola City.


SO in an attempt to meet up with inspiring foodies, I have officially joined the Great Cooks Blogroll, a growing list of food blogs that serves as a resource for anyone looking for meal ideas, creative cooking techniques, and to meet other Great Cooks!

I love to look at ALL of the great food blogs out there. AND there are some really great ones. It is truly inspiring to see how other foodies are just as passionate about their craft. AND I am hoping to get some good recipes out if it. I swear, if I make chicken on the grill one more time, my son is going to go on strike!

For more, go to Simple Daily Recipes! Also, check out the Great Cooks Blogroll in the green box, on the sidebar for ALL of the Great Cooks and their mouthwatering blogs!

Enjoy!
Miss P

12 August 2008

TWD: Blueberry Sour Cream Ice Cream Pass...

Today is Tuesday friends. That means Tuesdays With Dorie time! This weeks selection of Blueberry Sour Cream Ice Cream, on page 434, was chosen by Dolores of Chronicles in Culinary Curiosity. Due to my ridiculous schedule last week and the fact the my house looks like a bomb exploded in it, I decided to pass. It did sound quite interesting though.

It is coming down to the very end of moving my recipe page. SO, in the true spirit of Tuesday, I am going to post French Chocolate Brownies, which I originally posted on June 6th.

You guys know how much I LOVE a challenge... Well, it's Tuesday and you know what that means! Tuesdays With Dorie This week, our challenge was French Chocolate Brownies, chosen by Di of Di's Kitchen Notebook . *YUM*

I usually don't eat my cakes because I am ALWAYS watching the hips AND just started back at the gym again. They smelled SO delicious when I was baking them that I couldn't resist a few bites. I had to put it in the sink and douse it with water to make it stop! (OR me stop eating it! Hee, hee...)


I made a few additions to the brownies by adding white chocolate chips to the batter. I also topped it off with fresh Rum-vanilla whipped cream, a cinnamon shake and shaved red chili dark chocolate! To sinful for words! It is SUPER easy to make, too...
To make these delectible brownies, check out Di's Kitchen Notebook . AND be sure to check out all of the great TWD Bakers! Have fun on the treadmill!

Enjoy!
Miss P

11 August 2008

40 Year Old KISS Panties... Say What?

Warning: Rated PG-13! OK.... If you have young children in the room or easily offended co-workers in your cubicle, you may not want to open this. *lol* It's really NOT that bad!!
Our wonderful friend from Kentucky, Eric from imassage was havin' a birthday. Another 40 year old headed straight for that Mid-Life Crisis! His beautiful girl, Debra, asked me to make him a cake that had his favorite group, KISS's logo on it. Of course I said yes. BUT, I wanted to do something memorable, something shocking. I mean, you only turn 40 once, right?? And I am all about funny, folks.

So, in the true spirit of fun, I found this great little design from Debbie Brown's Book, "Xtra Naughty Cakes". The cakes in this book are FANTASTIC! Right on the cover was a girl's perfect bottom with panties. I thought he would probably remember that without any problems. I passed it by my hubby, Ivailo, and he loved the idea. The design from the book was much more Rated-R. At least I gave her FULL panties! (Her legs are a bit "wet" in the picture- freshly sprayed with Vodka to get the cornstarch off.)

The cake was chocolate butter cake, filled with raspberries and Italian meringue buttercream. All of the layers had a Chambord soak. It was VERY rich. The Rock Star cupcakes were for the kids and VERY simple- chocolate butter cake with Italian meringue buttercream.


Notice the placement of the candle!


Gettin' ready to blow! It was a HILARIOUS moment!


My little "Rock Stars" enjoying the cupcakes!



The cake and cupcakes were a HUGE hit, especially for ALL of the boys, young and old. During construction of the cake, I found myself rubbing the cheeks to get them smooth and absolutely giggling! Everyone just wanted to rub the butt cheeks! It was the perfect bum for a perfect evening!
Enjoy!
Miss P

05 August 2008

TWD: Black & White Banana Loaf

You know what time it is? By now, you probably have an idea! It's Tuesdays With Dorie. This time, there is no GAG-OLA City here. Although there is FRUIT in this one! Ashlee of A Year In The Kitchen chose The Black and White Banana Loaf on page 232. I was finally happy with one of the choices and decided to go for it. I don't have any aversions to baked bananas.



I gave it my own flair and decided to make my loaf into muffins. I threw in chopped pecans and chocolate chips for extra ZIP. (I like ZIP....) It is VERY easy to make this recipe. It ONLY took a very small amount of time, thank heavens, considering I have a 200 serving wedding cake, groom's cake, first birthday cake with cupcakes this week..... Oh Lordy, lordy..

Overall, they tasted FanTasTic. I would have added a bit more sugar to the mix. Found it to be a *BLAH*. Good thing for the extra chocolate chips. This would make a great QUICKIE (no, not THAT kind of quickie...) breakfast over a nice weekend.


Check out Ashlee's blog for the recipe.