Monday, November 23, 2009

Impending Insanity (or Baking Overload)

Notes to Self…

1. Remember to double check the pantry. It is very annoying to not have an ingredient, especially when you have just gotten back from the grocery store.

2. Apparently cats like cake. Don’t leave a cake out to cool on the counter without direct supervision. This may lead to the baking of another cake.

3. Don’t forget the vanilla in the frosting. I was told that the frosting was very good (it was chocolate), but it still bothered me that I forgot it. As an aside on this note, always realize that you left an ingredient out BEFORE you have the cake half iced. At that point there is no going back, especially if you have already had to bake the cake a second time.

4. Don’t expect to be able to get your 18 month old daughter to behave when you are trying to carry two containers of cupcakes, a giant cupcake, and your purse. It just won’t happen.

Here is a picture of the Giant Cupcake that I made for my nephew’s birthday. He requested white cake with chocolate icing. I added Oreo crumbles.

I also made some darn awesome cupcakes. The cake part was a triple chocolate fudge cake mix with a dollop of cheesecake and a mini Oreo in the center and buttercream mixed with pulverized Oreos. It was an experimental recipe and it got rave reviews. Unfortunately, I didn’t get a picture taken of the cupcakes and I highly doubt that there are any left over from last night’s party.

I came to the realization a couple of weeks ago that I had dug a very, very deep dark hole for myself and wouldn’t be able to get back out until January. I was talking to my co-workers about what things I needed to bake and when I had to do it. At that point I almost had a coronary! I had totally overbooked myself, which is usually what I do. I hyperventilated for a few minutes and then got myself back together. I decided to make up planner sheet for each thing I needed to make. One side of the planner had a section for scheduling out when I would do each step for an individual cake (or event, such as Thanksgiving). The other side had space for the design of the cake as well as ingredients and anything else that I might need to write down. It took me about an hour to plan everything out and then I put it all in a binder.

The first cake on the list went okay, but prompted the list of “Notes to Self” at the beginning of this post. This week is going to be very busy and if I don’t keep to my schedule, there is no way that I’ll get everything done. I baked a chocolate cake last night. Actually it will be two small two-tier chocolate cakes. I also have a batch of cranberry-orange cupcakes with orange buttercream, angel food cupcakes with strawberry jam, strawberry cupcakes with cotton candy buttercream, and deviled eggs to make…all before Thanksgiving on Thursday. Not to mention the fact that I work full time and have an 18-month daughter with a really bad cold. Still, if I do everything they way I have it mapped out, I should be okay. The bad thing is that I’m not really known for keeping a schedule.

And it always seems that everything goes perfect when I’m just baking for the fun of it; however, if I’m baking for someone else…everything goes wrong (see Notes to Self for a few examples). One would think that I would learn important lessons every time I bake, but alas, that is not necessarily the case. I seem to be rather hard headed in this matter and it doesn’t appear to be getting any better. Perhaps it is a side effect from all the Evil Yumminess…

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

The Beginnings of an Addiction...

Welcome to my Blog! I hope that you enjoy it and that I am actually able to keep up with my posts. Since this is a new endeavor for me, you will have to cut me some slack. You will also have to excuse the quality, or lack thereof, of the pictures at first; I didn't spend much time trying to get good pictures of the stuff I had made. I was still unaware at that point in time how much I would become addicted to making cakes!

I have always wanted to learn how to decorate cakes, and in May 2009 when my daughter turned one, I decided it was finally time. I wanted to do a simple four inch layer cake so she could have her own little cake to rip into on her birthday. Well, after searching around I just couldn't find any small pans like I wanted. However, I did find a Giant Cupcake pan two days before her birthday. It was SO cute that I just had to have it..and thus the road to addiction begins.

My first endeavor to decorate a cake was somewhat successful. I had a small selection of icing tips and I just picked one that looked easy to use. I used a plain white box cake mix and regular buttercream icing (Wilton's recipe). I didn't get the proportions correct when putting the batter into the cake pan, so the bottom turned out really short. I convinced myself that it didn't really matter how it looked because I was making it for a one year old little girl! She wasn't going to notice the mistakes.

We ended up having two parties for her so I got another chance to make the Giant Cupcake right away. It went much better this time, although there were still some flaws. There wasn't as much cake showing through the icing which was something that really annoyed me about the first cake. I also got the proportions of the cake itself better, too. Unfortunately, I forgot to take a picture of the cake so I had to pull a still off the digital video we took from the party. Like I said before, I wasn't too concerned about taking pictures of everything yet...

So, this is how it all began. My husband thinks I have lost my mind, but I tend to think that I never really had a good grasp on it in the first place. Besides, I'm just a creative person, and he knew that when he married me...