Wednesday, October 30, 2013

A Baby Shower and an Anniversary

Hi everyone!
I have another new-to-me recipe to talk about today.  My friend and co-worker Kendra is expecting a little girl in the next month or so, and we had a baby shower for her at the office.  I made the cake.

I decided to try this Dark Chocolate Dream Cake from the Novice Chef.  I'll admit, I was a little bit worried when I added all that water, and the mix was quite runny when I put it in the pans.  I baked it for 28 minutes - I think I'll go for 30 minutes next time.  I cheated and used ready-made frosting instead of making her marshmallow frosting, or buttercream.

The verdict - wow!  Sooo tasty!  The cake was SUPER moist, and a little bit dense because of how moist it was.  It is not a light-and-fluffy-but-dry-so-you-need-milk-to-drink kind of cake, believe me.  It received rave reviews from the gals at the shower, and the two or three pieces left were quickly gobbled up by some of the guys in the office.  I'm disappointed I didn't get a picture of the inside of the cake - but here is a photo of the outside:

For the icing, I used Duncan Hines whipped vanilla frosting, and tinted it three different shades of pink.  The decorating isn't what I was planning in my head, but the frosting was too soft to do what I wanted to.  So just plain ombré it is.  I'm looking forward to meeting the little one!

Next week, my parents celebrate their 47th wedding anniversary.  So I sat down last night to make a card, since it has to be mailed out today or tomorrow to have ANY chance of getting there on time.  In the spirit of ombré, I tried this technique that I found on youtube, using an ink brayer.  The video was by Stamp with Tami - she's a Stamping Up demonstrator.  Once I find the link again, I'll share it here.

I don't have Stampin Up inks, so I used my Distress Inks.  Mustard Seed, Rusty Hinge, Aged Mahogany for the sky.  I used Brushed Corduroy for the background behind the trees.  And Adirondack Ink in Black for the trees.  Then I used a bit of Vintage Photo around the edge of the piece before adhering it to white cardstock (after wrapping the ribbon around it) and then putting that onto a black card base.  A sharpie was used for the birds and the sentiment.

I really like this technique, I am keen to try different color combinations now.  Mom and Dad, if you're reading this - Happy Anniversary!  Hopefully this card will get to you on time.  Love you!

Thanks for looking!

Sunday, October 6, 2013

Let's make Whoopie!

Whoopie pies, that is. :)  Sorry for the bait and switch, but I couldn't resist.

Today brings another new-to-me recipe to the blog.  My office is beginning this year's United Way fundraising tomorrow, and of course part of that is a bake sale.

I had bought this Wilton Whoopie Pie pan about 6 months ago because I have another recipe on my to-do list that uses this kind of pan - but I just haven't gotten around to it yet.

But when the bake sale came up, I thought about making Whoopie Pies.  I've had them before, but never made them myself.  So I was on the hunt for a recipe.  And let me tell you, there are LOADS of Whoopie Pie recipes out there.  So what did I do?  I used the Wilton recipe from the cover of this pan.  Yep, I did.  Here is the recipe:

This is a picture of the first pan that came out of the oven - I cooked them for 10 minutes.  Waited 8 minutes for them to cool in the pan, then popped them out to cool on a rack.  Filled the pan again and threw it back in the oven for the rest of the pies.

The recipe made 24 individual pies - so 12 Whoopie Pies.  And the recipe for the filling was just enough to fill them all.
The pies look fluffy to the point where you'd think you would want more filling, but I think any more filling would put folks into a sugar coma.  I taste-tested one, so only 11 are making it to the office.  Maybe 10 - there are still a few hours before bed, LOL.

Now that I've broken this pan in, I look forward to trying other recipes for it.  Stay tuned!