Thursday, September 29, 2011

Winter Squash Coffee Cake with Dulce de Leche

  This week at the grocery store, I was walking around the produce section to see what new things I could use in baking. Since it so happens to be Fall (even though we wish it wasn't here yet) there was a huge selection of squash and pumpkins.  So I took one of each of the sweet ones: acorn squash, golden acorn squash, dumpling squash, pie pumpkin and yellow acorn squash.
  First I cut them all in half, degutted them and saved the seeds. I then baked the squash at 350 F for 40 minutes until I could poke a fork through the outer skin.  I pureed all of them together since they each have a unique sweetness and texture, which I thought would go well together. So I ended up with a gallon Ziploc bag full of squash goodness!  I also baked the seeds and ended up with a quart Ziploc bag.
  I made Winter Squash Coffee Cake today with the puree and decided it needed a little something sweet and creamy...Dulce de Leche.  My cousin Mary-Catherine just started her company Catarina not too long ago. She makes THE best Dulce de Leche...Ever.  If you have never tried or heard of Dulce de Leche now is the time, because you are truly missing out! Just click on the link above to learn more.
Anyway, I gave some of the cake to the owners at Wagin Tails and the rest is going with Brandon to work tomorrow....if there is any left:).

See how creamy and delicious the Dulce de Lech looks?!

Monday, September 26, 2011

Armadillo Birthday Cake

Yes, an Armadillo Cake!  A friends work collegues husband wanted his birthday cake to be a bleeding armadillo. I carved the body out of Chocolate Cake and made homemade raspberry filling and Raspberry Buttercream. I then covered it with gray fondant and made the ears out of gray gumpaste. I luster dusted it to give it some depth.

 These two pictures are before I put the ears on.

Car City Supercenter Sheet Cake

So for Labor Day I wanted to make something for Car City and my husband suggested a sheet cake. So I made a Chocolate Cake with Vanilla Buttercream.  I made a car out of fondant and a buttercream transfer for their logo. It was big enough to feed 60 people.

 Brandon and Bella having a lazy Sunday.
Donatello sunbathing.

Anniversary Brown Sugar Cake

Brandon and I take our dog Bella to doggie daycare twice a week. The place is called Wagin Tails and is run out of a home by a husband and wife. Bella gets to play all day outside with other dogs and she Loves it! 
The owners 10 year anniversary was a few weeks ago, so I wanted to do something special for them on their day to show how much we appreciate them.  I made a two tiered brown sugar cake, with brown sugar butercream. The bottom tier was a 6" round and the top tier was a 3" round. I accented it with baby blue fondant detailing. The brown sugar was subtle so it was too sweet.
The husband was so excited to try it that he cut a piece out of the back to try before his wife came home.  Needless to say they finished it in a day and half. 

Homemade Black Raspberry Jam

Our home is surrounded by Pine trees and Black Raspberry bushes. I forgot to take a picture of the bushes, but I was able to pick about 4 lbs of black raspberries. So I brought them inside and cleaned them. Then the question was, what now? Well make homemade jam! It was very easy. All you do is reduce sugar, water and berries...see easy!

Gluten Free Baking with Blueberries!

I experiment once and while with Gluten free baking.  Gluten free baking is hard and frustrating because there are so many different flours and starches. Also each flour and starch adds a different consistency and flavor to your baked goods, so adjustments must be made to almost every recipe.  I guess it is less frustrating to bake gluten free than to have Celiac disease. Constantly reading labels, limiting where you can eat and being careful of even touching gluten, now that is frustrating! 

 My first thing to try of the day was gluten free blueberry scones.  I bought 5 lbs of blueberries at out local Farmer's Market, they were really sweet!
 The scones tasted good, just a little dense.

 Next I made gluten free blueberry muffins. These were really yummy, just used to much baking powder so the tops sunk a little.