Monday, June 13, 2011

Happy Birthday Hunnyboo!

My most adorable little God baby turned one this past week and I was delighted to provide the sweet treats for the event.  I was told the theme was Minnie Mouse and asked to provide cupcakes for the kiddies, and a layer cake for the adults.  Okay, so I'll keep the cake simple so as not to become overwhelmed, I told myself.  Simple?  Yeah right.  Do I even know what that word means?

Well, after hours of searching for black candy melts, thinking I would use them for mouse ears on the cupcakes, I finally decided to use Oreo cookies, since I saw that a few others had done it successfully.  I mean since I'm keeping it simple, I don't dare take the time to make a dozen mouse ears.  Nooo, I take the time to make a dozen bows instead, (which, btw, is much more time consuming than mouse ears).

Then I make the red velvet cake, and instead of "simply" frosting it, I break out the black fondant.  Who knew it would take forever to roll it out?  And forever for those huge mouse ears to dry so they could stand upright?  I mean, who would attempt such a feat for the first time on the day of the event??? Me... the one who claims she likes to keep it simple.

I must say it all turned out pretty nice for my first time even using fondant.  I worked with modeling chocolate once, and made a cake with it that same day (an overwhelming and exhausting story for another day).  But fondant, never have touched the stuff.  But I'm glad I took the time to challenge myself.  Of course nothing is too much for my Hunnyboo.

Sunday, April 10, 2011

Baked Sunday Mornings: Carrot Coconut Scones

I recently joined a baking blog, Baked Sunday Mornings , in an effort to challenge myself. I've owned the cookbook Baked Explorations for some time now, and have never done more than flipped through and drooled over the pictures. Baked Sunday Mornings puts me on a schedule to finally start baking my way through this book. So this morning, or shortly thereafter, I baked the carrot coconut scones with a citrus glaze, and am I glad I did. I'm actually surprised at how much I love these scones. I didn't get good photos of the whole batch, as they disappeared pretty quickly. The recipe can be found at the Baked Sunday Mornings blog, and the cookbook can be purchased at the Baked website. Yes, I do recommend the recipe AND the book.

Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Smitten By Susie and Her Cakes

Imagine arriving at a place that, until that moment, only existed in your imagination. Imagine a chance meeting with the person who created this place. What a divinely created opportunity to sap some advice from a would be mentor. What more could you ask for??

Last Friday, I went on my monthly dessert tour which included SusieCakes in SF. And guess what...Susie was actually there! I don't know about other sweet lovers or bakers, but when I walk into a place like this I have to control my emotions. I want to cry, scream, and start jumping up and down. I was so glad I had my 7 year old with me, because when she acted a fool in this place, I could just live vicariously through her. People think it's cute when a kid loses their mind in a sweet shop. But a grown azz woman, hmm, not so much. I often wonder if I'm the first and only nut case they've seen all day when I arrive all wide eye'd and giddy, ordering one of just about everything, and insisting that they add insulin shots to the menu.

I visited a number of well known SF sweet spots that day. But this one, I fell in love with. SusieCakes, you now own a huge part of my heart. This is one of those places that makes you cry, because it reminds you of a time when you were a kid, a time that you can't go back to. It makes you smile, because the sweets are actually as good as they look and smell. And it makes you scream and jump up and down, because, well frankly, after all that sugar what else are you supposed to do? As an aspiring bakery owner, I left SusieCakes with my emotions all over the place - overjoyed that I'm blessed to be so close to a place much like the one I dream of owning; intimidated - umm, this chick can bake good enough to please me, and probably my momma too, and that's sayin' a lot. And overwhelmingly inspired - if she's living my dream, so can I.

Now, about the sweets... First, the chocolate cake. OML(oh my lawd-have-mercy). This cake was moist, decadent, and the frosting had a lovely hint of coffee. Oh-oh-oh-oh-oh-oh-ohmygosh. The chocolate chip cookie - I love you, you're unforgettable -chewy, gooey, warm, just too good to be true. And let's not forget the lemon bar...sheer perfection. It might actually rival the family recipe. The cupcakes - after all that, I couldn't eat them until the next day. But Susie did not disappoint. Even her day old cupcakes were better than many other places I've visited and gotten freshly baked cakes.

Friday was a good day... maybe the best of days. And no good day ever dies. I'll always remember the day I met Susie, and her cakes. And I'll especially always kick myself for being starstruck, saying nothing to Susie when she complimented me on my pink trenchcoat, other than "Thanks... I saw you on tv."