Thursday, December 31, 2009

Daring Bakers - Gingerbread House

The December 2009 Daring Bakers’ challenge was brought to you by Anna of Very Small Anna and Y of Lemonpi. They chose to challenge Daring Bakers’ everywhere to bake and assemble a gingerbread house from scratch. They chose recipes from Good Housekeeping and from The Great Scandinavian Baking Book as the challenge recipes.

I chose to use the recipe submitted by Y. You can find the instructions and both recipes here.

The dough handled well. There wasn't too much shrinkage and it was fairly sturdy. Instead of one large house I chose to do a gingerbread centerpiece. It was small and easy to tuck do in stages and tuck away while I worked on other Holiday projects.

The only problem I had was with the theft and consumption of my freshly baked pieces. I had a lot of irons in the fire the day I was baking these and had set them aside to cool. Matt was had been coming into the kitchen and was snacking on something. I had assumed he was eating the peppernuts that were also fresh out of the oven. Nope, was I wrong. I took a break and looked over to see him eating something square.

Me -Hun, what are you eating?
Gingerbread Thief -The ginger cookies.
Me - Honey, how do they taste?
Gingerbread Thief - Kind of blah.
Me - Uh, well those are for my gingerbread houses.
Gingerbread Thief - Oh... well I guess you will have garages now.
Me - More like carports!

It must have been a Christmas miracle because I had exactly enough!

Monday, December 28, 2009

American Girl Cake

This cake was for a girl who has an American Girl doll. I was told that she has the doll named Kit and that she loves doggies.

The cute basset sitting in the American Girl shopping bag is Grace, Kit's dog.

I just wanted to snuggle it when I was done :)

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Something Is Fishy With This Cake

This Groom's Cake was requested as a surprise at the couple's reception. They had a beautiful wedding in Argentina and had come home to celebrate with friends and family. This was my first fish cake and let's just say, I learned A LOT more about trout than I thought I would ever know :)

Instead of a traditional wedding cake, the Bride requested mini desserts.

In the first tray:
-Berries and cream in candy cups
-Key lime mini cupcakes with key lime filling and cream cheese frosting
- Coconut and pineapple cheesecakes with ginger thin and coconut crust,a dollop of coconut cream on top, and dried pineapple pieces.

-Berries and cream in candy cups - again
-Spiced apples in phyllo cups with candied walnuts
- Homemade puff pastry with goat cheese and quince paste.

Finally, we have a repeat of the cheesecake, mini cupcakes, spiced apples and cream and berries to fill out the platter

All together.

Next time I will make more candy cups and cream. They were gone in an instant. I sent Matt to get the balance and the tray was empty before he made it back to the dessert table.

This was a fun project. I really enjoyed the variety.

Congrats again to the beautiful couple!

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Happy Holidays!

Many of you have probably seen little cake balls pop up all over the place lately. These little guys are my kitchen sink of the truffle world. What few scraps that manage to evade Matt and his big glass of milk are frozen and set aside for this sort of project.

The version above was chocolate cake, chocolate cupcakes, a few vanilla cupcakes, a package of ginger thins that were going to waste, buttercream frosting, cream cheese, and a few Anthon Berg liqueur filled chocolate bottles chopped up for good measure.

The recipe is simple.

Crumble cake pieces, cookies, graham crackers, nuts, or what have you in a bowl. To this add frosting, fillings, jams, or cream cheese to the crumbs. Mix.

You don't need much frosting or cream cheese. A little dab will do it. As you work it the mixture will become tacky and hold together in a ball well. If you add too much it will become slimy. The cake scraps don't need much moisture to hold together. In fact just a splash of rum or liqueur works well in place of frosting.

Make balls with the mixture and set in the fridge or freezer to chill and firm up. You want a dense and tightly rolled ball, anything loose will come apart when you try to coat it.

Melt chocolate or candy coat. Dip the balls and set aside to dry. If you froze the balls remove them from the freezer and allow the chill to come off or the coating will crack.

Had enough scrappy goodness? If not, here is a post from earlier this year.

Happy Holidays!