Sunday, 24 June 2012

My Birthday Cake

The long wait to make another cake with fondant was finally over! For my birthday my mother bought all my supplies to make my own birthday cake, which I'd never had the chance to do before. I wanted to keep it as simple as possible to minimize error. But like always there were things I should have done differently. The lopsided cake didn't help either! One layer of the cake did not come out of the pan cleanly (I've learned my lesson with Pam) which resulted with improv correction tricks using plastic wrap and icing to try and re-balance the layer.
Was it successful? Not really. Did the extra icing make it too mushy and round for the fondant? Yup. But was I excited to just make my own cake and was everyone impressed? Double yes.

Thursday, 14 June 2012

Balmoral Shortbread Tarts

This past week marked the Diamond Jubilee of our monarch, Elizabeth II. To celebrate (a little late) I decided to make shortbread tarts with strawberries and cream from a recipe in Hello! Canada dubbed "Balmoral Shortbread Tarts" in honour of the celebrations.

Balmoral Shortbread Tarts (adapted from Hello! Canada, makes 4)

1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
pinch of salt
1/3 cup sugar
1/2 cup unsalted butter, diced
3 tsp cold water
1/4 cup whipped cream


Cut up strawberries and leave them to soak with sugar.

Mix flour, salt, sugar and diced butter with hands. Once a crumbly dough is made add cold water to the dough. Flatten the dough and let it rest for 15 minutes.

Roll out dough to a thickness of 3 mm. Use a large round cookie cutter to cut circles out of the dough and use them to line a tart pans. Prick the dough with a fork and insert pie weight (alternatively the tarts can be lined with parchment paper and beans or rice can be used instead of weights).

Blind bake for 18 minutes at 320. Leave them to cool and harden.

Once cooled, add a tablespoon of whipped cream to each tart and top with strawberries and icing sugar as garnish.

Saturday, 2 June 2012

Bunting Birthday Cake

After the disappointment that was the frozen yogurt last month (and I spent ALL day stirring it!) I felt that I needed to do something simple. So simple that absolutely nothing could go wrong. And guess what! Nothing went wrong.

Last week I made red velvet cupcakes for a friends birthday which can be found here. However because I was so busy with training for work I didn't have a ton of time to invest in them so I baked the cupcakes a few days before and on the day of I iced them with CK Products' Buttercream Icing. After the cupcakes, there was enough leftover for a cake so I saved it in the fridge for this weekend.

The cake was a chocolate genoise sponge cake which was relatively easy to make but did not produce a lot of cake. To raise the height I layered it with fresh Ontario strawberries (my favourite time of the year is when strawberries are in season here). I skipped the crumb coat and opted for a slightly messy/textured icing appearance similar to some of the cakes made by the Sweet and Saucy Shop, which has one of the best blogs for inspiring cakes. Finally I finished the cake with a free bunting printable I found online.

What surprised me most was that everyone loved it! They thought it looked great and tasted even better (despite its simplicity).

For any birthdays that spring up quickly or if you are just super busy I totally recommend skimping on the decorating and using bunting. Plus Pinterest is totally helping arts and crafts make a comeback. The cake doesn't require any specialized skills but looks like a lot of effort was put into creating it.