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Everything posted by KatieM

  1. That's my advice too. Shoot them with metallic wrappers so you have the reflections and highlights you want, but then get the art department to adjust the colour to your University's blue. Might take a little time, but it's not a difficult thing. ...assuming of course you have access to an art department. Heck, I would probably have time to help you out with it. (why yes, I DO work in an art department ) ← Gah, why didn't I think of that? We are doing all the graphic design in house, and I know our designer could handle something like that. She could probably adjust the color on the icing to be more orange if I can't get it dark enough, too. Thanks for all the help everyone!
  2. Hi everyone, I have searched high and low and cannot find what I am looking for. I thought that if anyone might know where I can find something, it would be you! I have a photoshoot coming up for a brithday card, and the request is for cupcakes in our University colors, which are orange and blue. Since orange icing seems more appetizing to me than blue icing, I would like to find cupcake liners in blue. Ideally, I would like to find a metallic blue. Unfortunately, the only ones I've been able to find are in a sort of baby blue, and what I really need is more navy or at least a dark blue. Any ideas? Am I crazy for thinking I'll find this? Honestly, any ideas or help is greatly appreciated! Katie
  3. Well, my new cookbook already has splotches on it! I made the cardamom coffee cake this morning to take to a meeting. It was fantastic. In fact, I may have another slice here pretty soon . . . While baking, it smelled like everything I want to have for breakfast - oranges, coffee, and cardamom, which being Scandinavian, I associate with sweet breads. It was a hit! I mixed up the crumbs and the dry ingredients last night and simply added the wet this morning, so I could even accomplish it bleary-eyed, and my co-workers think I'm brilliant for being able to bring something like this in to the office still warm from the oven. Thanks Dorie! I can't wait to try the next recipe on my list.
  4. Thanks guys. I really needed another addiction like this. Now "regular" yogurt just won't do. I have to make a special trip to the World Harvest store. I like the 2% drizzled with honey and topped with almonds. Has anyone else noticed the nutritional information? Why does this brand of yogurt have so much more protein than any other brand I've come across? It works great in sauces and soups where I'd often use heavy cream. Try stirring it into your oatmeal - you won't be disappointed.
  5. Is anyone thinking about making their own "Peeps" for Easter? I did it last year by following the directions in Dede Wilson's book on holiday candies, but with Nightscotsman's marshmallow recipe. It takes some practice to pipe them correctly, but once you get the hang of it, it's not so bad. They are far more delicious than the store-bought kind. I'll try to do it again this year and post some pics. Be forwarned, though - it's a messy project. Here are my tips: Take the sugar syrup slighty higher in temp than usual. This will help the fluff to be stiffer so it will hold its shape when piped. Likewise, beat the mixture a little longer than usual. Just pipe the guys out directly onto the sheet pan covered with lots of colored sugar. Get the really good sugar like from William's Sonoma - it makes a difference. Also, do yourself a favor and tint the batch pink or yellow or whatever, so that if you don't get them all the way covered, they don't have white patches. These look adorable sitting on top of "nests" made from chocolate coated Shredded Wheat that have a few Cadbury Mini-Eggs in the middle. I did this last year and bagged them up for gifts. I promise I'll take pictures this year . . .
  6. I'm in! I just bought Baking, From My Home to Yours, and there are something like a dozen brownie recipes in there, which I am thrilled about. My go-to brownie recipe is "Best Ever Brownies" from Baking with Julia. They have a lovely merigue-y crackly top, and are perfectly fudgy and chocolately on the inside. I always make double the number I think I need, because people get mad at you when you run out. I think I need to try Ling's recipe, though. Her's look like they might be perfect.
  7. I finally got the book yesterday, after many longing looks! I had it on both my Christmas list and my birthday list, but since no one obliged and it's many months before the next gift-giving holiday, I went ahead and bought it. My co-workers will be thrilled when I start baking new things for our meetings. A friend sent me the recipe for World Peace Cookies back in December, and they have become an office favorite. I can't wait to get started!
  8. You're right, googling DOES come up with nothing! I think it may be that lemon is not a traditional filling/flavoring for Danish pastries. Almond, cheese, cherry, prune, almond, almond, and almond are the most common. Most fruit flavors traditionally have a layer of almond cream beneath the fruit, though it's not necessary. I've never come across a recipe for lemon danish, and I do have several Danish cookbooks. However, that is not to say that one does not exist! Your question made me think "Why have I never made a lemon danish?" I definitely second using the recipe from Baking With Julia. It's essentially the same as the recipe from Beatrice's book, The Great Scandinavian Baking Book. It's the only recipe I use. It's very straightforward, and produces excellent results. As far as a lemon filling, I would use Pierre Herme's Lemon Cream. It is well suited for this. You could also layer a cream cheese mixture and the lemon cream, or mix the two together. All of the above sound good to me! I think it might work best in a braid - gooshy fillings tend to stay contained that way. Good luck!
  9. Wow! Thanks for the great suggestions, everyone! Sugarnspice, you're right, it IS 7lbs! I think I have a good start now. I just hope all my friends like almond, or I'm in trouble! A marzipan village - now that's funny! I bet my brother would actually do that, too. Here's another addtion to the problem - I've made a few Pavlovas in the last couple of days, so I have TONS of egg yolks in the fridge. I thought I remembered reading a thread somewhere about almond paste and egg yolk desserts, but now I can't find it. Anyone remember that or have any suggestions that use both? Thanks again for all the help, guys!
  10. So I was inspired by an earlier topic to purchase a giant can of almond paste from Nutsonline. It is 5lbs. It arrived, and I said, "What was I thinking! Why did I ever think I would need this much?" I had anticipated using it in the fillings for my Christmas Danish braids (5 or 6 of them), and maybe some candies, but that's about it. I'll barely make a dent in it. My brother suggested I make some Marzipan and have a family Marzipan figure modeling contest , but I can't really think of anything else. Any suggestions for some Holiday treats I could whip up and give as presents? Also, what do you think is the best storage method for the leftovers?
  11. Ok, I think I'm just going to scrap the pot roast idea entirely. On impulse, I stopped at my butcher's yesterday just to see what looked good. I ended up buying some gorgeous smoked bacon. They make it in-house, and it even SMELLS great. So I will definitely be making something out of that. Do I see BACON CANDY in my future? I know, not exactly meaty, but there's plenty of savory on the menu, and bacon candy is just fun. Plus, no self-respecting carnivore would pass it up. I even got my vegetarian little sister to eat some last night when I was playing with it. Has anyone ever rolled up the bacon to do this? I'm thinking it might make prettier little bites that way.
  12. Ditto the thanks on posting that link! I just ordered a boatload of stuff. Good price on montgomerency cherries. I needed some hazelnuts and pistachios (I can't spell it either) in addition to the almond paste to complete my holiday baking. It should all be here on Monday. How excellent! Edited to remove my unneccessary capitalizations.
  13. Snowangel, That's kind of what I was afraid of. I'm doing a shrimp appetizer, so I already have something "fishy". I just thought that I should add something meaty, since I didn't really have any other meat on the menu. I guess I don't HAVE to have meat. There will be plenty of protein, what with the shrimp and the hummus platter and the rosemary mixed nuts I'm making. At least a third of our guests are vegetarians, so I wanted to make sure I had enough for them to eat, but I kind of forgot about the carnivores! Not that meat eaters can't eat veggies. Maybe I can make just a little of the filling and test it. What about horseradish? I do like the idea of the mustard. If the filling turned out like a Franco potsticker, that wouldn't be so bad, would it?
  14. I need some help with a cocktail party I'm hosting on Friday. I'm making all kinds of lovely appetizers and desserts, but I need a second filling for one of them. I am making some gougeres (sp) that are filled with a wonderful wild mushroom/gruyere mixture. Since I really don't have anything "meaty" on the menu, I feel like I need to do half the puffs with a meat filling. I just so happen to have a nice big hunk of leftover pot roast. Could I grind this up to make a filling? The puffs are pretty small, and I'm piping the filling in, so it would have to be pretty finely ground. Would this be gross? I know it will need some onions and herbs to liven it up, and I have some excellent gravy I could use to bind it if necessary. Does this sound at all appetizing? I don't really have any time to experiment (lots more baking to do) so if anyone has any experience doing something like this, I would really appreciate your insight. I'm thinking it would turn out a little like potsticker filling. That can't be bad, right?
  15. This is such a fun topic! And again, congratulations on the new job! Wendy, I'm so glad you brought up the pretzel jello! That has to be one of my all-time favorite church supper desserts. Speaking of church suppers, here are a few midwestern favorites: Any fruit pie that came from someone's backyard garden (or the Schwann man in winter, if you had already used up the ones you froze yourself), ie peach pie blueberry pie razzleberry pie (blackberry, blueberry, raspberry combo) rhubarb custard pie strawberry rhubarb pie pear pie raisin pie (I hated this, but my dad loves it) cherry lattice pie banana cream pie Some kind of creamy pudding thing that came to the supper in a giant bowl, such as snow pudding. Now, I have no idea what is in snow pudding other than almond extract. It was almondy and fluffy and shiny. My aunt Marge makes it, so I could probably find out for you if you want! Heh. Also important were the bars. A dessert that could be cut up to feed a church basement full. Some of my favorites: peanut butter crunch bars, chocolate chip bars, lemon bars, solo oatmeal bars, texas sheet cake It might be fun to do a bar sampler plate. Kind of like a cookie plate, but a lot more fun. Speaking of a cookie plate, I once visited a restaurant that would bake six fresh chocolate chip cookies to order and serve them on a mini sheet pan with a big cold glass of milk. That was awesome! Something like that might be fun to do. Ok, I'll stop now. I'm getting carried away.
  16. Hello everyone! I am asking for some advice on how to create a cake in the shape of a little red schoolhouse big enough to feed 25 people. I've searched all over the internet, and I can't seem to find any pictures of anything like this. Obviously, it would be simple to do out of gingerbread, but I'm a little unsure on how to do it out of cake. I've done a few other sculpted cakes recently with much success, so I'm not afraid, just perplexed. I think it's that I just can't visualize it. Has anyone seen anything like this before, or have any tips on how to go about it? It's for my boss, whose mother used to teach in a little red schoolhouse, and he'd like to surprise her with this cake for her 85th birthday celebration next week. He's a super guy, so I'd really like to come up with something special if I can. Any thoughts are very much appreciated!
  17. I use it quite frequently. I actually really like the flavor it produces, although I never use more than 50% black cocoa powder in a recipe because I find that it has a bit of an anise flavor in large quantities that is not particularly desirable in chocolate. I use it for my chocolate butter cake all the time as a chocolate "blackout" cake, which is ironically for my customers who like a milder chocolate flavor (like those who prefer milk chocolate to bittersweet). It pairs extremely well with vanilla anything. I like it with a whipped cream icing or a vanilla meringue buttercream. It makes a sort of inside out oreo cake! Kids really like it, so I make it for kids birthdays all the time.
  18. I agree that she is truly an artist. I thought her cake in the holiday competition was truly inspiring. I LOVED the way she made all those beautiful ornaments. I also thought the theme of her cake was wonderful, and was the best representation of the true spirit of the season. Thanks for posting her website, Wendy, I am definitely adding it to my favorites.
  19. Well, just to let you all know, the gingerbread marshmallows were a HUGE success! In case anyone else is interested in this flavor, here is what I did: 1 cup cold water and gelatin in mixer bowl. I used only white sugar, but to get a brown sugar flavor, instead of regular corn syrup I used the new brown sugar kind (don't laugh, but I called the Karo syrup hotline to make sure they were interchangable). I used 9oz corn syrup, and then added 2T molasses. I also added the spices to the syrup mixture (sifted, as recommended above) so that they would be well incorporated. My gingerbread boys and girls recipe calls for equal parts cinnamon, allspice, ginger, and cloves. I used 1tsp of each. I like my gingerbread spicy, though, so this was perfect in my opinion. Also added the 3/4 cup water. If you do this, make sure you use a bigger pot than usual, since the impurities in the molasses will make it bubble up quite a bit. BTW, this stage made my WHOLE house smell like gingerbread - it was great! Also, I would recommend using the cold water method to test for soft ball stage, because it seemed to get there before the temperature said it did (if this makes any sense). They whipped up perfectly, and actually seemed fluffier than usual. They almost didn't fit in my pan! They are very nicely flavored, in my opinion. They taste exactly the way I wanted them too, so I am very excited. I think this is my new favorite flavor! They were the most popular item at my cookie swap tonight, too. I also made peppermint swirl. Both were very popular, but I have a lot fewer gingerbread ones left. Thanks for the help CanadianBakin'! Next time I will use a little brown food color to get them a little darker(they were sort of tan), and I may (if feeling ambitious) cut them out in little gingerbread shapes and decorate.
  20. I was thinking of making a gingerbread marshmallow. Anyone have an idea as to how I could accomplish this? Obviously, gingerbread spices would be added, and I'll probably substitute brown sugar for some of the sugar, but could I use molasses as part of the corn syrup? Will this totally screw up my syrup? I really want to get a good molasses flavor if I can, because I just don't think they would really taste like gingerbread otherwise. Has anyone tried this? I'm going to make them for cookie swap that is taking place tomorrow evening, so any responses would be helpful. If nothing else, I'll just give it a whirl and see what happens! If they suck, I can always scrap it and make another flavor. Thanks, Katie
  21. Dittos! What more can be said that hasn't already been said? Thank you SO much for posting this. It was extremely helpful to see everything step by step. Also, thank you for posting about your pricing. I start my pricing at a different level (less experience, different market), but I still have a hard time explaining to customers why cake should cost so much. I particularly love the brides that say, "Can you do this (Martha Stewart Wedding mag picture) for about $1, $1.50 a slice?" Are you #%&* kidding me? I just tell them I'm booked that weekend. No sense trying to convince someone that dumb. Can you explain a little more about how you approach the pricing right off? Do you find out their budget, or find out what they need first and say something like, "well, that will cost approximately xyz" and then delve into the details? Thanks again for this awesome tutorial! Katie
  22. So I made a malted milk ball cake for my mom for Mother's Day. She loved it! I tried to get a picture, but as I just moved, I couldn't find my digicam, and the cake was torn into (at breakfast, no less ) before I could find a suitable replacement camera. So here's what I made: I used the cake recipe from the Nigella book, which is sort of a milk chocolate flavored hot milk sponge cake. It was seriously easy, but I thought that it was only a so-so cake by itself. Lucklily, the cake was saved by The most awesome filling/icing ever! (Posted by JAZ) It's sort of a modified whipped ganache, and it worked beautifully! The flavor was excellent, and it spread so nicely on the cake. The mouthfeel was lovely, too. I can see how it would be a perfect filling for truffles. It also set up very nicely on the cake just at room temperature. I can't really describe it, you'll all just have to try it for yourselves. I think I'm going to use this method for my standard chocolate icing from now on, just changing the levels of chocolate intensity and of course ommitting the malted milk powder. At the very least, the printed recipe will be the only one I use for a malted milk ball cake. Oh, I doubled the printed recipe to make sure I had enough icing for the cake. I had some leftover, but I don't think I would have had enough to fill and cover the cake if I hadn't doubled it. Also, I made the cake and the icing the night before, and only whipped the icing in the morning, so it doesn't hurt it to sit in the fridge for more than the 30 minutes suggested. I may have let it sit at room temp for a few minutes before whipping, but that's about it. Thank you JAZ for posting the best malted milk ball filling/icing imaginable! Seriously, I urge all of you to try this. Note: I will probably try to find the Horlicks powder next time. Carnation just didn't give me a strong enough kick. The cake was still great, though!
  23. Sorry, I should have clarified this earlier. Black cocoa powder is what Oreos are made out of. I use it occasionally for a chocolate "blackout" cake that is paired with a cookies and cream filling. I haven't used it for much else, but I love the flavor and color of it so much that I'm experiementing with a few other things. I suppose it would have said black cocoa powder on the label if it was indeed black cocoa powder. Duh. If it is a natural cocoa, but not a dutch processed, your method for using it will be slightly different. Dutch processed is treated with alkali, so it is less acidic. This makes it more palatable for eating without baking, like in hot cocoa or for rolling in truffles. It is also wonderful baked. Cocoa that has not been treated with alkali needs (in my opinion) to be balanced with a bit of baking soda (base) in baked goods. There was another thread about cocoa powders somewhere if I recall correctly. If anyone can find it and link to it, that would help those who have more questions.
  24. Ok, I feel like an idiot now. I went to another grocery store last night, and it looks like they are just phasing out the "European Style" name. I really don't use Hershey's very often, like I said - only in a pinch, but if they had started making a black cocoa powder, I would have at least tried it. I usually only use the Hershey's if I'm out of other cocoa and don't have time to order any, and even then only in things like Texas Sheet Cake for a church supper. I don't use black cocoa powder that often, but it would have been nice not to have to order it. I order a million things from King Arthur anyway, but for some reason adding that cocoa powder usually doubles my shipping cost. Anyone know a source other that KA?
  25. Yesterday I was in my local Meijer store, and I noticed a weird new product on the cocoa shelf. Next to the regular and "European Style" dutch processed Hershey cocoa powders was a new one called "Hershey's Special Dark Cocoa". It said it was a deep dark cocoa with a rich chocolate taste. I can't figure out what it might be. I didn't buy it because I usually only buy Hershey's dutch processed if I'm in a pinch and I can't get any Droste. Now, my hopeful side is wondering if it might be a black cocoa powder. If that's the case, I'll jump for joy, because so far I've only been able to get black cocoa powder from King Arthur Flour, and the shipping is killing me. Somehow I doubt it is, though. Maybe it's a blend like King Arthur's Double Dutch (still hopeful). Anyone tried it?
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