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  1. For me, the cost factor of a scratch cake is in making a chocolate cake. When you use good quality chocolate, cocoa, butter, etc-it does add up. Also, it does take longer to chop and melt chocolate and other things involved in making my usual chocolate cake. A few years ago, I only made scratch cakes for a while. When I did make a cake mix again, I did notice the difference in taste and smell of the cake mix. Not that the cake tasted bad or anything, just that I noticed the difference. Can we start on the icing now-those who use crisco and those who don't LOL.
  2. I made the cakes for our winter carnival supper this weekend. All except the carrot cake were doctored cake mixes. Since I added a simple border to the cakes, a friend of ours thought they were from a store. He found out I made them when he commented that this was the best store bought cake he ever had. I was given no name cake mixes to make the cakes so I was happy that doctoring them up made them tasty. I can make an awesome chocolate cake from scratch but it does cost more than a mix and they were on a budget. (although I just could not use the canned no name frosting I was given to use) Sandra
  3. I made the carrot cake in the 9x13 pan. All the batter fit in the pan no problem. It was served at our local carnival supper to rave reviews. I was full and didn't have a piece. Sandra
  4. Hi I am making cakes for the dessert at our winter carnival supper this weekend. I wanted to add a carrot cake to the chocolate and white cakes I am making. Can the carrot cake in the book be made in a sheet pan(9x13)? thanks Sandra
  5. I've been resisting buying this book since the thread began-finally gave in and received it last week. I've made the applesauce spice bars and the chunky peanut butter oatmeal cookies. Both hits here. Just noticed Dorie is on Martha Stewart today.
  6. There's a recipe for a peanut butter mousse tart in RLB pie and pastry bible. It uses peanut butter cookie dough for the crust, a cream cheese-peanut butter mousse for the middle and it's topped with ganache. It's very good. Sandra
  7. The caramel ganache(herme's) I posted in the chocolate cake thread is great on a chocolate cake. Once it sets up, you can pipe with it. Sandra
  8. How about each girl getting to make her own cookies. Start with a basic chocolate chip cookie dough and each girl can personalize her cookies. If it's a tropical theme, have add ins like dried fruit, macadamia nuts, chocolate chunks, etc. You can give a little lesson on why cookies spread or keep their shape, the way different colors of cookie sheets affect baking times, etc. White chocolate brownies with macadamia nuts would be nice(who doesn't like brownies or blondies) If they are not used to baking, simpler would probably be better(that way they can walk away thinking hey, I could do this myself) Sandra
  9. try this link look under photo gallery, then cupcakes Sandra
  10. I tried the tweaked recipe for the epicurious cake a little while ago. I found the taste of the brown sugar almost overpowered the chocolate. Last weekend, I made the recipe as written on epicurious(the cake part) and much preferred it-I have made it before. Here's a picture of the cake I made. I made a 9x13 and cut out the shape of the horse while it was frozen(also filled it while frozen). Sandra ps, I have made the CI bundt cake and liked it a lot.
  11. You can try asking RLB-she has a blog and answers questions there. click here for blog Sandra
  12. Allergies and hygiene are two very different issues. We are still allowed to bring treats to our school. Luckily, I know every child in both my children's class and there are no allergies. There is one boy in the school that is allergic to peanuts but not to other nuts. After going on some different parenting forums(and talking to parents I know), I would be TERRIFIED to send my child to school with a severe allergy. People just don't understand that even the smell of peanuts can cause a reaction. I've seen more than one parent say but all little Johnny will eat is peanut butter sandwiches so that is what I'm sending to school. When I brought my goodies into the church bake sale this year I was asked if there were nuts in anything-my response was no but I could not say they are nut free because I could have used peanut butter in the bowls and there could be a trace in there. A nut free kitchen is different from just not putting nuts in the thing you are making today-not everyone understands that. I live in the country and do not fall under city rules and regulations. Our church can still hold bake sales and suppers with the general public supplying most of the food. At our local carnival, I was watching people walk in and out of the kitchen while the breakfast was being prepared-long hair flowing with no hairnets in sight. I doubt anyone involved have a food safety course. Even though they have the triple sinks in the kitchen, I've yet to see them used properly. Just because they have the "legal" kitchen doesn't mean the people using it are up on food safety. Sandra
  13. When I made the cupcake cones, I put them in a muffin tin to help keep them from falling over. Sandra
  14. I think I've left no tip twice. The first was quite a few years ago-the waitress was rude and didn't even bring me the fork I asked for to be able to actually eat my lunch. She was really friendly with the table of men next to us though. The second time was just a couple of months ago. The restaurant was busy-Sunday brunch. We waited patiently to order, coffee did not get refilled, etc. The final straw came when people who sat down a good 15 minutes after us got their food. Oh, the waitress had lots of time to chat with the table beside us, then turned her back and walked away so we couldn't get her attention. I finally had to yell "excuse me" to get her to acknowledge us-they she was nothing but rude and almost threw the food at me. I've never gone back to the first restaurant and we will never be back to the second place either. Sandra
  15. Thanks for the replies. I ended up making peanut butter brownies and topped it with the peanut butter cheesecake recipe shaloop posted. Not sure I liked the brownie bottom but the cheesecake was awesome. Here's a picture of the cheesecake covered with ganache. I whipped some to add a little decoration. Excuse the crappy writing-the kids wanted me to write happy birthday so I did Sandra
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