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Squirrelly Cakes

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  1. Simply adorable, description and finished project. What you did is make wonderful memories! A parent's greatest gift. Love it! hugs Squirrelly Cakes
  2. Haha, well aren't you brave, even broaching that topic. I have seen many, many threads on just this topic and they always end up in fights. But basically they are always about who knows better what they are doing, the homebaker or the professional. Then they get into the differences between pastry chefs, commercial bakers and home bakers. Then culinary graduates, pastry chefs, commercial bakers and home bakers. But you have an interesting slant on it. So basically does immediate feedback influence the baker? That is something to think about. Haha thinking about is safe, I am not so sure that discussing is but there are those more brave than I, haha! Hugs Squirrelly Cakes
  3. Is it possible you were supposed to use a Dutch-Process Cocoa? Does the recipe specify? Most of the recipes I have seen for these cookies do contain regular old cocoa though, I must admit. Hugs Squirrelly Cakes
  4. Mottmott, I believe Martha said it was her and her staff's choice of best baking book of the year. Kalypso, is it possible that the brand or type of cocoa powder you used might have been an issue? Some of the black cocoas are not the best tasting and I haven't seen the recipe but is it possible it called for Dutch Process cocoa and you used regular or vice versa? Personally I have never been a big fan of any variation of this cookie but that may just well be my personal tastes. It doesn't appeal to me. Hugs Squirrelly Cakes
  5. Thoroughly enjoyed watching Dorie Greenspan on the Martha Stewart show yesterday. Dorie was making her Far Breton Cake. It looked absolutely delicious and the method demonstrated was nice and easy. Cannot go wrong with that! Her wonderful, down-to-earth, happy personality shone! So nice to put a personality and face with a work. Obviously Martha and her staff are much impressed with her book. Guess it is going on my Christmas Wish List! I hope lots of members had a chance to watch the show. Hugs Squirrelly Cakes
  6. I think the idea of a parfait for dessert, is appealing given how heavy the traditional Thanksgiving meal can be. Here is an odd combination for your consideration, a sparing bottom layer of heavily rum-laden mincemeat with alternating layers of pumkin mousse and whipping cream. An odd combination which lends a variety of texture to a traditional parfait. But definitely odd... Edited to add, bonus, you can re-serve the same as a Christmas dessert, haha!
  7. I use damask, brocades, lace over organza, organza over patterned materials, curtain remnants, tableclothing that is sold by the metre or yard, bedding fabrics, anything that gets you more bang for your buck and more fabric too. The extra wide fabrics are a good buy and you can often get cheaper remnants. I have used the crushed velours and velvets too. I find that the fabrics that tend to show grease spots are the satins and silk-looks. The grease from the cupcake liner may spread on these fabrics. It is always good to do a test with them. Choice of fabric goes hand-in-hand with how formal the occasion and the decor is. Most fabrics will wash well and you will be able to get rid of any stains caused by grease or icing. The foil cupcake tin liners probably create less grease as you can wipe them with a damp cloth before placing cupcakes on material.
  8. Northern Spy, Macintosh, Granny Smith, Courtlands in pies with a bit of lemon juice, flour for thickening, brown and white sugar and cinnamon only. Cannot stand even a hint of nutmeg in an apple pie. Don't like the apples cut thickly as they they don't soften. Haha, don't mess with the weird spice or herb combinations in my apple pies, no siree, keep them old-fashioned, the way Grandma used to make them. As Canadian er American as apple pie. Oh yes and pass either the cheddar if the pie is cold or the vanilla ice cream if the pie is served warm and I will be your friend for life. Macs and Granny Smith apples produce a lot of juice so it is best, I find, to use in a mix with some Courtlands or Spys. Not to use at least some Macs would be "Un-Canuckish"...
  9. You did a great job, good for you! Adorable. I am sure they loved it! There is a grass and a fur tip available. Tip number 233 is usually used for grass, tip number 234 can be used for grass or fur, it makes larger diameter strands. Well Wilton does have the mini-ball pan, so that is an option for the smaller balls. http://www.wilton.com/store/site/product.c...A68AF3A1910E9AD There is such a variety of ball scoops of dippers in the U.S., the larger ones work well. Make cake balls by combining about 1/4 of a cup of icing to the equivalent of about a 6x3 inch cake and using one of the sizes, shape into a ball and freeze. Use disposable gloves when shaping. I freeze and dip in melted chocolate or candymelts. Alternately, use my old pal Cookieman's recipe for cakeballs. 2 cups crumbled cake scraps 2 tablespoons confectioners' sugar 2 tablespoons cocoa powder (if cake scraps are not chocolate based) 1/4 cup chopped almonds (or any other nut you like, or mini-chocolate chips, or M&Ms, you get the idea!) 2 generous shots of amaretto (or any other liquer you may like, a good non-alcohol substitution is any flavored coffee creamer) Put all ingredients in a mixer and mix on medium speed until the ingedients form a ball. If the mixture seems too dry, add a bit more of the liquid used to make it moist enough to form into balls. I use a tablespoon cookie scoop to make the balls uniform in size. Roll the scooped dough in your hands to form a nice smooth ball. Allow cake balls to set on a parchment lined cookie sheet for a couple of hours, then dip them in chocolate(following) or roll them in confectioners' sugar or cocoa. Melt 1 lb. of candy melts and add approximately a tablespoons of crisco to make it a bit more smooth. Also, put the container (in my case, a pyrex measuring cup) of melted candy melts in a very hot (I use amost boiling) water bath to keep the chocolate fluid. dip balls into the chocolate using a spoon and a dipping fork (in my case, a plastic fork with the two middle tines cut out) Don't worry if the dipped balls have a "foot" at the base after drying. You can break some off after they have hardened and once they are in the little cake liners, no one will notice. Also, you can decorate the tops with just about anything, sprinkles, candy confetti, chopped nuts, etc. before they dry. Or after they've dried, pipe designs with royal icing or melted candy melts of different colors! End of Recipe There are chocolate molds that are golf-themed with balls and tees and a small golf bag. You can use piping gel coloured blue for the water. I have made golf bags from fondant mixed with a bit of Gum-tex powder to make it harden up. You can use wooden skewers broken off to an appropriate length covered with fondant and shape a few golf clubs to fit. You can make evergreen trees using various sized ice cream cones covered with icing using 1 number 352 leaf tip.
  10. I would say, stop using the spray and switch cupcake liners. You cupcake papers are likely now treated. I have actually never heard of this problem before. Strangely enough, I get excellent results from using medium or large sized liners in large muffin pans. They both work equally well and I get nicely shaped cupcakes. I don't use those pans sprays, in fact some manufacturers of some pans don't recommend it. It causes build up on some types of pans and issues with others.
  11. I have several of these pans by Nordic Ware, the violets, the rose, the fleur de lis etc. All 10 cups. Where is can be a problem is if you use a standard 2-layer cake mix. The mix will rise right up to the top and you will get a fairly large crown with some mixes. I haven't had any problems with overflow though. Standard cake mixes make about 4-5 cups of batter, so this again proves that your batter rises more in a tube or bundt pan. Most standard from-scratch recipes that make about 4-5 cups of batter, do well in these pans also. I use the same recipes I use for a 12 cup bundt, for a 10 cup. I have never had sticking issues, I grease using a pastry brush and Crisco shortening. Then I flour the pan. For chocolae cakes I subsitute sifted cocoa powder for the flour. I also let the cakes cool 15-20 minutes before turning them out to finish cooling. The Williams Sonoma site has some wonderful recipes. http://www.williams-sonoma.com/srch/recipe...bmitted&x=9&y=8 I highly recommend the Spiced Walnut, the Lavender-Lemon, the Mixed Berry and the Sour Cream/Chocolate - if you want a really strong flavoured rich chocolate cake. I really love these pans. They bake beautifully.
  12. Hi Ruth, That is true and I have found when you can use a combination, sometimes you get a decent result. But replacing sugar totally with any of the other sweeteners in most things, just isn't satisfactory. I find cookies more tolerant of using sweeteners to some degree. Haha, yes I think I have made more than my share of "Michelin" rubber cakes with slime icing, over the years, to not really believe that good cake results are possible without sugar. I am with you, a small serving of the real thing is a better option in most cases. Hugs Squirrelly Cakes
  13. Hi Squirrelly Cakes, I am curious about your diabetic angle food cake recipe -- I've been afraid to try a foam cake with a sugar sub (worried about the stability of the foam). How do you approach this? ← Hi Ruth, Sorry I should have been more specific. I don't make them sugar free, I make them normally. I know you can purchase sugar free angel food cake in the U.S., not that I have seen in Canada though. I don't bake sugar-free, I find it a huge disappointment and I have tried about every sugar substitute out there. So I prefer to not offer a product of less than satisfactory quality. My husband was recently diagnosed diabetic. Empty white carbohydrates are the big issue with diabetics and for most, some sugar when used moderately on special occasions, is not an issue as long as the correct combinations of other foods are used. So the angel food cake has to be taken into account with the other items at a meal. I do get orders for Angel Food Cakes, for diabetic customers. Usually they are also on fat restricted diets so it is a better choice for them. I make up a raspberry or strawberry coulis and they can have whipped cream if not too fat restricted or use a sugar free Cool Whip topping. The recipe I use is from Martha Stewart's "Baking Handbook", so far my absolute favourite method with best results and it uses only 1 cup cake flour and 1 1/2 cups of superfine sugar, in addition to the egg whites, flavouring, water, salt and extract and cream of tartar. I have found that most diabetics who can have some white sugar in their diet on rare occasions, prefer to have a real cake as opposed to an artificially sweetened cake. 1/12 to 1/16 of an Angel Food Cake is generally acceptable in most diabetics' diets, particularily when the topping is sugar free or fruit containing natural sugar. Haha, sorry for the detail, it is something new for me to have to deal with personally in my own household, so I am learning and researching all the time. I always had an interest in this for extended family, friends and customers but it is much more significant in my life at the moment. A friend of mine sent me this recipe using a purchased sugar-free Angel Food cake. STRAWBERRY DIABETIC CAKE One already made sugarfree Angel Food Cake 2 regular size boxes Jello, Sugarfree Strawberry 1 container Cool Whip (sugar-free) Fresh Strawberries(save one whole)for garnish Cut SB up in small pieces and layer them in the bottom of a bunt pan, (spray with pam) Non stick if possible Break up the cake and put in the pan Mix Jello as directed and pour on top of the cake and spoon it all around on the cake till cake is smooth and covered. Sit in refrigerator for several hours. After done, dip pan for 2 or 3 sec in hot water to help break it loose from pan then turn out on plate. Sometimes it takes a few min. for the mold to turn loose. Fill hole with Coolwhip and outside round the cake. Garnish center with strawberry.
  14. I have the long loaf pan with little feet that Wilton makes for angel food and pound type loaves. Yes it works but not well for some less dense cake applications. So an ungreased loaf tin works fairly well with angel food cakes because there isn't a lot of cake width to support as it rises. The pans that have straight sides work the best, from my experience, the narrow pans. However regular pans do not work well for angel food cakes as they seem to need the centre tube support to help with the climb to achieve full volume and height. I don't find this an issue with chiffon cake recipes however. Definitely go with a regular two piece angel food/tube style pan over a non-stick pan for the best results for angel food cakes. Again, doesn't seem to be near the issue with some chiffon cake recipes as it is with angel food. And if you get a one piece, you will soon dent the bottom of the pan while thumping it to try to get the cake released, two piece is so much better. I have all three types and rarely ever use the non-stick version for anything. I use an ordinary dinner knife to release the cake from the sides of the pan. The blade are long and flat and don't damage the cake sides or the pans. I make a lot of angel food cakes for dieters and diabetics. I also make a fair amount of chiffon cakes, with some recipes I do find better results with the tube pans but some are fine no matter what pan you use.
  15. Hhmn, guess it isn't too imaginative but I really like Raspberry Gelato in this combination.
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