Monthly Archives: June 2009

Iced cookies…trickier than I thought

So last week I made some rolled cookie dough to practise making some cookies for a summer fete in a couple of weeks. I have since found anothe recipe which I’m going to try out again this weekend as I found this dough hard to manage – I think my butter was just too soft. I’m also trying to work out whether to put the sticks in before or after cooking. I tried both and it didn’t seem to make much difference but any advice would be gratefully received!

So, here’s the first batch of cookies.

Then on Friday myself and the kids did a bit of decorating. Millie turned out to be quite interested and quite good at it actually. Hettie had fun putting as much as possible on the top of her owl shaped cookie and then scraping it off and eating it.

It’s harder than it looks icing cookies… I tried the Royal Icing method after a kindly taste tester at work (Tony) told me he thought something crunchy on top would work well as the cookies were quite soft.

So here’s my attempt at icing cookies. I think I need to get the icing consistency better for piping but some of them weren’t too bad. They tasted nice anyway and bagged up in celophane with a ribbon I expect they’ll look better too!

Coming up next…skull and cross bones for a 14 year old’s paint ball party….

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Success!

Wow, that was a week testing baking skills and being organised! I spent most evenings last week making all the sugarpaste decorations for the engagement party cakes so that I was as prepared as possible! I now have lots of tubs of different coloured sugarpaste toppings as I made rather a lot, not really knowing how far sugarpaste stretches yet.
Here’s a selection of the toppings I made. I was trying to fit as many colours in as possible but managed to end up making most of the colours match which was quite useful!
I made the following cake flavours: vanilla bean, rich chocolate, maple syrup and pecan, blackberry and vanilla, gingerbread and lemon curd making a batch of 12 or so cakes of each. Some of them had to be tested for consistency so I ended up with 66 cakes to ice and decorate. I made couple of different icing flavours too so I ended up with the following cake and icing combinations:
Vanilla and chocolate
Chocolate and mint
Maple syrup, pecan and vanilla
Lemon and vanilla
Gingerbread and lemon
Blackberry, vanilla and lemon
Here are some of the naked cakes. I’m not sure about the chocolate ones I think the balance of cocoa powder to flour wasn’t right so I’ll adapt that next time.
The lemon ones weren’t quite cooked long enough and were a bit sticky on top but I decided (or rather Phil advised) me to make them more sticky by scooping out the middle and putting in a dollop of lemon curd before putting their lids back on. I think it worked well!
Here’s a lovely montage that Phil made for me….
Mum bought me a really nice metal stand to display cupcakes in which will come in handy as I think I have my first paid gig!
And here’s the final cakes all of which received a really impressive amount of praise from the testers at the party. But most importantly, Lizzie and David liked them so hopefully I’ve got a wedding job next May!

Next…

This Friday/Saturday I shall mostly be baking cupcakes for Lizzie and David’s engagement party. I’m being a bit adventurous and going for vanilla, chocolate, lemon and coconut and gingerbread flavours with vanilla, chocolate, mint and lemon buttercream swirls.

Wish me luck.

Almost perfect!

I’ve actually made three batches of cupcakes in the last week but only managed to photograph one. Fortunately I saved the best until last! I made one batch to take to a coffee afternoon for mums and kids and to take home for my sister and mum. The second batch I made for the masterclass I held with Sarah and her friend Jo. These weren’t as successful cake mixtures unfortunately and were hard little pebbles. Oh well I guess there have to be some mistakes along the way.
The third batch I made when we got home on Saturday night, having so little time to make them before lunch on Sunday. But I am so proud of these!

I hope Lizzie doesn’t look at my blog this week as I’ll be reproducing these on Friday for her Party on Saturday!

Irene at her birthday meal on Sunday.

Lemon Meringue Pie for a family BBQ

For the family BBQ this weekend I made lemon meringue pie (with raspberries). The recipe came from BBCGoodFood again. I really must expand my recipe research horizons!

I was quite pleased with the pastry as it was just on the right side of biscuity. I had misread the oven temperature though so cooked it on a bit too high a heat so it was a little singed looking. For a first stab at lemon meringue I thought it was ok. I didn’t make the lemon bit from scratch owing to time pressures and frankly, that’s just too much to do on a Sunday morning. Perhaps it would have been a bit more solid if I’d made it myself but the Tiptree Lemon Curd was good enough.

I had some left over pastry (as always) and made those lovely little jam tarts with sponge hats on which I remember mum doing when we were kids with the left over pastry. Millie and Hettie enjoyed messing about with the spare pastry (and eating it of course).

I’ve also been asked to make some cakes for a friends engagement party so I’ll be stocking up on fondant flowers and hoping my ebay delivery of petal cutouts arrives before Saturday! I’m also going back to my own recipe for cupcakes – the tried and tested 8 8 8 and 4 rather than Fair Cake’s recipe. I’ll add the tablespoon of cornflour as I like the texture that gives but I’m going to leave the baking powder out as I don’t think it’s necessary. I tried my old batter mix without the creaming of butter/adding flour and eggs alternatively and just putting it all in the mixer together and it seems to work fine.

Here’s another photo of a savory dish I made recently too – a chicken, mustard, leek and creme fraiche plait.

Phil made me very happy this weekend putting in cupboards in our kitchen which now house all neatly and orderly my baking tins and cake making equipment. A tidy cupboard makes for a happy home.