Friday, January 29, 2010


Just had to share this picture of Babycakes on our last bike ride. I love riding bikes either a Road Bike or the Beach Cruiser and now I have a companion to go with me on the beach cruiser. She absolutely loves riding. As we are sailing through the air she bites at the wind, it is just too cute.
I have her strapped in so there is no chance of her jumping out. The basket can be removed from the bike so if we stop for coffee she can go with me after we lock up the bike.

Wednesday, January 27, 2010


The January 2010 Daring Bakers’ challenge was hosted by Lauren of Celiac Teen. Lauren chose Gluten-Free Graham Wafers and Nanaimo Bars as the challenge for the month. The sources she based her recipe on are 101 Cookbooks and
We had the option to make these non-gluten free and that is what I did. I did not want to buy all the different ingredients for a one time shot of gluten free baking.
These bars are very good but a little time consuming because you must first make home made graham crackers. The remainder of the recipe is quite easy. I cut them in small pieces because they are very sweet.
I took mine to the beauty shop and a Canadian woman was there. She tried the Nanaimo's and said they were really good and just like she used to buy in Cananda.
Here is the recipe the way I made it:
Graham Wafers
2 ½ Cups plus 2 Tablespoons Whole Wheat Pastry Flour
1 Cup Dark Brown Sugar, Lightly packed
1 Teaspoon Baking soda
3/4 Teaspoon Kosher Salt
3 ½ Ounces Unsalted Butter (Cut into 1-inch cubes and frozen)
1/3 Cup Honey, Mild-flavoured such as clover
5 Tablespoons Whole Milk
2 Tablespoons Pure Vanilla Extract

1. In the bowl of a food processor fitted with a steel blade, combine the flour, brown sugar, baking soda, and salt. Pulse to incorporate. Add the butter and pulse on and off, until the mixture is the consistency of a coarse meal. No chunks of butter should be visible.
2. In a small bowl or liquid measuring cup, whisk together the honey, milk and vanilla. Add to the flour mixture until the dough barely comes together. It will be very soft and sticky.
3. Turn the dough onto a surface well-floured with flour and pat the dough into a rectangle about 1 inch thick. Wrap in plastic and chill until firm, about 2 hours, or overnight.
4. Divide the dough in half and return one half to the refrigerator. Sift an even layer of flour onto the work surface and roll the dough into a long rectangle, about 1/8 inch thick. The dough will be quite sticky, so flour as necessary. Cut into 4 by 4 inch squares. Gather the scraps together and set aside. Place wafers on one or two parchment-lined baking sheets. Chill until firm, about 30 to 45 minutes. Repeat with the second batch of dough.
5. Adjust the rack to the upper and lower positions and preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit .
6. Gather the scraps together into a ball, chill until firm, and reroll. Dust the surface with more sweet rice flour and roll out the dough to get a couple more wafers.
7. Prick the wafers with toothpick or fork, not all the way through, in two or more rows.
8. Bake for 15 minutes, until browned and slightly firm to the touch, rotating sheets halfway through to ensure even baking. Might take less, and the starting location of each sheet may determine its required time. The ones that started on the bottom browned faster.
9. When cooled completely, place enough wafers in food processor to make 1 ¼ cups of crumbs. Another way to do this is to place in a large ziplock bag, force all air out and smash with a rolling pin until wafers are crumbs.

For Nanaimo Bars
Bottom Layer
4 Ounces Unsalted Butter
1/4 Cup Granulated Sugar
5 Tablespoons Unsweetened Cocoa
1 Large Egg, Beaten
1 1/4 Cups Graham Wafer Crumbs (See previous recipe)
1/2 Cup Almonds (Any type, Finely chopped)
1 Cup Coconut (Shredded, sweetened or unsweetened)
Middle Layer
4 Ounces Unsalted Butter
2 Tablespoons + 2 Teaspoons Heavy Cream
2 Tablespoons Vanilla Custard Powder (Such as Bird’s. Vanilla pudding mix may be substituted.)
2 Cups Powdered Sugar
Top Layer
4 Ounces Semi-sweet chocolate
1 Ounce Unsalted Butter
1. For bottom Layer: Melt unsalted butter, sugar and cocoa in top of a double boiler. Add egg and stir to cook and thicken. Remove from heat. Stir in crumbs, nuts and coconut. Press firmly into an ungreased 8 by 8 inch pan.
2. For Middle Layer: Cream butter, cream, custard powder, and powdered sugar together well. Beat until light in colour. Spread over bottom layer.
3. For Top Layer: Melt chocolate and unsalted butter over low heat. Cool. Once cool, pour over middle layer and chill.
4. Cut into desired size bars.

Monday, January 25, 2010


This weeks heavenly cake baker project was the Chocolate Tweed Angel Food Cake. It is your basic angel food cake with unsweetened chocolate folded into the batter before baking. The cake is then cut into 3 layers and filled and frosted with whipped cream. Rose suggested we put bittersweet chocolate and ground almonds into the whipped cream and then stud it with chocolate chips. I decided to frost it with plain whipped cream and decorate it with chocolate vermicelle because I think it made a more attractive presentation.

In my opinion as well as my husbands this cake was just OK. If I ever made it again I think I might add some orange zest to the batter and use bittersweet chocolate instead of the unsweetened. A little espresso powder might be nice too.

Sunday, January 17, 2010


Here is my latest cake. The client's theme was diamonds and pearls. The flavor of the cake was Carrot. Everything was edible on the cake except the crown on top of the pillow.

Thursday, January 14, 2010


Just wanted to show a picture of this 50th birthday cake I did recently. The flavor of the cake was banana with a pastry cream filling and fresh bananas in it. I love the pink and brown colors with the pearls.

Saturday, January 09, 2010


Delivered this cake today to the Country Club where I used to work. It is a chocolate cake with hazelnut crunch, vanilla buttercream and french silk mousse as the fillings. Covered it with Vanilla buttercream and fondant. The tennis racquets and tennis balls are made out of gumpaste.
The netting is royal icing and the poles are gumpaste. Piped the net, let it dry over night and the next day I turned it over and piped it again just to make it extra strong

Monday, January 04, 2010


This weeks Heavenly Cake is the Whipped Cream Cake from Rose's Heavenly Cakes. It was fast and easy to make with a light moist crumb. It has a vanilla flavor and needs no icing accept a dusting of powdered sugar. The fat in it is whipped cream that you whip before adding the eggs and vanilla. I used 40% fat Manufacturers Cream which Rose recommended. It also calls for cake flour which helps to make it even more tender. Many of the other heavenly cake bakers used beautiful bundt pans. I only had a generic one so I didn't even take a picture of the baked cake right out of the pan. I had just bought some berries so I cut them up, added a little sugar and vanilla and served them with the cake.

In the name of research I had a slice this morning with my coffee just to see if the cake dried out. It did not, so I guess I will have to try it again this evening to see how it is aging? This really is a wonderful cake to have any time of day. Hubby loved it too!!

Sunday, January 03, 2010


These tartlettes are white chocolate, dried cranberry, mineola zest, & coconut. I zested two mineolas and infused the zest with heavy cream by bringing it all to a boil and covered it for about 1/2 hour. After that I brought it to a boil again and poured it over white chocolate and stirred to melt the chocolate. I then added chopped dried cranberries and toasted coconut to taste. The recipe for the white chocolate ganache/glaze is here.

The tartlette shells are made from a standard short dough recipe but could also be made from pie crust. Bake the shells, let them cool then fill them with the filling while the mixture is still liquid. The filling will set up to a truffle like consistency when left at room temperature for a few hours.
These are a great petit four as they do not need refrigeration and are fast and easy to make.