Friday, February 25, 2011

Samples and Scouts

Since last Saturday I've baked 9 cakes.  Not huge cakes but still 9 cakes.  All for good reasons but that's a lot of cake. 

The first round - 4 cakes, were for my son and his fiance.  They wanted to pick out the flavor of their wedding cake.  I made red velvet, chocolate, vanilla and lemon.  I frosted the red velvet with cream cheese frosting.  I didn't do anything else cause I don't know of any other frosting that goes with red velvet, but the other three I cut in half to have more cake to frost.  I made chocolate with chocolate frosting and peanut butter frosting.  The vanilla cake was frosted with chocolate and strawberry icing.  The lemon with white chocolate and vanilla frosting.  I'm glad I didn't have to choose cause I liked them all. 

The next batch - 3 cakes was for another couple that I'm making a wedding cake for.  I had to make up a sample platter so it could be picked up and taken to the groom to be for his input.  I had a small amount of red velvet cake left so I included that too.  I made the same flavors as before. 

As I get better at this I want to try a few more "fancy" flavors.  Like cookies and cream (chocolate cake with Oreo frosting) or dreamsicle (orange cake with vanilla frosting).

The last two cakes were made for the blue and gold banquet.  Each year in February the cub scouts celebrate scouting.  I made a cake for them last year.  It was 100 years of scouting so I had a pretty good idea what I wanted to do for the cake.  This year I had no idea.  I searched the Internet for inspiration and with Bob's help decided on a camping scene.  Our cub scouts don't camp over night but still it was cute and was fun to make. 

 I still struggle with people, that's a work in progress but the cake covered pretty well.  Better than some of my other projects which was nice.  We just keep learning as we go.  I hope someday it will be as easy as it looks on TV.  That may be asking too much.

Thursday, February 17, 2011

Twisted Pigs

I had someone call and order some donuts and cinnamon rolls (thank you Norene).  I wasn't too worried about making them but Bob thought we should practice.  Just in case. 

I really hate it when he's right.

I didn't realize how much you forget when you don't do something for a few months. 

We started on Sunday and made donuts.  Everything came out OK,
but there were some glitches. 

Then we made some more on Tuesday. 
I tried making a batch of cinnamon rolls and having them rise overnight in the fridge. 
 I didn't like how that worked.  I decided to get up early and make the dough the morning I needed it.  I know that will work.

We've been trying to figure out an alternative to maple bars.  We don't have a bar cutter, 
(it's expensive so it's not a priority to purchase right now).
We decided to try maple twists. 
Not with the chocolate dough just the plain and we left the sugar out of the middle. 

Anyway, those turned out OK.  Still need to work on them some but they are coming along.  Tuesday in our test run we made maple twists with bacon.  Bob, who feels the need to name the donuts decided to call them "Twisted Pigs".  He liked the name so much he thinks we should use it for the name of the bakery.  Please feel free to comment on that idea!!

So today was the big day to make two dozen cinnamon rolls and two dozen donuts.  I made three batches of cinnamon roll dough and two batches of donut dough.  We ended up with about 2 1/2 dozen cinnamon rolls and 5 dozen donuts. 

Not having industrial size equipment is a challenge when you have to have more than a dozen or two of something.  But since we don't make several dozen donuts a day it's hard to justify buying industrial equipment right now.  We'll get there. 
Sooner rather than later I hope!

Here are some pictures of today's creations. 
Please feel free to weigh in on the "Twisted Pig" idea.

Friday, February 4, 2011

Weekend Baking

I had a couple of baking projects to take care of and last weekend was quiet enough to get them done.  I was asked to make my marbled caramel slice.  I usually make it at Christmas but a friend of ours had me make a batch at Christmas but gave most of it away so she wanted another one.  The topping is milk chocolate and semi-sweet chocolate with some white chocolate swirled in.  That's the marbled part.  This time I melted chips instead of blocks of chocolate.  I think it worked better cause I could control the amount of melted chocolate a little better.  

The second project was a thank you project.  I had a lot of helping getting a proposal out at work and I felt I should say thank you to all those that made sure it got done.  Since I got such rave reviews for my chocolate cake and peanut butter frosting I decided to make it again.  This time it was cupcakes instead of cake but the same peanut butter buttercream.  
Once again it was a success.  

I didn't take pictures this time.  I'm not sure why but my next project 
I will make sure to take pictures.