Sunday, May 15, 2011

Promoting a Young, Local Cake Designer

At my daughter's recent grad show at the Ontario College of Art and Design, one of the events we attended was the celebration of the graduates' catalogue.  To celebrate properly one of the students, Nadia Colella, created this amazing delicious cake!

Details about this yummy cake:

Apart from being a student for the last four years, Nadia also has a business making custom cakes.  Her website is well worth a look:

Nadia's Cake Creations

This talented young lady is furthering her business goals by heading off to culinary school in Chicago as her next venture - good luck Nadia!

Saturday, May 14, 2011

Burnt Offerings

I'm happy to say that I usually have pretty good luck with my baking attempts, but there are some days when it seems like *nothing* goes right!  And, without fail, those are the days when you really, really want your baked goodies to be perfect.

Two weeks ago my best friend and her relations threw a bridal shower for her son's fiance.  Her son is also my godson, so of course this godmother volunteered to bake.  The shower was a lovely Italian luncheon, followed by a sweet table with goodies prepared by the nearest and dearest.  The night before the shower I made mini Red Velvet cupcakes and they were one of the best batches I've made yet.

I decided I'd wait until the next morning to make sugar cookie umbrellas, decorated with flower sprinkles.  I had just made the cookies the previous weekend for Easter and they were no problem - I think the ducks, bunnies and eggs looked very cute.

It's a false assumption to think that a "simple" sugar cookie is easy - it's not.  They're actually one of the most finicky things to bake - the butter has to be soft enough before you use it, then it has to be chilled again before rolling out/cutting and chilled a THIRD time before they're baked.  Of the two batches of dough that I made, one half of the first batch wouldn't hold together at all, when I attempted to roll it out.  The green bin bag got very heavy...

They also need to be watched very carefully during baking, to prevent them from browning to much.  I bake mine for 12 minutes, turning the trays and switching high/low racks in the oven after 6 minutes for successful cookies.  They're actually quite labour intensive little buggers...which leads me to what happened that morning...these sad umbrellas...

They don't look nearly as bad in this photo as they did in reality.  To add insult to injury, those bloody sprinkles had to be placed individually to stick to the dough...sigh!  Those umbrellas that weren't too toasty actually made it to the luncheon.  Here's a photo of the sweet table and everyone enjoyed all the the lovely treats.