Wednesday, February 27, 2013

Step-by-step: Madeleines

 I found this Madeleine mould at a thrift shop the other day and figured I'd have to give it a try. It cost me all of fifty cents and I was pretty curious to give it a go.
I found this recipe in Martha Stewart's Baking Handbook. Great book!

Melt one stick of unsalted butter and set aside to cool.

Grate enough lemon and orange peel to make about 2 tablespoons. Add this and a 1/4 teaspoon orange or lemon extract to the cooled butter. (If you want to omit this, just add vanilla extract.)

Stir together 3/4 cup flour, 1/2 cup ground almonds and 1/2 cup sugar + 2 tablespoons. Set aside.

Whip 3 whole eggs plus 1/2 teaspoon salt till frothy.

Whisk dry ingredients into egg mixture, then add the cooled butter and extract. Stir until combined and cover with plastic and put in fridge for at least two hours.

 Grease and flour Madeleine pans and fill moulds about half full. Bake at 350F for 12-14 minutes. Should make 24 Madeleines.

Done! Now, to get to the rest of my Baking Bucket List. What's on yours?

Fire truck Cake

My friend's son is a volunteer fireman and she wanted a cake for his birthday. She found a fun little toy fire truck that when you press one of its buttons, it lights up and an alarm goes off. Even the ladder on the roof was extendable. So I created a cake as its perfect backdrop compete with an edible asphalt road and an out of control bonfire.

Thursday, February 21, 2013

Garden, ducks and dogs cake

Regan has a wonderful organic garden, guarded by his two dark huskies Bear and Loki and a small flock of ducks. I had a blast trying to get them all on a chocolate cake for his birthday.

Tuesday, February 19, 2013

Wiener Dog Cake

 My cousin Saul celebrated his birthday last weekend and I thought I'd make him a special cake to look like his wiener dog Hershey.

I think I was pretty successful. In this photo, it almost looks like the cake daschund is trying to make friends with the real one!

Thursday, February 14, 2013

I LOVE Valentine's Day

 I've had this Robert Indiana LOVE poster on my wall since university. It's a silkscreen copy of the original from his show at the Stable Gallery, 1966. But it's signed! In college Mr. Indiana and I exchanged letters for about a year when he helped me with a design project. So I mailed him this poster and asked him to sign it...and he did.

About five years ago on a family girls weekend in New York City, we came upon his famous sculpture. That's my sis-in-law, two nieces and my sis with me in the middle.

 Two years ago, Richard and I went to the Farnsworth Museum in Maine. I think that the artist still lives on a small island in Maine, not far from where we were.

 Also at the Farnsworth, Richard posed with a different version of the LOVE sculpture.

So for Valentine's Day this year, I thought it would be a good idea to make a LOVE cake. Dense chocolate cake with a ganache filling for two. Happy Valentine's Day!

Wednesday, February 13, 2013

Blue Skies, Sunshine

 The day after a snowstorm brought gorgeous sunny days and blue skies. I love how the snow clung to the hemlock boughs here.

 I looked up and noticed a large nest in a pine tree. Squirrel? Raccoon? Not sure.

 The drifts around the house were almost magical.

 The shadows, too, were magical and playful.

 I've drawn this view of light and shadow, looking up the hill many times.

 The garden gate is a good measure of how much snow has fallen.

Richard got busy with his chainsaw. Only a few more months to go till bug season!

Friday, February 8, 2013

A Visit from Marlow

 Remember baby Marlow from a few months ago? Scott brought him into the office and he's growing up into a beautiful little kitty cat.

I'm so lucky I get to see him grow up. He's a little doll!

Thursday, February 7, 2013

Sunflower Cupcakes

I made these mini-cupcakes shaped like sunflowers for a potluck supper I'm heading off to tonight. These cupcakes make me think of spring and even though it was -22C this a.m. when I awoke, I was bound and determined to thing spring! These cupcakes helped.

Sunday, February 3, 2013

Sock Monkey Cake

Friends Gordon and Natalie celebrate birthdays a few weeks apart and I figured a pair of sock monkeys sitting on a sofa would be a perfect cake for them. Gordon is the sock money with the beard. Nat is the one with the crossed ankles. And the afghan over the back of the sofa is a nod to Nat's dab hand at knitting. Happy birthday to them both!


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