Wednesday, October 30, 2013

Craftsy Flash Sale! (October 30th-31st)

Happy Halloween!!  I know I've been pretty absent from my blog and Facebook lately... I delivered my last cake of the 2013 Wedding Season a few weeks ago and I've been busy celebrating birthdays, tending to family matters, preparing for Halloween and the holidays and just generally being "Mom" for a while!  I've got some tutorials, videos and recipes planned, but those will be a few weeks out.

But, I just heard about the Craftsy Flash Sale going on today and tomorrow in celebration of Halloween and wanted to make sure my readers knew about it!  Be sure to check out the sale for a great deal on some of the wonderful classes offered on Craftsy!


Happy Halloween!

...and Happy Caking :)

Monday, October 7, 2013

Apple Tea Cake Recipe!

Hi Everyone...  Today I am excited to share a recipe, perfect for fall!  Here in New England it has been prime apple picking season...  Pick-your-own is one of my favorite things to do with my son and we try to take advantage of whatever is in season during the summer.  Last week we made it out to the apple orchards to pick a peck of Cortland apples! 
 This recipe has been handed down to me from a family member... I hadn't made it before, but I'm so glad I decided to try it!  Apple Tea Cake, like a coffee cake, is a not-too-sweet crumb cake... perfect for enjoying with a cup of afternoon tea.  It was a huge hit with my family and will probably become a staple through the fall!

Apple Tea Cake Recipe:

  • 4 Lipton Tea Bags
  • 1 Tart Apple
  • 1 ¼  Cups Sugar
  • 2 Cups All Purpose Flour
  • ½ tsp Baking Powder
  • ½ tsp Baking Soda
  • 12 Tbsp Unsalted Butter (softened)
  • 2 Eggs
  • ½ Cup Sour Cream
  • 1 tsp Vanilla
  • Crumb Topping* (recipe to follow)

  1. Preheat oven to 350°F
  2. In a medium bowl, pour 2 cups of boiling water over tea bags, let steep for about 5 minutes.
  3. Remove tea bags, add ¼ cup of sugar and stir to dissolve.  Add peeled, cored and rough chopped apples and let stand about 1 hour.
  4. After an hour, remove apple pieces and set aside.  Also, reserve ¼ cup of tea liquid.
  5. In a small bowl whisk together dry ingredients and set aside.
  6. Add sour cream & vanilla to tea liquid, and stir to combine.
  7. In a large mixing bowl (or in the bowl of your stand mixer) cream together the butter and 1 cup of sugar.  Then, add eggs one at a time.
  8. Next, alternate adding dry & wet ingredients, be careful not to over mix!
  9. Fold in apples with a spatula and then spread into a lightly greased 9” spring form pan.
  10. Evenly spread the crumb topping over the top of the batter, and then bake about 1 hour (or until a toothpick comes out clean) in a 350°F oven.
  11. Let cool completely on a wire rack before removing from pan.
  12. Optional: sprinkle powdered sugar over the top!

 *Crumb Topping Recipe

  • ½ Cup Brown Sugar
  • 1/3 Cup All Purpose Flour
  • ½ tsp Cinnamon
  • 1 Tbsp butter (softened)
  • ½ cup chopped pecans (or walnuts)

  1. In a small bowl, combine all ingredients (except pecans) and blend with a fork until the mixture resembles crumbly, wet sand.  
  2. Stir in nuts.

I hope you will try this recipe... Enjoy!

Happy Caking :)

Thursday, October 3, 2013

Pleats & Brooches Cake!

Here is another of the cakes I did in September!  I was excited to work on this one, I had designed a cake with diagonal pleats some time ago and never had the opportunity to make it.  So, I was thrilled when my bride told me this was what she wanted!
I used a scribing tool to roughly mark out where I wanted the top line of the pleats to go.  I added a little tylose powder to the fondant I used to make the strips with, to stiffen it up and make it easier to work with.  Using my pasta attachment, I rolled strips of fondant to a #4.  I trimmed the fabric strips to roughly 1.5 inches, it didn't need to be exact because the bottom edge would be covered with the pleat below.  I moistened one side and folded the strip in half so the top edge was a nice rolled/finished edge and the bottom was the open seam.  Starting from the top, overlapping my scribed line, I layered the pleats!  When I got to the bottom border of the cake, I used an exacto blade to make everything nice and neat.
The brooches and topper were supplied by the bride.  I love the sparkle they added to this otherwise "simple" looking design.  It's hard to capture the sparkle of the "bling" in these photos!!
Thanks for looking!

Happy Caking :)