Sweet Leaf

Finding Beauty through Baking ~by Susan Baxter-Peace

Homemade Oreos April 22, 2016

After the Power Ranger cake last week I had some fondant leftover. Last time I had leftovers I made some little fondant-covered two-bite brownies. We were about to host a party at our place and I didn’t think those would be the right fit, so instead I decided to try and make some imitation Oreos and use the fondant for the filling.

I looked up some recipes and settled on a chocolate sugar cookie. It was pretty straightforward, cutting out all the chocolate cookies, and then cutting out the fondant to match.

20160415_201012

The fondant was quite smooth, so I knew it wouldn’t stick to the cookies very well on its own. I was also making some empire cookies, so I just put a dab of royal icing on each side of the cookie to stick the sandwich together. It worked out pretty well, and because I had two colours of fondant leftover, we had two colours of cookies: white and hot pink. They were pretty tasty little guys, I will definitely be doing them again if I have leftover fondant!

 

Go Go Power Rangers! April 15, 2016

So I thought Power Rangers were a thing of my childhood, but apparently they’re actually still a thing, and I had a request last weekend from a little girl turning six for a Pink Power Ranger cake. It took me a bit by surprise, and I was a bit intimidated at first, but of course I said “of course!”

After some searching it didn’t seem so intimidating, especially when I searched “pink power ranger clipart.” I printed off an image, enlarged it and went from there. I decided to make a fondant decoration for the top of the cake rather than trying to shape the whole cake like a power ranger. I think I made the right call!

I made a big black circle of fondant for the background, and carved out the other pieces by tracing through the image I had enlarged on each section of colour. The outline was indented into the fondant and I used a knife to carve out all the pieces. Then it was just a matter of sticking them all together on top of the black circle.

A chocolate cake was requested, so I made a 14-inch round chocolate cake, made the black circle 10-inch, and fit the power ranger to an 8-inch space. I put a thin layer of frosting to help the fondant image stick to the top of the cake, then piped pink frosting all around. And to garnish I used pink sugar and some silver dragees.

I think this is one of the few times I have been almost completely happy with how a cake turned out. The perfectionist in me was feeling pretty proud when I boxed it up, and the birthday girl seemed pretty happy with it too – which is always the best part!

 

Hoops, Anyone? March 30, 2016

We celebrated my sisters’ birthdays over the weekend. They’re both part of an intramural basketball team and were spending the weekend following the NCAA’s March Madness. I immediately knew I wanted to make them a basketball cake!

This was my first attempt at a sphere shaped cake. I suppose I could have just decorated a flat round cake, but where’s the fun in that?! It went pretty well, but the fondant around a sphere was quite challenging.

I baked four 8″ round cakes, two chocolate, two vanilla, and layered them with ermine frosting. Then I froze them in the stack. Once they were well frozen I started trimming and shaping with a knife. It became clear pretty quickly that it was going to be very hard to shape a round top and have enough cake left to make a good sized basketball. So I mixed the trimmings with some frosting and molded it onto the top to get the round shape (T-Rex style, see here). Once the sphere was shaped I did a crumb coat all over and put it in the fridge to chill.

I took it out shortly before putting on the fondant, so it would still be cool enough to hold its shape, but not so cold that it would sweat and make the fondant droopy. This batch of fondant was a little dryer than usual, and as a result it made the difficult sphere shape even harder because it all started cracking as I rounded it down to the bottom. It looked great until I got about halfway down the sides. I tried to smooth the cracks, but I couldn’t get it smooth enough without squishing dents into the cake. So, because it was for family, I opted to leave the cracks knowing that they would probably be okay with it. Once the lines of the ball were marked, I rolled out the black fondant and attached thin strips with meringue powder glue.

Overall I was quite happy with how it turned out. It was a fun challenge to do a sphere, and now I just need to practice keeping it smooth around the bottom!

 

T-Rex Leftovers February 8, 2016

I had some cake pieces, frosting and fondant leftover after the T-Rex cake last week. We ate some of them just on their own, but the rest I decided to make into little treats to celebrate a couple birthdays in the daycare.

I crumbled what cake was left, mixed it with what frosting was left, and shaped them into bite sized cubes – about the size of a two-bite brownie. Then I rolled out some fondant and wrapped each one, hoping to make them look like little presents. The fondant was a bit bulky on the side folds, but I wasn’t going for perfection here, I mostly just wanted to use everything up.

I cut out some flower shapes for a decorative topper and stuck them on with some ‘meringue powder glue.’ They remind me of a less refined petit four – a cute little bite of dense cake with a yummy, decorative coating. A new variation of the popular cake-pop, perhaps?

 

 

T-Rex Cake February 3, 2016

Well, here it is, as promised. There was great excitement at the birthday party over the weekend as the much-anticipated T-Rex was unveiled. It took awhile to think through just how I was going to do it, but as the brainwaves circulated, one idea led to another, and I think what I ended up doing worked really well.

After doing some image searches for T-Rex cakes I was originally going to try making a head and claws coming out of the top of a cake, but as I narrowed down my method I decided to do a whole dino.

After considering a few options, I went for a cake pop style. You remember cake pops? (click here for a refresher) Crumbled cake mixed with frosting, shaped into balls and dipped in candy coating. But instead of shaping it into balls, I molded it into a T-Rex; and instead of candy coating, I made fondant. I formed the dino on top of parchment paper so that it would be easy to get off when I needed to transfer it onto the cake. I put it in the fridge to chill so that it wouldn’t get squished when I put the fondant overtop. It all worked really well, although the fondant looked a bit rough around the bottom edges where it had to get tucked into tight places (mouth, arms and legs).

 

I made a regular cake for the base, frosted it with chocolate frosting, laid the finished T-Rex on top, and surrounded it with those little chocolate stones. There was A LOT of chocolate in this cake! I was pretty happy with how it turned out, and I think the birthday boy was too!

 

Belated Merry Christmas and Happy New Year January 28, 2016

20151230_132333Well, once again I have let things slide with the blog. I do think about it often, but day to day life just gets the better of me. It’s not that I’m not baking, I just don’t get around to posting.

So, instead of one specific item/topic today I have decided to give a photo gallery of some of the things I baked over the last few months.

Gingerbread Cookies – A Seasonal Favourite

 

Empire Cookies – My baked good of choice for this year’s holidays

 

Homemade Hotdog Buns – So much better than store bought

 

Personal Pizzas – The kids love them!

 

Now that I’ve got your attention again, keep an eye out, there will be an exciting cake coming up soon. Remember the blue racecar cake from last year? This year my little buddy wants a T-Rex!

 

Moving Again… June 24, 2014

Filed under: Baking — sweetleafsusie @ 12:03 am

If you follow my blog regularly you’ve probably noticed that we’ve moved a couple times since I started it. Well, we’re doing it again, and it has interrupted my baking productivity, and my posting. I’m hoping we will have the kitchen and internet up and running very soon! Stay tuned…

 

 
%d bloggers like this: