Baby Bump Cake

Before today, I had this silly notion. I told myself that I wouldn’t do one of those cakes-you know, the ones where the cake is part of a human body. I know, I’m strange. But it just didn’t seem right to me to be cutting a cake like that-like I was taking a slice of a person. Like faux cannibalism or something. Lol. Especially a baby bump cake.

However, there comes a time when every cakorator  is asked to make such a cake. I was asked to make a baby bump cake for today. I figured that I wasn’t going to be the one cutting into it-I wasn’t even going to be there. And I do so love making cakes, so why not? After all, I like to make the client happy. And seeing how much they loved it made me happy, too!  

After seeing their reaction, I would gladly make another human cake. They loved it! 

Congratulations to the momtobe!

Crunchy Sweet Potato Chips

I recently got a food dehydrator and decided to make some healthy snacks with it. For instance, I made some apple fruit leather and some strawberry fruit leather that the kiddos took for their school snacks.  So easy to make and the best part was that I know exactly what was put into them. Tasty AND healthy!

So, when I was wandering through the produce section, I saw these big sweet potatoes and it got me thinking about crispy chips! Of course, thinking about sweet potato chips made me want them. 

I sliced the sweet potatoes on the mandolin so they were very thin.   

Then I placed them on the dehydrator trays and sprinkled them with pink Himalayan sea salt. In to the dehydrator they went.    

155* for 3 hours and voila! Crispy sweet potato chips that are not only tasty, but healthy, too.   

There were so many sweet potato slices that they didn’t all fit on the dehydrator trays. What to do, what to do? How about using the microwave to make some of the chips? 

  The end result was a bit different. They browned up some, not such a pretty melon-orange  color like the dehydrator chips. They were also a little cheesy, not so crispy.  
 In the end, I preferred the dehydrator chips, but 3 minutes in the microwave is so much faster if you’re in need of an immediate reward. 

 

Yummy Chocolate Brownie Fake-Out!

I made some Gluten-Free pasta tonight (rice and corn spaghetti from Barilla). The kids couldn’t tell the difference! The taste and texture was the best GF option I have found. Yay Barilla!!  


But, I decided to take the GF all the way through dessert! Whaaaat? Yup, GF brownies. I have been wanting to try this recipe ever since I came across it and I finally got the black beans the other night. Yup, that’s right-I said black beans! 

  
I can’t take credit for the idea, as I found the recipe on Chocolatecoveredkatie.com, but I did add a couple extra Tablespoons of cocoa and a few more mini chocolate chips… because I like chocolate… and because, well, why not?!!?
  
I have to say, I was a bit skeptical about using beans. I under-baked it (12 minutes) and that seemed to be perfect for the way I like my brownies. They were baked long enough to hold everything together but not long enough to dry them out. The best part was, my daughters had no idea they were made from beans! The taste was pretty good and the texture wasn’t bad, either. I will definitely make these again!

For the actual recipe link, and to visit the site, click here: http://chocolatecoveredkatie.com/2012/09/06/no-flour-black-bean-brownies/

Frozen Treat Fake-Out

Are you dieting? Or even just trying to make healthier food choices? Here’s a frozen treat fake-out that can be swapped for ice cream, sorbet, Italian ice, or fro-yo! 

  
If you love frozen treats and the tang of cranberries, then this frozen treat will fake-out your taste buds and make them think you are eating something naughty. 

To make it, I threw whole cranberries, cubed apples, and orange chunks (without peels) into a food processor with a little lemon juice. I made this one a bit chunky, but you can puree it as fine as you’d like. I didn’t add any sweetener to mine, as I like it a bit tart. You could add honey, or apple sauce if you feel you need to cut the tartness. 

When it reaches your desired consistency, freeze in an air-tight container. Once frozen, scoop with an ice cream scoop into your serving dish and enjoy!

Valentine’s Proposal Cake

As our news feeds light up with news of engagements this Valentine’s Weekend, I wanted to share the small part I took in planning one of these special proposals. Nate knew he wanted to propose to his love this weekend, and knew that he wanted to do it over dessert, but was also sure that he didn’t want her to bite into, or swallow, the ring. I combined two of her favorite desserts-red velvet cake and chocolate covered strawberries-to create this proposal dessert.

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A moist red velvet cake with cream cheese icing on the inside and cream cheese and buttercream icing on the outside. Rimmed with chocolate covered strawberries and a chocolate box on top.

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The chocolate box on the cake allowed for the ring to be hidden on the dessert without being consumed. The chocolate heart on the cover of the box says “Be Mine”. And a chocolate heart inside the box says “Forever”.

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Congratulations, Tanya and Nate!

 

 

Salted Caramel Chocolate Fudge

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Star ingredients to top this creamy chocolate fudge:

Caramel: Lovely Candy Company

Salt: Vanilla Bean infused sea salt from Fusion

I can’t wait for this to set up!

SUPER Cake

I was honored to make this very special 40th birthday cake for my friend, Mike. I had free creative license with this one; although it didn’t take me long to figure out what I was going to do. You see, this friend is a math teacher, with a young family… and also the singer in an 80s cover band (Flux Capacitor sings in full 80s dress-clothes, hair, eye-liner, and all)! I love singing and dancing along whenever they play; but I also love math! I knew I wanted to incorporate both into this cake-especially after seeing this split picture of him:

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So, here is what I came up with:

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Vanilla cake with raspberry filling, vanilla buttercream, and fondant coated. The Super Pi symbol on top represents the mathematical side of Mike, the little notebook papers around the base (that describe the many ways that Mike is super), represent the teacher side, the wave boarder represents the family man side (family vacations on the beach), and of course, the figure in front represents Mike’s rocker side.

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Happy Birthday, Mike!

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SpongeBob Birthday Cake

I created this SpongeBob Birthday Cake for a little guy’s Birthday. His mom is a friend of mine from Elementary School. This was a fun cake to make and even had some Patrick-topped cupcakes to go with it.

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Happy Birthday, Peyton!

Homemade Twix-like Candy Bars

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From caramel apples to candy bars! I had some leftover melted caramel from making caramel apples. I couldn’t waste perfectly yummy caramel; but what could I do with it? I thought for a minute and then remembered something I had made years ago. Homemade Twix bars! The recipe called for Lorna Doone shortbread cookies, but I don’t buy packaged baked goods and I didn’t feel like making shortbread. I wanted a more immediate reward! So, I took the dry ingredients to my white cake recipe and added vanilla and a stick of melted butter. Once combined, I pressed it into a pan and baked it off at 350 for 12-15 minutes. After it came out of the oven, and cooled, I added the leftover caramel on top and popped it into the fridge.

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Once it had set up, I cut into bars and dipped them into melted milk chocolate. I could hardly wait for the chocolate to set up! Oh so good!

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All Things Apple

Fall is here… that means apple picking at Windy Hill Orchards.

 

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We picked a few…bushels! (Actually, our total was almost 5 bushels!)

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Apple picking means All Things Apple!

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Plenty of fresh apples to eat.

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Lots of apple pie fillings to freeze.

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Dried apple chips.

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Caramel apples!

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Apples bring smiles : )

More things apple to come, for sure-as I have only just begun!

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