Monday, August 27, 2007

The Grand Finale of Level 1

So, for our final cake of Level 1 Wilton Cake Decorating, we had to FINALLY finish the famous Wilton Rose. This rose has been taunting me for weeks and actually had me a little worried. I've wanted so badly to do well at this, that I thought that this would be my failure. This class was a lot of fun and after finally finishing a rose, I felt a great feeling of accomplishment :-) I LOVE the way this cake turned out! My teacher even told me I should consider being an instructor after finishing all of the levels!!

A few people have asked me what I do with all of these cakes after I decorate them. Most of them get taken to work and one of them has stayed at home for Blake. After playing with buttercream icing for hours on end, I have no desire to eat any of these cakes. Now, if only I could apply this principle to chocolate, pasta, etc...

On to the pics!

This was the first time I've iced a cake with ABSOLUTELY NO CRUMBS in the icing!!

Sunday, August 26, 2007

Practice Run

So my first "Kitchen" show is in September and the host and I decided on this brownie recipe. It comes from the Fall/Winter 2007 Pampered Chef Season's Best cookbook. I was told that before the show, I would need to practice the recipe 2 or 3 times so that when the time comes, I know what the heck I'm talking about. After running through the recipe once, I realised I might have to do this all 3 times. It's an easy recipe, but when you're trying to explain what you're doing and explain the products and do a new recipe, things tend to get mixed up and a little difficult. Regardless, I made it through the recipe and these brownies are like HEAVEN!!! Sweet, salty, chocolate, caramel....mmmmmmm...............
(pardon the bad lighting for the pics...)

Warm Nutty Caramel Brownies (Fall/Winter '07 Pampered Chef Season's Best)

1 tsp. vegetable oil
1 package (12 ounces) semi-sweet chocolate morsels, divided
1 package (18-21 ounces) brownie mix (plus ingredients to make cake-like brownies)
3/4 cup packed brown sugar, divided
1 cup salted mixed nuts, divided
5 rolls (1.7 ounces each) milk chocolate-covered chew caramels, divided (40 pieces total) {I used ROLOS}

- Preheat oven to 375F. Lightly brush Large Bar Pan with oil using Chef's Silicone Basting Brush. Chop 1 1/2 cups of the chocolate morsels using Food Chopper. In Classic Batter Bowl, combine brownie mix, water, oil, eggs and 1/4 cup of the brown sugar; mix well. Fold in chopped chocolate; pour batter into bar pan, spreading evenly using Small Mix 'N Scraper.

- Chop nuts using Food Chopper. Combine half of the nuts and remaining 1/2 cup brown sugar; sprinkle evenly over brownie batter. Bake 20-22 minutes or until wooden pick inserted in center comes out clean.

- Meanwhile, using Utility Knife, cut 16 caramels into quarters. Place remaining 1/2 cup chocolate morsels in prep bowl; microwave on HIGH 1 minute or until melted, stirring after each 20 second interval. Spoon melted chocolate into resealable bag; set aside.

- Remove bar pan from oven to Stackable Cooling Rack. Immediately press remaining 24 caramels evenly into brownie in four rows of six caramels each. Sprinkle quarted caramels and remaining nuts over brownies. Trim corner of chocolate-filled bag with Utility Knife; drizzle chocolate evenly over brownies. Cut into squares; serve warm.

Monday, August 20, 2007

Cake #2 for Class!

This cake was a little tough! We had to ice the cake two different colors (white on top, yellow on the sides) and it is WAY harder than it looks! After that, things got much easier. What do you think?

Monday, August 13, 2007

First Class Cake

I LOVE THIS CLASS!!! Mom and I had a blast and we got a really cute cake out of it. That's right, I made the cake, filled it, iced it and then decorated it. The thing I have a little trouble with is writing, but I think I've mastered the little stars.

Sunday, August 12, 2007

Ready for Cake Class

Mom and I signed up for the Wilton Cake Decorating class at Michael's. For our first class we basically just watched the instructor while she showed us how to make the cake and icing. She also showed us how to properly ice a cake. For our homework for class two, we had to have a two-layer cake iced and ready to be decorated along with 8 different types and colors of icing in Tupperware so that we can use that for practicing and the decorating. Here is my cake iced and ready to go:

Sunday, August 5, 2007

Coconut Macaroons

I was walking through the grocery store feeling a little bit frustrated because I had forgotten to pick out a new recipe to try this week so I picked up a package of Baker's Coconut and looked on the back. Low and behold, my recipe for this week! They turned out great!

Coconut Macaroons

1 pkg. (14 oz.) Baker's Angel Flake Coconut
2/3 cup sugar
6 tbsp. flour
1/4 tsp. salt
4 egg whites
1 tsp. almond extract

-Mix coconut, sugar, flour, and salt in large bowl. Stgir in egg whites and almond extract until well blended. Drop by tablespoons onto greased floured cookie sheets.

-Bake at 325 degrees for 20 minutes or until edges of cookies are golden brown. Immediately remove from cookie sheets onto wire racks. Cool completely.

Saturday, August 4, 2007

Pampered Chef

Well, I finally did it. I have become an Independent Consultant with The Pampered Chef! A lot of people so far have said, "It was only a matter of time." And they were right. Today I got my kit in the mail (3 days early!) and while sitting in the middle of the living room, excitedly unpacking everything, I know I must have looked like a 9 year old child on Christmas morning (except with knives, pans, and lots of kitchen goodies). Here is everything I got in my kit minus the large black carrying tote I received to carry everything in:

P.S. If anyone would like to host a show, let me know!