Monday, February 28, 2011

Painting in the backyard

Yes, I know it is February in Minnesota but enough with the snow already! The other day I wanted to get outside but I wasn't prepared to risk the slippery sidewalks (and many unshoveled! What is wrong with people? It's been DAYS since our last big snow. Yes, shoveling sucks but get out there and do it!!!!)

I was looking longingly at the sunny backyard, imagining the garden I want to put in when spring finally arrives and willing all the snow to melt. Then it dawned on me that the yard was one big blank canvas. I decided to do some painting with a spray bottle filled with colored water. It was really fun and would be a great project for kids! And if you screw up - well, it will melt (or more likely this winter - get a fresh coating of snow) in just a few days.

Thursday, February 24, 2011


My homework from several days ago - try out all these goods from the bakeshop so I know the flavor profile when customers ask. Life sure is tough, sometimes.

Sunday, February 20, 2011

What a Hoot!

I made this cake for a baby shower several weeks ago (maybe even a month now). The cake is a chocolate cake, using this recipe from Hersheys website:

The frosting is my go-to Swiss buttercream recipe (12 oz sugar, 8 oz egg whites, 16 oz butter, flavoring) and a chocolate ganache (chocolate and cream, cooled and whipped) for the branches and border.

Monday, February 14, 2011

Happy Valentine's Day!

Valentine's Day is upon us, and heart-shaped treats are a must! As for me, I've started my externship (very much like an internship but it comes at the end of the program) and will be working all day, decorating and boxing cupcakes for people to bring home to their sweethearts. Oh, the glamour of it all!

We learned to make homemade marshmallows in class a couple weeks ago. I have been meaning to post the recipe, but it's all in weighed in grams - which is a pain in the tush. Instead, here's a great post on another blog (with pictures!) that shows you how to make your own marshmallows. One thing I would do differently - if you're going to dip them in chocolate, don't coat your pan in confectioner's sugar & cornstarch. It makes it hard for the chocolate to adhere. Instead, spray your pan with cooking spray. Also, no worries if you don't have vanilla paste. Just add vanilla extract once you take the pan off the heat.

Friday, February 11, 2011

Under the Sea

Here's a picture of my sugar sculpture from my very last class at Le Cordon Bleu. We had to use poured/casted sugar, blown sugar, a pulled sugar ribbon, and "bubble sugar". I knew I wanted to do an underwater theme and was excited to create a mermaid. The "coral" is made by pouring hot sugar into a (heat safe) bowl of ice. Pretty cool, right? The bubble sugar is the lacy clear pieces in the back. It's made by pouring hot sugar on a piece of parchment that has alcohol on it. The alcohol makes the little bubbles in the sugar. The mermaid's hair and scales are pulled sugar. Overall, I'm pretty happy with it.