Sunday, August 29, 2010

First Time Using Fondant - Alphabet Blocks for a Baby Shower

After having taken a few classes, I was feeling a little more confident to work with fondant. Here are the photos of my first go. 

Rice Krispies Squares are the most awesome material to build things with!!!! I covered mine in buttercream frosting before coating them in rolled fondant

Ta da! Fondant covered blocks!

The completed trim

I love the colours, though really any colour can be substituted.
Cut-outs were placed on the sides of the blocks except for one.

The letters on the blank sides of the blocks
The cake - Butter Pecan cake with Maple Cinnamon pastry cream - before the addition of the blocks
The finished cake

Saturday, August 28, 2010

My New Favourite Meal of the Day!

Over the last two weeks, I have been home alone (for the most part) and felt the need to take advantage of having the kitchen at my full disposal! Naturally, this is one of those situations that one must take full advantage of and my girlfriend, Jen, and I definitely did just that this past weekend. I had a different plan originally but when plans changed, Jen stuck around to help me be able to continue to pull through with the originally scheduled plans: Sunday Morning Brunch! 

I have always enjoyed brunch at places like The Old Mill (in Toronto) where we have shared many family meals in the past but I have never actually hosted a brunch of my own. I have to say, I feel that my next party will definitely be a brunch. We managed to prepare the majority of the food beforehand, so we really didn't have much to do the morning of. 

Now to the important bit... The Menu! Our bunch consisted of Scones with rosemary ham and cheese or strawberry peach jam (which will be included in another post), fresh fruit, coffee, juice and a banana chocolate chip loaf that was to die for.

The scones were a basic recipe from Ricardo Larivée on the Food Network (recipe found here). They are so simple to make - less than 5 minutes to mix - and taste awesome. They really are the sort of scones that are a blank canvas for so many different directions of flavour. We went really simple with ours but these could really go sweet or savory simply depending on the toppings selected. The only thing that I would change next time is that I would make them thicker since they don't rise too much :)

Now, I know in previous posts that I have tooted the horn of some of the kitchen gadgets that hold a very special place in my heart. While I promise that Cuisinart and I aren't having an affair (though what an affair it would be) and I am not being paid to plug their products (though I wouldn't be opposed to it), I have another Cuisinart love! My BREADMAKER! My Mum gave it to me as a gift 3 years ago for my birthday and it has been such an amazing appliance to have in my kitchen. The Cuisinart 2-lb Bread Maker is the model I have and it's perfect for making loaves of bread, pizza dough, quick breads and even jam! Not to mention, it's just the cutest machine ever! 

For our brunch we made banana chocolate chip loaf which was a first time for me both in the bread maker and otherwise. For those who have never used a bread machine, the recipes are usually pretty straight forward but the ingredients have to be put in the bread pan in a specific order. The liquids must go in first, followed by the flour(s) and then topped off with the yeast. 

The recipe that we used is from the Cuisinart manual that comes with the machine except that instead of 3/4 of a cup of walnuts (I do not enjoy walnuts at all!), we substituted 3/4 of a cup of semi-sweet chocolate chips. 

I must tell you, it was DELIGHTFUL and DELICIOUS! There is something so exciting about looking in the window of the bread maker, opening the door and seeing this:

Hello lovely cake! I am your mummy and I will love every last crumb of you!
Perfectly golden and yummy!

A little slice of heaven! (Does anyone else adore the 'bum' of a loaf of bread as much as I do?)

So the decision has been made... My next gathering will be brunch! With all of the fantastic-ness that it brings, who would ever say no to brunch?

Just to give you a sample, here is the photo evidence of our delicious meal :)

Now go make someone you love brunch! 

Happy Cooking!!!!