Monday, July 30, 2018

Strawberry Birthday Cake

Strawberry Cake, Rosette Cake, Pink Birthday Party Cake, Rainbow CandlesBirthdays aren't just for kids, and should always be celebrated as something special.  And, of course, there should always be cake.  I've experimented with many variations of strawberry cakes over the years, from using fresh strawberries, to making a strawberry reduction, and now, with freeze-dried strawberries, which I absolutely love.

I've never cared for how fresh strawberries turn out when baked into batters - they not only contribute too much moisture, but they lose their color and look sort of unappealing after baking.  Making a reduction or puree with the berries to stir into the batter works a bit better, but the result still wasn't quite what I wanted, and the color of the cake ended up looking more brown than pink.

What I love about the freeze-dried strawberries, though, is their beautiful bright color and intense strawberry flavor, which makes them really perfect for flavoring a cake.

Thursday, July 12, 2018

Dark Chocolate Pudding

Chocolate Pudding, Chocolate Desserts, Chocolate Custard, Desserts in JarsWe are, or rather, my husband is, in the process of building a pergola on our back patio.  We have a huge maple tree that shades the grass for the majority of the day, but the patio ends up unusable except for the early morning and evening, as it sits in full southern sun and becomes unbearably hot during the day.

The pergola is nearly done, and just needs some additional cross beams on the top, and it's looking so beautiful already...

Monday, July 9, 2018

Pies, etc.

Strawberry Blueberry Pie, Pie, Four Seasons Pie, Holiday BakingIt's been a summer of pie.  Not enough pie, if you ask my husband, but there have been berry pies, creamy tarts, and and some very pretty pie crust designs.  And with my current posting schedule of one recipe each week, I knew I'd never be able to share all these pies with you unless I combined them into one post, so today, you get four pies to inspire you to bake up something lovely yourself...

Monday, July 2, 2018

Red, White and Blue Sprinkles Cake

4th of July Cake, Red White and Blue Cake, Sprinkles Cake, Paper Straws, Paper Candles, Cake, 4th of July Desserts, 4th of July BakingAbout five or six years ago when I started baking more and more cakes, I took a basic cake decorating class at a local bakery in Denver.  The advantage to taking a cake decorating class at an actual bakery instead of attending the classes offered at Michaels craft stores, is that the bakery provided all of the tools, cake and frosting, and all I had to do was to show up there after work in the evenings, without having to buy any decorating kits or take the time to bake and bring in my own cake to decorate.  Although it was more expensive than the Michaels classes, I think the cost ends up about the same in the end, since the more expensive class was all-inclusive, and completely worth it if you're not sure you want or need all those tools until after you take the class, not to mention, having to prepare your own cake in the middle of a busy week.  These days, of course, pretty much anything you want to learn, you can do so by watching free video tutorials on YouTube, although I really enjoyed the classroom environment, seeing how others were decorating their cakes, and being able to ask questions of the teacher.