A blog about everything even cooking

the dream of a bakery

the cake class

Ive been meaning to blog more..I really have! But oh well here I am back AGAIN 🙂

I really have fallen in love with my cake decorating class, im at the point where I wait every week for Tuesday to come and that is really making me feel so much more confident about giving my life and career to  baking. The first class we decorated cookies, and the second class cake. We have learned to make dots, stars and borders and I used what I learned to make a cake for my grandparents that are visiting. When I was finished with the cake I couldn’t believe that I had learned so much in only 2 classes. I cant wait to finish the other 2 courses and start making master pieces.

Im going to try to keep up with blogging and keep everyone updated with the class 🙂

Thank you for reading and I hope everyone has a beautiful sunday and rest of the week!

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Classic white cake – lemon

 

I usually don’t like making cakes, I feel like making the batter doesn’t take enough time and it requires no skill. There is one cake I will never get sick of making though and that  is this cake, Classic white, and that is because for this cake you don’t just mix everything together and add eggs..you also have to beat together egg whites “until stiff peaks form” and then carefully fold them in. This cake is beautiful and if you choose to add lemon flavoring..its perfect for spring! I got the recipe from my all american cookery book.

 

The recipe

 

 

 
 
 
 

 

 

Very easy just start by creaming the sugar and butter which is just mixing the two.

butter and sugar

 
 
 
 

 

 
 
 

Then combine the flour and baking powder, add to the butter and sugar mixture alternately with one cup of milk

 

..mix well after each addition. Add the salt and extracts, instead of lemon you could do almond, just vanilla, maple, coconut, or even walnut.

 

the extracts and salt

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

This is where it gets fun 🙂 beat the 6 egg whites until stiff peak forms (you can save the yolks and make a yellow cake! I’ll post the recipe for that cake next time) after gently folk in to the batter.

 

cake batter

 

 

 
 
 
 
 
 

Divide the batter equally in to two cake pans that are buttered and floured (make sure you flour the pans, I didn’t think it necessary and a bit of the cake stuck to the bottom even though the pans were greased)

 

Bake for 25 to 30 minutes at 375, if the cake starts browning too quickly, cover the cakes with tin foil, then let them continue baking.

the finished cake

 

I finished the cake with lemon icing that was perfect with the cake..heres the recipe:

frosting:

3 tablespoons butter

3 cups sifted powder sugar

2 tablespoons lemon juice

1 tablespoon water

dash of salt

Just combined the ingredients in a bowl with a whisk till combined.

I also topped the cake with strawberries because my best friend said it would look good..and she was right..not only looked good but tasted amazing!!

Hope you all have an amazing weekend and an awesome Easter Sunday!


Coconut cream pie…..CAKE!

If you like cake or maybe coconut or cream cheese try this cake!!!! It was honestly amazing! I made this cake when my friend was over this past weekend and it was awesome! Now if you do make this cake  make sure you serve it after it spends the night in the fridge, its amazing cold :).  I found this recipe in Bon Appetit magazine, this cake is from a resteraunt called “Hominy Grill” and they call it “Classic coconut cake” but I thought coconut cream pie cake was a more appropriate name since it describes the cake perfectly. Now this is a dense dense cake, all you need is one slice..you do not go back for seconds with this one..the cake is like a meal! It took me a while to realize this cake was like coconut creme pie though..but if after reading this you try the recipe and finish the cake and let it cool over night…and then the next day you take a bit you’ll realize what i mean right away.

k so for this recipe you will need:

for the cake:

  • nonstick vegetable spray
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 1/2  cups sweetened flaked coconut
  • 1 cup buttermilk
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 2 cups sugar
  • 1 cup butter
  • 5 egg yolks
  • 4 eggs whites

for the frosting

  • 31/2 cups powdered sugar
  • 1  8 ounce package of cream cheese
  • 1/2 cup butter
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • extra coconut to cover the beautiful cake

Cake:

K, so to start preheat the oven to 350 and coat two 9 inch cake pans with nonstick spray..set aside. Mix the flour and coconut in a medium bowl set aside. Whisk buttermilk and baking soda in a small bowl(..k little insider help..don’t use a coffee cup or something that can barely hold a cup..the buttermilk mixture expands so use a big enough bowl so you don’t have to dirty up 3 dishes for this one step haha) set aside.

I took this after it started growing so before and

and after

Beat sugar, and butter in a large bowl until light and fluffy…2 minutes..add the egg yolks and beat to blend. Add the flour mixture in 3 additions alternately with buttermilk mixture in 2 additions..beating just to blend.

  Using clean dry beaters, beat egg whites and 1/4 teaspoon salt in another large bowl until peaks form. Add 1/3 of egg white mixture to batter and fold in just to blend. Fold in remaining egg white mixture in two additions.

before adding the egg whites

 

batter with the egg whites added

Divide the batter between the two cake pans and bake the cakes for about 35  minutes. When the cakes are done remove them from the pans and let them cool on racks.

Frosting:

Use an electric mixer and beat sugar, cream cheese, butter and vanilla in a large bowl until blended. When the cake has cooled start frosting and when the cake is completely covered with this deliciousness start topping with more coconut…I sprinkled coconut all over, even on the sides and it came out perfect 🙂 .

finished 🙂

yummy

I hope you decide to give this cake a try..its worth it.

Hope you all have an awesome Friday and amazing weekend!!! 🙂


A saturday in the kitchen : French Bread.

Saturday was quite lovely, the sun was shining out and for the first time in quite a while, it was real California weather. I had no plans, and while thinking about what I was to spend my day doing I realized I hadn’t made bread in at least a month and a half…this was far too long for a baker! I got out the “American Cooking” cook book and decided to make French bread. French bread is so much fun to make, so simple! Six ingredients and that is it.

Here is the recipe I used :

   

The recipe is pretty simple, you start by dissolving the yeast in warm water (around 105-115) no warmer no cooler! You don’t want to kill the yeast but you need it to activate. Then you add the sugar and (I personally always wait to add the salt till I start adding the last of the flour) just because salt can kill yeast and I’m paranoid…I have found that with this recipe 4 cups of flour works much better than 4 1/2 cups. With this recipe you don’t knead the dough before letting it rise or put the dough in a clean greased bowl to rise, you leave the dough in the original bowl. Before I leave my dough to rise in the microwave (that’s just where I’ve always let mine rise) I always let the microwave run for two minutes and then put the dough in, this helps the dough rise faster and in most cases cuts the rising time in half! 

before

after 🙂

 

 

After the dough has risen get a large cutting board or clean surface and lightly flour it, then cut the dough in half and take on half and start rolling it out to a rectangle at the shape of 10 inches by 14.

Then start rolling the dough from the broadest side and pinch the dough together, then start shaping the dough in to an 18 inch long loaf  and place on a prepared pan that is greased and lightly covered with corn meal. Repeat with the next piece of dough. Take a knife and slash the bread four times.

 Then cover the dough with a towel and let rise in a warm spot till doubled in size. After the dough has risen again and is finally ready to be baked pre heat the oven to 425 and lightly brush the loaves with ice water. When the oven is ready bake for 10 minutes. Lower the heat to 325, brush with ice water again and let finish baking for 40 minutes. When the bread is done it will be golden, and when tapped on the bottom it will sound hallow. Make sure that the bread is spread out far enough away from each other so that the heat can circulate other wise the bread will bake on top but not on the sides or very middle. When the bread is finished let cool for about 10 minutes and then dig in! This bread is awesome, I made three small loaves and gave two away to my neighbors.

I hope you all have an awesome Monday and amazing week!! 🙂

beautiful


Peanut butter cake

A few days ago my brother asked me if I could make brownies but with peanut butter instead of chocolate, and it immediately reminded me of peanut butter cake..which I had made a few years prior just to try out. This cake is amazing to say the least, the actual cake is light and fluffy and then there is a topping and..well..lets just say its like eating a cake that’s topped with cookie. It’s a great easy recipe that everyone loves..even those who don’t eat peanut butter love this!

For this recipe you will need the following:

the topping :

1/2 cup flour

1/2 cup brown sugar (packed)

1/4 cup peanut butter

3 tablespoons butter

the lovely cake:

2 cups flour

1 cup brown sugar (packed)

2 teaspoons baking powder

1/2 teaspoon baking soda

1/4 teaspoon salt

1 cup milk

1/2 cup peanut butter

3 tablespoons honey

2 eggs

1/4 cup butter (softened)

K, now for the topping get a small bowl and stir together the flour  and the brown sugar. Then using a pastry cutter (or a fork, anything similar) cut in the peanut butter and the butter till mixture becomes coarse crumbs. Set aside 🙂

In a large mixing bowl stir together the flour and brown sugar, baking powder, baking soda and salt. Add the milk, peanut butter, honey, eggs, and butter. Beat with an electric mixer on lowest speed till combined, then beat on high-speed for 3 minutes (when done it should look like a tan cream soup..mm haha.

Now pour batter in to either a greased 13x9x2 inch pan or two greased 9x8x2 ( i used the two 9x8x2 pans) and spread the batter evenly. Sprinkle the topping on and bake at 375 for about 30 minutes.

Some tips:

If the top starts browning or burning before the cake is done, cover lightly with aluminum foil and lower the temperature around 5 to 10 degrees. This cake is amazing, but don’t cook it too long because then it isn’t, I have found that if you test the cake with a toothpick in the middle and it comes out with a few crumbs its done…dont wait till its clean because then its dry.

This cake is amazing fresh from the oven, take a chance and make this cake even if you don’t love peanut butter because this cake may just convert you :).

 

 Oh and sorry no pictures…my camera was dead and I couldn’t find any batteries but they both came out beautifully!

Have an awesome sunday!


My Bucket List…at the moment

On February 11th I randomly decided I wanted a bucket list. I grabbed a piece of paper from my printer, a pen and started jotting down everything I needed to complete before dying even though..at the moment..I am only 16 :). I had been wanting to make a list for the longest time though, the reason being: I watch travel shows and documentaries and I’m always learning about awesome new stuff that I one day would like to try but then I forget exactly what it was…but those days are over! Now I just started this list so it is short, I am adding to it when I think of something new and I keep a copy with me now just in case I complete something :). I’m really quite proud of my little list, some things on it are odd but its my list. So here it is…my bucket list at the moment.

  1. See Some Like it Hot in theaters. (this got completed last night!!! 🙂 ) 
  2. Sneak in to a concert (I heard one of the dj’s on KROQ talking about sneaking in to a Foo Fighters concert and I thought that would be fun)
  3. Visit New Zealand (Even if I don’t get my dream of  living there..I at least want to visit)
  4. Go in those office buildings that are across the street from the highschool (Yes..I know very random but I have lived near these office buildings for 15 years now and I have never been inside and its killing me! So im going in 🙂 )
  5. Meet my future husband Marcus Mumford (Lead singer of Mumford and sons) and give him a copy of my favorite book..leotas Garden..(this one would be odd…but it isn’t because Mr. Mumford loves books)
  6. Meet Batman and get a picture with him. (Yes..this one may be difficult to complete..I am hoping that at Grauman’s chinese theater they have a batman..I know they have a Spiderman..but Spiderman sucks)
  7. Go on a treasure hunt. (I love the movie Goonies..and I don’t care what anyone thinks..I am going on a treasure hunt!)
  8. Swim with dolphins. (it just seems like something you should do)
  9. Interview Nathan..wait for it…Willet (lead singer of my favorite band The Cold War Kids)
  10. Drink wine in Italy. (from the pictures I’ve seen Italy is gorgeous and it just seems like that while your there you should grab a glass)
  11. Have a baguette sword fight in front of the Eiffel Tower. (this is something I have wanted to do since I was little and it will happen 🙂 )
  12. Live in a cottage for any amount of time. (Cottages are awesome)
  13. Open a bakery. (it NEEDS to happen)
  14. Go sky diving…oh yes. (I’m terrified of heights..but this seems like something that would be totally liberating)
  15. Sled in the Swiss alps. (I’m not sure why but it has to happen)

So at the moment my list has 15 items, one of which has already been completed..by the way it was amazing seeing my favorite film on the big screen!

Look at it...in all its glory!!

Keep havin an awesome week and make your self a bucket list..its awesome!


peanut butter cookies*

Okay so I have been wanting to type up this recipe for the longest time and I finally have free time today..so much free time that I plan on dying my hair, relaxing with a mud mask, making these cookies for my broken brother 🙂 and watching an awesome movie…maybe Narnia? I added my own twist to this recipe one night when my brother and his friends wanted  peanut butter cookies..now I use to suck at making peanut butter cookies but this recipe is awesome it works..your cookies will be amazing!.

For this recipe you need the following:

  • 1/2 cup butter
  • 1/2 cup peanut butter
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1/2 cup packed brown sugar
  • 3 tablespoons cactus honey powder
  • 1 tablespoon honey
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 egg
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla
  • 1 1/4 cups flour
  • extra sugar 🙂

In a large bowl start by beating the butter and peanut butter with an electric mixer on medium speed for 30 seconds (do it..30 seconds..not 20..30 🙂 ). Add the sugar, brown sugar, cactus honey powder, honey, baking soda and baking powder. Beat till combined, scraping the sides of the bowl as needed. Beat in the egg and vanilla till combined. Beat in as much of the flour as you can with the mixer..stir in the rest. Shape the dough in to 1 inch balls ( I use a melon baller)(don’t make them any bigger because then they wont be as good) roll in additional sugar to coat and place on an ungreased cookie sheet…flatten with fork making the crisscross marks. Bake the cookies at 375 for about 8 minutes. Let the cookies cool a minute on the sheet before you transfer them to a wire rack.

this dough is so easy to work with you'll love it!

I could eat a million

I hope you try this recipe and love it!

Have an awesome weekend!!

*I need an idea for a name for my peanut butter cookies..it would be awesome if some how the name could involve mumford and sons because on the piece of paper that had this recipe written down was also a song by them that I didnt want to forget.


An adventure in making Challah (bread)

Yesterday I had the entire day free so I decided I would try making a new bread…simple enough right? noooo! Challah bread was a challenge! Not making the dough but braiding the dough. I have made pretzels a million times and bread with twisted tops but never something like this.

Now I’m pretty sure I didn’t get the braiding quite right but I’m okay with that, it was my first time and learning how to braid the bread was sorta frustrating (I had a little breakdown haha) so I’m just glad it came out looking that good.  When the bread was finally done I grabbed a giant slice, this was the best bread I had ever made!! Everyone needs to make this bread at least once because it is gorgeous! So here is the recipe  🙂

I got the recipe from my Grandma’s cookbook “Essentials of Baking”

for this recipe you will need:

  • 2 packages of active dry yeast (5 teaspoons)
  • 1 cup warm water (around 110-115)
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 3 large eggs and 1 for the glaze
  • 5 cups of flour
  • 2 teaspoons salt
  • 1/2 cup butter
  • poppy seeds if you want

Start by dissolving the yeast in warm water and let stand for about 5 minutes. Use a wooden spoon to stir in the sugar, 3 eggs, 4 1/2 cups of flour, salt, and the butter  until the dough comes together. Turn the dough on to a lightly floured surface and knead, working in the remaining flour as necessary to keep the dough from being too sticky, until the dough is smooth and elastic (you can pull the dough without it breaking off and everything’s worked in) around 7 minutes. Do not add to much flour. The dough should stay soft and will become less sticky with kneading.

Form the dough into a ball and place in a lightly oiled bowl. Cover the bowl with a damp kitchen towel and let the dough rise in a warm spot for 2 hours until its doubled in size (I always let my dough rise in the microwave).

at the beginning

2 hours later

 Line a baking sheet with parchment paper, punch down the dough and roll out on to a clean work surface (don’t flour the surface, you’ll want to but it’s not needed trust me 🙂 )

To make the 4 strand braid’s, cut the dough into 4 equal pieces with a sharp knife

 and using your palms start in the center and working outward, elongate 1 piece by rolling it gently against the work surface with even pressure until you have formed a rope as long as the prepared pan. Repeat with the remaining pieces. And this is where it gets difficult..

Line up the 4 strands in front of you horizontally, Cross the strand farthest from you across the other 3 strands so that it is now nearest you. Then cross the strand that is now next to it across the other 2 strands away from you. Position the outside strands so that they are away from the center ones and position the center 2 strands perfectly horizontal. Bring the strand nearest you down between the 2 horizontal strands. Bring the strand farthest from you up and across the opposite side. Again, bring the strand farthest from you down between the 2 straight strands. Bring the strand nearest you up and across to the opposite side. Starting from the strand nearest you, repeat the braiding until you reach the ends of the ropes. Pinch them together and at the bottom and tuck the strands under at the ends.

Place the braided loaf on the prepared pan and cover and let rise again for about an hour until it doubles in size, and is spongy to touch.

Preheat the oven to 350 and brush the bread with the beaten egg and sprinkle with the seeds,

ready for the oven

bake the braid until it is nicely brown and sounds hollow when tapped on the bottom. After 30-35 minutes take out let cool on a wire rack..wait about 15 minutes before cutting in so your bread doesnt dry up.

Before I tucked the strands under the loaf I cut off some excess and used it to make some knots that came out beautifully after 25 minutes in a 350 oven.

If your bread does start to brown and get dark too early just cover it loosely with aluminum foil and continue baking…I had to do  this with mine.

🙂 I hope you all continue to have an awesome week!!


French Loaves with a twist top

Yesterday I went  shopping with my friend, as I was getting ready I grabbed my boots and threw one of them on the bed while I put the other on and a giant spider crawled out of my boot and onto my bed!!!! As I started to scream it ran under my sheets and I couldn’t find it so I called my dad and asked him to bring home one of those bug bomb things. When I arrived home I decided I would spend the day making bread since I was much to terrified to go in my room. Before I started I ran in my room grabbed my thermometer, my american cooking cookbook and my camera..I then (with the help of my dad) covered my computer and radio and printer with towels and set off the bug fogger. With that whole spider scare behind me I headed out to my kitchen and started making bread..now I havent made bread in a few months so I was terribly excited. I looked through my cookery book and chose French Loaves with a twist top, bread that is amazing toasted with honey.

So I started making the bread and of course I put on some music (you must have music on when you bake and cook). Now when you cook the music has to be (of course this is just my opinion) Big Band music…but when you bake…thats when you turn on some rock music..any type..Yesterday I turned to an awesome band called “Flogging Molly”. It is SO much fun to bake when Flogging Molly is on..I really cant explain why..just go and bake with Flogging Molly on and you’ll get it. Anyways I get the butter melted and the milk warmed and then combined and I pour it over the yeast and then mix till its dissolved. I then go out to the freezer in the garage and get my giant bag of flour and add in the 2 cups..then mix…then 2 cups..then mix..then again 2 cups, when it’s all combined I add in the salt last..just because im paranoid the salt will still kill the yeast so I always add it last. I the set the dough on a cutting board..wash the bowl, spray it with cooking spray..place the dough in the bowl and put a towel over the top and let rise for an hour (I always let mine rise in the microwave). No Reservations…here I come (:

After waiting close to an hour I check on my dough again…

Its ready!! I wash my hands, lightly flour my cutting board and turn the dough out on to it. I knead the dough until it’s absolutely perfect..meaning its smooth and there are no lumps and its soft and perfect. Then I cut off the 1 cup of dough (for the twist top) and then cut the dough in to equal halves. I then take one piece of dough and form in to an oblong loaf and then set it on the pan I already greased..I then do the same with the other half of the dough. Then this is the part that was most difficult for me the first time I made this bread…the twist top..(this gets easier after you’ve made pretzels a few times) anyways you take the extra dough and divide it in half..then you take one half and roll it out as long as you can get it..I then like to pick it up and stretch it out (softly) with my hands until it is double the size of the oblong loaves. Now you get to twist it YAY! haha, I put my pointer finger in the middle, then sharply twist it..then just keep twisting it till your done and place it one the bread

Now you set the bread aside and let it rise until doubled in size (about 30 to 50 minutes)..after waiting you beat one egg and brush the bread with it..then you slide the bread in the oven at 350 degrees and bake (the book says 20 but mine takes 30) for 20-30 minutes and then you get this.

Allow the bread to cool for at least 20 minutes (if you cut it too soon the bread will dry out) and then enjoy! This bread is beautiful!! it’s a pretty sweet bread so it doesn’t go well with soups but its amazing with breakfast or as a snack.

Oh and back to the spider..later when it was safe to go  back in my room and I was pulling the sheets off my bed to wash em I found the spider..dead..under my covers so its all good haha (:

Have an amazing weekend!!!

Oh and Daisy..my lovely dog, of course joined me in the kitchen while I made this bread :).


From the Seas

The picture that I have chosen for my header is of me looking up..in the right corner it says “From the Seas” which most think I put just because I live near the coast or because I love the ocean. From the seas is what the pirates of the golden age of piracy would say when asked where they were from when caught by the british navy. I read that fact in a book about Black Bart (my favorite pirate) and I thought it was so cool that instead of acknowledging their actual home country where they were from the men   (most of them being from Ireland or Britain at the time) would simply say “From the Seas” it’s so cool to me..I love pirates! I think they are so interesting especially Black Bart because of the way he led his men..setting up great rules (he didn’t even allow gambling or women on his ship). One day when im older and im finally opening my first bakery I want the name to have something to do with pirates..so lately “From the Seas” has been my obsession because I spend quite a bit of time thinking of different names that would work for a bakery..ex “From the Seas cafe”.

 

Anyways..just random facts and thoughts..Have a great weekend!!