Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Ahoy Matey!

Ethan & I made these for his Kindergarten class to celebrate his 6th birthday. They were so fun and easy to do. Ethan had a great time stabbing the Jolly Rodger flags in the boats.
I found the cupcake liners and flags in a package at Joann's. We used Hershey's treasures for the boat and the ladders were made with melted milk chocolate being piped onto wax paper.
(We felt like they didn't look like pirate ships without the ladders)
We used tip 16 to pipe the waves.

Thursday, April 15, 2010

Shiver Me Timbers...it's Ethan's Birthday!

Happy 6th Birthday Ethan! This cake was suppose to be so easy to do and it looks that way but it was the pirate ship from you know where. The only thing that made it worth while was seeing Ethan's face when he discovered it the next morning. He loved it and had so much fun changing the pirates positions and messing with the waves. I was so thankful for Patti and Danielle's help once again. We just can't do birthday cakes on our own anymore and I love it. They are true friends. Who else would be crazy enough to stay up with me until 2 a.m. just to salvage a 6 year old boys dream of the best pirate ship ever. It worked. Thanks girls.
I wouldn't suggest ever making this cake unless you can make a chocolate cake that is more dense. The boxed cake mix was so soft that it was tearing all over the place. I baked this in 2 9" pans. I cut the cakes in half and stacked them on top of each other with frosting. I cut a small amount off the rounded bottom so they would lay flat and then I turned them on the side so that the part I just cut off was the bottom of the ship (I got this idea on line and from Danielle). I used 2 straws inserted in the middle of the cake to help hold the cake together. I tried to originally cut some of the middle of the cake out so that I would have 2 decks but that resulted in me having to start all over from scratch because it completely feel apart so I recommend keeping it simple.

I then frosted it using none other than Patti's yummy chocolate frosting. We used a knife to carve the wood planks in the side, pretzels for the railing, whoppers for cannons, Rolos for gold, candy bar cut smaller for the plank, fondant and sprinkles for the waves, 6 candles for the cannons coming out of the ship (this was a fun way to have Ethan blow out his candles) and Legos for the actors (Ethan loved the guy walking the plank.) For the flags I used the pattern on the 2010 Wilton yearbook. I printed them onto paper rather than use fondant like they suggested. I glued them on wooden dowels that I painted. The jolly rodgers flag in the front I found on the internet. For the base I covered a square of wood with blue wrapping paper and then covered it with plastic wrap to keep it clean.
Just when we thought that we were done the cake started cracking down the center going both ways. Nightmare. We piped frosting down the large cracks and leaned heavy cups along the entire cake to hold it together. I said a prayer and hoped the cake would be in one piece the next morning. My prayer was answered and it stayed together even when the cups were removed. The only thing that had changed was that it looked more square after being squished and you could see the cracks. Both things Ethan never noticed.

Sunday, April 4, 2010

Candy syrup!

I love Patti's tradition of making scones between Sunday sessions of General Conference. The girl has a gift-they are the best scones ever. I wish it was an every Sunday tradition! I'm sad to say it but this was our last Conference together before I move. How will I ever be able to make these amazingly delicious things on my own. I will be lost.
Hot and fresh ready to eat! Oh you think it looks yummy now...

Now we're talkin'. I made Lisa's buttermilk syrup a.k.a candy syrup and it became a match made in heaven. Here's the recipe:
1 cup sugar
1/2 cup buttermilk
1 Tbsp. Karo syrup
1 cube butter
1/2 tsp. baking soda
1/4 tsp. vanilla
Melt butter in medium saucepan. Add sugar and Karo syrup. Cook on low to medium heat for a few minutes or until sugar is almost dissolved (don't let it boil.) Add buttermilk and stir until sugar is dissolved. Add vanilla, turn off heat. Add baking soda, stir and enjoy. It is normal for it to separate once it has been sitting out for a little while so just give it another stir and enjoy it again and again.

Saturday, April 3, 2010

Butterscotch ganache

I tried the Bakerella Butterscotch ganache brownies(which tasted more like a cookie). It was good but I overcooked the brownies which made it a little crunchy. It tasted better the next day. Anyway here is her recipe that I used from Nestle's website
  • 2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup (2 sticks) butter or margarine, softened
  • 1 3/4 cups packed brown sugar
  • 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 2/3 cups (11-oz. pkg.) NESTLÉ® TOLL HOUSE® Butterscotch Flavored MorselsNESTLÉ® TOLL HOUSE® Butterscotch Flavored Morsels, divided
  • 1 cup chopped nuts


PREHEAT oven to 350° F.

COMBINE flour, baking powder and salt in a medium bowl. Beat butter, sugar and vanilla extract in a large mixing bowl until creamy. Beat in eggs. Gradually beat in flour mixture. Stir in 1 cup morsels and nuts. Spread into ungreased 13x9-inch baking pan. Sprinkle with remaining morsels.

BAKE for 30 to 40 minutes or until wooden pick inserted in center comes out clean. Cool in pan on wire rack.
I cooked these in 2 9" round pans for 24 minutes and that was too long. So just watch your time if using something other than a 9x13 pan.
After they were cooled I poured Butterscotch ganache (6 oz. butterscotch morsels, 6 Tbsp heavy whipping cream, 3 Tbsp unsalted butter, In a small saucepan, heat cream and butter until just before the boiling stage. Pour over the butterscotch morsels. Let stand about 20 seconds and stir until smooth) over the brownies. I then stacked them and poured chocolate ganach (substitute half semi-sweet and half milk chocolate chips for butterscotch) on top and layered with butterscotch chips.