Monday, July 30, 2012

Angry Birds Cupcakes

See how red they are?  They were red, but not as red as this picture.  The camera makes it look better.  Wish it did the same for me.
  So as with most things, I am behind the times.  I mean I didn't start playing Angry Birds until a few months back.  But as also is my issue, I become obsessed and play all the versions any free second I have.

  I may have issues.

  Anyway when one of Hubbies friends at work asked me to make her some Angry Birds cupcakes I said sure, after yelling at Hubby for not giving me like 4 weeks notice.  Anyway they turned out just fine, I nearly lost my mind when my stupid edible printer would not work.  I mean I seriously almost drop kicked that sucker.  Only saving grace was I left it alone over night and the next day it was fine.  Whatever, I am still mad at it.

  So I made cupcakes from scratch as that is what she asked for, and I make cupcake toppers like I have before and I just used a bunch of colourful butter cream.
The pictures Hubby printed out for me.

  So to start I printed out the pictures, I told Hubby to make them smaller as I was in no mood to roll out a bunch of fondant after the printer was pissing me off.  Then I rolled out a mixture of half fondant half gum paste, using my pasta roller of course.  Then I brushed a little water on the fondant and placed a strip of pictures on top.  I planned to use a cookie cutter to get them to cut out nicely.  And of course it didn't work, it would cause the picture to tear a bit.  So then I thought I would cut out the picture before putting them on the fondant.  And that worked okay.  I don't know, something about being in a rush really makes me screw things up.

And this is Pork Chop, in his Perry the Platypus PJs, making a really weird face.  What else is new.

  Anyway, I did the toppers a few nights ahead so they would dry right out.

  Then I made two batches of cupcakes, using these recipes that I love from Sugarlicious.  The chocolate ones are so dense and moist, honestly they are better than....well, you know.  I cannot say it, Hubby may read this you know.  Anyway they are good!

Icing paper goes in.

And Pork Chop waiting, so he can eat the left over paper.  
   So once they were baked I picked out the colours I wanted to make my icing.  I made my regular old butter cream, on that same link I put up there, and coloured it all.

The pigs are my favorite.

And I think they turned out okay.

 I then used the largest fluted tip I had and disposable pipping bags and just put a nice swirl on each one.  I then stuck a topper on each cupcake, before the icing had a chance to crust over.

   I made that awesome red using Americolor super red, you need a good amount, but man it is red, no pansy pinky red for us.

  So that was it, the kids had a great time.  Pork Chop got to play some fun party games at the birthday, and I got to make something and not have to worry about who to make eat it all.

Skip To My Lou KitchenFun
Our Delightful Home

Thursday, July 26, 2012

Cream Puff Filling

I know, they just look like brown blobs, but you should be used to my craptastic pictures by now.
  So earlier this week I posted about making Pate A Choux, or cream puffs as they are called.  Well by me at least.  Feel free to call them what you want.  So I wanted to share with you what I filled and topped mine with.  Firstly I was planning on using some sort of whip cream filling, I wanted the lightness of an eclair but I wanted something more stable than just whipping up some whip cream.  So I went to google and found this recipe for a cream cheese whip cream frosting. The reviews said it was nice and light and stayed nice and stable.  Well maybe I did something wrong, but who knows, I never was one to really follow directions properly.

I hate chopping chocolate, it is right up there with cleaning.  
  So to start I wanted to top my cream puffs with chocolate some how, as the filling was not going to be too sweet at all.  So I made a simple chocolate ganache. 

Chocolate Ganache
from, no idea, I just googled it

-9 ounces semi sweet chocolate
-1 cup heavy cream
See at this point the chocolate is just starting to melt, and I always think I have ruined it some how.
Chop up the chocolate and set aside.  Take a sauce pan and rinse it with cold water* then put in the heavy cream and heat until it just starts to bubble.  Then pour the cream over the chocolate and let sit for at least 5 minutes.  After 5 minutes slowly mix it together until it becomes fluid and all consistent.  I hate this part as it always seems like my chocolate is getting all chunky and I think I have ruined it, but keep at it, it gets better.

*I do this as in school they taught us to when we were heating any kind of milk, I think it helps keep the fat in the milk from scorching on the pot, I could be wrong, but I do it anyway.

But then it turns into this and it's all good.

  Then the filling.

Cream cheese whip cream frosting
From All recipes

-1 8oz block of cream cheese
-1/2 cup white sugar
-1 TSP vanilla bean paste
-1/2 TSP almond extract
-2 cups heavy cream

See how it is holding it's shape?  It went flat after being in the fridge over night.
  Start by creaming the cheese and sugar, add the vanilla and almond.  I found that the almond I used was too strong, even the little bit I used so I might skip it next time, it gave the filling a boozy taste.  And if there is no booze in it, why have that right?  And now I want to make a boozy version.
Hello little cream puff.

I feel kind of badly just stabbing it like this, but it works.

 Sorry, back to the filling.  So once that is done, slowly add your cream while you whip the filling until it is nice and thick and sturdy.  I found that the left overs settled after being in the fridge over night.  Not sure if I had not whipped it enough or what, but I just whipped it again and it was all good.
And see, filled all the way, more is always better I say.

Ready to take the plunge.

Oh yeah!
  So to fill your cream puffs the easiest way is to use a pipping bag.  You don't really need a tip, but it may be easier.  The right way to do this, and you all know I didn't do it this way, is to cut a slit in the bottom of your cream puff to allow the pipping tip in.  What I did was look for a weak part of the cream puff and jam my pipping tip in.  It worked, may not be as nice, but it worked.  Then you squeeze the pipping bag slowly until the whole cream puff is filled, you will know when it is done when the pipping bag starts to push out of the puff.

 Then I took the filled cream puff and dipped the top in the ganache, and set them on a platter and put them in the fridge.  
Yum, I love chocolate.
  And that was it.  Now I found that the actual pastry got a little soft, probably due to the filling and the fridge, but I liked it that way, crispy puffs is not what I wanted.

  So I so want to make these again, and try different fillings, or even make them with ice cream inside, then dip the whole thing in chocolate.  

 Great now I'm hungry.

And I had to try one, and this is what happened, it squished right up and made a mess.  So be smart when you eat these, use a napkin and maybe a fork or something.  Or you too can be covered in cream puff filling.

The Mandatory Mooch

Monday, July 23, 2012

Pate A Choux

Please try to ignore my cookie sheets.  I swear the ones in most bakeries look worse.  And they don't even use parchment paper on theirs.  
  So as I may have said before, I went to culinary school.  And one of the things I remember from those days is Pate a Choux. I think I remember it so much because to me it was one of those, "Oh my gosh, this is a real  pastry, a real classic dish." And to me that was cool.  Also I remember having to mix that crap by hand, and how tired I was and how the teacher was like, "suck it up kids, we used to have to whip everything by hand!"  Yeah, and I used to walk 12 miles to school, in the snow, with hills, both ways.

This is a pot of melted butter.  Little known fact, the smell of melting butter makes me gag, and in college almost everyday we worked with it.  It was not good.

This is the flour before I started mixing it all together.  And I totally get that without my witty comments you would have no clue what my pictures were all about.

 So I wanted to make these for a BBQ my parents were having for us, nothing fancy just them, my sister and us.  They have a pool and the only time it really gets used is when we go down and since I work my second job now, we don't get there nearly as much.  So that is what I did.

So this is how it looks as it is just stirred together.

  To start I know there are probably a billion recipes out there, but I wanted to use the one in the new book I got.  And yes, I know another new book.  But I got it on sale, I swear it was worth it.  So I used the new Sprinkle Bakes book, and it was just as easy as I remember.  Sort of; I had a mixer this time at least.

And see how it sort of clumps together and there is that sort of film on the pot, that is how you know you are doing it right.

Pate a Choux
From Sprinkle Bakes

-3/4 cups water
-6 TBSP butter
-1 TBSP sugar
-1/4 TSP salt
-1 cup all purpose flour
-4 eggs

  Set oven to 425, and get a sauce pan.  Melt the butter, salt and sugar in the water.  Once melted bring to boil.  Once it boils remove it from the heat and add in the flour.  Put the pan back on the heat and stir and stir until you think your arm is going to fall off.  You are basically trying to cook the flour so that it will taste cooked.  Once you think you are good, it should pull away from the pan, and you may notice a bit of a film on the pan.  Put it into your mixer and mix it for a few minutes to allow it to cool.  You need it to cool enough that it will not cook the eggs.  Add one egg at a time stirring until it fully incorporates.  It may take a bit of stirring.

And this is me mixing it to cool it down.  Can we also have a moment of silence for my scrapper paddle.  The very next week I broke it.  I  nearly killed Pork Chop as bits of it flew through the kitchen.

And this is how it looks as you add the eggs, I promise no matter how gross it looks it will all work out.
  Once it comes together get a cookie sheet with parchment and fill a piping bag with the paste. Pipe out the shapes you want and then take your finger, dip it in water and pat down the peaks you may have.  Then egg wash them, with an egg and a little water.  Then bake them for 10 -12 minutes,  Then lower the oven to about 350 and let them dry out for about 20 more minutes.

See, so nice and silky.  But it still sort of smelled like melted butter, so I wanted to gag.

They look sort of gross, all pale and such, but you know, they change.

This was after I patted down the peaks.

  Pate a Choux is great for so many things, you can make huge cream puffs or tiny little ones.  Or as we used to do, make a large cream puff, and pipe out tiny swan neck and heads and make a swan out of them.  I was so going to do that, then once I actually pipped them out, I totally forgot.  Just means I have to make them again.  

  Anyway in my next post I will share with you how I filled and topped them.

  And I am also finished my vacation, which turned out to be okay.  Pork Chop got sick, we got a speeding ticket and we are still waiting for our money to get back into our account.  But I got some yummy stuff in the states to bake with, Hubby let me get a new scrapper paddle for my mixer and I didn't kill Pork Chop.  So all in all, I am glad to be back to work.

And all done, nice and golden thanks to the egg wash.
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Thursday, July 19, 2012

Steam Punk Outfit, Part 3, All Done

I hate having my picture taken.  And this is why, I look stupid.

  Okay, so  it's done.  Well as done as it's going to be.  I mean, I cannot do any more to it.  I am not thrilled with everything, but until I actually get a free month this is how it's going to be. And I cannot believe I am putting this on the web, because that means it's going to be there forever.  When I am 75 I am going to be all "look hardly any wrinkles."  So I am doing this for the future me.  

  Your welcome future me.

  And if you have not read my first two posts, go take a look here and here.  I can wait.

  So here is what I did , and some pictures for you all to see.  Then some more of me in it all.  It was super hot and I got dressed and ran to the back yard and got Hubby to take some pictures.  But I was all "I don't want anyone to see me."  Then my jack ass of a Hubby told me the neighbor totally saw me.  I wanted to smack him, but it was too hot. So I pouted and that is why I look so bad.  

  Well at least that is my story, and I'm sticking to it.

  So anyway here is what I did, and what not.

  So my parasol, I love it!

This is how it looks all closed up.

And this is how it started out.

And this it the tea, I made like 10 bags in like 1 cup of hot water.

I am so happy with how this turned out.  And try to ignore Hubby's foot, I was out of my outfit when I remembered I forgot to get a picture.

These are the sponges I used to make the circles.  I just used metallic paint and these .

 I so wanted a parasol after seeing these on clockwork couture.  I found a white wedding parasol on a craigslist type site for $10.  It was very white, but I figured I could fix that.  It was a sort of waxy paper.  So I thought the best and cheapest way to do it would to be tea staining.  Now I have never done this before, ever.  I just read about these things then pretend I know what I am doing.  So I brewed a few tea bags and then tried to paint the parasol.  The first batch was too weak, so I brewed about 10 tea bags in about 1 cup of water and let it really set.  Then once it was done I used a small foam paint brush to paint the whole thing. I would paint it then let it dry for about 15 minutes then go do another layer.  I think I ended up doing 5 layers in total, until I felt it was aged looking enough. 

  Then I wanted to do some black swirls but my plan to use an ink pad didn't work so I used these Martha Stewart sponges and some metallic paint.  I just sort of put them on and I love how it turned out.  I don't think I will bring it to the expo, I want my hands free for shopping you know.

   Then I finished my under dress, I wanted a shirt, but a shirt that would not ride up.  So I made this. It is actually from a pattern for an Alice in Wonderland costume, I just did it in plain white.  It is very super thin fabric and it's great.  At first I hated it, because it was so thin, but it will be perfect.

So this is it, see how see through that is?  If I was hot I wouldn't care, but you have seen me.  No one wants to see that in a see through outfit.

You cannot see but there are the cutest buttons, and I have a tie that I made and wore for my pitcures.

So here it is with my skirts and belt.  I am torn about the belt.

  So I liked how it looked but really didn't love the belt any more, I mean it looks good, but I am rolly and polly and wanted more shape.  So I found a site on line that sells nothing but corsets, and they were cheap.  I may have actually found some for $30 in a store and decided I didn't like how they looked once I got them home.  But after shipping it was just $30 for this black one.  And it said it was steel boned, but it isn't so I can breath and it gives me a little shape.  Not much, but you know better than nothing.

And all together, that belt does make it look nice and slim, I will not be so lucky when  and if I wear it.

This is me wearing the jacket and purse.

So here is the corset I got, I like how it gives me a bit of  a shape.  And I hate pictures of me, sigh.

And you can see my goggles, nothing great, I just spray painted them and put stuff that looked steam punky on them.  I wanted to make a top hat too, but you know how I feel about actually doing things.

This is how the back looks I think if I had Hubby help me tie it up it would look better, but I am still happy.

I am not 100% about my spats, but I think they look okay.

And my watch and my simple ring.
  So that is all for me, I am sort of worried about wearing it, as Hubby has no idea what he wants to be and I think we have like 5 weeks until we are going.  Sigh, watch me not even wear it.  I will kill him.

  And I am almost done my vacation so I am writing this sitting in bed while trying to stay awake.  I think I need to work, it keeps me focused.  And yes I cannot believe I said that either.

I am linking up Here and Here

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