A few weeks back one of my friends’ asked for my help to make her anniversary cake. Her husband and she were going to celebrate 5 years of marital bliss and she wanted to surprise him with her first ever fondant cake. Having never worked with fondant before she asked if I could help her out. She wanted the cake to reflect her marriage invitation, which she sent me a copy of. I drew a sketch based on the pics she sent me and sent it to her. She liked the design and a day before her anniversary we set to create the cake. She baked the cake herself, and I only did the masking, and covering of the cake with fondant and decorations.
The picture below shows the invitation card my friend had for her wedding (left) and the design I sketched out based on the card photo she sent (right). I do realize I have to work on my sketching skills, but it got the idea across to my friend nonetheless and thats what I wanted.
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Today I am sharing a recipe that is close to a 100 years old, called the Shoo fly cake.
So, I have a serious disease. I am sure most of you food bloggers/lovers out there have it too. Its this obsessive habit of buying cookbooks. Hoarding on cookbooks.
Even before I started blogging or for that matter cooking I had this fascination for cookbooks. The pictures, the recipes, the stories, the techniques – I loved going through it all. As a child I would flip through my mom’s cookbooks, with not a single intention of cooking, but instead asking my mom why she doesn’t make such and such recipe.
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I have never understood the hype behind red velvet cupcakes/cakes. So much food coloring in a baked good. Just does not seem right. And since I do not understand the hype, I have neither attempted making one or ordering it in a bakery, except for one very unfortunate dry and unflavorful experience at a bakery once. So when my friend asked to make a red velvet cake for one of our coffee friends’ farewell party, I was in a fix. Being such a popular cupcake/cake choice I thought I should see what the hoopla is actually about and agreed to baking some.
I searched and bookmarked many red velvet recipes. But finally went with the one that I am sharing today after reading the reviews on allrecipes.com. I ended up making cupcakes instead of a cake because I feel they are so much more fun sometimes, plus I had more fun decoration ideas for cupcakes than a cake.
What drew me to the recipe was actually the frosting. It called for cooking flour and milk together and then adding to the cooked mixture creamed butter and sugar. Its something I had never done or heard of before. It’s also how traditionally red velvet cakes were iced- with a french-style butter roux icing. And after reading the reviews, and how good the frosting and the cupcakes were I decided its worth trying. I was sure my friends would forgive me if they turned out bad.
Well, honestly, since the only experience I have had with a red velvet has been a dry, too-fake-red red velvet cupcake , these turned out to be very good. They were fluffy, moist, with a hint of chocolate too. The frosting, though, I was not sold. It wasn’t particularly bad, quite decent actually, but I think I am biased towards cream cheese frosting on top of a red velvet cupcake or any cupcake for that matter. So I missed the cream cheese flavor.
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