Thank you for the amazing 8 years here at A Baked Creation, we can't thank you enough for the memories! But we've decided to move over to a new site - Sincerely, Syl. Please join us there for future posts on all the things you loved here!


Sunday, April 26, 2009

He Said/She Said: The Whimsical Bakehouse

The Whimsical Bakehouse: Fun-to-Make Cakes That Taste as Good as They Look!
Written by Kaye Hansen and Liv Hansen

ISBN-13: 9780609608968
ISBN-10: 0609608967
Publisher: Clarkson Potter
Hardcover: 160 pages

H: We have tried some of their cake recipes by now. I think all of them turned out very well and tasty.
S: I agree, they turn out exactly like the cookbook says, so there are no surprises. The recipes are very well written and easy to follow. Like all good cookbooks, this one has a section for introducing the basics. There are tips, charts, and step-by-step photos.
H: Most of the photos for the cake recipes showcase a decorated cake. We would have liked to seen how the cake looks like before it was covered in frosting.
S: I really like the variety of recipes that cookbook comes with, and the cookbook teaches some decorating as well.
H: Although some of their decorating style is not ours, they have some great ideas. For example, we did learn about the Advance Chocolate Method. Their work using this method is very impressive.
S: The example they show in the book is an image of a sunflower (pages 94-95). Imagine all the patience that went into piping all the tiny details!
H: This cookbook is a great reference and lives up to each taste test.

Little Cakes from the Whimsical Bakehouse: Cupcakes, Small Cakes, Muffins, and other Mini Treats
Written by Kaye Hansen and Liv Hansen

ISBN-13: 9780307382825
ISBN-10: 0307382826
Publisher: Clarkson Potter
Hardcover: 176 pages

S: Since I got this book as a birthday gift, we decided to write a small review for it as well.
H: There are a few overlaps with the first book, but this is expected. They still have a great collection of new recipes in this book.
S: Especially since the overlaps are "basics" like their famous buttercream, icings, and glazes.
H: The Chocolate Method is explained again and they reference the first book here.
S: The other repeated recipe are their standard and classic chocolate, vanilla, and simple variation cakes.
H: As the subtitle states, this cookbook features more than cakes. The front section starts with lots of muffin recipes that would enhance any breakfast!
S: There are recipes for other small treats such as cream puffs, meringues, and eggnog cream.
H: The decorations again are mostly buttercream and their Chocolate Method.
S: Yes, the candles on the cookbook's cover are edible! Their Chocolate Method is scaled down in this book to fit the smaller-sized treats. There are very cute ideas for little cakes! My favourite decorating section in this cookbook would be Flower Power. They teach you how to pipe out buttercream into roses, hydrangeas, gerbera daisies, poppies, sunflowers, and dahlias onto your cupcake.

Please visit Kaye and Liv's website for more information: Whimsical Bakehouse or their blog: The Whimsical Bakehouse.

Sunday, April 12, 2009

Lemon Lime Cupcakes

Now this is lovely spring weather! We hope everyone is enjoying the long weekend.
The May 2009 issue of Canadian Living Magazine had cupcakes on the cover! Inside, they had a special feature of a couple Mother-and-daughter bakeries in Canada (for Mother's Day of course). So naturally they had cupcake recipes in their food section! We decided to try the Lemon Lime Cupcakes because "citrus flavours add sparkle to these delicate cupcakes." However, instead of their Seven Minute frosting, we made our own lemon buttercream and lime buttercream.
Lemon Lime Cupcakes
Recipe from Canadian Living Magazine
(Makes about 12 cupcakes)

1/2 cup of unsalted butter
3/4 cup of sugar
2 eggs
1 tablespoon of grated lemon and lime rind/zest
1/2 teaspoon of lemon juice
1 1/4 cups of all-purposed flour
1 teaspoon of baking powder
1/4 teaspoon of salt
3/4 cup of milk
  1. Preheat the oven to 180°C (350°F).
  2. In large bowl, beat butter with granulated sugar until fluffy
  3. Add in eggs, 1 at a time. Then add in lemon and lime rinds/zests and lemon juice.
  4. In separate bowl, whisk together flour, baking powder and salt.
  5. Mix into butter mixture alternately with milk.
  6. Spoon into cupcake liners or cups.
  7. Bake the cupcakes for 20 to 25 minutes or until cake tester comes out clean.
  8. Let them cool for an hour before frosting.
The Lemon Lime cupcakes smell so good! You can really taste the citrus in the cupcakes - which we are so glad about! The only tiny thing we would have preferred was if the cupcakes were a little bit more moist and soft. Also, they didn't rise very high for us, so we would scoop more in next time. Other than that, they are delicious! We will probably try the Banana Buttermilk Cupcake in the near future!
Lime Buttercream
(Makes about 2 cups)

1 stick of butter
2 cups of confectioner's sugar
1 teaspoon of pure vanilla extract
1 tablespoon of fresh lime juice
1/2 tablespoon of fresh lime zest
  1. Using a mixer, beat the butter until it is nice and fluffy.
  2. Add in the confectioner's sugar and vanilla, continue to mix till smooth.
  3. Wash the lime and using a zester, zest the whole lime.
  4. Mix the lime zest with the buttercream.
  5. Cut the lime in half and squeeze out the lime juice.
  6. Add the lime juice with the buttercream and mix well.
  7. If you want, tint the buttercream lime green!
Lemon Buttercream
(Makes about 2 cups)

1 stick of butter
2 cups of confectioner's sugar
1 teaspoon of pure vanilla extract
1 tablespoon of fresh lemon juice
1/2 tablespoon of fresh lemon zest
  1. Using a mixer, beat the butter until it is nice and fluffy.
  2. Add in the confectioner's sugar and vanilla, continue to mix till smooth.
  3. Wash the lemon and using a zester, zest the whole lemon.
  4. Mix the lemon zest with the buttercream.
  5. Cut the lemon in half and squeeze out the lemon juice.
  6. Add the lemon juice with the buttercream and mix well.
  7. If you want, tint the buttercream lemon yellow!

Wednesday, April 1, 2009

SavvyMom's 2009 Dream Baby Shower Contest

We attempted to make "fake" cupcakes to be displayed at the 2009 BabyTime Show at the International Centre this weekend. SavvyMom contacted us about this great contest they were hosting for new moms. So we needed to show a sample of what the contestants could win. Now, we've never made display cupcakes before, so please learn from our mistake and don't do what we did!

(The Wrong Way to Make) Display Cupcakes
(Makes as many as you need depending on what you buy)

Plaster of Paris (we bought ours from Wal-Mart, although we're sure Canadian Tire, Home Depot, and other renovation shops sell it)
A container to mix
A stirrer
2 cups of cold water
13 cupcake liners/cups
  1. Cover your work area. Very important!
  2. Have lots of cold water ready.
  3. Follow the instructions on the box. It is usually 2 part plaster, 1 part water. We found that 2 part cupcake liner and 1 part cupcake liner made enough to fill 1 cupcake liner!
  4. Mix the plaster and water until smooth. Work quickly as it begins to set (in 20 minutes!)
  5. Poor the mixture into your cupcake liner.
  6. Let it sit to dry.
  7. Do this as many times as you like. We made 13, since the cupcake stand holds 13 cupcakes.
  8. We had made our rubber ducks out of fondant and had them dry for a day.
  9. So, we rolled out blue fondant and had them cut in circles to cover the top of the display cupcakes.
  10. This is probably where it all went wrong: place the fondant circle on top of the display cupcake. Pat smoothly down. With a tiny dab of water on the bottom of the duck. Place the duck on the fondant circle. Let the finished display cupcake dry. The next day... please find the blue fondant circle melting!

So what did we do wrong? Don't mix plaster of Paris with fondant? Chemical reaction? We're wondering if it is possible that the fondant is absorbing moisture from the plaster? The plaster dried very fast and was so heavy! Perhaps we'll have to try using Styrofoam or Play-Doh next time. We really didn't expect the fondant to disagree with the rock solid plaster. What a shame, I was hoping to give them away as paper-weights after the show! What materials do you use to make display cupcakes?

Don't forget that SavvyMom.ca and Today's Parent have partnered up for this fantastic contest!

The 2009 Dream Baby Shower Contest:
"The Editors at SavvyMom have carefully selected a collection of baby shower gift items that every new mom dreams of for herself and her new baby. Plush, practical and packed with everything you need for feeding, sleeping, bathing and more, it's the ultimate Dream Baby Shower! And you could win it all - over $7000 worth of new baby items - just by entering!"
Click here to enter, view the prizes, and read contest rules.

Quack! Quack!