WE'VE MOVED

Hello!

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!

Sincerely,
Syl

Sunday, May 24, 2009

Candy Kabob

Our friend Megan was making candy kabobs yesterday. And she made me one too! What a fantastic summer treat! All you need are skewers, gummy candies, plastic bags, and pretty ribbons. Thank you Megan!

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Domo Birthday Cupcakes


As a surprise for our Publicity Manager at work, our "Marketing Department" asked if I would make cupcakes for her birthday. As if I needed to think about the answer! So, we debated decorating cupcakes with something publicity related (ex: a phone), but I also suggested Domo-kun which I knew she loves! For those of you who are unfamiliar with Domo-kun, he is a mascot from a Japanese television station.

It was settled once I forwarded the above photo of Domo to Marketing. Even though the blue snake gave her the "heebie jeebies" (I love that word and I totally laughed out loud when she told me).

The "heebie jeebies" snake!

Domo is this cute and funny creature who was hatched from an egg on the first episode. His favorite food is Japanese-style meat and potato stew - yum! No apples though, due to his unexplained DNA. Domo communicates by producing a low-pitched noise but other characters appear to understand him. Domo loves watching television. Best of all, Domo-kun is known to pass gas when he is nervous or upset!

Domo lives in an underground cave with an old wise rabbit named Mr. Usaji. He loves to watch television and drink green tea. Not surprising, Mr. Usaji's favourite food is carrots.

Also living in the cave are two bats: a mother named Maya and her child Mario. Maya's favorite foods are seasonal while her least favorite food is alcohol. Mario's favorite food is Japanese-style tomato spaghetti, while his least favorite food is Shiitake mushrooms. Mario also loves sports. (I acknowledge that their tiny feet and antennas are missing in their fondant form.)

Tashanna is a female weasel who wants to be a fashion stylist or model in Tokyo. She always uses the latest technologies (television, cell phone, digital camera, laptop). Tashanna's favorite food is apricot and mint tarts, and her least favorite food is sea urchin. Fun fact: she once called Domo-kun a "weird-looking chocolate."

Hee (Flower One) and Haw (Flower Two) are pixie twins. To everyone else, they are regular flowers and Domo is the only one who can see them.

Domo-kun and friends laying on the grass, looking up at the sky (or my camera).

I also got the idea for the Domo-Kun cupcake faces from justJENN Recipes. The one twist I added to the appearance was making the surface of the cupcake liner a square.

Okaaay fine, point out that it is squarish. To get this lovely squarish effect, simply pinch the cup to create four corners! Love the versatility of these baking cups! Then, bake your chocolate cupcake, put on some dark brown frosting, add your fondant Domo mouth and use candy for the eyes.

Tashanna, Domo-kun, and Mr. Usaji.

References:
Domomode, Domo (NHK), and Domo Nation. You can also watch some of the Domo episodes by searching on YouTube.

Sunday, May 10, 2009

Happy Mother's Day!

We love our moms very much!

As a special treat, I woke up early to bake banana cupcakes for my mom. She does not have a big sweet tooth like me, so no buttercream! In fact, I only added caramel to 6 of the cupcakes and chocolate ganache to 5 of them. The rest of the cupcakes are plain, just the way she likes them!

Above image: The original recipe is the banana-chocolate chip cake from Alisa Huntsman and Peter Wynne's Sky High cookbook. Just to let you know, I did not fold in chocolate chips in our cupcakes and omitted a few things that I did not have. But the end result was still soft, moist, and delicious!

Banana Cupcakes
Recipe adapted from Sky High: Irresistible Triple-Layer Cakes
(Makes about 2 dozen cupcakes)

2 1/4 cups of cake flour
1 1/3 cups of sugar
1 1/4 teaspoons of baking powder
1 1/4 teaspoons of baking soda
1 1/2 teaspoons of cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon of salt
1 stick of unsalted butter
1 cup of mashed ripe bananas
3 eggs
3/4 cup of milk
1 1/2 teaspoons of vanilla extract
  1. Preheat the oven to 180°C (350°F) and have your cupcake liners ready.
  2. Mix the cake flour, sugar, baking powder, baking soda, cinnamon, and salt for about 1 minute.
  3. Add the mashed bananas and butter. Beat until well blended on medium for about 3 minutes.
  4. In a separate bowl, whisk the eggs, milk, and vanilla together. Slowly add this mixture to the batter.
  5. Scoop the batter into your cupcake liners and bake for 20-25 minutes or until a cake tester comes out clean.
  6. Cool and garnish with caramel, chocolate ganache, whipped cream, or sliced bananas.

Thank you mom for always reminding us to:
  • Drink more water!
  • Go to bed early!
  • Eat more vegetables!
  • Wear warmer jacket!

Tuesday, May 5, 2009

Pear Excellence 2009

Pear Excellence is a competition organized by the Pear Bureau Northwest:
"[They] scoured the nation's culinary schools in search of students whose fresh pear recipes tantalized its taste buds, and five regional semi-finalists were selected to compete for a grand prize of $2,500 on May 5th at The Chef's House in Toronto!"
Today, we were invited as "foodies" to attend the final judging event of Pear Excellence: The 2009 Canadian Culinary Student Competition at The Chef's House. However, Howard was called for jury duty, so I brought along a friend from work to go with me. It was a good thing that my friend likes pears! There was pear punch, pear centerpieces, pear gift bags, and we sampled the competing pear dishes. I accidently grabbed the wrong camera today on my way out, so I'm very sorry for the fuzzy photos!

Above: Table for us!

Each student presented their recipe to a panel of judges: Rita DeMontis (Food and Lifestyle Editor, Toronto Sun), John Higgins (Director, George Brown University), Peter Dewar (Faculty, Nova Scotia Culinary College), and Sal Battaglia (Fresh First Produce & President, Ontario Produce Marketing Association). The judges would then provide comments to the students. After all five dishes were tasted, the judges tallied up the marks. *Drum Roll*

Above: Table for the panel of judges.

Congratulations to Rose Prost-Hiebert! Her pear ginger cheesecake recipe won her the grand prize! She also won the People's Choice Award - voted by us guests! Her cheesecake was so delicious that I can't wait to try making it myself!

Grand Prize: Pear Ginger Cheesecake
Ontario: Rose Prost-Hiebert, Elliott House Restaurant and Chef School

Finalist: Perfectly “Peared" Pizza
Prairies: Juli McCue, Southern Alberta Institute of Technology

Finalist: Candied Pear Balls
Maritimes: Tara Fleet, New Brunswick Community College

Finalist: Pear and Sausage Risotto
Quebec: Michael Tozzi, College LaSalle

Jeremy Webber of Culinary Institute of Vancouver Island, VIU entered his Grilled Pear and Ginger Soufflé with Brandied Pear Chips. We don't have a photo of Jeremy's pear creation, his soufflé was only served to the judges.


Above left: We were given gift bags on the way out. Everyone received a pear, a magnet, a pen, and a pear plush toy.
Above right: Recipes and ideas about pears were also included. You can find lots of pear recipes on the USA Pear website as well.


Above left: Here is the pear packaged in a "reusable pear packer!" How interesting!
Above right: I did use their Check the Neck for Ripeness™ technique, I think it was ripe, so I ate it! This pear smelled and tasted like the pears grown in our backyard, but it had a different texture that I've never tried before!

Thank you to Cristie Mather from Pear Bureau Northwest for the invitation! We had a fun time and all the recipes were wonderful! Congratulations to all the finalists!

Pear and Roxy are now good friends. For the winning recipes, please visit USA Pears here.
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