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, January 31, 2010

Great Wolf Birthday

On Thursday night, we drove through the cold and snow to Great Wolf Lodge. This was an early getaway for Howard's birthday (no, we're not too old for water parks)!

Check out the display case at Bear Claw Café!

Moe's Chocolate Mousse! (I don't know who Moe is...)

They had cupcakes too!

The moon (and street lights) on Saturday night. A fitting way to end a great wolf day.

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Iron Cupcake: Earth - Winter Warm Up

I am back with another Iron Cupcake: Earth entry! This month's challenge is Winter Warm Up, meaning anything that warms you up during a cold winter. For me, that would be an oven baking something nostalgic like cupcakes and apple pies...

Hold on, what about apple cupcakes? I remembered seeing an apple cake on smitten kitchen that looked very "give-me-a-slice-right-now!"

This was a daring experiment for me, since Deb baked hers in a tube pan, so I learned that some things don't translate well in other formats... One more thing, I'm sorry for the poor photo quality! It was a gloomy winter day and without sunlight, my photos simply... well you can see for yourself:

Apple chunks and cinnamon!

Mmm, don't you love smooth batter?

I tried two different apple placements:
Left: Apple chunks on the bottom
Right: Apple chunks on the top

Top-half and bottom-half!

The winner! Apple chunks on the bottom make for a much neater cupcake. Plus, after cooling, the cupcakes with the apple chunks on top began to sank. But, if you like how the apple chunks look on top, I would try and put less batter in your cupcake liner?

Apple Cupcakes

Recipe adapted from smitten kitchen
(Makes about 28 regular cupcakes)

3 apples
1/2 tablespoon of cinnamon
2 tablespoons of brown sugar
---
2 3/4 cups of sifted flour
1 tablespoon of baking powder
1 teaspoon of salt
1 cup of vegetable oil
2 cups of brown sugar
1/4 cup of orange/passion fruit/peach juice (I didn't have plain orange juice)
2 1/2 teaspoons of vanilla extract
4 large eggs
  1. Preheat the oven to 180°C (350°F) and have all ingredients at room temperature. Also have your cupcake liners ready.
  2. Core and chop the apples into chunks. I kept the skin on the apple, but you can peel yours if you prefer to. Add in the cinnamon and brown sugar. Stir to evenly distribute the cinnamon and sugar on the apple chunks.
  3. Combine the flour, baking powder, and salt in a mixing bowl.
  4. Using an electric mixer, whisk the oil, juice, sugar, and vanilla extract together.
  5. Add the dry ingredients in two parts.
  6. Add the eggs one at a time. Mix until the batter is combined.
  7. Evenly distribute the apple chunks, place them in the bottom of your cupcake liners.
  8. Pour the batter over the apple chunks, filling the liners about 3/4 full.
  9. Bake for about 25-30 minutes or until a cake tester comes out clean.
I attempted a casual nutmeg buttercream. It did not turn out very well, therefore I won't be posting that bad recipe!

Iron Cupcake: Earth voting takes place HERE between January 28th to February 3rd. The winner will receive the awesome Prize-Pack:
You can also join in on the fun yourself! Click here to learn more about Iron Cupcake: Earth.

Verdict? Sweet and delicious!

Monday, January 18, 2010

Cupcake Couture Contest

Yay! A cake supply shop located at the east side of Toronto! I just had to pick up a few items during my visit to Flour Confections:

Oh, it was just a few piping tips, piping bags... Honestly, they had a great collection of gum paste and fondant cutters. I didn't plan on getting any, but then I saw all these flower cutters and couldn't resist picking up the petunia set. (Next time, the dogwood flower set!) These little sizes are perfect for cupcake and cake decorating. I also got dark cupcake liners! And just look at those display cakes:
Now, I have really, really good news. I hope that you are free on Sunday, February 21, 2010! If not... you might want to look into clearing your schedule for that day...

Why you ask?

Well, on that day, from 1:00-4:00pm, you could be learning how to make and decorate cupcakes at Flour Confections: Confectionery School & Shoppe! Are you EXCITED yet?

Prize Details:
  1. Class: Cupcake Couture
  2. Date: Sunday, February 21, 2010
  3. Time: 1:00 to 4:00 PM
  4. Location: Flour Confections, 1750 Plummer Street, Unit 19, Pickering, Ontario (Google Map)
  5. Description: Join Flour Confections for this fun hands-on workshop. The cupcake trend is here to stay, and really who doesn’t like a cupcake? The class instructor will demonstrate proper mixing, baking and portioning as well as piping techniques and decor. Each student will take home their custom creations to admire and devour! Students will learn about flavour pairing, how to measure and bake cupcakes properly in order to yield consistent and fabulous results. You will learn different icing techniques as well as finishing details to help embellish your cupcakes for the added “wow” factor.
  6. What to bring: All tools, supplies & pre-baked cupcakes will be provided. Please bring an apron.
Contest Regulations and Conditions:
  1. The Cupcake Couture Contest is open on Monday, January 18, 2010 until Sunday, January 31, 2010. Entry forms submitted after 12 midnight EST on Sunday, January 31, 2010 will not be considered.
  2. A winner will be randomly chosen and announced on Monday, February 1, 2010 on our blog.
  3. Conditions for the class are as per Flour Confection's registration policies, found here.
  4. This prize has no cash value. There will be no prize exchange or substitution.
  5. Class requires a minimum number of students (Flour Confections reserves the right to cancel the class due to low enrolment). If the class does not run the contest giveaway will be extended to the next available Cupcake Couture class.


Please note that Flour Confections is located in Pickering, Ontario - so if you are an aspiring baker in the area (or someone who doesn't mind travelling far), please make sure you will be able to attend the Cupcake Couture class if you win.


View Larger Map

We would like to thank Lisa Bugeja and Scott Bradley of Flour Confections for sponsoring this generous prize! By the way, besides making custom cakes and cupcakes, Lisa also blogs, twitters, and her Facebook fan page can be found here! How does she find the time???

Sunday, January 10, 2010

Sweet Gifts

Don't you love having a "thing" or hobby? I love it when co-workers and friends tell me about cupcake and baking things they've seen. Honestly, there are trip photos from friends where I get tagged as cupcakes or bakeries on facebook. So, I wanted to share some of the baking-related gifts I received this year! (Click here for last year's edition.) Maybe you'll spot something that you would like to put on your wishlist.

1. From the holidays, I got bubble bath cupcakes (thank you Pamela)! They come in these yummy scents: lemon meringue, apple strudel, orange chiffon, strawberry shortcake, blueberry cheesecake, and toasted coconut!

2. Howard found another set of flannel pajamas from La Senza! This year they had lots of cupcake patterns, we picked the pink and white set (the pattern is called "Sugar Spice" on the website).

3. The Hummingbird Bakery Cookbook by Tarek Malouf was on my wish list this year (recommended by Trilby). I want to thank Secret Santa Kurt for ordering a copy for me! I am looking forward to baking from this cookbook, recipe pages have already been tagged and noted. Thing to note, beautiful photography (by Peter Cassidy) and the recipes are very easy to follow. I really like how the recipes yield a dozen cupcakes. The cookbook includes lots of classic American favourites, so I think this would be the perfect nostalgic gift. If you have a copy, don't forget to read these tips from the publisher before baking. One day... we will visit the bakery in London!

4. This drool-worthy Cakes calendar was a birthday present. It boasts a year of scrumptious recipes. What a great way to start each month! Thank you to Kurt and Diana!

5. This book, Baked: New Frontiers in Baking, was also a part of my Secret Santa bundle, so thanks again Kurt! It is written by Matt Lewis and Renato Poliafito, photographs by Tina Rupp. This is such a beautiful cookbook - well done production and design! I really like the clean and simple ways their cakes and cupcakes are decorated. I am really looking forward to their next cookbook! My next trip to New York will have to include a stop at this bakery!
PS: Where do you get the little deer cupcake toppers on page 72??

6. For my birthday, we went to get mini cupcakes from Life is Sweet. I picked out earl grey with orange, butterscotch, lemon drop, white chocolate, double chocolate, and mango and lime. Sigh! While we were there, there was another couple taste-testing for an event (a wedding perhaps?).

7. Cute mini cupcake spatula/spoon! This mini set will be perfect for scraping the mixer's blade and for filling my smaller piping bags with frosting!

8. Cupcake cookie cutters from Howard's Secret Santa! Thank you to Megan for including these for me! =P

9. You see that small vintage pedestal holding the mini cupcakes? Birthday present from my brother, so thank you little brother! I know he doesn't understand ("What's wrong with regular plates?"), so even more gratitude for getting it for me. =)

10. My very sweet birthday card, thank you Howard. =)

On a random side note, after picking up my mini cupcakes on my birthday, we passed The Pie Shack/The Paw Shack. I had read about The Pie Shack in a bakery roundup from blogTO, so we quickly parked and went inside! Howard and I tried a slice of the apple cinnamon pie. Yummy pie crust! Howard also picked up the AAA Angus Beef Pie for later. We both want to let Tim know that we love the setup, decor, and the feel of the bakery, oh and Campbell? Such a well behaved collie!

Well now I'm curious, what kind of sweet gifts did you get over the holidays? Feel free to share links to the item or links to your blog in the comments below!

Sunday, January 3, 2010

Happy New Decade

Happy New Year everyone!

2010!

I want to apologize for this late post. I had said January 1st and now it is the 3rd - but hear me out, I had a good reason! The first two days of 2010 were painful... I somehow caught a stomach virus! I'm feeling much better today, so here is my post:

We have entered into a new decade and my blog will be featuring some new changes. First, I will try to blog more! Yay! So expect more updates from me. The new aspect is that there will be more posts about things I want to share or talk about. Basically, not every post will be a new cupcake or cake creation. Don't worry, there won't be a drastic change. =)

Another resolution, I will try and do more recipe testing and tutorials - I have a feeling that you like them. *grin* Perhaps some more giveaways too... I have another AWESOME one lined up - so stay tuned!

Thank you for listening, that's all for now!

Oh wait...

Were you expecting another announcement? Say... perhaps the winners of the 100th Post Giveaway Contest? Pshhh, you probably already scrolled down and took a peak, as if you read anything I wrote above!

But I would like to say, I was blown away by the entries! After the first three entries, I knew it would become a random draw. I just can't believe that so many people know our creations so well and passed this scavenger hunt with flying colours! The answers were:

image #1
Totoro Dust Ball Cupcake
The cute little dust ball from the film, Totoro.
Everyone got this one correct!


image #2
Vanilla Milk Cake with Pink Cream Cheese Frosting
Delightful! The pretty cake during a frightfully cold winter day.
Everyone got this one correct!


image #3
Happy Groundhog Day
A small tribute to the groundhog in my life - Howard!
Only one person didn't find this one. =)


I hope you had fun and drum roll please!


The first random name for a copy of Martha Stewart's Cupcakes is Suellen L!
The second random name for a copy of Martha Stewart's Cupcakes is Avanika K!
The third random name for a copy of Martha Stewart's Cupcakes is Christina M!

Congratulations to Suellen, Avanika, and Christina! I will be e-mailing you a confirmation and to get your mailing address. I hope you enjoy the prize - it will be mighty hard to keep any healthy resolutions you made. I am simply a bad influence! ;)
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