Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Spun Sugar

I had this brilliant idea for a cupcake garnish, and it meant experimenting with Spun sugar. Now mind you, I've never done this before...It sounds quite simple, messy, but simple. Well, the making it part was simple. The getting it into small shiny strands...not so much! I definitely made a mess, not as bad as I would have thought, and I ended up with a lot more chunks of sugar (what looked like rock candy) then I did strands. All in all, I think I can still pull off a pretty nice looking garnish. Would I do it again, probably. I have learned though that when working with spun sugar you have to work fast, and have a ready supply of pan handles available to drape the sugar over.

But for those who like to creatively get messy in the kitchen, try it out. Here's what you do:

Spray pan handles with cooking spray and place plastic or newspaper under the lid handles on the floor. Ready a large bowl full of ice water (ice water bath).

Mix together 1/2 cup water, 1/2 cup light corn syrup, and 2 cups sugar in a medium saucepan. Over medium high heat, stir until sugar dissolves. Cover the pan and boil 2-3 minutes. Uncover, stirring occasionally, allow to boil until temperature reaches 310 degrees Fahrenheit on a candy thermometer. Remove from heat and dip bottom of pan in the water bath and then allow to sit for about a minute to thicken. With a fork that has been sprayed with cooking spray stir the mixture and then flick the fork over the pan handles and allow to drip over. Let cool and your done! Spun sugar!

As always, Happy Baking!

Sunday, November 13, 2011

Cake Pops

I was inspired yesterday, I'm not sure why, but I decided to try my hand at making some Cake pops. Turns out, thanks to great advice from Bakerella and Kristine from Way More Than Cake, they are super simple and really cute! I started out with some scraps of dark chocolate cake that I had stored in my freezer. I crumpled them up into little chunks and mixed in some vanilla buttercream icing (I also had extra in the freezer) and combined it until it formed its own sort of dough like consistency, almost like cookie dough. I used a tablespoon to measure equal amounts and rolled each tablespoon into a ball. Then chilled them in the fridge for about 20 minutes.

Then I melted some candy melts and rolled the end of the stick in it before I inserted it into the cake ball (this helps to hold it in place). Once I had all the sticks in place I melted more candy melts and added some shortening to thin the candy (paramount crystals work too). I dipped the balls into the candy and coated evenly. Then tapped the stick to remove any access candy and sprinkled with multi-colored sprinkles around the ball. I stuck the sticks in a piece of Styrofoam to dry and then wrapped them up and tied it all with a piece of ribbon.

These fun treats are perfect sized for favor gifts, school birthday celebrations, etc! I think they are one of my new favorite things! For decorative ideas and more POP fun check out either the Wilton website or And as always, Happy Baking!

Thursday, November 10, 2011

Openning for Business

So, I have been slacking on the blog front lately, but for good reason. I have been diligently organizing myself and my business aspirations. That's right, I'm in the process of opening a business, a specialty cake and cupcake business. For those of you that are under the impression that home-based, small businesses are themselves, a piece of cake, I'm sorry to tell you that you are mistaken. I have been working regular work hours followed by long extended business hours of research, meetings, seminars and training. Preparation for a small business is neither fun nor exciting, but the prospect of doing something I enjoy for the rest of my life is so exciting I can hardly stand it!!

So bear with my obvious absences while I work through writing my business plan. I will continue to update my few and fellow followers on business status and will continue to use this blog in part with my business. This means a little restructuring for the blog! (Exciting I know).

For starters, I will not only post updates to the business (coming later this week!) but will also offer handy tips for those wanting to open their own business, interesting tips I come across or find handy, and the occasional fantastic recipe that I can't help but share! I will also be adding several pages to the blog for easier organization and making my blog more noticeable and findable on the web. So keep an eye out for news and more! Thanks for all of your support because without my friends, family and fellow bloggers, I would never have made the decision to form my dreams into realities!