What you wish you knew…

Hi! It’s Maddie And Shannon! Today we are going to talk about The things you should know before you start baking.

1. Read the instructions ALL THE WAY THROUGH!  Sometimes it is much easier to skim the instructions and go step by step but it is very important to read them once all the way through before you start baking and then keep referring to the instructions while baking.

2.Organize! Clear your work area before you begin, and get out all the ingredients. Put each one away as you use it, so you don’t forget what you’ve used. Rinse bowls and utensils as you go this way everything will be tidy and sanitary. I have ad some experiences where i have forgotten ingredients or put double because I was not completely organized, do this and you will be set to go.

3. PAN PREPARING!!!! Always make sure that you have the right pan size and that you remember to grease the pan. IF you use the wrong pan size the cake or whatever you are making will not be cooked right because of the ratio of batter to pan. The consistency will change with different pans so be careful! Always remember to grease the surface you are baking goodies on unless it specifies not to, you can never be too careful.If you forget to grease a pan your dessert will come out all wrong and doe may not come out at all!

Love,

Shannon and Maddie

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Fondant!

Hi! It’s Shannon! This is  delightful fondant recipe. I love using fondant for all my decorating needs. It can be a bit tricky at first but once you get the hang of it you will be using it all the time!

Ingredients:

16 ounces white mini-marshmallows (use a good quality brand)
2 to 5 tablespoons water
2 pounds icing sugar
1/2 cup Crisco shortening (you will be digging into it so place in a very easily accessed bowl)

Directions:

NOTE:  Please be careful, this first stage can get hot.

Melt marshmallows and 2 tablespoons of water in a microwave or double boiler. To microwave, place the bowl in the microwave for 30 seconds, open microwave and stir, back in microwave for 30 seconds more, open microwave and stir again, and continue doing this until melted. It usually takes about 2 1/2 minutes total. 

Place 3/4 of the powdered sugar on the top of the melted marshmallow mix.

Now grease your hands GENEROUSLY (palms, backs, and in between fingers), then heavily grease the counter you will be using and dump the bowl of marshmallow/sugar mixture in the middle. (Just a fun fact here, this recipe is amazing for your hands it makes them so so soft!)

Start kneading like you would bread dough. You will immediately see why you have greased your hands. If you have children in the room they will either laugh at you or look at you with a questioning expression. You might even hear a muttered, What are you doing Keep kneading, this stuff is sticky at this stage! Add the rest of the powdered sugar and knead some more. Re-grease your hands and counter when the fondant starts sticking.

If the mix is tearing easily, it is to dry, so add water (about 1/2 tablespoon at a time and then knead it in). It usually takes me about 8 minutes to get a firm smooth elastic ball so that it will stretch without tearing when you apply it to the cake. It is best if you can let it sit, double wrapped, overnight (but you can use it right away if there are no tiny bits of dry powdered sugar). If you do see them, you will need to knead and maybe add a few more drops of water.

Prepare the fondant icing for storing by coating it with a good layer of Crisco shortening, wrap in a plastic-type wrap product and then put it in a re-sealable or Ziploc bag. Squeeze out as much air as possible. MM Fondant icing will hold very well in the refrigerator for weeks. If I know that I have a cake to decorate, I usually make two (2) batches on a free night during the week so it is ready when I need it. Take advantage of the fact that this fondant icing can be prepared well in advance.

Make sure to have TONS of fun with this and enjoy!

Love,

Shannon

 

 

Bobby Flay, An Innonvative Chef

Bobby Flay is an American celebrity chef. Flay started his career when he dropped out of high school at 17, his first job in the restaurant industry was at a pizza parlor and a Baskin Robbins. Later Bobby started making salads at the Joe Allan restaurant where his father was a partner. The owner was so impressed by his natural ability he decided to pay for Bobby to go to the French Culinary Institute. Bobby Flay received a degree in culinary arts and graduated as a member in the first graduating class of 1984. After School he started working as a sous chef and learned so many things.After one week he was given the job of executive chef because his predecessor was fired. Flay soon realized he was not ready to run a kitchen so he took  a job as a chef in a kitchen known as Jonathan Waxman. Soon after his work with Waxman, Jerome Kretchmer offered him the executive chef job at the newly opened Mesa Grill. Because of Flay’s interest in southern cooking this position was perfect for him. In 2004 Flay opened another mesa Grill and created a special environment for his kitchen. Bobby Flay is very inspiring and is a great culinary artist.

Patrick Fahy

Hey it’s Maddie, and I’m going to talk about a very special innovative chef today, named Patrick Fahy!  Patrick Fahy is an innovative pastry chef from Chicago.  Fahy grew up with parents who baked very often, so he discovered that he wanted to be a baker at a very early age.  At the age of 21 Fahy attended culinary school, and studied everything from all kinds of desserts, to savory wines.  But after working with his first true mentor Andrea Bianchini, he was positive that his profession would be a pastry chef!  After taking a couple of baking jobs that he was not pleases with, he decided to enroll at the French Pastry School in Chicago.  A little while later he broke off and joined the staff at the Blackbird (a modern cuisine restaurant).  Rather than focus on trying new techniques, Fahy tries to pair different foods, that you would not normally think of eating together.  This makes for a very interesting combo!  For example, one of his specialties is putting butternut squash with  chocolate and horchata.  Even though this recipe might seem like a gross combination, many have said it is very good!  Another creation of his is beet ice cream.  Who would ever think to mix those two together?!  After he came out with this recipe, it immediately started getting positive feedback!  Readers are very open to new baking ideas, and like to try them on their own, too!  Overall, Patrick Fahy is a “rising star” as shown below, and he keeps continuing to surprise the baking world with new innovative dessert recipes!

Hurricane Sandy

Hey it’s Maddie, and I know that this is a bit off topic, but it is needed.  Hurricane Sandy is causing lots of damage on the eas

t coast, and they need help.  If you guys could please donate money to help them out,  I’m sure that they would appreciate it!  A charity that is always reliable is American Red Cross. Thank You!

Blog Feedback

After looking at two blogs very closely, I was able to grasp the idea of the blogs.
The first blog I looked at was called Picky Palate.  This blog was very detailed with all of the recipes, which made it very easy to follow the directions.  Right now the blog had Halloween related recipes, which was extra special!  I complemented their blog on my comment, because I felt that they should be aware how good their blog was, because everyone loves getting great feedback…right?

 

The second blog I visited was titled cake spy. I thought that their name was really clever, so that pulled me into reading their blog right away. All of the desserts looked super yummy. I left a comment that their blog was fun to look at and had great recipes.  I also wished them good luck with blogging in their future!

 

These were two amazing blogs, and they deserve to be seen. Check them out!

 

French Toast!

 Hey! It’s Shannon! Okay, So today I’m going into the nitty-gritty details of prepping for french toast.

Start by finding a medium pan and greasing slightly with butter or baking oil.

Get a medium sized dish that can hold about 2 cups of liquid.  It should be some what flat so you can easily place a piece of bread in.

Get a bread knife that will make nice clean cuts when slicing bread.

Ingredients:    

1. 1 loaf of sweet or sourdough bread

2. 2 eggs

3. 3 tablespoons of cream

4. 1 tablespoon of cinnamon sugar

Instructions:

1. Slice the loaf of bread into nice even pieces. Set aside.

2. Crack both eggs into container and beat until solid yellow color.

3. Add the cinnamon and cream into the egg.

4. Once the pan is heated, thoroughly coat a slice of bread in the egg mixture and fry on pan until both sides are crispy, do this to all the slices.

5. If you would like to make your breakfast a little more decadent, butter a slice and coat with cinnamon sugar. Another option is to melt chocolate chips and dip toast into the chocolate.
I hope you enjoy this recipe!

Love Shannon!

 

The Process of Preparing

Hey it’s Maddie and today I’m going to talk about processes.  I could just do another recipe, because don’t get me wrong, recipes can be very complicated processes, but I’m going to discuss the process of preparing.

Preparing for recipes can be very complicated, because there are so many things to do.  First you have to clear enough space on your counter so that you have enough room to work.  This can take up a lot of time if your counter always seem to become messy like mine!  After your counter is clean, you need to make sure that you have all of the materials.  Searching through your pantry for lots of ingredients can get exhausting, and there is always still something that you are missing!  Then you have to go to the store, or borrow whatever you do not have, wasting even more time.  Once you have all of your ingredients, then you have to make sure that you have the necessary baking tin/pan/dish.  Now you can finally bake your recipe, which is a whole other process, don’t even get me started!  After your recipe is done you can now put it in the oven, but wait… you forgot to preheat it.  Now you have to wait even more time.  Once the oven is preheated you can finally pop in your dessert, and be done!

When Baking you have to be very patient.  Baking can take a long time, so you have to be super flexible!

Wishes!

Hey it’s Shannon! Today I’m going to talk about the problems you can have with displaying the food you make.

It can be such a bummer when you make a delightful dessert but then just put it on a plate and slap some saran wrap on it. Try some of these fun ways to show of your baking skills!

Number 1: Cake!

Start by decadently decorating your cake with swirls of frosting or fresh fruit, try to make the cake look original and artsy.

Next, try to find a nice elevated platter and put a some lace paper on the base to add some class!  

 

 

 
Number 2: Cake pops!

Start by getting some Styrofoam  so you can put it inside a lovely container. Cut the Styrofoam so it will slide perfectly into the container. once it is snugly in the dish use the sticky of the cake pops to poke holes in the foam. These holes are will the cake pops will go.Once the pops are inserted in the holes and checked to make sure they wont fall, you only have one more step! Personalize it! Add some small candies or confetti into the dish to cover up the Styrofoam and add a little fun!  

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Last but not Least: Brownies, cookies and cupcakes!

For brownies, start by cutting them into perfect squares so they are very neat. Next, for either cookies or brownies, find a 3 tier dessert platter. Neatly arrange them in circular patterns and you are set with a classy display that will attract everyones attention! For a little flavor throw in samll candies like salt water taffy or m&ms.

How to fix all of your cake issues!

Hey it’s Maddie and I’m going to talk about cake problems!  After baking a cake, lets be honest, the never come out perfect.  Sometimes they crumble, crack, don’t rise fully, turn out lumpy, and even become super dry.  Next time you are going to make a cake, try all of these things to try to improve your results!

Problem: Cake does not rise fully, or sinks in the center.

Solution: I wish that we could just come out with the results that we want on our first try, but that is very difficult, so we have to experiment.  You could try to bake the cake for more, or less, depending on what went wrong the first time.  It is always easier to do it right the next time, after learning from your mistakes the first round!  A way to make sure that the cake rises fully is to use the right size pan.  If your baking tin is too big then the batter will spread out too much, and result in a flat cake.  Don’t you wish that baking perfect cakes was easy? I know i do.   I hope that this quick tip helped you!

Problem: Cake tuns out to be lumpy, or bubbly.

Solution: The thing that i hate the most is when the result of a cake you spent so much time on, turns out to be lumpy.  I wish that you could just stir your ingredients together and the bumps would go away automatically! Wouldn’t that be great? And it would save so much hard work and effort!  I think that a few tips that might help include, using a rounded bowl, and an electric mixer, followed by a whisk to finish off the job.  Using the electric mixer gets all of the big lumps, but try a whisk to get the tiny bumps that are missed.  If all fails, then finally use a fork to beat all of the bumps until they are gone.  But remember not to over mix the batter, so that it doesn’t become too liquidy.

I hope that my wishes, followed by possible solutions helped you.. because don’t we all like to bake a perfect cake once and a while?