Checkerboard Cake

So I am just going to start this off by letting you know that over the next 6 weeks or so my posting ability is going to be quite limited. Or I should say, I think it might be.

I may have mentioned before that my grandparents own a produce-store-that-actually-sells-everything store. And because they sell everything, of course they have a bit of a home baking operation going on. There is a great lady who has been doing the baking (in my grandmas certified kitchen) for 14 years!
14! FYI that is a long time.
Anyways, she broke something in her hand about a week ago and will be wearing a cast for 6 weeks. Obviously somebody has to step in a bake the pies and the bread and the sweet loafs and the cinnamon buns and the muffins and the cookies. Naturally, I offered. So last week I spent 2 days in the kitchen with the broken hand baker and she taught me the ropes. Basically, she doesn’t use recipes…and is super woman and can work harder and faster then anyone I know.

I think the whole time she was probably shaking her head at me as my pie dough ripped or my loafs got stuck in the pan or I spill flour/sugar/raspberries/etc. on the floor.
Anyways, I think I can do it, and I think it could be fun. I look forward to when I can do it by myself and crank up the radio and just get in to my baking world ( my favorite place to be! ).
I do have to mention that when her hand is healed, I will not be sad to give her her job back. I am sure it is going to be very tiring.

Especially becauseeeee ( changing the subject completely) Gary and I have to move. Well we don’t have to move, but we are moving. We get to start milking cows in May ( wohoo! this is Gary’s life long dream) on our own little dairy farm. Only it wont be our own cause we can only afford to rent a barn with a milking parlour etc. In BC it costs a lot to get started milking cows. Most people are either born into a dairy farm one way o another or start with the help of a program in place by the milk board. The problem with the milk board program is that if we put our name on the list…we could easily not get to start milking cows for 20 years!

So I need to stop rambling…but to summarize everything into point form:

a) In may we get to start milking cows ( ahem….12-15 cows…YES I am going to name them!)
b) On april 15th we are moving to a house much closer to the farm we will be renting then the house we live in now
c) I will get to milk cows too ( Sorry I shouldn’t say get…like its a pleasure to get up at 5:30 to go milk the cows…but hey..I will get an early start to my day!)
d) I am baking for the next 6 weeks 3 days a week for the Yellow Barn.
e) I am currently baking 2 9×13 cakes to attempt to make a checkerboard cake. Ok I didn’t talk about that before but I am now 🙂

Has anyone ever made a checkerboard cake? Do you even know what it is? Basically you make a chocolate and a vanilla/white cake. and then you cut it in a special way and put the pieces back together to make a checkerboard look when you cut into it.

With that great description I am sure you are all saying OHHHH I get it. or probably not..

This is what the top of mine looked like:

Next time I would have much more yellow icing and not run out so I could do more decorations 🙂
I did the words by printing a page off the computer in writing that I liked and then placing wax paper on top and basically copying the writing with my melted white chocolate (with a touch of yellow food colouring) 
and THIS was the inside! Surprisingly enough, this is the only actual picture I have of the inside of the cake..
I know, I know, way to be a good blogger. 
But I was cutting and serving and admiring my cake! 
Ok I am sorry this is taking me forever to post! I have been super busy baking for the yellow barn and starting packing our house! 🙂 
Ps. can I just say, I am sorry I talk so much!
I think its because my husband talks sooo much too that I don’t always get to say the millions of things I want to say and so then I end up saying them all on here and I could just write for ages and ages
I am sorry 
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Giant Cupcake Re-cap

Remember the giant cupcake cake I talked about earlier this week?
Well, today was the day! (ok I started this on Sunday…so actually Sunday was the day I made it etc)
I baked it up Saturday using my Wilton Cupcake pan. Now I didn’t take any pictures of that process…I should have though. Ohhhh my.
See in my test run I only made 1 batch of cake which turned out to be not nearly enough. I needed just over 1 1/2 recipes of the cake batter to fill the pans. And so I made 2 batches of cake and filled up the pans niceee and full. Apparently too full… like pouring out of the pan in a hot stream of goopy cake batter. Anyways it was messy and my oven now needs a good clean.
Anyways, I iced it and decorated it and had a few disasters in the process. Overall I was happy with how it turned out.
I am SUPER critical of myself and everything I make so obviously I could begin to list the things I would have done differently but Julia Child said to never apologize or make excuses, just learn from your mistakes. So thats what I am going to do!

Here is what the final product looked like:

I had sprinkles and all sorts of things to put on it as well, but I started putting sprinkles on and they were just too much. 
Anyways, I can’t wait to make another one soon so I can practice my skills! 
Oh I also bought a cake leveler today. 
This one
Only thing I have to learn is to start ordering my Wilton product online. This was about 3 dollars online and I paid 6 bucks in store! I mean 6 bucks isn’t much really but 3 is even better!
I had no idea it would be so cheap! My world has been revolutionized! 
OH I also made Shamrock Cookies to sell tomorrow. 
I will post about them before I go to sleep tonight maybe 🙂 

All the Rage

Cupcakes are all the rage these days.

There is  little cupcake bakeries popping up on every corner. 
Even Starbucks has a selection of “fresh” cupcakes topped with an overly generous amount of sickeningly sweet Butter cream icing. 
And we all know that the trend is official once Starbucks jumps on the bandwagon. 
And of course there are other popular things that it seems “everyone” is making. Like smoothies, and macaroons, and salted chocolate/caramel anything, and anything with nutella, and red velvet everything. Don’t get me wrong, I am not bashing the many bloggers who are making these things. I love to make them all too! I am totally just stating an observation that I have recently made. Its kinda fun actually to make these things and experiment along with the rest of the baking blog world. Not that I have actually made any of those things and posted them. Though I did make Nutella Chip Cookies which were delish! Did I post about them? I don’t remember. Next time I make them I will 🙂 They were so yummy. But let me tell you, making your own chocolate chips out of nutella…not an quick and easy thing to do. 
Anyways…this whole thing about trends actually has nothing to do with what I am going to post about…except that maybe giant cupcakes are becoming a bit of a trend. 
Wait…you have heard of this right? Making a huge, jumbo cupcake? In the olden days…people used to use a round glass pyrex bowl and a round equally sized cake pan and put them together to make a big cake that, when iced, looks like a huge cupcake. 
Well times have changed and now…Wilton (and I am sure many other companies) have come up with a much simpler way to pull this fun cake off…
Its the Jumbo Cupcake Pan
Now to the point of the post…
A friend of a friend contacted me a weekish ago asking if I could make one for her sons first brithday. Of course I said YES! 
I received a pan for a wedding present and have seriously been waiting for the perfect occasion to whip out a giant cupcake! I baked a trial version tonight (there is nothing worse then saying yes when you are actually not sure if you can pull it off) and it turned out great!!! I am going to experiential with icing the top tomorrow afternoon. I am thinking either a light blue or green tinted buttercream with maybe a darker strip of colour swirled throughout. ( I learnt a fun and easy technique at a cupcake decorating class a while ago!) Anyways. It should be fun! 
Has anyone else ever made a Giant Cupcake Cake? Any tips? 
PS. We are home from mexico. We got home at 3:00 AM. It is def time for bed. We are super super tanned and had an awesome time! Maybe I will post a picture or two later 🙂 Sleep now.

Honey Bun Cake

I love cake that is acceptable to eat for breakfast.

I found this delicious recipe on Tasty Kitchen, which is a food community kinda like AllRecipes but hosted by Pioneer Woman. The recipes are usually original and creative. Almost everything is very very yummy!

Last night I made this cake. Honey Bun Cake. Its so yummy. Its a lot like a coffee cake but so much easier and fast and still just as tasty. I forgot to pour the icing on right when it came out of the oven, but it was so sweet already it didn’t really need it.

The lady who posted this recipe on tasty kitchen also has a blog. So for the recipe please visit her blog  called Serve at Once. This is super yummy. Make it for breakfast tomorrow. Yum. Christmas morning cake.

Ok So I also know it has been 100 years since I last posted 😦 . I am sorry! How do I ever expect to get any sort of blog following with that major lack of commitment!
But you see I have been making so many tasty things…I havent had time to share them!

I have been making things like this:

and this: 
and these: 
yummy candy like this: 

and tasty tarts like this: 
and then packaging them allll up in baskets like these
Everything is super tasty and turned out great. I have lots of picture to share coming really soon. Perhaps sporadically around Christmas. 

Texas Sheet Cake and My Favourite Spatula

Do you have a favorite spatula?
You know, the one that cleans the inside of your mixing bowl like a dream and folds egg whites like no tomorrow and fills a muffin tin without spilling batter all over the place?
Well, I have one. Its perfect. I love it. I don’t know where to find another one…but I need a new one…because mine broke…
right in half.

Shoot.
I still use it though…its almost more maneuverable without the handle. 
Actually I was at my grandmas the other day…and she has the same spatula in her drawer…and hers it taped together with duct tape…haha so obviously this was a bit of a design flaw…
I really like is use “…” as my only form of punctuation. I create my own grammar rules. Don’t tell my momma 
Texas Chocolate Sheet cake is sooooo yummy….

I eat it right out of the pan with a spoon. 
Have you ever had sheet cake? Basically it is a cakey brownieish thing baked in a large, rimmed cookie sheet and then covered with a really really really thick layer of chocolate icing as soon as you take it out of the oven. This results in a layer of gooey sweetness between the actual icing and the cake. Yum yum yum. 
Nuts in the icing are definitely optional, but something I like to leave out. 
Apparently it is soooo good that this is also the only picture I have of it. So here is the recipe. Adapted slightly from Pioneer Woman 🙂 
Cake:
2 cups Flour
2 cups Sugar
1/4 tsp Salt
4 heaping tablespoons Cocoa
1 cup of Butter 
1 cup Boiling Water
1/2 cup Buttermilk
2 beaten Eggs
1 teaspoon Baking Soda
1 teaspoon Vanilla
1. In a medium bowl, combine flour, sugar and salt. Set aside. 
2. Melt butter in a pot on the stove, and add cocoa. Stir.
3. Add boiling water and allow mixture to boil for about 30 seconds. Remove from heat and pour over flour mixture. 
4. In a measuring cup, pour buttermilk, eggs, baking soda and vanilla and stir well. Add to chocolate mixture. 
5. Pour into sheet cake pan, jelly roll pan, or any medium large cookie sheet with edges. The recipe says not to grease your pan, which does work just fine, but I like to line all my pans with parchment paper. It just makes clean up 100 times easier and then if I need to use that pan before the cake is gone, I can just slip it right out. 
6. Bake in a 350 degree F oven for about 20 minutes or until the cake springs back lightly. It does not take too long because the cake is not very think!
7.  While the cake is baking, make the icing
Ingredients:
1/2 cup finely chopped Pecans
3/4 cup Butter
4 heaping tablespoons Cocoa
6 tablespoons Milk 
1 teaspoon Vanilla
3 1/2 cups icing sugar ( 1 lb bag, minus 1/2 cup) 
a) Melt butter in a medium pot ( you can totally use the same one as before)
b) Stir in cocoa and turn off heat
c) Add milk, vanilla and icing sugar
d) Add pecans and stir until smooth
e) As soon as the cake comes out of the oven, pour the entire pot of icing over the cake and spread with a spatula. 
Eat is hot, eat it cold, eat it with ice cream or whipped cream or out of the pan with a spoon. Yum.