Change!

So, this little tab section-thing of the blog was all about my baking fails! However, I’m thinking that now it won’t just be about baking, but about truly ecstatic experiences that I’ve had! Whether it’s a cool trip or just a fun day out with friends, it’ll all be here! Get ready!:)

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The Fudge That Never Hardened

So, with a recent get-together, my friend and I decided that we were in the snacking mood. But, like all people, we never want to just pull something out of the pantry. No, we must bake! We raided the cookbooks and decided that a slight alteration on a rocky-road fudge recipe would be fun. We melted the cream and chocolate and mixed it with the marshmallow cream (this was our alteration…rather than using mini marshmallows, we decided the cream form would be a fine substitution). Once it was all mixed together (with light marshmallow chunks), we poured it into our 8×8 ” pan. We added some butterscotch chips, then stuck it in the fridge to harden. We waited, and waited, and waited…after about two grueling hours, our fudge still wasn’t hardening. Baffled, I decided sticking it in the freezer would be another option to try. After being in the freezer for another hour or so, we discovered that this fudge would not be firm. Although the taste was delicious, the texture was far from right. What could have gone wrong? Any ideas? The greatest chefs had to fail every once in a while, right?

This is what our fudge looked like.  The liquid fudge (before the hardening!).

This is what our fudge looked like. The liquid fudge (before the hardening!).

Cheesecake Pizza?

I’ve been on a roll lately…making the smoothie and the cheesecake on the same day.  There was a sale at Fresh & Easy for cream cheese, so my mom bought the ingredients for me to make a cheesecake.  Yum!  I pull out the family recipe and use the already made graham cracker crust (not store bought, just something made a while ago that I froze to save for later).  I mix everything needed for one cheesecake: Two packages of cream cheese, 2 eggs, 3/4 teaspoon of vanilla, and 1 1/2 cups of sugar.  I follow the recipe and pour it into the crust.  It’s pretty thick, but it should be fine.  I bake it for 1 hour and 15 minutes, then crack the oven and leave it baking for another hour.  I later found out that I wasn’t supposed to leave the oven on when I cracked it open for the last hour.  It didn’t exactly say that in the recipe, though.  It didn’t taste burnt at all, and it looked okay.  We cut into the first piece, and the cheesecake is really thin.  It’s like cheesecake pizza!  It tasted alright, even though the texture was a little weird.  The strange thing was that I added all the ingredients, and baking it with the oven on at the end shouldn’t change the height of the cheesecake.  I think it may have something to do with the cream cheese.  We normally use Philadelphia Cream Cheese, but we used Fresh and Easy’s instead.  Any ideas on what could’ve happened?  Leave a reply below!

Smoothie Sailing? I don’t think so!

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This isn’t my smoothie…but what it ended up kind of looking like!

My friend was over just the other day, and  we were in a snacky mood. Strangely, nothing too sweet sounded like it would soothe our tastebud’s insanity.  We decided on a smoothie.  I had the nice ingredients of frozen strawberries, bananas, and pomegranite juice.  I added some big handfuls of strawberries, one banana, and a splash of pomegranite juice.  With the blender that I had, when something is blending, it’ll  suddenly just stop swirling on top.  When you turn it off, a giant air bubble will puff up and pop.  This happened, but wasn’t a big problem at first.  It was all evenly blended, but tasted a bit too banana-y.  So we decided to add some more strawberries.  After adding in another handful, I didn’t have that many strawberries left.  So I just plopped in the rest.  Since the air bubble thing kept happening, the strawberries just wouldn’t fully blend.  So I added in a splash more of pomegranite juice.  It still seemed slightly chunky…pretty much the texture look of applesauce.  But it didn’t seem like full strawberry chunks were in there.  So I took two glasses and filled them up.   It was quite sour.  It appears we added too much pomegranite juice…which I find strange, considering it didn’t seem like we put in that much.  But we added just a spoonful of sugar to help the sourness go down.  That seemed to do the trick.  Despite the fact that it took a lot of adapting, it ended up tasting okay to me (although still slightly sour to my friend).  So not exactly smooth sailing…or should I say smoothie sailing!

Cupcakes…Kind of…

ImageThis is the part of the blog where you get to hear about some little mistakes that have happened in the past.  I was making cupcakes with a friend of mine.  We decided to make chocolate cupcakes.  Our plan was to use a chocolate cake mix with a chocolate ganache frosting (like a chocolate ganache, but thicker) with a vanilla glaze and little fondant decorations.  It sounds delicious, right?  Well, things didn’t go so well.  The chocolate cupcakes were fine, but the ganache was a little struggle.  It was melting, but blooming (blooming is when the chocolate turns a little white and powdery).  It got slightly too hot, so it started clumping together.  Wedecided to stick it in the freezer for a little to cool it down and let it form properly.  Of course, then it hardened and became like a brick.  Eventually we got it to soften slightly, and we dipped our cupcakes in it instead.  Then, it came time to make the glaze.  Everything went smoothly.  That is, until the vanilla glaze hardened and we could no longer use it on our cupcakes.  So we decided that with our luck, it was best to skip the fondant decorations.  Although the decoration and frostings didn’t work out as planned, it did taste good in the end.  It gave us a new experience, though!  Feel free to leave a comment about an experience that hasn’t work out too well when baking, or any suggestions that couldfix some of the problems we had!:)

Frosting Frenzy!

This is my cake that I made at Michael’s. Notice the different tips and how they affect the look of the cake.

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This is an example of the sunflower Oreo.

Although all baking creations are mainly about taste, you should always have a nice look to your cake.  However, this doesn’t mean that you have to go out Cake Boss style!  If your like me, you prefer more cake, less gum paste and edible paper.  I happen to love frosting, and using different tips to make a unique look is great!  However, an awesome frosting tip doesn’t always mean an awesome cake.  You need to know how to use the tip, first.  I recently went to a friend’s birthday party, and it was all about cake decorating.  It was held at Michael’s craft store.  We each got our own mini cake, and were able to decorate it however we liked!  We had a helper with us the whole time.  She started out by showing us how to properly frost the first layer of our cake.  Once it was all frosted, it was time to decorate.  To get our creative juices flowing, she demonstrated a couple of the frosting tips for us on a cake of her own.  One of these included making a sunflower.  You take an Oreo, stick it into your cake (it should pop out a little), and take yellow frosting and lightly squiggle it around the outside of the Oreo.  Repeat this until it goes all the way around the Oreo.  It looks like a sunflower!  After practicing the use of each tip, we began.  My main goal was to use every tip possible and make it look pretty.  I used what I call the snail tip as a border around the bottom of the cake, then used the dot tip to make blue dots around the top.  I added a sunflower to the top, then frosted on the word “Sunny”.  I filled up the rest of the top with pink swirl flowers (also made from frosting), then added leaves as a finishing touch.  In my opinion, it turned out very cute and perfect for a spring event.  Overall, I had a lot of fun getting to test out all the different tips, and would recommend doing this to anyone who wants to learn more about cute but simple decorating skills!