Made by hands, expressed from the heart.

Sunday, December 29, 2013

The Perfect Hamburger Cake

A few weeks ago I made a hamburger cake for my boss, and people liked so much that my friend asked to make one.
This time I made sure I took good pictures to show how I made, so you try to make your own.
The first step is to pick a baking pan. I chose an 8 inch pan, to make a more precise shape of the bread.
The cake recipe I found on Food Network's website, and the recipe is here: Honey Vanilla Pound Cake.

While the cake was baking, I made a recipe of Candy Clay, then used food coloring to make the lettuce, tomatoes and cheese. To make the shapes, I used a rolling pin to roll the different color candy clays, wrapped in plastic film. After flat, they were cut in four pieces with a pizza cutter. Finally I shaped the edges of each piece using my fingers (tomato, lettuce and cheese). If they are too soft, place back in the refrigerator.

To make the "mayo", I used vanilla frosting, recipe from Food Network: Vanilla Frosting.
After the cake is cool, I cut in half.
Then the cake is stacked: bottom part of cake, vanilla frosting, tomato, cheese and lettuce.

The top half was covered with fondant, mixed with brown food coloring. The sesame seeds were made also with fondant, and a little more brown food coloring.
And here the burger cake ready.

Tuesday, December 24, 2013

Gingerbread Barn.

Since my attempt to make gingerbread man was successful, I decided to be braver and go for a gingerbread house. After debating on the type of house, I chose a Christmas barn (I guess animals always be a part of my work).
First I grabbed some cardboard to work on a prototype.

Then I made the template in paper, to be cut in the dough (my kid got ahead of me and used one of my papers to draw).

And the cardboard model could be used for the kids to color and play, and even gave me ideas.

Then I used the recipe from Food Network : Gingerbread 101.

Making according to the instructions, and cutting each piece following my templates, they baked well and weren't too hard.

While the pieces of gingerbread were cooling, I made the icing and colored some of them, using gel food coloring.

I made some horses cutting the dough with a knife, and using my fingers to shape it better. Still flat on the table, I decorated all the pieces using pipping bags using cones of parchment paper (learn how to make here on this link).

After a couple of hours the sugar of the decoration was dry, so I could assemble my barn, propping the sides using my cans of beans, so they would stay still. There were a lot of parts that would touch perfectly, so I blobbed a bunch of icing to cover, and to keep it attached. So I left to dry overnight.

The next day it was all dry and ready for pictures...

... and playing, before we leave for Santa to eat.

Merry Christmas!

Wednesday, December 18, 2013

Cookies for School.

This year I volunteered to send cookies to my son's holiday school party. Since I am no expert in baking, I was tempted to go to BJ's and buy a big container of cookies. But I decided to jump in and give it a try. So I searched for simple recipes, with good reviews, and saw 2 recipes the kids could make.
Chocolate cookies are always a hit, so I made this recipe Chocolate Chip Cookies from Food Network.

Then after ready, I placed them in a box, and made a little drawing on the front.

The other recipe I used was these Gingerbread Cookies, also from Food Network. The cookie cutters I used fro my kit I had for Ninjabread Cookie Kit.

In the end the kitchen was messy, and I spent a whole morning to finish everything. But it was worth it, for Mrs. Sommi and her third grade class to celebrate another year that our kids grow and learn. Thank you Mrs. Sommi.

Saturday, December 14, 2013

Gifts Galore!

It is always fun to have Christmas parties at work, but at Animal General they are extra special. They are extremely generous on the gifts for all the employees, the food is delicious and there is always entertainment.
And there is always Secret Santa, and a few people I want to make presents.
For my friend Barbara, who loves the color purple and eagles, I used polymer clay to make her a little decoration.

Mary loves cats, so I made her a pillow. And painted a little wooden house I got from Michaels, decorating with some kitty cats using polymer clay.

And for dear Alice, who came with a sling because of a broken shoulder, I made her a pillow, too. But on this, I used a specific piece of paper from the office she is very attached to, and wrote her a note. Then I scanned the paper, flipped the image on the computer using Photoshop. Then printed the image on T shirt transfer paper (that is the reason the image had to be flipped). Then the paper gets transferred to a piece of fabric, according to the instructions. And finally I sewed the pillow, as regular.

Christmas are always fun, but people appreciating what I make, is a the greatest gift I can ever receive.

Sunday, December 8, 2013

Bake a Wish.

What I like about Facebook is that people around the world can come together to build something positive, and that's what the Make a Wish Foundation UK decided to do this Christmas.
They asked bakers around the world to show pieces inspired on their favorite Christmas movie, and post it on their Facebook page. The ones I guess they like, they put out a tutorial and sell it online, and the money raised help children and young people with life threatening conditions.
I decided to give a try and hope I can help too, so I chose Rudolph, the Red Nose Reindeer.
Rudolph and the Elf were made out of fondant.

The mountain behind was a corn cake shaped like a triangle and covered with sugar.

And the lakes are made out of a recipe for stunt glass, which is basically water, sugar and other ingredients.

And the trees behind are made of candy clay, which is made of white chocolate.

I hope somehow this can make some kind of contribution to the Make a Wish Foundation, and make a better Christmas for kids around the world.
That makes a very good Christmas for myself.