Monday, August 17, 2009

Sunday Morning Brunch

Scones, Muffins & Bagels, Oh My!

So sue me, I'm a lover of carbs! I like bacon and eggs just as much as the next person, but my idea of the ultimate breakfast always includes bagels and baked goods! Some of my all time favorite treats are blueberry muffins and blueberry scones, and I love making them and serving them up warm anf fresh! And while I may not make the worlds best bagel, it is still pretty incredible, and I must say a home made bagel is worth all the effort!

Here are some pictures I have taken while making these wonderful brunch favorites, hopefully they will inspire you to get busy in the kitchen next weekend and treat yourself to a spectacular brunch!
Here is my blueberry scone dough log all ready to be cut up into the farmiliar triangular scone shape.
Here the scones have been cut, lightly brushed with melted butter, and sprinkled with a little sugar before going into the oven.

After baking in the oven, the scones cool on wire racks.
The best part, plating them up and serving them with a hot cup of coffee or tea!
Bagel dough in the Kitchenaid mixer...
Seperating the dough...
Continuing to seperate the dough, bagel shapes are starting to come along now...
Hmmm... All the Fun Bagel Accessories...Sesame Seeds...Poppy Seeds...Dried Onion
Here, as the sun rises, so do the bagels!
I can remember the first time I read my bagel recipe, how surprised I was to find out you actually boil the bagels before baking them in the oven.
These bagels have been boiled, decorated with delicious toppings and they're ready for the oven
Fresh Bagels! Do I need to say more, I think the picture speaks for itself.
Here are the blueberry muffins just before they receive their cumbly topping and enter the oven...
And here they are baking up nice and pretty! It's a shame I didn't capture any cute picture's of them after they cooled off, I think I was too tempted to top it with butter and devour them!

Tuesday, August 4, 2009

Amy's Birthday Cake

One of my very best friends celebrated her birthday this past June (yes I am a little tardy on my post) by having a little get together with family and friends at one of our local tropical restaurants. We sat on the outdoor deck sipping umbrella drinks, enjoying coconut shrimp appetizers and dancing to the live reggae band. It was amazing! And I surprised her with a fabulous birthday cake, decorated just for the occasion. But I couldn't make her just any old birthday cake, I had to go all out! So I decided to make Tres Leches, a wonderful cuban sponge cake dessert drenched in three types of milk and topped with meringe. Then I decorated it just like a regular birthday cake!
Enjoy the photo's below...
Yellow fondant flowers. I rolled out some pre-colored fondant and used one of my small 5 point flower cutters and let them dry out for about 1 day before decorating the cake.
My gumpaste hibiscus flowers took a little more work. I tinted the gumpaste shades of orange and red. Then I rolled out the gumpaste pretty thin, and used an orchid petal cutter, which gives you the three teardrop shapped leaves. So each hibiscus has two orchid petal cut outs, for six leaves total. The first cut out is laid in the bottom of a cupcake holder, then brush the edges of the petals with gumpaste water, and then the second cut out is laid offset of the first cut out. Then I placed a stamen (non-edible) in the middle of the hibiscus and sprinkled edible glitter flakes on top for some added flair.
Next I contructed some simple palm tree's. The base of the trees are chocolate piroulines. That is easy enough! Then I rolled out some pre-colored fondant and cut out about eighteen leaves using a small leaf cutter. To get the first set of leaves to stay put on the top of the tree, I placed three leaves overlapping each other on top of the pirouline, and then I inserted a tooth pick down inside the pirouline that held the leaves in place. Then I layered more leaves on top using gumpaste water to hold them in place. They needed to dry standing up, so I placed a tooth pick halfway into a block of styrofoam, and placed the pirouline on top of the tooth pick.
Here is the Tres Leches all ready to be decorated. Ahhh, a blank canvas. Not for long!
I piped a pink buttercream shell border around the edges, and sprinkled some brown sugar for a sand effect.
Then came the real fun! I added the palm trees, hibiscus flowers, yellow flowers, and more brown sugar sand to create an edible tropical paradise!
An up close shot of the hibiscus flowers...
And finally to complete the cake, I piped a Happy Birthday message in more pink buttercream!