Monday, December 9, 2013

Strawberry Cake Decor

 Need an idea for a cute cake? Here's a simple strawberry themed two tiered cake. Keep reading for instructions and tools you will need.

This cake was created for a Wilton cake class I took through Michael's a few years ago. I was so tired of making flowers that I wanted to do something a little different for our assignment. Enter the cute strawberry!

The strawberries are made of fondant and shaped by hand. The little seed indents are made with a tooth pick and the hull was cut out of fondant using the “star” shaped cutter below. Just pinch the tips and press a line down the center of each flap with a tooth pick. (Toothpicks are such a handy go-to tool!)

The blossoms used the rose cutter seen below. I put a slit between each petal with an Exacto knife so that I could lift and curve each petal. The centers are piped in using a grass tip with yellow frosting.

Lastly, can you see the little curly tendrils on the cake? Those were painted on with a brush and green food coloring.

All the cutters, including the leaf shape (not shown) can be found in the Wilton Rose Bouquet Flower Cutter Set found here.

Thursday, December 5, 2013

Orange Cranberry Nut Bread

This bread is soft, sweet, slightly chewy and with the little bites of tart cranberries mixed in—it is easily one of my favorite sweet bread recipes. I normally gift it this time of year with instructions to try a slice lightly toasted with butter, the flavor reaches new heights when prepared this way—that's the magic of warm bread and butter.

I'm not even sure where the recipe came from originally—but my mom has made it for years. My copy was typed on a typewriter by her. And the directions are pretty much a one-liner saying something like this:
Mix all ingredients together and bake at 350 for 60 minutes.

Ummm….yeah. About that. So I'll do you one better and get a little more detailed so you don't end up with a bite full of salt!

Orange Cranberry Nut Bread:

Makes 3 medium loaves (7 3/8" x 3 5/8" pans)
If you half the recipe it makes one large loaf—bake for about 60 minutes.

In a mixer combine until blended:
4 Tablespoons softened butter
2 eggs
2 tsp salt
2 cups granulated sugar

Add and mix in:
1 1/2 cup 100% orange juice (not from concentrate)
2 cups chopped fresh cranberries (I use the food processor to chop them)

In a separate bowl, sift together:
4 cups white flour
1 tsp baking soda
3 tsp baking powder
1 cup chopped walnuts

Add dry ingredients to wet ingredients and combine until just mixed, scraping the bowl a few times as you go.

Grease and flour your pans. Fill them 2/3 full of batter. Bake in a preheated oven at 350°F for about 45 minutes or until a toothpick inserted comes out clean.