Dec 23, 2009

Last Cake, Next Cake

These weeks when we bake from the Quick and Easy list are so nice. Everyone's happy and (most) everyone's successful. SugarMother baked hers in star-shaped forms as well as in a square pan; she doesn't think the stars look like stars, but when I clicked on her blog, I said to myself, "Oh, those stars are so cute!" Saira made hers in cupcakes, and loved them (despite not much liking gingerbread!). Rose's recipes can be pretty miraculous this way--people like her fruitcake despite not liking fruitcake; her gingerbread despite not liking gingerbread; her coconut cake despite not liking coconut. I also have to send you to Nicola's blog, if you haven't visited it yet. She starts out with a story about the New Zealand All Blacks and segues smoothly into her experience with the gingerbread cake, which she ended up liking (spread with butter) despite the fact that it erupted in her oven.
this week has got to be Patricia from Butter Yum, who managed to turn this simple, homey cake into ... homes! Mini-gingerbread houses, in fact. The thing I find most amazing about her description of making this little gingerbread cakes is that she says making and playing with royal icing is a "great way to relax during the pre-Christmas hustle and bustle." I have made royal icing a few times--the few times I attempted gingerbread houses, and I can assure you that I was not relaxed. But chacun a son gout, as they say, and thank goodness there are people like Patricia, who can show people like me what can be done with patience and a loving attitude.
Also props to Patricia for taking a black and white photo that made it to the finals in a photo contest on popular blogger, Pioneerwoman.

We're face-to-face with our most challenging cake yet: the dreaded yet awesome Holiday Pinecone Cake. Places, everyone. Do you have your half-sheet pan? Your Spectrum shortening? Your gelatin? Your glycerin? Do you have your courage? If so, get ready to bake!

And, whatever holidays you celebrate, and whether you're snowed in or basking in the sun, please enjoy these days and reflect on how lucky we all are.


Patricia @ ButterYum said...

Oh wow - thanks for making me the featured baker this week Marie! Fun-fun!


anitsirK said...

So far, the hardest part for me has been rolling it up. I've made fondant before (though never chocolate flavoured), so that part was no issue, but I've never made a roulade until now. I think maybe I should have put my ganache in the fridge to harden, because 2 or 3 hours after I made it, it was solid enough to stay where I put it as I spread it, but it squished out the short end of the roll as I finished rolling. It's chilling in the fridge overnight, waiting to be covered in fondant tomorrow when I get home from work.

Patricia @ ButterYum said...

Grrr - there are 3 places in my town that sell glycerin... all happen to be sold out at the moment. Don't know if I'll attempt the fondant without the glycerin - it definitely helps keep the fondant pliable.


Nicola said...


Not sure if this helps, but I bought my glycerin at the chemist. It is used to treat dry throats and dry skin.

You might get lucky there.

I am in the process of trying to get my fondant silky and a little elastic. So far, so not silky nor elastic.


Mendy said...


Can't find glycerin either. The drug store said the only glycerin they have are suppositories. :(

Patricia @ ButterYum said...

I can buy glycerin (100% food safe vegetable glycerine) in a specialty cake/candy making store, Michael's arts and crafts, and one of my local bakeries sells it as well. A 4-ounce bottle costs about $2. I've read that some old-time pharmacies carry it. The kind of pharmacies that mix compound prescriptions (must be similar to Nicola's suggestion of asking a chemist). I haven't had a chance to find if we have one of those in our town yet - will look after Christmas.


Marie said...

I wish you were all close enough to me to allow me to be Grand Glycerin Station. I have enough to last me three or four lifetimes.
Mendy, I'm glad to hear that you weren't so desperate that you got the suppositories.

Hanaâ said...

I'm going to have to skip this week's cake. Too many (end of year) things going on. Looking forward to seeing all your pine cone creations, and meeting with you next week for the Whipped Cream Cake.