Category Archives: Candy

First cake order ever!!!!!

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The other day my friend/coworker said to me: Hey can I hire you to make a cake for my step dad?

And my reply was: HECK YA YOU CAN HIRE ME TO MAKE A CAKE FOR YOUR STEP DAD! 

I couldn’t believe it, someone wanted ME to make their cake! Someone trusted ME to make a birthday cake and wanted to pay me for it?! Whoa!

I was nervous, of course, because the birthday cake is such a crucial part of birthday events. It needs to be jaw droppingly delicious and most importantly it needs make an unforgettable impression on the birthday person. 

But without hesitation, I accepted this awesome opportunity. My friend had very simple requests, all she wanted to be incorporated into the flavour were chocolate and candy. 

Oddly, I had the most difficult time designing this cake. I wanted to do something complicated at first, like make a candyland themed cake. But that would require shaping things out of fondant and molding chocolate. My skills are definitely lacking in that department so I didn’t even dare try it, in case I mess up the cake 😦

Throughout the designing process, my friend and I facebook messaged each other to work out the details. Eventually we settled on something more simple, I guess mostly because I wasn’t too comfortable with my cake decorating abilities 😛

I made a three layered vanilla cake, filled and covered in caramel buttercream, drizzled in caramel then topped with lots and lots of candy! Her step dad really liked the cake and even wanted to eat it for breakfast the day after his birthday. Yenno what? I think that her step-dad and I would be the bestest of friends because I am pro cake-for-breakfast 🙂

Vanilla Cake

notes: at first I made this cake incorrectly because I added too little flour, but that mistake yielded the softest, lightest, vanillay-est cake ever! The second time I made the cake with the correct amount of flour and it still got excellent results, the only difference was that the cake was a bit firmer for easier handling. This recipe is from Magnolia, the famous bakery in New York. Best vanilla cake ever, I think my search is finally over. Oh I find that having all your cold ingredients come to room temp before baking makes a better cake. Try it if you have the time!

Ingredients

1 1/2 cups self-rising flour (1 cup self-rising flour = 1 cup sifted all-purpose flour + 1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder + 1/2 teaspoon salt)
1 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, softened
2 cups granulated/castor sugar
4 large eggs, at room temperature
1 cup milk
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

How To

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.

2. In a small bowl, combine the flours and set aside.

3. In a large bowl, on the medium speed of an electric mixer, cream the butter until smooth. Add the sugar gradually and beat until fluffy, about 3 minutes. Add in the eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition.

4. Add the dry ingredients in parts, alternating with the milk and vanilla extract, end with adding flour. With each addition, beat until the ingredients are incorporated, taking care not to overbeat. Using a rubber spatula, scrape down the batter in the mixing bowl to make sure all the ingredients are well blended.

5. Carefully pour the batter into greased 10in cake pan. Slap the bottom of the pan against a counter/floor to get rid of air bubbles. Bake for 25-27 minutes or until a cake tester inserted into the center of the cupcake comes out clean. Cool the cake in the pan completely before handling.

Caramel Buttercream

note: I did not measure how much icing sugar and milk I used. I just kept adding things until the buttercream tasted right.

Ingredients

1 cup unsalted butter, room temperature
2/3 cup caramel sauce
icing sugar

milk

1. Cream butter until light and fluffy 

2. Add caramel and mix until blended.

3. Mix in icing sugar until you reach the desired sweetness level and texture.

4. Add milk to make the icing creamy and spreadable.

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New Found Love for Snickers Bars

It was my friend’s 20th birthday last Sunday. 

Golly, 20 is a HUGE number. It scares me how fast time is passing by, I swear we were just celebrating our sweet 16’s a couple months ago. I’m so glad that I’m still 19 and that my birthday is in December. There’s a long wayyy to go before I’M 20 😛

Anyway so back to my friend’s birthday, I was frantically trying to find a birthday present for him a couple hours before his party. 

Here was my thought process:

Hmm, what to get him… OH he’s active and he’s pretty health conscious, OK so I’ll get him a smoothie maker and a tumbler!

Hang on, are there such things as smoothie makers? Oh right, blenders make smoothies. Dammit, I’m pretty sure he has a blender already.

Arghh, that was a million dollar idea too. Now I have think again… oh heyyyy, last time I hung out with him, he bought a snickers bar from a vending machine. That must means he LOVES them right? Sweet, I’ll make him some snickers for his birthday!! Whoohoo I found him a present!! No more shopping!

I’m terrible at gift shopping, it’s really hard for me to think about what others would like. I would rather study for a midterm than go gift shopping. 

   

You wanna hear about the snickers now don’t you? 

To be honest, I was never a huge fan of snickers bars.

Every halloween, snickers bars would be the first things I give up for trade, right after crispy crunch bars of course. (Crispy crunch is grossssss)

I could probably live without eating snickers ever again. I said probably.

I had the full intention of giving away all 16 bars that I made to my friend, but I had  to try one. Standard taste-test yenno? 😉

One bite and I was converted. These tasted just like the store bought ones but a BAJLLION times BETTER. They had a huge kick of PB flavour, a chewy layer of nougat and crunchy peanuts for a contrast of textures. I immediately wished for a time machine so that I could go back in time and un-trade all of my snickers bars.

Homemade Snickers Bars

Bottom Chocolate Layer:

1 1/4 cups milk chocolate chips
1/4 cup peanut butter

Thoroughly grease a 9×13 baking pan. Melt chocolate and PB together in a microwave, then pour into the baking dish and spread until even. Put it in the freezer to let it harden.

Nougat Layer:

1/4 cup unsalted butter
1 cup granulated sugar
1/4 cup evaporated milk
1 1/2 cups marshmallow fluff
1/4 cup peanut butter
1 1/2 cup salted peanuts chopped, roughly chopped
1 tsp vanilla extract

Melt butter in a microwave-safe bowl. Add in sugar and milk, stirring until dissolved and bring to a boil in the microwave. Let it boil in microwave for another 2-3 mins , stirring at each 1 minute interval. Add in fluff, peanut butter and vanilla, stirring until smooth. Fold in peanuts, then pour over bottom chocolate layer. Put the pan back into the freezer while you prepare the caramel layer.

Caramel Layer:
1 14-ounce bag of caramels

1/4 cup whipping cream

Combine ingredients in a microwave-safe bowl and heat on medium for a couple minutes or until caramel melts. Stirring  until smooth. Pour over nougat layer and put pan back into the freezer.

Top Chocolate Layer:
1 1/4 cups milk chocolate chips

1/4 cup peanut butter

 Melt chocolate and PB together in a microwave, then pour over the caramel layer and spread until even. Put it in the freezer to let it harden for about 20 minutes.

When you take out the pan from the freezer it takes about 5-10 minutes for the bars to soften, then you can cut them easily and serve.

Adapted from: How Sweet Eats who got it from someone named Nikki (I can’t find her recipe page) who got it from Taste of Home

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The ROCKIN’-ESS Birthday Present

VERY IMPORTANT IMFORMATION! I do NOT have Bieber fever.

The pic was for my friend to feast her eyes on.

Second piece of information: I JUST realized the font colour of my posts have been gray. I’m sorry. I hope you didn’t go blind reading my blog.

So my friend celebrated her 19th birthday last friday. Her requests were simple, a gathering of friends at a restaurant downtown for dinner. Her wishlish was as simple as you could get. I love this girl, she never asks for much, as long as she’s with her friends, that’s all she needs. The item that stood out the most for me on her list was “A LOT OF CANDY”. So, I raked my brain trying to figure out how I could possibly kick that up a notch. I want to hand her a bag of candy, though she wouldn’t complain about it. I just wanted to give her a little something more special.

That’s when my creativity kicked in and I decided to make her this candy tower! I don’ t have a lot of creativity (being a science kid and all) but when it hits me, the ideas always knock my socks off with awesomeness.


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