Friday, October 21, 2011

My Official Mice Day

This is my calendar day to begin my Christmas mice fairy ornaments, which also marks the day to houseproof for mice! Last year a very terrible thing happened. We forgot to check the dryer vent going outside. Oh yes, we did. Needless to say first Mickey and his gal moved in and had baby mice. I really am not so sure how many, but they had a lot!! Then I think they told all their pals, "hey this gal has a warm stove all the time and bakes a lot of yummy stuff for us!" Well before you knew it we were absolutely swarmed with them, and as cute as they are, we had to take action and quick. In hopes to never have to take such action again, we are making sure the little cuties can just stay cute outside, doing their own outside winter things.
So while those mice are doing their outside mouse things we can busy ourselves doing inside mouse things for Hallowe'en, Christmas or just about any reason, even loving those cute destruction loving monsters!
Sugar Mice, from The Unofficial Harry Potter Cookbook (Adams Media, 2011)
The baker in you can get way busy making little adorable sugar mice, thanks to Canadian Living and author Dinah Bucholz. Afterall, Harry Potter had the cutest little mice and you can too!
I changed the recipe up a bit, but you can find the original here in the book The Unofficial Harry Potter Cookbook: From Cauldron Cakes to Knickerbocker Glory--More Than 150 Magical Recipes for Muggles and Wizards

I absolutely know my sweet niece Breanne will go mad for this book! In the meantime she can learn how to build Auntie's mice.

I believe the mice really were white in the Harry Potter Books but I like mine more a caramel toffee brown so will show you how to make those. You can absolutely make both because they reign in cuteness.

Please make sure to gather all your recipe potions at the market ahead of time so you are ready set .... go!

Sugar Mice

Ingredients/Shopping List

3/4 stick (6 tbsp) butter, at room temperature 69F-72F is best
1/4 cup white corn syrup (this allows you to use any food colour gel you wish to and also keeps your mice white if you would like that)
NOTE: (1/4 cup dark corn syrup will help attain your golden mouse colour I prefer)
1/2 tsp pure vanilla bean paste (so you can keep your wee mice colour true)
3 cups confectioners’ sugar, sifted
Gel paste food colour (I use orange and brown to get a caramel tan colour) You can find these colourings at Michaels or even bulk food stores like Bulk Barn
1/4 cup confectioners sugar sifted on work board

1.    Combine the butter, corn syrup, and vanilla and beat until thoroughly combined. Add the confectioners’ sugar slowly on the slowest speed until it forms a dough-like consistency. If you add to quickly the powdered sugar will fly all about making a horrendous mess. Add more confectioners’ sugar, 1 tablespoon at a time, if the mixture is sticky, not too sticky you can wrap the fondant in plastic wrap and refrigerate until ready to use. You will also be working on powdered sugar which will also allow absorption of the "stickiness" This sugar dough will keep for several months in the refrigerator.
2.    To make the sugar mice, pinch off a small piece of fondant and roll into a 1/2-inch ball. Roll the ball into an oval and pinch one end for the nose and two ends to make pointed ears. You can make two indentations for eyes with a toothpick. Pinch off another piece of dough to form a 1 1/2-inch ball and shape into an oval for the body. Attach the body to the head. You can stick a piece of licorice into the back for the tail. If the fondant gets too soft to work with, put it back in the refrigerator to firm up again.
3.    Repeat until all the fondant is used up. Line up the mice on parchment paper and leave out overnight to dry.
Makes about 20 Sugar Mice
By Debbie Brown author of many fine books
You can also get formal sculpting lessons for a more particular mouse from my friend Debbie Brown. Hers look like the photo to your right because they are hers!

Debbie Brown has several books published and they are all amazing! I know I own them all. Especially for this particular tutorial which fittingly for the season, has these sweeties living in a pumpkin house, you will want her book Debbie Brown’s 50 Easy Party Cakes

You will see Debbie's adorable pumpkin house on the cover of her book! Thinking of maybe that is how I can keep those mice out of my house .... line up a bunch of Debbie Brown Pumpkin houses up outside. I am more than certain they will move right on in!
You can purchase this book here

Note about British culture: Making little animals such as mice or pigs out of an easy-to-make fondant is a popular activity for British kids. Often you can purchase fondant from a cake decorators supply store if you want to make many and quickly.
Then back to my opening sentence, my mice fairies. last night I was up until the wee hours making their wee legs and booties. And you can do the exact same thing with fondant and black edible paint markers.

Onward to show you all the little mice legs I have made, more on that though another time.  Happy mousing and many thanks to my friend Debbie Brown!


Thursday, October 20, 2011

Queen Elizabeth Cake

Queen Elizabeth Cake

by Sweet Cuppin Cakes Bakery Lyndsay Zoratti

Pour 1 cup of boiling water over 1 cup of chopped dates and 1 teaspoon of soda.
Let your dates stand and prepare the next ingredients using a basic cake method, Cream butter, sugar and egg Then sift together dry ingredients add to your creamed mixture in 3 increments. Stir in nuts and vanilla.


1 cup of sugar
1/4 cup of butter, creamed with sugar
1 egg, beaten
1 1/2 cups of sifted flour
1/2 tsp. of baking powder
1/2 cup of crushed walnuts
1 teaspoon of vanilla paste
Add the date mixture to your batter by folding in. Pour into a prepared pan. I use a 9 inch round fat daddios pan. Bake at 350F for 35 mins or until cake tester comes out clean.
You can torte it with more date filling or frosting if desired. Simply slice the cake in 3 equal layers. This cake also lends itself to marzipan figures decorating the top and sides.

Brown Sugar Frosting
5 tablespoons of brown sugar
5 tablespoons of cream
2 tablespoons of butter
You can add maple flavoring here which I love
Boil for 3 minutes and spread on cake.  If you torte the cake you will need to double this and I suggest pouring it on the cake and let the frosting make its own way around the cake.
Sprinkle with nuts, if desired.

Optional date filling for torting:
2 pkgs chopped dates (Sun Maid)
1/2 - 3/4 cup water
1/8 cup sugar
cook over medium heat until dates are soft and you have a smooth paste
Add 1 tsp lemon juice

Thursday, October 13, 2011

Peanut Butter Creams

Peanut Butter Creams
Makes 30 
1/4 cup confection sugar
1 Cup Chocolate Chips
1/2 Cup Sweetened Condensed Milk
1 Cup Peanut Butter

1. Put the confectioners sugar in the bowl.  

2. Add the chocolate chips.  
3. add the milk. 
4. Add the peanut butter.  
5. Then stir everything together with the spoon.  
6. Next drop pieces of candy onto the waxed paper.  
7. Chill the candy for a short time.  

Notes: ****Use sweetened condensed milk, not the evaporated milk.  You get about 30 small peanut butter creams. These look fantastic served up in our wonderful collection of size 37 cupcake liner. I love these ones

Thursday, October 6, 2011

PIneapple Topping or Filling for Cupcakes

PIneapple topping or filling for Cupcakes

Ever want something other than buttercream, I hear you! I have changed a lot of things in this wee recipe and am certain my Gran did too. I had hoped to find a snipping with her wild writing on it.

8 ounces cream cheese
1 small box instant pudding vanilla (today I used Cheesecake pudding)
14 ounce can of crushed pineapple with juice
8 ounces whipped topping
Mix together cream cheese, instant pudding and crushed pineapple with juice. The trick here is to beat the cream cheese until it is very light and fluffy adding the pudding mix with most of the pineapple juice. When this is done stir in the remaining crushed pineapple and any leftover juice. Gently fold in whipped topping to the mixture. It is important to fold in the whipped topping with a large spatula, because you do not want to beat the dickens out of the air in the whipped topping. Get a large pastry bag armed and ready with an R4 pastry/meringue tip. (this is much bigger than a Wilton tip. I have a guide below of what not to buy. I keep a few of the R4 nozzles in my webstore.)
Today I made a three layer torte for my Doc, for Thanksgiving, because if there is anyone I am thankful for it is her. She takes care of our whole family and the awesome thing is she cares!

Pipe your topping on, in winder motion round and round or dollup dollup dollup! The dollup motion uses less frosting and wont make "too much" for anyone .... once you taste this though, there really is not a too much! Also do not get any exciting ideas of covering this in a white ganache, it doesnt work and it ends up looking like a meteor rock on top of your cupcake. You can however, take an apple corer and twist out some cake, fill the hole and frost with a whipped cream frosting.
1 pint whipping cream
1/2 cup confectioners sugar
1 tsp vanilla or 1 tsp coconut flavouring
Whip until soft peaks form and pipe with a large round nozzle fitted bag atop your cupcake.
Here I dolloped with a big spoon because it is soooo good!
Do not throw out your cored bits of cake, save them for crumble topping or cake balls. I store mine in the freezer until I have enough to do anything with, generally 2 cups. We will talk cake recipes in a couple of days. It is quite beneficial to this dessert to keep it cold.

R4 Nozzle used for meringues is the tip to use!

This is the chart of tips not to use for this recipe:
Hope you enjoy and would love if you commented below with whatever version you come up with!

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

My Mum's Famous Banana Bread and my Banana Uncle

Mum's famous Banana Bread
also an adaptation by me.

There are a couple of stories that go with this recipe, not to mention the fact that it is one of my family's faves and one of my brothers fall down on the floor and moan if you put peanut butter and honey on a warm slice (honey first folks) let it soak into that warm bread and then the JIF peanut butter. JIF is truly the best. I should mention here, day old banana bread out of the fridge toasts brilliantly! I just like butter on mine. Everyone else uses honey and peanut butter.
Now my banana trivia Uncle. This particular Uncle of mine played for the New York Rangers and was a right winger. I can give you more clues another time. I mention this only to show you how worldly this man is. Well he was, and still is very cool, and married to my Dad's sister. So this Uncle of mine is a very knowledgeable guy. While making the banana bread with my Mum at Gran's house he is watching us peel the bananas. Well, you know to break the top of an overripe banana without a gooey mess can sometimes be next to impossible. Not for my Uncle because he pays attention. Over he saunters from the table, a place where we all gathered to laugh and have fun, and of course get warm treats out of Gran's old gas oven; grabs a banana turns it upside down and pulls off that wee bottom button thingie and the banana is so easy to peel. He looks at my Gran and says "That is how the monkeys at the zoo do it" hahaha Well you should have seen her face. I cannot tell you what else she said to him, but I will tell you she was from England. Nuff said haha.
It works! Try it. So I always think of that exact story and the four of them when I make banana bread.
Now for my family. We like to trade things up a bit sometimes, so today I made this recipe but added one teaspoon maple flavouring (Rawleighs only guys) put two dishers (size 16)* (8 TBS) of batter into each standard cupcake cup, I used these liners and had to do a tiny retro fit but hey, they worked. I sprinkled them with just a wee bit of chopped pecan bits. Banana Maple Pecan Muffin Cupcakes are born this October 5th 2011!
I plan to serve them on Thanksgiving morning, so will freeze and then when I warm them up I will glaze them with a simple maple glaze or warmed peanut butter with a melted maryjane in it .... Enjoy

This is a fantastic chart I found over at Wiki! It is accurate and wonderful.
The fate of the bananas in the background is coming soon.
The wee pedestal is also available in my wee shoppe.

Tuesday, October 4, 2011

No Bake Amazingly Good Don't drop your fork Cheesecake Pie

No Bake Amazingly Good Don't drop your fork Cheesecake Pie

For a few days now, since Saturday, I have had a couple of things on my mind. Nothing overly exerting or anything, well maybe the song driving me nuts in my brain. Yes, a song I heard at my nieces wedding that will not leave my mind. My brain starts singing it to me at random intervals of my day; like now .... It goes something like "If you like it you should've put a ring on it oh oh oh" It is likely I got the lyrics wrong but the music part is bopping around in my head like a bad dream. Where does it happen most, in my kitchen of all places, where my other conundrum happens to be. My daughter has come forth with the song should anyone else want to go bonkers It's BeyoncĂ© — Single Ladies (Put A Ring On It) Thanks my daughter Jen, now please help Mum remove it from her mind. Friends it is horrible.
Onward ....

Chocolate Cream Pie: YES But not likely any old pie if you know me at all. It must be my Grans pie because there was magic in it. Gosh I should have paid a little closer attention to those odd twists and turns in the kitchen, she made. Kind of like "with a finger aside of her nose" kind of thing, "she turned with a jerk" Well after my great hunt I found the magic and in 2 short days this pie will be hitting the bellies of all I love on Thanksgiving. 

  • 1 1/4 cups graham cracker crumbs
  • 1/3 cup butter or margarine, melted
  • 2 teaspoons granulated sugar                                    
  • 1 envelope (.25 oz.) unflavored gelatin
  • 2/3 cup water
  • 2 pkgs. (8 oz. each) cream cheese, softened
  • 2 cups (12-oz. pkg.) TOLL HOUSE® Semi-Sweet Chocolate Morsels, melted with an additional 
  • 2 tbsp dark cocoa * and cooled *follow pkg directions for this
  • 1 can (14 oz.) Sweetened Condensed Milk
  • 1 cup heavy whipping cream, whipped
  • 1 tablespoon chocolate extract or vanilla

How to make this Cheesecake PIe


 MIX graham cracker crumbs, butter and sugar together in 2 - 9 inch pie pans Bake at 350 for 8 minutes if you like. This firms up the crust but not required.


Sprinkle over water in small saucepan; let stand for 1 minute. Warm over low heat, stirring constantly, just until gelatin dissolves. Remove from heat. 

Beat cream cheese and melted chocolate in large mixer bowl until fluffy. Gradually beat in sweetened condensed milk. Stir in gelatin mixture; fold in whipped cream. Pour into prepared pie crusts. 2 prepared 9-inch (9 ounces each) graham cracker crusts can be substituted for the 9-inch spring-form bottom. Divide filling evenly. Refrigerate for about 3 hours or until set.Can be served with fruit and more whipped topping and Nestle chocolate shavings.

Cake Bridge

Cake Bridge by neviepiecakes
Cake Bridge, a photo by neviepiecakes on Flickr.

My friend Natasha Collins just blew my mind with this cake! This gal has such talent WOW!

Coca Cola Poured Frosting Tradition Recipe

Coca Cola Frosting (This is not a make ahead recipe as it is more like a poured fondant) I use this recipe for holiday petit fours. Enjoy

Yield: 2 cups
1/2  cup minus 2 tbsp real butter (no substitutions)
1/3  cup  Coca-Cola
3  tablespoons dark brute cocoa
1  (16-ounce) package powdered icing sugar
1  tablespoon  vanilla bean paste (this is so no more liquid is added)
Bring first 3 ingredients to a boil in a large saucepan over medium heat, stirring until butter melts. Remove from heat; whisk in icing sugar and vanilla.