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Monday, July 26, 2010

Review-Duff Cake Products

Today I began prepping for to make Maddox's birthday cake with a trip to Michael's for a few supplies.

Before I left I remembered I had a 50% coupon from my last trip to Michaels (a couple of months ago). Michael's always has the best coupons. I learned back in the day when I was taking my cake classes that they'll even if you don't have a special 40% off coupon when you go to checkout they will find you one. So even after I read that my coupon expired June 12 I was still pretty confident they'd let me use it.

Mostly I was wanting to use my 50% off coupon on a tub of fondant. That's right, bought fondant was on my cake supply list. Ever since I started baking I've never used bought fondant and have relied on my marshmallow fondant recipe. Back a few months ago when I made Lilly's 1st birthday cake I decided to try Duff Goldman's new line of buttercream fondant. At $20 for a 2 lb. tub I was really hoping it was a good investment and I was very happy to find that it tasted just as good as the homemade kind. Really, it's good!

The main convienence for me buying fondant instead of making it is that my kitchen is super hot in the summer. I'm super cautious about fondant falling apart before I get it on the cake. For Maddox's cake I'm planning on using a combination of bought and homemade fondant. I'll probably use Duff's to cover the cakes and the homemade for the accents. I'm sooo excited about the accents for this cake.

All of Duff's cake products are 25% off this week. This is a good thing since it turns out I got in the most evil Michael's employee line and she threw away my expired coupon. She even had extra 40% coupons lying around on the register that she didn't even offer to let me use. That's not the Michael's spirit! But in the end I still came out pretty good with the 25% off each item instead of 50% off one item. So there!

I also got a fondant smoother since I lost my original one a long time ago. The Duff version and the Wilton version were the same price. So since Duff's was 25% off (and they were pretty much exactly the same) I got that one.
Also, I bought some fondant "texture tiles" for the farm themed cake. It came in a pack of two-brick and wood grain. I was not fully decided if I was going to put a barn on the cake or not but once I made up my mind.
For my last cake project I thought I was going to need some black fondant. I bought this gel color kit and ended up using the teal and gold as well. The black was amazing and I only needed a few drops to get it correct instead of the usual entire bottle with Wilton gel colors. The teal and gold turned out really vivid as well.

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Grandmother Chest Pie

I'm calling this Grandmother Chess Pie because both my grandmothers have made chest pie at some point. Not too long ago they each made a variety of it within several weeks of each other, one was lemon, the other vanilla (much like this one). Then my mother started making a chocolate chest pie which everyone went crazy over too. It was then that I really started appreciating chest pie. My favorite part is that it has this really thin crust but is gooey on the inside. Sooo good. It's so old fashioned, but in an insanely good way. It's almost like you went back 100 years and are eating pie with your great-great grandmother and that's a good thing.

This recipe came from my Sweet Carolina cookbook that I've neglected lately. This was the recipe I've wanted to try the most since it is from Rowan County and has the best story to go along with it. It's contributor was 104 when this cookbook was written. She was born in rural Rowan county (not sure which part) in 1899! One day in the 1920's she picked up the telephone to get the operator in Salisbury and instead overhead a neighbor's phone call. Oh, how fun party lines must have been! So it just so happens that when she picked up she heard someone asking for directions to bake a chest pie. So like any good southern woman, she eavesdropped to get the recipe as well. The cutest part, she calls the pies "crusties"!
*I'd suggest adding the pecans. I took the pies to my grandmother's today so I could have a pre-birthday celebration with her since I'll be in Las Vegas on Saturday. She, my cousin Allison and I could have taken out this entire pie!
Chest Pie
Nolie Ridenhour Zimmerman, from Sweet Carolina
Makes 2 pies, 6 to 8 servings each

2 unbaked 9-inch piecrusts
3 eggs
1 stick unsalted butter, softened
1 cup white sugar
1 cup brown sugar
3 1/2 tablespoons cream or milk
1 teaspooon vanilla
pecans (optional)-I made one of each

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Combine the filling ingredients and blend well. Divide the mixture evenly between the prepared piecrusts. Bake for 10 minutes. Turn oven down to 325 and bake for 20 to 25 minutes more, or until done.

Sunday, July 4, 2010

Bake Lust: July 4th

So here it is July 4th blogging from Jon's computer and I've baked nothing patriotic. I actually made a cake the other day but chose to go swimming instead of decorating it and I'm totally okay with that decision! But hopefully after traveling to Greenville today, fireworks tonight and probably being lazy tomorrow...I'll be back to bake something good up next week.

So here is my favorite America inspired baked good complete with recipe and instructions:

And for those of us that are more ambitious: