Sifted Couture

Baking and sweet stuff

Archive for the month “January, 2012”

Make Your Own Cupcake Toppers

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Cupcake Toppers are a great idea for Weddings, Birthdays, Graduation, Baby Showers, and just about any Holiday. They are also so easy to make. If you have an event coming up, and when isn’t there one, you can dress up your cupcakes with toppers made by you. If you care crafty then you probably already have most of these items at home.

toppers

What you need:
2″ Paper Punch
1 1/2″ Paper Punch
(these can vary depending on which size you prefer)
Hot Glue Gun
Glue Stick
Scrapbook paper in at least 2 colors (card stock is best, but not necessary)
Stickers/Cut Outs
Lollipop Sticks
Optional: Ribbon for added decor

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Use your smaller paper punch and cut out a circle in the scrapbook paper. Place a sticker on this circle. Use your larger paper punch and cut out another circle on a different color of scrapbook paper. Use your glue stick on the back of the smaller paper and stick it in the center of the larger circle.

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Next, use your hot glue gun and put just a little on the upper portion of the lollipop stick. Place your circles on the lollipop stick at about to the center of the paper. You can tie a little ribbon on the the lollipop stick for added decoration. Although they look just as cute without. If you put a small foam adhesive on the back of the sticker it will make the sticker look 3D. Pops right out at you and looks professional. Finally, place it in the center of your cupcake. Everyone will be wowed by the look of your cupcake toppers!

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Imagine how pretty these are going to turn out!

Sorry for being slow on posting. I have really been having a hard time with the white balance on my camera lately. Everything is coming up yellow. I have adjusted the white balance, tried using a bunch of lights, and tried changing all of the settings. It has been cloudy outside and I need some pure daylight! I have another post that I am working on right now and I cannot wait to share it with you!

Marshmallow Fondant – MMF

MMF

In case you don’t know what MMF stands for, it is Marshmallow Fondant. I often get questions about fondant, and one of those being if I make my own or not. I used Wilton’s during school, but for the most part I make my own. I’m going to share a recipe and tips with you for making your own. Marshmallow fondant tastes so much better than Wilton’s brand. I have not had any of the other brands, but I have heard there are some name brands out there that are better tasting than Wilton’s. Not only is it tastier, but marshmallow fondant is also a lot cheaper. And you usually have all of the ingredients to make some at home.

Small batch MMF
1 Cup Mini Marshmallows
1 tbsp water
1 1/2 – 1 3/4 Powder Sugar
Crisco (for kneading)

Large batch MMF
16 oz. bag of Mini Marshmallows
2 tbsps water
2 lbs Powder Sugar
Crisco (for kneading)

For Chocolate MMF:
Add 1 oz melted chocolate.
1 tbsp cocoa powder to the basic recipe.

Pack marshmallows down into measuring cup to get 1 cup and then add the water. Microwave in a microwave safe bowl for about 20 seconds. They should look soft and fluffy. Stir with a spoon (I like a wooden spoon). It should look soupy. Add the sugar and fold it in until it is all mixed and no longer sticky. Put just a little Crisco on your board and hands. Knead the fondant with a spoon for about 5-7 minutes. If it has cooled down you can use your hands to knead. Please be extra careful, this just came out of the microwave and things are always very hot when they’ve been in there.

Tips:
If the fondant is too sticky try cutting back on the water. Or let it sit out for 10 minutes. Also, try adding a little powder sugar until it is not sticky anymore. Be careful, because too much will dry it out. It should feel pliable.
Storing your fondant – Put a little bit of crisco on the outside on the fondant. Cover your fondant with plastic wrap to keep it from drying out. Place that in a ziploc bag. Air will dry fondant out.
Adding coloring to your fondant when it just comes out of the microwave works great. Otherwise, just incorporate it when you need it.
When cutting or rolling out your fondant you should put a little crisco down on your fondant mat, roller, and hands. This will make it easier to lift and help it to not get stuck.

The recipe is by Bunnywoman on the Wilton’s forums. It is by far the most popular fondant recipe that I have ever seen. You can find it here. Along with a ton of questions and answers. Another good page that I went to when I was learning to make fondant is on Cake Journal by Louise. She actually has pictures so you know what your fondant should look like during and when you are done. I hope you enjoy this post and that it helps you with your caking!

Dress Cake

I made a dress cake! I’ve seen these on Cakelet, or cupcakes with toppers in them, and doll cakes. But, we’re a bit old for a Barbie doll cake. This dress cake would be perfect for a bridal shower or a sweet sixteen birthday. You can get as elaborate and detailed as you want. This is a cake for me, so I just did a little detail.

batter bowl cake

I remembered that my Pampered Chef batter bowl has a recipe to make a cake in the bowl. Since I didn’t want a huge cake I went with that size. This is the recipe that Pampered Chef gives. I only used 1 box of mix and took a lot of it out. I have about 2 1/2 or 2 3/4 cups of mixed batter. I baked it at 350 degrees for about 1 hour and 10 minutes. Just check for doneness. I looked up how to make a torso from fondant and found this tutorial on Cake Central. I think modeling chocolate might be easier to mold. I saw a tutorial video on this somewhere, or I dreamed that part. I can’t find it now.

Dress Cake
The front of the cake. I used little rolled flowers, but you can use a heart cutout, a circle with decoration like a bead, or a flower cutout. Pretty much anything or nothing. Same goes for the back. Yes, my pearl necklace is a bit lopsided. And I think royal icing might be better here.

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I made a bow for the back. I had to make the flowing ribbon 5 times because they kept breaking. I wrote down notes for the next time that I make these. Like, less arms and neck, and put the ribbon on before it dries! The height is 3″ x 5″ of cake. Including the torso it is 5″ x 5″

Have you ever been to Cake Opera‘s website? You will drool over her cakes. See, now this IS a dress cake. I read that she spends around 40 hours per cake. I would love to be that good some day. But for now this my first dress cake and I think it came out alright looking. If you make one please share a picture with me!

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I wanted my cake to have a wedding type picture. So we went outside!

How to make biscuits

Biscuits

Believe it or not, but I have never made biscuits from scratch before. Once I made a bread loaf and my mother laughed so hard when she saw a picture of it. Course, she did have dementia at the time and maybe it was just funny looking? Anyways, I haven’t made bread again. Not because my mom laughed. I loved it when she would laugh. But because it really wasn’t that good, and it was too much work when I could just go to the store and buy a nice soft loaf of bread. My friend gave me a bread maker that didn’t sell at a yard sale. I will use that, eventually.

Back to what this post is about. I made biscuits! And not just once but twice. And they are so good and easy that I will continue to make them. I was in the mood for biscuits with dinner, and I didn’t have any on hand. So, I used my trusty Google search and found a good traditional biscuits recipe by Diane Watkins. I preferred hers because it looked simple enough, and she had a lot of tips.

The directions are below. Here are a few things that I found were helpful to know. As Diane suggests, you want to keep the dry separate from the wet until you are ready to mix. Using self rising flour means you don’t have to add baking powder or salt. I’m all for easy. You cut in the shortening with a fork/hands/pastry blender until it looks like tiny pebbles or crumbs. Then you make a hole in the center and pour in the milk to make soft dough. Now, I wasn’t sure what the dough was supposed to look like here. I just knew not to work the dough too much. I later watched a video by Chef Scot on you tube that was perfect for a first timer. He also added that after adding the milk you will knead it a few times, and fold it, fold it, fold it. That is how you get the nice layers in your biscuits. Finally, you cut the biscuits out. About two inches round and a half inch thick. I used a small glass and it was a perfect size. Do not twist the cutter. I hope this helps those who also have never made biscuits before. Just think of them as cupcakes. Only more flat and not as sweet.

Traditional Southern Biscuit
by Diane Watkins

3 cups self-rising flour, plus some to flour the board
½ cup shortening or lard
1 cup milk

1. Preheat the oven to 425 degrees.
2. Sift the flour into a medium bowl.
3. Add the shortening to the flour in bits and cut into the flour until the mixture resembles coarse crumbs.
4. Form a well in the center of the flour and add the milk into the well.
5. Stir the milk into the flour with a fork, just until mixed.
6. Turn out onto a floured board, counter top, or piece of parchment paper. Knead gently 2 or 3 times and roll or pat to a ½ inch thickness.
7. Cut into 2 inch rounds with a biscuit cutter. Place on an ungreased baking sheet.
8. Bake for 12-15 minutes until golden brown. Serve hot.

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