Wednesday, July 7, 2010

Wet Embossing

Well today I took a class at Scrap-a-Doodle-Doo in Ramsey, NJ on wet embossing. I had no idea how many types of embossing there were. I had done the wet embossing before but that was years ago and quite frankly I just couldn't quite remember what to do. During the class we made three different cards, none of which were really my style, but it was what we were making.

I do think it is necessary to make a few cards at a time, I can't see breaking out stamps, paper, inks, embossing powder, heat gun, make one card. I have a cute cupcake stamp that I do want to make a bunch of birthday cards, I keep saying I am going to get up off the couch today to make them, but I still am in recovering from vacation mode. Long ride from Myrtle Beach to NY.

Saturday, July 3, 2010

Rum Drenched Vanilla Cakes

It didn't require much thought when it came to making this cake. The name alone is very enticing, and the fact that I had all of the ingredients at home was an added bonus.

This is the where I first saw the recipe I love just about anything that calls for rum, especially dark rum. As I sit here writing this I can smell the sweet aroma of the vanilla filling the house. It doesn't matter that it is a hot summer night, I don't seem to mind the oven on for this one. I just checked the oven to make sure the cakes aren't getting too dark like the recipes says to do at the thirty minute mark, they are looking good.

I plan on sharing at least one of the cakes, as the recipe makes two, with the girls at work. They love when I bring in tasty treats. Not only that, but I really want to treat my good friend Marie to a great few weeks of work as she is retiring at the end of the month and will be greatly missed.

For the Cakes

  • 2 2/3 cups all-purpose flour
  • 2 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
  • Pinch of salt
  • 2 1/3 cups of sugar
  • 2 plump, moist vanilla beans, split lengthwise, seeds scraped out and reserved, or 1 1/2 tablespoons pure vanilla extract
  • 6 large eggs, preferably at room temperature
  • 2/3 cup of heavy cream
  • 2 1/2 tablespoons dark rum
  • 1 stick plus 7 tablespoons (15 tablespoons) unsalted butter, melted and cooled

For the Syrup

  • 1/3 cup water
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 1/4 cup dark rum

Getting Ready: Center a rack in the oven and preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Butter two 8 1/2-x-4 1/2-x-2 1/2 -inch loaf pans, dust the insides with flour and tap out the excess. (Even if the pans are nonstick, it’s a good idea to butter and flour them.) Place the pans on an insulated baking sheet or on two regular sheets stacked one on top of the other.

Sift the flour, baking powder and salt together.

Put the sugar and the pulp from the vanilla beans, if using them, in a large bowl and, working with your fingers, rub them together until the sugar is moist and thoroughly imbued with the fragrance of vanilla. (If you are using vanilla extract, add it later, after you’ve added the eggs.) Add the eggs and whisk them into the sugar, beating until they are thoroughly incorporated. Whisk in the extract, if you are using it, then whisk in the cream, followed by the rum. Continuing with the whisk or switching to a large rubber spatula, gently stir in the dry ingredients in 3 or 4 additions; the batter will be smooth and thick. Finish by folding in the melted butter in 2 or 3 additions. Pour the batter into the pans, smoothing the tops with a rubber spatula.

Bake for 55 to 60 minutes, or until a knife inserted into the center of the cakes comes out clean. (As soon as the cakes go into the oven, make the syrup.) After about 30 minutes in the oven, check the cakes for color–if they are browning too quickly, cover them lightly with foil tents.

Meanwhile, Make the Syrup: Stir the water and sugar together in a medium saucepan over medium heat until the sugar melts, then bring to a boil. Remove the pan from the heat and stir in the rum. Pour the syrup into a heatproof bowl and let cool.

When the cakes test done, transfer them to a wire rack to cool for 5 minutes before unmolding them and turning them right side up on the rack. Place the rack over a baking sheet lined with wax paper and, using a thin skewer, cake tester or thin-blade sharp knife, poke holes all over the cakes. Brush the cakes all over with the syrup, working slowly so that the cakes sop it up. Leave the cakes on the rack to cool to room temperature.

Friday, July 2, 2010

Well the title says it all.

I recently started enjoying other peoples blogs. Some of those blogs are crafty, some involve cooking and baking. I just figured maybe I could try my hand at blogging. Getting it set up took me a little while, trying to figure out and navigate through blogspot. I am not that computer savvy, I know enough to get by.

Through this blog I want to share my passion for scrapbooking, baking, and gardening. I also want to learn some new things too. I always wanted to sew, I have a sewing machine that I don't know how to use. I love to look through "easy sewing" books and think to myself I want to make that.

Well this is just the beginning...