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Fall is here! Clean out that fridge and freezer!

Well. Just six weeks ago my husband and I moved from one side of the country (east) to the southwest again. Now that the move is over fro...

Wednesday, June 30, 2010


Dunno about all of y'all out there, but it sure seems like summer is whizing by! Thought I'd write one more short post for the month of June as July is just around the corner (literally).

I always seem to be looking for substitutes and found this site online -- thought I would share. I love my JOY OF COOKING cookbook substitution pages as well, use them often, between the two (link and cookbook)seem to be able to find what I need (most times)....that is when I need to do any substitutions in recipes.

Here's the URL:


happy substituting and have wonderful 4th of July!

Thursday, June 3, 2010

No trans fats - High Ratio, palm oil, Crisco or Butter?

This brings up another question -- what does high ratio shortening do that good old Crisco or butter can not do? What about palm oil shortening?

For those who have never used hi-ratio shortening, consider the store bought cakes which have a light fluffy frosting. Most likey that shortening is high ratio shortening (with emulsifiers which will not crust up as quickly as Crisco does -- which is a problem for high altitudes/dry climates anyway as it crusts way too fast so work FAST) great for cake decorators. Another type which pastry chefs use is palm oil shortening. Finally, there is the old favorite of butter, much controversy over trans fats, saturated fats (wathc the butter here) but in the end with butter you are not able to achieve a really WHITE icing, so you must settle for ivory colored icing or mellow yellow icing.

What a choice?

I tend to use the ingredients which lend themselves to what type of icing I'm making. If it's chocolate butter cream -- butter works fine as does shortening, palm oil shortening, hi-ratio shortening or even crisco. We are not even touching on the issue of temps and how much butter (if any to use) as well as cream cheese or the FAUX icings made with Dreamwhip or coolwhip folded into buttercream (then there is the italian buttercream, american buttercream, swiss butter cream, I can go on and on). But if it is a WHITE buttercream -- all bets are off!

Heating Core or not?

Hi all,

June 2010, makes me wonder what the hell it is that makes time go more quickly? Is it just now that I am older each year goes by faster? Well, I for one have been baking up a storm. Took a quick trip to DFW area over the Memorial Day weekend for my niece's wedding (THE YOUNGEST OF ALL THE NIECES I MIGHT ADD), which was very nice (Bridlewood Country Club) and got to see lots of family including my older sister. Kristen had a fabulous square wedding cake too!

Which brings me to my next question -- what is your favorite method to cook large cakes and what works for you? Heating cores anyone????

I have tried using the good old flower nail in cakes larger than 10" and compared them against the heating core. I must admit I think they both serve a purpose, in reality when you are making a solid cake -- the flower nail works beautifully but then I can say the same for using a heating core. BUT, using a core in swirled, checkered or marble caked leaves a funny looking center -- try baking a large two toned cake or a marblized cake with a core. Really strange coloring is left -- you can't swirl through the cake center!

Check it out for yourselves!