Tag Archives: food coloring

Meanwhile, Back at the Ranch

22 Feb

Life can’t always be a piece of cake. You know this, I know this, and the fam definitely knows this. Without their nagging, I wouldn’t occasionally clean up the kitchen and make dinner. Most days, if I had the cash and the metabolism, dinner would be purchased in those convenient big boxes called restaurants.  Since I have neither, every day I have to stop doing other things and fill the screeching beaks that hang out here and call themselves my relations.

We all have the same conundrum. Feed ourselves and the hangers on, don’t spend more than we should/can, make it healthy, and make something with the least likelihood of complaints. You would think that now the kiddos are grownups (in the eyes of the law, anyway) this issue would be simpler for me. Not so. I still have to consider the dietary restrictions of the other half. No tomatoes, onions, peppers, or anything his royalness considers “weird.” That could mean anything from guacamole to peanut butter cookies to filet mignon or sushi. (Okay, I agree with the sushi thing. Org invented fire for a reason.)I live with a guy who, I swear, his restaurant related goal in life is to eat a hamburger and fries in every food establishment he enters. Did I mention he has a tiny cholesterol problem? Yeeaaah.

Over the years, like you, I have amassed a small collection of stand by recipes that go beyond: open the box, read the box, do what the box says. I have found I have the best luck by scanning a recipe for ingredients I know everyone likes, has none of the dislikes, or that looks like I could leave the offending ingredients out of the recipe. Yes, it’s taken awhile to get a good mix of standbys.

I figured if your nest inhabitants are like mine, you might like to know some of the ways I get around all that. Plus, it’s February. Most of us have long broken the lose weight/get healthy resolution but would still like to keep it lest the guilt overwhelm us or swimsuit season arrives. With that in mind, I bring you:

Rosemary Ranch Chicken Kabobs

Original recipe here: http://allrecipes.com/Recipe/Rosemary-Ranch-Chicken-Kabobs/Detail.aspx

Visit the link for the official directions, as what follows is my own personal way to get it on the table.

Ingredients

1/2 cup olive oil

1/2 cup ranch dressing

3 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce

1 tablespoon minced fresh rosemary

2 teaspoons salt

1 teaspoon lemon juice

1 teaspoon white vinegar

1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper, or to taste

1 tablespoon white sugar, or to taste (optional)

5 skinless, boneless chicken breast halves – cut into 1 inch cubes

I would add skewers and an indoor or outdoor grill to this list. They may not be ingredients, but you’re gonna need them. I like to know this kind of stuff ahead of time otherwise I get aggravated/lost/disappointed when I find out I can’t make what I planned for dinner. The others don’t like it either because that means leftovers for dinner. Also, note that the chicken should be cubed.

If you’ve never worked with skewers before, there are a couple of things you need to know. Nah, it’s easy stuff, just a couple of little specialty tidbits to know.

Wooden skewers burn and metal skewers get hella hot and will scratch non-stick grids if you’re not careful.

Yes, this is obvious. Will you remember it? Probably not the first few times, so it’s worth reminding ourselves. I use wooden skewers since they are cheap and I already have them around for cake work. I do remember that they burn, yet I don’t always remember it in time. That’s why I’m going to list the first step as:

Soak the wood skewers in water. 

Soaking them won’t prevent burning (no matter what “the experts” say), but it will slow it down enough to enable you to use them.

The other tidbit you’ll want to know is if you are going to use an outdoor grill, once you have the magic wooden sticks loaded with food, cover the ends of the skewers with foil to keep them from incinerating.

With that very long intro, let’s get dinner going before the masses arrive.

In a small bowl, combine:

Olive Oil

Ranch dressing

Worcestershire Sauce (Bonus Chef Points if you can pronounce this correctly without thinking about it.)

Rosemary, but wait! The peeps at this castle think rosemary is a very strong herb, so I generally use about half of the amount that any recipe calls for. Your call, but don’t say I didn’t warn you.

Salt

Lemon Juice

Vinegar and Pepper (No pic, but I’m sure you can imagine it at this point.)

 Sugar

(Whew! It’s a lot quicker to do it than to write it!)

Once all that’s in the bowl, whisk it together.

Toss in the chicken, and stir it around until the chicken is coated in the goop.

(I removed that chunk of fat later, lest it stick directly to myrump roast.)

This is supposed to marinate for 30 minutes. That’s the ideal way to do it. However, if you have just schlumped in the door after a long day in the mines, you may not have the time or energy for that. I have marinated it for about 10-15 minutes and it still tastes good. Thirty minutes is best, but if you can’t do that, don’t worry about it. Serve it with a dollop of ranch for dipping and tell the little hungry birdies it was meant to be served that way. If they know better, they should be taking turns in the kitchen, right?

While it’s marinating, you can empty and reload the dishwasher, fold that load of laundry, or round up the chickadees for homework time. You could also rip open that noodle box and crank open the veggie can and get that going if you’re making side dishes. If it’s just you and the man of your dreams, you can make a salad and turn this into a restaurant style chicken salad. Once the time is up, or you can’t wait any longer, come on back here and we’ll finish this almost lickety split.

Before we get messy, heat your grill of choice. Yes, I spray mine with non-stick spray even though the directions say you don’t have to. It’s my thing.

Okay, now let’s get sticky! Thread/skewer the chicken. I put 5-6 pieces of chicken on each skewer. If your pieces are thin, fold them in half to get them on the skewer.

They are top heavy and drippy at this point. Carefully lift and load onto the grill and char to your liking.

DINNNERRRR!!!!

Advertisements

One Smart Cookie

22 Dec

Day two. Yes, the Stained Glass candy, fudges, and Spritz were all made in one day. Better yet- one afternoon. It’s that quick to make them. However, now we slow down to a project that lasted three days. We didn’t do anything on the second day, but it still took 3 days to get it completely done. What could possibly take that long? Fruit cake? Ew, no. Sugar cookies. It’s not making the cookies that take so long, it the procrastinating and decorating that gets in the way. Fiddly stuff, cookie decorating. In years past, we would slather the icing on with knives and let the drips fall where they may. Santa never looked like his Jolly Old Self, the stars had craters of frosting like we were going for the moon, and the candy cane stripes were less than tidy. Even that haphazard method took forever and I usually pawned off the job on someone else. Being newly unemployed with the kiddos and hubby home, I knew I had to pitch in and at least help this year. Ugh. What’s a cake decorator to do?

Avoiding the issue and considering the options took a full 24 hours. I’m going to save you one whole day with this tutorial. I’ve cut out The Day of Consideration and Procrastination because I found the solution. One that people have been doing for eons, but in my stubbornness, I’ve never tried. I thought it would be even more time consuming, more messy, and too full of tiny details that drive me mad. Mad, I tell you. Mad, mad, mad! Cookie icing, sprinkle throwing, candy ball placing mad! Bwahahahaha!

Ahem, let’s get on with it, shall we? The recipe I used was the same one I used for my daughter’s wedding reception. You, too, can have your very own copy of this recipe by clicking here:

http://allrecipes.com/Recipe/The-Best-Rolled-Sugar-Cookies/Detail.aspx

Jill is one smart cookie and one smart baker. I even used her confectioner’s sugar and icing mixture to ice them- until this year.

One thing to note: the dough has to be refrigerated so plan accordingly. I hate when I’m in the middle of a recipe and run smack into “wait one hour.” Ruins the whole flow and throws off the schedule. I’m warning you now. If you want to complete the baking portion start in the morning (or afternoon if you’re a night owl). If you start at night and expect to get it done before bed, it ain’t gonna happen.

Per the usual crazy methodology of mine, gather your ingredients and tools. Wanna know why I do this first? Have you ever gotten into a recipe only to find out you don’t have something you need? Stinks, doesn’t it? That’s why I gather first. It’s not foolproof (and I am nothing but a fool- a sugar fool.) but most of the time it works for me.

Can you believe those are but a small portion of the cutters I own?  I just bought a set of letters and numbers to add to the collection. Hubby thinks my cake pan collection is bad, heaven forbid he ever realizes how many cookie cutters I possess. If you spill the beans, you’ll be on kitchen clean-up for the next year. K? Now, let’s get started.

Make sure the butter is soft, and cream it with the sugar.

 

I know, I know: why so many pictures? I always try to assume if you read this blog, you’re a newb. It couldn’t be our witty repartee now, could it? As a newb, you may not know what I mean when I say, “cream.” Hopefully, the pictures show what creaming looks like and the stages from whole ingredients to completely creamed. Some will tell you that the sugar should be dissolved and the goo won’t feel grainy. That doesn’t happen for me, at least not with this recipe. It needs to be completely incorporated, but don’t worry about graininess just yet.

Beat in the eggs and vanilla.

 

I’m a daredevil. Look at the bravery-adding ingredients while the mixer is running. Don’t try this unless you’re willing to clean up mess ‘cause sometimes it throws stuff like a baby with oatmeal at 6 a.m. after allowing you a whopping two hours of sleep.

Scrape down the sides of the bowl, let it whirr for a bit to finish mixing, and then add the dry ingredients: baking powder, salt, and flour. I add them in that order because I fear the baking powder and salt won’t be spread out evenly in the batter. You have your quirks, I have mine.

 

See the tossing? Yeppers. Fortunately, the mess wasn’t too bad. Today, anyway. Don’t try this on the high setting, folks; or you will curse my name for years to come. Low only.

Mix until it’s all combined, stopping to scrape the bowl as needed.

 

 Aaannnd now we wait.  Scrape into a ball-like shape and cover the dough.

 

 Stick said dough in refridge for at least an hour.

 

 As you can see, it’s leftovers for dinner tonight. I gotta ditch the ghetto tupperware before the relatives arrive.

In the meantime, we really should clean up the mess we made so far.

 

 (Mixer can be found here:  http://www.kitchenaid.com/flash.cmd?/#/page/home or you can wait 5 years for your hubby to realize you seriously want one, would not have put one on your Christmas list if you didn’t, and really will use it all the time to make stuff that will give him to the roundest Buddha belly in town.)

Feel free to chill out while the dough chills out. Pour a cup of nog, put your reindeer slippers on the furniture and watch Rudolph unplugged. Isn’t it sad how much they chop up movies when they put them on the tube? Go wild and buy the originals on DVD this year. Support your local elf.

Okay, that’s enough. Don’t want to get too relaxed or we’ll never get this done and the neighbors will know what a slacker at heart you really are.

Prep your cookie sheets.

 

I like 2- one in the oven and one to put more on while the first one bakes.

Plop some flour on the counter, flour your rolling pin, and plop a smaller pile of flour nearby to dip your cutters.

 Yeah, don’t forget that second pile. As you can see, I did; and I had to start all over again. Bah humbug.

For some reason known only to Herbie, I always have to add more flour to this recipe or all it does to stick to everything. If you have the same problem, feel free to add more- but not so much the dough is dry and don’t knead it so much that the cookies are tough. You’ll have to learn by feel for this. It should stick a little to the counter or hands, but not at all to the rolling pin.

Turn on the oven before you start rolling the dough. It’s the little details like that which will delay progress. 🙂

 

Okey doke, roll it out, dip your cutters in flour, and press away.

 

 Seethe little spreader? I used this instead of a butter knife for the first time this year. It worked much better. Less tearing, less distortion, less hair pulling.

Cut them out, get them on the sheet, and slip the sheet into the oven.

 Like the Spritz cookies, you want the edges to just start to brown before you take them out of the oven. Any longer and you’ve made hard tack. You know- the bread the pioneers used to take cross-country that lasted forever. I bet more than one person met their end because they were so desperate to eat those hard things that they took a chance on the local water.

 

 Keep cutting, baking, and cooling ad-infinauseum or until your dining room looks like this:

 Once cooled, cover them up, clean up the kitchen, and go to bed. Even Santa sleeps some times.

 

 A fresh new morning awaits! Get up so we can finish these before the big day. I won’t bore you with a bunch of details, as this explanation is already quite lengthy. As I told you way at the roof top of this post, I usually make a thick concoction of confectioner’s sugar and water to ice cookies. I have used good ol’ buttercream, too. However, the results were less than impressive. They looked like a 5 year old decorated them. Slop on some frosting, load it up with sprinkles, and move on with life, right?

Being nearly in the cake biz this year, I felt it best to work on the execution this time around. I loaded up with colored royal icing and sprinkles and set to work, hoping my creative vibe had returned after being squashed in a corporate pod for months.

 Important things to know about royal icing:

Grease-free everything. Don’t just guess. I keep separate tips, spatulas, and metal bowls just for royal.

It dries quickly, so keep everything covered every moment it’s not in use- the bowl, the tips, the spreaders, everything.

Once it dries/crusts, it’s useless for anything other than throwing at your kitchen mate.

Raw eggs are bad. Don’t spend the holidays on the potty, use meringue powder instead.

Primary colors can be difficult to achieve. I didn’t have too many problems with this, but “they” say it’s hard to do.

 Generally, you make royal thick, outline the area you want to ice, thin the royal, and flood the interior of the outline. Too many steps for me today, so I stuck with medium consistency to do both. It worked okay- not perfect by any means, but the kiddos who will eat these will think they are and that’s all that counts, right?

Generally, I like the smaller grained colored sugar better than the larger. The exception was the white sparkly colored sugar. If you want snowy sparkle, that’s the stuff to use. The larger grained sugar tended to lay on top and looked exactly like what it is: sugar sprinkled on a cookie. The smaller grain looked more like part of the décor. Make sense?

The chicklet was in charge of our very first 3D tree this year. Basically, you take 2 each of 5 or so different sized star cookies, stacked them so the points are off-set, and frost away. Being the smart chicklet that she is, she frosted first.

The candy ornaments and snow drips were added after stacking. Pretty nifty, isn’t it?

Okay, enough explanation. The big day is but a few hoof beats away.  Get in there and do it. Soon your dining room can look like this, too:

 

Puttin’ on the Spritz

21 Dec

Dang. The kitchen’s a mess again.

Someone’s going to have to clean before we move on. I volunteer you. You’re welcome.

Thanks. Appreciate it. You’re a real pal. As a token of my appreciation, I’ll show you how I make Spritz. What? Never heard of them? Sheesh. We are a poor society indeed. Spritz are cookies made with butter and shaped with a cookie press. My recipe is from a book older than me. I know, it doesn’t seem possible, but it’s true. It’s from yet another cookbook that somehow made its way to my first apartment from my mother’s kitchen. It’s not like she ever used it or anything. She later told me I could have it so I’m in the clear, anyway. Thanks, mamma! Ol’ Betty taught me a lot.

This recipe is so good, it has hardly changed since that cookbook. Wanna see? Betty’s still “with it” after all these years, and has her very own website:

http://www.bettycrocker.com/recipes.aspx/the-ultimate-spritz/aa68df04-bd64-4f1b-8421-0df82064bca4

Let’s line up the ingredients first.

Place ingredients in a bowl.

Mix ‘til it looks like…like…well, like cookie dough.

That’s the fast part.

Split the dough into separate containers. One for each color, if you please. Add color to the bowls.

You can find a similar cookie press here:

 http://www.wilton.com/store/site/product.cfm?id=3E31881B-475A-BAC0-5BF4C1F280CA1C18&killnav=1

I found mine at a thrift store so my model isn’t available new anymore. The site also has a video about making Spritz cookies if you need more info than my words can provide. It’s actually a very informative video. However, it’s grainy if you expand it to full screen.

Alrighty, the color has been added and now it’s time to spend a lot of time incorporating the color. A…lot…of…time. I don’t know why I’m not faster at this, but I’m not.

Red, green, and yellow are the colors we’ve always used, but feel free to branch out into fuschia, lilac, or whatever tickles you.

Grab a hunk of dough and shape it into a roll.

Shove it into the cookie press.

Make sure it’s packed in there. Air pockets will tick you off. Cram it in there good and tight.

Put your disk in the cap, screw on the cap, and press away, my friend, press away!

Huh. Looks like the chicklet got my man hands. So sorry, dearie. Grow your nails long; it will help.

Greasing the sheet is up to you. I do, but that’s because this one time, I didn’t, and they stuck. A lot. I made cookies crumbs, not cookies, that day. However, if you have trouble getting the raw dough to stick to the sheet so the cookie properly presses, wipe off the grease on the sheet (with a piece of wax paper so there’s still a little grease on it) and try again.

Bake at an unbelievable temp for a short time.

Repeat until all the dough is used.

Spritz burn easily and, because the dough is colored, it can be difficult to know when to remove them from the oven. The edges should just start to brown. That’s how you know they’re done.

Yeah, the picture isn’t that clear. It’s the best I can manage. I can never remember how to work the macro setting thingy on my camera.

They only need to cool on the cookie sheet for a few minutes before they are ready to be put on a cooling rack.

See the hand shaped candy cane one? That’s what happens if you don’t watch them closely.

Some people do all kinds of fancy decorating with these. Not me. They are perfect just like this. Buttery, light, and crisp. Not messy. Classic.

These freeze well, too. I’m frequently mentioning freezing because I usually start baking right after Thanksgiving and pop everything in the freezer to await the big day. Much better than having to do all this in one week. Do it when you get a couple of hours here and there. December is way too busy so make things as easy as you can for yourself. You deserve it. That, and a cup of hot chocolate with a candy cane draping the side of the cup. With Spritz cookies on the side, of course.

Christmas Cheer but first: Harried Merry Christmas

17 Dec

In the spirit of “gotta get stuff done,” the next few posts will occur over the next few days. That oughta be enough to get you through to the New Year and show you how to make those goodies everyone thinks you have oodles of time, talent, and resources to create. Your emergency plan: show everyone these posts, tell them it’s your blog, and explain how the dog/cat/kids/horrific dropping or freezer accident destroyed them all. I gotcher back on this one.

 Goody #1: Stained Glass Candy AKA Hard Candy.

Ingredients and Tools:

 Yes, that is a hammer.

Ready? Lettts go!

Begin with putting the candy thermometer in the pan. It should be near, but not touch, the bottom of the pan.  Yeah, I know, those clips are handy as all get out, ain’t they?

 Measure and pour the sugar, corn syrup, and water into the pan.

 

Give it a stir. Do NOT whack the thermometer. Turn the burner on medium and stir until the sugar dissolves. After that, don’t touch it. DO NOT TOUCH IT. Don’t do it. The instructions say so. Do too. Right here:

 https://www.lorannoils.com/p-8752-stove-top-hard-candy.aspx

While you’re waiting, begin the “clean as you go” method. We’ve got a lot to make today and we’ll be reusing our utensils because we don’t have a big commercial kitchen with unlimited utensils and such.

Other things to do while waiting and NOT TOUCHING IT:

Go through the stack of mail that’s been piling up for 2 weeks.

Wash the other stuff that’s been waiting during the contest-of-wills-to-see-who-will-clean-it-first. Sure, in effect, you lose the contest, but your candy will be all the better because you won’t be touching it.

Time to check on the creation without touching it.

Kinda yeller looking. I hope it’s not burning.

It reaches 200 fairly fast but then slows down like time on Christmas Eve when the kids are waiting for the morn. However, it does have a tendency to suddenly rise at the end.

If you are making 2 batches at the same time, start your second batch about 10 minutes after the first. At the end, you will not have enough hands or enough time to do what needs to be done right away. Plan on soaking the thermometer, pan, and spoon for a long time to dissolve the candy. In other words, don’t plan on mashed potatoes for dinner because your pan will not be ready in time.

It looks like we still have some time, so let’s get stuff ready for the next step. Take your hammer (yes, hammer; for Hammer Time, of course), put the top of it into the baggie, and wrap a rubber band around the baggie thusly:

Necessity is the mother of invention and all that.

Spray your cookie sheet with non-stick spray.

Aaannd that’s it. You’re ready. But the candy is not.

Lordy, that’s looking orange. Please don’t burn, please don’t burn, please don’t burn.

*Siiiggghh*  Back to whiling away the time while not touching it.

I guess we should keep cleaning. Shoot, the only thing left is the dreaded pearl dusting brush. I love the dust, hate the clean up.

Is it done yet?

Is it done yet?

Is it done yet?

Yes! It’s almost to 300 so take it off the burner and let it sit until it stops boiling. Do not stir it yet.

While that’s happening, take the caps off the flavoring and the coloring because you’re going to move quickly here. Also remember to put a hot pad under the cookie sheet before pouring this time, k? You’ve been lucky before, but don’t count on it this time.

Four hands is better than two in a moment, so either grow more hands or call someone in to help. It can be done with 2 hands, but it’s tricky.

We’re going to move faster than a naked toddler in the yard in front of the neighbors, so take a breath before we start. They won’t be time to breathe during.

Pour in the flavoring and coloring. It will spit, sizzle, and steam (wink, wink) so stand back as far as you can and plan on clean up time.

Stir it all together but don’t bump the thermometer. If your memory is better than mine, you will have removed it before this step. If not, just don’t bump it.

Since the heir to the throne eats most of the candy, it’s his choice of flavors. This year: coffee and strawberry. Yeah, I know. If offered whipped cream on top to make his cuppa complete, but he declined.

Once it’s combined, suit up your spare hands with mitts, and have s/he start pouring it onto the pan while you scrape the remainders.

That’s haute couture. Small town on Christmas break from college Haute Couture.

Tilt the pan as needed to spread it around a bit and then let it cool and harden. While you’re waiting for that, soak the first pan, spoon, and thermometer.

Second batch is ready, so repeat.

Looks much more appetizing, doesn’t it?

After half an hour, it should be ready to crack. Sift confectioner’s sugar over the top, and grab the hammer ‘cause it’s Hammer Time. Woo hoo!

Gently but firmly whack the bejeebers out of it until the pieces are the size you desire.

The pieces will be sharp, which is why I prefer the name Stained Glass Candy. Glass is right in there so you know it may be sharp.

Gently toss the pieces to coat them with the sugar.

Package as you like.

Yeeeaaaah, I’m not touching the coffee ones. Go ahead. You enjoy. I’ll stick with Strawberry.

Let’s clean up the mess and move on to the next project: Fudge!

Bettercreme: A Better Cream?

30 Aug

bettercreme frontIn case you haven’t read it already somewhere in the vasty vastness of the World Wide Webster, Bettercreme is all the range in some circles. Since I’m not one to miss out on all the latest and greatest (scrunchies are still in, right?), I thought I’d give it a whirl to see what all the hubbub is about. After all, if there’s something out there better than buttercream, it behooves us all to jump on the bandwagon lest we be left behind once again (Don’t ask. It involved Sea World and my sister. Very traumatic). 

I’m not sure if a rose by any other name is still the same, but I’ve seen Bettercreme used interchangeably with Better Cream, Better Crème, Butr Cream, Frosting Pride, etc…. I’ve also seen correction after correction that one is not the other. Since Bettercreme is what I could get my hands on without unduly inconveniencing myself, that’s what I purchased. After sitting in the freezer for a few weeks because I was scared (What if it is better? What if I wasted my money? You know- all that psychological chicky nonsense.) I sucked it up and tried it out for my daughter’s bday cake. I certainly couldn’t use it for the first time on a client’s cake and I knew this cake would already be too much for us to consume without eating it at every meal for the next week, so what better time than now?

 Before we start, a bit of a disclaimer: who knows if I actually did this right? I tried to follow all the info I read when I made it, but things tend to happen in my kitchen and the old grayer-all-the-time brain matter isn’t quite what it used to be concerning retained info. Sure, I could have collected all sorts of notes, studied them, created a step-by-step instruction sheet, but why do that when you can wing it? My other disclaimer is this: every one has different tastes. What I love you may find nauseating and vice-versa. My chemical overload may be your fresh as pure cow’s milk nirvana. To each their own, and as my mamma says, “It takes all kinds to make the world go round.”

Now, for the process. Step one: read the carton. I’m smart like that. Step two: realize you forgot to thaw it so set it on the counter to thaw while you continue making the cake.

bettercreme back

Now, kvetch a little bit because you didn’t chill your bowl and beaters. Then decide to think like Martha and put ice in a bowl with water to place under the mixer bowl so it will whip faster. Spill water everywhere trying to get the bowl of ice water under the mixer bowl and get the whole ghetto set-up on the mixer. Pour off some of the water and repeat. Try it one more time for good measure and then give up because you realize this is taking more time than if you had gone ahead and chilled the stuff before you tried channeling Martha. Maybe I’m not so smart after all?

 After giving that up, pour the amount you need in the mixer bowl, attach your handy-dandy whisk, and start the mixer. I read that you can flavor and color this stuff, so I carefully added a tablespoon of good vanilla and some green gel coloring. Whip, whip, whip and check periodically to see how stiff it’s getting. When it reaches stiff peak (that’s when you lightly dip your beater or a spoon onto the top of the mixture and lift straight up. If the peak doesn’t form, keep whipping. If the peak stands straight up, it’s too stiff to use for icing AKA hard peak. If the peak is stiff but the top of it flops over, it’s juuussst right, Goldilocks.) it’s ready to use-almost. First, take the bowl off the mixer, grab a spatula, and very lightly fold the mixture to ensure it’s completely whipped and all of the coloring is mixed in- that is, it’s all the same color without any blotches of lighter or darker frosting. There- all done. It’s ready to use for whatever you want. I thought I took pictures of this process but they seem to have disappeared in the Never-Never Land of my computer files. If you’re lucky, they’ll show up before I post this. If not, use your vivid imagination.

Onward towards the review part! I smeared it on the glass I was using,

covering the glass

torted the cake and filled it with the frosting,

torted and filled margarita

placed the cake in the glass,

placing cake in glass

and iced the top of the cake with it.

Per usual, the color darkened over time.

color darkening margarita cake

No problemo. After all, she’s just turning 21. She’s not supposed to know what a Margarita looks like just yet. If she does, and she’s smart, she keeps that bit of info to herself, right? So, no problemo.

 The texture is definitely lighter than buttercream. It’s closer to a whipped cream in texture, which is cool. Heavy frosting isn’t always appropriate. After all, can you imagine Strawberry Shortcake with buttercream? I think not! It’s light, it’s fluffy, it can’t be smoothed completely, it doesn’t crust (and I expected all that), and it tastes…

Blech!

It tastes like chemicals. Yes, I’m quite used to artificial sweeteners, thank you very much. Splenda and Equal taste sweet to me. I have altered what’s left of my brain synapses so they think it’s sweet and not all chemically tasting. This stuff, however, tasted awful to me. No, I didn’t expect it to taste like buttercream. I expected it to taste similar to sweetened whipped cream. Lest you think it’s my palate that is in error, let me tell you who else tried it and their thoughts.

Hubby- ick!

Daughter- what is this stuff? It’s gross.

Son- disgusting.

Hubby’s coworkers on whom I pawned off the cake: one dip of the finger and they wouldn’t touch it anymore.

All that cake into the trash. Wasted. What a shame. It’s almost a sin to waste cake, isn’t it? Nevertheless, not even I, who will eat darned near anything that approaches junk food, ate it.

Interestingly, the color started to separate over time. Perhaps I added too much coloring? Perhaps it’s not stable enough to stay together? I dunno. All I know is that it started separating even though it was kept in the ‘fridge most of the time (it’s not shelf stable). Take a look at the previous pic again. Don’t look at the top, look at the side.

color separation margarita cake

See the darker green areas?  Dang it! Separated like your kids when their arguing gets on your nerves.

 Check out the instructions on the carton and compare them to what I did. Spend a relaxing hour reading this thread on cakecentral: http://www.cakecentral.com/cake-decorating-ftopict-601193.html .

A lot of people seem to like it. Not me, not my fam, and not 12-ish coworkers. It’s a dud over here. If you’ve tried it and had better results, let me know. If I did something wrong, let me know that, too. Heck, if you tried it and had the same results, I would appreciate you telling me so I know I am not alone. For now, the remainder shall sit in my freezer until I “gift” to my partner in cake. After all, there’s no point in both of us spending our hard earned pod dwelling money trying stuff.

Until we cake again!

Chick2

%d bloggers like this: