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30 June 2015

How Much Powdered Sugar?


When I use powdered sugar, it's usually in a "per 2 lb bag" amount; seldom do I measure.  (I make a lot of buttercream and have you every worked with powdered sugar?  That stuff goes everywhere, it's just easier to dump the whole bag into the mixer!)

So, what happens when I come across a recipe that calls for cups of powdered sugar rather than a whole bag?  Well, I know that 2 lbs of powdered sugar equals roughly 7 1/2 cups (or if I really don't feel like working with fractions, 8 cups), so I can go from there to determine if I need to double or triple a recipe to get to my usual "per bag" measurement.  Luckily, buttercreams and glaze icings are pretty forgiving and you can add powdered sugar or liquid to reach the right consistency.

Here's the commonly accepted amounts when it comes to powdered sugar measurements:
  • 3 3/4 cups = 1 lb
  • 7 1/2 cups = 2 lbs
  • 15 cups = 4 lbs
Note that these conversions are based on unsifted powdered sugar.

Oh, and did you know confectioners sugar and powdered sugar are the same thing?  Powdered sugar is also the same thing as icing sugar and 10x sugar - it just depends on where you are as to what it's called.

Mmm...tasty!




23 June 2015

Clean Burners


If you have a gas range, you probably dread having to clean the burner grates - scrubbing off the black grime plus the possible cooked on food bits.  Well, next time don't spend hours scrubbing, try this instead:
  • Place grate in a large Ziploc (or similar) bag.  Add 1/4 cup ammonia.  Seal bag.  Allow to sit overnight.  Remove from bag and wipe grate with a damp sponge.  Voila!  Clean burner grates.
  • You can wash the grates with soap and water after removing from the bags, if you'd like.
  • I usually place one grate per bag and then place the sealed bag (with the grate inside) on a cookie sheet, just in case of leaks.
  • Remember to do this in a well-ventilated area since you'll be working with ammonia!
Mmm..tasty!



17 June 2015

I Think We're Going Under

Ok, so that is probably an overstatement (in fact, I know it's an overstatement at this point), but I wasn't so sure during the last two weeks of May.  I wasn't sure that I would get everything accomplished and delivered.

Not that that's necessarily anything new for May - seems I've traveled with road before.  But, this year, there was the added difficulty of traversing muddy roads...with large cakes...that then had to be unloaded in the rain.

Rain + cake = not so good.

I'm not sure which is worse - rain, mud, or heat.  Winter is really the best time to deliver cakes - though then there's ice to be considered.  Always something!

Anywho, happy to report all of the cakes below made it to their destinations on time and intact.  Yay!

16 June 2015

Shake It Up


Ever have a cake fall while baking?  Or cookies that are slightly overdone?  Rather than throwing them out, consider using them to make a milkshake or a trifle.  Unless you used salt where there should have been sugar, chances are the less than perfectly pretty treats will taste great when mixed with ice cream or custard and whipped cream.

No sense wasting baked treats!

Mmm...tasty!


09 June 2015

Oiled Noodles


You may have heard that adding a few drops of oil to pasta water will keep the pasta from sticking together.  And while that may work, it isn't recommended.

Oil makes the pasta slippery - meaning the sauce will slide right off.

The better method?  Make sure you cook the pasta in a large pot with plenty of water and give it a quick stir after you drop the pasta in.

Mmm...tasty!


04 June 2015

The Calm - Proverbially Anyway

Or in other terms, the first two weeks of May.

May is just a busy, busy month; I usually create more cakes during the month of May than I do just about any other month of the year.  And definitely more than June, June is "break" time - I slack for a week or so as my reward for surviving 31 days of non stop cake.  It's good for my sanity; don't judge.

Bet you're wondering about the "proverbially anyway" addendum to the title up there.  Well...that's because the first two weeks of May weren't really all that calm, but they were a bit lighter on workload...only 11 orders in 9 days (technically it wasn't even a full 2 weeks!).  There's a reason why I own several VERY large coffee mugs...

On to the cakes!

02 June 2015

Pre-crack


All you want is a fried egg...but the yolk breaks when you crack the egg into the pan, so you have to make scrambled instead.  Still good, but not a fried egg.

Next time, crack the egg into a cup or small bowl, not directly into the pan.  If the yolk breaks you can save the egg for your next baking adventure.

You might also consider pre-cracking eggs into a small bowl or cup when making cookies or cakes.  Doing so will give you a chance to pick out any stray bits of shell before they end up in the batter.

Mmm...tasty!