Wednesday, April 30, 2008

My First Attempt at a Tiered Fondant Cake

Calla Lily Fondant Cake, originally uploaded by razzieswirl.

What do you think?

I am taking yet another cake decorating class, and we've moved onto fondant, which I'm excited about because it's something I've always wanted to excel at. I'd say for my first attempt at a tiered fondant cake this isn't half bad. I've even got two birthday cakes lined up in the next few months. Pretty neat. I'm excited to keep practicing! Let me know what you think. . . . and here are a few more shots:




Tuesday, April 08, 2008

Simply yum.

Smoked Salmon Egg Salad, originally uploaded by razzieswirl.

Just a quickie post in ode to this delicious, simple dish.
My smoked salmon egg salad is probably one of my favorite things to make. It's heavenly, ridiculously easy to make, healthy and relatively cheap. I've been exercising daily and really watching what I eat, and I've been trying to eat more high protien/less fatty foods. This dish is right up my alley, it's packed full of protein, pretty darn healthy but also tastes sinfully decadent.

Serve this egg salad on top of a thick slice of your favorite rustic bread (or in my case an extra crispy english muffin) with a little bit of butter lettuce. If I were going to eat this for breakfast on the weekend I'd serve it with a big cup of black tea, or if you're having friends over I'd serve this with a lovely mimosa (with fresh squeezed oj, of course!). This salad is versatile, it can be a simple dinner or snackie, or a fabulous addition to Sunday brunch, you decide!

Recipe: Smoked Salmon Egg Salad


4 medium boiled eggs roughly chopped
1/4 to 1/2 lb roughly chopped high quality smoked salmon (depends on how salmony you want your egg salad to be)
1 TBLS dill
1 TBLS finely chopped shallot
2 TBLS light mayo

(I don't add salt, the salmon generally has enough of it to flavor the salad)


Mix all ingredients in a bowl and you're done!
I like to let it sit for a few hours in the fridge so all the flavors can mingle a while.


Sunday, April 06, 2008

Whipped Honey Cupcakes with Honey Cream Cheese Frosting and Vintage Deer Toppers

So this post is mostly about promotion, but not all about self promotion. I posted some pictures on flickr of the vintage deer cupcake toppers I have for sale at my etsy store sticking out of the most amazing honey cupcakes that are perfect for Spring! But I promised a post on the food blog about it, so here goes.

The honey cake is exactly like a sponge cake, it is extremely light and airy, not at all dense. The honey provides a serious sweetness that doesn't overpower the delicacy of the cake, and I absolutely adored the cream cheese frosting, I could eat it on anything from cupcakes to toast (or straight out of the mixer)! It's sooo good. I will say, you must have an affinity for honey to truly enjoy these delicious little beauties, and I do. When I was a little girl I adored Winnie the Pooh, and decided one day that I too would eat only honey straight out of the honey bear. Needless to say, even as a sugar fiend youngster, more than a teaspoon of straight honey was just too much for me, much to my disappointment. However, I remain an avid honey lover, I enjoy it more than sugar in many things including tea and whipped cream. I think it's sweet enough to replace sugar but has a kind of comfort and warmth to it, it's almost like a little ray of sunshine in your mouth. So honey + cupcakes is genius in my book.

Chockylit's Cupcake Bakeshop was the first food related blog I ever came across, years ago, when my cupcake obsession began. She's a real inspiration for me. I adore her creativity and originality. She's not afraid to experiment and I admire her for that. This honey cake recipe is one of hers so I'm going to direct you to her site to check it out:
Look around, you won't be disappointed, her photography is exquisite.

I thought this recipe would be the perfect base for the adorable little vintage deer cupcake toppers I made. I originally wanted to frost a barely light blue base with a white rose on top of each cupcake, but cream cheese frosting is just not stiff enough to make roses with, so shells it was. And I'm very pleased the way these turned out, I think the cupcakes compliment the toppers very well.

Here is a link to a video from Wilton that will show you what you need and how to make shells (they are extremely easy, and oh-so pretty):

I hope these links give you some inspiration on the slightly cool (at least here in the Northwest) Spring Sunday afternoon!

Wednesday, April 02, 2008

A Norwegian Saturday Morning Tradition

"Plated" Vafler., originally uploaded by razzieswirl.

At least in my grandmothers house they were.

Before I write about the should-be famous Norwegian waffles let me apologize for my absence. My blogging is a very important part of my life and I adore it with all my heart. It's a little escape from the chaos that is life sometimes. But lately, life has been full of transitions. Some of my personal relationships have shifted, we are preparing for a new roommate for the first time in three years, which was unexpected, school has been a time sucker like I still can't believe. I could probably write a two page list of how greatly life has changed for me in the last few months and continues to, but there is really no point for that. I find that I am still adjusting to the constant change that my life has been for a while. I don't like change, not one bit, but I also forget how promising, exciting and inspiring change can be. There has been a great lack of it in my life both at home and in the workplace for years now, the sudden change in both has been a bit of a shock for me.
But here I am, ready for spring, ready for the sun to warm my skin and the (slightly) warm breeze to filter through my kitchen windows as I cook and clean. Most importantly ready to focus on my love, this little blog of mine. So, I declare my return. I will make it a goal of mine to post here, at the very least, once a week. I'm ready, thrilled and excited to be back to it!

So, onto the infamous (in my little circle) Norwegian "vafler" or waffle. Growing up, as I've mentioned countless times before, I spent a good portion of my childhood at my grandmas little yellow house in Seattle. I spent the night there often, and most mornings, when she got up at the crack of dawn my lovely grandmother would get up and make
a.) waffles
b.) pancakes
However, these were not your traditional waffles or pancakes, they were 100% Norwegian baby! Norwegian pancakes are basically a sweet crepe. And Norwegian waffles, well they are simply superior in taste. The batter was a little thinner than a normal waffle batter but the ingredients were very similar. The recipe I am going to post is not my grandmothers recipe, because no matter how hard I try they just don't taste like hers did. Probably because she'd been making them since she was a little girl on the farm in Vistdal and really didn't have a recipe. The recipe I have, scribbled in my 8 year old chicken scratch, is not exact, she kind of just whipped it together. Now, as a baker and a home cook I can completely understand this, though it baffled me as a young child. When you have recipes you've made over and over you simply have no use for a recipe anymore.

I tried and tried so hard to recreate the waffles of my childhood, and it broke my heart time and time again that I couldn't. I wanted so desperately to recreate the smell, the taste, the warmth and the comfort of her kitchen and her kindness. Her recipe just wasn't working for me, so I set off on a mission to find a NORWEGIAN waffle recipe that would do this for me. And one day, in a little old book, I found one. Norwegian Sour Cream Vafler. I know for a fact that she never once used sour cream nor did she whip egg whites and fold them into the batter, her recipe was no nonsense. But I could tell the moment the batter began to sizzle in my waffle maker and the sweet aroma filled the kitchen that I had done it, while not her recipe, they taste as identical as I think I might ever get. My first bite was like heaven, it had been only a few years since her death, but for a girl used to waffles from heaven on a regular basis I was transcendent. It brought tears to my eyes.

So I want to share the recipe with you, these waffles are so light and airy, with the perfect hint of sweetness. They're good hot, warm and even cold (with a little Gjetost). My grandma liked waffles with maple syrup, or a little sour cream and fresh raspberry jam. These waffles are amazing either way, they'd probably be really wonderful with a little citrus rind tossed in, but I haven't brought myself to experiment, I simply let the taste and smells bring me back to her.

So enjoy, squeeze some oj, make a strong pot of black tea and enjoy breakfast heaven on a plate!

Recipe: Norwegian Vafler


1-1/3 cup flour
1/2 tsp. salt
1/8 - 1/4 cup sugar (depending on how sweet you prefer them)
1 tsp. vanilla extract
1/2 cup water
1 cup sour cream
1/2 cup butter
3 eggs, separated


1. Mix all ingredients, except egg whites, until you have a smooth batter.
2. Let rest 25 minutes.
3. Beat egg whites until they form peaks
4. Gently fold them into the batter.
5. Bake in a waffle iron. (Lightly butter surface before first waffle only.)

Please enjoy!
And Merry Spring Everyone!