Crestview, Fl
Have you ever wondered about the magic behind an ice cream cake? It is easier than you probably thought. 

1. Pick the ice cream you want and let it get a little soft. Not too soft. Not melted. Just soft enough to scoop. A hot spoon or ice cream scooper comes in handy.
2. Spray the pan with cooking spray and line it pan with plastic wrap. (The pan needs to be the same size as the cake you are baking. Here I did an 8 in round cake.) Make sure the plastic wrap comes up over the edges. This is important!
3. Scoop the ice into the lined tin. Smash it down so that it lies flat and there aren't any air bubbles. 
4. Take the plastic wrap on the sides and fold it own over the ice cream.
5. Pop the whole thing in the freezer.

6. Bake your cake. I only have two 8 in pans so I made the ice cream a day ahead of time so it would have its shape. Then I left the ice cream in the freezer and took the pan out to bring it to room temp.

7. I then let the cakes cool and leveled them. 
8. Make your frosting.
9. Frost the bottom layer.
10. Take the ice cream out and place it on the bottom layer.
11. Working quickly, out the top layer on and frost the whole cake. Then pop it in the freezer until about 30-40 minutes before you are going to serve it. 
12. Using a hot knife, cut the cake and serve. Enjoy!!

Have you ever wondered how some people get that pretty dome on their cupcakes or muffins? Ever needed them to be flat so that you could do a certain decoration without cutting off the dome? Here is your answer folks. Temperature, temperature, temperature. To get the domed cupcakes, I baked them at 375 for 15 mins. To get the flat cupcakes, I baked them 325 for 20 mins. It is as simple as that. They are the same recipe, the chocolate just has some melted chocolate added to it. Happy baking!

Something I learned about a moth after I started backing away from the box and baking from scratch...sift your ingredients. It gives the cake a much lighter feel.

How I do it? I put all my dry ingredients (flour, baking soda, baking powder,etc) into a bowl. I dump cupfuls into the sieve or strainer. Then I sift it directly into the beaten butter. It gets all of those clumps of flour and sugar and blends the ingredients together really well. Happy baking!!!

So one day I was trying to roll out a big piece of fondant and I kept getting lines from the rubber bands I have at the end. (The ones that make the fondant a certain thickness.) Obviously, my little foot long rolling pin wasn't going to cut it when it came to big pieces of fondant. So I decided to go to Walmart and buy a big Wilton pin. When I saw it was $20, I decided to investigate other options. $20 for a rolling pin that has nothing special about it other than the brand? No thanks!! So what did I do? I headed on over to Lowes and got a big piece of PVC pipe. It only cost me about $3 and was twice the size of the one at Walmart. I could even put ball bearings in it and cap it off to give it some weight if I needed to. I highly suggest this to anyone that wants to save a little money while still getting the job done!!
I have seen quite a few fondant flowers lately and I have been itching to try one. I think this actually looks more like a water lily. They are such beautiful flowers. Today I had some extra time and decided try my hand at it and make one. Here is how I made it.
You will need:
Wire (I used 26 guage)
Daisy cutters in 3 sizes
Foam pad
Modeling stick
Rolling pin
Glue (I used a bit of gumpaste in water)
Veining tool (optional)
Vodka and luster dust (optional)

1. Rub the shortening on the surface of the mat or counter
2. Roll some of the fondant into a ball (depends on the size of your cutters. Mine ended up being about 1 in round
3. Dip your wire in the glue and insert it into the ball of fondant. 
4. Let it harden 

5. Cut out 3 small daisies. Use a back and forth motion to get a good clean shape. (If this doesn't work use a small fondant spatula that comes in the kit and brush it along the sides of the petals.)
6. Place the flowers on the foam pad.
7.Use the pointed modeling stick to flatten the petals and create lines by making a v like shape.
8. Put glue on the petals and the center of each flower and push the wire through the center of each. This should look like a mum. (I got excited about how well it was going and forgot to take a picture of this part.)

9. Cut out 2 large daisies. 
10. Use the modeling stick and the foam pad again to create definition on the petals.
11. Put the first flower into the flower forming cup
12. Put glue down and the second flower on top of it. 
13. Pinch the ends of the flowers
14. Make 2 medium daisies and repeat 10-12
15. Place the bud on top of the 4 flowers with glue (flower formers have holes in the middle)
16. Viola! All done! At this point you can mix some vodka and luster dust to make it sparkly if you want. 

I hope you enjoyed it and that it helps you make your own. Feel free to let me know how yours went or ask any questions. 

Brandy Cakes