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Posts by lorieleann

i bake vegan for allergy reasons, and we LOVE this recipe for banana cupcakes (or cake, no difference). It isn't a recipe that is 'good for being vegan' but an actually delicious banana cake recipe! When I make it, I leave out the 'banana split' elements and just use the base cake recipe (the pineapple and chocolate) If you are going to be baking more for her, the book Vegan Cupcakes Take Over the World has some great recipes in it....
costco does not. Sam's club does (which means that walmart bakery will probably as well)
you could panel the pieces (sides, top) and then meter the seams before hiding them with decoration. 
dowel rods are used to support a second tier of cake, i.e. two or more complete cakes that are stacked on top of each other.  A single layer cake measuring 2" (or even a torted, two layer cake totaling 4" ) would not require dowel rods.     heating cores wouldn't hurt. i usually use upside down flower nails on large diameter tiers.    chill the cakes well (overnight or for a 4-5 hours) to make the cakes easier to fill, frost and position.  I wouldn't flip a cake that...
i say make it an 8" and have extra cake!  If this is for a client, then instituting a minimum size for design will ensure you will be compensated adequately. 
it all depends on how much you wish to spend.  I'd say go for a KA 5 qt.  It's a workhorse and has some pretty snazzy colors that would make it a very cool present and be something that she will have for a very long time. 
one book i really liked when i was learning to bake from scratch was All Cakes Considered, mostly for the detailed 6-page instructions on 'HOW' to mix a pound cake. Really following the directions for each step really makes a huge, huge, huge difference.  Overbeating the flour in at the end of a traditional butter cake can totally ruin the whole batch. I also usually only use recipes that are by weight. It makes a huge difference in consistency of product time after time....
i think you have a good variety of suggestions, but i have to add that Phoenix at the beginning of November will not be cool, usually mid 80's and because most Phoenicians are used to hot weather, houses are usually air conditioned to 80-82 degrees. Room temp here is full-on summer for a lot of places. I really don't know any arizona desert bakers who would leave a fondant cake out of the refrigerator for anything other than transportation--i know i wouldn't. But the good...
I make a passionfruit SMBC with Hero Passion Fruit Compound. 
you may want to switch half of the butter in the recipe with vegetable shortening (hi-ratio would be best).  That would perhaps make it firmer and more heat tolerant.    Please post the exact recipe you use, as there are many variations and there might be a ratio that is off. 
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