Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Monkey Cake

My newest cake creation was for a little boy's 5th birthday.  He was having a monkey themed birthday party and loves the color yellow.

I love it when I get to make a cake for a little kid's birthday party that they love.  I love it when their mom or dad opens the box and says, "Oh, he/she is going to love it!"  It is a great feeling.  For this cake, we did a combination of white almond cake and chocolate cake with my French buttercream.  He was having a monkey theme for his party, so I did a monkey face in fondant in the middle of the cake that resembled his invitations.  Yellow is his favorite color, so I did the rest of the decorating in yellow.  I hear the party was a big success, and the cake was a big hit!

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Friday, January 6, 2012

Whole Wheat Bread

I decided a few months ago that I am no longer buying bread at the store.  And, I am proud to say that I have not purchased a loaf of bread from the store in a long while.  I alternate between a few different recipes, but this is the one I started with.  It is just a basic whole wheat bread.
I think it is super easy to make homemade bread.  People always think that it takes so much time, but in actuality, it doesn't.  Sure, the whole process takes a while, but the actual amount of time that I am required to be standing in my kitchen dealing with my bread dough is very small, maybe only 10 minutes.  I like to substitute whole wheat flour for a large portion of bread flour just for a more wholesome, nutritious bread.  I also use a recipe with very minimal ingredients.  Basically, my bread just consists of water, yeast, flour, salt, and a very small amount of butter and sugar.  There is so much about making homemade bread that is just so comforting to me.  I enjoy the process of making it, but beside that, I love making something so wholesome for my family.  And my family just loves it!

Whole wheat flour means that all of the grain (bran, germ, and endosperm) is intact.  No part of the grain is lost, therefore, no nutrition is lost.  On the other hand, white, refined flour only contains the endosperm.  Although some white flours are fortified with some nutrients that were lost in the refining process, they do not contain the macronutrients found in the germ and bran, particularly fiber and protein.  Whole wheat flour is a good source of iron, fiber, calcium, and other minerals.  However, if you use whole wheat flour, be careful.  It does not have a particularly long shelf life and can become rancid easily.  Make sure you watch for expiration dates and store it in your chill chest.