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Beautiful/Delicious Butter Pecan Cake

There are few recipes that I review and think, “This is perfect as it is written.” I have to say that this recipe came VERY close.

Cake Type: Butter Pecan – The cake itself is so beautiful and fragrant that it could almost be served without an icing.

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Icing Type: Buttercream – The icing is where the correction had to be made. I omitted the whole can of evaporated milk (which would have made this icing unbearably sweet) altogether and added 2-3 tablespoons of milk to make my preferred thickness for the icing. The icing was delicious with the addition of the butter (I used salted butter to roast the pecans) roasted pecans; otherwise, I might have omitted them because they do make icing the cake a little difficult. They do add to the presentation of the cake. Other options could include: omitting the pecans from the icing and patting them on the sides once you achieved the finish you want,  you could leave them off of the sides and make a design on the top like my final top with pecan halves OR you could sprinkle the top generously with the chopped, butter roasted pecans.

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Recipe Source: Taste of Home; Baker: Becky Miller; Notes: Contest Winning Recipe

Photos are owned by: Margie Fuller

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Chocolate Covered Cherry Heaven!!

I think the part I enjoy most about making cottage foods is the creative process. I know that many people would probably do things the easy way (it does make the most sense). Google a recipe and use that recipe word for word as it is. Oh, but not me. I am known for having to do things the hard way. I look at tons of recipes. I read them to see if they sound like they will work. There is a science to cooking, and after reading winning recipes and those of losing recipes, you begin to build a skill to detect when something doesn’t look just right about a recipe–for example, a recipe calling for 8 cups of confectioner’s sugar AND a five 5 ounce can evaporated milk. I can read that one sentence and tell you that the cake would be mega sweet. I take all that I learn from this recipe and that recipe, and then I create my own (from scratch of course).

Chocolate Covered Cherry Cake

Chocolate Covered Cherry Cake

Well, this cake is my newest creation. The customer’s husband was turning 40, and she wanted a special cake for him. I asked what his favorite flavors were, and she said, “Chocolate and cherries.” Well, I couldn’t resist the desire to make buttercream filled chocolate covered cherries to top the cake. This cake weighs in at 7 lb. 10 oz. It has a Maraschino Cherry buttercream filling and chocolate ganache frosting on a basic chocolate cake. It was an enjoyable order, and wow, have I gotten LOTS of compliments on the photo on my Facebook page. So tell me, what are your favorite flavors?

UPDATE: I just got a message back from my customer, and I’m really excited about her response to the cake. She said, “The cake was DIVINE!! My husband was so impressed as were our friends. When we FINALLY got home yesterday, we cut some more and shared with both sets of parents and they loved it as well. It really is the best cake we’ve ever had.” WOW!! The best they have EVER had. I’m on the moon right now! That is really a stellar review for an amateur to receive. I know God has blessed me with this gift. I’m excited to see what else I can create.

All-time Favorite Cake Flavor? Tell me. What’s yours?

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Cake, Cake, Cake

Valentine’s Day kept me busy for the entire week. I even had some orders unrelated to Valentine’s Day that stemmed from the photos I posted to my Facebook page. I did several different things. I will share with you my week. Maybe you’ll be able to smell a little sweetness from where you are.

This variety box was really fun, but tempering the chocolate wasn’t as easy as I thought it would be.  The white chocolate tempered easily, but the milk chocolate took longer to harden. It was still enjoyable and makes me look forward to creating chocolate boxes.

Chocolate Dipped Variety Box with Strawberries, Chocolate chip bars, and Pretzel rods

Chocolate Dipped Variety Box with Strawberries, Chocolate chip bars, and Pretzel rods

Next were these incredible strawberry cupcakes. I used local grown strawberries and worked them into my recipe, and when you open the box, you are hit with this unbelievable fragrance of fresh strawberries! I gave my mother one, and she posted on FB that she felt “pampered.” She is a tough one to impress, so I was excited with that feedback.

Fresh Strawberry Cupcakes with Homemade Strawberry Buttercream Icing; Made with local strawberries

Fresh Strawberry Cupcakes with Homemade Strawberry Buttercream Icing; Made with local strawberries

You can’t have Valentine’s Day without Red Velvet cake. I am surprised that people wait until Valentine’s Day to eat Red Velvet cake. It is wonderful cake. These cupcakes were a hit.

Red Velvet Cupcakes with Homemade Cream Cheese Icing

Red Velvet Cupcakes with Homemade Cream Cheese Icing

Then, initially for Valentine’s Day, I received an order for a full cake for someone’s hubby. Something happened and the cake had to be postponed to Saturday, but I got word back from my customer that they loved the cake. Her husband was on his 3rd piece. They hadn’t long picked it up. 🙂 I would say that’s a winning feedback to receive.

Red Velvet Cake with Homemade Cream Cheese Icing

Red Velvet Cake with Homemade Cream Cheese Icing

Lastly, the Heath Bar Perfect Chocolate cake with Vanilla Swiss Meringue Buttercream Icing. Lots of work, but I loved the outcome. This was the first time trying the Swiss Meringue Buttercream, so I’m sure that is part of the reason why it was a longer process. It need not take long after running through it a time or two. Hoping to get winning feedback from it.

Heath Bar Perfect Chocolate Cake with Vanilla Swiss Meringue Buttercream Icing

Heath Bar Perfect Chocolate Cake with Vanilla Swiss Meringue Buttercream Icing

One thing I haven’t been able to get my customers to do yet, clean my kitchen. 🙂 I tell them that is one great reason they pay someone to bake for them, so they don’t have to go through the whole process or clean up. What an awesome deal! I am so very thankful for my customers. They have been such a blessing to my family and I. I am looking forward to my cakes becoming a part of their family meals and discussions.

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