Monthly Archives: April 2013

A Terribly Tardy Music Tuesday

Yup, I’ve been bad this week.  Not sure what’s up, but I am so so tired and have been a delinquent blogger (and stained glass-er!)  Not to mention that I crunched through all my tax paperwork last night… that’s enough to make anyone pass out!

But enough with the excuses.  To cheer us all up — it’s Friday, after all! — here is my Tuesday Music post just a few days late.  And this has been an anticipated one for me, because this week marks the release of Bonobo’s new album, The North Borders.

Bonobo_The North Borders

It is all sorts of exciting, especially because it features one of my favourite artists ever, Erykah Badu, on the song Heaven for the Sinner.  I see a long future of listening to the album on repeat.  It’s chill, interesting and intelligent (you can read a review that pretty much sums up how I feel about Bonobo here).  The rhythms and layered sounds just suck me in and mellow me out.  How about you?

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Birthday Cake Madness

… Or, Why I Didn’t Post Something Related to Stained Glass Yesterday.

The reason was that it was our niece’s first birthday party over the weekend.  In general, I haven’t been able to get as much glass done as I’d like this week due to the fact that M’s parents are in town this week.  It’s hard to work, visit/dinner and then fit in glass when you get home at 9 or 10 pm.  That being said, I have worked on my light box (just not the other projects I want to work on as well), and have been ok at keeping up on the regular blogging.

But I digress.  The reason I did not do glass or post to my blog yesterday was this:

Birthday CakeYes, you are seeing correctly.  That is a layered birthday cake in the shape of a 1 (first birthday!), decorated with purple sprinkles and stars.  Yes, I made that.

I love baking, but I don’t get the opportunity to do it very often, and even more rare is the chance to be extravagant.  I have to say that this is probably pretty close to the top of my list of extravagant baking endeavours, seeing as 6 adults and 1 child only ate the bottom horizontal line piece…  It was delicious and awesome, though.

If you’re interested, here’s how I made it:

I did some initial research for children’s birthday cakes online.  I looked at lots of option, and decided that I wanted something delicious to eat, but not too far out of my baking experience (for example, this was not the time to try using fondant icing).  I found a fantastic blog called Smitten Kitchen (so good!), and used recipes for the cake and for the icing.  I love foodie-recipe blogs that have lots of pictures, so I can compare and tell if I’m doing it right.

Next I decided (with M’s help) on a shape for said cake and how it was going to be constructed.  I cute the shapes out of paper first to make sure it would a) fit from parts of my cake pans, and b) fit on the plate.

1 Layout

The next step was baking the cakes — ohmygoodness they smelled divine!  Even the batter!

2 Cakes

Once the cakes were cooled, I levelled them off and cut out the shapes for the 1 based on my paper templates.

3 First Layer Cut

The next stage was icing the middle layer.  And then maybe eating some of the icing, but not too much because I still had a cake to finish…

4 Middle Layer Frosting

Then adding on the top layer of cake.  As per something I read on the internet (I think it was from the Smitten Kitchen blog, but can’t remember now), I placed the bottom of the cake facing outwards to make it easier to ice.

5 Cake layers together

At this point, I applied a crumb layer of icing.  Honestly, I learned a lot about making cakes from reading the Smitten Kitchen — I put a dollop of icing on the bottom of the cake plate to keep everything from sliding, I made sure my middle layer of icing overlapped the layers of cake to make full icing easier, I used parchment over the plate to keep everything tidy, and I started out with a crumb layer of icing.  Before taking this cake on, I didn’t even know there was such a thing as a crumb layer!

6 Crumb coat icing

At this point, I took this bad boy over to the birthday party to finish off the icing and decorations.  I used purple sprinkles and added some yellow stars with a store-bought icing tube.  Honestly, when I started out making this cake, I thought it would be about 2/3 this tall, max.  And then my cake just rose and rose and rose in the oven!  I have to say, though, it turned out a masterpiece!

8 Decoration

Happy birthday to my niece!