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Ihuoma Ken Ohiorenoya
Chronicles of my caking and home making journey.
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Thursday, 22 September 2011

12 Strategies For Making A Fantastic Fruit Cake

 Here I just want to share some of the ways I have used over time to improve the quality of my fruit cake:

1. Soak you dried fruits in alcohol at lest twenty four hours before you bake.I prefer brandy as my alcohol because I noticed that some other liquor might dry the cake.

2. I know most people will say you should bake a fruit cake  with just enough batter to hold your nuts and fruits together,but I think it tastes more like a fruit and nut bar.If you want that yummy,moist taste and texture,you should use plenty of fruits and nuts but not too much of it.

3. Never underestimate the power of lemon and orange rinds.Also add some of their juice while you are at it.

4. When folding in your flour,use a metal spoon not a wooden one.Please note this.

5. Bake  at very low temperature.Make sure it is lower than 300 degrees.

6. Leave a bowl of water on the floor of the oven to avoid the cake drying up.

7.Cover the top of the pan with aluminum foil if you think the heat is much.

8. Instead of buying processed cinnamon and nutmeg,buy the fresh one.

9 Use evaporated or liquid milk instead of the dry one.

10. Add a little cocoa powder.

11. Do not add too much browning so that the cake those not look black.It should have a rich chocolate brown color.

12. Store your cake after you bake.Fruit cake gets better with age,like fine wine. If you want to store it ,be sure to wrap it  in plastic and store in a freezer. Note: Do not store in the fridge,it dries it up with time.

Hope you've found these tips helpful? Please let us know.You can also share your own tips and experience with us.Have the cream of the cream !


Tuesday, 20 September 2011

My First Decorated Cake

I had always wanted to ice a cake all by myself.Every time I saw a beautiful cake on display in a cake shop or fast food joint,I was sure to move towards it to admire it close up( I still do that),then I try to imagine how I would have designed it if I were the one.I used to ice a lot of cakes in my imagination.

This story will not be complete if I do not mention that a friend and neighbor then,Ronke Apampa,thought me how to ice with butter.She would bake surprise cakes for her friends' birthdays and I would watch her ice with so much ease(butter icing seems much easier than the other types of icing),so I knew she was my key to icing cakes in reality.I baked a cake for a friend's birthday and asked her to come over to the house and help me ice it while I watched so that I could learn.I watched her mix the icing with the butter,and then mix a part of this mixture with blue to get green(remember blue+yellow = green?). She covered the cake with plain cream and piped lovely things with the green cream all around the cake.After watching her closely, I knew I was good to go.The time for my personally iced cake with my own signature had come.

I still remember it like yesterday.That was the day that I knew that I and cakes have a long way to go.I can not remember the first cake I baked my self because from a very young age,we all had to help my mum out with baking.She is a caterer and whenever she gets an order or a contract,she makes us her 'unpaid' assistants,so we baked so many cakes at home back then that I do not recall which was the first,but the picture of my first iced cake is still very clear in my mind.

It was butter cream icing and I used red food coloring to get some of the cream  to become orange in color(Remember,red+ yellow= orange?)The color of the background was the original butter cream of the frosting,then I piped my orange cream around the borders with a star nozzle.It looked like a cute orange flower bed around the cake.I piped dots of the plain uncolored butter cream on top of them with the writing tip then I used the orange colored cream and the writing tip to inscribe the 'Happy Birthday Ime' on it.In my eyes back then,it was the most beautiful cake I had ever seen.Every one ooohed and ahhhhhed over it and I gave myself thumbs up. I have always wished I took a snapshot of the cake for proof and not memory because I am not about to forget.

I hope I have been able to paint a clear picture of my premiere performance for you? Good,so we will not be needing snap shots.
Never baked or iced a cake before? Start planning towards doing that from to day.The cream of the cream is yours! Catch ya later.


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