Category Archives: Art

Diddy Dum Diddy Do


Nothing here but these boring cakes.

Supa dupa boring. I mean, simple white buttercream. Unadorned. Undecorated. Ungarnished.

Dull. Plain.

Yep. Bor-RAINBOW.
You saw it! A rainbow cake! This feller took forever to create, but it was so much fun to play with as well.

The batter was simple and delicious, very moist. However, I don’t know if it was just me, but I followed the recipe to a “T” but despite the toothpick coming out clean, the tops of the cakes felt almost unbaked, so I baked them five minutes longer than the recipe recommended. This didn’t dry the cakes out or cause them to be darkened on the edges, but the tops remained the same. Not sticky, but they left a divot. I just leveled them off and was fine and good, I just thought it was odd. I blame the butter.

Wait, what am I saying? Don’t blame the butter! The butter did nothing wrong!

In order to maintain even layers, I took the batter and weighed it in a separate bowl. This made more dishes, so I would weigh the mixing bowl first, write that weight down, then make the batter and weigh it, then take off the weight of the bowl. The batter, for me, weighed 3 pounds 10 ounces, so when that was divided into six portions, each would be 9.6667 ounces, or 9.7 ounces.

I don’t like math, but I do it for you all. You can thank me later.

Then I have to make this

    exponentially

important statement. I bolded it, but if you could do me a favor and imagine some flashing lights around it, that would be greatly appreciated.

DO NOT USE LIQUID FOOD COLORS ONLY USE GEL FOOD COLORS!

If you use liquid food colors, it would offset the delicate balance of liquid to dry ingredients in the batter, thereby messing with the baked product. In other words, it might make it too liquidy in the end with the amount of food color you might use.

Oh, gel food colors are probably about 5 or 6 times more concentrated than liquid food colors, so you will need a lot less. That’s important too. You can find them for cheap at your local craft store in the baking isle, or I get mine at a bakery supply store. You’ll find that they are super easy to use.

I’m telling ya, man, if you don’t use gel food colors, your layers will not be as blinding as these.

All in all, its a pretty normal sized cake once the layers are all stacked up, equalling to about the size of a tall double layer cake. Its not like you baked the amount of batter for three cakes, its basically the amount of a normal cake batter. Where is all this verbage and analyzing coming from? These colors are messing with my brain. Just think, if you make two of these cakes…

That would probably be my reaction too.

Even though the cake wasn’t that tall, it did require a lot of frosting, so I applied a relatively thin amount in between each layer. I do have to admit, I really don’t like massive amounts of frosting, so this amount was adequate, and I sliced really small slices. The one in the picture is an exception. Or was it? Don’t judge.

Now listen. Once your layers have been assembled, don’t dump on a massive amount of frosting and cover the cake right away. You might get crumbs to cover your cake, and we want to deceive! Any indication of color might make your cake followers curious! They may question! To prevent that, spread on a small amount of frosting all over the cake. Like in the picture, you will still see the cake layers pretty well. Now stick your cake in the freezer for about five or ten minutes.

Trust in Clara, you must.

It’s called a ‘crumb coat’, basically, the frosting will catch and hold onto the straying cake crumbs and hold them onto the cake when you frost. By sticking it in the freezer, the crumb coat becomes hard because of the butter, and so the crumbs are cemented to the thin layer of frosting, and they will not invade your lovely white buttercream which you will spread on the outside. The result? Boring, inconspicuous cake. Perfect method of deceit.

Bright and shiny. Ultra colorful. This cake is about as delicious as it is saturated in color. It will make a great birthday cake! Or if you get that sudden urge to make something wacky.

Rainbow Cake via Whisk Kid

White Cake (but not really)
Ingredients
2 sticks (226 g) butter, room temp
2 1/3 c (466 g) sugar
5 egg whites, room temp
2 teaspoons vanilla
3 c (375 g) flour
4 tsp baking powder
½ tsp salt
1 1/2 c (355 g) milk, warmed for 30 sec in microwave to bring to room temp
Red, orange, yellow, green, blue and purple GEL food coloring. Liquid will not be vibrant enough!

Method
Preheat the oven to 350F degrees. Oil and line how ever many 9” cake pans you have (I have three and I just reused them).

Sift together the flour, baking powder and salt. Set aside.

Cream the sugar and butter, then add the egg whites (I cracked them all into one bowl) and add them a little at a time. Add the vanilla and mix until fully incorporated. Then, alternating between wet and dry, add the milk and flour mixture in two parts.

Divide the batter amongst 6 bowls (I did it by weight. Weigh your mixing bowl before you begin adding ingredients and then subtract the weight of the bowl from the final measurement after the batter is completed. Divide that number by six and add that weight of batter to each bowl), and then whisk a fair amount of the appropriate food color into each bowl. Keep in mind that the color of the unbaked batter will be the color of the baked batter. Pour into the pans and bake for 15 minutes each.

When you remove them from the oven, let them rest on the cooling rack, in the pan, for ten minutes. Then flip, cover, and stash them in the fridge to cool quickly.

American Buttercream (you may want to double this)
Ingredients
2 sticks Unsalted Butter, softened
4 C. Powdered Sugar, Sifted
1 T. Vanilla Extract
2 T. Milk, plus more if needed

Method
1. In a heavy duty mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, whip butter until fluffy, about one minute.
2. Add in powdered sugar, about 1/2 cup at a time, until thoroughly combined.
3. Add in vanilla extract and milk. If the frosting is too thick, add in more milk, one tablespoon at a time, until frosting achieves your desired consistency.
4. Frost!

Happy Baking!
Clara

I’m Coming Home!

For Winter Break!

Not Thanksgiving, not Christmas, WINTER. That means almost two months! Woah. Just…woah. There is much baking to be done and much fun to be had! Get ready! These kitchen withdrawals are spawning all SORTS of new baking ideas! Ahh! SO excited!!

Would you like to see my projects from the quarter? Here you go! Not all of them are shown, I think that two of them aren’t here! I forgot to take a picture! One of them has been sent to Hong Kong for a temporary gallery at the SCAD location there! My professor should have sent me a picture by now, so i’ll put it up when I get it. Enjoy!



I’ll see you in the kitchen!

Happy Baking!
Clara

You Just Wait.

Here’s a preview for what’s coming tomorrow:

Ahhhh!!

Happy Baking!
Clara

My Art In A Nutshell

My art is another passion of mine. While I do bake and cook a lot, art is certainly a crutch. It was my original passion since the age of 4. Considering that I talk about it a lot, I figured I would post some of my pieces that I included in my portfolio for my SCAD application. I’ll post dates too and names.


“Quoth The Fat Raven ‘Nevermore'”. 2010. Ink and Water Media.
(Recognize the cupcake? Oh heck yes. This is a Superbowl drawing, I have had one a year for the past three years! Part of my “Sweetly Macabre” concentration for AP)


“Peace is for the Birds”. 2009. Ink and Water Media.
(Another Superbowl piece. This was a part of my “…For the Birds” concentration where I depicted symbolism in the form of birds. My general explanation for this piece would be ‘Our idea of “Peace” is a bit all over the place, while we consider peace to be a part of us, it isn’t so somewhere else in the world or even around the corner.’ My favorite work.)


“Serenity is for the Birds”. 2009. Ink and Wash.
(Another part of my “…For the Birds” concentration. No general explanation.)


“Hunger is for the Birds”. 2009. Ink and Water Media.
(You know which concentration by now! This one symbolizes that even in a place as large and powerful as America has hunger and need just like every other place.)


Pride is for the Birds. 2009. Watercolor.
(What we wear is an overrated thing, and some of the most genuine beings are even the ones that wear dull colors. Based on the deadly sin.)


“Worship is for the Birds”. 2009. Ink and Highlighter.
(No, this isn’t for religion. Its based on one of Gandhi’s seven deadly sins “Woship without Sacrifice”, and how people can abandon without really trying, or if there is one little flaw.)


“Color is for the Birds” 2009. Ink Media.
(No real explanation, I just thought it was cool.)


“Untitled”. 2008. Watercolor.
(A part of my “Hooves in Flight” concentration Sophomore year. My first watercolor, and was also purchased as an artistic merit award by my school and part of a permanent collection!)


“Freeze Frame”. 2008. Ink.
(Part of my “Hooves in Flight” concentration. My first ink etching piece, one of my favorites 🙂 )


“Knee”. 2007. Ink.
(Not an AP piece, but was a Studio Art project. We were assigned to a drawer and we had to draw the contents. Incidentally, there was a skeleton in front of my drawer, so I utilized it. I styled it so that it was almost like a digital camera, in that it focuses on on one area and fuzzes out on the rest.)


“Fishing in the Sky” 2009. Watercolor.
(A casual illustrative piece, something I did at home and find cute.)

I hope you guys enjoy my art! I will post more as I develop this year’s AP concentration “Sweetly Macabre”

2008: “Hooves in Flight” AP Score: 4
2009: “…For the Birds” AP Score: 4

Happy Valentines/Baking!
Clara

Flourless Rocky Road Cookies

When I was little, my grandpa and grandma would invite us every Sunday to their country club after church for brunch. I was a chubby child back then and quite enjoyed the desserts. Can you imagine an 8-year-old liking flan? That was me, but being me, I always had a handful of stale marshmallows in it. You know, the ones that are kinda chalky? I loved those.

I was a weird child.

So, continuing; the country club had these cookies that my dad raved over. For a few years, I looked at these crackly and shiny chocolate cookies with a sense of wonder; and fright. I remember the day that i tried one, that was a good day. I discovered life in its chewy chocolateyness. I had taken a bite into hot chocolate, with the marshmallows included! No cup needed. We haven’t been there in a long time, and I have been a bit mopey over the memory. I had to make them again. Heck, i had leftover marshmallows from last Thursday, so I thought that it was worth a try.

I found this recipe and noticed that it had a bit too many walnuts for my taste. I like the crunch of them, but I do NOT like the taste. It didn’t include marshmallows either. Feeling like this was blasphemy, I chopped up the remaining 14 marshmallows that I had and shoved ’em in there. I used powdered egg whites as well because I have a whole lot, they worked just fine.

And eating them?

Have you ever been in love? Well, I haven’t yet (though I have a crush or two), but I’m pretty sure this is how it would be. Sweet, soft, and a little crispy.

Because that’s how love should be, crispy.

Flourless Rocky Road Cookies
Makes about 55
Adapted from Flourless Chocolate-Walnut Cookies
Ingredients
1 1/4 cups walnut halves
3 cups confectioners’ sugar
1/2  cup plus 3 tablespoons unsweetened Dutch-process cocoa powder
1 1/2 cups small marshmallows (or cut up homemade vanilla mallows)
1/2 teaspoon salt
4 large egg whites, at room temperature (or 1 T. and 2 tsp. powdered egg whites with 1/2 cup water, mix thoroughly until all powder is gone)
1 tablespoon pure vanilla extract

Method
-Preheat oven to 350. Toast walnuts by spreading them out on a baking sheet and baking for 10 minutes or until golden and slightly fragrent. Allow to cool and chop coarsly.
1. In the bowl of an electric mixer, whisk together cocoa, powdered sugar, and salt. Add in marshmallows and walnuts and mix.
2. Combine vanilla with egg whites and, with the mixer on LOW, pour in the mixture. Mix until combined.
3. Drop by tablespoonfuls onto parchment-lined baking sheets (or a silicone-infused baking sheet). Bake, rotating half-way through, for 16-18 minutes, until the tops are glossy and crackled. They will be a bit flat.
4. Allow to cool on baking sheets for 10-15 minutes, carefully lift off and cool on racks. Enjoy!

Happy Baking!
Clara

PS. I have a concept for this little painting that I FINALLY COMPLETED DRAWING AND PAINTING YESTERDAY. Its darkish in the background, and so the colors will pop. But what do you guys think so far?