5 Tips for Ordering a Custom-Made Cake

When it comes to specialty cakes, it’s easy to get so caught up in the big picture that you forget about the little details. Who’s thinking about serving sizes when you’re trying to find the perfect cartoon dinosaur for Little Jimmy’s fifth birthday? But you do need to consider these things if you want the cake to be a success, so before you dive too deeply into the land of pterodactyl photos, here are five tips for ordering a custom-made cake.

1. Size

How many people do you need to feed? Think about portions instead of diameters. For example, instead of ordering a 10-inch cake and just hoping that it will be enough, tell the bakery that you’re inviting 15 guests. They should be able to suggest a size to accommodate your company.

2. Shape

Shape is important for both fashionable and functional reasons. In terms of style, a cake with an actual dinosaur tail is more exciting than a round cake with a dinosaur face on it; as for portions, the shapes and layers of your cake will determine how much you’ll have to go around.

3. Flavor

There are many different options for the body of your cake, including:

– White
– Yellow
– Chocolate
– Banana
– Carrot
– Red velvet
– Graham cracker

You can also request special blends and layers if you can’t decide on just one flavor. Ask your bakery for more information.

4. Filling

You can dramatically increase the tastiness of a cake by adding some filling. While ice cream is probably the most mainstream option, you can choose from dozens of options that include fudge, buttercream, custard, mousse, cream cheese and a variety of fruit fillings. The sky is the limit!

5. Icing

Last but certainly not least, the icing is the best part of the cake. You don’t even need to be told that you’ll have all kinds of choices in colors, flavors and textures, especially if you give the go-ahead for extra toppings like nuts and sprinkles. Just make sure that your icing tastes as good as it looks. Some decorative fondants can sacrifice flavor for style.

These are just a few helpful suggestions for ordering specialty cakes Chicago IL. Whether it’s a birthday, anniversary, holiday, graduation or promotion, a cake can be just what you need to celebrate life’s biggest moments!

Hits and a Miss in Valentine Cooking

Valentine’s day may be for lovers and being a singleton, it is easy to dismiss it as a regular day. However, Valentine’s day is also about love and I have loved ones around me so I try to make the day a little more special. To be precise, I do something special with food.  In the past, I have made popsicles and cooked a meal.

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This year, I planned to prepare breakfast, cook a meat dish,  make a salad and bake a cake.  However,  I had to finish a report so I ended up doing everything in batches. It was a good thing because Valentine’s for us extended until the 15th.

I ‘multi-tasked’  our lunch on the 14th. I was still doing the report and it was already  10 a.m.  I cooked the pork belly in the pressure cooker to soften the meat.  After which, I marinated the meat in a korean barbecue sauce. I cooked the marinated meat in the turbo broiler afterwards. I picked this type of cooking because I do not have to look after what I am cooking.  I just let the timer run and it rings when the food is done.  Voila! Say hello to our Valentine lunch. This was a hit.

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I was able to finish the report on the 14th so by February 15th, I was free! I woke up early to make breakfast.  I planned to make ‘egg on a cloud’. I saw that  Tasty video and it looked easy. Boy, was I wrong! These do not look like the one on the video.

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Yes, you can start laughing. The egg white looked fluffy in this picture but it tasted like paper.

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We tried to analyze what happened. It really looked like they were eggs on the cloud while they were in the oven. However, I left the eggs there when I turned off heat because I left the house to buy bread.  I did not want to leave them outside for fear there might be flies and other insects landing on the eggs. Maybe that caused the egg whites to continue cooking.  It is safe to say that was a fail.

After breakfast, I prepared the salad. Since Waldorf salad is best eaten cold. I made it first so I can chill it in the fridge. We love the Waldorf  salad that a family friend makes and since we have walnuts sent to us by my aunt in Canada, we wanted to try to make Waldorf salad. The Waldorf salad is said to be invented by the maitre’d of Waldorf-Astoria Hotel. It is a simple salad made of apples, grapes, celery with lemon and mayonnaise for the dressing and topped with toasted walnuts. My version used cucumber instead of celery and calamansi instead of lemon. I also added yogurt and cashew nuts.

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For me, it tasted good. For my aunts, they wanted to add cream and sugar. I guess they are used to the salad dressing we often make.

The highlight of day is the caramel cake.  I wanted to bake a cake likes Estrel’s so I found Corinne’s blog. She shared a similar recipe from her aunt.

I love how my chiffon cake turned out. I used to burn my cakes because my old oven did not have temperature control.

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This is what it looked like when I poured the caramel icing.

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The Swiss buttercream frosting held up, too. I just need to practice the consistency of my swirls.

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It is a pretty cake (if you look past the imperfections).

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Beyond the aesthetics, the true measure of good food is the taste.  My aunts liked it. One aunt said that the buttercream is too much to her liking. My cousin also said that a thinner layer of buttercream will do. But I secretly love the buttercream. Real butter (as opposed to margarine) is divine! The buttercream hardened in the fridge when we stored the leftover. When I wanted to eat the cake, what I did was I let the cake rest beside me while I work and eat it when the butter softens.  Yum!

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This is hit.  But… I might not make this cake anytime soon. It took me 6 hours to finish from baking the cake to frosting it! But this will definitely be my go-to cake for special occasions.

By the way, belated happy Valentine’s day! Hope you all had a good one.

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Enjoy a Healthy Alcoholic Mixer

There is a new line of low carb alcoholic mixers on the market, especially VLING, which are exciting alternates to traditional mixers. Not only are these low sugar and low calorie and have no caffeine, but they are also electrolyte-infused to deliver the nutrients that promote the hydration that is so important when you want a healthy drink experience.

Those Hydration Mixers are also great tasting and are available in tonic, soda, citrus, and cranberry pomegranate and can be added to your favorite drink recipe.

Why to Stay Hydrated

Alcohol diminishes the body of essential nutrients that are related to hydration. If you stay hydrated all night long as you are drinking, you should be able to avoid the typical hangover symptoms of headache, nausea, sensitivity to light, poor motor skills, achy muscles, diarrhea, and other symptoms.

Since alcohol strips water from the body, it is important to prevent dehydration. Brain tissues are mostly made of water, so dehydration has the effect of shrinking those tissues, which creates the painful pressure of headaches and hangovers.

Make Better Choices

Choose a liquor drink that contains some water and/or a hydrating mixer. Some whiskey experts feel that adding water also brings out the alcohol’s deeper flavors. You can add a bit of wine to a glass of water, which will help prevent dehydration and keep those pearly whites clean.

With tomato juice, plenty of ice, and a celery stick as garnish, a Bloody Mary can actually help hydration. Be sure to stick with low-sodium tomato juice as some brands, especially commercial Bloody Mary mixes, are filled with salt, which makes dehydration worse.

The tropical Pina Colada can help out with hydration with lots of ice, coconut water, fresh fruit, pineapple garnish, and just a single shot of alcohol.

Coconut water contains essential minerals and vitamins like potassium, calcium, phosophorus and magnesium and has fewer calories, less sugar and sodium, no artificial flavors, and more potassium than a sports drink and many mixers.

Get fancy by blending booze with sparkling sodium-free carbonated water. The bubbles may cause you to drink less than you usually would.

Instead of snacking on high-fat sodium-filled foods, refresh yourself with hydrating veggies and fruits. Watermelon, celery, grapes, melons, berries, cucumbers and grapefruit are examples of those that contain lots of water that can hydrate you nearly as much as a glass of water.

Thank you, Nuffnang!

Remember that  Lemon Squares Inipit Contest by Nuffnang? This was my entry.

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I won!  Thank you, Nuffnang!

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I was supposed to claim my prize after that Coron trip but our flight was delayed and traffic was heavy. We arrived Taguig at around 7PM.  It was a holiday the next day and I left on June 13 which was a Saturday.  Nuffnang sent me a message asking me when I will claim my prize.  I told Nuffnang that I have no trip to Manila anytime soon and asked if I could have my prize shipped. I do not mind paying for shipping.  Nuffnang replied that they will send the prize and I do not have to worry about shipping. I just have to send them my mailing address. Thank you, Ren Tupas of Nuffnang, for facilitating the shipment.

Today, my prize was delivered!

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I got baking tools. Now I really need to have my oven fixed.

This is my-happy-but-trying-to-look-cool face!

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Frozen Dessert Goodness with Inipit! #NoLimitWithInipit

Summer is intense this year. Any cold dessert is a welcome comfort to make the heat bearable. I am sharing with you two cold dessert recipes that were hits with my family. Both recipes are easy to make and you can even get your kids to help you prepare them. I used ingredients that are easy to find in the grocery.. or even in your nearest convenience store!

Mangoes are in season. In our place, they are sold at Php40 per kilo. So cheap! I had to incorporate them into the dessert. You can always replace mango with any fleshy fruit available in your grocery. You can substitute canned fruits if you cannot find mangoes in the grocery.

Mango Inipit Popsicles

You will need 2 ripe mangoes, 6 individual packs of Lemon Squares Inipit and 1 big can of evaporated milk.  If you want a sweeter dessert, you can add sugar to the ingredients.

IMG_0689 To create the dessert, cube the Lemon Squares Inipit and soak the cubes in the evaporated milk .
IMG_0691 Cube the mangoes.
IMG_0695 Layer the mangoes and Inipit into the popsicle mold.
IMG_0696 Repeat the layering process until you fill the mold.
IMG_0699 I got the Inipit pack with assorted flavors.  In this layer, I used the ube variant.
IMG_0700 This recipe yields 8 popsicles.  This is how it looks when frozen.

IMG_0768 The heat is a little bearable with this frozen dessert.

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Here’s the recipe:

Mango Inipit Popsicles

Ingredients:
2 ripe mangoes
6 individual packs of Lemon Squares Inipit
1 large evaporated milk (Optional: Sugar)

Procedure:
1. Cut Inipit into cubes.
2. Soak cubed Inipit in the evaporated milk.
3. Cut mangoes into cubes.
4. In the popsicle mold, fill up with layers mangoes and the soaked Inipit.
5. Pour in the excess milk to fill the mold.
6. Freeze the popsicle container overnight.
7. Enjoy!

Yields 8 popsicles.

 

Choco Mango Inipit Pudding

Since I still have packs of chocolate Inipit in my pantry, I made another frozen dessert.

You need almost the same ingredients: 1 ripe mango, 10 individual packs of Lemon Squares chocolate  Inipit, 1 small can evaporated milk and 2 eggs.  Sugar is optional.

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Here’s how  I made the pudding:

Beat eggs. Add milk. Mash the Inipit into the evaporated milk-egg mixture.  Use the fork to mash.

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Mix in cubed mangoes into the mashed Inipit.

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Mix well.

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Pour the mixture into a shallow dish.

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Microwave the mixture on high for 3 minutes. I am doing this to cook the eggs. You can also bake this in the oven at 350 degrees Fahrenheit for 15 minutes.  Let it cool and freeze for at least 4 hours.

To serve, garnish cubed mangoes on top and drizzle with chocolate syrup.

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This is as delicious as it looks. Try this!

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This is the recipe:

Choco Mango Inipit Pudding

Ingredients:
2 eggs
10 individual packs of chocolate Lemon Squares Inipit
1 small evaporated milk (Optional: Sugar)
1 ripe mango, cubed

Garnish:
cubed mangoes
chocolate syrup

Procedure:
1. Beat eggs. Mix in the milk.
2. Mash the Inipit into the evaporated milk-egg mixture.
3. Mix in cubed mangoes. Mix well.
4. Pour the mixture into a shallow dish.
5. Microwave on high for 3 minutes.
6. Freeze.
7. To serve: garnish with cubed mangoes and drizzle with chocolate sauce.
8. Enjoy!

Yields 8 slices.

 

 “Sarap maging kid with Inipit!”  #NoLimitWithInipit

*** This is an entry to a Nuffnang Contest.
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