Monthly Archives: April 2018

How to Make a Candy-Filled Gender Reveal Cake!

It’s a baby…girl!

Yesterday I got together with my parents and siblings to celebrate one of my sister’s birthdays, and also to find out the gender of a new baby who will be joining us in 6 or so months! I had to find out the gender ahead of time of course, so that I could make the gender reveal cake. It was a hit! Everyone but the expectant mother and father-to-be were surprised. Also surprisingly easy to make this cake once you understand how to fill a cake with candy. Want to learn how to make one too? Let’s get to it!

Firstly, I recommend reading my post on Cake Decorating 101 — you’ll learn some of my best tips about cake decorating, including the fact that it is much easier to ice a slightly frozen cake than a crumbly, wobbly, non-frozen one. I also suggest that you read my post on how to make the best buttercream ever — it really is the only buttercream recipe that you’ll ever need!

I decided to make the gender reveal cake a ‘naked cake’, so that it only has a light crumb coat of icing on it (just enough to keep the crumbs iced down, but still thin enough that you can see the layers of the cake through the icing on the sides). Considering that the cake is filled with candy, I thought we didn’t need to have a thick layer of icing on top of it too!

 

Candy-Filled Gender Reveal Cake

Fill this naked-cake with the expectant mother's favourite candies, and have everyone guess the sex of the baby before the cake is cut! Fun and tasty for everyone! 
Servings 12

Ingredients

  • 3 cake layers (use your favourite recipe)
  • 1 batch buttercream icing
  • 1-1 1/2 cup assorted candies in pink or blue
  • 3 tbsp. multi-coloured sprinkles
  • 1 tbsp. silver dragees

Instructions

  1. Place first layer of cake on cake tray. Spread a layer of icing on the top. 

  2. Place second layer of cake on a separate plate or tray. Using an upside-down martini glass (or small bowl) cut out a circle of cake from the centre. Eat the centre of the cake, for quality control purposes. (Yum!)

  3. Place second layer of cake on top of the first layer. Ice the top of the second layer of cake (i.e. the ring of cake that is all that is left of the second layer).

  4. Fill the centre of the second cake layer with candies. Pack them in firmly. You want there to be lots of candy to spill out when you remove the first slice of cake. 

  5. Place the third layer of cake on top of the second layer. 

  6. Ice the top of the cake. Thinly ice the sides of the cake, using an offset spatula (or the edge of a very straight knife, or just a ruler) to scrape off the excess. To get the look of a naked cake, you want to be able to see the layers of the cake. 

  7. Using a pinch of sprinkles at a time, throw sprinkles at the bottom edge of the cake (I usually do this over a sink, while firmly holding the iced cake on a slight slant to give the best access. Note that the cake has to be pretty chilled to be able to do this without the layers slipping off. Another reason why chilling the cake layers helps keep the cake together!)

  8. Using the silver dragees, make a question mark on top of the cake. 

  9. Using the leftover sprinkles, sprinkle them over the top of the cake. 

  10. Chill the cake thoroughly before serving. Then, cut a slice, plate it, and listen to the cheers of the onlookers as they find out the sex of the new baby! (You'll also hear appreciates mmm's as they eat that delicious buttercream-covered cake!)

I know that pink and blue are extremely stereotypical ways to signify the sex of a baby (I mean, I’m female and my favourite colour is and always has been blue), but they’re also currently the most universally recognized (at least in the Western world) gender signifiers, which is why I used them. In other words, you do you, boo!

Oh, and while I call it a gender-reveal cake, I also recognize that gender and sex are not necessarily interchangeable terms. I like to be precise with my words. I’m a bit of a logophile. But enough of that. Back to fun with food!

While I termed this recipe a candy-filled gender reveal cake, you really could make it a baby announcement cake as well! Fill it with baby-themed candies (think candy pacifiers and candy lego building blocks) and it’s a fun way to surprise a gathering of people! If no one knows that it is a surprise cake, everyone will be surprised when they find out there’s themed candy in the centre!

Or make it a themed cake for a child’s birthday party! You could fill it with candy lego blocks (lego-themed party), candy dinosaurs (dinosaur-themed party)…the possibilities are only as limited as your access to candy is!

Next Post: Hmm. Good question. Maybe some super-easy blueberry jam? I did just buy a blueberry bush, so I’ve got blueberries on the brain! 

Linking Up at Meal Plan Monday!

Copycat Peach Yoplait: A Super-Quick & Calcium-Rich Yoghurt Drink!

Yummy, yummy in my tummy!

As I’ve written previously, I’ve taken to making my own yoghurt these days. And in line with my granola-making hippy-esque kitchen plans, I’ve also taken to canning my own fruit (at least peaches and pears). But what to do with the last of the canning syrup? And what to do with a single cup of yoghurt left? Not enough for a full meal, but a bit too much to bake with. Well…why not mix up some Copycat Peach Yoplait?

Have you ever drunk a bottle of that fruit-flavoured yoghurt drink, Yoplait? I haven’t had one in years, and I also don’t want to look at the ingredient list — I’m sure it has more ingredients than I care to know about. But they are delicious little bottles of drinkable yoghurt yumminess, and I thought I’d try making my own.

It’s surprisingly easy to make this Copycat Peach Yoplait! I suggest using peaches that have been canned in juice, or at the very least, light syrup. If you use peaches canned in heavy syrup, the drink will definitely be delicious, but won’t be as healthy.  And food that is healthy(ish, at least), full of nutrients from fruit, chock-full of calcium, and verrrrry importantly, super-duper delicious…well, I’m all about that!

So let’s get to making some!

 

5 from 2 votes
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Copycat Peach Yoplait

This calcium-rich and peach-flavoured yoghurt drink is suprisingly easy to whip up! Great served over ice for a refreshing drink. 

Servings 1

Ingredients

  • 1 cup yoghurt
  • 1/2 cup juice or light syrup from a can of peaches
  • 1 tbsp canned peach, finely chopped

Instructions

  1. Mix yoghurt, juice/light syrup, and finely chopped peach together in a glass. 

  2. Serve over ice and enjoy!

Recipe Notes

If you want a sweeter drink, you can increase the juice/light syrup amount to 3/4 cup. I recommend using home-canned peaches for this -- the flavour is so much better than store-bought!

 

That’s right, this drink is basically yoghurt thinned with the juice/light syrup from canned peaches, plus a few chunks of peaches. As the juice/light syrup sits with the fruit in the jar, it gains a delicious peach flavour, so when we use the juice/light syrup in the drink, it imparts all that lovely peachiness to the drink. And then adding in a few peach chunks only makes it better!

You can see why I don’t recommend using peaches canned in heavy syrup in this drink! I mean you could, but I would use it as a dessert then, not so much a healthy breakfast! Mmm…dessert yoghurt. I totally want that now!

I wonder what other canned fruits I could turn into fruity yoghurt drinks? Mandarins? Pears? Apricots? Oooh, I think the apricot one would be great! If you make this, let me know what fruit you used!

Next Post: Not sure yet, to be honest. I’m still recovering from a few weeks of illness and my stomach is wibbly-wobbly so I haven’t been dreaming of new recipes like I usually do. So, we’ll see what the week brings!

Linking Up at Meal Plan Monday! And Full Plate Thursday!

This-and-That Veggie & Goat Cheese Quiche: Dinner in a Jiffy

Melted goat cheese is the best!

I’ve been ill recently and to amuse myself while I lie on the sofa, I’ve been scrolling through random Instagram feeds from across the world. Today I came across someone who lives in the French Alps, and I saw a picture of a quiche that she had made. I thought…oooh, that would make great lunches for the week!

I’ve been eating my Greek Salad almost every day for at least the past 3 weeks (possibly 4 weeks), and I am finally ready for a change. But a vegetable-rich change! So I looked through my fridge and pantry and pulled out some veggies. I had some baby tomatoes, a few baby carrots, some onions, some dried arugula (if I can’t eat my greens fast enough, I’ll just dehydrate them to throw in my cooking or smoothies at a later date). I also had half a package of goat cheese, some eggs that were getting a bit old, and the last of some milk and cream. In other words, I tossed together bits of this and that! (Hence the name, this-and-that quiche.)

You can make this quiche too! I’ve put down the amounts of the vegetables that I used, but you can easily substitute in whatever  veggies you have on hand. You could even use frozen vegetables that you’ve cooked and drained, and of course you can use whatever cheese you have on hand (just grate it or cube it).

Let’s get to making some quiche!

 

5 from 2 votes
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This-and-That Veggie & Goat Cheese Quiche

A great dish to use up bits of veggies and whatever you have in your fridge! 

Servings 6

Ingredients

  • 1 onion
  • 3/4 c. baby tomatoes
  • 1 tbsp. dried arugula (or any greens you have on hand)
  • 1/2 pkg. goat cheese
  • 1 tbsp. sliced baby carrots
  • 1 tbsp. butter
  • 4 eggs
  • 1 tbsp. cream
  • 4 tbsp. milk
  • 1 pie crust (I used my favourite vodka pie crust)

Instructions

  1. Slice the onions and saute on low medium heat for 15 minutes or until mostly golden and translucent. Add the baby tomatoes after you've pricked them with a fork (this helps the juices escape and caramelize) as well as the carrots. Saute all together until the carrots can be easily pierced with a fork, and the tomatoes are more wizened than plump. 

  2. Mix the eggs, milk, and cream together. Stir in the arugula.
  3. Place the crust in a pie pan. Sprinkle the goat cheese in crumbles on the pie crust. Cover with the sautéed vegetables. Pour the egg mixture over everything, and baked in a 400 degree oven for 15-20 minutes or until the crust is golden brown and the egg mixture is golden and top and fully set when pierced with a fork.

Recipe Notes

This is the best pie crust to use: my vodka pie crust! Buttery and flaky and just plain yummy! 

Serve with a side salad and enjoy! I’ve packed most of this for lunches for the coming week, but of course it’s just as yummy when served as dinner!

Next Post: Copycat Peach Yoplait, I think. High in calcium and yummy peach flavour!

Linking Up at Meal Plan Monday!

The Only Greek Salad Recipe You’ll Ever Need

Photo of my mother’s recipe card included. The hallmark of a good recipe are the stains on the recipe card!

And…I’m back! Where was I for the past month, when this blog was eerily silent? Well, I was actually off sick for three weeks. Too sick to work, so too sick to blog. I’ll tell more in an upcoming post, but for now I just want to talk about food! Specifically, this Greek Salad! It’s a recipe I got from my mom, and I’ve eaten 7 batches of this salad in the past month, and plan to make and eat three more this week. So, obviously, it’s a delicious recipe! And easy to make, because aside from a batch of blueberry pancakes that I made yesterday, it’s been the only thing I’ve cooked/made in the past month!!!

This super-Spring-like Greek Salad is easy to toss together, and can be made in less than 15 minutes. You could easily add some pasta to make a Greek Pasta salad, but personally, I love that it’s almost all vegetables (I’m counting tomatoes as a vegetable in this one instance). Mmm…my precious vegetablessssss!

Want to toss a batch together yourself? Let’s!

Greek Salad

  • 4 tomatoes
  • 1 English cucumber
  • 8 oz. Feta cheese (I often use the stuff in containers in the dairy section, but the best stuff is the super creamy version from a good deli counter)
  • 1/2 c. black olives
  • 1/3 c. oil (I use vegetable, but olive would be more authentic)
  • 2 tbsp. fresh lemon juice (fresh makes it SO much better)
  • 1/2 tsp. oregano
  • salt and pepper to taste

 Chop tomatoes and cucumbers. Add crumbled Feta cheese. Add remaining ingredients and toss to coat. Serve chilled! 

I remember eating bowls of this as a child, along with super-fresh crusty French or Italian bread (there was a very authentic Italian bakery close by). A delicious way to get in your vegetables!

As I said, you could easily add some pasta to this to stretch it or to add some heft to the meal, with the salad dressing coating the pasta. But truly, this is a great meal all on its own. I’ve recently been eating bowls of this at midnight, and it’s just as delicious as when served at lunch or dinner! (Perhaps even more delicious when it’s extra chilled and eaten in bed while resting on plumped pillows and watching TV. Being an adult is so much fun!)

Next Post: Chocolate Ice Milk? Blue Velvet Pancakes? Copycat Peach Yoplait? It all depends on what I’m craving!  

Linking Up at Meal Plan Monday! And again!