“It’s not that I don’t like Valentine’s Day.” he absolutely HATES IT, but that’s not the point. “I just disagree with the way they portray LOVE. …butterflies in your stomach, immediate crushes when you see someone, love at first sight…” the way he rolled his eyes showed how skeptical and doubtful he was about the whole concept itself. “It sounds a lot more like being horny for someone instead of in love. Why don’t they just admit they made up a holiday around the idea of getting someone into your pants?”
I made a red velvet cake figuring the deep red colour is nice and vampy and perfect for Halloween. The filling added to the look in all its raspberry deliciousness oozy gruesomeness. But the best part about the vamp attack cake? Its pretty simple to decorate.
The vampire bites were made easy thanks a set of plastic costume teeth, you know the ones that make you look like your wearing a mouth guard rather than having fangs. Who knew they’d have other uses than looking dorky, pressing the fake fangs into the outer fondant layer of the cake leaves a prefect bite mark. A bit of red makes the bites stand out against the stark white of the cake, giving you a yummy Halloween centrepiece.
Vamp Attack Cake
600 grams white fondant
plastic vampire fangs
2 cup fresh or thawed raspberries
6 tablespoons sugar
3 teaspoon cornstarch
1 ½ teaspoons vanilla extract
2 teaspoon fresh squeezed lemon juice
To make the filling-
Combine the raspberries, sugar, cornstarch, vanilla and lemon juice in a small saucepan. Cook, until the raspberries begin to break apart and lose their juices.
Press the mixture through a fine sieve to remove the majority of the pips, return the strained mixture to the pan, Stir, and cook until the filling boils and thickens (about 5 minutes). Remove from the heat and allow to cool completely. While the filling is cooling make the cakes.
Put 2 tablespoons of the filling aside to make the fake blood for the outside of the cake.
Red Velvet Cake
3 ½ cups plain flour, sifted
170 grams butter, softened
2 cups sugar
3 large eggs, at room temperature
6 tablespoons red food colouring
3 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa
1 ½ teaspoons pure vanilla extract
½ teaspoon salt
1 ½ cups buttermilk
1 ½ teaspoons cider vinegar
1 ½ teaspoons baking soda
To make the cake-
Preheat your oven to 180°C. Grease and lightly flour two 8 inch cake pans, line the bottoms with baking paper circles and lightly flour the sides.
Add the butter and sugar to your mixer bowl, beat on medium until very light and fluffy, it will take a few minutes.
Add in the eggs, one at a time, beat well after each addition.
Stir the red food colouring, cocoa, and vanilla in a small bowl to form a paste . Add the red paste to the batter and mix well, evenly dispersing the colour.
Mix the salt into the buttermilk. Add a third of the buttermilk and a third of the flour to the batter, beat until just incorporated (do not over beat). Repeat with the remaining thirds.
Stir the vinegar and baking soda in a small bowl. Add to the batter and mix well.
Scrape down the sides of the bowl making sure all the ingredients are evenly mixed and the batter is smooth.
Divide the batter evenly between the two cake tins. Bake for 40-45 minutes, or until a cake tester inserted in the center of the cake comes out clean. Allow the cakes to cool in the pans for 1 hour. Gently remove the cakes from the tins and allow to cool completely on a wire rack. While the cakes are cooling make the vanilla frosting.
Fluffy Vanilla Frosting
200 grams unsalted butter, room temperature
3 cups confectioners’ sugar, sifted
½ teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1 tablespoon of milk (if necessary)
To make the frosting-
Beat butter with mixer on medium-high until light and fluffy, about 2 minutes. Switch the speed to low-medium so you don’t end up in a cloud of sugar.
Add the confectioners’ sugar, ½ cup at a time, beating well after each addition and scraping down the side with a spatula.
Add the vanilla and beat frosting on high for about 3 minutes, it will get very pale and be light and airy. If the frosting is too thick beat in a little milk.
Raspberry Chocolate ‘Blood’ Sauce
2 tablespoons raspberry filling
1 tablespoon cornflour
1 teaspoon red food colouring
1 teaspoon chocolate syrup
To make the fake blood-
Strain the raspberry filling to make sure there are not leftover seeds. Add all ingredients to a small bowl and mix well . The Chocolate syrup will give the fake blood a bit more realistic colour.
To Assemble the cake-
Trim the raised tops off each of the cakes. Cut each of the cakes into 2 even layers. ( I finally bought a cake cutting wire, its the best thing ever people! If you don’t have one I’d really recommend it, even layers every time!)
Spoon roughly ½ of a cup of the vanilla frosting into a piping bag. Place bottom layer of cake onto plate. Pipe a ring of frosting around the edge of the cake to stop the raspberry filling escaping.
Spoon in a third for the raspberry frosting and smooth over. Top with the next layer of cake and repeat the piping and filling, finishing with the top layer of cake.
Spread a thin crumb coat of vanilla frosting over the entire cake.
Spoon on the remaining frosting and spread in a thicker smooth layer over the entire cake.
Dust your work surface (I use a silicone mat) with a little cornflour and roll out the fondant to roughly 7mm thickness.
Drape the rolled fondant over the cake. Smooth the fondant over the cake, starting at the top then working down the sides. Pull the fondant away from the cake sides as necessary to avoid creases forming.
Run the fondant smoothers over the top and around the sides to get a nice flat Finish.
Trim the excess fondant from the base of the cake with a sharp knife.
Now for the fun part. Press fang marks all over the cake using the plastic teeth.
Spoon some of the raspberry chocolate 'blood’ into a small squeesy bottle. Fill each of the teeth marks with a little fake blood. Add drips and puddles where you like.
To make the spray splatter look, start by placing the cake on top of newspaper to ensure you do not make a mess. Make sure you cover the wall behind too.
Empty most of the remaining raspberry chocolate sauce from the squeezy bottle.The little bit of sauce left the the bottle should squeeze out in a splatter. The less sauce in the bottle the finer the spray with be. Go crazy and cover the cake as much as you like.
The recipe for the “glass” is essentially one for caramel. The trick is to cook it for a shorter amount of time than usual so it stays clear.
PREP: 45 MINS TOTAL TIME: 1 HOUR 15 MINS
YIELD:Makes 3 ½ dozen
4 ½ cups cake flour (not self-rising)
2 tablespoons baking powder
½ teaspoon ground cinnamon
¼ teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
1 ½ cups whole milk
1 tablespoon pure vanilla extract
2 sticks plus 2 tablespoons unsalted butter, room temperature
2 ¼ cups granulated sugar
7 large egg whites, room temperature
FOR THE CARAMEL
1 ½ cups granulated sugar
¾ cup water
FOR THE FROSTING
1 pound cream cheese, room temperature
2 sticks unsalted butter, room temperature
6 cups confectioners’ sugar
½ teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1 cup cherry preserves, strained, for garnish
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Make the cupcakes: Line cupcake tins with baking cups. Sift flour, baking powder, cinnamon, nutmeg, and ¾ teaspoon salt into a medium bowl. Combine milk and vanilla in a measuring cup.
Beat butter with a mixer on medium-high speed until pale and fluffy. Reduce speed to medium, and gradually add granulated sugar in a slow, steady stream. Beat until pale and fluffy, about 3 minutes. Reduce speed to low, and add flour mixture in 3 additions, alternating with milk mixture, beginning and ending with flour.
In a clean bowl, whisk egg whites with a mixer on medium-high speed until stiff peaks form. Fold one-third of the whites into the cupcake batter. Fold in remaining egg whites in 2 batches.
Divide batter among baking cups, filling each halfway full. Bake until a toothpick inserted into the center of each comes out clean and the tops spring back when lightly touched, 18 to 20 minutes. Let cool completely in tins set on wire racks.
Meanwhile, make the caramel: Bring granulated sugar and water to a boil in a small high-sided saucepan, stirring, until sugar dissolves. Reduce heat to medium-high, and cook until mixture just starts to turn pale gold around edges. Remove from heat, and immediately pour caramel onto a rimmed baking sheet. Working quickly, tilt pan to spread caramel to edges to make a very thin layer. Let cool to harden.
Make the frosting: Beat cream cheese and butter with a mixer on medium-high speed until pale and fluffy. Gradually add confectioners’ sugar and vanilla. Beat until creamy and spreadable.
Frost each cupcake using an offset spatula. Twist pan to release and break caramel in order for it to resemble broken glass. Place a shard or 2 of caramel “glass” in the center of each cupcake. Drizzle or pipe cherry preserves where caramel has entered the cupcake.
Halloween candy corn cake - beautifully decorated with candy corn, even the cake layers are candy corn colors!
The fun thing with decorating with candy corns is that because of its shape and color, you can create fun patterns with it.
Here I made a pattern of flowers. Big ones and small ones. It’s not really a spooky, creepy kind of cake but a girly, girly kind of Halloween cake. It’s just my kind of cake :)
And there is a nice surprise for the inside of the cake too. For the cake itself, I was inspired with the colors of the candy corn. I used the yellow cake recipe and divided the batter into 3 equal parts. I colored one part orange, one part yellow and one part uncolored. I used 6" round pans for this cake.
For the centers of the flowers, I used black fondant. I also used it for the ruffle border around the cake. For the ruffles I used wood dowels to help create the waves.
We all have seen it at some point during the holidays: a limp paper plate loaded with cookies and covered in plastic-wrap that’s not clinging. Is there a drearier way to transport baked goods, treats, or gifts from point A to point B? This holiday season, I vowed to make every effort to put an end to this unsightly and ineffective mode of conveyance by making cute brown paper sacks with ribbons.
These bags are super easy to make. You could use them for your wedding favors or even pack your families’ lunches for school and work.
Some assorted ribbon and a hole punch (or two, or three…) are all you need to extend the life of these “single-use” paper bags. Get the kids involved making their own lunch bags and they’ll be sure to bring them back home to use again and again.
A simple basting stitch is all you needed to make a pretty container perfectly suited to hold a batch of freshly made cookies to send to a friend.
For an even quicker solution, a few knotted lengths of satin ribbon look festive without being fussy.
These two “woven” examples are my favorites during the holiday. I recently used this pattern for Thanksgiving hostess gifts; one contained homemade brownies and the other Peanut butter fudge (both wrapped in waxed paper before being inserted into their brown paper wrappings).
For the example on left, use a ½-inch hole punch. Notice that you crease the bag vertically along the dotted lines and then place your hole cutter halfway over the fold and punch. For the example on the right, seven small cuts made with a craft knife (notice the tiny one at the bottom) provided the lattice through which you weave three bright red ribbons (Fasten the ends with clear tape on the inside of the bag).
For the holidays, I like to make cookies to give to all of my neighbors. With everyone’s schedule being what it is, I usually end up leaving packages at people’s doors. A 2-½-inch circle (again, cut by folding the bag over and cutting half a circle out across the fold) makes a perfect way to hang this gift on a doorknob. I used a custom rubber stamp to label each bag and a little silver cord to stitch them shut around the hole.
And last but not least a cute shoelace weave.
Nothing could be less trouble than putting a few stitches in a paper bag, and delivering your holiday goodies in style.
Rough character design sketches (a couple poses, expressions) - $25
Bust (line art) - $20
Bust (colored) - $30
Full body (line art) - $40
Full body (colored) - $50
*** $10 more per additional character added to any of the above options except for rough character design sketches.
*** Tips are always welcome!
You can email me at Kiddermari@gmail.com for inquiries!
Do you like art? Do your loved ones like art?? Do you want to give someone some art??? Well jeeze do I have an idea for you!
I’m open for commissions again and doing special winter holiday pricing! Wow!
Fanart. Original character. A persona (witches, gems, magical girls, mythical creatures, etc.). It’s all on the table. If you want something specific that isn’t listed above, I can figure out an equally discounted price!
I am only accepting USD Paypal. That’s United State’s currency/dollars if you have trouble with abbreviations (like I do sometimes). Also these commissions are digital, so I will send you the file via email, not post.
Not only will you be giving someone you care for something unique and special, but you’ll also be supporting an artist! While I wish I was a robot that just plugs into the wall and feeds off of sweet tunes, that is regrettably not how I live.
I miss the monthly flea market days from ACWW.It was a easy way to get furniture from the villagers and easy way to sell furniture you dont want to them I know the flea market spacein retail kinda replaced that in NL but.. it’d still be nice to even just have a “Spring Cleaning” day like the first weekend in March or April.
These are sweet sugar cookies which are surprisingly easy since they are a slice and bake cookie. Yes, aside from making the dough and rolling it together, this is just as easy as going to Shoprite for some Pilsbury’s sugar cookie dough, but it’s so much better! These Christmas cookies were simple to make and eat!
2 cups flour, plus possibly a few more tbsp (the original recipe called for cake flour, but I just used regular old all-purpose flour )
½ tsp baking powder
¼ tsp salt
2/3 cup unsifted powdered sugar
¼ cup granulated sugar
2 ½ sticks unsalted butter (cut in chunks)
1 tsp vanilla
½ tsp of food coloring of your choice(and/or ½ tsp of any desired extra extracts)
1 ½ cup holiday sprinkles
1. In a stand mixer, combine flour, baking powder, salt, and sugars with paddle on medium until well blended.
2. Add butter in, gradually, and continue mixing. Add in vanilla extract. At this point, your dough will form a ball on your paddle.
3. Remove all your dough and divide into two equal parts. Return one portion back in to the mixer and add the food coloring and any extra extracts. I used Wilton gel food coloring in leaf green and vanilla extract for this batch. You could coordinate your colors and flavors, for example green food coloring matched with a mint extract or yellow with a lemon extract, etc. Also, if you are using liquid food coloring, you will need to add a few tbsp of flour to keep the dough from becoming too wet. Mix until the color is spread out evenly.
4. Roll out each portions of your dough, between two sheets a wax paper until is reaches about 11 x 9 inches and is ¼ inch thick. Slide both unto a cookie sheet and chill in the refrigerator for at least 2 hours.
5. When firm, remove the top sheets of wax paper from both. Brush the uncolored vanilla dough lightly with water using a pastry brush. Then flip the colored dough onto the vanilla uncolored dough so they are stacked atop each other and even. Press the edges lightly with your fingertips to seal them together. Using a small pairing knife, trim the edges of the dough to make straight, even lines.
6. Pour out sprinkles onto a large platter and set aside. Be sure your dough is still cold, but flexible. Once it’s ready, begin rolling the long side of dough into a swirl, jelly-roll style. Now, don’t get nervous if the outer layer of uncolored dough tears a bit. It’s no problem, just pinch and pat those tears and voila, then just keep rolling.
7. Now gently lift your dough log onto the sprinkles and roll away. Cover the log completely with your sprinkles. Wrap the colorfully decorated log in plastic wrap twice. Depending on when you want to bake the cookies, either place the wrapped dough into refrigerator for about 3-4 hours or you can put it the freezer and keep it there for up to 2 months. (If freezing, give yourself time for the dough to defrost in the fridge overnight before cutting.)
8. Slice your dough into ¼-1/8 inch slices and bake on parchment lined baking sheets. Bake at 350 for 15-17 minutes until edges are slightly golden. Let the cookies rest on the baking sheet for about 5 minutes, then move them to a cookie rack to finish cooling. Enjoy your whimsical Christmas cookies!