Monday, October 26, 2009

Cake, Cake and more Cake!

I'm just loving making cakes at the moment. I think this new hobby may cause me and everyone around me to gain 10lbs, but who cares!

Since my beginners cake decorating class back in September I've been cooking up a storm in the kitchen and having fun trying out new flavours and decorating techniques.

A real crowd pleaser has been my carrot and pineapple cake (Care of the great Ina Garton) which tastes even more delicious when I use almond pie filling to fill between the layers of moist carrot cake. Its yummy, you have to go try it.

I made an early birthday cake for my Mum while she was here visiting and this time I made cheated and used a packet vanilla cake mix, but to change it up a little I added a pack of banana cream pie pudding mix to the batter and presto you have banana flavour cake!! Now what goes great with banana's?....CHOCOLATE! I used Nutella chocolate spread between the layers of sponge, OMG, I'm in heaven!

Now for this cake I had a go at using the rolled fondant and it was easier than I thought it would be. I covered the whole cake in white fondant and then coloured the remaining fondant a nice pink color and cut it into strips, and also some bows. I then used my butter icing and piped out 12 lovely roses. My Mum loved the cake and we all enjoyed eating it too!

Just so my husband didn't feel left out I made him a birthday cake too and as he's such a big golf nut I made him a golf course (well one hole of one!). For this cake I made a red velvet sponge and filled it with buttercream, then iced it using piped buttercream. It was fun icing in the water hazard and sand bunkers as well as the little green.

I'm excited as I've been asked to make a 50th birthday cake for a friends work colleague so I'll post some pics of that when I make it next month. I'm already thinking of ideas for other friends birthdays cakes, so looking forward to making them too.
Happy baking!

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Trains, Planes, and Automobiles across Canada

On the 1st october I took a trip up to Canada with my Mum. She has always wanted to see the Rocky Mountains and so this year she realised her dream and I was there to share it with her.

We had booked a trip on the Rocky Mountaineer Train from Banff to Vancouver and our journey began when we arrived in Calgary. We were collected from our hotel in Calgary and set off towards Lake Louise. On the way we stopped off to take a helicopter ride over the mountains which was fabulous. We then headed into Lake Louise and arrived at the beautiful Chateau Lake Louise hotel in falling snow.

When we woke the following day the lake and surrounding mountains were coated with beautiful white snow which made it look like a winter wonderland. If you have never seen Lake Louise then you should definately go as it is just breath taking.

We boarded our coach again heading towards Banff with another stop to take another helicopter tour which was equally impressive as the day before. Our day ended upon arrival at the Rimrock Resort in Banff where we spent the evening wandering through the town on the hunt for souveniers.

On Sunday our trip on the train began and we boarded the Rocky Mountaineer at Banff train station and took our seats in the Gold Leaf glass domed cabins. The views from our seats were amazing and you could see everywhere. To match the amazing scenery was the amazing food that we were served which added to the whole experience. The first day on the train was a very long one until we reached the town of Kamloops where we would spend the night.

Monday morning we reboarded the train for the final leg into Vancouver and saw the scenery change from heavily wooded to almost desert like and then more green as we approached Vancouver. The second part of our trip began when we arrived in Vancouver and checked into the historic Hotel Vancouver where we would spend three nights.

I now know why Vancouver has been voted the 4th best place in the world to live. It has everything you could ever need from mountains to ski on, sea and rivers to boat & Kayak on, beautiful parks to run and bike in and shops to spend till your wallet was empty!

We took the hop on hop off bus tour to get around the city and enjoyed a couple of fun packed days sightseeing. One of the highlights was the Granville Island Public Market, I could have easily spent all day in here as it was amazing. I wish all markets looked like that as it would make grocery shopping the highlight of my week!

Alas the end of our trip came around too quickly and before we knew it we were heading back home. The trip may be over but we have our memories and about 1000 photos between us to help us reminise our trip to the beautiful Rockies.