Category Archives: Miniature

Long time no…

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Ok, so it’s been AGES since I’ve blogged. I just wasn’t feelin’ it!  But, while I was gone I still baked and sometimes I actually remembered to take pictures.

I’ve been doing some digging into DIY detergents and body products and makeup and wow. It really is amazing how much you can do with baking soda, coconut oil and beeswax! I don’t wear makeup and I never really did use skin products, other than a moisturizer here and there… So even though I want to make my own mascara I have to remind myself that I haven’t worn it in too long to remember, so why now? I just like to make new stuff 🙂

I think I’m going to make a Links section and post some good resources in there.


So, here is what I made for Valentine’s Day. They were pretty divine. I love raspberries and dark chocolate together.  I wasn’t entirely happy with the pastry I used, some of the shells were too thick and kinda dry. I want to find something a little more delicate.

I actually can’t remember where I got this recipe from, and writing this 5 months after leaves my memories wanting. So, We’ll just go through the basics!

Chocolate Raspberry Mini Tarts

1 bag frozen strawberries – or about 2 cups
granulated sugar
corn starch
8oz dark chocolate, coarsely chopped
1 cup whipping cream

For the crust I’m going to try this next time: Pate Brisee from my favourite Joy of Baking! But if you have your own recipe, go for it. Just keep the crust very thin as it overtakes the tart otherwise.  I started by measuring out equal bits of dough. I cut it down after the first batch came out too thick. Bake as per recipe, but keep an eye on them.

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Place chopped chocolate in a medium bowl and bring cream just to a boil.  Pour over chocolate and let stand for a few minutes before stirring the cream into the chocolate.

Set aside to cool, but not too much. Keep it soft so you can drop little blobs.

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Thaw your raspberries for a few minutes in a fine mesh strainer.  Place the strainer over a bowl and begin to smush the berries through. Make a mash and use a flat-ish spoon or a spatula to help. It will take a little while, but I like the texture of doing it this way. You will end up with basically only seeds left in the strainer.

raspberries

Stir in 2 tsp of cornstarch.  If it needs to be thicker, add 1 tsp at a time until it is a little gooey.

Add sugar to taste – as sweet as you like (or not). It will also depend on your raspberries.

Set aside.

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Once you have your pastry baked, wait for them to cool and then fill them with a spoonful or two of raspberry sauce and then top with the soft chocolate. I like the random melty look, but you could whip the ganache and pipe it out, too, if you want a more uniform look.

I dropped on the lip sprinkles since it was that day and they looked so cute!

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Mini Whiskey Maple Bacon Cupcakes

Say that 5 times fast! lol.
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um… so, can anyone disagree with the combination of whiskey, maple syrup and bacon? I can’t.

Usually, a few friends and I have a weekly geek night – we watch sci-fi shows and make dinner and have a few drinks. The number of friends has dwindled somewhat as people move out of the city and get families and such, so this week it was just me and my friend Sonia. Actually, she’s the reason we started geek night back in college (WAY too long ago!).  We like to bake together occasionally. She has had some… bad luck with baking in the past, so I’m helping her with some of the finer points 😀

This time we made cupcakes. Epic cupcakes, if you ask me!

Actually, according to Sonia they need more of everything…and I want to put bacon bits in the batter and more maple & whiskey in the frosting.

But I never adulterate a recipe upon the first baking; You never know what secrets might await you!

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WHISKEY MAPLE BACON CUPCAKES

Batter:

1 1/3 cups flour
3/4 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/8 tsp nutmeg
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp apple cider vinegar
1/2 cup soy milk
1/2 cup maple syrup
2 tbsp brown sugar
1/2 tsp vanilla
1/3 cup bacon drippings

Frosting:

1/4 cup butter
1/4 cup shortening
2 cups icing sugar
1/4 cup soy milk
2 tsp maple syrup
1 tbsp whiskey
bacon bits (from bacon cooked for drippings)

So we started by slowly cooking bacon while we watched episode 7 of Dexter (not exactly sci-fi, but there is a significant lack of good nerd shows currently) and even though the recipe says to use 4 strips of bacon to obtain the bacon drippings, 4 pcs wouldn’t have been nearly enough. we cooked 8 pieces and even that was lacking.  We made up the difference with some sunflower oil.

Put the apple cider vinegar in a small bowl and add the soy milk – set aside.

Sift the flour, baking powder, baking soda, nutmeg and salt into a medium bowl. Set aside.

(This is about the time that we discovered that what I had thought would be plenty of maple syrup was actually only a fraction of what we needed.  The thick glass of the jar was very deceiving. So off we went to the grocery store. Thank goodness I live close!)

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Combine the soy/vinegar, maple syrup, brown sugar, vanilla and bacon drippings into the bowl of your stand mixer (or just a large bowl) and beat on medium for a minute or so.  Gradually add the flour mixture and beat until there are no lumps.

(I thought the batter looked a little weird, so I panicked and wondered if we had actually measured correctly – after contemplating the quantity of wine consumed before we started, we determined that it was, in fact, properly proportioned batter.)

The batter will be very smooth and sticky and taste like heaven 😀 (so… like bacon!)

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Spoon into paper (or silicone) lined mini cupcake pans and bake @ 350°F for 15 mins. If you don’t line the pan, make sure to grease them. The recipe should make 24 cupcakes. and they will smell amazing.

Cool for a bit in the pan, then transfer to a wire rack.

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Now for the icing.

This is where extra maple syrup and whiskey might kick up the flavour a bit – that being said, the more of these I ate, the more I appreciated the subtlety.

Cream the butter and shortening on medium until fluffy. Add the powdered sugar and whip on medium speed for 3 mins.  Add the soy milk, maple syrup and whiskey and whip until creamy, 5-7 minutes. Add more milk if it’s too stiff.

DONE!

Now, toss the frosting in your choice of icing implement and release your inner artist. Top with bacon.

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Hovering Espresso

Hovering Espresso

Found these adorable espresso cups on my wander down Queen on Friday, and the little spoons too! Had to have them.

Most Amazing Miniature Food Artworks

This “food” is amazing! Completely adorable.

I want everything on this page for my dollhouse.

Teeny Devils


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Taking another page out of my Tiny Food Party book, I decided to make itty bitty deviled eggs for a friends party.

I haven’t had a deviled egg in forever. They’re curious little things…

I have a cousin who is now a chef at a fancy restaurant and when he was small he asked to make the deviled eggs for a family gathering. It was too cute – he cut the eggs across the width instead of the length!

Ok, so, quail eggs are adorable, but hard to deal with. I started with 20+ and ended with 18ish…  Peeling them was a tad awkward, but I chilled them first which helped.  The hardest part was adding the filling! I had egg all over the place. Had to go back over the eggs and remove the eggy extra from the whites.

This recipe is for kimchi flavoured yolks, sprinkled with candied bacon.  I love kimchi, and I had some in the fridge, but I was really skeptical about this flavour pairing…  I tried a little sample and yuck. Maybe it was just my kimchi… But this was not a winning combination. 😦 I also can’t imagine these flavours with candied bacon… (which I did not make)

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So off to my spice bottles I went… I ended up deciding on curry. I’m not really sure why, but it seemed like the best option… I guess when the other options are star anise, tumeric, garam masala and every other indian spice there is… curry seemed the most logical? or maybe the only one I could picture going well with egg?

The curry worked pretty well. I sprinkled them with a little paprika and they looked adorable…. until I tried to take them on the subway… I tilted the plate they were on and they all crashed into eachother… I was pretty ticked. haha. I should have known better 😛

I fixed them when I got to the party and they disappeared pretty quickly, so I guess no one noticed 😀

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INGREDIENTS

24 quail eggs
mayonnaise
spice of choice
salt/pepper
paprika

METHOD

Boil the eggs for about 5 minutes.  I find if you add the eggs to the cold water and bring them to a boil together, they’re less likely to crack.

Cool the eggs at room temp for a bit and then stick them in the fridge for 30 mins or so.   This will help the skin stick to the shell and not the whites when they’re peeled.

Carefully cut the eggs lengthwise and separate the yolks into a bowl.

Mix in a spoonful or two of mayo and a little salt and pepper to taste.

Add your spice about 1/2 tsp at a time, until the filling is tasty. Keep in mind the flavour will increase after they have been combined for a time, so don’t overdo it.

Fill egg whites with filling.

Sprinkle with paprika.

Serve chilled.

Gingerbread House: Destruction

Well, the journey of the gingerbread house has come to an end.

I’ve been building and smashing gingerbread houses since I was a kid and it’s a great excuse for a party 😀

Thanks to my friends Mandy and Zach for a great party and for taking the first swing!!

Gingerbread House: As-Built

It’s finally done.

I can now return to getting 8 hours of sleep. sweet sweet sleep.

2kg of icing sugar, 4kg of flour,  over a dozen eggs… and Voila. A tiny house.

home sweet home

This picture made me realize I missed the icing on the roof edge in between the two dormers. Oh well, I have leftover icing to fix this tonight. These are the details you don’t notice at 2am.

sideyard

The little patio lamps are too cute. If I were really crazy I would have made patio furniture… But I figured it would be inside for the winter…

backyard

I messed up the edging around the rear windows… I have this need to use the star tip for the icing when I start… Habit, I guess.

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Again with the star tip on the corners of the house… It used to look nice and fluffy on the old standard houses… But this style begs more of a clean look.

windows

Can you picture your tiny self walking up to this entry? (Or am I the only one?)

patio

This might lead to some sort of summer gingerbread house… Something about the patio makes me want to make more tiny outdoor stuff.

I learned a lot on this adventure.  Measure twice, cut once, bake. Remeasure, recut, rebake.  Aside from the windows, no major issues though. The icing worked out every time and aside from the first batch of slightly dry gingerbread, no problems! Wheeee.

Eventually, this will be brought to a party (although how I’m going to transport it there is beyond me) and destroyed. I will post pictures.

Next year I’m thinking of a replica of my parents house.  I have had a few requests for something with a garage (don’t as me why…) and I think i might oblige.  It also has a pretty fun front porch…  I’m going to have to start in November… oh man, only 10 months before I start this process again! haha.