Halloween Bakes

Discussion in 'Baker Banter' started by ninamari, Nov 1, 2017.

  1. ninamari

    ninamari Well-Known Member

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    I can't believe it's November already! Anyone bake / make any Halloween goodies this year? How did it go? And don't forget pictures!!

    Here's mine:

    We had a potluck at work yesterday and I baked a cake for it. It's my first Halloween cake (and my first cake in a while :oops: life sure gets crazy!). Anyways, I made a chocolate cake with an Oreo buttercream filling, and covered in vanilla buttercream. I then piped a spiderweb and used Oreos for the spiders.

    Of course, this bake wouldn't go smoothly (just like my buttercream never goes smooth) and it was full of "firsts" (and even a couple lessons learned), but it worked! Since the potluck was on Tuesday, I decided to split the bake into two days between Sunday and Monday. On Day 1 I baked the cakes (and froze them) and prepared all the buttercream, including the filling. On Day 2, I assembled and decorated.

    Lesson #1: Do not make Oreo buttercream in advance.
    The filling was originally going to be a raspberry buttercream, but it turns out that I didn't have any raspberry jam! I did have Oreos, so I decided to use those for the filling instead. I pulled the already-prepared buttercream from the fridge and decided to whip it up a bit so it gets fluffy again. BIG MISTAKE! The cookies disintegrated within the buttercream and turned it brown! I still had butter so I re-made it.

    Lesson #2: In a pinch, store-bought is ok
    My plan was to make it all from scratch, including the black buttercream for the details. A quick search on getting that really black buttercream was enough to scare me into just buying a little tube of black icing at the grocery store (or rather, send the hubby to go get it while I attempted to get the buttercream as smooth as I could).
     

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    ninamari, Nov 1, 2017
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  2. ninamari

    Norcalbaker59 Well-Known Member

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    Hey Ninamari, so nice to hear from you again. Your cake is super cute! Love the Oreo spiders.

    I love that the holidays gets us all into the mood to bake. I’m already plotting out what to bake and schedules.

    I didn’t do any Halloween baking. Haven’t baked at all as I’ve been dealing with water issues for the last week. The areas suffered a terrible firestorm here recently. We are on well water given it’s agricultural country. What we thought was a pump problem may be a water table problem caused by high water use in the county to fight the fire. So on any given day I may or may not have water. o_O

    Just an aside, Renee Conner has the best blog post on coloring real buttercream. These methods definitely work.

    http://www.reneeconnercake.com/how-to-color-smbc/
     
    Norcalbaker59, Nov 1, 2017
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  3. ninamari

    -Daniel- Well-Known Member

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    The cake looks fab! I agree, store bought is fine when needed. I prefer to make everything from scratch, but a wee bit of cheating is grand.

    I think you're black icing looks superb, definitely ok in this case.

    I love the spiders! That is just a wonderful idea, I hope you don't mind if I steal it for next year ;)
     
    -Daniel-, Nov 1, 2017
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  4. ninamari

    ninamari Well-Known Member

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    Hi Norcal! I'm sorry to hear about the water issues. I hope it gets resolved soon and you can get back to baking! All these natural disasters (including that awful firestorm!) have been relentless this year. I'm trying to get back into baking as well. These last couple of months, between work and family, it's been one thing after the other. I recently had my mom stay with me for 3 weeks, unfortunately, I couldn't convince her to stay longer. She lives in Puerto Rico (as does most of my family) and I wanted her to stay at least until the end of this year.

    Thank you for the link, I will definitely check that out!
     
    ninamari, Nov 2, 2017
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  5. ninamari

    ninamari Well-Known Member

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    Hi Daniel! Please feel free to use the idea, I borrowed it myself from Pinterest (that's such a dangerous site!!). I was trying to find something both work-appropriate and feasible for me to do. Cake decorating is not my strongest suit, I must have spend 20 minutes just trying to trace the web onto the buttercream with a toothpick. With that black icing, I cut open the tube and squeezed it into a piping bag so I could get a small tip to pipe it. That definitely helped!
     
    ninamari, Nov 2, 2017
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  6. ninamari

    Norcalbaker59 Well-Known Member

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    Oh Ninamari, I am so saddened by the tragedy that struck your family and friends. The situation in Puerto Rico is beyond heartbreaking. The totality of the devastation in which absolutely nothing and no one was spared is a humanitarian crisis of epic portion.

    The world needs to call Trump and Rossello into account for their utter failures in dealing with this crisis. Trump needs to be taken to task for creating a divide between hurricane victims in Texas and Florida, and hurricane victims in Puerto Rico. And Rossello needs to stop putting Trump and political party politics before the health and welfare of the people.

    With the Whitefish contract evolving into a scandal, Rossello is now trying to find an out for himself. But awarding a $300 million contract to a six person company with neither the means nor experience to rebuild the energy grid is completely indefensible. Even more indefensible is the fact that up to this point, Rossello has not so as as whispered a word on the failings of FEMA and the Army Corp of Engineers. And the failures are many.

    Something is seriously wrong when a Spanish born chef who resides in Washington DC flies to Puerto Rico to feed 2.2 million Americans in the commonwealth of Puerto Rico, while FEMA and the American Red Cross—agencies funded and tasked to provide humanitarian aid in times of disasters, are feeding only a few.

    Now that the Whitefish is in the news, Rossello is trying to negotiate utilities mutual aid with companies in New York and Florida. Rossello should have started that process before the sun rose the morning after the hurricane.

    I know this isn’t a political forum. And if I get blocked because of this post, so be it. Action starts with people speaking up. And when our fellow Americans are suffering, and the president is trying to pretend Puerto Rico isn’t part of the United States of America, then all Americans need to speak up and cry foul.

    If we’re going to espouse the concepts of America First and the sanctity of life, then we need to actually walk the talk. Americans need to contact their congressional representatives to express their displeasure with our government’s poor humanitarian response.
     
    Norcalbaker59, Nov 2, 2017
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  7. ninamari

    ninamari Well-Known Member

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    NorCal, we definitely can’t have you getting blocked from this forum!! So, in an attempt to prevent the loss of an amazing and extremely knowledgeable baker from this forum, I’ve moved this topic to the Off Topic board ;) Hopefully, that’ll keep us both in the forum admins’ good graces.

    https://www.baking-forums.com/threads/off-topic-spin-off-from-halloween-bakes-thread.4638/
     
    ninamari, Nov 3, 2017
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  8. ninamari

    Apocalypso Well-Known Member

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    Ninamari, your baking adventures sound like fun and a learning experience, and turned out great! Also, my sympathies for all your family has gone through with Hurricane Maria and its aftermath. I know here in Orlando we have a growing Puerto Rican population, and many people have family members coming here / staying here. It just seems so infuriatingly slow. Orlando Utilities has sent some crews over, of course they had just gotten through all the aftermath of Irma here, but I don't know why it took so long. Surely Irma's effect on Florida must have had some impact on mainland response to PR, but still.

    I have a thread going (and going... I ramble) on my now-post-Halloween items for our annual party with friends the Saturday after the holiday (odd, but we get one more holiday I guess, plus those who are parents or wanted to give out candy at home can still come to this party.) I was going to make a cake but a friend wanted to make one so I'm doing dessert shooters, ghost meringues, and some candy-apple-cake-pops (sorta). My boyfriend's making "eyeball" meatballs. And somehow we have a different party earlier tomorrow, which is not Halloween themed, but a celebration of our friend's mother's recovery from emergency heart surgery this summer, plus recovering from Irma (these friends were ten days without power when most of us didn't wait that long). They are calling it a "Life is Great" party. I guess we're going nearly empty handed to that, will probably take wine, but they didn't encourage our bringing anything, plus we have to rush back, get our food ready and get into costume.

    Big stretch, I'm going as a cat! - crazy cat lady that I have become. I got one more wear out of last year's costume, Dorothy from the Wizard of Oz, got to touch up the shoes I'd spray painted with red glitter paint. Thankfully, no glitter tomorrow. It had to be simple due to the short time frame we have. Thank goodness, as Edgar is very fond of laying on the zombie/horror makeup, and then I have to hang out with that on my face all night. :)
     
    Apocalypso, Nov 4, 2017
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  9. ninamari

    ninamari Well-Known Member

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    Thank you Apocalypso! I didn't realize you were in Orlando, my brother lives in Ft. Lauderdale so that was another nail-biter when Irma was heading that way. My baking is definitely a learning experience! I'm very blessed that my husband is as encouraging as he is. He's the one who ended up doing the grocery run to buy that tube of black frosting lol And, he graciously helps with the dishes :) I'm very blessed indeed! Baking is fun, but it sure is messy!!

    I'll head over to your thread to check out these yummy Halloween treats. I love the fact the party name is "Life is Great." I think we could never have too many "Life is Great" parties :D
     
    ninamari, Nov 6, 2017
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  10. ninamari

    Apocalypso Well-Known Member

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    Life definitely was great that day, Nina. Our friend's mom was not only doing great, but she outdid herself in putting together some great food, along with her son and his partner of course. I asked her to call me next time she makes a batch of spring rolls so I can learn how she gets them all so perfect. :) For the other party, I took way too much stuff, but it was fun.

    My boyfriend's a great cook, but he definitely sticks to savory stuff. I don't think I've ever seen him bake anything. We both love to cook. He makes some terrific empanadas stuffed with so many things - meat, onions, raisins, olives, it's got sweet-sour-salty-savory going on all over the place. :)
     
    Apocalypso, Nov 14, 2017
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