Sweet Sandy B. Bakes

If we are ever to enjoy life, now is the time. Not tomorrow or next year... Today should always be our most wonderful day...

So, let's eat cake!

Notes on my adventure as a mom and baker and life as Sweet Sandy B...

Friday, April 23, 2010

Spring Butterflies, and some Monkey-ing around.

I've been wanting to do a butterfly cake for a while now. I found a beautiful wedding cake that was 4 tiers and had butterflies cascading down the front of it, on the diagonal... Well, look at what I did- this is a weak attempt at the beauty that I was inspired by:

This was (obviously) a birthday cake... Again, didn't have much direction on what it was to look like... wait- I was told she liked "pretty things, like flowers"... SO at the last minute I decided to throw on two fondant flowers (can you spy them on top?) Mostly because I wanted to practice making them, and I would have done MORE, but the kids were getting antsy.

I should have made the butterflies a few days in advance to let them harden. Yeah, but I didn't start working on the cake until Wednesday late night. SO- I had to come up with a way to get them to dry out quicker. I baked them. I set them on skewers and put them in the oven at 200 degrees for about 20 minutes. They did get hard, but I don't know if that's 'kosher'. I figured, you put clay into a hot kiln to dry the pots out... why not fondant?? It was either that or freezing it, but I didn't have room in the freezer.

I broke a few while putting them on the cake but I got really excited to make a real deal butterfly cake at another time. To shape their wings in various stages of flight, to make a rainbow of them... Doesn't that sound pretty???? Just agree with me, make me feel better.

OK- and Monkey bread...mm. mm... MMMMMM!
In following with my addiction to making food that is nothing but BAD for you, I had to make some Monkey Bread.

I thought this was something new and different- I mean, I had never heard of it before ir seen it before really... I thought people would be like, "how do we eat this? slice it?" and I would wink and say "NO, you pull it apart, one little nugget at a time, see?" and I would pull apart a little nugget and the caramelized sugar would ooze over the little piece I pulled off, and pop it in my mouth with a smile.
Not so much. It didn't happen like that.. What really happened was that my co-workers were like, "OH YEAH, Monkey Bread is awesome, I've had it here and here and my neighbor makes it all the time, and did you know you could add this..." and on, and on, and ON.
so much for being original.

It was still fun, easy, used lots of butter and tasted delightful. Check me out:

here is the POUND of butter melting with the cup of brown sugar (I love saying a pound of butter- it sounds worse than 2 sticks of butter. Sucka's!)

Here is the refrigerated biscuits I used. You can use 3 or 4 cans (each have 10 biscuits) and cut them into 4ths.

Then you dump them into a giant ziploc bag of sugar and cinnamon

and shake like mad. If you have kiddies- give the zipped up bag to your kids and play catch or something. The more shaking the better. Get every little nugget completely coated in sugar goodness

THEN you dump it into a BUNDT PAN! Yeah, another use for the bundt pan!!! This is better than just a cake pan because it offers more edges for caramelized sugar and little bits of crunch

Then, you take that melted POUND of butter and brown sugar and POUR over the top of the nuggets...

Yes, you will be eating this shortly...

Throw into a 400 degree oven for about 35 minutes until the top is a nice golden brown and no longer swimming in the POUND of butter.
Let it cool in the pan for another 15 minutes or so, then turn upside down onto a serving platter:

This is the Bundt Pan after I dumped. I didn't grease or flour this pan (shocking, I know) but because it had so much butter, it pretty much just slid out of the pan, easy peasy.

TRUTH: I baked this the night before I brought it into work. It was still pretty good in the a.m. and I imagine it would have been BEST if it was still warm and melty. I went ahead and made it again this a.m. for the co-workers. I love walking into work with goodies fresh out of the oven, the smell of cinnamon wafting behind me. They like it too- it's like the Pied Piper or something. This time I added some cut up pears though- I wanted to add diced apples, but I couldn't find any in the can. SO I went with pears. Eh, what's the diff... I was going to chop up some pecans for the top, but got lazy. Next time!!!