Together, we've tackled two projects. The first was challah, last Thursday. This time I tweaked the recipe yet again. I used 1 and half times my previous ingredient amounts and managed to get the whole five pound bag of flour into the dough, so I could do hafrashas challah with a bracha. Also, my SIL gave me some excellent advice for getting my challah to come out moist and awesome- put a pan of boiling water on the bottom rack of the oven while the challahs are baking. They came out amazing. They were the perfect texture and the perfect flavor (just a little sweet, but not overly so) and were a big hit. It's a good feeling to finally perfect a recipe. This made 3 large challahs, 3 small challahs, and 3 rolls. So this batch should last for exactly three weeks, no problem.
The second project was a special undertaking that my SIL and I had been planning for almost a month. It was a birthday cake for my dear brother (and her husband) decorated with fondant. We spent all Sunday on it, between shopping for supplies, baking the cake and decorating, but it was well worth it in the end when we got to present it to him.
For the cake part, we used my friend Aviva's amazing vanilla cake recipe, because it's delicious and firm, which is important when using fondant. We iced it with a basic buttercream, using margarine instead of butter to keep it parve. And for the fondant, we used store-bought Wilton's brand, but I think in the future, I'll make my own if I can. It tasted like playdough, so it had to be removed before eating. I'd been anticipating this, since I read enough blogs to know that fondant doesn't usually taste too good, but I've found recipes for fondant that actually taste like sugar. I'm told they're harder to work with, but I think it might be worth the extra effort.
The cake was both beautiful and delicious, which was nice since this was my first time ever using fondant. Of course, most of the tough fondant work was done by my SIL, Mya. Way to go! Hopefully, I could do it on my own down the road.
My next project will be to try out a recipe which a friend recently developed for egg-free, pareve ice cream. I'm aiming to make it this shabbos, but it might not get done, so we'll have to see.
For dinner tonight: Sweet and Sour Meatballs (This is a recipe which I waited for over a year to get from a friend, and I finally have the time to make it. Here's hoping I can make it as good as she did!)
Be well, everyone!