Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Lots o'Dots cake and lots of mince pie

If you've been reading this blog for a while, then you have to know how much my daughter, Zara, loves to bake. At the ripe, old age of 2 1/2, baking has become her favorite thing to do. It's right up there with painting and drawing for her. So, when she asks to go to the kitchen to bake or "mix" as she calls it, my husband and I tend to indulge her. Her last baking whim led to what I call the Lots o'Dots cake.

Lots o'Dots

 Zara told me she wanted a vanilla cake with pink frosting. No problem.

We used the same recipe that I used for my Orange Ogre cupcakes, but left out the orange flavoring, the green, oozing guts (lemon pudding tinted green), and instead of orange buttercream, we used regular buttercream frosting, filled it with chocolate pudding and we used cinnamon buttercream for the dam and for some of the dots on top. Delish!

I thought the cake was a bit drier than I would have liked, but Seán thought it was perfect the way it was.  And Zara said, "Mmmm! Happy cake!" while smiling and rubbing her tummy. Pretty sure that means she liked it.

A perfect opportunity to practice making dots. Harder than it looks!

Seán's favorite Christmas treat is mince pie, so I thought I'd give it a try this year, and since we had a Christmas dinner at Grandma's coming up, I made two. These were the first pies I had ever made completely by myself. I was more than a little nervous.

My first pie!

I used the Homemade Mince Pie with Crumbly Topping recipe from AllRecipes. My husband's reaction? "It's crazy good!" Yes, that's a direct quote. I think the next time I make this, and yes, there will be a next time, I'm buying a pre-made crust. I don't have the pie crust knack. Mine came out tough. Maybe I overworked it. I dunno. Everything else was ahhh-mazing! The topping was so over-the-top fabulous that I could have just had a big bowl of than and would have been happy with it.

One really cool fact about this pie: I used a vegetable margarine, so it's vegan. Yay!

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