As a result of your comments about what cake decorating techniques you want to learn I have created a new series on Zoë Bakes. I figure we should start at the beginning. There is no sense in learning how to pipe the perfect rose if your cake is listing and the icing is falling off or covered in cake crumbs. It is just as important to know how to slice and fill your cake, as it is to write “Happy Birthday” in fancy letters, so I am going to show you how to create a professional looking cake from start to finish. In this video I will start with a cake that domed while baking, cut it into layers, fill it and create the perfect foundation for the cake you see above. In the next few posts I will teach you to crumb coat, cover the cake with smooth buttercream and finish with professional looking writing for a special occasion.
Over the holiday break I traveled with my family to Brooklyn to visit my mother. A little respite from the winter wonderland of Minneapolis. I packed all my on-the-town shoes, in varying degrees of heels for walking through museums, dining out and seeing shows. My husband checked and rechecked the NY forecast and weather.com promised the most we’d see was 1/2-inch of snow, which would melt before it ever hit the pavement. By the end of our first full day in NY there was a complete whiteout and some of the subways were cancelled due to the blizzard. This NEVER happens. Our second day was spent shopping for winter boots, something all Minnesotans have plenty of and do not need to spend our vacations shopping for. But, the snow was now up to the boys’ knees and my suede heels were no longer as chic. The next morning we were quite happily trapped in Brooklyn by the snow. We put on our new boots and forged our way to the only open restaurant for breakfast and then watched movies all day, it was relaxing and felt quite luxurious after working so hard these past months.
After a week in Naples, with its lawless streets and swoon-worthy pizza (see my Naples post here) we were headed to Rome for a few days of art, architecture, gelato and gladiator school. We got so much more than we bargained for and loved every second of it. The boys even tolerated our need to visit as many of the ornate churches the vast city has to offer, with the understanding that there would be plenty of sword fighting gladiator moments, soccer games, pizza and gelato to balance the days. A Mass with the Pope was a bonus to this fabulous stop, one we had never dreamed of. Read More
One of the most dramatic aspects of traveling to Istanbul were the flavors and smells of the city. Nothing about it reminded us of home and much to my delight (and relief) this was a thrill for the boys. I was a little nervous about starting our month long journey in Turkey. Everything I had read about traveling with kids said to start in a place that has things which are recognizable to them. Italy would have been a safer bet, all kids adore pasta and pizza. But, we ignored the advice and went to the place that resembled home the least. They loved it, perhaps best of all.
On our third day in the city we found our way to the spice and fish markets. Here is just a small portion of what we saw. I only wish this were Smell-O-Vision.Read More
On our second day in Istanbul we took in the colors and history of the city, which included a considerable amount of Turkish Delight and ice cream that is both a theatrical event and a rather elastic sensation (video below, yes that is me snorting with laughter in the background).
The Blue Mosque (above) is quite majestic in its size from the outside, but completely breathtaking from within. A very friendly man offered to give us a personal tour of the mosque, IF we agreed to visit his carpet showroom after. When in Istanbul there are thousands of opportunities to view carpets, and since we were on an adventure we decided to go along. Read More
About a month ago Rick Nelson from the Star Tribune came over to talk bread and sample some of the recipes in the book. We baked up a storm, ate lunch and he left full (and we hoped convinced). His article came out this week and he had some wonderful things to say. “…If holiday gift-givers are aiming to buy one new cookbook title for the bakers in their lives, they should look no further than the remarkable Artisan Bread in Five Minutes a Day… Hertzberg and Francois should have called their burst of genius “Breadmaking for Dummies” — that’s how user-friendly it is… their master recipe is wildly flexible, generously adapting to a wide range of breads, pizzas, flatbreads and pastries.” Rick Nelson’s article. Read More