Wednesday, February 27, 2013

Foodie Resolution Weeks #8 & 9 of 52: Easy Salsa & Sprinkles Birthday Cake

I have made quite a few new things in the last couple weeks, but either didn't take photos or was too busy to blog about them. Or both. I did manage to snap some photos of salsa I made from my Blendtec recipe book recently, and obviously, week 9 was all about birthday cake. I made both cake recipes from scratch and that may have been the first time I'd ever done that.

First up, Easy Salsa. 

I'm still wary of using tomatoes from cans to make salsa. It almost feels like why bother when I can just buy jarred salsa if the ingredients aren't going to be fresh, you know? I do have PW's salsa pinned and just might consider someday... but for now... it's salsa with real tomatoes. I actually prefer the cheap Roma tomatoes over the others to make salsa because there are less insides and therefore the salsa will be less runny, because I use the whole thing.

For this recipe, I substituted about 6 tomatoes in place of the can of tomatoes, added 1/2 jalapeno instead of the green chilies, and way more cilantro. Because 2 Tbsp? I mean, really. We're talking about salsa here.
I've made this recipe twice in two weeks and it's a great way to clean out the produce.

Next up, Birthday cake. 

I don't have a single photo of the cooking process, but man did that take forever. We ended up with like 72 mini cupcakes and a smash cake, all from scratch. I don't own a mini cake pan for the smash cake and asked all of my local friends if they had one and none of them did. I ended up using two of my Pyrex 1 qt. glass storage containers to make the two layers of the cake. I have this set. Got the idea here. My mom has way more baking skill than me and suggested we heavily butter and flour the insides to prevent sticking. I filled each of them with even amounts of vanilla cake mix (see below), added sprinkles to make it my own funfetti mix and baked until done. Then I plopped them out immediately onto a wire cooling rack for cooling. The next day, I cut off the top of each cake to make them flat, added icing to the middle, a sliced strawberry, and iced the rest before adding the sprinkles. Sprinkles cake inspiration here.
Steps: starting top right and going clockwise
Steps to the Sprinkle Number Process:
1. Bake layers, cool, slice off tops using bread knife, ice center, stack, icing all around (shown in 1st step).
2. Let icing harden for about 30 minutes. When no longer sticky, place number piece of paper in the center. We printed to size - many images available on Google images & using Paint, you can shrink them.
3. Use a butter knife to ruffle the icing around the number so it's sticky again, because you want the sprinkles to adhere and stay.
4. Sprinkle all around, being careful to keep that number down without pushing too hard that it stick too well when it comes time to pull it off the cake.
5. Quality control. The key is to get into the corners of the number (with sprinkles) so it's sharp. You want the number to be distinct when you pull it off the cake. Peel number off once you feel the sprinkles are good to go!

I used two cake recipes-- one vanilla and one chocolate. And the recipe for the vanilla buttercream frosting. I planned to make cream cheese frosting, but I forgot to buy the cream cheese at the store. But the butter? Yeah, I didn't forget that... so buttercream frosting it was!

They were okay, but the only thing I'd probably make again was the frosting. It was extra vanilla-ey and I like it that way. Otherwise, the cake was just... cake. I did add chocolate chips to the chocolate cupcakes, so that made them pretty yummy, but the cake itself was just okay. I loved the sprinkles top and plan to make that again for sure!


LauraJane said... [Reply to comment]

So cute! What a lucky boy to have such a lovely birthday cake!

And that salsa looks yummy.

LauraJane said... [Reply to comment]
This comment has been removed by the author.
Caroline said... [Reply to comment]

Mmmm. love me some cake.

And Salsa. How long will that salsa stay fresh?

Brigitte said... [Reply to comment]

That cake is adorable! Nice work :)

Alison G. said... [Reply to comment]

I like the "one drop of hot sauce" instruction. More like a whole unseeded jalapeño for us!
Super cute cake! Gabby cried when she touched the frosting on her first birthday cake. She didn't know what to do with it!

katie illingworth said... [Reply to comment]

Mmmm cake. Looks awesome! Good job mama!

Solange, Nik, Caitlin and Oliver said... [Reply to comment]

LOVE the cake!!! Can't wait to see pics of B smashing it :)
Also, 2 TBSP of cilantro? Really? Wow.

Suzanne said... [Reply to comment]

LOVE the birthday cakes!! Happy birthday little Benjamin! You are so loved and so lucky to have yummy homemade birthday cakes<3

JoyAndSorrow said... [Reply to comment]

This comment is going to be really random, but I just wanted to say I am a huge fan of Roma tomatoes as well. They seem to taste better, although that's probably all in my head.

Also, even though this doesn't appear to be a Pinterest recipe, whenever you post about food it makes me want to go on Pinterest and look for something new to make. It was actually due to your post forever ago (I think you were making peasant bread or something along those lines) that I ever even went on Pinterest, and now I'm addicted and constantly looking for inspired recipes! lol So thanks for starting my addiction. ; ) ~Lindsay