May 15, 2012

Dolce De Licious

Once of my all time favorite types of caramel is Dulce de leche, sweetened caramelized milk. It’s a Latin American favorite and legend has it it originated in Argentia and like most wonderful culinary things, came about as a mistake. Sweetened milk (la lechada) left to cook, by mistake, until it had become golden and caramelized. Dulce de leche can be made by slowly cooking milk and sugar together or you can take a slight short cut and slow cook sweetened condensed milk. Although it can be made in the can submerged in water, removing the sweetened condensed milk out of the can and baking it in the oven is a much safer route.

The flavour of caramel is one of my all time favorites and i’ll take it any way I can get it, coffee, ice cream, on a spoon. It’s a deep rich flavour that can be sweet, it can be salty, but any way you have it its delicious! The possibilities of caramel pairings are endless, it compliments flavours like chocolate, vanilla, coconut, banana and so much more. I like to use caramel in my cakes, fillings, cupcake icings, cake pops, for dipping and even in place of jam in jam cookies. When I first started Sweet Jules the Banana Caramel cake was an instant success and really helped kick the business into gear. Moist Banana cake filled with a caramel custard that satisfied children as well as adults. Since then I’ve come up with the Banana Caramel Sundae (or chocolate banana caramel) Chocolate cake; caramelized banana’s folded into sweetened whipped cream and now I am working on a new spin on caramel I wont tell you what it is but I’m sure you can take a hint as to what it will contain.

This here is a gem of a recipe and I hope you all take the time to make yourself a batch of de leche heaven!

Dulce de Leche

1 can sweetened condensed milk

pinch sea salt (to balance out the sweetness)

Heat oven to 425F

Empty contents of can and salt into a glass dish and cover with aluminum foil. Place dish in a large roasting pan and fill roasting pan with hot water until it comes half way up the glass dishes. Place in oven and let cook for about 1 1/2 hours. Remove from oven and let cool a bit then whisk to bring the caramel together.

Enjoy it with just about everything.

*note: If you’re going to double the recipe, as I often do, two increase the cooking time to 2 1/2 hours

 xo

Jules

May 8, 2012

Emalija’s 1st Birthday

I’ve been very blessed with an amazing group of clients I have accumulated. I’ve gotten to know their children, their families and be apart of their milestones. Nada and Tom have three beautiful children, 2 boys and finally one girl. I was so excited when I had heard Nada was pregnant with her third child, her kids are beyond adorable, and was overwhelmed with excitement when I heard she had a girl. I was so excited to finally be able to create some girly creations for her.

For her daughter Emalija’s first birthday our main goal was to make it a girly cake, since all her orders before that were for her boys. For a 1 year old birthday cake I like to incorperate things that are familiar to the baby so that when the little one see’s it they recognize it and hopefully get excited, smile, or laugh. It could be as simple as a colour, be a t.v show, a stuffed animal, the possibilities are endless but in this case it was a helmet. Nada would often take Emalija for bike rides in the summer, which she loved, and her helmet looked like a lady bug. Nada told me that she got excited every time she saw the helmet, light bulb, let’s do a lady bug cake. I really like the look of bright colourful flowers like Gerber daisies, cascading with mini flowers, I think its girly fun and fresh. Once Nada okay’d the lady bug and flowers I sketched out a quick design as a jumping point and went for it.

 

For the cake we decided on red velvet cake with cream cheese icing. Having ordered her fair share of cakes Nada was looking to try something different that’s an easy crowd pleaser.

I love this cake so much and was SO happy with how it turned out. Nada and Emalija were also happy with it which makes me over the moon.

 

 xo

Jules

May 1, 2012

Jessica: Happy Birthday to Moo

My love for cows started when I was just a little kid, someone had gotten me a toy cow, moo moo, who had a really cute red polka dots dress and its slightly snowballed from there. I have a toy cow on the dashboard of my car, cow mug in my cupboard, cow pen at my desk, cow piggy bank in my room and I’m positive there’s more cows hiding around my house. All my cows were gifts given to me by friends and family and they never fail to put a smile on my face. When people ask what’s up with the cows? I tell them I like to think they’re lucky, but really they just make me happy.

With my cousin Jessica’s birthday on the horizon I knew I had to make her a super special cake. Jessica’s taken a big interest in my work life and really there’s nothing more touching. She’s spent many days with me helping make decorations, learning how to make icings and bake cakes. Not only is it great having some company while I work, she has also been a big a help to me in busy times. Jessica came with me to my Diamond Life shoot and was the BEST helper ever, I often refer to her as my assistant/intern Jessica. She helped me setup the shoot, took pictures of everything that was going on and made me feel more comfortable during filming. She also bought me the pink cow, that lives on the dashboard of my car, just because she saw it and thought of me. While racking my brain trying to figure out what I could possibly make as her cake, it hit me; a lucky cow. I ran the idea by my sister, just to make sure I hadn’t gone to far out there, and she LOVED it. That was all the support I needed to know it was a great idea. I almost changed my mind at the last minute and was going to make a lamb (in the spirit of Easter) but I’m so glad I didn’t. The cow was a big hit! Everyone loved it, especially the birthday girl, and that’s what meant the most.

 

Big thank you to my aunt Kathy for all the amazing pictures!

xo

Jules