Sunday, June 26, 2011

Cake decorating tips and ideas

Everyone loves to eat cake, which is nicely and perfectly decorated. But due to lack of decorating skill ones wish is not fulfilled up to the maximum level. Check out for some cake decorating tips that can help to make your cake more delicious.

GumPaste Icing for the Flowers, purple thing is Fondant

Butter Frosted Muffins

Cake decorating tips and Ideas

Baking cakes can be difficult but decorating them can be more challenging. While decorating a cake one has to take into consideration number of factors like flavor, texture and design of the cake. Its very important that you know from where you have to start the cake decoration. This article can help you with some useful tips that can help you on your way to decorating sweet masterpieces.

It’s very important that you allow the cake to cool down after it is baked. Give yourself at least 30 minutes before starting to apply frosting on the cake. 
You can use a whipped cream frosting to smoothen the decorating process. 
It would be advisable to start from the corners of the cake - they are hardest to frost
Frost the sides of the cake with lots of icing and steady hands. Start icing with thin layers before moving to the thicker ones.
Apply dollops of icing in the corners and in the middle of the cake.
Make sure the knife only touches the frosting part and not the cake.
You can apply icing to the cake as necessary. Be careful not to smear the icing that you already applied.
Use strokes to spread the icing on the cake. If the icing is difficult to spread try dipping your knife in hot water, which makes the icing spread faster. 
Style the frosting once it is applied by using a fork across the top of the cake to create a lattice effect. You can also use a knife to create swirls along the top edges of the cake.

A Brief History of Chocolate

Chocolate has been a favorite of man for thousands of years. Ancient people brewing the seeds of the cacao tree into a yummy beverage was the beginning of the wide assortment of chocolates that we enjoy today.

Once chocolate was discovered by European conquests, it became a treat only the wealthiest could afford. Not only was chocolate expensive, but it was bitter. Sugar and spices used to sweeten it were expensive too and out of the common man's reach. It was in the 1800's that the industrial age and mass production made chocolate candy affordable for everyone.

Chocolate candy became a big hit in stores in the form of the candy bar. It took its place proudly on the general store shelf next to the gum drop, hard candy and candy cane bins of the day. From that meager beginning, the varieties available today are mind boggling. Chocolate candy is available in many different flavors, shapes and with limitless ingredients. Some ingredients such as nuts and fruits are complimentary to the flavor and texture of the chocolate and left whole or diced inside the candy bar. Spices and other flavorings are also added to enhance the chocolate or add interesting flavor notes. Some people can taste a story in their chocolate candy. The flavor medley tells them through their tongue what region of the world each ingredient came from. Travel by chocolate!

Stack of Chocolates from Wales

Chocolate can also be enjoyed either inside a candy coating or as a coating itself over other yummy treats such as ice cream.

Today many people buy candy online. With the invention of the World Wide Web, you can snack on exotic chocolate candy delicacies made anywhere in the world. Innovations in chocolate recipes and shipping ensure you receive your chocolate candy in perfect condition.

There is also a wide variety of chocolate molds and candy making accessories for you to try your hand at making your own chocolate candy. It's a fun way to get children involved in the kitchen and also a great way to make personalized gifts. The possibilities are endless in the flavors and ingredients to test. A lot of very successful candy companies started this way, as a hobby in a home kitchen.

Who knows, perhaps one day when that chocolate connoisseur boots up his pc and logs on to buy candy online, the website with the interesting flavors to sample that he chooses to order from may be your own!

Nothing Like A Vegetarian Diet

These days you will find many people looking for options for making their diet rich in nutrients. One of the important driving forces behind a completely healthy diet is the food pyramid. The food pyramid is like a tool that will ensure that you have a healthy diet. There are different ways of illustrating a healthy diet plan but the most accepted way is in the shape of the pyramid. Food pyramids have been used by dieticians and even doctors for outlining different food groups as well as food choices, which will lay the foundation for a healthy intake of food if taken in right proportion.

The food pyramid

The food pyramid is in a triangular shape that highlights what all you need to focus on when you are selecting your food. At the base of the pyramid is the food that you need to take in bigger amounts and the food at the top of the pyramid should be consumed in lesser quantities. Today there are several types of food pyramids available and this might confuse you as you might not know which ones to choose. But the good thing is that the basic principles of different food pyramids are same and focus on the following:

1. Eat as much fruits as possible with fresh vegetables and whole grains
2. Reduce the intake of trans fat, saturated fat, and cholesterol as much as possible
3. Limit the intake of salt and sweets
4. Avoid alcohol or drink in moderation
5. Control the total number of calories consumed by you on a daily basis
6. Physical activity is a must

Foods mentioned in a food pyramid are always defined under different categories like meat, poultry and dairy products. This is meant to help you in making the right food choice. You have to remember that there is no single food that can replace everything else but vegetable definitely provide the maximum nutrients that is required by the human body.

One of the best ways to take care of your nutritional needs is through a well-planned vegetarian diet. If you change to a vegetarian diet then it will consist of mostly fresh vegetables, fruits, legumes, whole grains, seeds and nuts. Since meat is not a part of a vegetarian diet hence, they will contain less of cholesterol and fat and will be high on fibers.

There are four main categories of vegetarians and they are:

i.   Flexitarians: These people are also known as semi-vegetarians and they follow a plant-based diet normally and sometimes consume smaller quantities of poultry, meat, and fish.
ii.  Vegans: Vegans are pure vegetarian who will consume only plant-based foods. They will not consume any animal-derived food like eggs, cheese, meat, milk, and fish.
iii. Lacto-ovo vegetarians: This comprises of people who consume milk, eggs, and any milk products like yogurt and cheese apart from plant-based foods. Lacto-ovo vegetarians don’t consume fish and red meat.
iv.  Lacto-vegetarians: Lacto-vegetarians consume only milk and milk based products apart from plant-based foods. They don’t consume fish, eggs, meat, and other poultry products.

A healthy diet is generally restrictive in nature and most often than not it will require you to avoid meat, fish and poultry products, which are high in fat and low on nutrients. Hence, a healthy diet includes mostly fibrous food, which is in the form of fresh vegetables and fruits. Some of the important nutrients available through non-meat sources include:

i.   Protein: The human body requires a lot of protein for maintain healthy bones, skin, muscles and other organs. Some of the food products that are high in proteins include legumes, soy products, lentils, seeds, nuts, and whole grains.
ii.  Vitamin B-12: The human body requires vitamin B-12 for producing red blood cells and to prevent anemia. Vitamin B-12 is found in some of the enriched cereals, or fortified soy products.
iii. Calcium: Calcium is required mostly for strengthening the bones and to make the teeth stronger. You can find calcium in most of the green vegetables like turnip, spinach, collard greens, broccoli, and kale.
iv.  Iron: Iron is a crucial nutrient that is required for red blood cells. You can consume iron by eating peas, dry beans, lentils, whole-grain products, fruits like bananas, dark leafy green vegetables, enriched cereals, and even dry fruit. You can also consume foods, which are rich in vitamin C like citrus fruits, strawberries, tomatoes, broccoli and cabbage.
v.   Zinc: This is an important nutrient that builds enzymes in the human body for enhancing the process of cell division and also helps in the formation of proteins. Some of the best food sources for zinc include soy products, whole grains, nuts and wheat germ.

If you consume these fibrous fruits then it will ensure a healthy life for you.