Saturday, January 24, 2009

The Pink Cupcake illustration by Patricia Shea and a recipe for Bishop's Cake!!

The original cupcake baked, iced 15 times and photographed by yours truly!
My iconic Pink Cupcake illustration - so glad I created this little treasure :)

 I baked the cupcake....Bishops poundcake from the original Silver Palate, nice and moist and dense, then I iced the cupcake, about 15 times to get the perfect swirl, with regular old buttercream icing made of Amish butter (always salted for me) and confectioner's/icing sugar with a little bit of beetroot powder from the Belfast Food Co-op...the taste of red dye #5 leaves a horrid taste in my mouth so I tried this and sadly wasn't that impressed....hey, but I tried!! THEN I photographed the cupcake, as above, then I added a cherry via Photoshop, then I ate the cake and it's companions, then..................
...I illustrated the cupcake and now I feel that Pattern Patisserie is finally christened with true illustration and cake combined!!! Hooray!!

This illustration in it's many incarnations is also available in my Society6 shop  as large prints, stretched canvases, framed prints, iPhone cases, iPad cases and pillows, my European Envelop shop on oven gloves, aprons, placements, totes and more, my Spoonflower shop on fabric, wallpaper, decals and wrapping paper, my Etsy shop on archival posters and stickers, my Greeting Card Universe shop for, you guessed it, greetings cards - you can have them printed at a local Target and pick up the same day avoiding shipping costs, there are some items also at my Zazzle shop and 
 lots of items at my CafePress shop always :)

 Here I am illustrating the lettering for the Valentine's 'edition'. I am planning on doing a series of these bake, photograph, eat, illustrate dessert you have any suggestions?
and here are a few items from my CafePress shop:

Awwwww...Freshly Baked Pink Cupcake Baby Gown HERE

Durable Cotton Tote Bag HERE
Pink Cupcake Samsung Galaxy Note 2 HERE
Pink Cupcake Jim Jams HERE
Pink Cupcake Cocktail accoutrements: shaker, wine cooler, small cocktail plates, napkins, trays HERE
 Now I must go and maybe make some more cupcakes as I am drooling looking at these pictures......Happy Cupcakeing to you all!!!

BISHOP'S CAKE RECIPE..simple and delicious!!
8 oz (2 sticks) butter, I always use salted but I know a lot of people use sweet...your choice
2 cups granulated sugar
2 cups unbleached flour
1 teaspoon vanilla extract (essence)
5 eggs
1. Preheat oven to 350F and have your cupcake cases ready to go...
2. Cream butter and sugar together 'til fluffy and light
3. Sift flour and fold in to butter mix gently and just enough to blend
4. Add vanilla and blend, then add eggs one by one and mix well but gently after each addition
5. Fill cupcake cases 2/3 full and bake 'til a skewer comes out clean. Check after 25 minutes....for the full size cake the time is 1 hour and 15 minutes so for the cupcakes you need to guesstimate as they'll vary with the size of cupcake you are making.
6. I iced mine with plain old buttercream but you can go any way you want!!!

Please consider joining me at Facebook for updates on my artwork, new products, British 'pudding'(dessert) recipes and pictures of beautiful Maine, here's a link to my Patricia Shea Designs page - thanks!!!


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Saturday, January 17, 2009

Winter Images from Maine

Frozen apples with little caps of snow
A whole tree of colourful frozen apples looks so nice against the frigid white landscape...I didn't know the apples stayed on and froze 'til I moved to Maine
Berries with caps look nice too...these are the ones I used
in the ice wreath below

I made this ice wreath in a bundt pan...which my lovely friend Brenda recently gave to me....I put dried pee-gee hydrangea sprays and the berries from above in the pan and then covered them with water and left it outside to freeze...heaven knows it colder outside than I can ever get our fridge freezer to be. It is surprising how even when the temps are frigid the wreath still melted and whicked away from sublimation.
It is now but a memory!

Wednesday, January 7, 2009

My New Year's UN-resolution resolution.

Who on earth do I think I am kidding when I resolve to work in a neat and organized space? Surely, I don't believe it myself...I have been working in disorganized, unkempt, overloaded, messy, paint spattered mayhem for the past, let's-not-say-how-many years. This year I am forgiving myself this slovenliness and allowing myself to indulge in a practice I obviously feel comfortable with and which also appears to be the sign of an active mind and quite possibly is the domain of genius...or so I heard on NPR radio recently...or was it on TV?......anyways above are two pictures of the glorious mess I am indulging in right now...and this is relatively mild compared to how high the piles can get and how much 'stuff' I can squeeze into the smallest amount of space. If you too work this way give yourself a well earned break and revel in your lack of organization...don't forget it is a sign of brilliance!!! By the kitchen looks as bad when I cook but I haven't had the nerve to photograph that and let the world see.....quite yet!
Go ahead un-reslove yourself in 2009!

Friday, January 2, 2009

HAPPY NEW YEAR!! A trifle, I say, for 2009!

Lady fingers.... this was my first attempt at making them and they came out a little thin but they tasted great...crisp, light and so Ladyfingery!

Here are the Ladyfingers broken up in the assigned trifle bowl ready to be 'dressed' with chopped crystallized ginger, unfrozen organic cherries, a squeeze of lemon and 'jelly' made from concentrated cheery, or even cherry, juice thickened with 'Natural Desserts' all natural unflavoured jel dessert instead of animal gelatin, as is usual, so our trifle is vegetarian.

The finished trifle...a layer of jelly and fruit and cake, a layer of homemade creme patisserie (pastry cream/custard that 'sets' when cold) and a layer of whipped cream with a little sugar and crystallized ginger scattered in a random but considered fashion. Ta Dah!!! Delicious!!!

Ladyfingers from 'The Martha Stewart Cookbook' Makes about need extra to eat, of course, other than those you are putting in the trifle......
3 eggs seperated
1/2 cup plus 1 tablespoon granulated sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
pinch of salt
2/3 cup sifted cake flour (or 2/3 cup regualr flour minus 1 tablespoon if you don't have cake flour...I never do!)
confectioner's/icing sugar for dusting
Preheat oven to 300F and line 2 large baking sheets with parchment paper. Fit a pastry bag with a plain tip.
1. Beat egg yolks with 1/2 cup of sugar until mixture is thick, pale yellow and forms a trail on the surface of the egg mixture when the whisk is lifted out.
2. In a seperate bowl whisk the egg whites with the remaining tablespoon of sugar and pinch of salt until stiff but not dry.
3. Fold the egg whites ever so gently into the yolk mixture alternating with the sifted careful not to overmix...fold until all flour and whites are just incorporated. The batter must remain as light and fluffy as possible.
4. Spoon the batter into the pastry bag and pipe onto parchment in lengths of 4" x 1 1/2" wide.
5. Using a fine sieve dust the fingers thickly with confectioners/icing sugar.
6. Bake for about 20 minutes, they are done when they are slightly beige in colour and firm but tender.
7. Cool on wire racks before using in the trifle.
FINALLY, I have found a pastry cream that actually sets when cold, I tried about 3 other recipes that SAID the custard would set when cold but they didn't...this one WORKS!!!, and really well but you have to be vigilant!
1 cup of milk
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/4 cup + 1 tablespoon of sugar
1 whole egg
2 egg yolks
1 tablespoon of regular flour
1 tablespoon of cornstarch (cornflour for the Brits)
1. Combine the milk, vanilla and 1/4 cup of sugar in a pan and heat until the sugar dissolves.
2. In a bowl beat the egg and extra yolks with the remaining sugar until thick.
3. Sprinkle the flour and cornstarch into yolk mixture and beat until well mixed and smooth.
4. Beat half the hot milk into the yolk mix until combined and smooth.
5. Then pour this into the remaining hot mixture in the pan.
6. HERE IS THE VIGILANT PART, keep your eyeballs peeled and whisk moving like the clappers!!! Bring the custard to a quick boil, whisking, whisking, whisking and as soon as it thickens..., take off the heat and whisk until it starts to cool....put pan in a bowl of cold water and continue to whisk until don't have to do it non-stop, but pretty often to prevent a skin from forming....when I was little if there was a skin on the custard it made me gag, so don't go there!!!
Now here is the confusing a Brit jelly means Jello not jam. I decided to use a vegetarian jelling agent and found a great one at the local Food Co-op by 'Natural Desserts' works really well and FAST....starts to set-up whilst it is still hot so beware of that as you go along. I used one packet and set one US pint of 'jelly' with it ie 16 fl oz not 20 fl oz for a British I took about 10 fl oz of concentrated cherry juice and added 6 oz water to make up the liquid...I made the juice stronger than the instructions said for more flavour in the jelly......but don't make the jelly the rest of the recipe to know what to do in what order.
1. Make the Ladyfingers, let them cool and break them up into the bottom of the chosen GLASS trifle want to be able to appreciate the layers.
2. Make the custard and let it cool without letting it get a skin...YUCK!!!
3. Assemble the unfrozen cherries, as many as you like, and chop the crystallized ginger, and sprinkle with a little lemon juice for ZING, and scatter them over the Ladyfingers.
4. NOW make the jelly, whisk a little til cool and starting to thicken and then pour over the Ladyfingers, cherries and ginger.
5. Let the jelly set.
6. Spoon the custard over the jelly bit.
7. Whip lashings of cream...the best you can find, preferably from Jersey cows and either 'dollop' over the custard or pipe as I did.
8. Garnish with more chopped crystallized ginger.
The combination of jelly, fruit, custard and whipped cream is divine and sublime if done well, when I was growing up in Manchester, England Mum made trifles from a packet and they were pretty grim but not this is subtle and cloud like and not horribly can make any flavour combination of fruit and jelly(o) you inventive....some people do raspberry jelly and bananas, strawberries and strawberry jelly(o)....some people like to sprinkle cream sherry on the Ladyfingers before you put on the fruit and jelly(o)....some people use jam instead of jelly(o). Let me know what you come up with...I just liked the idea of cherry and ginger, and there you have it!!!