Saturday, March 30, 2013

Jelly Roll Time!

Recently I rediscovered my love for baking by committing myself to make a treat to share with my gaming group every week. At first I was just making cakes from box mixes, but then I decided to experiment with making a cake from scratch. It turned out wonderfully and everyone enjoyed it, so I decided to continue making cakes from scratch. One week though, my friend pulled out the cook book for me and just happened to leave it open with a pen pointing at the jelly roll recipe. Having never made a jelly roll before, I was a little worried. "Jelly rolls use a specific pan? where am I going to get one of those? Would a cookie sheet work, or would it be too shallow?" Fortunately, I was able to determine the size of a jelly roll pan and discovered that my baking stone from Pampered Chef would work perfectly. It was a big hit, and ever since then I've been trying out new fillings for my jelly rolls. Recently I decided to try a cherry filling and it turned out wonderfully. Here's some pictures:

And, since some of you are probably wanting to know how to make this, here's the recipe I used from Betty Crocker's Cookbook, Ninth printing, 1983:

 3 eggs
 1 cup sugar
 1/3 cup water
 1 tsp. vanilla
 3/4 cup all purpose flour or 1 cup cake flour
 1 tsp baking powder
 1/4 tsp salt
 About 2/3 cup jelly or jam
 Powdered sugar

Heat oven to 375℉. Line jelly roll pan, 15.5x10.5x1 inch, with aluminum foil or waxed paper; grase generously. Beat eggs in small mixer bowl on high speed until very thick and lemon colored, about 5 minutes. Pour eggs into large mixer bowl. Beat in granulated sugar gradually. Beat in water and vanilla on low speed. Add flour, baking powder, and salt gradually, beating just until batter is smooth. Pour into pan.

Bake until wooden pick inserted in center comes out clean, 12 to 15 minutes. Immediately loosen cake from edges of pan; invert on towel sprinkled generously with powdered sugar. Carefully remove foil. Trim off stiff edges if necessary.

While hot, carefully roll cake and towel from narrow end. Cool on wire rack at least 30 minutes. Unroll cake; remove towel. beat jelly slightly with fork to soften; spread over cake. Roll up; sprinkle with powdered sugar.        10 servings.

Here's some tips on making this recipe that I've discovered while making it. First of all, don't use a terry cloth towel to wrap the cake in. It will stick and be very difficult to get off without damaging the cake. If you only own terry cloth towels, either try to use an old one that isn't very fluffy anymore or use a piece of cloth larger than the jelly roll you don't mind getting dirty. Also, I found that if I let the cake cool completely before unrolling it, it tended to crack making it hard to spread the filling on as well as to roll up. When mixing the ingredients for the cake, it's best to mix all the dry ingredients, minus the sugar, together before adding them into the batter.

For the filling, I find that using jelly or jam is a little odd since I prefer a sweeter filling. As an alternative, one can wither make a filling using the recipe below, also from Betty Crocker, or by slightly heating a can of pie filling, such as cherries, and a bit of cornstarch to thicken it up a bit. For the jelly roll pictured above, I cut all of the cherries in half and mixed about two heaping teaspoons of cornstarch in. I ended up with enough filling for two jelly rolls, which was fortunate since that's how many I was making.

Clear Lemon Filling
 3/4 cup sugar
 3 tablespoons cornstarch
 1/4 teaspoon salt
 3/4 cup water
 1 teaspoon grated lemon peel
 1 tablespoon margarine or butter
 1/3 cup lemon juice
 4 drops yellow food color (optional)

Mix sugar, cornstarch, and salt in saucepan. Stir in water gradually. Cook, stirring constantly, until mixture thickens and boils. Boil and stir 5 minutes. Remove from heat; add lemon peel and margarine. Stir in lemon juice and food color; cool. If filling is too soft, refrigerate until set.

I find this recipe makes a bit more filling than is needed for a jelly roll, unless you want filling all over the place, so I put the remainder aside and enjoyed it later with some vanilla ice cream. You can also experiment with different flavors by replacing the lemon peel and juice with other flavorings, such as cherry extract and by dying it the appropriate color if you so choose. Enjoy!

Recipes from Betty Crocker's Cookbook, Ninth printing, 1983. I do not own or claim to own any of them. All pictures are taken by me unless otherwise noted. Check me out on Twitter.

Saturday, March 23, 2013

Lolita on a Budget: Wa Lolita

 Wa Lolita is one of my favorite styles of Lolita clothing. The cute kimono styled dresses, geta sandles, and traditional Japanese accessories all add to make it a style that is a lovely combination between traditional Japanese clothing and the ultra cute Lolita style. Today I've put together an ensemble featuring Bodyline's cute and inexpensive clothing. The total for this outfit is $115, not including shipping and handling. Here we go!
The Kimono dress is definitely one of my favorite Wa Lolita dresses that Bodyline offers. It comes in multiple colors allowing for different looks to be achieved, but I like the blue one the best since it reminds me of cupcakes. n_n I felt that the over the knee socks would look best with this dress since it ends slightly above knee level. Unfortunately, Bodyline! does not sell geta sandals, but they have plenty of cute Lolita shoes that would work well with this outfit, especially the blue and off white ones. The small flower pins Bodyline! sells are very cute and simple as well as cheap allowing for one or more to be bought to adorn hair as well as modded for use as a bracelet or other accessory. The pink ones match the best with the one on the dress. For an accessory, I thought that the Neko purse was a perfect mix between kawaii and the Japanese style. The drawstring allows for a more traditional Japanese look as well as allowing it to be worn around the wrist.

All of the items in this outfit plus more in this style can be found on the Bodyline website. No pictures due to the fact that I haven't received permission to use Bodyline!'s images. Check me out on Twitter.

Saturday, March 16, 2013

Mini Cherry Tophat

About a year ago I became the very happy owner of one of Miss Carlyfornia's miniature tophats. The design on this one is a bit of whipped cream topped by a cherry. I absolutely love how realistic the whipped cream on Miss Carlyfornia's hats look, and this one is no exception. Every time I wear this hat I have someone comment "Your hat looks delicious." or "I thought you were wearing a cupcake on your head." I really love this hat and enjoy wearing it with my dress from Miss Carlyfornia as well as any other Gothic Lolitaesque outfits I wear. Here's some pictures of my hat:
Front and side views

And on my Gothic Lolita Teddy

I love all of Miss Carlyfornia's work, but I have to say her cake hats are one of my favorites. I'd been wanting to buy one ever since I first saw them, but never had the chance to get one as they tend to sell very quickly. I was very lucky to get this one as it was the last one she had available at the con I got it from. One of my favorite cake hats that I've seen by Miss Carlyfornia was a larger top hat that was completely frosted like a cake with little swirls of whipped cream topped by cherries on the top. If cake hats are your thing, then I'd highly recommend getting one from Miss Carlyfornia if you can.

Miss Carlyfornia can be found both on Twitter and on Facebook. All pictures are by me unless otherwise noted. Check me out on Twitter.

Saturday, March 9, 2013

Thrift Store Haul: New Petticoat

Recently I've been having good luck at my local thrift store. This time I was shocked to walk in and see a black petticoat hanging on the wall! I gave it a try, decided it fit well enough and got it really inexpensively. I was very happy that I had found such a nice petticoat at a good price. And then I decided to try it on under my Gothic Lolita dress and found that real petticoats are VERY poofy. It was also quite a bit longer than my skirt. So I tried it on under a longer skirt that I had made, which it barely fit under. and saw how it gave me a very poofy skirt that looks like I'm wearing a hoop skirt underneath it. Needless to say I have never owned a real petticoat before, just ones that I made myself out of old sheets and bed covers. All the same, I'm happy with my purchase and look forward to finding or making a longer skirt in the Gothic Lolita style to wear it with.

All images were taken by me unless otherwise noted. Check me out on Twitter.

Saturday, March 2, 2013

Thrift Store Haul: Sewing Project Supplies

Recently I went thrift store shopping at some local stores. Turns out I was pretty lucky! This post is about the supplies I got for making more Lolita clothing for myself. It's always fun looking through thrift stores. You never know what you can find! This is just a little bit of the things I've gotten from thrift stores in the past. Here's what I got (minus one item since I neglected to take pictures before I started sewing):

In all I got several yards of eyelet lace and a white Eyelet fabric, a bit over a yard of lace elastic, and a new zipper to replace one in a cute skirt I got a few years ago. It was all very inexpensive, especially the eyelet lace which is usually very expensive at craft and fabric stores. Here's some closer pictures:

I'm planning on using both the lace and fabric on a new dress. Now I just need to find a pretty light blue fabric, decide on the design, and get some patterns to make it!

The lace elastic is very pretty. It's a bit too thin for using in skirts or fabric petticoats, but it's nice for sleeves and light weight petticoats.

I intentionally got a zipper that was a bit longer than I needed, so I just cut off the extra before sewing it in. Unfortunately I cut off a bit too much so now I need to put a hook and loop at the top of the zipper.

I'll make sure to do an entry once I make the dress I'm planning on with the lace and fabric. All pictures were taken by me and that's me wearing my skirt. Creative cell phone camera mounts and timers FTW! If you wish to use any of my pictures, please receive permission from me first. Check me out on Twitter.