Hot Polka Dot
26Feb/13

How To Tuesday: Petal To The Metal.

How to achieve the petal frosting technique via @hotpolkadot

You know that picture in your head, the impossibly perfect one? You see it when you're imagining how that royal icing flood will turn out. You see it in the back of your mind when attempting a side dutch braid. You see it clearly when you're trying to match that DIY project you saw on Pinterest. Then suddenly your flood fails, your braid is broken and your DIY is a major don't.

We probably set ridiculously high expectations for ourselves. I know I do. I'm pretty sure I can count the number of times reality matched my imagination on one hand. This is one of those times.

I'll admit I was terrified to try this frosting technique. It's trendy, it's cute and it looks super complicated. For a perfectionist like myself, I was certain it would be a flop. I was worried the consistency of the frosting would be too thick, too dry and just not friendly. I was worried my rows would start slanting and look crooked. I was worried I wouldn't have enough frosting to finish.

All my worrying was for nothing. This technique is deceptively easy to pull off and very forgiving. The recipe I used was the perfect consistency and even the exact amount.

You want to make a petal cake of your own? Sure you do!

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21Feb/13

Wordsmith.

Chocolate Orange Tiger Cake via @hotpolkadot

Chocolate Orange Tiger Cake via @hotpolkadotChocolate Orange Tiger Cake via @hotpolkadot

I'm a huge fan of the written word. I love reading it, I love writing it and, above all, I love learning more about it. I'm one of those people that, when encountering a new word in a book, I immediately look up the definition. I can't read on without it. It's like stepping out your door with only one shoe on. You feel incomplete, imbalanced and unsure. You can stumble upon misconception just like a rusty nail.

I use my dictionary app more than my angry birds app. I probably google the origin of words and phrases at least five times a day. I just hunger for words, for knowledge, for understanding. I'm the sort of person that can't be content in knowing a thing, I have to know why and how and sometimes when and where too.

It fascinates me that, in the grand scheme of things, English is a relatively new language and therefore borrows from other European languages. There are few English words that you can bring to mind today that aren't influenced by another language either loosely or literally. Decimation comes from the Latin word decimatio, a punishment practice implemented by Roman generals whereby a legion would be separated into groups of ten and made to draw lots to determine the tenth to be executed. We even use words on a daily basis that are completely in another language like entrepreneur, kindergarten and chocolate.

English is this inconstant creature forever in a state of flux. It's constantly absorbing information, always influenced by culture and changing to meet our needs. We've gone from Beowulf to Romeo and Juliet to Great Expectations to Harry Potter. Fedex, dance-off and muggle are in the dictionary for crying out loud!

While it's easy to take the low road and subscribe to the opinion that popular acronyms like OMG, YOLO and LOL are somehow the architects of the English language's demise, I prefer another theory. We're just entering a different stage of evolution. Do you think Shakespeare and Dickens could carry on a coherent conversation without cliff's notes? We might resist at first, but eventually the transition will come naturally.

Words are magical. Words can frighten you, delight you, thrill you and definitely inspire you. With words I can't paint beautiful pictures before your mind's eye. With just a few words you can be saddened, overjoyed or enraged.

For example, I could tell you that this cake is the perfect balance of chocolate and orange, bitter and sweet, rich and light, dark and bright. I could tell you that beneath waves of velvety Dark Chocolate Frosting lies a cake striped with ribbons of deep chocolate and fruity orange surrounding and thick layer of aromatic Orange Curd. Each bite is so tantalizing to all five senses we may need to define a sixth or seventh. Immediately you should begin to feel the physiological effects of these few choice words. Your pupils start to dilate, your eyes widen, your mouth waters, your stomach growls and suddenly that cookie you're about to stuff in your face doesn't seem good enough.

Chocolate Orange Tiger Cake via @hotpolkadot

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10Feb/13

Death By Chocolate And The Birth Of A Blog.

Death By Chocolate Cheesecake Cake via @hotpolkadotDeath By Chocolate Cheesecake Cake via @hotpolkadot

Death By Chocolate Cheesecake Cake via @hotpolkadot

Three years. I can't believe it's really been three years. Three years ago today I timidly introduced myself and stepped into the blogosphere. I baked cookies, snapped some photos, met you fine folks, wrote about life and wrote about love, laughed, learned, grew.

I want to say thank you for being so patient with me. I've been pretty absent pretty often and I appreciate your understanding. Life's been a little nuts recently and I haven't had the time to bake elaborate cakes and roll out flaky pie crust.

So I thought you deserved a little something special to celebrate. Hot Polka Dot is as much about you as it is about me.

What could be more decadent that chocolate? How about three different kinds of chocolate? White chocolate cheesecake sandwiched between dark chocolate cake riddled with milk chocolate chips, enrobed in whipped dark chocolate ganache frosting and topped with a trinity of chocolate curls.

Is your mouth watering yet?

Cheers to Hot Polka Dot, cheers to you, cheers to cake and cheers to three more years!

Death By Chocolate Cheesecake Cake via @hotpolkadotDeath By Chocolate Cheesecake Cake via @hotpolkadot

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29Aug/12

Ninja Peaches.

I'd like to tell you a funny story or wax poetic about sunsets, but honestly I just don't have the time. You were probably going to skip all the words and go straight to the pretty pictures anyway.

Weren't you?

So, much like a ninja with a smoke bomb, here are some yummy pictures of cupcakes to distract you while I make my swift exit.

Poof!

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2Apr/12

Springkles.

Spring is a time for new beginnings. It's when all life wipes the sleep from blurry eyes and timidly steps into the sunlight to greet the world. Windows are swung open, bicycles are dusted off, birds fly home, coats are shrugged off, flowers bloom.

It's time for spring cleaning! I decided it wasn't enough to just redecorate and reorganize my house. I want to do the same for myself. This calls for a little personal spring cleaning. So I got a hair cut, bought some shoes I desperately needed, commissioned an updated blog theme, began reading an incredible fantasy series, decided on a new hobby and started exercising again.

It's been a long winter and I've been hibernating for far too long. It's time to open some windows in my mind, let in the fresh air and grow some satisfaction.

As the seasons change so do we. What was once painted with dirty greys and murky browns is now injected with splashes of emerald, gold and sapphire, violet, cherry and rose. Like sprinkles on a daintily frosted cupcake.

Whether you have a colourful personality, a colourful garden or a colourful living room, now you can have a cupcake to match. Rainbow sprinkles through and through with double cream cheese because, like sprinkles, you can never have enough.

Definitely not on the Jillian Michaels Ripped in 30 meal plan, but Double Cream Cheese Funfetti Cupcake have my vote!

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