Thursday, December 30, 2010

Carolyn's Cake

Some friends of my parents hired me to do a cake. It is exciting to get new customers. They ordered a birthday cake for their friend Carolyn. Vanilla cake with vanilla buttercream.

Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Anniversary Cake

I have to thank my lovely Chiropractor and friend Arika for referring her friend to me! It was a rush job, two days warning. I was up to the challenge. The customer sent me a picture of her parents at their wedding and asked if I could make a two tiered version of their wedding cake.
As you can see, the cake picture is a bit old and fuzzy. I did my best and think everyone was happy with the results. The cake is red velvet with traditional buttercream frosting.
This is the kind of cake decorating that made me want more! I LOVE the old school piping, borders, garlands, etc. It was so much fun.

Happy Birthday Dad

When my dad asked me to make him a chocolate cake with cream cheese frosting, I knew it had to be extra special. He is the best dad in the world!

I saw this chocolate lace technique on a PBS show. It went well for my first try.
The cake itself is homemade chocolate cake, three layers, filled with chocolate ganache and fresh raspberries. The burst of raspberry flavor with the dark chocolate was amazing.
It is covered in cream cheese frosting and decorated with chocolate dipped strawberries.

Sunday, October 31, 2010

Happy Howloween!!

Thanks again to Hello Cupcake for inspiring these fun wolf cupcakes. These were for a party at my mom's house and I was in a bit of a hurry, so I cheated and used cake mix and tubbed frosting.
Next time I will for sure use homemade frosting. It sets up a lot better. The canned frosting stays quite gooey. The werewolves needed something a little more sturdy. But, they were still a big hit and very yummy. :)

Monday, September 27, 2010

Paris/Poodle Cake

Three tiers. Top two tiers are vanilla cake with Swiss Meringue Buttercream filling. Bottom tier is Happy Talk chocolate cake with chocolate ganache filling. Cake covered in fondant.
This was for my friend's daughter's birthday. I think she put a pink poodle on top at the party, which I was not fortunate enough to photograph, so you'll have to use your imagination.

Saturday, September 25, 2010

Pink Tiger Print Cake

Happy 19th Birthday Nicole!!!!!

Chocolate cake with chocolate ganache filling. Covered in fondant. If I did this one again, I would do MORE tiger stripes. Looking at it now I see it needed about twice as many, and I would do some longer ones. I was feeling a bit rushed as I was working as fast as I could during my 9-mo-old's afternoon nap.

Monday, September 20, 2010

Berry Tiramisu

Yia Yia's Birthday Cake, Berry Tiramisu. Thin layers of genoise filled with mascarpone/cream cheese mixture and fresh strawberries soaked in dark rum.
This is supposed to be layered in a springform pan. I did not have one the right size, so I put it back into the 8in cake pan, and when the layers started to go above the cake pan, I placed the pan in the springform, then weighed the cake down with plates. It held together. I had visions of filling spilling out the second I took it out of the pan. It was quite delicious served with fresh strawberry sauce.

Sunday, September 12, 2010

Happy Talk Chocolate Cake

The inside is chocolate cake, the best I've ever had. I made it for our friend Katheen's birthday. It's pictured a few posts below as the Classic Rose Cake.

I decided to call it Happy Talk Chocolate cake because people were happy eating it and talked about it for days, much to my pleasure.

Kathleen proceeded to order one for her grandson's birthday but asked for chocolate frosting as well. I made Chocolate Buttercream. Lots of chocolate, lots of butter, very rich. I hope Charlie enjoyed his birthday cake.

Walgreens Cake

Brent ordered this cake for a party at his Walgreens. I made it very simple. Whipped icing outside, vanilla cake inside with fresh blueberry filling.

Thursday, August 12, 2010

Baking Joy

Although I have graduated from three Wilton cake decorating courses, I am a self-taught baker.

That meant I started out mostly using cake mixes for my decorated cakes. There is nothing wrong with cake mixes. They contain your basic ingredients and are super handy when you do not have time to measure everything.

However, as I progress with my baking, I decided the inside of my cakes should be as exciting as the outside. In the past few weeks I've been experimenting with all kinds of new recipes!! I'm happy to report I've stumbled across the most amazing red velvet, chocolate, carrot, and white vanilla cake recipes. Then of course there are so many filling options with cream, chocolates, fresh fruits, or all of the above!

The skateboarding cake was a challenge. The cake itself had to be super sturdy to support pounds and pounds of fondant and gumpaste. I chose a chocolate pound cake recipe. I like the recipe, but will work on making it more moist, yet still sturdy and carvable.

A few things I've learned along the way that are keys to baking success.

1. high quality cocoa powder matters
2. butter makes it better
3. sifting, sifting, sifting
4. quality baking pans make a difference! Sometimes I get lucky and it bakes leveled.
5. never bake late at night when tired from chasing two young kids around all day!!!
6. get good at reading your cake eaters' expressions. You'll know for a fact it if was a hit or a dud.
7. I use high quality vanilla extract. I get mine at The Spice Merchant, it's amazing.
8. It's ok to get buy in bulk or use off brands of flour and sugar. But sift the powdered sugar for the best results.

That's all on my mind for now! Better go check on my chocolate cake.

Sunday, August 8, 2010

Classic Rose Cake

Whipped icing, tastes like sweetened whipped cream, but is non-dairy so it is perfect for wedding cakes which often have to sit out for several hours. I love it so much I used it on my own wedding cake.

Inside is the best chocolate cake ever! Filled with chocolate ganache, fresh strawberries, and some of the whipped icing.

This specific cake was for our friend Kathleen's 70th birthday. We enjoyed the cake with strong black coffee.

Tuesday, August 3, 2010

Skateboarder Groom's Cake

When my friend Leslie hired me to do her fiance's groom's cake, I was all over it. Ideas floated around in my head. I looked around online to see what other people did for skater cakes and not much came up. There were a few cakes in the shape of skateboards, but that is not what Leslie requested.
Eric is a skateboarder and she wanted a cake with a sunken pool, rails, etc.

Finally, I found my inspiration by looking at pictures of an actual skate park. That's where I saw they painted red around the pools, set up cones, had half and quarter pipes, and it was mostly gray, black, and red. Voila, I saw the cake in my head and got started making the boy and the other gum paste pieces about three weeks ahead of time.
I'm very happy with this cake. It was my biggest cake challenge yet! And I owe thanks to YouTube for teaching me how to sculpt the little guy's face. :)

Monday, July 19, 2010

Chinese Take-Out Box

This cake is in Confetti Cakes cookbook. I could hardly wait for an excuse to try it out. We planned a big Chinese dinner for my aunt and uncle and seemed to me a perfect excuse to make the cake.

Thankfully I tested it out on family first. This cake took a lot of careful measuring and cutting. This can be hard to concentrate on with a 3 year old and a 7 month old running my life. So there are a couple little mistakes and the fondant bubbled out a little in the heat. Overall, it was a success.
The inside is chocolate pound cake and ganache filling. Very tasty. I did have to do two pound cakes. Lesson one: do not try baking late at night after a very tiring day. I forgot about the cake, did not hear the timer, and it turned into a chocolate pound cracker. The second one was delicious.

Thursday, July 15, 2010

Cake Tutorial

This is my first cake tutorial blog post! I hope you find it useful.
Anyone can make a beautiful and delicious cake.

Tomorrow is my husband's birthday. I told him I would make any kind of cake he wanted.
As a general rule, Brent loves any recipe by Paula Deen. A quick online search led me to this recipe by Paula Deen. Brent looked through the list of ingredients and said "this is the one."

This tutorial is mainly to help you ice a cake without cake crumbs being dragged into the frosting.

Looking at the three finished cakes I knew right away it would end up with red crumbs unless I dirty iced the cake.

In a matter of minutes, I whipped up a fresh batch of very simple buttercream. Unsalted butter, vanilla, meringue powder, powdered sugar, and water.
Make it thin consistency for easy spreading.

Dirty icing, or crumb coating, is a baker's secret to pretty cakes. Spread on a thin layer of buttercream and do not worry about cake crumbs, it can be all speckled and that is ok. Once the cake is dirty iced, take a damp paper towel and wipe off icing that may have found its way to the edge of your cake plate.
Place the cake in the fridge for about 30 minutes so the icing hardens.

Then gently spread on your final layer of frosting, crumb free!

For Brent's cake, I piped on some of the buttercream around the bottom edge in random cloud like swirls and garnished it with pecan halves. Looks good enough to eat.

Sunday, April 11, 2010

Onesie Cookies

When I had the chance to host a baby shower, I could not resist making these adorable Onesie cookies. They taste as sweet as they look. The recipe comes from Elisa Strauss. I am a huge fan of Elisa. She owns the famed bakery Confetti Cakes. I can spent hours reading and looking through her pictures and recipes.

Sunday, March 7, 2010