Monday, August 30, 2010

Lakers & Leftovers

I received an order for a LARGE Lakers jersey cake for a surprise birthday party this weekend.
The customer wanted my (now famous) dark & white chocolate cake filled with dark chocolate ganache and fresh raspberry filling, covered in raspberry swiss meringue buttercream. She asked that the cake serve at least 40 people and have her daughter's name and age on the jersey.

I baked four 11x15 cakes, 2 of each and then put it all together.

I decided to alternate the cakes so it wasn't too boring when they cut into it and I spread the ganache directly over the raspberry filling.

Oh fondant...I am still learning how to make you do what I want.
Although I think I did a decent job covering this huge cake, getting the side panels on and managing to fit such a long name...It could have been better.

Note: For whatever reason, my camera did not like the purple fondant. I took many pictures in different lighting and they all came out blue.

I currently have three letter cut-out sizes: small, medium and large.
I used the medium ones because the small are REALLY small but the mediums were still a bit too large. I do not have the skills or confidence yet to cut my own letters by hand, I still need some more practice.

In the future I will try some new techniques that will decrease/eliminate the powdered sugar that gets left on the fondant when you roll it out, that's something I wish I would have researched before this cake.

I saved some scraps from the cakes I made this week and decided when I was done with all my orders I would use my leftover cake scraps, fillings, buttercream and chocolate shavings to make myself and my lucky sister some small mini cakes.

I mean, I can't just let good stuff go to waste!

I used a cookie cutter to cut out some small square and circle shaped cakes.

I filled the squares with leftover apple filling and covered them in vanilla buttercream then added some sprinkles and a blob of apple filling just for fun.

I filled the circles with leftover raspberry filling and covered them in raspberry buttercream and decorated them with chocolate shavings.

It was late, I was tired and I just wanted to get these things please forgive my frosting job - I was just going to eat them and didn't care if the corners were straight or level, as you can see.

I often don't get to eat my own cakes unless I'm lucky enough to be invited to whatever party they are going this was a special treat and made the perfect midnight snack.

Friday, August 27, 2010

Guitar Cake

When my brother asked me if I could make a guitar cake for our cousin's birthday today, I didn't hesitate because I knew Wilton made a guitar cake pan.

When he sent me this picture, that plan went out the door.

My cousin's guitar is WAY COOLER than Wilton's cake pan.

After requesting a full picture of the guitar, I knew that this cake would need to be covered in fondant.

Oh you stress me out.

I wanted to make this cake as realistic as possible, not toy looking.

So, I printed the picture in large scale (thank you, work printer) and used it to create a cardboard template of the cake.

After filling the base of the guitar with apple (YUM) I assembled the cake and slathered vanilla buttercream all over it and let it chill in the fridge while I made up all the small pieces with gray gumpaste painted with silver pearl dust.

I used vanilla flavored fondant to cover the cake in white, brown and black.

Following tips I read online on how to paint fondant to look like wood, I mixed some brown icing color and a little bit of vodka for a soupy water paint consistency then starting painting the white portion of the guitar and decided to give the brown neck some too!

Then I attached the silver accents, some with toothpicks and the others with just a little bit of water.

I attempted to add strings of floss...many times...but it just wasn't in the stars.
Hopefully, my cousin will forgive me.

Happy Birthday John!

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Chocolate Zucchini Cupcakes

My co-worker brought me this giant zucchini from his garden and asked me if I could use it.

At first I was thinking...zucchini?

Um no, I've never even touched one before.

Then I thought, this could be a great opportunity for me to try something new and different.
Different is what I am all about :)

So I brought this bad boy home and did some research on zucchini recipes...zucchini bread? chocolate zucchini bread? zucchini brownies?

Chocolate Zucchini Cupcakes! Duh!

I also found this to be a great time to try a Chocolate Cream Cheese Buttercream recipe that I've had for a while.

Having never touched a zucchini before, I learned that they have seeds...and that if you are not paying attention these seeds will mess up your shredding process. Don't worry...I picked out all the pieces and scooped out the remaining seeds before continuing to shred :) seeds:

I also got to use all spice for the first time...strong stuff.

These cupcakes were made solely to prove to my co-workers that yummy cupcakes can come from a giant zucchini...they have their doubts.

I also sent some with my sister for her co-workers who were particularly excited about this recipe.

Even though I am on a diet (I know, a baker on a diet...I'm crazy) I had myself a cupcake for dessert...and it was YUMMY!

Happy Birthday Chocolate Lover!

I had an order for a remake of this cake for a birthday.

Dark Chocolate and White Chocolate Cake

Dark Chocolate Ganache and Raspberry Fillings

Raspberry Swiss Meringue Buttercream

Dark Chocolate Ganache Filled Raspberries

Dark Chocolate & White Chocolate Swirls

That's a lot of chocolate!
This cake went to the same office full of chocolate lovers as the Chanel Hand Bag cake :)

I decided to cover the top of the cake with ganache and write Happy Birthday in white chocolate...please bear with me as I continue to work on my handwriting skills.

Coming up later this week: Another recreation of this recipe for a Lakers Jersey cake and a Vanilla Apple Guitar cake.

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Chanel Hand Bag Cake

A friend of mine asked me if I could make a cake for her bosses Birthday that looked like her favorite Chanel hand bag:

I jumped on the opportunity because this is just the sort of project I love doing, something different.

This order posed a special challenge for me though, FONDANT.

I have worked with fondant before but only for small decorations or cupcake toppers.
I have never covered an entire cake in fondant...until now.

The cake itself is Hershey's Perfectly Chocolate Chocolate recipe.

It is filled with milk chocolate ganache and mocha chocolate chip buttercream.
Basically, this cake is for chocolate lovers...and my friend has an office full of them.

The cake was made larger than the actual hand bag in order to feed all these chocolate lovers.

The hardest part of this cake was the chain.

I attempted several times to twist two ropes together but it just wasn't in the stars for me...bummer.

The logo, rings and chain are painted with edible silver pearl dust and the
pre-made Wilton Icing Roses were added for a touch of color.

I plan to do some practicing with fondant, I want to get better...a lot better.

So don't judge me too harshly...this was my first time!

Monday, August 9, 2010

San Francisco 49er Cupcakes and Hydrangea Cupcakes

My friend's son, Jacob turns 9 today.

He celebrated at the Fremont water park on Saturday.

He ordered these cupcakes personally and was very specific about what he wanted:
Vanilla Cupcakes, Red Frosting and 49er Toppers.

You got it Birthday Boy :)

The footballs and grass are made with fondant.

The frosting is dusted with gold pearl dust.

I bought the 49er helmet toppers at Cake Works aka MY FAVORITE STORE.

I knew I would have extra cupcakes left over from this order, as it was only for a dozen.

I saw
these beauties and figured I would give them a try.
Not bad but I think if I ever do them again I'll use swiss meringue buttercream so they flop a little bit for a more realistic look.

Oh...and how awesome is this cake stand???
Super awesome, I think.

Monday, August 2, 2010

Neapolitan Cupcakes

Saturday was the ARCHULETA (my father's side) family reunion.

Sunday was a Birthday Brunch for my friend Rachel.
I made Neapolitan Cupcakes for both occasions.

Here are the reunion cupcakes:

It doesn't show too well in the picture, but they say "Archuleta Family".
The additional cupcakes have small fondant flowers, hearts and mini pueblos.
The strawberry cupcakes were my favorite...

I did not take a picture of the pueblos because for some horrible reason, my fridge decided to stay open a crack the one night these cupcakes were in there and a massive amount of moisture developed making the fondant toppers become covered in condensation...and making me cry in the morning when I had no time to redo them or remove them without destroying the cupcakes.

I snapped a photo with my cell phone the night before and sent it to my sister with the following caption: "crappy pueblos" because I am not particularly proud of how they came out but I was exhausted and couldn't bring myself to redo them. I'm sorry family.

At least people knew what they were...or they pretended to out of kindness.

Either way, my family thought they were cool which is all I wanted.

I saved a dozen for Rachel's Birthday Brunch on Sunday.
Here she is, isn't she pretty? :)