Tuesday, November 30, 2010

King Cake...with a Twist

This cake is a just as yummy but different version of my classic King Cake.

The cake is 2 layers white chocolate and 2 layers dark chocolate with alternating layers of fresh raspberry filling and dark chocolate ganache.

The cake is covered in chocolate swiss meringue buttercream rather than the usual raspberry buttercream because this particular cake was for a husband's birthday and his wife thought the pink frosting wasn't a good fit! :)

I poured dark chocolate ganache over the top of the cake and used melted white chocolate to pipe Happy Birthday Jon!, which by the way was the first time I piped directly onto a cake...Thank You Very Much!

Then I lined the bottom of the cake and corners with dark chocolate shavings and fresh raspberries filled with dark chocolate ganache.

I wanted to keep this cake...and eat it all by myself...in one sitting....but I didn't.

Happy Thanksgiving!

This being my first Thanksgiving without my family, my boyfriend and I were invited to a friend's house for dinner.

They made dinner and I made dessert :)

THIS picture was my inspiration and I looked at it every five seconds during the whole process. The only thing I wanted to do different was the feathers.

The cake is pumpkin spice with cream cheese frosting...super delicious.
I ate many of the carved pieces...because I can.

I stacked four 9" round cakes on top of each other and then carved until I achieved the shape I was looking for. Once I got that done I gave it a light crumb coat and covered the body in chocolate fondant that I mixed with a little bit of white fondant to lighten the brown color.

The feathers were made of colored white fondant and I used the back of a knife to add some markings and then attached 3 feathers each to wooden skewers and let them dry so they would stand straight.

The head is made out of all chocolate fondant with a wood skewer through the body for support.

Although a small challenge to cut and serve, the cake was a great way to end the evening.

I hope everyone had a Happy Thanksgiving!

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Thanksgiving Cupcakes

For the first time in my life, I will not be spending Thanksgiving with my family :(

My parents are flying out of town to spend the holiday with my sister and her family. The rest of us are going in various directions, spending the holiday with our friends or family of our significant others.

To fill a little bit of that family void, I decided to make cupcakes for my brothers and sisters and deliver them before the holiday.

There was something extra special about these cupcakes and my family knows what that is...

I saw these....and had to make them, they are just too cool!

The cupcakes are pumpkin spice with cream cheese frosting.

I made an additional two dozen of these bad boys for a new customer who really wanted to impress his girlfriend's family at Thanksgiving dinner...how can I say no to that?!

I made the pumpkin pie slice toppers out of fondant, piece by piece. The step by step directions were great, I did not have any trouble.

I also saw these a long time ago and have been waiting for November to get here so I could make them!

The cupcakes are chocolate fudge with vanilla buttercream.

The trees are made from melted chocolate and fall leaf sprinkles.

Both of these cupcakes were a lot of fun to make...especially for my family :)
Happy Thanksgiving!

Strawberry Cake Balls

An old high school friend of my sister's got in touch with me and asked if I could make her some cake balls.....and ship them to TEXAS!

She asked for strawberry cake covered in milk chocolate and drizzled in strawberry coating.


This gave me the chance to whip out my Cake Pops book by Bakerella, my birthday present from my super awesome boyfriend :)

I mixed strawberry frosting with the crumbled strawberry cake and rolled the balls.

I dipped them in milk chocolate and then drizzled them with pink strawberry coating.

I made a couple cake pop samples for her as well.

I packaged them as best as I could anticipating a rough journey to Texas...and I was right.

Best thing about cake balls though...they taste great no matter what they look like!

Friday, November 19, 2010

Sometimes you win, Sometimes you Lose...and Sometimes you make an Ice Cream Cake!

When one of my besties asked me if I could make an ice cream cake for her daughter, here's what I told her:

I've never made one before, I'd love to try, so if you feel comfortable taking a chance with me I'd love to give it a shot.

She was brave...and took the chance...and I let her down :(

She asked for a half chocolate, half white cake with chocolate ice cream and a Nick Jr. Backyardigans theme.
Her daughter's favorite character is the penguin.

My plan:
Two layers of each cake on top and bottom with the chocolate ice cream in the middle. Okay, done.

Penguin character topper made with fondant. Okay, done.

Piped stars of the show's six colors to match the logo background.
Okay, done....kinda.

About half way through this process the ice cream started to melt and seep through the sides of the cake, even though I was doing one section at a time and putting the cake in the freezer to keep it as frozen as possible in between each section.

I also struggled with the magenta colored buttercream...it didn't happen and the closest I could get was a dull purple :(

After finishing the cake and putting in back in the freezer with my super sad face, I went to bed really bummed...this was the first time I was unhappy with one of my cakes and there was nothing I could do about it now.

Good thing my friend Charlotte is super awesome....she is still going to be my friend and she is still going to order more cakes from me.

Whew...I'm lucky.

Friday, November 5, 2010

Birthday Cake for AC Label Employees

If you follow my blog, you know a couple things about
AC Label:
My sister works there and they get to eat lots of my sweets when I have leftovers.
Her co-workers are some of my biggest fans and I am always happy when one of them places an order.

There have been several birthdays at the office in recent weeks, and one very nice employee wanted to treat each one to a very special cake.

AC Label makes labels...shocking!
Their company colors are black, blue and white.

It was requested that there is some kind of label theme as well as individual cakes or cupcakes for each of the employees celebrating a birthday.

My sister was kind enough to send me some information about how they run the labels on the press machines which clicked right in with the idea I had in my head.

The cake is my most popular...which I have officially named The King Cake after Julie King who pretty much invented it when she placed
this order.

Dark chocolate and white chocolate cake with fresh raspberry and dark chocolate ganache filling, covered in raspberry swiss meringue buttercream and fondant.

I covered the main cake in blue fondant and draped two white pieces of fondant across the top.
I used a small cardboard roll on one side to look like a roll of labels and used the stitch roller thingy to mark where the labels tear off on both rolls.

I used a texture tile on black fondant and cut out a bunch of square "labels" and used melted white chocolate to add the HAPPY BIRTHDAY script and names.
The leftover labels were added to the front and the back of the cake, lining the base - just for fun.

Originally my plan was to make small individual cakes, frosted and covered in fondant with the name labels on top...but after about 2 weeks straight of baking my patience was running a bit low and after one failed attempt, I threw in the towel. It was not my best moment in the kitchen and I'm grateful only my dog witnessed my frustration at these innocent little cakes, but with time running out I opted to make cupcakes.

Each cupcake is dark chocolate, filled with the dark chocolate ganache and fresh raspberry then covered in the raspberry buttercream and covered in blue fondant to match the cake. I tried to make white bows to wrap around the cupcake, but once again...my lack of patience got the best of me and I decided to use these cupcake wraps that I bought a very long time ago and seemed to match the cake perfectly.

Monday, November 1, 2010

Spooky Halloween Cupcakes

I originally had these cupcakes planned for a Halloween party.

The party got canceled...but not the cupcakes.
Besides, I couldn't let these super awesome Martha Stewart cupcake liners go to waste.
No way, Jose.

I'd been browsing online to see what kind of Halloween cupcakes are out there, and there are a lot! So, I settled on four that I thought were really cool and not too complicated.

I made two different cupcakes:

Red Velvet with Vanilla Swiss Meringue Buttercream

and Super Chocolate Chunk with Ganache

("super" meaning I put hecka chopped chocolate in the batter)

I used the Red Velvet cupcakes to make Mummies and Brains!

That's a lot of eyeballs, dude.

I used the Super Chocolate Chunk cupcakes to make Spiders and Webs!

That's 96 spider legs right there!

I drew the spider webs on a piece of paper then put it under a sheet of wax paper and piped the webs with melted white chocolate. Drawing the webs was harder then actually making them. Kinda sad.

Sometimes I think I am a photographer so please find humor in my staging!
I had purchased some Halloween decorations for the above mentioned canceled party and didn't want them to go to waste.

Lego Man Cake

A friend of a friend asked if I could make a Lego Man cake for her son's birthday, she had the mold already but was nervous to try and make the cake herself.

White cake with chocolate frosting, covered in fondant.

She told me the silicone cake mold was small and that she was making cupcakes for the kids.

Could she make it any easier for me? I think not.

Once I got my hands on the mold...I was surprised at how small it really was!

This was my first experience with a silicone cake mold and it was interesting to say the least.
The instructions say you don't need to use baking spray...but I did after the first cake stuck to the silicone and fell apart.

Since the mold was so small, this made the cake extra fragile.

Once I got the Lego Man cooled and out of the mold, ideas started running wild in my head...

What if I chopped off his hands and made them out of fondant?

What if I made him standing up rather than laying down like a dead Lego Man?
What if I put him on top or next to a Lego piece?

So...I chopped him into pieces and got started.

Children, avert your eyes.

The birthday boy wanted black pants and a blue shirt, so I decided on a red lego for back support.

The six round pieces are individual cake pieces frosted and covered in fondant before being attached the the Lego block.

I didn't dare try and make this Lego Man stand up head to toe, so I opted for him sitting against the Lego.
I used a wooden dowel through the head and body for support.

I cut off the top neck and top round piece on the head and used fondant instead after a complete head redo.

The hands curved well over a spatula handle overnight but didn't want to stay attached to the arm, hence the random red ball under each hand.

Overall, this cake kinda drove me crazy but in the end the birthday boy was pleased and so was I.