Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Chocolate Kahlua Cake

Erin requested a birthday cake for her husband, Steve's, birthday. Steve is a HUGE chocolate fan and I'm told he's also a fan of Kahlua. Erin requested a chocolate cake with some sort of Kahlua twist to it, to incorporate two of Steve's favorite flavors. I was game!

The best part of this cake was that the decorating was minimal. I really do enjoy a simply decorated cake from time to time. No fondant. No words. Just buttercream. Chocolate Kahlua buttercream on this one! I also added some shredded chocolate bits on top, just for fun.

Steve, I hope your birthday was a great one! I also hope that all of your wishes came true! ;)

Also, thanks to Erin for taking the pictures and sending them my way. This was one cake that slipped out before I got the chance to photograph it. I'm forever grateful!

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

Robin's Birthday

In 2009, my very talented photographer friend, Robin and I were sitting in my backyard porch talking about everything under the sun. She had her camera with her (we may have just finished a photo shoot of my daughter or something) and I remember us hearing a cute little chirping noise coming from my garden.

When we looked up, we saw a tiny young Ruby-Throated Hummingbird sitting on a wire having just finished dining in my garden: note the pollen on its beak. Robin had her camera at the ready and snapped this delightful shot to capture the moment. I thought it was brilliant! And learned that Hummingbirds actually chirp!

For Robin's birthday, I made her a chocolate cake with chocolate mousse filling and chocolate buttercream frosting. (She's going to need a gallon of milk in order to wash down the chocolately goodness!!!) I wanted to pay homage to this wonderful photo and moment in time and placed a little hand-painted, gum paste hummingbird on the top, complete with [sugar] pollen and all.

Robin, I hope you are having a fabulous birthday! I can't wait to celebrate with you!

To see more of Robin's work, check out her Facebook page at: http://www.facebook.com/media/set/?set=a.118514935952.121143.755270952&type=3#!/pages/Robin-Downing-Photography/346884155505

Valentine's Day Treats

My daughter had a delightful Valentine's Day party at school and I signed up to bring cookies for their party. Had I know that I would have such a busy week the week of the party, I would have signed up to bring something else, but fortunately, Josie had a playdate scheduled the day before the party and I used that time to bake and decorate these cookies.

I used two different cut-outs. One with scalloped edges and one without. Then I used two different colors to decorate the cookies in royal icing; red and pink. I thought they were appropriate Valentine's day colors.

When they dried, I added a name to each of the cookies - one for each of the kids in Josie's class, as well as her teachers.

I was lucky to be the parent helper this week and was therefore able to pass out the cookies and watch the kids' faces light up when they saw their names on their special treat. And Josie was so proud!

Happy Valentine's Day!

Sunday, February 12, 2012

John's Belated Birthday Celebration

February is SUCH a busy month for my family. My brother and father-in-law share the same birthday early in the month. Then comes my brother-in-law, sister-in-law and my dad. As I've already posted, my brother and dad had a big party to celebrate their monumental birthdays late last month. So when my father-in-law and mother-in-law came to visit this weekend, I thought it would be nice to celebrate his birthday in person too! And what better way to celebrate than with cake and ice cream (and presents)?

John - thanks for all you do (and all of the hard work you helped us with this weekend)! I hope that your birthday was great and I'm so happy we got to celebrate with you!

Charlie's Cars Cake #2

Jennifer requested a Cars cake for her son Charlie who was turning 5. She wanted me to incorporate Cars from the Disney movies on the cake somehow and I was able to send her an idea of what I had in mind. With the number of guests she was expecting, one cake wouldn't cut it, so a two-tiered cake was in order.

She requested a yellow cake with chocolate buttercream frosting. Aside from that, she knew that I would add buttercream and fondant details on the top of the cake, not to mention some actual characters from the movies.

Can I just add that I found a new recipe for yellow cake that I absolutely ADORE! Most yellow cake recipes that I've come across have either needed cake flour and/or have been dry cakes. Not something I'm happy with. The recipe I used for this cake was a moist cake which used all purpose flour and a whole lot of buttermilk. YUMMY!

The chocolate buttercream was delicious, too! A new recipe with loads of melted chocolately goodness. (I'm getting hungry now...)

Here's how the cake turned out:

I hope that Charlie enjoyed his cake and had a wonderful party this weekend!

Pretty as a Princess

Kid's birthday cakes are the FUNNEST! Yeah, I said "funnest" because doing them brings out the "funnest" part of me. I just love 'em! This princess cake was no exception. Adrienne (I did her 2nd birthday cake last year - Mickey Mouse Clubhouse) turned three this weekend and was going to be having a princess party. Her mom (and good friend of mine) gave me some creative freedom and only requested that it be a chocolate cake with Oreo buttercream filling. She said that at the time of the order last month, Adrienne's favorite princess was Tiana, but that changed daily.

This was when the fun started for me. I searched online for some inspirational ideas and came across one that looked like a castle with many of the Disney princesses gathered around. I thought it was a perfect plan because if Adrienne decided that her favorite princess was someone other than Tiana, I'd have the bases covered, so to speak. ;)

I ordered the castle kit from Wilton online and used only four towers and the door to decorate the cake. All of the princesses were purchased in a nice set from Target and I think they look completely at home, just chillin' on their castle cake.

The very top of the cake holds a princess picture frame that Adrienne's parents could fill before the party. That way, Adrienne could be a princess on her cake too!

The best part of this cake was the delivery. I got to see Adrienne see her cake and it was AWESOME! Totally worth it for me! She looked up at it, mouth open, eyes wide and didn't say a word! A smile came shortly thereafter and she was able to tell me who each of the princesses were. I asked her who her favorite princess was and she responded..."Cinderella."

Phew! Bases covered!!

I hope she had a great birthday and a wonderful princess celebration!!!

Update: Yep. She had a GREAT party!!! Here's the birthday "princess" with her cake. :)