Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Carsen's Baptism

Brooke requested some pretty cupcakes to celebrate her daughter, Carsen's, baptism.  She wanted yellow cupcakes with raspberry buttercream and little crosses on top with her daughter's initals on them.  

I was planning to make the white crosses out of fondant but found a cross candy mold at Michael's.  I was SO excited!   Nothing beats white chocolate!  (Well, maybe milk chocolate, but I digress...) 

The raspberry buttercream looks so pretty, I think.  It's a deep pink color and you can see the flecks of raspberries swirled in there (I used 1 1/2 pounds of raspberries in there!). 

May God bless baby Carsen!  Congrats to her whole family!

Thursday, August 23, 2012

How's This for Thank You?

My husband's boss requested a Cake Mama cake for one of her employees who was moving on in their organization.  She worked with Michelle for many years and wanted a way to say "thank you" for all of her hard work.  What better way than to say it with cake?!  I was happy to oblige. 

This cake is 1/2 chocolate, 1/2 yellow.  The chocolate side is filled with chocolate fudge, buttercream and Oreo crumbles.  The yellow side is filled with vanilla buttercream.  The top of the cake is covered with vanilla buttercream and fondant/gum paste letters and flowers.  

I think it's a very colorful way to say "thank you."   Don't you?

A Week Off But Still Baking

A week off for this Cake Mama doesn't necessarily mean that I won't be baking.  I often take advantage of week without cakes to do some experimentation in the kitchen and knock things off my "culinary bucket list".  A few years ago, it was a goal of mine to make creme brulee.  I got all of the equipment one Christmas from my parents (ramekins, torch) and was excited to learn that it was MUCH easier to make than I thought. 

The following year, I wanted to make a souflee.  My hubby bought me a souflee dish and I made two that year. 

The next year, I wanted to make Julia's Boueff Bourginon, and even though I am allergic to beef and would be unable to taste it, I had an eager husband who coached me along the way.  I made that recipe twice as well. 

Well, this year, I wanted to conquer homemade croissants.  It was Julia Child's 100th birthday last week and I thought it was the perfect occasion.  That, and I was hosting our Gourmet Dinner Club for breakfast on Sunday.  They're usually game for just about anything (except Greg who is pickier than even my daughter). 

The recipe was INCREDIBLY tough.  Seven pages of cookbook instructions and a few pictures dabbled throughout.  I youtube-d videos as well which I found incredibly helpful.  The whole process took THREE days to complete.  I made the dough one night, the next day I just rolled and the following day I proofed and baked the croissants.  I made three different kinds (because why not?);  plain, chocolate and almond, and this being my first try, I'm very proud of how they turned out.  

Next time, I'll have to roll them tighter.  I was so afraid that I would tear the dough, but it was much more elastic than I thought. 

And, to add to the already abundantly carbed meal on Sunday, I made homemade apple fritters.  These were delicious!  And SUPER easy to make.  I followed the Cook's Illustrated recipe and am VERY happy with how they turned out. 

Mmmmmmm!  The glaze was divine!

In case you're wondering, my culinary goal for 2013 is homemade pasta.  I think my 5-year old will love to help me with that one.  Pasta is a staple in her diet.

Monday, August 13, 2012

A Shower Cake

My friend Lori emailed me a few weeks back requesting a cake for a baby shower she was co-hosting for her sister-in-law.  She came across a really cute design online and forwarded the picture to me.  My goal was to recreate it as closely as possible.  I think it's a really cute cake and has lots of fun colors.  This cake took me way longer than I thought it would - and I knew it would be time-consuming.  First of all, coloring fondant takes time and there were a lot of colors on this cake.  But the flowers with the tiny dots around the center took the most time.  There was one of those for every color.  Decorating alone took me 4 1/2 hours.  Add in baking time and this was a whole day's work!  (But I do so love it!)

Her sister-in-law doesn't know if she's having a boy or a girl and that is why this cake was perfect!  I really liked how it turned out.

Both tiers were marble cakes with raspberry buttercream filling.  The outside is decorated with vanilla buttercream and fondant details. 

Thanks again, Lori!  I love making cakes for you!

Saturday, August 11, 2012

Jessica and Ryan's Cupcake Feast

Jessica and I go WAY back!  She was one of the first people I met in high school.  She sat next to me in band on that first day of school and I discovered that she, too, was new to the district.  Our bond started right there.  Lots of giggles about the completely idiotic inside jokes that we shared throughout the years.  I bet even now she can recite some of the silly things we wrote on our shared band folder! 

So, when she met the man of her dreams and asked me to do the cupcakes for her wedding, I was more than ecstatic to help out.  She ordered mini-cupcakes, which I had never made before and discovered are way too fun!  She ordered red velvet, chocolate and yellow cupcakes and when asked what she and Ryan's favorite flavors were, she responded with red velvet.  I know she wanted cupcakes, but I HAD to make them a cake as well...red velvet of course. 

Now, when it came to displaying these cupcakes at a wedding, I didn't know what I was going to do.  Jessica left it up to me and was incredibly flexible with design.  I looked online and found different displays that are specifically for cupcakes but I had a different vision in mind altogether.  I decided to use some of my vintage cake pedistals (and also invested in a few more) to make the statement I wanted to make. 

Here's the wedding cake; red velvet with the creamiest cream cheese frosting ever!

 Here's a picture of the entire display. 

Another shot of the cake.

Here are the yellow cupcakes with vanilla buttercream frosting. 

Here are the chocolate cupcakes with 7-minute frosting.

Here are the red velvet cupcakes with cream cheese frosting. 

I got a sneak peak last night at a few pictures from the wedding and Jessica made the most beautiful bride!  (Ryan was VERY handsome too!!)  I wish you two (and your family) a lifetime of happiness!