Monday, November 29, 2010

1st & 10 - Bet we'll do it again.......

Cupcake Time Again!! The whole time I was making this cupcake I was thinking - "Bet someone will ask me to do this one again".......which made me start chanting a cheerleader ditty we did in highschool........"First and Ten do it again........move that ball!"

Originally my friend - who ordered them for her son - wanted 13 White and 13 Chocolate. I thought about that........kid standing there in the middle of class to hand out his birthday treats and half are chocolate half are white...........that is a lot of negotiating - "I want a chocolate one" - "I don't like"...."Jimmy I will be your friend if you......." So I suggested to my friend to pick just one flavor to keep it easy to pass out. She agreed and went chocolate.

Then on the way to religion class one night the Birthday Boy talked about his order and told me they were half white half chocolate. I let him in on the conversation his mom and I had and he said he really really wanted to make sure every person got what they wanted - and asked if I could make each cupcake half and half. How can you pass that request up? I mean he is the Birthday Honoree and HE is trying to make sure everyone else gets what they want.
Too Sweet - Order Changed - Mom was updated - All was good!

Although often times when you put something on top that is decorative - the kids don't even notice the cake flavor. And really if we are being honest - most of the kids suck the icing off the top and toss the cake. For the under 10 set the cupcake is often just a carrier for the icing.
These cakes were obviously half White cake and half Chocolate......with a Chocolate Buttercream icing and a Vanilla Buttercream grass & Vanilla Fondant football on top.
Total Goal!!

Saturday, November 27, 2010

Hoo Hoo..........Owl Cake

Do owls really say Hoot? Because sometimes it sounds more like me. And more recently it sounded like a piercing scream that would be more like a woman being murdered in the woods...........but I understand that was the sound of a Screech Owl - perhaps a Normal Owl does say simply "Hoot".........when he wants a Tootsie Roll Sucker I guess.

This particular owl was a copy off of something I saw on the Internet again. It was a flicker post otherwise I would link to the website/blog it came from. Usually when you find something this cute you also find other cookies really cute too.

So this cake was also for the Craft Show Bakery - and it went home with a nice family too. A good friend of mine who said it was yummy.

The cake was Carrot Cake with a Cream Cheese icing and a Vanilla Fondant.........the owl being brown makes you think Chocolate though doesn't it?

Thursday, November 25, 2010

2 Turkeys.......Happy Thanksgiving!!

The other day I was searching "Turkey Cakes"........the above is similar to what I was looking for - a cartoony looking turkey. Really what I ended up doing was finding a cartoon picture of a turkey and kinda going off of that.

This turkey is cute........Chocolate Chocolate Chip cake (again) and topped with a Chocolate Ganache..........yummy I understand...........

However, this is NOT what peaked my interest. See I have been wondering if I can make something REALISTIC - I do the replica stuff and it is fun and less nerve-racking then I would expect, but there is this voice that says "can you do the stuff you see on TV?"........and then I saw this totally cool picture of a roasted turkey with veggies..........hmmmm.....we were going to relatives for the meal and wouldn't that be fun to bring - because goodness knows I would never ever agree to do a cake for someone saying "sure I can do realistic" without having done it first!!

So to see how easy/hard it might be I decided to make some fondant veggies. There were a bunch of cake with fondant work this you can see peas for future baby shower pea pods, pumpkins, apples, leaves.....but those other things are carrots, potatoes, green beans and my kids TOTAL favorite - brussell sprouts (just kiddin' - my kids hate those).

After making them the next day I came back and painted them. If I had painted them when they were freshly made the paint/water would have made it all kinda mushy. So I thought I would wait a cool are they now? I chopped the carrots up - that was the plan all along - I kept them to dry in their "big" shape so they would stay the right size.

Next was to start the turkey itself. First I lined the bottom of a roasting pan with cake. It kinda crumbled, but I didn't care since it was the "bottom". I just wanted to get a little height off the bottom of the pan to give a wider base for the turkey.

Then I added a round bottomed cake. I used a glass mixing bowl to make this. It is a nice way to get a sweet rounded shape.

With a smaller glass mixing bowl I did another round - just smaller - so that I could have that shape too. These will be the drum sticks. I trimmed both the pieces.........sorry my hands were messy with cake and I couldn't take a picture......

Then I Dirty Iced the cake pieces. Leaving indents in the areas between the base of the turkey and the turkey legs. Doesn't look like a turkey yet? Well keep going......

While waiting for the icing to set so I could put more on top without getting crumbs in it - I made some stuffing. I diced leftover cake into pieces - set the oven to 225 - then popped the cut up pieces into the oven for 30 minutes to dry out.
Guess what this is????? Yep - STUFFING!! Can't have a real bird without the stuffing.
The next step was to give the bird some skin It is kinda creepy looking like this. I did the fondant in a skin tone - then dropped it on the bird shaped cake.
PERFECT edges thank you!!
Course this isn't really like it has a "edge", but there were NO significant cracks of any sort what so ever..............whooo hoooo...........I am getting better at this stuff.
Cool right?? So I took out my trusty paint brush and some coloring tints - painted the skin yellow first - then went over it with brown - that made a kinda gushy surface and I stippled the surface until the sugar started to re dry......if I had stopped before the sugar started to dry back up then the bird would have had a more glazy look and not so much a baked one.

Then after all that I cut a hunk out of the side of the cake. All that work right? Dropped some stuffing into the hole - filled in the empty spaces around the turkey with more stuffing and then put the veggies in.

AWESOME!! I am so excited about taking this to the Family Feast!! And I can guarantee that not a single one of my kids is going to complain when I say "eat a green bean please".
Happy Thanksgiving!!

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Falling Leaves Tree

Here is another fun cake that I put out for the Craft Show Bakery. It was a fun and simple cake. I am starting to realize that sometimes I can take the fondant pieces and use them on top of a buttercream'd cake and make it look pretty cool. Making fondant pieces is super simple compared to trying to cover a cake in total fondant.

In the end the cake was very cute and sold pretty quickly. I even had someone ask for a second one..........which I would post with this one if I could get the printer to cooperate with me. Dang technology. The second cake I layed the fondant pieces on before they had hardened - so they melded into one another more and they ended up looking more like a cap of fondant laying on top of the cake. It was very cool - oh, and I also painted the pieces with gold glitter - so they twinkled a bit.
This cake was Pumpkin Spice with a Cinnamon Buttercream icing and Vanilla Fondant pieces over the top. Very delish!!

Monday, November 22, 2010

With a Cherry On Top

How TOTALLY cute is this? I saw this in a picture and thought, "Hey I have some leftover brown and red fondant!!" and I needed to decorate a few cupcakes for a "thing" so why not.

I used a cute cake paper that lent itself to Ice Cream Sundae (or was that just in my head - I mean the paper is perfect right?)........and topped it off with a buttercream to look ice creamy.......and then fudge and a cherry. There was also a surprise on the inside - Cinnamon Cream Cheese Filling - yummmiiieeee!!!

Too Cute!!

The cupcake is a White Cake filled with Cinnamon Cream Cheese inside - topped with a Vanilla Buttercream and deocrated with Vanilla Fondant.

Sunday, November 21, 2010

Chocolate Ganache as an Icing......ooooohhhhhh

I saw something like this in a picture on the internet. No idea what kind of cake it was, but the overlay was a Dark Chocolate Ganache like this one. Then they also had a tree on it in these sorts of colors, but it was all done in fondant.......and I didn't feel much like messing with coloring fondant - sooo soooo sooooo much easier to color buttercream icing.

In the end it turned out very cute. The dark background is a nice change for the effect of colors to play off of. The cake was bought from the Craft Bakery by a friend and she raved about how great the moistness inside was. My guess is that once the chocolate hardened NONE of the moisture got out - keeping it nice and moist inside. She loved it so much that she asked a larger one to share with her family on Thanksgiving. I am totally curious about eating a piece of this cake now.........maybe it will show up at one of my families events. Yeah, yeah, I know - test the things you give away - I do, but not ENCASED in chocolate - I just put a bit of ganache on a piece of cake and tasted - yum - but I think that sitting combined for a few hours like this and then tasting would be way different. You know - that flavor combo of a layer cake after the cake has had a chance to mesh into the icing that is between the layers? That is the BEST part!!
This particular cake was Marble on the inside and Chocolate Ganache on the outside - and buttercream for the decorations.

Friday, November 19, 2010

Perfect Fondant Edges - FINALLY!!

Tah Dah!!!!!! I have been working so hard each time I do a fondant cover to get the edges perfect with minimal notice my goal is NOT even to try to keep the fondant from cracking at all......Geez O I would be totally happy with just a little cracking - but generally I get a TON of cracking up the side from the base and or off the edge - but not this time......

I was sooo sooo pleased. And just a few minutes earlier I had been finishing off another cake for the Craft Show Bakery Table and I had been growling loudly enough that Dave shuttled all the children out of the kitchen - possibly for their safety, but most likely just in case a curse word escaped my lips. See the BEAUTIFUL curve over the edge into the base!!!!

Do You Hear that???? Listen really really closely............yes, it is.........Angels are singing that very high pitched song that you hear in movies and stuff when there is a total moment of ZEN!!

AAAAAHHHHHHHHH!!!!!!!!! Now the real trick.........can I do it again???

This cake was a Pumpkin Spice cake with a Cinnamon Buttercream icing underneath a Vanilla Fondant......yummy!!!! It sold.....yea!

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Hostess Wanna Be's

Okay so the last post hinted at this..........but I didn't want to give it away too soon. When I was doing the Baby Shower Surprise cupcakes Dave was lurking around tasting things. He loved the center filling of the cucpakes and noticed that there was some left. I also had chocolate cake batter left and we were headed to a party the next day.............he asked nicely what I might be doing with all that left over stuff. And so I did this for Dave (mostly).

Baked out the batter into cupcakes - hollowed them out using my dorky makeshift tools (I did though go to the store to get a cupcake corer - apparently they are all the rage and the store sold out - can you say Christmas list?). Filled the cupcakes with the yummy goo - but I topped the hole with a tiny bit of buttercream to seal it smoothly...........because.............

I made a Chocolate Ganache and topped the cupcakes with it. The ganache becomes solid and takes on the fudgy texture similar to a Hostess cupcake. But I didn't want the ganache sinking into the hole with the filling............thus the cap.

Then I took some buttercream and made the swirlies. Perhaps I could be sued for copyright - but really isn't the saying......Imitation is the Sincerest Form of Flattery?

And OH MY GOODNESS..........I am not a huge chocolate person, but this cupcake had the perfect blend of chocolate, not too over the top sweet because of the semi sweet chocolate ganache and the creamy filling. I think we will totally be seeing these cupcakes at bake sales!!
These were a Chocolate Chocolate Chip cake with a Cream Cheese Marshmallow filling and a Chocolate Ganache top..........perfect!!

Monday, November 15, 2010

Baby Shower Surprise

Cupcakes are very wanted these days - guess is it the no fuss no mess thing they bring. You can skip plates, forks and only use a napkin for cupcakes. But sometimes the center icing melded into cake part of a cake is the BEST part - so fillings are becoming popular. Often people ask me if I have a giant syringe that I put the filling in with............nope..........I use this.........a candy thermometer sheath and a sharp stick - usually a skewer.

I take a bunch of perfect cupcakes and poke the plastic tube in, twist and pull out the cake. Then use the skewer to make the cake drop out. I get a bunch of cupcakes with holes. Then I fill the holes up.

Cover the top with some fondant and the person biting into them never knows about the surprise........until the hit it. Everyone loves a surprise right?

Now this particular set of cakes was going to a baby shower. And the mom to be had a cute idea of how to surprise the guests in telling them the sex of the baby. Only when she went to her doctors appointment the baby turned on them and hide the surprise of what he/she was. When she called to tell me that she sounded so sad and I felt kinda I whipped up some fondant baby bottles to put on top of the cakes. Nothing overly creative - I only had 20 minutes to make 24 bottles. So they are mildly basic - but you get the idea.

So here was what the final product looked like - I didn't put the bottles on because I didn't ask her if I could. Instead I brought the bottles and gifted them to her and let her decide.
Normal cupcake right?

Surprise!!!! It's a boy cupcake!! (Yes I know stereotypes stereotypes)...........

I kept one cupcake back to taste and put a baby bottle on this one for my own use. So - again - normal cupcake.........

Surprise!!! It's a Girl!!!!
Too bad it didn't work out for her - this would have been a super cute thing to do. I hear now that it is very popular.
There were 24 cupcakes. Half were Milk Chocolate with a Chocolate Buttercream icing - the other 12 were White Silk cake with a Vanilla Buttercream icing. The filling on all of them was a Cream Cheese Marshmallow...........tasted a smidge more delicious then the center of a Hostess Cupcake.

Saturday, November 13, 2010

Kaylyn's Colorful Cake

Okay this cake STARTED colorful. I mean when I finished with the Red Velvet mix it was popping out of the pan Red!! I had never really completely followed a Red Velvet recipe - always thinking that 2oz of red dye seemed over the top. This time - since it was for a friends daughter - I thought I would go the whole 9 yards. OHMYGOODNESS is this red??

So I totally doused that with some plain old Vanilla temper that eye popping color. Well and also so that I could add more color that would pop off.

Because Miss Kaylyn is a very colorful and sweet girl. To match her personality it was decided that she would have various colors and a cute whimsical cake. I think we hit that - how about you?
I created a banner out of fondant - the number 14 out of fondant - and then strung some fondant beading onto wire for a kinda fun addition. Although honestly I think another tier would have matched the wire beading a smidge better. Next years birthday right?
This cake was obvious Red Velvet cake and covered in a Vanilla Buttercream and some Vanilla Fondant.

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Kalee's Flowers

These cupcakes were for a neighbor. Her daughter went off to college this year and on this particular weekend she was home visiting. Molly wanted to send her off with some cute cupcakes to share with her roomies in the dorm.

She said "simple colorful flowers". At first I thought lots of different colors, but then my own daughter said I should do the "team" colors for her college. Red and White it was.

So I made a few cupcakes - popped on some cute red and white flowers (although the white ones are somewhat invisible against the buttercream) and pretty cupcakes were born.
These cupcakes were Strawberry cake with a Vanilla Buttercream icing. Yum!! If you mix a bit of strawberry puree into the buttercream these will taste almost exactly like a Strawberry shortcake!

Sunday, November 7, 2010

Fall Color Cupcakes

It is FALL!! My favorite season. I think I have worn a hoodie sweat shirt every "non-I am supposed to look somewhat professional at this event" I have attended since the start of the chill. So it is fun to segue my love for fall into cupcakes. These cupcakes I made for our school districts United Way luncheon. My friend basically said, "Whatever you want to make with a fall theme". Which always freaks me out...........too much creative license...........but after asking some key questions I got an idea.

Fondant was the main ingredient for the decorations. I have been considering learning to do gum paste because I understand I can roll that out thinner. Not this day though - went with what I know. Tinted the fondant various colors of fall.

Rolled the apples out first - shaped them in an almost perfect circle and then poked a hole in the top and popped a piece of brown in for a stem.

Then the pumpkins came next - rolled the orange out........

Rolled them into big ole imperfect balls - because when have you ever seen a perfectly round pumpkin? then I used the pizza cutter you see to the right to run lines from top to bottom in no perfect order. Not deeply.

Because then I took one of my fondant tools and deepened the grove - yet at the same time it smoothed the groove - not cutting sharply into the fondant. Poked a hole in the top.

and then popped a brown piece of fondant in for the stem. No broken off pumpkin stems here baby.

For the leaves I took Green, Red, Yellow, Mustard, Orange and Brown fondant. I should have documented this, but there were kids starting to mill a bit and I was scattering them away. Forgot pics. So I rolled the colors in log shapes - lined them up next to one another - rolled them out with a rolling pin - folded them over one another - rolled them out - repeat repeat until I had the color pattern I wanted - then I used leaf shape cookie cutters.

And Tah Dah............the Apple Cupcakes turned out soooo sooo cute! I used some of the leftover leaf fondant to chop into tiny pieces. Then I scattered the small pieces onto the cupcakes without leaves.

Tah Dah...............The Pumpkin Cupcakes!! See the scattered leaves again? I thought that tied all 3 cupcakes into one another - made them look more connected.

Tah Dah.........and finally one of the Fall Leaf cupcakes. I have to admit I held my head up when I completed these.
The cupcakes were 24 - half were Chocolate Chocolate Chip with a Vanilla Buttercream icing - the other 12 were Pumpkin with a Cinnamon Buttercream icing. People actually called from the event wondering about them!!