Wednesday, December 9, 2009

Giving Thanks for Little Things

Most specifically for one small daughter who was born just before Thanksgiving last year, and whose birthday we celebrated on Thanksgiving this year. Since we were doing a Thanksgiving celebration a Thanksgiving cake seemed in order. And a brand spanking new recipe that marks my first success at recipe creation. I will share the recipe soon. For now however I want to quickly post the pictures of sweet Cadence’s birthday cake before launching into holiday treats later this week. Now when I conceived of this Thanksgiving idea I started to think of things that are typically representative of Thanksgiving.What comes to mind? Well a turkey first of all, but somehow that didn’t seem right for this sweet little bit of humanity that has blessed us for the past year. Then I thought about blessings and giving thanks and by golly I had it. A Cornucopia. The horn of plenty representative of the abundant blessings for which we celebrate and give thanks. Perfect. On to the carving. This is a spice pound cake that just seemed to fit the season. And the decorating. I’m telling you, basket weave on a

tapered and curved object is no easy task, but I prevailed.
And the detail work.
There must be plenty spilling from the horn. In this case the fruit and vegetables are modeled from marzipan and hand painted.

And here is a cake overflowing with love for my little girl.

Sunday, November 22, 2009

Lego Constuction

My friend's son was having a 6th birthday party on Saturday and requested a Lego cake. He loves Legos. And he loves chocolate. So that is what he got. This is the same chocolate cake I used for the Pocket Dragon, and filled with ganache. To get the clean plastic lines you see in legos I used fondant for this cake.

The challenge here is the lining up of different colors without gaps or crooked seams.

And trying to make the corners as sharp as possible.
And then my husband (an avid lego lover) piped up and asked me if I was going to put the logo on them. What? I didn't even know there was a logo. So he brought me some and I busted out my magnifying glass to read the tiny embossed LEGO printed on each of the little dots. Well that settled it.
This cake was for a lego-loving six year old and must be authentic.
I finished it off with a little steam to make the fondant plastic-like shiny and
topped it with a lego 6.

Stack up the Legos and you have a sweet chocolate treat disguised as a little boy's favorite toy.

Thursday, October 8, 2009

Double Batch

Several months ago I volunteered to make cupcakes for a post Parade Barbecue for a dog therapy group. They were going to be dog cupcakes that represented each dog in the group. This was before my oven broke. After my oven broke I was still going to make them...just at my mom's house and she was supposed to help me at least watch my children while I worked. Then my mother got injured and there was no way she could help me, but that wasn't going to stop me. I was still going to bake them in the neighbor's (best neighbor ever!!) oven like I've done the whole time the oven was broken. Then I got a message from an old friend asking if I could do 30 cupcakes for a baby shower the same day. Glutton for punishment? Nah. I just like a good challenge! She said the theme was birds and nests with colors of turquoise and chocolate and a design immediately popped into my head. I simply HAD to try my hand at it. And I was making cupcakes anyway, what's a couple dozen more? Fortunately the design I had in mind for the baby shower involved hand modeled chocolate which could be done ahead (we won't talk about how I dumped the tray on the floor after it was done and chilling in the refrigerator and had to start over...I still almost cry thinking about all those hours of work), and meant that most of the decorating work was done and I would only have to place the decorations on the freshly baked cupcakes, thereby saving me plenty of time for the dozen-odd different dog designs I had promised. Then (loud cheers) the oven part came in!! So at least I could use my own oven. We had a very touching reunion as I baked five dozen cupcakes in two flavors to gently break it back in. The dog cupcakes were a fabulous delicate white/spiced strawberry that surpassed the cake I used for the flower cupcakes in August. And the baby shower cupcakes were Red Velvet. The aroma of those Red Velvet cupcakes was so heavenly that I almost refused to let them out of the house! Sweet home-baked perfume. Seriously if someone hadn't been paying (yep, it was my first paid job) for them I think I would have kidnapped them and eaten them all myself while wafting the cocoa-buttermilk scented goodness into every corner of my home.

I didn't get pictures of the undecorated doggie cakes because my camera had dead batteries by the time I got to them, but here is some of the finished product.
They absolutely loved them and everybody got their own dog, we didn't however share with the dogs. They had to satisfy themselves with dog treats.

Red Velvet with Cream cheese frosting.

I made a couple of different designs so they would look good displayed on the cupcake tower.

The main design- hand modeled chocolate branches and bird dusted with luster dust.

A couple other designs to keep it interesting. The flowers are rolled fondant, again painted with luster dust.

Now aren't those just the best cupcakes ever? (Okay I admit I'm biased)

And just because this was a professional job and I thought it was fun, I drew a logo on the box.

Tuesday, September 22, 2009


So my oven has been broken for the past three months, but has that stopped me from wanting to bake....of course not, so I borrowed the neighbor's oven for all my recent projects. And I thought I'd try out non-baking dessert recipes, after all they would fall in the confections category. I haven't done much lately though because nothing stops my cooking mojo like a messy kitchen. I must have a clean, tidy kitchen to start or I just fizzle, I'm weird like that. And what did I decide to do when my oven went down? Well it seemed like the perfect opportunity to re-organize my counter space which was never really organized to begin with as I was somewhat distracted from kitchen organization when we moved into this house by the need to get the rest of the house baby ready. And of course that project managed to spread and NO cooking, baking, stirring, or creating was getting done until it was finished. Unfortunately I am also slightly weird in that I don't have a lot of motivation to finish organizing or cleaning or any such thing if there is no reason, ie: something to bake, and my life therefore has spiraled out of control. Okay so it wasn't really that bad, but my re-organization of the counters really took so much longer than it should have which left me with not only nothing to bake, but a chaotic kitchen which is overall quite depressing. The moral of this story? Don't deprive me of an oven!! In order to fill the void of motivation left by the gaping hole where my oven panel belongs and the clutter that was supposed to be being organized I turned to finding way too many recipes to try out...and I fully intend to try them all very soon. (I actually have test a couple of non-oven related ones and I'll get to writing about those soon) However I have managed to finish organizing my counter space into a oh so much more recipe producing friendly layout and my oven is fixed!! (I installed the part myself too *bows* "thank you, thank you") So my kitchen shall start churning out an abundance of sweet treats, well, now.

Stay tuned for the most amazing cupcakes you've ever seen (no I'm not biased, why do you ask?)

Saturday, August 29, 2009

One Dragon's journey from Cake to Cute

My mom's birthday was August 25th and of course I was going to make her a cake. I decided this year that she deserved an extra special cake.
Now you must understand that my mom loves dragons.

Particularly these cute little guys.

These are called pocket dragons and they reside in corners and shelves throughout my mother's library.

And this one was the inspiration for her birthday cake.

It started with several layers of a rich, dense,moist and super yummy chocolate cake.

Then the carving started.

As the face took shape I really started getting excited about how he would turn out.
Then his wings and legs.

And his cute little tail and bumps down the back.Isn't he cute!
Next came a crumb coating.
And the decorating began


a pocket dragon on a book. And of course the book reads "Happy Birthday Mama" in dragon runes.

The best part....he's 100% cake a support and no fondant. Okay the eyes are chocolate:)

Monday, August 24, 2009

Coffee and Cheese?

Okay not really, but these sweet decadent little cups sure do look like espresso. They are in actuality, chocolate-butterscotch and dark chocolate Pots de Creme.

Insanely thick, rich and creamy,
they go rather well with coffee.

So do these...

After all what goes better with coffee that cheese...cake. Which happens to be one of my all time favorite foods! So I am particularly partial to these little beauties.

New York Cheesecake (the classic) with sweet little fondant flowers...

or even better....
Chocolate cheesecake decorated with cream cheese frosting and raspberries. These are sinfully rich, heavenly scrumptious and perfectly elegant...and I ate them all.

Saturday, August 22, 2009

Scrumptious Blossoms

This is the project that pushed me over the edge. I had determined that if it was successful and with favorable reactions I would go public :) Which I have now done. We made over a hundred cupcakes for my friend's little girl's first birthday and had them all look like flowers with butterflies and ladybugs. They were yellow cake with strawberry puree and the most yummy cream cheese frosting.

And then there was the birthday girl's own special cupcake

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Inspiration Abounding

Okay so enough people have told me to go pro that I'm gonna give it a try. Especially after successfully producing (with help...thanks girls that was fun) over a hundred flower cupcakes that met with many rave reviews both on decoration and content. So I have been taking stock of my current equipment, talent and recipes and I am becoming excited about the possibilities! Cheesecake anyone? Individual, beautifully decorated cheesecakes....unique, one of a kind cupcakes? My imagination is spinning! Now all I need is someone to bake for....oh yeah and a working oven. Hmm I'll have to get on that. In the mean time photos will soon be up and maybe a few new projects I have tumbling around in my head will go into the nieghbor's oven. It is easy to borrow an oven when you promise yummy stuff in return :)