Wednesday, August 3, 2011

Cakes, Trucks and 18 months

Well, it has officially been over a year and a half since I even touched this blog! The baking, that hasn't stopped!

There have been some busy times where I haven't baked anything but I always make room for a little bit here and there.

Lately I have been doing more cakes than before. In the past, making a cake involved opening a box, throwing in 2-3 ingredients and calling it a day. It was always a 9x13 boring cake. That technique has gone far away. I have now made numerous layered cakes and can't wait to share more about them!

This first one was a challenge. Here is a little back story on how I ended up making a shaped cake...for a wedding...with out practicing beforehand!

I bring cupcakes to work all the time. When we have potlucks or other events I am always the one to bring the sweets. I enjoy making new things for my co-workers. There are those who would eat anything you put in front of them and then there are those who are going to be brutally honest. It makes for a good mix and critique of the cupcakes.

A few months ago one of my co-workers wanted me to make his daughter's wedding cake. 3 layer, white, scrolling detail WEDDING CAKE! That is a lot of pressure. I made a test run cake. It looked horrible but tasted amazing. She liked how it tasted but went with an actual bakery to get the cake. (Thank goodness!). I thought I was in the clear on cake making for that event. A couple weeks later he asked if I would make the groom's cake. I said sure, thinking, this won't be nearly as stressful!

Well, the cake she had in mind was a truck. An 18-wheeler! Hauling pipes. In chocolate. No fondant, just buttercream. I panicked. My work schedule was so hectic I couldn't do a trial run. I sketched, I planned, I searched for inspiration, I studied the photos of the actual truck and then before I knew it...It was time to make this cake.

I see flaws, many many flaws. But they loved it. And it tasted great. The doors on the truck really get to me. My main struggle was the fact she didn't want fondant or another type of frosting. Coloring a few pieces here and there was the best I could do at that time.

Take a look. Thoughts??

Since then, I have retired my carved cake days for now. It was a lot of stress and I don't think I am quite to that level yet! I will stick with the cupcakes and layered cakes like this one I made for my mom's birthday:

Baking in general may have to wait a month or so. Baking on a 110 degree day isn't the smartest of smarts!

What have you baked lately?

Monday, January 18, 2010

Red Velvet Cupcake Recipe

With Valentine's Day quickly approaching, I thought I would share a Red Velvet Cupcake recipe with you.

• 2 1/2 cups all purpose flour
• 2 cups sugar
• 1/2 cup baking cocoa (powdered)
• 1 teaspoon baking powder
• 1/4 teaspoon salt
• 1 teaspoon baking soda
• 2 sticks butter at room temperature
• 5 large eggs
• 1 cup buttermilk (see note at bottom)
• 1 teaspoon vanilla
• 1 teaspoon red food coloring (I usually use a bit more!)

Combine flour, cocoa, baking powder, baking soda and salt in a mixing bowl. Sift dry ingredients three times.

Cream together butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Add eggs one at a time, making sure to beat well after each egg.

Add 1/4 of dry ingredients to creamed mixture then approximately 1/4 of buttermilk alternating until mixed well. Mix in vanilla and food coloring.

Fill lined cupcake pans 1/2 full of red velvet batter. Bake in a preheated 350 degree oven for approximately 20 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. (I rotate the cupcakes after 10 minutes)

Cool cupcakes in pans for 5 to 10 minutes then remove from pans. Cool completely on wire racks before frosting.

NOTE: If you don't happen to have buttermilk on hand you can try this simple substitution. Place one tablespoon of lemon juice or white vinegar in an empty one cup measuring cup. Fill with milk to 1 cup. Let stand for 5 minutes then use in any cake recipe that calls for buttermilk.

This recipe is from I haven't tried this one out but it is almost identical to ones I have made. I ended up using quite a bit more red food coloring. I was using the gel food color so I don't know if that is why they didn't turn out red. They only had the slightest red tint.
For these cupcakes you can use just about any type of frosting. The frosting that is used most often is cream cheese frosting. You could of course put a small amount of red food coloring in the frosting to make it a pretty pink shade and of course very festive!
Check out these gorgeous cupcakes from Bakeaholic! If you click the link you can find another Red velvet Recipe.

I love the little heart cut outs!

Alright. Now you have a recipe. Get Baking!

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

I am slacking! Coming back in full force!

I feel so bad! The holiday season turned out to be a very busy time and my poor cupcakes and cupcake blog have been abandoned for almost two months now. My bouquet biz and the still fairly new day job have kept me very busy.

Since my last post I have made a few different types of cupcakes (sadly no pictures at this time though, I took pictures just don't have my jump drive with me!).

This evening I am breaking out the mixing bowls, paper liners and flour to make two new kinds of cupcakes! The flavors will be 1: Strawberry and 2: Chocolate and Peanut Butter.

I will be sure to take some pictures!

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Cupcake Fact #2

In the United Kingdom, cupcakes are sometimes called Fairy Cakes.

Monday, November 23, 2009

Recipe of the Week - Chocolate Ganache Frosting

When the intro before the recipe reads, "Achieving the perfect consistency can be tricky" I should know to step away and not try it so late at night.

I made some really yummy Devil's Food Cupcakes (I will be posting pictures later this week) for my co-workers. It was my little Thanksgiving gift to them. The cupcakes turned out really well and pretty moist. The frosting however, was a failure. I tend to have issues with the frosting (first the 7-minute one and now the ganache). The Chocolate Curls also didn't want to cooperate, but that is a whole other story.

The following is the recipe I used for the frosting. It never really set up, it was a runny, sticky mess. I thought I would share it with everyone and maybe someone can give me a pointer on what I did wrong. So if you get it to turn out, let me know!

(This is what it ended up looking like. Chocolate Soup. Guess all I needed was a straw and I would have been good to go!)
Chocolate Ganache Frosting
Makes about 4 cups

1 pound good-quality bittersweet chocolate, finely chopped
2 1/3 cups heavy cream
1/4 cup corn syrup
Place chocolate in a large heatproof bowl. Bring cream and corn syrup just to a simmer over medium-high heat; pour mixture over chocolate. Let stand, without stirring, until chocolate begins to melt.

Beginning near the center and working outward, stir melted chocolate into cream until mixture is combined and smooth (do not overstir).

Refrigerate, stirring every 5 minutes, until frosting just barely begins to hold its shape and is slightly lighter in color. Use immediately (ganache will continue to thicken after you stop stirring).
(It ended up being over 2 hours of cooling and stirring before I was even able to spread a little bit on the dang cupcakes...Good Luck!)
Recipe came from martha stewart

Sunday, November 22, 2009

Happy People eating Happy Cupcakes

Every North Dallas Etsy Team meeting I bring my cupcakes to 'test' them out. Doesn't seem they mind so much!

Denise from TeddyStartedIt and Katrina from Katemajoie humor me for a quick picture at our Thanksgiving Potluck!

Friday, November 20, 2009

Cupcake Topper Finds

For Today’s Friday Finds I set out to find some cute toppers! Cupcake toppers are a quick and easy way to add some color to your cupcakes. Someday I hope to have a large collection of little trinkets to add to my creations. Right now I stick to colored frosting and sprinkles! Once I perfect some icing decorating techniques I shall start my cupcake topper stash.

Check out these Etsy Finds. Head to their stores to stock up on all your favorites for your next baking adventure.

I love all things that come in cute little bird form. Check out these toppers from GiftsDefine Also, check out her adorable blog

I love seeing all of the non-traditional pieces bride's are incorporating into their wedding. (Especially my bouquets!!) I think it is great that people are willing to break away from the mold. Check out these cute bride and groom wedding cucpake toppers from GooseGrease

Another great option is to get some paper, customized toppers like these from SevenCupcakes There are sets you can print yourself too!

Ok, so I know these are pins in a pin cushion..But how cute would it be to have something like this on cupcake. A Cupcake, cupcake topper. Cute! You can find them on GigiMinor's Etsy Shop

I saw this little cupcake topper doll and fell in love. How cute is she?! The little dress is perfect. Check out this topper and more at WeeCuteTreasures

Lastly, I had to put these on this post. They are buttons...made out of SUGAR! Sometimes when people see my button bouquets in person, they think they are made out of sugar. So when I found these little cupcake decorations, I was super excited! HeyYoYo has a whole bunch of amazing decorations! I could spend hours in the shop starring at all the goodies.