Saturday, June 27, 2009

New York Cake

This cake was for someone's going away lunch at work. She recently returned from a trip to New York and talked about how much she loved the city, so it seemed like a safe bet. I wanted to try some chocolate work for this one, and the Whimsical Bakehouse has a great city scene in their book that helped me with the structure and chocolate tips.

The top tier is a double layer 6 inch white cake and the bottom is a double layer 9 inch chocolate cake. Both tiers have cookies and cream buttercream filling (which I should have never tasted--I ate a LOT of the leftovers and think about it every 20 seconds or so since's definitely my new favorite flavor) and the entire cake is covered with vanilla buttercream frosting. The chocolate is mostly just different colors of vanilla bark piped over images I found on the internet.

It was hard to photograph because there is a lot going on all around the cake, but hopefully the idea comes across. The colors of the cake move up from a green to blue to navy/purplish for a night scene. It was time consuming, but not difficult. The biggest issue I had was scale; my first set of chocolate pieces were so large I couldn't use them, so I now have an extra Statue of Liberty in the freezer...

Sunday, June 21, 2009

Chocolate malt cupcakes

Heather made these and I decided to try them for Father's Day since Lowell likes the flavors. I really whipped the frosting a long time because I was tweaking the flavor and probably got too much air in it, but the taste is wonderful. Thanks, Heather!

On the jewelry front, I ordered sterling silver sheet and pitch yesterday so that I could 1) actually try out Janice's foldforming tutorial and 2) try some chasing in the pitch bowl I have had for at least a year and never used. So hopefully in the coming weeks, I will have some jewelry to post for a change!

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

At the dog park

When the phone rings early on a weekend, I know the chances are likely that it's Susan calling from the dog park while Malish plays. She is extremely busy, but that is when she has some down time and can call. She is visiting this week and we have been so happy to spend time with Susan, Malish, and Sergei. I couldn't visit her empty-handed! So this is her cake...what else could the theme be?

White cake, buttercream frosting, marshmallow fondant. The grass is buttercream frosting and Susan, Malish, the dog bone and leash are all made from fondant.

Sunday, June 14, 2009

Sunflower cupcakes

These were for Ben's class picnic. I adapted the design from one in the Hello Cupcake! book, using buttercream frosting and "Newman O's" cookies (Sara has finally freaked me out enough about hydrogenated fats that I had the Oreos in my hand and took them back. Thanks, Sara, for giving me one more thing to be paranoid about!!). Some of the decorations in the book call for fruit candies, which work, but take a lot of time to do. It was much easier to pipe some of those decorations with a leaf tip. I was pretty happy with how they turned out, and they quickly disappeared, so I will take that as a good sign!

Saturday, June 6, 2009

Chocolate wrap

I have wanted to try this for a while. Since Sara and I made what seemed like a million cupcakes yesterday afternoon, I stole a couple of them to try wrapping them with chocolate.

I started with two cupcakes and used a circle cutter to shape them.

We didn't have any leftover frosting, so I used melting chocolate as a middle layer and topping. (I had to add isn't in me to leave something sprinkle-less!).

Time for the chocolate wrap: I spread melting chocolate on a sheet of acetate (I had pre-measured this to be sure it fit around the cake without overlapping). After that, I just wrapped the cake and used tape it to secure it. I was sure this was going to be a disaster, but it was really easy!

I put the cake in the fridge to speed up the cooling process, removed the acetate, and decorated. The final result:

Not bad. Next time, I will be more precise with the chocolate--it ended up being very tall and I cut some away (and chipped it, as the picture shows).

Garden cupcakes

Yesterday, Sara and I had a cupcake extravaganza. She got an entire cupcake set up for her birthday, including decorating materials, courier, and a book with decorating ideas. We decided to put it to use and selected the "garden party" cupcakes (page 140 from the Hello, Cupcake! book). Here is the set up we had to make them:

...and what we ended up with. Pretty cute!

Thursday, June 4, 2009

Cheesecake Bites

Ben and I made these last night--I was in charge of all the up-front work, and he handled all of the decoration. They are made from cheesecake rolled into balls, coated in graham cracker crumbs, then dipped in chocolate and decorated. They take quite a while to make--and can be extremely messy!!--because the cheesecake has to be chilled in between steps, but it was worth it. I got the recipe for these from Bakerella's blog.