I made the most delicious cake for my grandpa's 81st birthday. I finally found the best homemade chocolate frosting using the recipe on the back of Hershey's special dark chocolate cocoa powder container. The dark chocolate buttercream paired with fresh raspberries is heavenly =) I made the 81 using chocolate molding clay. To make chocolate "clay", melt 10 oz of chocolate in a double-broiler, once melted transfer to bowl and add 1/3 cup of light corn syrup. I immediately poured the mixture into a ziplock bag, cut a small hole in corner of bag and drew the 81 on parchment paper. I put the chocolate in the freezer to stiffen until we were ready to sing :)
June 9, 2010
May 19, 2010
For mother's day I made sunflower cupcakes and they looked great, but tasted ehhh. I used the Martha Stewart devil's food cupcake recipe and I wouldn't make it again because it was too dry. I have made her chocolate cupcakes in the past and they are incredible so I will stick with that from now on. These cupcakes are so easy to make. I made buttercream from scratch using this recipe and it was A-mazing! I also made cream cheese frosting, but wouldn't use that again because it gets runny really fast.
April 15, 2010
Today I was a contestant in my first cake competition. My university's library held an "edible book" contest in which there were five categories: Best Adult Book, Best Children's Book, Best Pun, Best Theme, and Best Overall. The only rules were 1.) It had to be edible and 2.) it had to be based on a book. My sister, a 3rd grade teacher, is currently reading Charlie and the Chocolate Factory with her gifted students and suggested that I use this theme. I agreed being that there was so much I could do using this theme, but my biggest incentive was the fact that I could make little oompa loompas! Sorry, the image is blurry, but they are so cute! I used gum paste to make them and white icing for the eyebrows.
Next, when I think of Willy Wonka, I think tons of color and candy. So going off of this, I decided to use a tier cake with purple on the bottom and pink on top. Learning from past mistakes (cakes caving in!), I used wooden dowels and cardboard to separate the tiers and give the top tier more support.
My newest obsession is TLC's Ultimate Cakeoff. After watching one episode talking about chocolate modeling clay, I became very interested in this phenomenon and went on a Google frenzy figuring out how to make it. To make chocolate modeling clay you will need 10 oz of semi-sweet chocolate and 1/3 cup of light corn syrup. Simply melt the chocolate, stir in the syrup and then spread on wax paper about 1/2 inch thick for a few hours to dry. Once it is ready, it is very easy to mold into any shape you need and can even be rolled out like fondant! And tastes much better than fondant! This is how I made the chocolate waterfall. I added chocolate frosting on top of this to add dimension.
Okay back to today's competition. I competed in the Children's Book category and Best Overall category. The competition was intense, with professional cake bakers in attendance and over 54 cakes! The competition was held on campus and open to student voting. I was runner up for the Best Overall category, receiving an "honorable mention" and a cook book. Being that this was my first competition, I was ecstatic to even be mentioned. The judges approached me after they announced all the winners and told me that my cake was phenomenal and there were only a handful of votes separating me from 1st place. Yay =)
I'm ready for my next competition!!
April 11, 2010
I just wanted to share some of the pages I made for my sister's scrapbook. As a wedding gift to her, I made a "Sisters" scrapbook that was a lot of fun to make and something she could have forever. I made each page a theme and kept the book in chronological order, starting from when she read to me as a baby to college graduation. I bought a regular scrapbook from Michaels and then covered it in this fabric and attached ribbon for it to tie together at the side.
My favorite quote on the next page: "Side by side or miles apart a sister will always be close to heart"
"I'm Tying the Knot....Buy Me A Shot!"
Since the Landshark cake was such a hit, my other friend asked me to make a cake for her. The cake was for her boyfriend's birthday and she told me that he likes Harley Davidson and plays the guitar. I thought it would be cool to make the cake shaped like a guitar with a Harley theme. When I think of Harley, I think of orange, black, and red and designed the cake around this. I covered the cake with fondant and then painted it black since it is very hard to color the fondant black by kneading it in. I used Wilton's food coloring and mixed it with a little vodka to paint and it took about 12 hours to dry. The flames are made of fondant with Wilton's red pearl dust on the edges. Also, I have found Duncan Hines is the best to use when fondanting because it is denser than the other boxed cakes. As for frosting, make sure to frost the cake and allow it to chill in the fridge before fondanting so that it firms and the fondant doesn't take the shape of the frosting underneath.
My friend asked me to help her make a cake for her boyfriend's birthday. Since his favorite beer is Landshark, we decided to try to make him a cake shaped like a landshark bottle. It was my first time making a cake where I needed to cut out the shape and fondant it. I think it came out great! The only problem I had was the fondant cracking and I think this was from using corn starch with the fondant instead of powder sugar. Also make sure to have Crisco nearby to keep on your hands when kneading the fondant. The cake as decorated using Wilton's icing writers.
March 13, 2010
My second experience using fondant turned out better than the first! I designed and made this cake for my grandma's birthday and she absolutely loved it! Next time I am going to try to make my own fondant, I've heard it is easier to manage, tastes better, and no preservatives. The roses and daisies are made from gum paste.