Wednesday, September 1, 2010

Super 17 Birthday

I had an order for a 17 year olds birthday. They liked the flower cake from a few weeks ago, but wanted it in more fun, trendy colors. So we went with pink, purple and yellow.I think it turned out pretty cute.

I already have another order for this style cake – it may just become a signature design.

Sunday, August 22, 2010

I made a cake for consultant for a project I am working on at work. We have 3-4 hour meetings about every other week and this meeting happen to be on this person’s birthday. I figured if I am going to make someone sit through a long meeting on the afternoon of their birthday the least I could do was make them cake.

I continue to update my photo album with new cakes, if you want to check them out, you can find them here.

Sunday, August 8, 2010

100% Pure Boy

A friend of mine ordered a birthday cake for one of her sons. As they were looking through my album of cakes the almost 6 years old said all my cakes were for girls. I thought about it, a lot of my cakes have been for girls or younger boys, or were sport themed. But this was not what this young boy had in mind. He wanted an action figure for “The last Airbender.” The who I asked? Obviously I am not up on my cartoon action figures. I asked them to send over a picture of what they wanted. This is what I got. Hmmm… I think I can do that. Here is my version in frosting.

When I delivered the cake my friends reaction was “I think that is the ugliest cake you have made, but it is perfect.” The birthday boy was pretty happy as well.

They can’t all be cute.

Red Velvet

This summer there has been several new TV shows and specials on bakeries, cakes, cupcakes and all of them talk about their Red Velvet Cake. Admittedly I did not know a lot about this type of cake, and not sure I had ever eaten it, much less made it. I had heard some people say they just add a bottle of red food coloring to chocolate cake. Which did not make a whole lot of sense to me – what was the point?

So I set out to experiment with some authentic Red Velvet Cake. I found a recipe that looked good and I went to town. I also did some research on what exactly Red Velvet was. According to my good friend Wiki….

A Red velvet cake is a cake with a dark red, bright red or red-brown color. It is usually prepared as a layer cake somewhere between chocolate and vanilla in flavor, topped with a creamy white icing. Common ingredients are buttermilk, butter, flour, cocoa, and red food coloring or beetroot; although beetroot is traditionally used, many prefer food coloring since it is seen as more appealing.

A red velvet cake was a signature dessert at the Waldorf-Astoria Hotel in New York City during the 1920s. According to a common urban legend of the 1960s a woman once asked for the recipe for the cake, and was billed a large amount. Indignant, she spread the recipe in a chain letter.

In Canada the cake was a well-known dessert in the restaurants and bakeries of the Eaton's department store chain in the 1940s and 1950s. Promoted as an exclusive Eaton's recipe, with employees who knew the recipe sworn to silence, many mistakenly believed the cake to be the invention of the department store matriarch, Lady Eaton.

I decided to make the recipe into cup cakes and over all pleased with how it turned out. I do think they baked for a minute too long and could be a bit more moist, so I will continue to play around with the recipe.

The cake recipe I found was paired with a meringue frosting. I decided to try that as well. That turned out wonderful and it a for sure winner.

Here is the result.

I realized when taking the picture that it was hard to see the shiny frosting against my white counter tops, so here it is on a better background.

I also think I achieved another baker’s right of passage with this experiment. On several of the shows, especially the challenge ones, people often get burned while melting sugar. In a recent episode one of the people needed medical attention due to the burn. I didn’t bet why this was such a big deal, until I experienced it. I got splattered with some melting sugar and it hurt a bit, but I did not think it was that big of deal. But then it I noticed it blistered almost immediately – crazy – that means it is a 2nd degree burn. Thankfully it was only a small splatter on my finger, but I can see how a large area would not be a good thing.

Friday, July 30, 2010

Last minute cake

At the end of the work day on Thursday, it was determined that food had not been figured out for a co-workers going away party. I was not part of the party planning to begin with, but as I was leaving, as I usually do, I asked if we were all set for the next day. When the answer was not really - I began thinking what could I easily whip up. Sadly, the default was not a cake- I was thinking my strawberry dessert or fruit pizza…. Then it hit me, I had everything in the house for a cake and a ton of colored frosting in my fridge. So I cautiously said I could make a cake.

On days that I work I like to bake the cake the night before I need to decorate to give it sufficient time to cool, settle. Trying to do it all in one night is really pushing it and usually means being up half the night. Especially when you find out at 5 p.m. But since it was a dear co-worker, I agreed to scrap all my plans for the night to make a cake. On the drive home I thought about the design.

This is what I came up with for the top.

And on the sides.

I have to say I think it came out cute. It is by far not my cleanest cake – I knew when I was doing it the lines were off, but it was getting late and I didn’t care so much. My co-worker loved it and that is what is important.

Here is the whole cake.

I also put several of my cakes into an album. I thought having once place for people to be able to look through the different cakes I have done made some sense. Here is the link….

Sunday, July 25, 2010

Two days, two cakes, two anniversaries

This weekend I had two orders for anniversary cakes for two couples who have both been married for over 40 years. Each of these cakes was a surprise gift for the couple.

This was the first cake. I added a ribbon of yellow on the bottom. This is the second cake. I have total freedom with this cake and wanted to try doing a pattern around the side. Here is one side. Here is the other.

These cakes topped off a busy week of baking, Congo bars, Turtle Brownies and Blueberry muffins.

Sunday, July 11, 2010

Peace Cake

My oldest niece turned 10 and the in thing these days for tween girls are peace signs. They are all over clothes, bags, shoes, school supplies…. So she wanted a peace sign on her cake. I thought just a plan peace sign would not be very cute, so I decided to make a striped one with her favorite colors – hot pink, lime green and electric blue. I then decided to do stripes on the side of the cake. While it turned out really cute, it did take a while to do since the frosting kept getting warm.

Here is another view of the cake.