Archive for March, 2008

More Photos From the Weekend!

Monday, March 31st, 2008

Hope everyone had a wonderful weekend! I wanted to share with you more photos of treats I made this last weekend. The cupcakes were for my friend’s bridal shower (they go with the bridal shower cookies I posted earlier). The cupcake flavors were (1) Chocolate cupcakes with vanilla buttercream, (2) Buttermilk cupcakes with lemon cream filling, vanilla buttercream frosting, and a raspberry and white chocolate stick on top, and (3) Chocolate cupcakes with peanut butter filling and cream cheese frosting. I also had a bridal shower to go to for one of my best friends, Karrie Pyke, who I’m doing the Silhouette Bride & Groom Cookies this May for her wedding. Her bridal shower theme was “shades of blue” so I made blue lingerie cookies for the shower. I wrote their initials on some of the cookies for a personal touch. And lastly, one of my other best friend’s parents had their 30th anniversary this past week and she wanted me to make them a cake for their celebration. The wanted me to make them the “Crazy Monkey Cake” that I had made for them a while ago, so I that’s what I did. It had banana buttermilk cake, peanut butter filling, and chocolate ganache frosting…yummy yummy! I wish I could’ve snuck a slice!

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Cookies, Cookies, Cookies

Friday, March 28th, 2008

I had an order for bridal shower cookies from an old friend of mine from elementary school…we actually ended up going to school together all the way through high school!  I was so happy when she contacted me for the order and was pleased with how the cookies came out.  I did wedding dress cookies for her with pink and sage green accents and she wanted “Alanna Loves Kyle” on the cookie, so I squeezed it in on the bottom.  While I was at it I thought I would try out a couple more cookie designs so that I have more photos for my official website.  My husband is working on re-doing it right now and I am soooo excited to see the finished product!  Well, here come the cookies!!!

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Birthday Cake for Four

Monday, March 24th, 2008

I made this cake about a month ago for the mother of a dear friend of mine. She was celebrating three other of her friend’s birthdays along with her own, so I did a simple, yet elegant birthday cake for all four of them. I wrote all of their names along the cake board using royal icing and made the bow on top with fondant. Hopefully in the near future I can do a tutorial on making fondant bows for you! The cake had two different flavors: the top tier was chocolate cake with chocolate ganache and raspberries and the bottom tier was buttermilk cake with lemon cream and raspberries. I covered the cake in swiss meringue buttercream and then colored a portion of the buttercream and piped on small dots for the border.

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Chocolate Transfer Sheet Cupcakes

Monday, March 24th, 2008

So sorry about the lack of posting this past week…right now I feel like I am writing to a long lost friend who I haven’t talked to in a while…but when holidays come, so do my orders and therefore my time for blogging is sadly cut short. The good news is that Blue Windows, one of the stores I got my cookies into, sold out of their first order of 2 dozen Easter sugar cookies in 1 1/2 days! I was so excited when I got the call and she wanted to order 6 dozen more!!! My hand wanted to kill me after the order, but I was just so happy that they sold well that I didn’t care at all. Well enough about cookies, this post is about cupcakes…chocolate peanut butter cupcakes to be exact. I brought these cupcakes along with a dozen Coconut Cupcakes with Cream Cheese Frosting to one of my church’s outreaches this past Saturday. Baking for people is my passion and I find so much fulfillment in being able to put smiles on people’s faces and a good memory in their hearts and minds. To jazz these cupcakes up I used chocolate transfer sheet designs and cut mini Easter eggs out of them for the top of the cupcakes.

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This chocolate cupcake recipe can be found at Chockylit’s Cupcake Bakeshop, which is probably one of my favorite blogs out there. She is absolutely blows me away with the great combinations she comes up with and all of the creativity that flows out of each posting. The particular recipe is one of the best chocolate cupcake recipes out there and I have used it countless times…once you try it you will be a convert too!

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I decided to fill the cupcakes with leftover chocolate ganache I had from another day and think it worked out pretty well. Chocolate ganache is simply a combo of 50% heavy cream to 50% chocolate. You just heat your cream until is it about to boil and then pour it over your chopped chocolate (my favorite is bittersweet) and let it sit for a couple minutes before you whisk it till it’s thoroughly combined. You can also add a tablespoon of butter and corn syrup to the mixture when it’s still hot to give it a better flavor and more shine. If you are going to use it for a filling you need to let it cool completely until it is a thick spoonable consistency. Then just add your ganache to a pastry bag fitted with a medium size pastry tip and insert your tip into the cupcake and squeeze the filling out until you feel your cupcake expanding and the ganache comes up to the top.

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I tried a new frosting this time…peanut butter frosting! This frosting from Ina Garten’s show, Barefoot Contessa, got rave reviews online at the Food Network, so I thought I would give it a try. I was definitely not disappointed! This is a delicious and extremely easy frosting to make and makes a wonderful pairing with chocolate cupcakes. I piped on the frosting using a pastry bag and a #8 tip.

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I found these great new chocolate transfer sheet designs at Fancy Flours. To see how you make chocolate transfer sheet cut out’s check out my posting on Valentine’s Day Cupcakes. These kind of adornments are very impressive looking to people and yet pretty easy to make in my opinion, so I would highly recommend that you try it out!

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Well, here are some more fun photos I took of the cupcakes and a photo of the Coconut Cream Cheese Cupcakes that I made for the event too! Thanks for looking!

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Mona Vie Wine Bottle Cake

Tuesday, March 18th, 2008

This past weekend was definitely a crazy one for me! I had a cooking class for 16 people at my church Rockharbor on Thursday night, an order for 135 Monogram wedding cake cookies on Saturday morning and a wine party for 20 people that I catered and did the cake for on Saturday night. Lets just say I got about 4 1/2 hours sleep Friday night… Anyways, everything turned out great for the most part, but unfortunately I didn’t get as many pictures of my food as I wanted to. The one thing I did get some pictures of was the Mona Vie Wine Bottle Cake I did for the dinner party. Mona Vie isn’t really wine, but rather a health/energy drink that the clients I did the party for sell. The juice comes in a wine bottle though, so I thought it would be fun to do an actual “Mona Vie” cake for them. The cake was a chocolate cake with chocolate mousse and raspberries and have a chocolate buttercream frosting. As you can see, I stacked the cake in rectangles pretty high and then carved a wine bottle shape into the first layer of cake. I then covered the cake in buttercream and covered the wine bottle with fondant. The sides of the cake were made with modeling chocolate, so that the cake looked like it was sitting in a wine crate. The packaging was made out of white chocolate shavings. Overall, I was pretty happy with my first wine bottle cake and am excited to get another chance to make one. Hope you enjoy the photos!

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Here are some photos of the beginning.

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Here are two more photos of the finished product.

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Spectacular Cupcakes 2008 Entry: Coconut Cupcakes with Coconut Cream Cheese Frosting

Friday, March 14th, 2008

Thanks so much for Arfi @ Homemades blog for hosting this cupcake round-up! This was a lot of fun and I can’t wait to see all the entries!

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I made these for a cupcake class that I taught last night and once I tried them I new they were a winner. I tried out a new coconut cake recipe from Epicurious.com and it turned out fantastic! And for the coconut cream cheese frosting I used the same recipe that I just tried out last week from Melissa Murphy’s Baking Book. This is definitely a knock out cupcake combo and I highly recommend that you try it! I made the birdie, little eggs, and worm from fondant and just played around with the shapes till I liked them. I originally just had the birdie, but then people in the class started experimenting and making little eggs and worms, so I did the same! I rolled the eggs and worm in Oreo cookie crumbs to give a dirt effect. And for the eyes I used edible food markers to color them on. Lastly, to make sure the birdie stayed up I stuck a toothpick up his cute little bum and secured him into the cupcake. Hope you enjoy these for your Easter holiday!

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