Well, I am so excited to announce the winner of my first cookbook giveaway! Thanks to all 35 people who participated in this little contest! When I put the info into the random number generator on my computer it said that the winner was….#2!!! Congratulations Landa from the All-Purpose Girl Blog! Your new Martha Stewart Cookie Book will be on its way shortly!Now onto the cakes! This past weekend I had two events…one wedding and one birthday party. This was actually my first official wedding cake and I got to deliver it to the Queen Mary. The bride and groom were from England, which made it even more exciting, and came over to the U.S. just for their wedding. They were having a 1920′s theme wedding and so they sent me a picture of what they wanted the cake to look like. I put my own little twist on it and overall I was pretty happy with the outcome. The cake was carrot cake with cream cheese frosting and the top and bottom tier were covered in fondant, while the middle tier was covered in modeling chocolate. I used a technique called brushed embroidery to decorate the cake. First I made royal icing and colored it gold. Then I piped the design on freehand…basically I just looked at the photo that they sent me and tried to make a design similar to it. When piping I worked in segments…I piped on the royal icing and then used a small, wet paint brush and brushed the royal icing. I then let the icing dry. To get the glittery gold effect I used gold luster dust mixed it with a little vodka and painted over the piping to make it shimmer. Lastly I piped a simple border of royal icing around the bases of the cake.
The second event I had this weekend was a surprise birthday party where I made the appetizers and the cake. The appetizers were Salmon Cakes with Lemon Dill Sauce, Bruschetta on Garlic Crostini, and Hot Parmesan Artichoke Dip with Pita Bread. For the cake I made a chocolate cake with white chocolate whipped cream filling (see recipe below) and fresh strawberries and covered it with chocolate mousse buttercream. As you can see from the photos of the cake, I have been getting more and more into using fresh flowers with my desserts. I have the most adorable flower shop near my house and I love looking at their new flowers they get every day. The theme for the party was “Tequila Sunrise” and so they wanted a cake with the colors pink, red, and orange. I colored some vanilla buttercream I had red and piped a dot border around the edges of the cake and then used the same buttercream to pipe the birthday message. To get the flowers to stick in the cake, I wrapped a skewer around the stem of the flower and secured it with floral tap. Once I got to the party I was a little worried about the cake since we got a massive heat wave here in CA and it was around 90 degrees on Saturday…not so good for buttercream. Thankfully it survived though!
The recipe for white chocolate whipped cream is quite easy and only uses two ingredients: white chocolate and heavy cream
White Chocolate Whipped Cream
adapted from Fran Bigelow’s book, Pure Chocolate
Makes 3 cups
6 oz white chocolate, finely chopped
1 1/2 cups heavy cream, chilled
Melt the chocolate in a microwave safe bowl, at 30 seconds intervals, stirring each time. Let cool slightly. Whip the cream to very soft peaks. Working quickly, with a hand whisk add the lightly whipped cream all at once to the cooled melted chocolate. (Don’t reverse the order, or chips will form.) Whisk until thoroughly combined, but don’t overwhip or you will lose the smooth consistency. Chilled until needed.