Posts Tagged ‘fondant’

Valentine’s Cupcake Tutorial

Tuesday, February 10th, 2009

Sorry for all of you who were waiting for the cupcake tutorial…I know I have been slow to post lately, but I really am going to try to get a couple good posts in this week.  Definitely check back in soon to see the post on all of my Valentine’s cookies that my sister and I made.  Anyways, down to business…

To make cupcakes that have impressions on the fondant you need to either purchase impression mats/molds or scrapbooking stamps.  You can find the impression mats/molds at Caljava International or Global Sugar Art.  I purchase most of my scrapbooking stamps from the company Autumn Leaves which you can find at Target or Martha Stewart just came out with some good stamps which you can find at Michaels Craft Store.

So you need to roll your fondant or sugarpaste out to your desired thickness (1/8″-1/4″), rubbing a little Crisco on the fondant if it gets sticky or dry and then press it either into the mat or press the stamp onto the fondant.  Once you have the pattern on the fondant, you can do many things with it…you can cut out individual shapes, cover your whole cupcakes with it, or use it as patterned ribbon on your cupcake.  There is no limit to your creativity!

Just a hint: if you are making individual fondant cutouts to sit on top of your frosting don’t use cream cheese frosting since it has a property in it that makes the fondant melt.  Also let your fondant accent dry a little before you put it on your frosting so it holds its shape and doesn’t bend.  And lastly, if you are covering the whole cupcake with the fondant use it immediately after cutting out the circle shape since it will dry quickly and cause cracking.

To cover the whole cupcake, but still get a lot of good frosting in the cupcake, cut a hole in the center of the cupcake with either a pairing knife or apple corer and then fill it with the frosting.  Then cover the top of the cupcake with a round layer of frosting, but making sure not to get too close to the edges since the fondant will squeeze it out of the sides once applied. When picking your circle cutter find one that is slightly large than the top of the cupcake so there is enough to completely cover the sides.  

I also used another impression mold to make the buttons for the cupcakes.  I got this at Caljava International too. 

Here are some of the combined elements on the cupcakes.

To make the cupcake with the “XOX” I used letter cutters from Nicholas Lodge’s.  For these particular cutters you have to roll the fondant or sugarpaste extremely thin, preferably through a pasta machine first before cutting out.  

Then I just used some of the previous techniques to finish off the cupcake.

Hope you enjoyed the tutorial and now feel more inspired to decorate some cupcakes of your own…remember to check back for the cookie post! 

 

 

 

 

Valentine’s Day Cupcakes

Saturday, January 31st, 2009

Well, Valentine’s Day is just around the corner, so I wanted to share some photos of Valentine’s cupcakes that my sister and I came up with.  Some of the photos are from cupcakes I did last year, but most of them are new.  Later this week I will be giving a demo on how some of them are done.  I would definitely love to know which one is your favorite, so if you have time leave me a comment and let me know!

Thanks for checking them out!

 

 

Two More Cooking Class…Plus a Fantastic Recipe

Wednesday, June 18th, 2008

I have been having so much fun teaching classes at Prep Kitchen Essentials!  They have a wonderful store, staff, and kitchen…plus they do all the dishes for me!  What more could a girl ask for!  These past two weeks I have taught two classes there. The first class was “Elegant Italian Entrees”.  Yes, although I am a pastry chef I do really enjoy cooking food too and love sharing my passion for it with others.  This was a great class with a lot of fabulous food.  The menu for the night was Italian Herb & Cheese Pork Rolls, Prosciutto Wrapped Chicken with Homemade Pesto, Parmesan Chicken Over Angel Hair Pasta with Pine Nuts, Feta Cheese, and Tomatoes, and Grilled Cilantro Lime Shrimp with Saffron Orzo.  

My favorite of the night was definitely the Italian Herb & Cheese Pork Rolls, so I thought I’d share the recipe with you!

Italian Herb & Cheese Rolls

adapted from Fiamma

Makes 4 servings

 

One 1 1/2 pound boneless pork tenderloin, cut on the extreme diagonal into 12 slices

Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper

1/4 cup freshly grated Pecorino Romano cheese

1 1/2 teaspoons finely chopped fresh sage

1 teaspoon finely chopped fresh rosemary leaves

1 teaspoon minced garlic

1/4 cup all-purpose flour

3 Tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil

1 cup dry white wine, such as Pinot Grigio

 

Lightly pound the pork slices until they are 1/4″ thick.  Season with salt and pepper.  Mix the Pecorino, sage, rosemary, and garlic together in a box and then sprinkle 1 teaspoon of herb mix on each pork slice.  Then roll each slice into a cylinder and secure with a toothpick.  Season the rolls with salt and pepper.

 

Place the flour in a flat bowl and then lightly coat the pork rolls with flour, patting to remove the excess. 

 

In a large skillet, heat the oil over medium-high heat until hot.  Add the rolls and cook until browned all over, about 3-5 minutes.  Pour in the wine, cover, and simmer until the rolls are cooked through, 3-5 minutes more.  Transfer to a plate and loosely cover with aluminum foil.

 

Boil the cooking liquid until it reduces to a thick sauce, about 5 minutes.  Return the rolls to the skillet and shake the pan to coat them with sauce.  Serve with any remaining sauce spooned over them.

 

The second class I taught was a “Basic Cake Decorating Class”.  I taught how to split, fill, and frost a layer cake.  I also went over a variety of frostings and their uses and we played around with fondant too.  As you can see from the photos we weren’t trying to turn out the perfectly decorated cake, but rather practice techniques.  Everyone seemed to have a great time and hopefully they learned a lot too!  This weekend I have my cupcake class…should be a lot of fun!

 

 

 

Cakes, Cookies, & a Meme

Sunday, June 15th, 2008

Here are some photos of two recent orders I did this past week. One order was actually for a client I met through my blog. I got to know her even more when she attended one of my classes at Prep Kitchen Essentials. She was throwing a shower for her niece who was having a little boy and wanted me to do the cake and cookies for it. When she showed me the invitation I fell in love with the color scheme. It is so fun doing orders that have beautiful colors to work with! The cake was a variation of one that I made for my sister-in-law for her baby shower. Instead of a tiered cake, I just did a 1/2 sheet cake. The cake was a fluffy white cake with lemon cream and fresh raspberries and was covered in swiss meringue buttercream. Overall I was pretty happy with the cookies and cake!

The other order I did was for a neighbor of mine. It was her daughter’s first birthday party and she wanted a simple, but cute birthday cake. The theme was strawberries, so I went with pink and red colors and also put two strawberries on top to hint at what was inside. The cake was a chocolate cake with vanilla buttercream and fresh strawberries.

Last week I was also tagged by Kristin at The Kitchen Sink for a meme and I am finally getting around to it. So here it goes…

What were you doing 10 years ago?

Well, I was just finishing middle school…playing soccer, liking boys, and hanging out with the family.

What are five non-working things on my to-do list today?

1. Wish my Dad Happy Father’s Day!

2. Go to the farmer’s market.

3. Relax…since the past three days were crazy with work!

4. Blog…I guess I’m accomplishing it!

5. Exercise

What snacks do you enjoy!

1. Good bread

2. Pinkberry

3. Cheese

4. Ripe fruit

5. My sugar cookies

What would you do if you were a billionaire?

1. Help those around me who are in need of money. (My mom and dad practice this daily and always inspire

me!)

2. Travel…especially to Florence, Italy

3. Save

4. Buy a home in Belmont Shores

5. Put away money for my three nieces for college

Where have you lived?

All in California…Long Beach, San Diego, Costa Mesa, Torrance

What jobs have you had?

1. Babysitter and nanny

2. Grandma’s Ice Cream

3. Memories, a scrapbooking store

4. Teacher’s aide in a couple elementary schools and high schools

5. Pastry assistant at Zov’s Bakery & Bistro

6. Owner of Sweet & Saucy

And I am tagging anyone who wants to share a little bit about yourself with the blogging world. I would also love to know what your favorite blog is…I am always looking for a new blog to check out!

I also wanted to say thank you to The Recipe Girl for giving me the “Yummy Blog Award”.

She has a fantastic website, which you should definitely check out!

Two Cakes & The Cookbook Giveaway Winner

Monday, April 28th, 2008

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.

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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!

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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.

 

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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