Friday, January 6, 2017

Bronco Football Cake for Josh

My son Josh always complains that I never made him a fancy birthday cake.  The grand kids get them all.  So this year I made him a Bronco football cake. I hand painted the bronco logo.  It is a chocolate cake with chocolate filling.  I carved the cake when the layers were frozen.  Made is so much easier.  Now he is happy.....well at least for another year.

Lego Airport Cake

Sebby wanted a Lego cake so I made a landing strip with "Lego" boards and red candies for runway lights.  I bought the executive Lego airplane set as his gift.  While I made the cake he put together the set and placed them on the cake. We had lots of fun with this one.

The cake is mint chocolate with chocolate ganache frosting.  

Tuesday, November 15, 2016

Butter Cream Roses for a 93rd Birthday

Made this cake for a lovely lady, Midge (short for Midget because she is short). Her real name is Yolanda.  She worked until she was 89 at a local laundry mat.  She is an amazing woman and I was thrilled to help her celebrate her birthday.

I made the roses with butter cream on marshmallows and sticks. This makes the flowers stay better when you put them in the cake.

I also did the first multi-color frosting as the base and the trim on the cake.  It was really fun and Midge was really happy with it.  Happy Birthday girl!  You rock!!

Waterfall Outdoor Cake

We are house sponsors for La Puente volunteers. These are generous kids, young adults, that work the homeless shelter and other entities, such as, the food banks, PALS kids program, Adalente, and so much more.  They work hard!  When Brian heard I made cakes he wanted me to make him one.  He loves the outdoors so I made him a waterfall cake.  It's a single tier cake made with vanilla cake and buttercream filling. Needless to say he was super surprised when I made it for him.  Love making people happy!

NFL Bronco Birthday Cake

I made a birthday cake for a friend of mine who wanted to give it to a friend who was celebrating her 70th birthday and loves the Bronco football team. I made a three layer cake and "glammed" it up a bit because it was for a lady. I love the way this cake turned out.

I made a round disc of thin gum paste.  Thin enough to be able to see the outline of the Bronco Logo.  Then I drew it on with food coloring slightly watered down with Vodka.  The Vodka evaporates and leaves the logo looking great.

Two other techniques I tried on this cake that I haven't done before and that is edible lace which I used as the blue border at the bottom and butter cream roses made on marshmallows. Just click on the links for the tutorials.  I found them very helpful!

The cake is Old Fashioned Butter Cake with chocolate ganache filling. The recipe is below.

Old Fashion Butter Cake

2 cups all purpose flour (measure after sifting)
1 1/4 cup granulated sugar
1 tablespoon baking powder
1 teaspoon salt

1/2 cup butter, softened (Use salted butter or add 1/2 tsp salt to recipe)
1 cup milk
1 teaspoon vanilla extract

2 large eggs - room temperature
High Altitude Adjustment: add 2 tablespoons flour to the 2 cups of flour, cut sugar back to 1 cup, cut baking powder to 2 teaspoons, and add 2 tablespoons milk to the 1 cup milk. Follow the directions below.

Preheat oven to 350 degrees (F) or 325 degrees (F) for high altitude.

Grease and flour two 8 inch by 2 inch cake pans and set aside. (I use parchment paper cut the size of the bottom of the pan to help the cake not stick and come out easier.  First spray the cake pan, lay in the parchment, spray again and then flour.  For the right cut of parchment just set the pan on the parchment paper and draw around the base.  Cut it out and it fits perfect.)

In a large mixing bowl sift together the flour, sugar, baking powder and salt.  (Yes, this makes the second time you sifted the flour. I sift the flour before measuring and again when combining the dry ingredients in a large mixing bowl.)

Add butter, milk, and vanilla.  With a hand or stand mixer, beat for 2 minutes, occasionally scraping down the sides of the bowl.

Add the eggs one at a time until just blended, then beat for 2 minutes more.

Divide batter equally between the two pans. Spread with spatula and then lightly tap the pans on the counter to let up any air bubbles.  Bake for 30 to 35 minutes (40 to 50 minutes for high altitude). If you put a tooth pick or knife in the center it should come out clean. I use a knitting needle.

I use cake boards that I buy at Walmart to fit the size of my cakes.  As soon as I take them out of the oven I carefully run a knife around the edges.  Then I place my cake board over the top and turn out the cake gently banging it on the counter.  I know that sounds rough, but it works.  I do this hot because all of the moisture hasn't escaped yet during the cooling process. Then I cover it loosely with commercial grade or heavy plastic wrap.  If you cover it too tightly the heat will cause it to pull in the edges of the cake.  Let it cool that way and than put a second layer of plastic wrap around it and put it in the freezer for a few hours or until you need it. Using this method keeps the cake moist and it is easier to frost when it is cold. (You can frost it as soon as it cools don't have to wait if you're craving dessert!)

Chocolate Frosting

1 stick butter (1/2 cup) melted
2/3 cup cocoa powder
3 cups powdered sugar (confectioner's sugar)
1/2 cup half and half
1 teaspoon good vanilla

Melt butter.  Stir in cocoa.  Alternately add powdered sugar and milk, beating on medium speed to spreading consistency.  Add more half and half if needed.  Stir in vanilla.  Makes about 2 cups.

I let the beater really work on it for at least five minutes.  Makes it really glossy and spreads well.

Wednesday, September 21, 2016

"Life is Like a Box of Chocolates" Cake

I was asked by the La Puente Board, the overseers of the homeless and disadvantaged programs, to make a cake for their fundraiser ball to support the Adalente program.  This program helps people get back on their feet by helping secure jobs, housing, food, schooling, and much more.  It is a very worthy cause so I said I would donate a cake.

The invitation to the ball was in Zebra print so that is the bottom cake.  The second tier is a gift box all glammed up.  The third tier is a gourmet box of chocolates.  

What I did first was to make different flavored chocolate truffles.  I made coffee/mocha, mint, cherries, almond, and chocolate.  I bought a candy mold and candy melts at Wal Mart and jumped into practicing.  I always look for You Tube tutorials and found several that show how to make filled candy chocolates.  This took me all day to do because my mold was small and it takes lots of patience. 

I made sure to taste! I didn't want to taste too much so that I would get sick of the candy.  As each batch was done I labeled them on a cookie sheet.  Then I glued nuts, coffee means, and painted edible dust to indicate what each one was.  The mint ones I swirled a mint green in the mold and then put the chocolate candy coating in and the affect was stunning.
I made the flowers out of gum paste and painted them with petal dust.  I glued stamens and pollen pods in the center to make them look more real.
The tiers of cake were made of decadent chocolate cake with chocolate ganache in the center.  One layer had raspberry filling.  I used chocolate ganache and chocolate butter cream frosting to crumb coat the cakes.  Yes, the box on top is chocolate cake with coffee/mocha chocolate ganache filling.  
This cake was expensive to make and took several weeks to complete.  I think it is a beautiful cake and it raised $800.00 for the Adalente program.  Those that bought the cake took it to the homeless shelter and shared it with the guests.  How often to they get fancy cake?  I thank God for making it all work out just right.  I also thank my husband, Don, for making the cake structure, moral support, and official taste tester!

Wednesday, July 13, 2016

Winema's Topsy Turvy Birthday Cake

My dear friend, Winema, had her 40th birthday last week.  It was a wonderful party with lots of family and friends.  Her mother gave me a call several months ago and got on my calendar to make an elegant cake with chocolate throughout.  She said I could do whatever I wanted so I chose a Topsy Turvy cake in black and white. I had the chance to practice on a single tier cake which I put in a previous post.  This cake, however, was more of a challenge. I used fondant from Walmart.  Usually I don't have problems but it kept tearing when I tried to put it on.  I really got frustrated.  I used the molds to help me cover some of the defects and it turned out pretty well.  
The other issue was structure.  Because the cake is supposed to look "wonky"  it was hard to know if I had it level to put on each tier.  I have decided to get a small level just for cakes like this.  Don helped me with the structure and found some hardware that had a flat circle on top and screwed over my dowels.  This helped the dowels to not poke into the cake board and sink.  I used a center structure that you can add to.  It was made of plastic and came in several sizes to fit the sizes of each tier.  Got those at Walmart too.  I believe they are from Wilton so you can order those on line.
I had difficulty finding tiered cake structures for this cake.  Then it hit me that it is wedding season and so everyone was looking for them.  I should have planned better and ordered on line more in advance.  Don is a great help with structure and fixed me up very nicely and the cake was very stable.
They loved the cake, so with all the grief it gave me it was a success.

Happy Birthday beautiful lady.  So proud of you!