Friday, September 21, 2012

Sara's Baby Shower Cupcakes

I really had fun doing these cupcakes.  They are a chocolate fudge cake with chocolate pudding for filling and Butter cream Icing. I made my own fondant and colored them with food coloring gel.  I made them pastel colors and used blue and pink because Sara doesn't know what she is having and isn't going to find out.  They apparently want to be surprised.  

I looked online for images of cupcake toppers and found a number of ideas.  This is how they turned out.  I did them the night before so they could get well dried.  I think that next time I will mix half and half gum paste and fondant.  I think they will dry faster and not wither when placed on something moist.  These held up really well, but we have such changes in weather that doing a mix may work better.
I also tried the "Swirl" with two colors this time using pink icing and blue icing.  It work well.  I also practiced making "rose" icing swirls and those were a bit harder to do.  Need to practice that one more.

Wednesday, September 19, 2012

Quick Cakes for Friends

I made a couple of quick cakes for friends who called and asked if I would do something for them.  The first is a chocolate mint cake for Pastor Jim and another church member and friend Sara.  I did chocolate mint because Jim's wife said it was his favorite and he was turning 40.  She didn't ask Sara what she liked and I found out later she didn't like mint.  Oh well.  Everyone else did because the cake was devoured in a short amount of time. 

I used Betty Crocker Chocolate Devil's Food cake mix.  I know it's cheating, but when I have to do quick stuff I don't have time to mess with recipes especially at high altitudes.  I used Butter Cream Frosting .  I used heavy whipping cream in the recipe, about a cup, and it came out really light.  I also blended into the frosting melted  Ghirardelli Mint Chocolate Squares. This gave it a minty flavor, but I still added two teaspoons of mint flavoring as well.

For the Chocolate Mint ganache filling I melted Lindt Intense Mint Chocolate with heavy whipping cream to make a soft chocolate filling.  Very minty and decadent chocolate taste! 

The rose was one I had left over from a previous project.  It is gum past as are the leaves.  The candies on the cake are Junior Mint Candies.

The second cake was one I did really last minute for a friend who was having a wedding anniversary.  She was afraid to ask me because it was so late.  It usually takes me several days to make a nice cake so I told her that I probably wouldn't be able to do it.  But after looking around, I found some more box cake mixes and left over red roses from another project plus I had left over frosting ingredients so I made the cake.  I have heart shaped pans and made a two tiered chocolate cake with Butter Cream Frosting.  I had some sprinkles and used them to dress up the cake on the leaves.  I also had sugar pearls and used them for an added touch.  It turned out pretty good for a super fast cake and the "bride" was overwhelmed with her surprise cake.  I got the warmest hug ever and she loved the taste. 

 By the way, I usually brush my cakes with a simple syrup for added moisture.  Simple syrup recipe is 1 cup granulated sugar to 3 cups water.  Cook until the sugar is melted and the liquid is clear.  Let cool.  Us a pastry brush or spray bottle to apply the syrup. I think it's best to wait unto both cake and syrup are completely cool before applying.

I put red food color gel on one side of my pastry bag and then filled with white frosting.  I won't do that again.  It came out to grainy and not good consistancy.  Next time I will us a pink or red frosting painted on the side of the bag and see if that works better to get a two toned look.