Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Mother's Day

Mother's Day is coming up very soon, folks! Sunday, May 10.

I have taken one order for cake pops for Mother's Day, and am ready to take more. Email me if you are interested in any baked goodies (cake pops or anything else) for your lovely mamas!

Monday, April 27, 2009

Cake update

So. Take 1 huge beautiful cake, add 1 broken Jeep, 1 semi-operating Cabrio, and 95-degree weather. You get a huge disaster and 1 broken heart.

After spending so much time and energy on THE cake (below), I was definitely nervous about transporting it. However, Sam has a Jeep, so I figured I would put the cake in a box, slide it into the trunk, keep the car well air-conditioned on the ride, and cross my fingers. All went as planned until we got about 20 miles from my house and Sam's car started shuddering and smelling like burned rubber. So, we turned around, went back to my house, and decided we should take my car.

There were a couple of problems with this idea. One is that a VW Cabrio is not really designed for cake transport. The trunk is very tiny. And does not have a wide enough opening to allow for the delicate and gentle transfer of a cake. The main problem, though, is that my air conditioner was broken, and I did not get it fixed last week, since I figured we were taking Sam's car to the beach...

So, step 1 was to get the cake INTO the trunk. But because I had to tilt the cake and because it weighed approximately 823109823 pounds, I nicked the icing on the side while getting it in. HUGE gash. Ok, no big deal... yet. I ran inside, grabbed a spatula and my extra icing, and did some quick repair.

Step 2 was figuring out how to keep the cake from melting. Unfortunately, there was really nothing we could do about this situation. So, we decided to drive quickly and cross our fingers.

Step 3 was figuring out how to keep ourselves from melting. Really, the only thing we could do there was drive with the top down. And at this point, we were already an hour and a half late (Sam also had to work that morning!), so we decided to just boogie.

Driving, driving, driving, and the whole time I'm freaking out about what is going on in my trunk. But there's nothing I can do about it, so I try to relax.

We get to Elizabeth City, open the trunk, and the cake is a disaster. A complete and utter mess. One of the roses in the back corner had jumped ship and slid all the way down the side of the bottom tier, pulling down the icing and tinting it pink. On the top tier, the whole back corner of icing was sliding off into a puddle of melt. It was just a complete mess. So what am I going to do? I contemplate throwing the entire cake away. Just trashing it. I was so embarrassed (though, thank goodness I was doing this as a FAVOR and not getting paid). But I pulled myself together (kind of) and slapped some extra icing on the corners, just so the cake itself wasn't showing through. All the piping obviously was destroyed, but at least the cake was hidden and at least I had taken pictures before the melt.

No one even noticed. No one even looked at the cake really. !?

But everyone said it tasted amazing, and most people thought it had come from a bakery.

Here are a few things I've learned:
  1. If possible, I will freeze the cake before transport. However, I don't know if any cake would fit in my freezer, so that may not work so well.
  2. I will not only bring extra icing and a spatula in the future, but I will also bring decorating bags and tips. I had no idea the whole sides would melt off. I really (stupidly) thought I would just be fixing up nicks from putting the cake in the trunk and taking it out.
  3. I will bring extra roses. There are SEVEN extra roses in my fridge right now that I could have had with me in case of emergency.
  4. When I bring the extra icing and roses, I will put them in a cooler with ice packs. I stupidly had the tupperware of icing sitting in the trunk with the cake, so it was really soft when I had to put it on the cake.
All in all... it was a rough weekend. But I'm just glad I took pictures before we left!! And I'm glad everyone enjoyed it, because that's really all that matters.

Saturday, April 25, 2009

And... folks... we have ourselves a cake

I just finished THE CAKE for 104. I can't actually believe I pulled this off. It's not perfect, but I'm darn pleased with it!!! I do wish, though, that I had not put orange zest into the frosting. It enhances the taste, but I don't love the little orange flecks all over the cake...

Snail line piping and cornelli lace

Close up of the cornelli lace

Top tier, all finished

Close up of the 3 roses on the top tier - they aren't sweating, I actually brushed on this edible shimmery pearl dust that I think looks lovely with the burgundy color...

Close up of single rose on the bottom tier

And... the final product!!

Friday, April 24, 2009

Instead of making a cake for 300...

... I'm currently making a cake for 100. 104 to be precise.

It will (hopefully, assuming everything works as planned) be a 2-tier square cake, with the bottom tier 12 inches square by 4 inches high and the top tier 8 inches square by 4 inches high. I have never attempted such an endeavor, but here's hoping!

Will post pictures later, again, assuming everything works as planned...

Sunday, April 19, 2009

Art Walk treats

For the art walk, I wanted to class it up a little, but stick some Southern Charm in there. So, I made some Red Velvet Cake Truffles, using dark chocolate, milk chocolate, and white chocolate. This time, I used Scharffen Berger cocoa, as opposed to my usual Hershey's standby, and you can definitely tell the difference - it is totally worth the added cost! I will no more use Hershey's in my Red Velvet cakes!

Red Velvet Truffles

In keeping with the Southern theme started with the Red Velvet idea, I also made mini Hummingbird Cupcakes with Orange Marmalade frosting. I will tell you - the frosting is my new favorite. You have to make sure you use GOOD marmalade though (rule of thumb: oranges, NOT sugar, should be the first ingredient listed), otherwise I'm sure it would be too sweet!

Hummingbird Cupcakes with Orange Marmalade Frosting

I hope everyone enjoyed them!

Friday, April 17, 2009

If you are looking for something to do this weekend

You should head over to the Durham Art Walk. The weather will be beautiful and there will be a lot of very talented artists displaying their work throughout downtown.

One such artist, Bruce Mitchell, is a dear friend of mine who has his studio in his beautiful home he recently renovated. You should definitely check out his work. I am lucky enough to have 2 Bruce Mitchell originals in my home (one is a painting OF my home!), and my mother has one of his cloud paintings as well!

The Art Walk is Saturday, April 18 from 10am-5pm and Sunday, April 19 from 1pm-5pm. Check it out! I will also be bringing some treats over for Bruce to serve at the studio.

Here is my mom...

...hard at work, assembling sheep faces for me!

Thanks, Mom!

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

More info on wedding reception

There will be THREE HUNDRED people at this wedding reception. 300. THREE. HUNDRED.

Annnnnnd panic sets in NOW.

Monday, April 13, 2009

Important cake news

I, in trying to be adventuresome, have offered to make the "wedding cake" for my boyfriend's mother and step father in 3 weeks. And "wedding cake" is in quotes because they actually got married last fall, and had a small reception, but are having a bigger party at the beach in late April. I'm not 100% sure why. Here's the tricky thing: Sam actually made the offer, but neglected to ask any of the important questions, such as, oh, how many people will be at the party, what kind of cake do you like, what kind of decorations, etc. So. I'm flying by the seat of my pants. Quite literally.

I'm thinking something very simple and elegant. What I would really like to do is do a simple white or ivory icing with maybe some cornelli lace (or something similar) and then cover the cake with edible flowers. I believe nasturtiums are edible, as well as pansies... I'm not sure what else. Or where to get them!!!

Easter baking

Inspired by my new favorite blog, Bakerella, I spent much of the weekend making easter cake pops and easter basket cupcakes. Check them out! I just love how round and fat all the cake pops turned out!

Herd of sheep

Fat chicks

Fat bunny butts!

Easter cupcakes all packed up and ready to go!

What I loved about the cake pops is that not only are they totally adorable, but they actually taste good! I find that a lot of the super cute baked goods are nice to look at, but not so nice to eat. With these, I got the best of both worlds.

I only hope the cupcakes turned out well. I usually make enough so I can try something before I give it away (to avert any disasters), but I only made just enough this time. I used my go-to lemon blueberry recipe, so I'm sure they were great, but you never know...


Thanks for visiting my blog! I will use this to share my baking adventures. Now, I better get cracking!