Wednesday, April 23, 2008

Whatever was lying around

Some co-workers from our Vegas office are visiting this week and they have been heavily hinting that it's about time I deliver on all my promises to bring them food in exchange for getting my task requests to the front of the line. So I decided that as our office is growing, cupcakes are more practical then a cake. I didn't want to go grocery shopping for the third time this week, so I decided that I have enough stuff around the house to whip something up and these are the result of that. They are pear, apple and banana cupcakes with a lemon cream cheese frosting. I've been dying to put sprinkles on something, so that's where that came from.
I've also decided that I need to start a collection of some sort and since I love tea and everything that goes with it, I've decided to start collecting tea cup\saucer sets. Although it sort of defeats the purpose of having the piece find you, I decided that I need to start on this collection right away and a few days (and a few ebay bidding wars) later, I have 5 super cute tea cups, the very first of which is in the pictures. You will be seeing more of them in the future since I think they're the perfect accompaniment to all kinds of dessert.

Saturday, April 19, 2008


My sister found the perfect soundtrack song for this site. I can't really have it play in the background, but if you want to hear it, click here. I thought it was very cute.

I'm sorry that this post doesn't come with more pictures, but I'll be baking all day tomorrow, so I'll definitely have something new to post then.

Saturday, April 12, 2008

Happy Cupcakes

For my birthday, my sister bought me the cutest little tray ever, but up until now I have not had a good opportunity to use it. So when my co-worker friend Sarah, who by the way has also been one of my best customers, wanted cupcakes for her bridal shower I thought that these little cuties would look perfect on the tray for their photo op. You can't see all of it in the picture above, but it says "My Happiness" on it, and so far everyone that has tried these cupcakes agrees that the statement is appropriate.
The cupcakes themselves are made of a light lemony cake, soaked with lemon and Chambord spiked simple syrup, filled with raspberry whip cream, and topped with a lemony raspberry buttercream. Despite the different parts, the result came out very refreshing and light, and my mom, who's my biggest and most honest critic, had nothing bad to say about them (I think that might be a first).

Sunday, April 6, 2008

Tower of Tarts

I bought a whole bunch of little tartlet molds and an event at work was the first chance I got to use them. I made two different kinds: lemon meringue tart and chocolate raspberry. Both got polished off in no time flat, but the funniest part was that just walking to work with the saran wrapped tower, I got several offers to take the tarts "off my hands".

New Year Cake

I've been meaning to try the "ice cream cone cake" for a while, so when my sister asked me to make a cake for her New Year's party, I figured I'd give it a try. The design came out great, so all that's left to do now is try out different fillings and frostings to make it even better!

Caramel Apple Cupcakes

I made these little guys for my friends baby shower. They are apple cupcakes with caramel on top. Kind of like a caramel apple, but better since there's cake involved. I got the idea from here, but I made some modifications to it to make it more to my taste. They were a huge success.

Happy 2nd Birthday Josh!

I made this cake for my nephew's 2nd birthday. He loves cars, so I made a cake that he can play with. And since the road is chocolate ganache, it's the best of both worlds. His 3rd birthday is coming up soon and I'll have to come up with something to top this one.

Thursday, April 3, 2008


I am going to spend the next three weeks making these. They were a blast to make and I've been passing them out for the past week and after the initial shock that someone would be crazy enough to make marshmallows from scratch, people loved them. These are raspberry marshmallows and although the picture doesn't really do them justice they came out like little perfect pink fluffy clouds that just melt in your mouth and go perfectly with a hot cup of cocoa :)

I love waterlilies

I've taken probably hundreds of waterlily pictures at the botanic garden, so when my mom asked me to make a cake for her friend's daughter's 30th and told me to "just do something pretty and different" this was the first thing I thought of. I've bean meaning to experiment more with sugar flowers for a while, just have not had time or opportunity. Each petal is made separately and dried and then "glued" together with royal icing. I made the dragon fly by hand and cut out the lily pads and goldfish from the sugar paste too. I think it came out great and the birthday girl was also excited when she saw it.

Chocolate Filigree Windmill

This was another ordered cake that I used to experiment with making chocolate decorations. It's interesting all the things you can make with tempered chocolate and a piping bag. I now have a freezer full of these little decorations.

Peach Butts :)

I got a new cookbook by the retired White House pastry chef and the cutest thing in there were these brioche peaches. I made some modifications to the recipes in the book and brought them into work. I was kinda worried since I've never made brioche before, but the instructions were great and the result came out awesome. A few people thought that they were real peaches and others thought that once you take away the leaf...they look like baby butts, hence the name: Peach Butts :)


It's not really cake, but this was the most fun I've ever had making "Apple Pie". I have a couple of cookbooks that are purely for the drool factor...their contents seem completely out of reach for anyone that doesn't have a fully stocked professional pastry kitchen (I'm on my way there, but I'm not even close). I was able to find one recipe that given some tweaking and modification could be made by a simple home baker like me. I made the shell by layering several sheets of filo dough with honey, toasted hazelnuts and butter and once the tubes were baked I filled each one with Granny smith apples cooked in caramel, topped with homemade cinnamon ice cream, an apple chip and drizzled some cherry compote around the whole thing on the plate. My whole family was impressed and I was happy with how close it looked to the one on the picture.

Cake: best part of being a pirate

I made this my friend's birthday...he is a pirate captain of his very own ship shaped bar that he built with some of my other friends. I helped decorate it :) They bring it out for different parties and such and it's a lot of fun, especially since it's fully functional as a bar. Anyhow, you must have a pirate themed cake for a pirate ship party and that's exactly what I did. It's a chocolate cake with a layer of ganache and a layer berry buttercream for filling and a vanilla buttercream frosting. The ships are mini cakes and the pirates are Teddy Grahams.


I've realized that since I bring all of my experiments to work, that's where all my customers come from :) One of my other co-workers, Pilar, ordered a cake to bring to her boyfriend's family Thanksgiving dinner and since she pretty much let me do whatever I wanted, I decided to try out some of the many decorating tips that I own and rarely use and this is the end result. They were a lot of fun to make...sorry I'm supposed to say that Pilar made them...from scratch...with no help from anyone at all :)

Design from Martha

This was actually my second try at this cake...for some reason the pictures from the first one didn't come out too well. The first one was an ode to Elvis with the design that my co-worker Sarah found on the Martha Stewart web site. It was a while back, so I don't remember exactly what was in it (a memory lapse that this site was born to remedy), but I remember ganache and a banana custard...yummy. And this was a tribute to the word-of-mouth and it's-a-small-world phenomena. The girl for whose birthday Sarah ordered the cake for contacted me because she liked it and wanted something similar for her other friends birthday. No problem! When she showed up to pick up the cake I found out that I went to Junior High with her years and years ago, back when I could barely speak English. Talk about small world.

One Day + Two Events = Twin Cakes

Last year one of my friends and co-workers got married...on my birthday. Since at work I'm considered the cake lady, she asked me to make her a small wedding cake and since I was already at it, I made myself a birthday cake to bring to work. I even ushered everyone to the kitchen and made everyone sing me happy birthday :) Not that anyone minded, it's quite easy to get people to follow you when you're carrying a cake. The cake is the same as the one I made for my dad a few months prior, but at least my piping work is slowly improving.

Sand Castle

I made this cake for my bosses son's 6th birthday. They had a beach theme so I thought this would be perfect. I made a chocolate cake with a caramel buttercream filling and frosting. After a bunch of experimentation I decided that rice crispies can be molded into almost anything and that some graham cracker crumbs mixed with some brown sugar make the perfect substitute for sand. From what I hear it was a great success and I will definitely make it again, even though the caramel was a pain to make and took many tries to get the hang of.

Strawberries And Cream

I wanted to make a light mousse like frosting using white chocolate, and what goes better with that then fresh strawberries? This was a birthday cake one of my coworkers ordered. Inside it's a strawberry cake with the white chocolate mouse inside and out. It's too bad I don't like strawberries. They're gorgeous to work with and everyone loves them though, so there they are :)

Fun with Colors

Since I had already bought the separator plates for that wedding cake, I had to justify the cost by using it again and so I made this little guy for my Dad's Birthday. It's a hazelnut cake drenched with Frangelico, filled with Nutella chocolate mousse and topped again with Italian buttercream. My attempt at getting a nice vivid color was a little bit more successful this time around and I managed not to stain anyone's tongue too badly, but I'm still looking for better coloring supplies.

Irish Wedding

Next up we have the very first wedding cake I've ever attempted. My very first attempt at a cake this size and even though my kitchen looked like a tornado went through it when I was done, my friends, for whom the cake was, were delighted. Inside it was a white champagne cake drizzled with Chambord, a layer of raspberry mousse and ganache, and all topped with Italian buttercream. I am still searching for the best way to color buttercream. I used two bottles of Wilton's food coloring to achieve this shade and one of my favorite picture from the wedding shows my two friends, Cat and Sean (the bride and groom) sticking their bright green tongues out.

The Fabulous Pie

I'd like to catch this blog up to speed since I'm pretty proud of my past experiments and although I can't really start with the really really old baking attempts, some of the more recent (and fairly successful) ones I will show, starting with this fabulous Snickers Pie. A homemade crust, a caramel and pecan layer, followed by a peanut butter mousse and a rich layer of chocolate ganache, topped with some white chocolate leaves and voila! I actually sold this little guy to a co-worker, who then took it to his poker game and sold it near the end (when all their food ran out) for $5 a slice!

Wednesday, April 2, 2008

The Bees are in Danger!

Okay, don't laugh, but there is a bee crisis and we must all help out here or else we'll be out more then just honey! So go forth and buy local honey or the new Haagen Dazs ice cream, you can use the excuse that you're eating it for greater good :)

My Very First Post EVER!

Hi all,
Welcome to my brand new, hot off the press blog! I know that right now this looks very sad and lonely, but in no time at all this site will be full of pictures and stories of all my culinary experiments (you'll soon learn that I mostly work with desserts). And now that I have dusted off my photographic equipment, the pictures should progressively improve as well. For now, I'm just going to ask you to be patient as I sort through all my pictures to get you all up to speed.
~ Enjoy