Saturday, August 30, 2008

An Elephant Never Forgets

My mom's boss and friend wanted a cake for her daughters 25th birthday, and since my mom really liked the pink eleoink she asked me to make it again. This time around I made sure that the elephant looked like an elephant and I even gave him a habitat since the cake needed to feed 50 people. Inside it's chocolate cake soaked in raspberry syrup with honey ganache and raspberry buttercream so when you slice it, there are pink layers inside to match the outside. I'm happy with how it came out, but the ribbon is my favorite part :)

Thursday, August 28, 2008

First Pie of the Season

I've been making cakes and cupcakes for so many occasions all summer that I've been neglecting the "others". Since the holidays are slowly creeping in (just look at all the Halloween sections in stores and you'll agree) I decided to finally make the sweet potato pie with a graham cracker crust I've been promising one of my co-workers in return for all the stuff he has done for me. Unfortunately, I realized that I don't have pecans too late and had to resort to using walnuts instead. Hopefully he won't mind...hey, a free pie is a free pie. I made too much filling so I made two baby pies along with a regular sized one. Above is a picture of one of the babies :)

Monday, August 25, 2008

Quick Little Change of Mind

I've decided that I still want to post a picture of the Vanilla Vanilla cupcake after all. I made it, it turned out cute, so there! I think I need to tweak the recipe though. I'm not sure if it's the weather but it came out a bit different then usual this time around. In the mean time though, here it is:

Now I REALLY must get some sleep or else tomorrow I'll resemble the living dead.

Where's that paddle when you need it?

One of my friends asked me to make the cake for her wedding in November and we narrowed down the flavor options to three.

First one is a peanut butter cupcake with peanut butter frosting, since her finance loves peanut butter. It looked like it was in a tiny canoe, but it has no paddles, so it's up the creek in a jungle full of peanut-loving animals without a paddle. Poor cupcake:

The next one is a Dulce de Leche cupcake. It's a vanilla base with Dulce de Leche filling and a DDL buttercream on top. The exciting part with this one is that after years of watching my mom make DDL, I finally made it all by myself. I even resisted that 11pm call to check with her how long it needs to cook. It came out great!

The last one she picked was just plain vanilla with vanilla buttercream. So instead of of showing you that one, I'll show you what I did with all the extra peanut butter batter... PB&J cupcakes! I filled each one with strawberry jam and drizzled chocolate on top. If I hadn't had to work all night and then again all day from home, I'd have brought all of these to share with co-workers. Oh darn, I'll have to find other willing subjects to "dispose of" these cuties:

Sunday, August 10, 2008

Joy's Wedding

So remember a few weeks ago when I was doing a trial run for Joy's wedding cupcakes? No? That's okay, because I don't remember it either. In fact I don't remember anything prior to last Thursday. When I did the trial, I just did a few of each kind and that really doesn't prepare a person for making about 300 cupcakes (she needed only 220, but once you're on a roll, it's kinda hard to stop). On the day before the wedding (and incidentally my birthday) I was baking late into the night and my poor sister had to put up with the mixer whirling until 4am, but when she woke up to go to work she said she thought she was still dreaming because the entire dining room and kitchen was filled with cupcakes and the whole house smelled of chocolate. How's that for a test of will power? They came out even better than during the trial though, as I modified both recipes, and the cake itself was awesome too. It's a really rich chocolate cake with strawberry buttercream and ganache filling inside and plain vanilla frosting on the outside. The cupcakes were lemon blueberry and chocolate strawberry just as last time. You can't see them that well in the picture because the lighting was bad and I had my tiny little ineffectual camera with me, but hopefully once Joy gets the professional pictures from the photographer I'll be able to replace this one with that. I made the stand all by myself just minutes before arriving at the reception and I think it came out pretty good.

Here's a decent picture of one before they left home:

And look, this is the photographer's picture of the rings and one of the cupcakes:

Sunday, August 3, 2008

The Pistachio Incident

My friend and co-worker had a craving for pistachio cake, and so I set off in search for a recipe. Interestingly enough, there are not that many of them. I found two good ones, one called for a very expensive pistachio cream (which I'm considering making myself in the future as time didn't allow for it this time) and another one using pistachio pudding. I really really wanted the cupcakes to actually taste like pistachios and not just be a bit green, so I used lots of pudding, added some sprite and all in all not enough flour. This resulted in VERY moist and VERY tasty cupcakes that all collapsed on me. Or to be more precise (or diplomatic) provided the perfect little wells for the cream cheese frosting :) I also spent the afternoon making fondant flowers for my friend's wedding cupcakes, so I made a few in pink and put them on these. I think pink looks very nice with green. Since pictures I take at night never look as good as the ones I take during the day, and since I want to really perfect this recipe as it came out very tasty, I'll definitely be making these again, but for now, this is what they looked like.