Thursday, June 30, 2011

Frosting for the Cause

As some of yo u may already know, I joined forces with Frosting for the Cause this year. Here's how it works: bakers who join are given a day to blog on the site, sharing one of their recipes. Bakers must also donate at least $25 to the cancer charity of his or her choice. And then donate the goods baked for the blog post to a local cancer hospice or charity.

My blog day has finally arrived. I baked key lime cupcakes with cream cheese frosting. You can read my post on the Frosting for the Cause website. This year alone the bakers who share on this site will help raise more than $9,000 for cancer research.

In addition to Frosting for the Cause, I would also like to thank my friend, Steph, for letting me share her story through my blog post. It really was a major reason I chose to take part in this project.

Thursday, June 9, 2011

Ganache Gives Your Cake Panache

As many of you know, when I am stressed out or have a lot on my mind I bake. That was case this week. So I decided to challenge myself a bit and make a torted chocolate layer cake with peanut butter frosting. But that wasn't enough. I wanted to kick it up a notch, so I tried my hand at covering the entire cake in chocolate ganache. It turned out really well. I even had some leftover sugar flowers to use as decorations.

I can't wait to cut the cake to see how the layers turned out. Since this was just an 8 inch cake, the layers were not very tall to begin with, so cutting each layer in half was a challenge. I will have to take a photo when we cut into it tomorrow night. Speaking of cutting into it, I hope it tastes ok. If it was anything like the groom's cake I made for my friend, I am sure it will be delicious. That cake was awesome, so pouring chocolate on top can only make it better. Don't worry, I bought some milk to go with it. I have a feeling this one is going to be rich.

How to Ganache a Cake:
For those of you interested in chocolate ganache, all you need to know is you heat some heavy cream (you can do this in the microwave - don't let it boil). Then dump in an equal amount of chocolate chips and a tablespoon of butter (that give it the shine). If you want to pour it on top of the cake (it is good to frost it first), you let the ganache cool down a bit. This will allow it to thicken up a bit. Then you just pour it over the cake, letting it run down the sides. You will have to use a spatula to make sure the sides are well covered. After the first pour, I put the cake in the fridge to set. Then I poured a second layer on. Keep in mind you can take the used ganache and reuse it. If you chill it, it becomes a great frosting (which is what I used to pipe around the cake and set the flowers). You can also roll the chilled ganache in balls and make truffles by coating them in cocoa powder or chocolate.

Tuesday, June 7, 2011

My First Wedding Order

The power of word-of-mouth advertising is amazing. I booked my first wedding and the client is not a friend or someone I know. I was hired to make cake pops and a small wedding cake. The colors guava and marine needed to be incorporated into the design, as well as a big bow on the cake.

Here's how everything turned out:


The cake is a 6 inch double layer vanilla cake with vanilla buttercream. I covered the cake in ivory fondant, added a quilt design, border and accents of colored frosting and candy pearl. Then I topped it with a fondant-gum paste bow.

The cake pops were made to match the main cake. The marine color is chocolate cake. The guava color is red velvet cake. And the white are vanilla cake. In all, I think it coordinated nicely.

I also made a dozen vanilla cake pops for the kids. Those were just dipped in candy dots to make them festive and fun.

Happy First Birthday, Gabe

I know I haven't blogged in a while, so it is time to play catch up. My cupcake business seems to be taking off. A college friend hired me to make treats for her son's first birthday. There really wasn't a theme for the party, so I tried matching the cupcakes to the invitation, which had candles all over it.

This is what I came up with. I made individual candles out of royal icing to top the cupcakes, which were chocolate and strawberry. They look a little creepy on the wax paper, but looked cute on the cupcakes.

Everyone seemed to enjoy the cupcakes, especially the kids. It was neat to see the candles dye their tongues blue, green and red. But most important, the birthday boy had a great time playing with the frosting and cake.

Happy 1st birthday, Gabe! And thank you for letting me be a part of the celebration, Isabel.