Thursday, May 10, 2012

You're my cuppy cake,gumdrop,shyummkums pure

You're my hunny bun, sugar plum, pumpy upmy upmy upmkin.
You're my sweetie pie.

You're my cuppy cake,gumdrop,shyummkums pure,
The apple of my eye!

And I love you so, and I want you to know that i'll always be right here.

And I love to sing this song to you
Because you are so dear!
It's that time of the year and strawberries are on sale. Yeah, so I made some strawberry cupcakes. Martha Stewart Strawberry Cupcakes. I didn't use the strawberry SMBC from her book because I was low on eggs, but I should have went with it. Seriously, I love SMBC and the strawberries are so good in it. But alas, I went with an ABC and carefully added fresh strawberry puree because it makes the frosting flaccid. Yes, I know, but that really is the only word to describe this process. And you can't recover from it because the only option is more powdered sugar. I'm not a huge fan of ABC in the first place, but it's so easy.
So when I went to frost the cupcakes, the frosting wasn't as pretty as normal since it was so soft. And then the bits in the puree clogged the tip and did weird things. Did I mention I overfilled the liners and they spread like crazy? Sprinkles make ugly cupcakes better.
(No fancy photos, just a cell phone pick in the carrier this time)
The good news is that even ugly cupcakes can taste awesome. I can't tell you how many complements I got on these things. I had two people use the word "heavenly" and two others admit to eating at least three a piece. This is why I bring in three dozen cupcakes to work.

Tuesday, May 8, 2012

Chocolate or poop?! Chocolate or poop?!

When using chocolate frosting, you should ALWAYS remember, there is a fine line between looking like chocolate and looking like poop. Cake Wrecks has told us this again, and again, and again, and again... the number of results when you search for poop on the site is astounding.

I tell you that to tell you this, I made chocolate chip cupcakes with chocolate frosting to take to work. Baked the night before, frosting the morning of, I was bringing the treats as a thank you for some folks helping me out. Since I was in a hurry to get to work, I mixed dark chocolate ganache with leftover ABC and threw it all in a piping bag without a tip and did my thing. Covered 'em all and wiped my hands.

Then I looked at em.

Dang, poo everywhere!

Seriously, I grabbed by offset spatula and beat the little piles of poo into submission, cussing myself for not grabbing the 1M tip that makes all cupcakes adorable. Sigh. So then it looked like smashed poo. What does one do now? SPRINKLES! At least the poo had sprinkles. :)

Didn't I mention that I tried out some cupcake wrappers that didn't need a muffin tin? Just throw em on a baking sheet, fill em up, and go. Apparently, they spread... a lot... so these were weird and warped poo cupcakes. 

 They all were eaten by the end of the day. Apparently my coworkers are undaunted by poo.

Sunday, May 6, 2012

Two by Two

"The most important time of Mormon
Kid's life
Is his mission.
A chance to go out
And help heal the world,
That's my mission.
Soon I'll be off in a different place,
Helping the whole human race.
I know my mission will be
Something incredible!"

So I promise to keep quotes to a minimum here (but like The Book of Mormon on Facebook and you can listen to the entire cast recording! [So freakin excited to see the show, not much longer to wait now]).

I got a request for cakes for some special real-life Mormon missionaries. And who can't help but jump at this? These young men are far from home and cut off from their friends and families, these boys need cake on their birthday! And the halfway mark of the mission! And seriously, they could have been sent anywhere around the world (like Uganda or Orlando) and they got sent to West Phoenix. They needed cake. I was making the fire extinguisher cake for the same friend needing these. You saw my excitement about the extinguisher, just imagine what these cakes did for me.

So here's what they got:

These things make me exceptionally happy. I'd never covered a square cake before and I was happy with how well it went, very few tears. Which was good since there's chocolate frosting under that white fondant.

Wasn't super happy with the writing, but dang those name tags were tiny. The cardboards the cakes sit on are 6" (ande covered with the Taylor Swift contact paper too!), so the tags were just over 1" wide and I was writing with a toothpick dipped in white food coloring.

The collars were super easy. strip of fondant, pointy ends, fold in half (hot dog style), stick on cake. Easy-peasy. Tie? Strip of black fondant plus a triangle. Each of these took no time to make.

And look how sweet they look all boxed up. Since they were gifts and super cute and tiny, I grabbed some boxes to put them in. Sweet.

 Happy Birthday and Congratulations gentlemen!

Friday, May 4, 2012

Some Catchin Up to Do

I've been baking, but not posting about it. The last couple of months have been crazy. But I've got a few cakes to show you. Let's start with this one:
My friend's mother-in-law was celebrating a birthday and a fire themed cake was requested. Here is how the conversation went:
Friend-"Can you put a fire extinguisher on top?"
Yes, honestly, that's probably exactly what it sounded like. I get over excited sometimes.

I thought about doing a jelly roll to get the cylindar shape like I'd done before. But I wasn't super happy with how that worked out. So carving it was going to be. The request was for chocolate cake and fluffy chocolate frosting, so no ganache :(. I was doing a couple of cakes this weekend so I mixed up a double batch of my favorite chocolate cake recipe and threw a bunch of cocoa poweder into a simple american buttercream. Wasn't super happy with the buttercream, but I find that is the issue with me and ABC quite a bit here lately. I've been spoiled on ganache and SMBC I suppose.

You know I don't take many action shots while baking and decorating, but I couldn't pass up this shot of perfectly creamed butter and sugar. It's a thing of beauty, almost spiritual I tell you. Colors look weird, one shot with the flash, one without.

Eventually, this is what came out of the kitchen (Notice that I used the Taylor Swift contact paper again to cover the boards. Love that stuff. Need more designs though.):

Covering up the bad fondant edges. Sneaky, aren't I?

We had talked about making it actually spray, like whipped cream or something, but alas it did not.

But how cute is that caution tape? Love my food color markers.

Handle and gauge, I saw the meter in a couple of pictures I'd found online and loved it, so it had to be added.