Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Chocolate and Strawberries...Mmmmm!

So, to add to my busyness last weekend, I also had to make a cake for my sister's co worker's birthday. I made her birthday cake last year too, and she decided she wanted the same thing this year. I gladly obliged! She had a vanilla cake with sliced strawberries and glaze filling, buttercream icing, strawberry glaze on top, then fresh whole strawberries, all drizzled with ganache. It's hard making these cakes sometimes, you know, like when all I want to do is grab a fork and dive in!

Here's the yumminess...

Hope you had a great birthday Susan!

Monday, February 15, 2010

I've been a busy bee...

I've actually been doing some caking! YAY! I know it's a little late, but I hope everyone had a great Valentine's Day! I was a little busy seeing that my daughter's birthday is the day before V-day. We had a fun fiesta for her this year, which she has been asking for one for a while now. The whole family made it as well as some of her friends. And on friday we sent her a special treat to share with her classmates for her birthday/Valentine's Day. I figured I didn't want to send in anything too big, knowing that the kids would already have their fill of sweets! So, I decided to go the route of cake pops! I've never tried them before but have wanted to for a while. Heard they were quite easy and yummy! Here's the actual cake balls...

And here's mid process, some with sprinkles, some without, but all pretty! (Just don't pay attention to how un-circular some of them look. Heehee.)

And here they are...all wrapped up and ready to go!

You can google cake balls or cake pops and find a bunch of sites, but I think Bakerella's is best! She has a ton of different ideas that are oh-so-cute! If you would like to try them, here's how I made them...

1. Depending on how many you want to make and what size you make them you can either bake a cake using your favorite cake mix or just use cake scraps from another cake. I only used 2/3 of my cake and ended up with about 50 balls, using a 9x13 pan.

2. Let the cake cool, then crumble it all up in a big bowl.

3. Mix in a store bought frosting, such as Betty Crocker or Duncan Hines. The recipe calls for a whole can if you use a whole cake, but I only used 1/3 of the can with 2/3 of cake (from a 9x13 pan). So even if I had used a whole cake, I wouldn't have used all the frosting.

4. Time to get your hands dirty! Roll some balls (you can make them as big or little as you want, but the norm seems to be 1" to 1 1/2"). Place them on a wax/parchment paper lined baking sheet. Then add some lollipop sticks, about half way in.

5. Pop those babies in the fridge for about a couple hours, or in the freezer for 15-30 minutes.

6. Melt some chocolate, almond bark, or candy melts as the package describes.

7. Take the cake pops out of the fridge and dip them in your coating. You may also have to spoon some of your chocolate/candy over the pop to thoroughly coat. Tap the pop over the bowl to reduce drippage. Then I stood them up in a styrofoam block and poured some sprinkles over the top, then let them stand to dry. From here they are good to go! For a little added decoration, I just wrapped them in lollipop bags and tied with a little bow. Cute and delicious!

Now watch for more caking experiences to come....

Thursday, February 4, 2010

They say it's your birthday!

Well, maybe not your's. But it was mine yesterday! I had a blast with the girls to celebrate last night! And of course I made myself a cake. Now, it wasn't what I had planned, but it worked out okay. I wanted a two tiered cake (one being a dummy, just to practice with one!), with the top matching the ribbon I had picked out for my cake plate. But I ran out of time, so I ended up with only my one tier. :(

Plus I didn't have time to practice my perfect buttercream skills I learned via Sharon Zambito from SugarEd Productions, whose videos are just ingenius! And hopefully one day I will actually have the time to watch the WHOLE video and take LOTS of notes, and then practice, practice, practice!

Here's what my little cake looked like, with the help of my "assistant" (my sis-in-law...heehee!) who decided a "J" would make the top! I think she was right...great job, Heather!

The cake was a chocolate fudge cake, with Nutella filling (had to try it out since I've heard it tastes amazing), and buttercream icing. I wasn't the biggest fan of the Nutella, but most nutty things aren't for me, so don't take my word for it! I also got to try out my diamond impression mat for the first time, and boy do I need more practice with that! For the intersecting diamonds, I used Wilton sugar pearls. And I used my new tweezer thingy (technical term) from Nicholas Lodge!