Saturday, September 25, 2010

Birthday Cakes

Remember the baby shower cakes I posted a couple weeks ago?  Well, the lady who hosted that shower called and asked if I would make a couple of cakes for her daughters 16th birthday, per her daughters request.  I took that as a huge compliment and was excited for another chance to practice my budding skills.  It did feel a little like de ja vu though.  She wanted the exact same cakes (a white one with cream filling and a lemon one). Except that she wanted the lemon one to be a 9x13 instead of a round one.  And she wanted butterflies, but nothing too girly,  and no pink or purple.
 I made a turning point with these cakes.  Up until now I would draw out the letters with a toothpick because writing on a cake scares me, but I decided to do without that step today and I dont think I will go back!  It makes decorating them a little faster and it feels good to have a little more confidence.
You can find the recipe for the lemon cake here.

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

Kitty Cat Cupcakes

One of the other contributors to this blog is posting today- my little Bug.  It was her very first day of preschool today, so I asked her what special treat she would like in celebration.  She picked  white cupcakes with white frosting and settled on wanting them decorated like kitties.  No big surprise since she is slightly obbsessed with cats right now since we have 10 of them (6 of them only a month old). 
She did all the decorating, except fo the two she asked me to do with her.  She even plated and photographed them herself.  If you look closely at this picture you will see her tongue sticking out while she concentrates on putting on that ear- just like her mama and grandma do! :) 
Umm, her favorite cat was her messiest one!  Go figure!  She said it was silly.  Im afraid she is going to be the class clown, thanks to her daddy!
Then she complained that her "arms are too tired" and couldnt possibly make another cat, so she opted to finish the rest with leftover floweres and butterflies from the baby shower cakes.
FYI- the cats decorations are as follows:
the eyes and nose are m&m's
the ears are wafer cookies cut into triangles with a serrated knife
the whiskers are pull and peel twizzlers
the mouth are chocolate jimmies

Sunday, September 5, 2010

Girl baby shower cakes

I was excited when I was asked to make a cake for my hubby's cousin's baby shower.  Especially since they had never even tasted or seen any of my cakes before!  Now that's going out on a limb! :)  I hope I didnt disappoint!  But it was going to be a big crowd and I dont have big bakery size pans so I made two. 
The round one is a four layer white cake with a lemon truffle filling, lemon curd topping and whipped cream frosting.  I thinks its about my favorite cake.  I posted the recipe in an earlier post- here
This rectangle one is a white cake with a pastry cream filling and creamy white frosting.  I was going for a somewhat traditional look that was soft and pretty and girly (since it was their first girl after two boys).  Of course it never turns out quite as gorgeous on the cake as it does in my head!  I made two trays of flowers, and about 16 butterflies.  Yeah, a little overkill!  But hey I need the practice and you just never know what might happen to some of them.

Friday, September 3, 2010

Blueberry Muffins

Last weekend I made about 100 muffins for an event my husbands aunt was in charge of.  I did a combo of banana, carrot/raisin, pumpkin (I made these, minus the cream cheese) and these blueberry ones.  These were by far the most popular.  I wonder if its because its a populare flavor or because they were such pretty ones, with the sparkling sugar dressing each one up.  Either way, they were a hit!  (In case you were curious, there was very little banana love that morning, they were the least popular :(
Blueberry Muffins (from king arthur flour)

2 1/4 cups flour
1 1/2 tsp. baking powder
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp. salt
1/4 cup butter, at room temp
3/4 cup sugar
2 eggs
2 tsp. vanilla
1/2 cup sour cream or plain yogurt
1 1/2 cups blueberries, fresh or frozen
coarse sparkling sugar for garnish, optional

*In a small bowl whisk together the flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt.  Set aside.
*In a large bowl cream the butter and sugar until light and fluffy.  Scrape down sides and add the eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition.
*Add the vanilla and sour cream and mix until incorporated.
*Add the dry ingredients and mix just until incorporated (it is a thick batter)
*Fold in the berries by hand (if using frozen, put the berries in frozen and expect a little blue streaking.  I used frozen and you can see the streaking isnt all that bad)
*Put the batter into muffin pans with papers (makes 12- they will be full) and sprinkle generously with the sparkling sugar.  Bake for 18-24 min. at 375 degrees.  (Remove from pans after about 5 mins or as soon as you are able to handle them.  The longer they sit in the pans the more chance they have of becoming tough.  Who knew?   Obviously the super smart bakers at king arthur did! :)