Sunday, April 17, 2011

Angry Birds Cake

Ba Da Bump Bum, Ba Da Bump Bum, Bada Da Da Da Da Da Da Dah Bump. WAAAANK! WAAAANK! Hiiiighhhh YAAAAAH!... Heh Heh Heh Heh. Heh Heh Heh Heh. Heh Heh Heh.

Translation: Exacting revenge on those egg-stealing, disputable pigs requires fuel. The kind of high-octane, pure energy found in a Mexican Hot Chocolate Cake with Chocolate Red Chile Whipped Ganache.  Almost entirely edible (minus some support for the sling shot and long planks), this 8" cake is sculpted in chocolate and vanilla fondant with pieces that are entirely moveable to make your own Angry Birds tableaus.

Friday, April 15, 2011

Spring Wedding Cupcakes

Once upon a time, in church halls across the country, punchbowls brimmed with champagne punch,
jordan almonds preened in tulle and dessert tables beheld
the newlywed's first sweet taste of married bliss. 

Here's a modern interpretation for the classic cake and punch reception: a lovely tower of cupcakes
as the centerpiece of the dessert table. The bride and groom had requested their friends and family
bring a sweet ending to help celebrate their new beginning at their luncheon reception. With a cupcake
 tower, the couple can still pose for that iconic wedding photo of 'cutting the cake' while keeping with their casual spirit.  

This glimmering sliver stand allows for a single cupcake to rise to the top, 
here with a pair of lemon yellow love birds. 

Cupcakes are princess white sour cream cake filled with red raspberry jam and finished with a 
generous swirl of wedding-white buttercream.  Pale yellow, grass green, soft pink and
 white gumpaste daisies glow from hand painted silver luster dust and small pearls.  

Tuesday, April 5, 2011

Couture Inspired Cakes

The world of design is full of inspiration, borrowing and expanding on ideas that cross the genres of graphic, textile, visual, architectural and natural forms. On wedding dresses, I love the row of tiny little pearl buttons that often grace the back of the bodice and sometimes trail down the skirt. And rouched bodices! Oh how I wish there were more occasions to wear formal dresses. 

Thankfully, I can have my taste of formal design (and eat it too) with couture inspired cake design.  I think that this would be an amazing small wedding cake, or incorporated into a larger tiered design.  The cake itself is wedding worthy: a bridal white cake with raspberry filling  and Italian meringue buttercream (recipe follows)

Italian Meringue Buttercream (IMBC)

1 1/4 cups sugar
  • 5 large egg whites
  • Pinch of cream of tartar
  • 1 pound (4 sticks) unsalted butter chilled, but not hard
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

How to: 

  1. In a small saucepan over medium heat, bring sugar and 1/2 cup water to a boil. Continue boiling until syrup reaches 240 degrees on a candy thermometer which is about the soft ball stage.
  2. Meanwhile, place egg whites in the bowl of a standing mixer fitted with the whisk attachment, and beat on low speed until foamy. Add cream of tartar, and beat on medium-high speed until stiff but not dry; do not overbeat.
  3. With mixer running, add syrup to whites in a stream, beating on high speed until bowl feels cool to the palms when touched, about 5 minutes. Switch to the paddle and continue beating and add butter by the tablespoon, waiting for it to be incorporated before adding the next chunk. Watch in horror as the mixture becomes a curdled mess.  Continue beating. The buttercream will come back together and become smooth and fluffy. If the temperature in your house is over 75, I suggest putting some soft ice packs around the bottom of the bowl to keep the buttercream cool. You know the buttercream is ready when it makes a 'slapping' sound in the mixer. 

    Use the buttercream immediately, or allow to firm up a bit in the fridge if it is too limp.  This buttercream freezes beautifully and with a slow defrost and a quick re-whip in the mixer, it is ready to go. 

It's Coming up Cupcakes

When a spring birthday takes a class of kindergardeners to the park for celebrating, be sure that flowers and butterflies will be there decorating the occasion.

Sunny yellow and leaf green American buttercream top off these princes white sour cream cakes. A variety of large and small fondant flowers, leaves, and butterflies brushed with shimmer luster dust make these birthday cupcakes ready for a song.