Monday, August 22, 2011

The Anniversary Cake

To save or not to save? That is a serious wedding cake question. I'm a sucker for tradition, but I also love the idea of a fresh tier baked and decorated on the first anniversary. Which is exactly what this cake is: an anniversary cake for a beautiful couple who were wed last summer in Sedona, AZ. I did the bride's favorite flavor from their wedding cake: red chile chocolate with whipped red chile chocolate ganache filling. 

Their original cake was done in chocolate fondant with baby blue accents, and so this anniversary cake is a rift on that original design. Because the anniversary cake would be handled less (no stacking or traveling 4+ hours!), I kept it in a delectable ganache finish with sugar paste flowers and a fondant ribbon. 

Of course my favorite part of this cake was sharing in an anniversary celebration with the Povios when they made a trip down to Tucson.  There is very little more rewarding than making cakes for my dear friends and being rewarded with their generosity of love and friendship in return.  

Thursday, August 18, 2011

Signature and Classic Cupcake Sizes

Sugar Song is pleased to offer two sizes of cupcakes on our menu. Pictured above is the Classic cupcake on the left in the paisley paper, and the Signature cupcake on the right in the white paper.

The Classic cupcake is the size of what most of us grew up with and have lovingly purchased at bake sales through the years. It is perfect for a child's birthday party or as a component on a dessert table.  If cupcakes are the singular dessert and classic size is served, plan on an average of 2-3 cakes per person. Their modest size makes it easy to have more than one--especially if a variety of flavors are presented.

Signature cupcakes are larger and taller, baked in an elegant pleated liner or in the dramatic pointed parchment cups.  The larger size of the Signature makes it the perfect starting point for fillings and special toppings and ingredients. Some of the more intricate flavor profiles need this extra space for all the elements to be incorporated. When Signature cupcakes are served, you can order one cake per guest, but don't be surprised if someone wants to take one for the road!

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

How to Train A Birthday Cake

Soaring into the party to wish the birthday boy a happy birthday is Toothless (a.k.a the elusive Night Fury from the movie How to Train Your Dragon).  The cake depicts a scene from the movie where the dragons fly and dodge through craggy mountains jutting out of the treacherous ocean (notice the white caps as the waves break upon the shore?). This is a 1/4 sheet cake of  fudge chocolate with lots of blue buttercream--at the birthday boy's request.

The dragon was made from shaped crispy rice treats covered in fondant. Wings were made from sugar paste and attached with wires. To keep it authentic to the movie, half of his tail was done to look like brown leather. The mountains were chunks of cake covered with ganache and fondant.

Toothless in process. 

Thursday, August 11, 2011

Let's Hear it for Small Celebrations That are Oh So Big!

Cakes can celebrate the big things: birthdays, baby showers, weddings – but why not have a small cake for other sweet celebrations throughout the year?  This was the first day of kindergarten for my first baby, giving me just enough time to put together a quick little love note to show him how proud we are of him! 

Baking at home gives me a great opportunity to test new recipes and play around with new ideas.  This cake is an allergy-friendly, eggless banana cake (almost vegan if I switched out the dairy milk for soy or rice milk) with a caramel buttercream and fondant cut outs. The great thing about this cake is the fine texture (thanks to the puréed bananas) and a less sugary taste. 

Between the 8" layers is a swipe of caramel buttercream and fresh banana slices. I sprinkled a bit of brown sugar on the bananas before closing it up.  Small side note: while delicious, the brown sugar created a syrup that has migrated down into (yeah) and out (boo!) of the cut cake after a few hours.

It's not fancy, it's not perfect. But for our little celebration, it was the sweetest cake ever.