Monday, May 23, 2011

Carrot Cupcakes

These were for a taste test with another couple getting married in June.  I haven't made carrot cakes since last fall.  Why not?!?!  I do not know.  They are sooo yummy.  Organic shredded fresh carrots with pineapple, cinnamon and ginger, and just slightly sweetened cream cheese frosting.  They decided to go with the candied ginger topping instead of the traditional chopped pecans and I'm so happy they did!  It's a touch more sophisticated and unexpected.  :)

Sunday, May 22, 2011

Practice Cake

I made a practice cake today for a wedding coming up in June.  White fondant covered cakes are the hardest to do and that's what's on order.  So practice I must!  This was not perfect, but it was close.  The dots and roses on the actual cake will be different.  I just used what I had on hand for the accent.

The actual cake may have fresh roses or butter cream, I just wanted to give the fondant rose a try.  I had a good start when my little water or gumpaste "glue" cup spilled on the rolled out fondant (which ruins it) so I have half a rose.
I found this milk glass plate at the antique mall this week for $6.  I have since had it sitting on the table placing my cereal bowl or coffee cup on it just because it's so pretty makes me smile.  :)

Thursday, May 19, 2011


This is for a friend who sent me an etsy link with blue fondant hippos and asked if I could make some purple ones she could put atop cookies for her daughter's birthday.  I was so happy she asked.  It gave me something new to learn and allowed her to shop locally which I know is something she appreciates. 

 How cute are these???
 Surprisingly, at least to me, was that the hardest part was getting the eyes right.  I made at least double than what I needed.  Who knew that black circles inside white circles would be so challenging?  If they weren't exactly in the center and exactly round and exactly the same size, they looked goofy.  And these still turned out a little bit different on each hippo.  I guess that just gives them each their own personality.  :)
Happy Hippos!

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Fruit Tart and Berry Cups

Is there anything better than a fresh fruit tart when the weather is warm?  I think not!  The local grocery store had a berry sale this week and I stocked up.  And since I found out today the recipe I use for the filling is on the back of the Hersey's white chocolate chip bag, I'll share it with you now.  :)

Mix 3/4 cup of butter and 1/2 cup powdered sugar until crumbly.
Slowly add 1-1/2 cup AP flour.
Press into a fruit tart pan, bake at 300 degrees F for 25-30 mins and let cool.

1 12oz pkg of white chocolate chips, melted and cooled.
Add 1/4 cup of whipping cream to cooled chocolate chips.
Then beat in 1 8oz pkg of cream cheese.
Eat all of it yourself that instant because who can help it and make a new batch for the tart.

Top with fresh cut fruit of your choice.  The recipe says to add a glaze of 3Tbs sugar + 2 tsp cornstarch and 1/2 tsp lemon juice.  Instead, I add a little lemon juice, a little sugar, and some fresh mint in with the fruit.  So yummy!

But because it's a beautiful day, instead of laboring over a massive fruit tart (which I do on special occasions) here's what I did...
Frozen Mini Fillo Shells.  So easy!
I get really excited when I can use fresh herbs from right outside my back door.

Strawberries are so pretty when photographed.

 Now if you'll excuse me, I have some devouring to do!  :)

Friday, May 13, 2011

Three Easy Steps and A Very Busy Week

I had three events to bake for this week plus a beautiful new addition to the extended family which meant making time for out of town family visitors and keeping the new big brother!  It's been one crazy week!  With that said, I didn't stage my pictures this go round.  I just took them as I went.

(This is my version of a tutorial...for Clara.)  ;)
Step 1: Bake beautifully round, scrumptious cupcakes.

Step 2: Frost with equally beautiful scrumptious frosting.  ;)

Step 3: Decorate with pretty little fondant flowers you made earlier in the week.

These cupcakes are for a dear friend who is graduating today.  She worked so hard.  She deserves a sweet reward!

...for another friend celebrating her tenure. (She had to explain to me the process and I felt kinda dumb after that.) :)     Very fragile Ghirardelli Chocolate shavings and curls on top of Chocolate (with a little bit of coffee) Cupcakes.  Yummy!  I also made Hummingbird Cupcakes with Cream Cheese frosting and Toasted Coconut to go with these but I didn't get to take a picture of those.  It was late and too dark...and I was too tired.

 My husband came home for lunch while I was baking these yesterday and said "How come you always make the chocolate ones for everybody else and not me?"  I don't know.  Did he miss the anniversary cupcakes I spent all afternoon on less than a week ago???  Well anyway, I ended up with 13 of these and he does pay the rent, so....'re welcome! ;)

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

Boy Joy Baby Shower

A few cupcakes for a church baby shower; my first of three jobs this busy week.  I tried yet another yellow cake recipe.  It got great reviews from my taste testers, but I didn't think it was quite moist enough.  So the search continues.  Here they are.
 Mom's name is Joy.  :)
 Little feet stamped on fondant which will go on toothpicks...

Ta Da!

  B is for Boy!

Friday, May 6, 2011

Seis De Mayo

It's our anniversary, so of course I baked.  These cupcakes are kind of for my hubby, and kind of for a get together with friends tonight celebrating Cinco De Mayo albeit a day late, and kind of just another subject for me to practice my food photography on. 

Dark chocolate cupcakes with fresh strawberry buttercream frosting and a white chocolate covered strawberry half on top.  This was my first time making buttercream with fresh fruit puree.  And honestly, I had to do it twice.  I've avoided it knowing it wasn't easy.  But the second time was a charm.  They're pretty little things.  I can't wait to devour these in a few hours!

Then guess what happened...
I dropped my camera in the cupcakes.  Ha! 

Happy Anniversary hon!  xoxo

Wednesday, May 4, 2011

Food Fotos

Starting this blog made me realize how important good photographs are for showcasing food.  Thanks to some encouragement from friends, I convinced myself that with lots of research and practice I could become my own food photographer. 

The good news is this gave me an excuse to bake - I mean, I needed something to photograph right? - and try a new yellow cake recipe.  The recipe needs some work, it didn't rise as much as I'd like and the bottoms were greasy - I hate that!  But the flavor was very good so I'll keep at it.   

The bad news is food photography is not as easy as it may seem!  I think I did alright for my first try.   I took A TON of pictures and still had to adjust the brightness on these (it was cloudy out today though).  And note to self, never ever ever, under any circumstances, use green cupcake liners when photographing cupcakes!  Never!  And on that note...

The collection.
p.s. the background to these is the pillowcase that goes with my new quilt top mom and I made while I was back home.  Some day I'll get it quilted and post pics of it too.

I love Paula Deen!  She reminds me of my mom.  They talk the same and they both have little regard for how much butter goes into things.  When it comes to baking at least, I couldn't agree more.  I got these picks on clearance at Michels, made my Paula Deen.

I've been trying the "rosette" technique for frosting cupcakes.  It's done exactly the opposite of how I normally do the cupcake swirl.  Whaddya think?

I didn't take that many angled shots, but they are the ones that turned out the best.  So keep tilting your head.  We're almost done.

That's all y'all!  ;)