Wednesday, August 31, 2016

Falling In Love in October

As long as I can remember I love all things fall. I love the mountains in the fall, the apples and yes even pumpkins spice everything!  I met my husband in the fall and we married in October. It is such a blessing and a joy to create wedding cakes in October <3

 Hand made a special mold just to make these sunflowers. 
There were formed from modeling chocolate to ensure they would not melt outside.

 Piping on the side of a cake is a labor of love <3 

 Buttercream Baby! Loved piping these buttercream ruffles. 
No one wants a mouth full of fondant ribbon.
Added just a few fondant roses

 These roses were hand made from slightly 
different shades of white and pink. 
The leaves were white with shimmering
green petal dust.

Love, love, love this Bride and Groom cake!

If you are planning an wedding this year, there is still time to get on my baking schedule. I would love to create something special for your day. Hop over to facebook to send me a message for more information :-)

Monday, April 11, 2016

Making History Sweeter

One of the things I enjoy most about this job is donating cakes and cupcakes for a good cause! And of all the great causes to support in Salisbury, the most fun event for me is the Boot Scootin' Dessert Dash auction during the Denim, Diamonds & Dazzle Fundraiser at Sacred Heart.

How cute is this Tiramisu from last year's Dash? And that fresh strawberry cake! Yum.

It's really pretty simple. Everyone at your table chips in to buy dessert. The table with the highest total gets in line first.  Then the Dash begins!

40. That's right 4-0 bakers and dessert makers from our school and parish
will donate their signature dessert for our buffet.
The highest bid last year went to Micheal Goodman who got in line first 
to choose his mother's freshly piped Cream Puffs. So Sweet!

To make this year even sweeter, all the proceeds from this part of the auction will go to purchase a new history curriculum for Sacred Heart. And that makes this Dessert Dash a really good cause.

There is a whole lot more going on that night than just The Dash. 
I snapped a few good pics from last year's event: 
Can't wait to see this year's ice sculpture. 
It's where all the Diamond and Dazzling appetizers will be.
Whose not dazzled by bacon?
Thank you to Canteen for providing our dazzling menu for the entire evening!

Once the Auction closes, it is time to Get Your Lucky On.
Head on in to the Casino in Brincefield Hall. 
The late night buffet will not disappoint!

Robin Fisher, Camille Denhard, Julianne Goodman, Erin Brinkley and so many other fabulous volunteers are working diligently to make this night Dazzling! Designing the tables, gathering some fabulous items up for auction and keeping the focus on lasting improvments for our students and for those in the years to come. 

The Boot Scootin' Dessert Dash is my favorite event but there are other fabulous raffles and items up for auction, like the Grand Prize Raffle is a trip for 4 to Disney! Including hotel accommodations, daily park passes and a family meal plan. Anyone can purchase raffle tickets and you do not have to be present to win,  The tickets are $20 each or 3 for $50. Contact any parent from the school or call the school office if you want to throw your hat in.
Still smiling! Anna served as a waiter and 
I was gearing up to roll out that Casino buffet

The new game this year is "The Good, the Bad and the Lucky" with two trips to choose from for the Lucky Winner. And several great consolation prizes for 4 other Lucky players.

All in all, there is a sit down dinner, three raffles, a silent auction, a live auction, a casino and The Dash! Let's get back to my part of the Dash <3 Deciding what to make last year was easy, I choose the cakes that got the most likes on facebook! Chocolate Raspberry, Chocolate Wrapped Red Velvet, and Reese's Cup Peanut Butter Cake (ok, that was a new one for me but Y-U-M-O!)

This year, we are Bringing Back the Dazzle! I am taking my desserts up a level. Literally. I am choosing to make three double barrel towering confections to Dazzle the dessert table! Each cake will be two cakes tall and serve a generous 15.

I made this Chocy-Wocky-Do-Dah cake for Catholic Daughter and St. Ann's Circle bake sale last summer. I'll be adding chocolate covered strawberries to the tower.

Next up is this Dazzling Golden Peanut Butter Tower. I have not made it yet but The Cake Blog photos are stunning! Erin Gardner created it and I can not wait to try it!

My third cake will have to be Red Velvet. I mean, hello, what Southern can deny the Dazzling-ness of a chocolate wrapped Red Velvet cake? The one below will be taller. Much taller. Towering. 

We are just three weeks away from the Denim, Diamond & Dazzling Fundraiser for Sacred Heart on Sturday April 30, 2016! I just love that the proceeds from the Boot Scootin' Dessert Dash are going to Make History Sweeter for the students at Sacred Heart! Hope to see you there!

Saturday, March 19, 2016

Burlap Cake Lace

Super excited to share this method of making burlap for cake! Fretted about spending a lot of money for what might be a one time project and finally came up with this approach. Using Amazing Mold putty, 7 count plastic canvas for sewing and Cake Lace mix from Hobby Lobby.

 For about $20 with a coupon, I made my own silicone cake lace mold.

Once I kneaded the putty, I rolled it out super thin between two cutting mats and pressed the plastic canvas into the putty. After it cured for 20mins, I mixed the cake lace, colored it brown and spread it on the mat. I baked the lace following the package directions. Once it cools, you can gently peel away the mat and you will end up with a long ribbon of burlap!

One important step in the cake lace instructions, not included in the package, is to let the mixture rest to allow the air bubble to rise to the top. Then you can gently stir it to eliminate that problem. My first attempts using cake lace resulted in one side being quite spotty from bubbles and the other side nice and flat. So far, letting the mixture rest is the only solution I have found.

 As you can see, I did not scrape the cake lace mixture completely off of the mat, leaving some of the little holes covered. I did this to make the finished product a little stronger and because burlap isn't completely see through. I think it looks rustic enough! 

Here I have already cut out the bow using a small leaf cutter, one leaf for each half of the bow. Then I folded the leaves over and made a little loop for a bow. Use a tiny bit of water to seal the loop.  

When I have a chance to experiment more I plan to see what impression it makes with fondant.

Saturday, October 3, 2015

Dreamy Caramel Frosting

The absolute best part of this job is research. Frosting research. Caramel Frosting research!

I have tried several versions of Caramel Frosting and the winner is Martha Stewart's Dark Brown Sugar Swiss Meringue.

What I was searching for was a creamy caramel flavor, without a super sugary taste. So that rules out every recipe that adds powdered sugar. Those were too sweet and somehow never fully incorporated the sugar, so a little crunchy.

Then there are the cooked caramel frostings. You know, the kind you think of when someone says Caramel Cake. Cake Doctor has a Quick Caramel Frosting that is nice, but this frosting tend to harden quickly. And they are not silky. And if you mess up, the frosting gets crunchy. Alton Brown did a whole episode on the science of Caramel. has this Caramel Frosting V that I really do love. The only downside is that you have to start a day in advance. Let the butter/cream mixture cool completely in the fridge overnight. And then, if it is too humid, the frosting might not whip up without 4 cups of powdered sugar. I think I've mentioned how I feel about that!

My second favorite and go-too in a pinch is Caramel Marshmallow Meringue. I found the recipe here, Abby calls it Shortcut Marshmallow Buttercream. Add a tablespoon or two of caramel sauce and instant delicious creamy frosting. Ok, so there is 3/4c powdered sugar. But it does melt into the fluff. Worth noting about this recipe: you can not double it. Somehow when you try to double this recipe, it gets too soft, not pipe-able. And it takes about 2 batches to frost an 8" cake.

That brings us to Martha Stewart's Dark Brown Sugar Swiss Meringue. It is everything I was looking for in a Caramel Frosting. Not too sweet, creamy, deep caramel flavor and one batch is plenty to cover an 8" inch cake. Takes about 30 mins to make. One hint to make this recipe fool proof: when you start to whip the egg white/sugar mixture wrap the outside of your bowl in ice packs or frozen veggies. I used canned vegetables to hold the ice bags in place. It cools the frosting to the right temp to add the butter.

To add to the caramel-i-ness, I gently poured caramel sauce over the chilled cake just enough to run down the sides.

Friday, August 14, 2015

Let's Roll!

 20 edible equilateral triangles.

Not many pictures of this process but will share what I have.  Begin by making 3 batches of rice krispie treats.

The websites that helped the most are these:  20D Gingerbread  (this has clear pictures of the pyramid shapes you will need)  and Metallic D20  (this has an excellent description of how to make this out of cardboard). Oh yes, and20D template

Once you read those to posts, you can begin to see how this is going to come together.

Step 1. Make a cardboard mold. It will be three pieces: 2 pyramids and a middle section. And like the Metallic D20, the triangles need to be 4" on every side.

The two circle like shapes are the top and bottom, You cut these out of corrugated cardboard to make a 5 sided pyramid. Once you cut the outside shape and score the inside line, tape the open ends together and tah-dah: pyramid. Cover this in foil.

The long string of triangles makes the middle section. Once you cut the strip out of cardboard and score the inside lines, you need to wrap this all in foil before you attach the two ends together with packing tape or duct tape.

Step 2:  Spray the foil with cooking spray so the RKT's don't stick! Fill the two pyramids with RKT.  Then position one pyramid below the middle round section, lining up the sides. And fill that with RKT. Finally place the second pyramid on top and really press the whole thing together. Let this chill in the fridge to get firm.

Step 3: Cut out 20 triangles from modeling chocolate. Modeling chocolate allows you to blend the seams a little better.  These need to be fairly thick. Use the yellow rings from the wilton rolling pin set.

Step 4: Place all 20 triangles of modeling chocolate on the rice krispie treat shape.

Step 5: Remove foil from cardboard and use the cardboard mold to help define your edges.

Step 6: Let the shape rest. I set one of the pyramids in a bowl, placed the shape in that.  Here was the tricky part. As my 20D rested it started to sag. No worries. Just use the cardboard to reshape the whole thing. As the modeling chocolate dries a little, the shape will harden too.

This shows the shape sitting in a bowl. The foil would leave an impression on the modeling chocolate, so take that off.  Then the chocolate should not stick to the cardboard. Nice flat edges to help shape it.

Step 7: Add numbers. I used a Wilton Number mold. But you could pipe these on with royal icing too. Once your numbers are on, spray the whole thing gold or silver!

To position this on the cake, I covered a small square with brown fondant, placed dowels in the bottom cake and set the 20D on that. I also ran kabob stick through the whole through to add stability.

Whew. It worked!  A fabulous trophy cake for the game lover in your life.

Sunday, April 19, 2015

Mr. & Mrs.

     October may be the new May for weddings, but May is still, well, Wedding Season! I love that brides have so many different ideas for cake and especially cake flavors!

I love these cakes because they really show the personality of the couple.

 These smaller cakes are among my favorite because they are so simply elegant.

 Finally, I love these cake because of the fresh flowers, the patterns, 
the white on white and the solid gold tier! 

I would love to plan something special for your wedding, please call.  
Most of all enjoy every second and look forward to Celebrating Life Together <3

Sunday, January 25, 2015

No Power? No Problem.

As most of you know, here in the Carolinas, winter really doesn't even begin until late January. I mean the days get shorter and it is kind of dreary out. But if you are looking for snow and ice, think January or February and sometime March.

It was February/March last year when we were hit with two storms in a row. The second one lasted half a day and we were without power for the next four days. By half a day, I mean the sun was shining and ice gone by 3p. No matter, we still were without power for the next 4 days. No school, no heat and most way to turn on the mixer.

By the grace of God, I had already baked all the cakes for that weekend and even had finished most of the decorations. Just need to make frosting.A lot of frosting. That meant a mixer, running water and paper towels.

Enough time has passed I can finally share the story of that weekend and the 4 orders I finished on the fly.

 First up is this adorable set of cake, smash cake and cookies. I loved this whole design. At this point in the weekend, I was still feeling positive. Lee hooked up his generator and plugged in my Kitchen Aid, I set up the 5 gallons of water at the sink and I was ready to go!

Next, were the simple and elegant cupcakes for a wedding shower.  These were sweet and simple. No power? No problem. I did have to call and change the location pick-up because I knew we would not make it much longer in our house.

By the now time was flying, one day turned in to two. I was confounded that such a short storm could disrupt My Baking Schedule so much! I packed up the Kitchen Aid, cake, butter, sugar and, well, enough stuff to compete on Cupcake Wars and moved to the first borrowed kitchen of the weekend. That was enough time to run the mixer and frost two cakes to chill in the fridge for stacking the next day.

The next day, I moved the whole show to the second borrowed kitchen for several hours to decorate this beauty for a wedding shower at my favorite, Ellis Park. And called the customer and offered to deliver the cake to gain a little more time. I didn't even get a picture but downloaded these from facebook.

Finally, after three days and two kitchen and waking up to yet another day of NO POWER. I move to the third borrowed kitchen. Although I was so very, very tempted to cancel this order, I was so very, very happy I did not!  I was not able to print the image I wanted from my own computer but went to Staples for their help, Then got busy fulfilling this last order for the Weekend-With-No-Power.

The circles and monograms were for cupcake toppers. I can't remember how many cupcakes, nor can I find my notes.And the sheet cake was for the grooms cake. When we arrived, I learned that the bride's cake baker had also lost power and sent what she was able to complete. A very,very small cake. My heart went out to the bride and baker. Losing power is hard to overcome when your buisness is at home. And I was so very, very glad that even though this cake was not what I had planned...the guests would have cake at the reception!

What a weekend. I can't say how grateful I am for two sisters and a very dear friend giving up their kitchen for hours at a time for me to complete these orders. I've had a year to consider what kind of plan I would have next time the power goes out. Meanwhile, I'll keep praying that it doesn't!