Monday, September 29, 2008
Today I finished my last Wilton class for the first level. Our assignment was to bake and frost (just the crust layer) a cake.
I chose a chocolate cake and I decided to tort the cake because I had not done that before. I was maybe a little over ambitious, but I'm pretty pleased with the results.
In the interest of full disclosure, let me say this: my husband baked the cake. It tastes great and he did a great job. I had a full set of cupcakes to make this weekend, along with three batches of frosting and just could not make myself bake a cake on top of that. So, thank you husband!
I should have practiced torting and the base coat of frosting prior to making the cake for my final class, but I'm pretty pleased with how it turned out.
I'll be posting a more in-depth look at this cake and the process to decorate it on my new website: www.cupocakedesigns.com It will be October's featured project. Please check the website later this week to see even more pictures of the cake.
I start Wilton level 2 next Monday. I'll be learning to make more flowers as well as how to do a basket weave frosting.
This year my husband threw a nice birthday party for me (and another friend- we share the same birthday). So I got to spend time with close friends. Even though my family couldn't be there, they were sure to call and let me know they were thinking of me.
What does this have to do with this blog? Well, the answer is: I got a lot of baking and crafting items for my birthday.
Over the next few weeks I am looking forward to using my new supplies and I can't wait to share the results! I got everything from cake pans to gel pens to stamps to piping tips. Crazy! So, stay tuned because I plan to try everything out.
Wednesday, September 24, 2008
I tried out a new Yellow cake recipe. I am still in search of a nice fluffy, light, moist yellow or vanilla recipe. This one? Not it. These little suckers tasted more like pound cake. Don't get me wrong, I love pound cake. I just was not looking to create a pound cake cupcake.
So, I brought them into class and used the Wilton tip to fill them. My instructor told me they probably wouldn't hold much filling for two reasons: 1) they were super dense & 2) the cupcakes fill more when they are still warm. I figured I'd give it a shot anyhow because I wanted to see how the frosting tip worked. As you can see below, it did not fill the cupcake hardly at all. Oh well, next time I will do it while they are warm.
I decorated them at home, colored some of the creme purple to serve as the base frosting and then put some of my buttercream roses on top.
I think the decorations came out pretty nicely (though my roses need a bit of work still), and disappeared from my office in record time.
Tuesday, September 23, 2008
Above are my best rose attempts. My frosting was a little too stiff, so I was having difficulty getting them to hold together. I plan to do some heavy duty practicing this week in preperation for my final class (and cake).
We also learned how to do drop flowers and shell borders. Then we moved on to the Wilton clowns. I thought these guys were kind of creepy, but I took some pictures anyways, just for fun.
Wednesday, September 17, 2008
Go check it out!
Also, I have renamed the blog to reflect the name of my new company. Keep your eyes peeled for the unveiling of my company logo in the upcoming weeks.
Tuesday, September 16, 2008
After that, I finished filling the cupcake liners with batter (until 2/3 full) and baked them according to the recipe.
Unfortunately, in trying to turn the remaining cupcakes a nice scarlett color I totally overmixed the batter. Which lead to cupcakes that were extremely dense and looked more like red hockey pucks. They still taste great, they just don't look nice and puffy.
After frosting, I topped some of the plain vanilla cupcakes with the mini buckeyes I made last week. Yum!
Friday, September 12, 2008
Monday, September 08, 2008
After thinking about and talking about taking these classes for three years now (yes, you read that right, three years), I finally signed up and am taking class #1.
Next week I actually get to use the tools and try some techniques out. This week it was all demonstration (by the instructor). I'll bring my camera in next Monday and take pictures if I make anything worth while (or maybe even of my mistakes).
Thank goodness my birthday is coming up- because I think I can avoid buying a whole mess of Wilton/cake decorating stuff. Just knowing there is a gift giving occasion on the horizon will keep me in check.
I think I have to bake a cake sometime between now and my third class- we have to bring one to our fourth, and final class. I want to practice splitting and leveling the cake- not to mention frosting it. So, guess my coworkers will have something yummy to snack on in a week or two...
Thursday, September 04, 2008
A few weeks ago I participated in a cook-off at a friend's BBQ. There were several categories, but it should be no surprise to anyone that I chose the dessert category.
When I think BBQ, summer, and outdoors- I think fruity drinks, of the alcoholic variety. I'd had my eye on the Margarita Cupcake recipe from Vegan Cupcakes Take Over the World for quite some time now, and thought this was the perfect occasion.
If you've ever cooked with a Vegan recipe or tried Vegan desserts before they can have a grainy texture that might turn off non-Vegans. I was a little worried about this, but the recipe (and the book for that matter) has great reviews all over the internet. So, I went for it.
Both the cupcakes and the frosting have lime and tequila in them. My frosting wasn't strictly vegan as I used butter (but you can definitely make it vegan frosting).
The cupcakes were a huge hit at the BBQ and as you can see- I won the dessert category. I don't have photographs of the cupcakes because they were a melty divided mess (having had to be cut into pieces to allow everyone to taste them). Just picture a light green frosting with a "rim" of green sugar sprinkles and a candy lime wedge (also not vegan) as a garnish. Mmmmm.
There were only five dessert entries, but given that the rest of them were chocolate, I'm pretty proud of myself for finishing first. My medal is hanging up in my kitchen as inspiration during all future baking sessions.
What does this mean? Anyone out there who's so inclined should make cupcakes on or before Friday, September 26th. Be creative and make something out of your comfort zone- something unique and unexpected in cupcake form.
I'm brainstorming right now. What are you going to make?
Wednesday, September 03, 2008
The recipe for these cupcakes came from the Cake Mix Doctor, as I saw it on How to Eat a Cupcake. The cupcakes were for the last softball game of the season (for my team) and earned great reviews.
Personally, I thought they were only ok. The recipe calls for Sour Cream, which I really hate. I swear I could taste the sour cream- my husband says I'm crazy. Next time, I think I'll try using vanilla yogurt instead.
Anyhow! The cupcakes have a half of an Oreo cookie baked on the bottom, and cookie crumbs baked throughout. They were super easy to make.
To frost the cupcakes I used store bought vanilla frosting which I melted for a few seconds (10 max) in the microwave. After melting the frosting, I dipped the cupcakes to coat them. Then I used Pull -n-Peel twizzlers cut to size for the "stitching" on the softballs.
I made this card for a friend's 30th birthday. I wanted something that went with the theme (well, my theme) for the night- my husband & I gave the birthday boy Guinness and home brewed beer as a gift and I'd made a delicious Guinness cake for the party. Thus, the beer on the card.
The Guinness itself was paper pieced. I cut out the beer and the foam first, and then used an Overhead (clear plastic sheets) to cut out the pint glass- and yes, I cut out two pieces (one for the back and one for the front) to make it more authentic.
After I put the pint together, I stamped the sentiment and went over it with a gel pen. I cut out the piece of paper to make it look like it was curved along the glass. Then I attached a ribbon to the sentiment using brads, and put the ribbon around the pint. The pint is raised off the paper using pop dots.
Finally, I stamped "30" in the upper left corner with Versamark and rounded my edges with a paper punch.
Another Baby card for another couple who is expecting. This time I knew it was a boy, so I felt more comfortable opting for a blue palette.
Tigger is cut using my Cricut. The sentiment is stamped and then gone over with a sparkly gel pen. Finally I added brads to the top, to draw the eye to the sentiment.
I made this card for a co-worker who recently graduated and has moved on to begin her new career.
There's no Cricut on this card- now there's a phrase I rarely use. I used a Sizzix die for the Shamrocks- and then hand cut the background shamrock shape (in ivory). Although you cannot see it in the photo, I used pop dots to make the middle shamrock stand out.
Good luck was stamped and then gone over in a sparkly gel pen. I added brads to draw the eye towards the sentiment.
This little Pooh was too cute to pass up. Since I have no idea if the baby is a boy or a girl, I stuck with neutral colors. I just love that rich green color.
I used a corner punch to round the corners and added buttons to accent the stamped phrase. Although you can't see it in the photo, I used a gel pen for Pooh's tongue.