Archive | June, 2011

Mini Trifles

27 Jun

A few months ago I kind of got into this trifle phase. I made a strawberry one, an apple one, and I think another one that I can’t remember off the top of my head. I had an idea for a new trifle a while back and I’ve just been letting the concept simmer for a while,  until I came up with the perfect way to pull it off. I was very proud of this idea, because it was actually an original one for me. Lots of times when I make really cool cakes, I simply copy someone else’s designs from cakecentral.com. 😉 But this time, I came up with the idea all by myself. 🙂 I’ve been wanting to make a banana pudding trifle, consisting of layers of: banana cake (very similar to a banana nut bread), vanilla pudding, cool whip, and of course vanilla wafers. We all know it just can’t be banana pudding without the wafers.

Fast forward to a couple of weeks ago when I went to Crisper’s with a couple of friends. They had little mini cake desserts that they sold in individual sized square glasses. I’ve seen the same type thing at several restaurants, so most of you probably know what I’m talking about. Almost like a shot glass but full of cake. Then it hit me: individual sized banana pudding trifles. Yes. This would be a winner. I searched all around for the best serving dish I could find, and it turns out that it’s not too simple to find a mini cake glass. I finally found one I was happy with at a party store.

Of course, once all of the different components are ready the assembly is quite simple. I baked a banana cake, whisked together some vanilla pudding, and bought cool whip and mini vanilla wafers. Please tell me that you’ve already figured out that I would be using mini wafers for individual sized trifles. There’s just no sense in using the regular sized ones when making mini desserts. If you don’t agree with this, I don’t think you are allowed to read the rest of this blog.

Just kidding.

(kind of)

Here’s my little triffle-making-assembly-line in place:

If you look closely at the layer of banana cake, you’ll see a cookie cutter. I happened to already have a cutter almost the same diameter as the glass. So it was very easy to cut out cake slices to layer in the dish. Score!

I made two layers of each item in my mini-glass and then topped it off with a garnish of 1 banana slice and 1 wafer. The final product looked like this. How cute is this???

Just to give you a better idea of the size of the dessert…

Sorry in advance for the terrible lighting in this next picture. If the picture had turned out half as good as the mini trifles it would’ve been golden.

Now, we all know (generally speaking) the smaller a dessert is, the cuter it is. But…the bigger a dessert is, the happier I am when eating it. 😀 So with that in mind, I also made a few mini trifles that I could enjoy for more than just a couple of nibbles. They weren’t quite as cute, but they turned out pretty well and I still liked how they were individual sized. I made 8, only because that’s the number of glasses that came in the pack. 🙂 I tried to garnish the top of each one just a little differently. Again, the lighting is terrible but you get the idea…

And there you have it. My very own original dessert idea. 🙂 Does that look like a nice ending to a summer time meal or what?

Random Thought of the Day: I’m loving summertime. Nice vacation from work, family visiting from out of town, ice cream, and of course George Strait on my radio. Good times.

Up Next: Probably something festive for the Fourth of July. Maybe even something from my newly hired design consultant, Melanie.
(Melanie, I use the word “hired” loosely, as there not actually a paycheck attached to your title 😀 )

Another Groom’s Cake!

19 Jun

This weekend I was able to make another groom’s cake! It was actually quite a last-minute request, so I didn’t even know until Friday morning that I would be making a groom’s cake for a wedding taking place today! How exciting. 🙂 I wasn’t able to put quite as many good details on this one as the last, since it was on short notice. But…I did have time to make some fondant handcuffs. My first ever, and I really like how they turned out!

Not only did I get to make this groom’s cake, but I also got to pick out the design again. 😀 I was told that there should be handcuffs, because the groom is a correctional officer with the Bay County Sheriff’s Office. Also, his favorite color is green. How perfect…..because they wear green shirts. I tried to make the sheet cake look like the front of his uniform shirt, complete with a collar, buttons, and name badge. Here’s how it turned out!

Those handcuffs really are my favorite part. Let’s take a closer look, shall we?

I was happy with how well the details came through, even after the fondant had dried. I used a couple of different sized icing tips to make the indentations. After the fondant dried, I painted them with luster dust to make them look shiny and metallic. Luster dust is my favorite. 😀

Up Next: Something Peachy. Not quite as delicious as my granny’s homemade peace ice cream……but it will do. 🙂

Random Thought of the Day: HAPPY FATHER’S DAY! I wasn’t able to see my wonderful dad today, but I did talk to him on the phone for a little while. He’s the best! If you haven’t had the chance to see or talk to your dad today, don’t forget about it. 🙂 I did get to see my father in law today, and he’s pretty awesome too. 🙂 To my dad and all the others out there, I hope your day is wonderful!

I hear wedding bells!

12 Jun

This weekend I made 200 cupcakes and a groom’s cake for someone’s wedding. How exciting! I’ve made just a couple of wedding cakes before, but this was the very first wedding I’d baked for that wasn’t for a family member. 🙂 The bride decided she wanted cupcakes instead of a cake at the wedding, so I made 200 cupcakes in 4 different flavors. Talk about a busy oven! She also wanted a very small cake to cut at the reception (didn’t want to miss out on the Kodak moment!) and a groom’s cake that looked like a snare drum.

I did NOT take  pictures of any of this stuff in the making. I was busy enough trying to get it all done, so I figured I didn’t have time to stop and snap pictures at different stages in the decorating process. But I at least want to show you the finished products.

The bride actually let me pick the design for the small cutting cake. How lucky am I? I don’t know many bakers who get to choose a design for a wedding cake. It took a long time for me to decide what to do, but I ended up picking something that went along with her cupcakes. The bride’s sister made some cupcake picks to decorate them with, and there were lots of different designs. But I noticed that a lot of them had a C, the couple’s last initial, and some had flowers. So I decided to put both flowers and a C on the small cake so that it went with the same theme.

The groom’s cake really took some planning ahead. I made the drumsticks and the silver pieces for the outside of the drum (I have no idea what the actual name is for those?!) several days in advance. I wanted them to air dry so that they would become pretty firm. I didn’t want droopy drumsticks, and I definitely didn’t want the silver pieces to fall of the side of the cake. After the silver pieces dried I painted them with something called luster dust, which made them look shiny and metallic. 🙂 It’s basically an edible glitter. It comes in a powder but can be mixed with vanilla extract to create the consistency of a paint. Since all of these parts were made ahead of time, once it was time to bake the cake the decorating was pretty quick! I iced the cake and covered it in homemade marshmallow fondant and then painted the side with brown gel coloring. The groom wanted a wood grain type look to the sides. Once the brown color dried I piped the Pearl logo on top, attached the silver pieces, and placed the drumsticks on top!

Here’s a view of all of the cupcakes together on the table. It was an 8 foot long table, but still a squeeze to fit 200 cupcakes along with the 2 cakes!

Last but not least, a picture of me showing off my handiwork while wearing my super stylish chef’s jacket. 😉

Random Thought of the Day: My mother in law’s birthday was Friday, so between all of the other baking I had going on I wanted to make her a birthday cake. I decided to do a pound cake, and the recipe seriously is fantastic! I’ve posted it here  before, and it’s by Guy Fieri from the Food Network. I know I probably already wrote this when I posted the recipe the first time, but if you like pound cake you *seriously* need to try this recipe! It is amazing.

Next Up: Either something for Father’s Day or something with a gumpaste flower. I can’t decide yet.

The End 🙂

Peanut Butter Frosting

5 Jun

Look at that. Beautiful. All you need for creamy, peanut butter yumminess. I think you’re really going to like this recipe. 🙂

Like most people, I really enjoy the class combo of peanut butter and chocolate.  I’ve posted a few desserts here already that feature both, and now I’m bringing it to you once again. A friend of mine celebrated her birthday yesterday, and she really likes desserts with peanut butter. Of course, I don’t pass up a chance to bake birthday treats, so I was excited to decide on something to make for her. I decided on chocolate cupcakes with peanut butter frosting. I used my sister’s chocolate cake recipe and used a peanut butter filling recipe that I found on cakecentral.com If you’d like the link, you can find it here. I highly recommend it. 😀  http://cakecentral.com/recipes/2316/peant-butter-cup-filling The only change I made was to add a little more powdered sugar. If I was going to use this as a filling for a cupcake (as the recipe suggests) I would follow the directions exactly. By adding the few tablespoons of extra powdered sugar, it made a slightly more stiff texture so that it would be the right consistency for icing.

It’s pretty easy to make.  You begin by mixing together the brown sugar, creamy peanut butter, butter, milk, and Reese’s peanut butter chips in a saucepan. This time I used dark brown sugar because it was what I had in the pantry already, but I’ve also used light brown sugar for this recipe. Either one will work just fine.

 

 

It’s important to keep stirring this as it cooks so that it doesn’t scorch. Once it’s reached a boiling point, you can turn the heat down and let it cook for one more minute. When it’s done cooking it will look something like this.

This mixture will need to cool down a bit before the final step. When it is lukewarm you can mix in the powdered sugar and vanilla. Sorry in advance for the horrible lighting in this picture.

Then it’s ready to spread (or pipe!) onto the cupcakes. Yum! This recipe really is easy, and it also got good reviews. I hope at least one  person who reads this decides to try it someday 😉

Up Next: I’m making over 200 cupcakes for a wedding next weekend, along with the groom’s cake. I’ll be posting  pictures of the finished products. 🙂

Random Thought of the Day: Yesterday my husband and I lost our sweet dalmatian who was 12. If you have a pet, give them an extra hug/kiss/belly rub/treat for me today in honor of Mandy. Remember to cherish them while they are around. She was a dog I’d rescued from a shelter, so if you have ever adopted a shelter animal, or even taken in a stray……high five to you. 🙂