Cake Purse and Polka Dots Galore

So my once a week posting is not happening lately, so I’ll just go ahead and say it, “I will be posting as often as I can” from now on.  Now that’s not to say that I’m not trying new recipes and techniques, but I’ve just had so much going on lately I haven’t had time to blog.  First up…purse cake.  I wanted to make my mom a purse cake for her birthday, but I had no idea where to start.  When you do a google search for “purse cake” or something similar you mostly get designer purse impersonations which I didn’t want.  Then I stumbled on this cake from My Sweet & Saucy.  I love her style anyway and she inspired my first carved purse cake (only my second carved cake ever).  Now my purse looks nothing like hers, but it made me realize that it doesn’t have to be a stuffy structured Louis Vuitton or Coach purse.  Plus I didn’t want to get in over my head on my first try.  Boy, am I glad I went that route.  My hat goes off to all you 3-D cake carvers out there!!  I wanted something kind of laid back with a little boho chic vibe and I think I accomplished that.  The cake is classic white cake with Italian meringue buttercream and chocolate marshmallow fondant that I textured using a stamp.  The flower is made of gumpaste.

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I also finished probably my favorite cake yesterday.  It was for my niece, Morgan’s, sweet 16.  The top tier is a 6” dummy cake on top of an 8” double drum-classic white and chocolate fudge with chocolate ganache filling.  It is all frosted in classic buttercream with fondant polka dots and a gumpaste flower.  All of the pink elements were also dry brushed with luster dust.

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I’ve also been doing some other things and we’ve got a website up for Double D’s Catering and Custom Cakes.  Take a look when you have time.  I still have some work to do to the site, but this is the basic layout we’re going to have.  Hope you like it!!

Happy Caking!!!

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February 20, 2010. Tags: , , , , , , , , , , . birthday, buttercream, cake, decorating, fondant, frosting, gumpaste, Uncategorized. 2 comments.

What a dummy!!!

So this past week I decided to decorate my first dummy cake.  Let’s just say it sounds easier than it is.  I decided I needed a dummy cake to set up with our Valentine’s Day specials at DD’s.  I watched a tutorial on YouTube and have read many posts on Cake Central on the matter so I thought I was ready.  I couldn’t find any sand paper to sand down the edges of the dummy, but I tried to knock them down a little.  Definitely.  Need.  Sandpaper.  Every time I thought I was making some headway the top edge of the fondant would rip.  I finally got it done-with a ribbon around the top edge to hide the mistakes, but it turned out pretty cute anyway!  Note to self:  practice, practice, practice.

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January 25, 2010. Tags: , , . decorating, fondant, Uncategorized. Leave a comment.

Cake Pops Anyone?

Cake Pops are popping up everywhere thanks to Bakerella, so I decided to jump on the bandwagon.  I’ve only made a cake truffle once and that was for the possum’s head on my now famous (well in my family anyway) possum cake.  I thought, “How hard could it possibly be?”  It’s not hard per say, but it is time consuming and if you aren’t experienced with candy dipping it can be frustrating.  That being said…try it and have fun!! 

I thought cake pop bouquets would be a genius thing to put on a Valentine’s Day special for order at Double D’s.  Probably should have practiced before voicing this genius idea, but I still have plenty of time for that.

I started a tutorial for all of you, but I got wrapped up in my pop dipping and forgot to take pictures of that step.  Here’s what I have and when I do this again I’ll give you a pic of that part.  This is the YouTube tutorial I watched before trying this.  This couple cracks me up!!

Start out with a completely cooled cake in a bowl.  I’m using red velvet cake here.  Break it up until you have a bowl full of crumbs.

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Add a couple large dollops of icing and incorporate fully.  How much icing you add is completely up to you.  Just don’t add too much or your truffles won’t hold together and will be too mushy to eat.    You can always add more if you need to, but you can’t take any out.  Try using different things as a binder for different flavors and textures too.  You can use coffee creamer or really anything else that tastes good to hold these babies together.

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This is what it will look like after you’ve mixed it all up.  At this point stick your mixture in the fridge or freezer for 10-20 minutes.

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Now form your filling into a ball shape.  I used a small melon baller to ensure that all of my pops were approximately the same size.

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I also made some of them into heart shapes.  They are not as easy to cover but they are super cute!  For that I still used a melon baller, put it on a small piece of parchment, cut with a small heart cutter.  Any excess around the edges I put back on top to fill the cutter up and ensure that the hearts had fairly straight edges all around. 

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Put all of your truffles on a parchment covered pan and put back in the freezer for 5-10 minutes while you are melting your chocolate and preparing your other supplies.

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After your chocolate is melted dip the ends of your lollipop sticks in chocolate and stick them about half way into the ball.  When the warm chocolate meets the cold filling it hardens almost immediately and the stick is stuck!

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Here I am using Candy Quick coating because I got a bunch for free! Normally I would use chocolate.  You may need to add a bit of vegetable shortening or paraffin wax to your chocolate to get it to a thin enough consistency for dipping.

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This is the part that got a little iffy for me and I forgot to take pictures.  Dip your pops in your chocolate and then stand up in styrofoam.  Put them in the freezer until hard.  This is where you really need to form a technique.  I did what the girl in the YouTube video did and by the end of it I finally got the hang of it.  A lot has to do with the thickness of your chocolate.  Once you get that down, you’re good to go!

Here’s my finished product.  Not too bad for my first try!

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You can of course do this without the sticks to make regular cake truffles.  My candy dipping skills aren’t so great, but I did get one almost perfect, so you know I took a picture of it!

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And here’s Will sampling the finished product. 

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I took the rest of these down to the kitchen at the restaurant so my step-mom could sample them and I could get opinions from the rest of the kitchen staff.  Should have taken their pictures too.  There’s always next time!!

January 16, 2010. Tags: , , , , , , . buttercream, cake, frosting, Uncategorized. Leave a comment.

It’s Been a While

I know it’s been forever since I’ve blogged, but I have been baking away and taking pictures of it all.  Since the last time I’ve been here my dad and I have decided to go into business together so to speak.  So I have been working with him and my step-mom to put together a plan to offer my tasty treats through their restaurant and catering business.  I’ve been baking for some of their catering events already as well as helping out at the restaurant.  It’s very exciting and I will keep everyone posted on the progress.  Here are a few pics of what I’ve been doing lately:

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This is a 12” cake-1/2 white, 1/2 chocolate with a 1/2 round chocolate volleyball cake on top, served with chocolate and strawberry cupcakes with my favorite buttercream.  This was for a local high school’s volleyball banquet.  Everything was decorated in pink and black and our desserts worked perfectly with the decor.

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Here’s Will’s 3rd birthday cake.  He wanted airplanes and this is what we came up with.  I made the airplane to match the invitations with lots of help from my little apprentice.  I think everything turned out great.  It is a 9” chocolate cake with mint filling, covered in chocolate chip mint ganache (just add a dram of Lorann chocolate chip mint flavor oil to your ganache), and marshmallow fondant.  The plane and clouds are made out of MMF mixed with cellulose .  The cupcakes are coconut chocolate chip with coconut buttercream.  Delicious!!  These were baked on a cookie sheet so they flared out a little bit. 

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One more and then I’ll let you go!  Here are some cupcakes that I made for Jessie’s birthday.  They are white chocolate chip with white chocolate buttercream.  The flowers and “J” are made out of fondant with gross grain ribbon accents.

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Sorry again for the extended absence.  I’ll do better in the future  🙂  Hope you like what I’ve been doing!

January 11, 2010. birthday, buttercream, cake, Cupcake, decorating, fondant, fondant figures, frosting, Uncategorized. Leave a comment.

Pink Anemone

This week’s adventure is with fondant/gumpaste flowers.  I love anemones-they are one of my favorite flowers.  They are just so light and airy and beautiful.  It’s a good thing this was just for practice because I cracked a couple of the petals when I moved it this morning to take the picture.

100_3561This is the tutorial I based my flower on.  Of course I don’t have a large rose petal cutter so I used a large circle cutter and formed the petals to a rose petal shape.  Overall not too bad for my first go!  Hopefully I will have time to make more flowers soon.

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November 3, 2009. Tags: , , , . decorating, fondant, gumpaste, Uncategorized. Leave a comment.

I finally got the fondant right!!

Sunday evening my son’s football team had and end of the season party and I was asked to bring a football cake.  I dug out that Wilton football shaped pan that I’ve only used one other time (now I can officially say it was worth the investment) and baked those boys a cake (and two dozen cupcakes).  Drum roll please…..

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Woo hoo!  I was so excited about it that I took the picture before my excess glue even dried.  Sorry about that! 

This is a vanilla cake covered in American buttercream with marshmallow fondant.  This was a last minute kind of party and I didn’t have time to do any ingredient shopping so that’s why it’s covered in American BC.  I didn’t have enough eggs to make the cake and make IMBC.  Oh well everyone liked it anyway!

I also made two dozen red velvet cupcakes with cream cheese buttercream accented with black and red sprinkles.  Yummy!!

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October 26, 2009. cake, decorating, fondant, Uncategorized. 2 comments.

Halloween 30th Birthday Party

My friend Katie called the other day and wanted me to make her husband a cake for his 30th birthday.  She was having a Halloween themed party and wanted morbid.  Well, this is what she got.

100_3496It is a 12” round cake-1/2 white, 1/2 chocolate with chocolate Italian meringue buttercream.  The tombstone is made of a fondant/cellulose mix that I enhanced with black petal dust.  The rose is made of the same fondant mix and the dirt is made of crushed oreos. 

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My crowning achievement for this cake has got to be the spooky tree.  I wish I would have taken pictures throughout the process to show everyone.  I used a wooden dowel rod as the base that then went down into the cake too.  Then I wrapped aluminum foil around the the dowel rod and using more foil and some florist wire fashioned the branches.  Then all you do is paint chocolate over the foil.  This was the best way I could think of to get that gnarled, warped look for the tree.  The tree roots weren’t added until after decorating the next day.  For the hole with menacing eyes I just placed a little bit of fondant on the smoothest part of the tree and attached with a little bit of chocolate around the oval. 

Hope everyone liked it at the party.  It was a bit of a pain to travel with, but I think it got there o.k.

Happy Halloween!! 

October 24, 2009. Tags: . birthday, cake, decorating, fondant, fondant figures, frosting, Halloween, Uncategorized. Leave a comment.

Halloween Birthday Bash

I also had lots of cake to make for a Halloween themed birthday party that took place yesterday.  This was probably my favorite cake project so far.  The main cake was a jack-o-lantern shaped cake with a cheeky little black cat sticking out of a bunch candy stuffed in the center. 

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I started out by making the cat about a week in advance for the usual drying/screw up and try again time.  I made it using fondant that I mixed with cellulose powder.  (Cellulose is the same thing as tylose.)  I have never done this before, but have been wanting to try it for a while.  The cellulose made the fondant dry just like gumpaste.  I was SO excited!  This makes it a bit cheaper than buying gumpaste.  I haven’t gotten the guts to make gumpaste yet. 

I made this adorable little kitty based on a tutorial I found on youtube and adapted him to fit my needs.  I think he turned out just perfect and could not be happier.  The sign is made of the same fondant cellulose mix with edible markers and a lollipop stick attached with royal icing.

To answer your question, no…I did not carve this cake.  It is two vanilla cakes baked in bundt pans and put together with Italian meringue buttercream.  This is my second cake to completely cover in marshmallow fondant and while not perfect, it is much better than the first go around.  I always roll it too thin-just can’t seem to leave the stuff thick enough!

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To go along with the jack-o-lantern cake I also made four mini ghost cakes.  Which were chocolate fudge cakes baked in the Wilton mini wonder mold pan covered in white chocolate ganache and MMF.  AND a dozen chocolate fudge cupcakes with orange creamsicle filling and buttercream frosting.  The filling was simply white chocolate ganache that I whipped and then added a dram of Lorann orange cream flavor oil and a few drops of orange candy color.

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Half of the cupcakes had these cute little “floating” ghosts.  And the other half had witch’s hats.

100_3481 Like I said before this has definitely been my favorite cake project.  I hope you get some great Halloween treat ideas from this.  Happy Caking!!

October 19, 2009. birthday, buttercream, cake, Cupcake, decorating, fondant, fondant figures, Halloween, Uncategorized. Leave a comment.

Possum Cake-Yes, you heard me right!!

It’s been a couple of weeks since I’ve posted, but I have been busy, busy.  Last Thursday I made my first sculpted cake.  It was for a friend’s dinner that has an ongoing joke about road kill with some of his coworkers.  So here it is…

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Cute, but in a weird, gross way.  I know.  The base cake is a 12” round vanilla cake with chocolate Italian meringue buttercream.  The possum is red velvet cake made from a mix with a few changes and covered in cream cheese frosting:

1 box red velvet cake mix (I used Duncan Hines)

4 eggs

1/3 c oil

1 1/4 c buttermilk

1 box chocolate pudding mix

This made a very firm cake good for carving (or at least that’s what the experts on Cake Central say).  I made the red velvet cake a couple of days in advance in two loaf pans and then wrapped well and froze them.  The day of carving I took them out of the freezer and put them in the fridge so they would thaw slowly and stay cold.  This worked really well.  Now there wasn’t a huge amount of carving to do, but it was harder than I thought it would be.  Hats off to all you cake carving gurus.  You are fabulous!!  The head was actually made from the scraps.  I basically made a red velvet cake truffle filling and covered it in fondant.

October 19, 2009. buttercream, cake, decorating, fondant, frosting, Uncategorized. 2 comments.

Cake Mix Extender AKA Life Saver

This past week’s recipe was for a cake mix extender.  I hear a lot of people using them, but have never had the guts to try one.  Usually if I need another cup of cake batter I just make another batch and freeze the rest.  Well, I finally tried it and was pleasantly surprised.  I made a birthday cake for my friend’s aunt (actually her son-it was his first birthday) and she wanted a chocolate cake with a chocolate smash cake.  The cake itself needed an entire cake mix and for the smash cake I only needed about a cup of batter, so I decided to try this extender recipe:

3/4 c flour

1/4 c sugar

1 t baking soda

1/2 c water

1/4 c oil

1 egg

I use the Nikki’s Chocolate Fudge Cake recipe from Cake Central.  This recipe uses chocolate milk instead of water, so I subbed that and I also added an extra teaspoon of vanilla and 2 tablespoons of cocoa powder to try to prevent diminishing the chocolatey goodness of this wonderful recipe.  It was almost as good, but not quite.  Still very good though.  After this experience I have to say I’m a believer!

October 5, 2009. cake, Uncategorized. Leave a comment.

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