Chocolate Mud Cupcakes

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Hmmmm …. I love cupcakes.  If you’ve been reading my blog, you probably know that already.

So when I came across a recipe for something called CHOCOLATE MUD CAKES … well I couldn’t resist. Could you?  Okay, so the word “mud” in food based items is never an appeal for good eats.  Actually visions of my youth playing in the backyard in muddy pockets of dirt with buckets and pails, pretending to serve up “appetizing” meals come to mind.

I found the recipe through “Planet Cake”

Great book on first time cake decorators with fully illustrated pictures and how-to steps.  And near the beginning of the book is our Chocolate mud cakes recipe.

I used my favourite chocolates for this wonderful recipe:  Cadbury and Ghiradelli.  Yum.

Then assembled all the ingredients together….

Mixing it all together, out came the most incredible chocolate cupcakes I have ever made.  So moist and delicious.

I think the next time I play with these cupcakes – and trust me that will be soon!  I will create a well in the middle and drizzle in some Dulce DeLeche for that extra punch.  MMMmmmm decadence!

Cakes for April and May

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What I enjoy most about my job (besides creating unique cakes and bring smiles to people’s faces), is getting actually the initial request for a cake.  The specific idea that someone wants brought to life in cake-form.  What I also find interesting is how sophisticated birthday cakes are getting (not like the rectangular slab cakes I grew up with) and what kids are now requesting….not just vanilla birthday cake (although this is still classic!)

Late last April into earlier this May I had a few birthday cakes and a first communion cake to work on.

My friend asked me to do a puppy themed cake for her son’s birthday.  The birthday party had cookie shaped like dog biscuits, and party plates were replaced with (new) doggy bowls.

Instead of doing a large 3D form, I opted for a 2D relief of a puppy.  All formed with yummy rice krispies.

I then simply painted on the spots and doggy paw prints.

She had also requested another birthday cake in May for her daughter’s 9th birthday.  A “Twilight” themed cake.  Twilight – as in the vampire books/ movies that are the craze among preteen girls.  Okay I’ll admit that I’ve watched the movie and have read all the books and I’m all for Team Edward…hmm I spoke too much…. anyways, moving on……

The birthday girl was all for Team Jacob (hence the little fondant wolf howling at the top the cake).

For the first communion cake, I was asked to create something with pink and purple flowers and white fondant covering the base.  I tried using my flower embossing templates to give dimension to the plain white background (in pictures it looks horrible because my camera is really really old!)

 

The Merry “Marry” Month of May

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To say that I’ve been busy this month is an understatement!

This month I have been busy making cakes and over 100 gum paste daisies. Yep – you read that right.  Over One Hundred gum paste Gerber daisies.  For those of you thinking, “What?!  That’s crazy!” … where were you earlier?!?

The daisies were for my best friend’s little sister’s very anticipated wedding.  Years, months, days and seconds went into planning the incredible event.  And in the whirlwind of wedding planning bliss, I was asked to make the wedding cake and cupcakes.  Yay!

So on May 1st, I started making little Gerber daisies….

And I didn’t stop until the Tuesday before the wedding (true story).

The lovely bride requested a simple wedding cake (vanilla cake with vanilla buttercream), covered in blue fondant and white Gerber daisies (of course).  And the cupcakes (approximately 132) were evenly divided between vanilla bean and chocolate, all topped with buttercream icing and a daisy.

This was my first time displaying all my baking efforts for a wedding, so finding the perfect looking cupcake tower was a must.  I love the look of cupcake towers – my sister had one for her wedding 2 years ago and there are a variety all over the internet now a days.  I finally found it at Golda’s Kitchen – a simple round 6 tier tower that I can easily decorate with whatever ribbon accent along the edge.

Very pretty isn’t it?

It’s prettier completely filled too!

As an additional surprise the bride requested a grooms cake for the rehearsal dinner.  Because the groom is a HUGE Boston Red Sox fan, she asked for a simple baseball cap.  Love it!  The groom apparently couldn’t get enough of it during the dinner, pretending to wear it or place it on everyone elses head.  LOL.  I’m just glad it was a hit.

 

I have to admit that doing this wedding, delivering the cakes and cupcakes to the reception hall, and walking all the boxes straight into the large walk-in freezer of the kitchen made me feel like a real cake designer.  The feeling was continued into the next day when I arrived to set up the cupcake tower and set up “my vision”.

And the wave of pride seeing the happy couple next to their cakes just made my spirit soar.

Congratulations to Ashley and Christopher.

May all your days see sunshine and daisies.

Cake pops & Life with Kids

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I think I’ve gotten the hang of making cake balls & cake pops – ok, not enough to make cute little critters staring up at anyone or anything like that (oh Bakerella how I adore and envy you!), but simple cake balls on a stick.  And as far as artistry – I am of the queen of swirling chocolate coloured contrast.

So much so that I once again donated a box of cake pops to some lucky individual with an incredible sweet tooth!

This time to the incredible moms at  Life with Kids who wonderfully set up a booth at the recent Baby Steps Fair in Oakville.

As a mom of two of the cutest little kids ever (LoL – of course I’m biased), Life with Kids is a great site to check out family events in the Mississauga, Oakville, Milton and Burlington area and geared towards everyone in an online community – from babies to teens and of course mommys!  Super information for local stuff.

Please check them out.

2012 – The Future Looks Good….

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Hi All,

Just a quick (although belated) Happy New Years greeting to you all.  Last year was tremendous cake-wise… everything done, from a hockey jersey, to a whimsical (and working) Angry Birds cake, to a straight off the runway fashionista cake – the ideas you threw at me were endless….and they’re still coming in!

2012 looks like it’s going to be full of surprises and sweet delights.

Part of my new resolution is to keep up with my blogging duties.  I fell of the wagon the last few months and I still have several cake pics to post.  Be sure to look out for that in a few days.

Wishing you all the best and the sweetest t that this new year can give you.

L

Fashionista Cake

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One of the more ambitious cakes I’ve ever taken on was this weekend’s “Fashionista Cake”.

It’s for my husband’s cousin’s milestone birthday.  Can’t you tell she likes purses and shoes?

I wanted everything to be close to actual size.  So lots of cakes, lots of icing, lots of fondant.

The shoe, I found, was the most challenging aspect of the cake.

I wanted it to look like a dainty high heel.  I used a non-edible support for the sole of the shoe and the heel and covered these in fondant.  Allowing it dry over night.

For the strap and the “material” around the toe, I decide NOT to use a non-edible support and at this very moment I’m crossing my fingers (and my toes) that it makes it to it’s destination in one piece.

The shoe box was easier, and I loved making the “tissue paper” accent spilling out of the box.

The zebra printed purse was just as easy.  Covering the entire carved down cake in fondant, I painted on the black stripes.  I then added black fondant strips as accents and additional pieces of fondant as the purses hardware.

Hubby just left for the party (I’m watching the kiddies and getting some well desereved rest).  Hoping it got there safe and sound and everyone likes it.

S’mores cupcakes

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A few weeks ago Sweets & Treats Boutique was calling upon volunteers to test out their new grease proof cupcake liners.  I readily emailed my name and address.  What a perfect excuse to bake and have it showcased in pretty paper.

After eagerly waiting by my mailbox, they finally arrived.  (Okay, so it felt like forever, but I was ridiculously excited!)

I received 12 zebra printed cupcake liners and 12 black & white checkered printed cupcake liners.  At a glance they look and feel like everyday cupcake liners, but remember these are suppose to be grease proof.  After much debate, I decided to use a new recipe – S’mores cupcakes – to test them out.

Okay, so I’ve gone camping as a kid with my parents and my sister, and I’ve done the camping thing in my twenties with a group of my friends and my husband (who at the time was my boyfriend).  No I’m not talking about hard core camping, like go out hiking for 20 kilometeres deep into the forest, pitch a tent and heat up something that was dehydrated and may or may not resemble it’s picture on the package.

With my parents ,we camped at the KOA and they were happy we were together as a family, away from tv and near an electric outlet (for our rice cooker – I’m Filipino! – and our electric skillet.)  LOL.

With my friends we annually camped at various public camping sites in our large group of 10 – 12 couples.  The weekend was devoted to hanging out, swimming and just being lazy.  The evenings, if we were allowed to due to dry weather, get the campfire going.  Oh those summer days….

But I can honestly say, I’ve never really had a s’more.  (GASP!)

We tried to once, a group of friends and myself.  But the hunt for graham crackers that one night proved to be a wild goose chase.

So here I am, several years after the fact, feeling nostalgic for a treat I’ve never really eaten.

I have to admit one of my favourite parts of this cupcake was the homemade marshmallow.  Something I wouldn’t have attempted had I not had a stand up mixer.  Love that beautiful kitchen tool!!!  The other part I loved about this cupcake was torching the marshmallow to have that classic “burnt” appearance.  The cupcake itself is fantastic because it’s not just a vanilla cupcake with all the fixings of a s’more over it, but an actual graham cracker cupcake base.  And it was so lovely and moist.  Heaven.

As for the cupcake liners I was testing….fantastic!!!  They held the white colour of the zebra print.

Typically this is would just become a transparent piece of paper and there’d be no clear definition of what color paper was bought.  And seeing as some are a pretty penny, being able to see the paper does mean a lot!!!