I'm hungry now.
I love challenging myself. With cake and fondant involved you can create anything. Here is a shield cake made for Ray's 70th birthday. Ray has a particular interest in King Arthur, hence his cake is shaped like a medieval shield. The fondant was painted on with a silver luster powder mixed with vanilla extract. The crown, shown in detail above, was piped with royal icing (stiffer consistency and easier to work with for small areas).
This cake was inspired by Turtle chocolate, this flavour was also in the wedding anniversary cake from a few posts ago. It is moist and delicious chocolate cake topped with Dulce de Leche caramel spread, Dulce flavoured buttercream and a generous amount of pecans.
I'm hungry now.
First wedding cake for '11. The bride's dress was a champagne colour which inspired the look of champagne bubbles on the cake. I used pearls to achieve the effect (see last pic). Her flowers were yellow roses. Personally I love the look of a bouquet of flowers on the side of a cake, it's like the cake has a flower headpiece. The cake flavours was banana chocolate chunk on the top tier and classic V on the bottom tier. Congrats to Cheryl! I hope she had a great wedding.
The flower on the cake were sugar, but here is the inspiration of a silk flower headpiece below made by gardens of whimsy from Etsy. She made my flower girl's head pieces.
I made the final cake photo have a vintage look:
This past weekend was the Iron Cupcake competition with the secret ingredient of chocolate. There were many great displays and very tasty cupcakes including red velvet and hot chocolate cupcakes. Have a look at the gallery for some photos. A big thank you to For the Love of Cake for hosting this great event.
I am proud to say I took home the prize for People's Choice! Such an honour! I feel so lucky to have been the people's favourite. My cupcake was named Alice. It was orange-zested chocolate cupcake dipped in white and dark chocolate.
My theme was Alice in Wonderland. With the help of my friend Monica we found many great props to use for my display. I spent friday baking the tiled floor with the sugar cookie and royal icing ultimate recipes. I made playing cards and displayed some cupcakes on them. It was so much fun to do.
Congrats to the winner, #12, Manni Singh! Check out her blog here
happy valentine's day!
Valentine's day for me = chocolate. To be specific truffles and expensive chocolate. Sources say that chocolate came from the ancient Aztecs, and when Cortés (the Spanish conquistador who conquered the Aztec empire -- and also my maiden name!) conquered the Aztecs he was introduced to it by the emperor. The cocoa itself was treated as an aphrodisiac and was consumed in liquid form.
In Japan, Valentines day is a day for men. Women buy men chocolates. It's not until a month later on March 14 when it is White day, where the men return the favour.
In India, Valentine's day only made its debut a decade ago. Romeos start coming out a week before the special day and declare their love for a woman.
PS : I've decided to leave this post as is and post my Iron Cupcake results tomorrow instead. Sorry to keep you waiting.
Here's what you do. You get yourself a nice glass a milk and a box of cake balls (cake crumbles mixed with icing and dipped in chocolate). You sit in front of the telly and you forget about everything. These cake balls are from the bakery For the Love of Cake. My favourite is salted caramel.
The martini glass I used for the milk was purchased at Crate and Barrel. An amazing device to keep your milk cold.
Results from the Iron Cupcake competition tomorrow...
You all know and love this treat. Easy to make and tastes good when homemade. In this version I have used two secret ingredients...peanut butter and vanilla flavoured rice crispies.
After the butter and marshmellow melting stage I added a heaping tablespoon of peanut butter. I only made 1/3 of a regular recipe, if you are making the whole recipe then use at least 3 tablespoons. I don't like to give a measurement sometimes because some of you may love more peanut butter than others. The measurement I just gave you will have just enough of it that you get a little hint in each bite. Plus if you read further on I also like to top it with more .......
It's easy to shape the mixture into a giant heart, or try something new and shape them into little hearts topped with a thin coat of peanut butter and a swirl of honey.
For times when you feel like blowing up, indulging in a lava cake is what I prescribe. So here is the situation...I haven't tried this recipe yet. However it's Alton's, so you can't go wrong. It is a five star on the Food network site. When I get around to trying it, I will let you know, and it may even end up as an ultimate. I have a feeling.
Chocolate Lava Muffins
~ 8 ounces semisweet chocolate chips
~ 1 stick butter
~ 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
~ 1/2 cup sugar
~ 3 tbsp flour
~ 1/4 tsp salt
~ 4 eggs
~ Butter, to coat muffin tin
~ 1 tbsp cocoa powder
~ 1 cup vanilla ice cream
~ 1 tsp espresso powder
Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F. Place a small metal bowl over a saucepan with simmering water. Melt the chocolate and butter in the bowl. Stir in vanilla.
In a large mixing bowl, combine sugar, flour and salt. Sift these into the chocolate and mix well with electric hand mixer. Add eggs one at time, fully incorporating each egg before adding the next. Beat at high until batter is creamy and lightens in color, approximately 4 minutes. Chill mixture.
Coat the top and each cup of the muffin tin with butter. Dust with the cocoa powder and shake out excess. Spoon mixture into pan using a 4-ounce scoop or ladle. Bake for 10 to 11 minutes. Outsides should be cake-like and centers should be gooey.
While muffins are in oven, melt the ice cream in a small saucepan. Stir in the espresso powder. Serve over warm muffins.
Cheesecake is one of those desserts I love to make because you can play with different flavour combinations with just a basic recipe as the base. You can top it with apples, cinnamon and brown sugar OR with peanuts, caramel and chocolate ganache. And of course, fruit.
I topped this one with cherries and made my own chocolate hearts by melting chocolate and pouring it into heart-shaped molds. I am sure you can also just go out and buy the chocolate hearts. On the edges is shaved chocolate. When your shaving chocolate you should leave your brick of chocolate in the fridge for a couple hours. Room temperature chocolate gets warm quickly when your working with it and can make a mess. You can use tools like a melon baller to create curls, a potato/ vegetable peeler, a grater, or like me a good old knife to shave the chocolate (although with the knife they come out very fine, but I happen to like the pattern of the ribbed edges).
Valentine's day is coming up and your probably on either side. I will be posting some valentine's day treat ideas in the next couple days for pro and anti valentine's day teams. But in the meantime, for the fun of it I made screen savers for your computer! Make sure you set it to TILE.
Click image to download if your on the PRO Valentines day team:
Click image to download if your on the ANTI Valentines day team:
I will be participating in another iron cupcake competition in Toronto this Sunday Feb 13th. I'll make sure to share photos with you after the event. I have been experimenting with a deadly combination of chocolate for my entry. This one doesn't involve nutella though. If you can make it you should come out, you will get to try different cupcake flavours and be a judge.
Article about Halloween's competition!