Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Happy Birthday

Cupcakes are just the cutest things. Fluffy clouds of icing on top of your own personal cake. No sharing...at least not usually. This was for a little girls birthday. It was a Princess Tiana themed birthday. The entire cake including topper is completely edible. As you can tell the main cake was also a marble cake like the cupcakes.

Friday, October 15, 2010

Fall Weddings

This cake consisted of alternating layers of fresh lemon cake and white velvet cake. What I liked most about this cake is everything is custom down to the scroll work. The cake is also covered with fondant giving it a beautiful finish. I added a touch of tangerine oil to the fondant to liven it up a bit.

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Sunday, October 3, 2010

Fairy Cake

I was super happy to make such a unique cake for a teenagers birthday. She and her mom came to me with a simple sketch and I elaborated on it. Over the summer she was into watching the popular cake shows on tv, so her only wish for her birthday was to have a cake just as special for herself. The cake is a buttercake sandwiched between layers of swiss merengue buttercream and fresh raspberry fillings. This cake took me away to a happy place.

Saturday, August 7, 2010

strawberry cheesecake in cake cake = Yummy Yum Yum

I just wanted to share my new favorite cake that I was able to perfect this summer. Thank you NY for the cheesecake. This is a strawberry cheesecake with homemade whipped cream. Fresh strawberries are put into the whipped cream and sandwiched in a sponge cake. This is a tall cake with different flavors that go perfectly together. 
Other options that I think would go well with the strawberry cheesecake is a yellow cake instead of sponge and maybe a nice moist white cake. I think the possibilities are endless. I think when the end of the summer arrives I will try a carrot cake with a plain NY cheesecake in the center. I have yet to formally add this to my menu selection but I think many people would enjoy it.  

Saturday, June 26, 2010

June 2010 DB Challenge

The June 2010 Daring Bakers’ challenge was hosted by Dawn of Doable and Delicious. Dawn challenged the Daring Bakers’ to make Chocolate Pavlovas and Chocolate Mascarpone Mousse. The challenge recipe is based on a recipe from the book Chocolate Epiphany by Francois Payard.

This was very cool to make because of all the different personalization's of this dessert. My 5 year old decorated his own Pavlova (Bottom Left), I was so proud of him and impressed.

One warning with this is beware of a chocolate overdose. This is a very very rich chocolaty dessert.

This chocolate explosion consisted of four different recipes.

1. Chocolate Meringue: This is the chocolate Pavlova. Very very easy to make. As you can see in the photos I was able to pipe some nice looking shapes even flowers that held up very well while drying in the oven. They were very crispy melt in your mouth however if you let it sit to long in the mousse cream combo it will soften but still stay yummy.

2. Chocolate Mascarpone Mousse: Very easy to make as well. You just need to make sure that the chocolate you use is of high quality. Because it is not too sweet the chocolate really comes through.

3. Mascarpone Cream: Delicious! This is the one component that I will make again in the future. I actually am using the leftover for ice cream that I will make later tonight :) This component relied on me making #4.

4. Creme Anglaise: So The components here are simple. Whole milk, heavy cream, vanilla, egg yolks and sugar. The one thing about it is you can't leave it while it is on the stove thickening. If it boils it will curdle. I learned this the hard way when my little one was asking me to help him with his video games. I of course got distracted and before you know it I had scrambled creme. I had to do it again luckily I wasn't as easily distracted and it came out wonderfully.

Thursday, June 3, 2010

Million Doller Wedding Desperate Housewives Style

I came across Dina Manzo's (from New Jersey Desperate Housewives) million plus dollar Wedding which aired on VH1's My Big Fat Fabulous Wedding. This was the first time I saw her husband Tommy who is Co-Owner of the Brownstone. Of course this may be geared for people that watch housewives to begin with however the entire process which can be viewed here was just fascinating to me since like most people my spending is dictated by a modest income.
It was one of the most over the top weddings. I think flowers alone cost half a million!!!! The food was incredible. They had a lobster station, a bar made of ice and a cigar rolling station just to name a few. Well now you know desperate housewives is my guilty pleasure. I do not watch it religiously however I can't help myself if I catch it on TV.
To my surprise she mentioned how he cheated on her a few times but she still stayed with him....um no comment on that but you know the saying once a ..... do I need to go on.
They also had wedding photos of the other housewives which was cute to see.
I had to share because I was just in awe of every aspect of the wedding.

Enjoy :)

Sunday, May 2, 2010

DragonFly Birthday

This cake was a birthday cake of obvious age due to the topper. My inspiration for the color combination and whimsical dragonflies was taken from the invitation. Although the dragonfly on the invite was very different I really liked how mine turned out.
The cake is completely covered in buttercream with a fabric ribbon accenting each tier. The additions including the 60 topper is all made of gumpaste.
This cake is one of my favorites to date due to the combination of colors and cute dragonflies... what can I say I'm a girl :)
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Sunday, February 14, 2010

To those we love

This all edible cake was requested from a wife to husband. I was impressed that she was so thoughtful to want to make such a romantic cake just because. The dove is all cake with fondant feathers all around. The roses are also made of fondant as well.
I guess we all have different ways of expressing our love and appreciation for the special people in our lives be it cake for some, flowers for others. Whatever it may be,this cake made me remember that men in fact deserve the unexpected and maybe a bouquet of flowers every once in a while :)

Saturday, January 9, 2010

Bakers Challenge Dec 2009, Gingerbread House

The December 2009 Daring Bakers’ challenge was brought to you by Anna of Very Small Anna and Y of Lemonpi. They chose to challenge Daring Bakers’ everywhere to bake and assemble a gingerbread house from scratch. They chose recipes from Good Housekeeping and from The Great Scandinavian Baking Book as the challenge recipes.

This was of course great to complete because it brought me back to the days in elementary school when we used to make gingerbread houses out of graham crackers. The house held up very well. I was sure to bake it a few minutes longer so it could harden a bit more. I used caramel to bond the pieces together which I think is a better choice then royal icing. The actual taste of the gingerbread is not spectacular because it's not the sweet taste we are all accustomed to in a cookie. I think however with a nice cup of tea it would make a nice accompaniment. Of cousr decorating it was purly fun and I had the chance to go to a candy store and pick out different kinds of candy which I NEVER do.

For the gingerbread I used Y's recipi. Click here for more details.
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Saturday, January 2, 2010

Let's play Catch up

Good times, weird times, it's great to be back.
I recently returned from my trip to Egypt. My primary reason for going wasn't R&R (although much needed). My younger brother Hamdy was getting married. I really was hesitant going because I did not want to travel while I was expecting. The idea of possibly catching swine flu sort of scared me since I opted not to get vaccinated. Luckily I went and returned unscathed, if anything my immune system got stronger working on overtime.

Being the baker I am, I always wished to create a magnificent cake for my family especially my brother. Unfortunately the oven in our apartment in Egypt is too small to bake, nor do I have the desire to take on such a task without my beloved Kitchen Aid and other worldly appliances. Okay I must admit I did not want to do anything remotely resembling work or be committed to any deadlines. The theme of my trip was to be LAZY and of course attend my brothers wedding. But again LAZY was my focus.
I did manage to bring over some of my tools so I could create the topper for the cake. I made certain main pieces from home in Virginia. The body was a piece of Styrofoam I grabbed from Micheals and shaped it into something resembling the body of a plane. I made the airplane pieces (wings, tail) and heads (of couple). I figured it would be really dumb and stressful carrying a completed topper with me overseas. It would mean that I need to take it as a carry on and I would have to guard it and care for it like my 4 year old child, maybe even closer. I wasn't thrilled with the idea so I said I will complete it in Alexandria when I get there.
Now I'm in the motherland and was I even thinking about the topper...No not really. I had some sleep to catch up on and family to see. I also managed to do a short trip to Sharm El Sheikh in the Red Sea with my son and father-in-law. I get back and find out this topper is due ASAP two days before the wedding. This leads me to pulling off an all nighter to complete the topper which at this point I am starting to hate. Why must I be rushed in my vacation, why is it wherever I go I have a deadline....anyway. Sun up, topper complete and I was very happy with the results. Of course the happiness of my family was what kept me going.
Overall the topper was awesome and the wedding was nice. Now a thing about cakes in Egypt.....
I know Egypt has a lot of European influence in their cakes, however wedding cakes as we know in the States blows away Egypt by far. They really don't do fondant there. It's mostly cream covered. The guests of the wedding do not eat the cake. Basically the brides family takes half and the grooms family takes the other half. My impression....The cake was covered in something marzipan like but it had no flavor. It was weird,not bad but really pointless. I think the cake must have been baked ahead of time and this substance was poured on top to seal in the moisture. The buttercream used on the cake was put on the cake very elementary. It did not look bad but it was different. I also had to bring gold dragees with me because it's not available there for some reason. They only have silver. In Egypt they also put this sparkler contraption on the cake like the 4th of July. I think Egypt, well at least Alexandria and for sure Cairo would be a great opportunity for a budding cake person. It would be a nice departure from what people typically see at weddings.