Sunday, December 13, 2009

Cake Cruise 2009

My mother and I just returned from Cake Cruise 2009, Mexican Riviera cruise with Holland America. We saw presentations from Colette Peters, Susan Carberry, Norman Davis and Zane Beg. I took classes with each of them. We visited Mazatlan, Puerto Vallarta and Cabo San Lucas, Mexico. It was great to get together with other cake decorators and talk about cake!
The cruise ship above and my mother and me in Mazatlan below.
Me with Colette Peters.
Me with Norman Davis and Zane Beg.
Me with Susan Carberry.

“Life is the art of drawing without an eraser.”

Monday, November 16, 2009

Whipped Cream & Chocolate Glaze

I know I said in the Cream Puff Tutorial that I would post the whipped cream and chocolate glaze instructions, too, so here they are:

Chocolate Glaze:
First melt about 1 cup of chocolate chips. I used semi-sweet mini chocolate chips.

Next whisk together:
2 Cups Powdered Sugar
5 tbsp butter (I used salted)
1 1/2 tsp vanilla
4 tbsp water (add more if you need it)
You should get a nice glaze
Next pour glaze into melted chocolate and whisk.
Depending on how cold your chocolate has gotten, it might have clumps, which is okay, because you will be putting it over a double boiler and it will remelt.
Place bowl over double boiler (pot of simmering water) to keep warm while dipping.

Whipped Cream
Before hand, put bowl and whisk in fridge or freezer to get cold. Make sure the bowl and whisk are spotless and grease-free.
Pour heavy cream (or manufacturer's cream) into mixer, start mixing on low and gradually turn up to high to prevent splattering.
Whip cream until stiff peaks. We use stiff peaks because we want the cream to hold it's shape inside the cream puffs.
Add 1 tsp vanilla and granulated sugar to taste (I used 1/2 Cup because I like it sweet.)When it's finished, cover with plastic wrap or foil and place in fridge until you need to use it. When you're ready to use it, you can pipe it out of a piping bag with pastry tip or use a handy little contraption like the Wilton Dessert Decorator Pro, shown here.
Note: Unless you use a stabilizer in your whipped cream, which I didn't, anything with the cream in it will have to be refrigerated until ready to eat.

“A deaf husband and a blind wife are always a happy couple.”

Here Cookie Cookie..

So in light of my future Flash class assignment, I had to make a variety of decorated cookies. I made a baby bottle, wedding cake, princess crown and snowflake. I also baked a birthday cake shaped cookie but haven't decorated it yet because it won't be used on the assignment so it can wait. I did very simple decorations because these cookies are being used in a tutorial assignment and I wanted them to be easy. I did do a little piping work on the wedding cake cookie but I couldn't help myself. Well, here they are..

“When you find a job you love, you'll never have to work a day in your life.”

Sunday, November 15, 2009

Cream Puffs

Cream puffs with whipped cream filling and dusted with confectioners sugar.
Cream puffs with whipped cream filling and chocolate glaze.

“Some pursue happiness — others create it.”

Cream Puff - The Magic Dragon

Here is a tutorial of how to make Cream Puffs, shown above.

For the pate a choux (pat-a-shoe), or the cream puff dough, you will need:

1 Stick (1/2 Cup) Unsalted Butter
1/2 tsp salt (I used salted butter and therefore omitted the salt)
1 1/2 tsp sugar
1 Cup Water
1 Cup All-Purpose Flour (sifting not necessary)
4 Large Eggs

Preheat oven to 425F.
Combine butter, salt, water and sugar in saucepan. Bring to rolling boil over medium heat.

As soon as the rolling boil begins, dump in all of the flour, all at once.
Stir vigorously.
The batter will begin to pull away from the sides and clump into a ball.

Put into stand mixer. You can use a hand mixer if you choose.

Add eggs one at a time, incorporating each before adding another.
When the batter is fully mixed, it should have a shine or gloss to it.

Prepare your piping bag and large round tip. You can also spoon the batter onto the pan.
Place parchment paper onto the sheet pan/cookie sheet.

Pipe round mounds of batter onto sheet pan. I swirl it before pulling bag away to prevent large points from forming.

Fill sheet pan with evenly spaced mounds. I made mine 1 1/2 inches wide.

Place in preheated oven. Bake 15 minutes. After 15 minutes, DO NOT TAKE OUT. Turn temperature down to 375F and leave in for additional 25-30 minutes, depending on the size of your cream puffs. You are trying to dry out the insides and create a hollow shell.

Once they are baked, cut them open. The inside will still be a little "doughy". Take a fork and scrape it out.
Now you are done with the baking process. I will post the chocolate glaze and whipped cream tutorials soon.

“There is only one rule to become a good talker, learn how to listen.”

Thursday, October 1, 2009

Fall Is In The Air..

Today was a crisp cool day, which means Fall is finally here (in San Diego, that is). The scent if the wind reminded me of my favorite holiday - Halloween!

My girls and I have a playdate tomorrow, and since it is a potluck, I volunteered to bring cupcakes, of course! I used a fabulous recipe from the Cake Bible for an All-American Chocolate Cake, and my cupcakes baked beautifully and fairly even. I tried a new buttercream recipe from the Cake Bible as well tonight and I am happy with the results even though this particular buttercream would never work for a white wedding cake, because it's not even close to white in color. Since I was planning on coloring it orange anyway, it didn't matter much and it is delicious. It tastes more like a cream anglais than a buttercream, which I like. I topped them off with mini chocolate chips. I hope tomorrow is another cool day!

"May the best from your past be the worst of your future.”

Sunday, September 6, 2009

I Now Pronounce You... Delicious!

After my children went to bed tonight, I decided to make some chocolate covered strawberries. But not just any chocolate covered strawberries. I decided to try my hand at the "his and hers" strawberries that are becoming popular at weddings. I burned the first batch of white chocolate (because let's face it, I should have taken chocolate class this semester...) but after starting over, I finally got a consistency I could work with. I only wish I had used a white chocolate that was more white but I gues these could be for the bride with an ivory dress! I will make them look a bit cleaner the next time I make them but I am satisfied that I know how to do them whenever the time comes.
Since I don't actually eat strawberries, I bought these just for this purpose. I guess my children will be in for a yummy surprise when they get up in the morning!

“It’s not what we’ve done that makes us feel tired so much as seeing so many things that need doing.”

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Birthday Babies!

My in-laws were visiting this past week and since both of my daughters' birthdays are coming up soon, I decided to try a couple new recipes and make them a birthday cake and cupcakes. I stuck with a very simple design because there wasn't much time to work on it with company and all. The cake was Chocolate Fudge and the cupcakes were Golden Butter Cream. I was more satisfide with this frosting recipe than others I had tried previously, except it was so yellow, that it looked like actual butter. I will have to keep working on it.

“Act as if you'll live forever. Plan as if you would die tomorrow.”

Sunday, July 5, 2009

Yum Yum Yum

I found a fantastic recipe online one day last week and two nights ago, I gave it a try. It is a Sour Cream Vanilla Cake. It was absolutely delicious! I didn't frost it, but it doesn't need any. I can imagine how delicious it will be with a fruit filling and buttercream or whipped cream frosting. Yum!

“It's not the load that breaks you down, it's the way you carry it.”

Saturday, June 27, 2009

Still Here...

Since class let out, I haven't had much new to put up here. I have been trying out recipes, trying to find that perfect chocolate cake. I have tried a few but so far no winners. I know it's out there. Chocolate cake, chocolate cake, where are you? Haha. I am planning on doing another cake next week so I will put it up when I do. Til' then, eat lots of yummies and keep yourself (and your stomach) busy!

“Where we love is truly home; home that our feet may leave, but not our hearts.”

Thursday, May 21, 2009

Red Rover, Red Rover, Send An A+ Right Over!

All done! Cake Class ended tonight with our final project, a four-tiered cake. We did a very ornate but simple and elegant wedding cake. My team came up with so many good ideas, it was hard to choose just one so we blended them together and came up with this gorgeous cake. We got an A+ and if we had maybe one more day, I know we could have added more (though I don't think it needed it). We each took turns piping, and covering the tiers in fondant and my team did a fabulous job of finishing the cake while I spent most of the class trying to get the roses done on time. I will miss getting to bring home cake every week but I am proud of how it ended. I think we went out with a bang! P.S. I totally STOLE this pic from Jenny because as you can see below, her pic on her camera turned out 10 times better than mine from my cell phone. Sorry Jenny!

Here are a few of the other cakes made by the rest of the class. There is one missing but they wouldn't all fit on one table or in one picture.
Here we are! Team 1 and our cake. I forgot to take off my hat so I look silly.

“The best place to find a helping hand is at the end of your own arm.”

Sugar Sculpture Final

Well, that time of the semester was definitely here this week. I had two finals due today! My Sugar Class final project was finished and we got an A. Woohoo! This scultpure took many hours with all six of my team members constantly busy doing something but it paid off. Here are a few pictures of our Turtle Pond.
At the end of class my team (Team 2) took a pic with our sculpture. What a fabulous looking team!

“Happiness is often the result of being too busy to be miserable.”