dulcis serenus

Just another WordPress.com weblog

Today’s craziness October 20, 2013

Filed under: cake decorating — dulcisserenus @ 12:52 am
Tags: ,

I’m done! I managed to get everything completed for the carnival, wedding, catering, special orders, and the store. Most of it by 2:00. I couldn’t have done it without the gracious help of one of my coworkers coming in early yesterday to help with a job that isn’t his, and my former intern volunteering to come in during her weekend home from college. It’s good to know that when we’re swamped with orders, everyone can pull together and complete more than we’ve set out to do. Thanks, guys! You’re the best!

20131019-184010.jpg

20131019-184017.jpg

20131019-184024.jpg

20131019-184031.jpg

20131019-184040.jpg

20131019-184047.jpg

20131019-184055.jpg

20131019-184102.jpg

20131019-184108.jpg

20131019-184118.jpg

Advertisements
 

Absenteeism October 7, 2013

So…it’s been a while. I could make about a million excuses, but I won’t. The truth is, I could have kept up with this blog if I weren’t quite, so lazy. As you know, I used to teach English; so when I write, I spend forever writing and rewriting, then editing my posts. (I just rewrote that sentence about four times, and it’s still not perfectly, grammatically correct.) Every time I’ve sat down to write a post in the last year and a half, I’ve thought of just how long it would take and decided I’d rather be doing something else. About a month ago, a friend of mine suggested that I become a photo blogger because we always spend at least a half and hour looking at the cake photos on my phone every time we get together. I was reluctant at first, but now think it’s a great idea. So, that’s what this blog will hopefully become, starting today. Here are a few pictures of the desserts I made this weekend (just a few, mind you):

20131006-203151.jpg20131006-203158.jpg20131006-203215.jpg20131006-203225.jpg20131006-203234.jpg20131006-203242.jpg20131006-203254.jpg20131006-203302.jpg20131006-203309.jpg20131006-203316.jpg

 

First Birthday Celebration October 20, 2011

The The Peanuts’ first birthday was last month and there mom has covered pretty much everything from the party onher blog, except for the cupcake recipes.  That was my job, and quite honestly, I’ve been slacking.  I posted right before the party about the Caramel Corn that I made, but never made it around to telling you about the amazing cupcakes.  We decided that we wanted to make three different cupcake toppers for the party: one with pictures of Ellisa, one with pictures of Hudson, and one with one of the first pictures taken of them together.  Since we were being so ambitious with the toppers, we decided that we needed three different cupcakes to go with them: Peanut Butter Cup with White Chocolate Peanut Butter frosting, a peanut butter cup tucked in the center, and chocolate jimmies on top; Double Chocolate with Cream Cheese Chocolate Ganache and white pearl sprinkles; and Orange with Cream Cheese frosting and circus peanuts.  The Double Chocolate and Orange are modified versions of my favorite cake recipe, but the Peanut Butter Cup was one that I tried for the first time, and I have to say that I was impressed.  It was like eating a giant peanut butter cookie.

Peanut Butter Cup Cupcakes

Here’s what you need:

cupcakes:

1/3 cup butter or margarine, softened

1/2 cup peanut butter

1 1/4 cups packed brown sugar

1 egg

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

2 cups all-purpose flour

2 teaspoons baking powder

1/2 teaspoon salt

1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon

3/4 cup milk

18 full-sized peanut butter cups

frosting:

1 cup powdered sugar

1 cup creamy peanut butter

5 tablespoons unsalted butter, at room temperature

3/4 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

1/4 teaspoon kosher salt

1/3 cup heavy cream

1/2 cup white chocolate chips, melted

Here’s what you do:

cupcakes:

In a mixing bowl, cream the butter, peanut butter and brown sugar. Beat in egg and vanilla.

Combine the dry ingredients; add to creamed mixture alternately with milk.

Fill 18 paper-lined muffin cups about half  full.  Place one peanut butter cup on top of the batter, pressing it in slightly.  Cover with more batter filling the cups about 3/4 full.

Bake at 350 degrees F for 26-30 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean. Cool for 10 minutes before removing from pans to wire racks to cool completely.

frosting:

Place the confectioners’ sugar, peanut butter, butter, vanilla, and salt in the bowl and mix on medium-low speed until creamy, scraping down the bowl as you work.

Add the cream and beat on high speed until the mixture is light and smooth.

Slowly add in the white chocolate.

Double Chocolate Cupcakes

Here’s what you need:

cupcakes:

8 Tbls butter

3/4 cup sugar

1 cup flour

1/4 cup cocoa

1 pkg instant chocolate pudding mix

1 tsp baking powder

1/8 tsp salt

1/2 cup milk

1 Tbls vanilla

2 eggs

frosting:

8 oz cream cheese, room temperature

8 Tbls butter, room temperature

3 cups powdered sugar

8 oz milk chocolate chips

3 Tbls heavy cream

Here’s what you do:

cupcakes:

In a large bowl, cream together butter and sugar.  In another bowl, combine dry ingredients.  In a liquid measuring cup, combine wet ingredients. Mix wet and dry ingredients alternately into the creamed mixture beginning and ending with the dry. Fill 12 paper-lined muffin cups and bake at 350 for 25 to 30 minutes.

frosting:

In a double boiler, combine chocolate chips and cream.  Heat on medium heat until melted, stirring occasionally.

In a large bowl cream the cream cheese and butter until smooth.  Slowly add in the powdered sugar until evenly combined.

With the mixer on low, slowly pour in the melted chocolate.

Orange Cupcakes

Here’s what you need:

cupcakes:

8 Tbls butter

3/4 cup sugar

1/3 cup orange juice

zest of two oranges

1 1/4 cups flour

1 pkg instant vanilla pudding mix

1 tsp baking powder

1/8 tsp salt

1/4 cup milk

1 Tbls vanilla

2 eggs

frosting:

1 cup powdered sugar

6 oz cream cheese, room temperature

4 Tbls butter, room temperature

1/2 tsp vanilla

Here’s what you do:

cupcakes:

In a large bowl, cream together butter, sugar, and orange zest.  In another bowl, combine dry ingredients.  In a liquid measuring cup, combine wet ingredients. Mix wet and dry ingredients alternately into the creamed mixture beginning and ending with the dry. Fill 12 paper-lined muffin cups and bake at 350 for 25 to 30 minutes.

frosting:

In a large bowl cream the cream cheese and butter until smooth.  Add vanilla.  Slowly add in the powdered sugar until evenly combined.

 

Bourbon Celebration May 26, 2011

When asked what baked good he wanted for his birthday, my friend CP replied, “A bottle of bourbon.”  I immediately thought, I can do that.   And I did.  In the form of a Chocolate Bourbon Cake decorated with Candied Bourbon Pecans and accompanied by Bourbon Ice Cream.  It was a bourbon dessert feast, and it was amazing.  I knew I wanted a cake that was rich without being too sweet with a dense, tight crumb.  So, I modified my favorite cake recipe by adding cocoa, vanilla pudding mix, and bourbon, of course.  The pudding mix might sound like an odd addition, but it is a great way to make cakes more dense similar to a torte.  I have to say that I’m not much of an alcohol in cake person.  I typically think that the alcohol can be overwhelming, but the bourbon in this cake gave the chocolate a warm spice flavor that was quite enjoyable.

Here’s what you need:

for the cake:

8 Tbls butter

3/4 cup sugar

zest of 2 clementines

1/4 cup bourbon

1 cup flour

1/4 cup cocoa

1 pkg instant vanilla pudding mix

1 tsp baking powder

1/8 tsp salt

1/3 cup milk

1 Tbls vanilla

2 eggs

for the toppings

(glaze)

1 cup powdered sugar

3 Tbls bourbon

(candied pecans)

1/2 tsp salt

2 cups sugar

1 tsp cinnamon

3/4 cup milk

1 10 oz pkg pecan halves

2 Tbls vanilla

1 oz bourbon

Here’s what you do:

Cake:

Preheat oven to 350 degrees and prepare one round cake pan by spraying with non-stick spray and lining with parchment paper.

In a large bowl, cream together butter, sugar, and clementine zest.  Stir in bourbon.

In another bowl, combine dry ingredients.  In a liquid measuring cup, combine wet ingredients.

Mix wet and dry ingredients alternately into the creamed mixture beginning and ending with the dry.

Pour into prepared cake pan and bake for 35 to 40 minutes.

Glaze:

Once cake is cool, combine the powdered sugar and bourbon stirring until smooth and drizzle over the cake.

Candied Pecans:

In a medium sauce pan, combine salt, sugar, cinnamon, and milk.  Bring to boil over medium heat stirring occasionally.  Continue to boil the candy mixture until it reaches soft ball stage, stirring constantly.

Remove from heat, stir in vanilla and bourbon, then pecans.

Immediately spread pecan mixture onto a wax paper lined surface and separate using two forks.  This makes more pecans than you will need for decorating, but you will be glad to have the extra.  They are a bit addictive.

Decorate the top of the cake with candied pecans and some additional clementine zest.

Serve with Homemade Bourbon Ice Cream.

 

Chocolate-Lover’s Birthday Cake February 18, 2011

A friend’s birthday is February 29th, which doesn’t really exist this year.  So, instead we are celebrating her birthday this weekend!  I haven’t known this friend long (she’s my boyfriend’s, sister’s best friend), but I do know that she is an amazing person, a great friend and, like all amazing people, she loves chocolate.  So, in honor of this amazing person, I made this ultimate chocolate cake.  I didn’t take “in progress” photos because I was super busy this week (not only is this friend visiting, but most of my boyfriend’s family, as well).  I got the recipe here.  It’s an Ina Garten recipe.  Every recipe I have ever made by her has turned out amazingly.  The only problem I had with this one is that the cakes fell in the center.  I think this is due to not having extra-large eggs.  Instead of making frosting, I used Pillsbury chocolate fudge frosting, homemade chocolate ganache, and decorated with Dove chocolates and mini chocolate chips.  It looks amazing and I’m sure it will taste amazing, as well.

I made the cake according to the online recipe, except I didn’t add the coffee.  I used an equal amount of water, instead.

To decorate, line the edges of your tray with wax paper, place one of the cakes in the center, and cover the top with frosting.  Place the other cake on top and cover the sides with more frosting building it up around the top a bit to form a rim to hold in the ganache.  Total, I used about two cans of frosting.  Remove the wax paper from under the edges of the cake and cover the gap this leaves by smoothing down the frosting and covering it with mini chocolate chips.  Next, make a milk chocolate ganache similar to this one, only with about a quarter cup more half and half to make it easier to spread.  Let the ganache cool slightly, then poor it onto the top of the cake.  Tilt the cake to spread out the ganache until it covers the entire top.  Lastly, decorate with your choice of chocolates and enjoy a giant slice, or maybe two.  It is a birthday celebration, after all.

Here’s to a very happy birthday, T. E.!  I hope you have an amazing time that ends in a sugar coma.

 

 

An Ode to Easter, Part 2 April 12, 2010

Sorry this took so long, but I’ve had a busy couple of weeks…

Thankfully, Easter went marvelously well with lots of good food and delicious sweets!

This second installment to “An Ode to Easter” is about a gorgeous cake that I first made for a friend’s birthday a few years ago.  It is a Peeps Sunflower Cake, and surprisingly can be made year-round since Peeps freeze very well and can be defrosted in the refrigerator.  So run out now and buy a ton of Peeps while they are on sale and have this cake whenever you feel like you need a little sunflowery goodness  in your life.

This time, I made the cake with a butter cake recipe that I found on Recipezaar.com that I cut in half to make a single-layer cake, but I have made a two-layer cake in the past with a chocolate cake mix and it was just as good (if not better due to being easier).

Here’s what you need:

Cake:

3 large egg yolks

1/2 cup milk

1 tsp vanilla

1 1/2 cups flour

3/4 cup sugar

2 tsp baking powder

1/4 tsp salt

6 Tbls. unsalted butter, room temperature

Decorations:

1 can chocolate frosting (two if you are making a two-layer cake)

Large chocolate chips

mini chocolate chips

19  Peeps

Here’s what you do:

Preheat your oven to 350 degrees and grease and flour one (or two) 9 inch cake pan.

In a small mixing bowl, combine the egg yolks, 1/4 cup milk, and vanilla.  In a large mixing bowl, combine the dry ingredients and add remaining milk; mix until combined.  Slowly add the wet mixture to the dry ingredient mixture until well combined.  Pour into prepared pan and bake for 25 to 35 minutes.  If using a cake mix, simply follow the recipe on the box.

Once the cake is baked and cooled to room temperature (it can even be refrigerated over night), you are ready to decorate.  Line the edges of a serving tray or cake carrier with wax paper, making sure to leave space in the center, and place the cake on top.  This step will help you with clean-up.  Begin frosting your cake.  Cover the top and sides of the cake with the chocolate frosting, smoothing it out as you go.  I use an off-set spatula and spin the cake plate as I go so I can see what I’m doing.  I think it is easier to cover the top first and then do the sides.

Now it is time for the Peeps!  Take one row of Peeps (mine came in rows of five) and bend them slightly to make a curve.  You can even cut between the Peeps, just a little bit, with a knife or kitchen scissors to make them curve more.  (I did not cut them on this cake, so my sunflower looks a little square.)  Place your curved Peeps along the edge of the cake, so just their tails hang off the side.  Repeat this with the remaining rows of Peeps.  You will have to cut off a Peep or two on the last row to make them fit.

Next come the “seeds” of the sunflower.  Place the big chocolate chips (I use Ghirardelli  chips) in the center of the cake standing up to look like individual seeds.  Lastly sprinkle a couple of handfuls of mini chocolate chips over the center to fill in the spaces between the bigger chocolate chips.

Lastly remove the waxed paper from around the cake and, if desired, pipe a ribbon of chocolate frosting around the gap that is left between the cake and the plate and sprinkle with mini chocolate chips.

 

 
%d bloggers like this: