Wednesday, December 3, 2008

Cakes galore!

I've recently officially started offering my services up to bake cakes for friends who need them, I've all but given up on getting into the pastry classes at Grossmont College, so I hope that if I can bake lots of cakes for people then I can learn as I go. The benefit for them is that I'm just charging for ingredients!

This is a little fondant mock up, a cupcake with buttercream wrapped in fondant with chocolate fondant flowers. I was very happy with it, as my first foray into fondant. I now feel I can try a full sized cake without too many worries.

I also tried my hand with gum paste, making these breast cancer ribbons, and putting them on fondant, hoping to delay the melting I'd seen with other cream cheese frosting.

I'm getting pretty happy with my flowers, the Wilton tip gives a lovely 'rose' shape on cupcakes, and you cant go wrong with a mixture of dulce de leche and cream cheese!

I also tried making a German Chocolate Cake. The topping seemed incredibly sweet, so I made some whipped chocolate ganache to complement it. Mmmmm!

I got to work on a spice cake for a friend at work, this went very well, the cake was delicious and very well behaved! It was quite dramatic looking as well, with 6 layers. Thanks sunset magazine for the recipe! I didn't get as far as the toffee crunch topping, but it went very quickly and I got lots of complements! Need to work on the writing though!

Now for the cakes that weren't quite as successful!!

This was another batch of the owls. They were a bit tricky, I got real Oreos instead of the Vons ones, and they were very brittle and kept breaking. When I went to hand them over a lot of the ears had cracked and I was very disappointed. Thankfully the birthday boy didnt seem to notice too much.

This was a delicious fudgy cake. I didnt cut the 'dome' off the bottom cake, I put the top layer on, and then put some very heavy caramel frosting on top and the layer cracked into 4, you may be able to see the dents. AAAGH!!! The caramel frosting also refused to stick to the sides, so I used whipped chocolate ganache instead. Very stressful! I learned my lesson about flattening the layers out though! I've since heard it went down really well and the flavors were really good, if the cake was a bit shoddy looking.

This was my attempt at the 'hello cupcake' penguins, they look more like penguin zombies, all pathetic. I'm glad I didn't make these for a specific purpose, I took them into work and everyone seemed to think they were very cute. My first failure from that cookbook, not anything like as easy as they imply! The penguin is constructed with a half mini donut, and a donut hole on top, then frozen and dipped in black colored chocolate frosting. The donuts
were difficult to cover, and the beaks refused to stay!

I thought I'd share the wonderful chocolate ganache recipe, this is just awesome and incredibly useful for cake decorating/fixing/piping and just eating out of the bowl.

Light Whipped Ganache Filling and Frosting.
Makes 4 cups (enough to fill and frost two 9 by 1 1/2 layers)

8oz Bittersweet chocolate
2 cups heavy cream
1/2 teaspoon vanilla

I've made this twice, the first time I followed the instructions and chopped the chocolate in the food processor and then added hot cream to it. Then when I took the food processor off the stalk, the creamy mixture started pouring out of the bottom! So I'd suggest adding the chopped chocolate to the warm cream in a saucepan, then pour into a bowl.

Refrigerate until cool, stirring once or twice (about 2 hours) then whip until soft peaks are formed. It may be best to do this by hand to make sure not to overbeat.

This lasts for one day at room temp, 1 week refrigerated or 3 months frozen, although I dont think you'll have trouble finding something to do with it!!


Stef said...

You are so talented! I love those owls and I can never seen to make swirls that look nearly as nice as yours. Great stuff!

caninecologne said...

how wonderful! i hope you have a lot of customers!