Archive for January, 2010

A Sunday in January

January in Chicago is cold. Actually, cold is an understatement. What’s colder than cold? Bitter? Frigid? Freezing? Numbing? All of the above? Definitely. In the time immediately following the holidays the last thing I want to do is to go into the kitchen and pull out the old Kitchen Aide. But by the time mid January rolls around, turning on the oven to warm up the house doesn’t sound like such a bad idea anymore. 

Yesterday my boyfriend asked me if I’d mind making 3 dozen cupcakes for him to take into the office for an employee’s birthday. When I ask him what kind he would like, he responds, an assortment. An assortment? An assortment of what? He says, yellow and chocolate. Well I’m sorry, in my opinion, two choices hardly counts as an assortment! He eventually gave me permission to make whatever flavors I want as long as it’s nothing too out of the ordinary. 

So this is what I did, I made him 6 cupcakes of 6 different flavors. Two of the flavors being traditional yellow cake with chocolate buttercream and chocolate cake with vanilla buttercream. You know, I need to have some safe flavors for those picky eaters, like my boyfriend. Then for my other flavors I made yellow cake filled with raspberry with a raspberry buttercream, yellow cake with a coconut buttercream, chocolate cake with a cappuccino buttercream, and last but not least the grasshopper cupcakes. If you’re not familiar with what grasshopper means, it means that it’s chocolate with mint. Other than the cute little insect, Grasshopper sometimes refers to the alcohol beverage made of Green Creme de Menthe, White Creme de Cacao, and light cream. But Grasshopper cake is chocolate cake with either mint icing or filling. Traditionally the mint part is dyed a lovely pastel shade of green.  

Now I chose to get creative with the frostings since I was making only 6 of each different flavor. It’s much easier to make two different flavors of cake and just mix up small batches of flavored buttercreams than it would be to mix up several batches of batter for just 6 cupcakes. But that’s alright, by just making small changes to the frosting it creates a whole different experience!

extracts

A great way of doing this is just adding small amounts of extract or flavoring. We have a pretty nice stock of extracts in our pantry which makes it easiest. The little McCormick bottles usually run about $4-5 each depending on the flavor and where you’re shopping. They’re not too cheap, but a little goes a long way. So they should last you a while. McCormick’s are a good quality for everyday home use and they can be found at most grocery stores. You can also find higher quality extracts and specialty kitchen stores. They make several flavors and it can be tempting to buy one of each. But unless you’re ready to spend $30 or more on extracts, I suggest sticking to the basics. Vanilla or Almond are must haves in my opinion. I buy the imitation Almond because my brother has an allergy. Second I like to go for a mint (it comes in mint or peppermint) extract and/or one of the many fruit extracts. Those are 4 types that we always have on hand. But depending on what your family likes, there is also butter flavoring, coconut, rum, anise, maple, and even root beer!

And time for the cupcake picture…. Drum roll please….

 

 

 

 

Cupcakes

So here they are! My easy and yummy creations! The coconut, the raspberry, the cappuccino, and the grasshopper! I hope they’re a big hit at the office tomorrow. That is if they even make it there. All these flavors ended up being approved by my oh so very picky boyfriend, so who knows how many might get eaten while in the morning rush hour traffic!

Posted by on January 17th, 2010

Hot Off The Press!!!

Today is the day! The newspaper is out! And it’s lovely, if I do say so. Take a look!

Front page of the Carol Stream Press

Front page of the Carol Stream Press

Yeah, Thats right! I’m on the front page! The photographer took some beautiful photos, I’m really impressed! Nothing like a close up on my concentrating face… hehe. But thats just a picture, now where’s the article? Hmmm… maybe page 4?

 

Page 4 of the Carol Stream Press

Page 4 of the Carol Stream Press

Look at that! A whole page! Who knew that there was so much to say about cake? I did feel like a goof going into the convenient store down the street and buying a stack of these, but wouldn’t you?

So I go to the counter with 6 papers, one for me, my parents, the boyfriend, the best friend… yadda yadda yadda (apparently  no one can just go to the corner store themselves, hehe). The lady behind the counter looked at me, counted the papers and started ringing me up, $6 total (I never buy papers, I didn’t realize there’s no tax?) and she asked me if there was something special about them. I told her yeah! Me! Her eyes got big and she asked me where? I pointed to the big picture of the redhead on the front page and said there! She had to look at it really close, and it took her a second, before she realized that it was me. Now, I know I rolled out of bed and dragged my but to the store, and I wasn’t exactly looking my best, but the picture still looked like me!

Then she called over her coworker to show her that I was on the cover . They started oooh-ing and aaaah-ing over it. I was starting to feel a little awkward at this point. Her coworker looked at how many papers I had on the counter and asked if I had left any on the rack. *Embarrassed* Gosh, I didn’t take that many! I took 6 of the 10 they had there despite the fact I really wanted to take them all. And I would have bought them all,  except my mother taught me to share. Besides, I want some to be left for someone else to read! She laughed at me and said she didn’t care how many I took, as long as I left one there for them to read! *Sigh* Oh, OK!

Anyways, the ladies loved the article and asked for my website and I was off on my merry little way. You can read the whole article online at the Carol Stream Press website, or you can just click HERE!

Posted by on January 15th, 2010

Boofy Cakes in the Carol Stream Press

Alright, here it is! Boofy Cakes is in the Carol Stream Press! You can click HERE to see it online. Or you can go to the local convenient store tomorrow and pick up a copy of the newspaper! Oh, and don’t forget to leave me a comment and let me know what you think! 

Thanks!

Posted by on January 14th, 2010

Valentines Day

So Valentines day is coming! Do you have a valentine for your sweetie? If not, then  you should check out my Etsy shop Speak Sweetly! I have packs of 6 handmade valentines, all sure to please! Click HERE to take a look at my sweet stationary!

 

valentine 3

valentine 2

valentines 1

Posted by on January 11th, 2010

Boofy Cakes on Facebook

Just in case you didn’t know… Boofy Cakes is on Facebook! Become a fan today! Click HERE to visit the Boofy Cakes fan page!

Posted by on January 6th, 2010

Boofy Cakes Logo

When I put together this website with the help of my wonderful boyfriend I wanted to create a portfolio of all of my cakes to share with my friends, family, and fellow food lovers. I chose a website design that was fun and in my favorite colors, orange and green. But something was missing! The only thing on my homepage that suggested cakes was the name Boofy Cakes. I needed a whimsical cake to go at the top of the site. So I sat down and drew and drew a simple silly cake. Now I’m not very computer savvy. So Rob took the drawing I made, photo shopped it, added the colors to match and added it to my website. 

I’ve always wanted to make a real cake that looked like the cake on my website and it would be the perfect addition to my collection of cakes. This week I was given a special opportunity! I was asked to do an interview for an article for the Carol Stream Press. The reporter asked if I could make a colorful cake to be photographed for the article. This was my chance to make my Boofy Cakes cake! 

So here it is! The debut of my custom Boofy Cakes cake! Please let me know what you think!

The Original Boofy Cakes Cake!

The Original Boofy Cakes Cake!

Oh, and if you live in DuPage County, be sure to pick up a copy of the Carol Stream Press next week to view the article about yours truly! 

 

Me and my Boofy Cakes cake!

Me and my Boofy Cakes cake!

Posted by on January 6th, 2010

Happy New Year Everyone!

 

I you all had a wonderful holiday season! I know I did! December was a very busy month and I’ve been looking forward to sharing everything with you. I started off the holiday season with an Advent Family Night at Our Savior Lutheran Church. I was invited to speak about different European cookie traditions and to demonstrate decorating a gingerbread house! The cookies I had were Swedish Ginger Thins, German Pfeffernüsse, Italian Biscotti, and Scottish Shortbread. 

Gingerbread and Cookie display

Gingerbread and Cookie display

After my little presentation, all of the kids got their own graham cracker houses to decorate!

 

Lots of Graham Cracker Houses!

Lots of Graham Cracker Houses!

 

We also had our annual Gingerbread decorating party! My brother Brian, my cousins and some of our family friends all came over to decorate our own gingerbread houses! This year it was a little different than usual. We bought the Wilton candy molds to make candy decorations for the houses that looked like doors, fences, chimneys and other decorations! It gave the houses a lot of extra detail that normal candies don’t. This year I made all of the decorations for the houses. It was a lot of work, I think next year they’re going to have to make their own! Other than the Wilton candy molds, my best discovery this year was white cotton candy! I found it at the craft store sold in little tubs that looked like snowmen. The white cotton candy made perfect smoke for our chimneys! 

 

My Red and Green Christmas Cottage!

My Red and Green Christmas Cottage!

 

On December 12th Our Savior Lutheran Church had their annual sunday school Christmas program followed by a spaghetti dinner birthday party for Jesus! This year I was given the opportunity to make the birthday cake for Jesus! I had so much fun making the festive stack of birthday presents topped with red and green ribbon made from fondant. I even added a fondant gift tag trimmed in gold. The cake was a big hit at the party!

 

Birthday Presents for Jesus

Birthday Presents for Jesus

 

Every year my family makes tons of Christmas cookies. This year we had our Cookie Sunday where we get together and bake all day! My brother and his girlfriend came over and baked all day with us. My brother’s job was to make the rumballs. He tripled the recipe, so he spent the better part of the day rolling them! His girlfriend is very artistic so I thought it would be fun to help me decorate the millions of cut out cookies I baked the day before. She did a fantastic job! I was excited to decorate a few of my new cookie cutter shapes. I had mittens and Gingerbread house shaped cookies. They came out so cute! While we were decorating, my mom made all kinds of family favorites like our famous Good Cookies, Short bread, Swedish Ginger Thins, Spritz Cookies and many more!

 

"Gingerbread House" Cookie

"Gingerbread House" Cookie

 

Frosty Snowflake Mittens

Frosty Snowflake Mittens

 

The past few years my family has been hosting Christmas Eve at our house. I love it when we have the holidays here! It’s so nice to be able to stay home and not have to travel and we’re in control of the dessert! Last year I made a delicious cake that I found in Bon Appetite for a devils food cake with white and dark chocolate ganache filling and a white peppermint frosting. It was a HUGE hit! This year I decided to go for a classic Busch de Noel cake, also known as a Yule Log! A Yule Log cake is made from a génoise cake that is rolled with frosting in the middle and then covered in chocolate frosting. They’re traditionally decorated to look like logs. Génoise cake is a very thin sponge cake. When it is fresh out of the oven you roll it in a clean kitchen towel and allow it to cool. This helps prevent the cake from unrolling later after you’ve filled it with frosting. I used a white génoise cake with a white almond buttercream and I iced it with a chocolate almond buttercream. Treats that look like mushrooms are a typical decoration for Yule Logs. I found these little treats called Chocorooms at the store that look like little mushrooms but they’re actually a sweet cracker stem with a chocolate button top. They made the perfect accents for my cake! then I topped it off with a Holly cookie. Everyone loved it!

 

My Busch de Noel cake

My Busch de Noel cake

So, as you can see, I’ve been very busy! And that wasn’t even everything. Just the sweet highlights! Other non-food related  highlights of the season: My boyfriend graduated from the University of Illinois in December and was fortunate enough to have found a job! He just started this week. We went down to Peoria for New Years Eve to celebrate the turning of the year with some good friends of ours and to congratulate them on their engagement! So many wonderful things to celebrate and to be thankful for!

 

Happy New Year Everyone!

Posted by on January 6th, 2010