Archive for March, 2010

Preparing for a new addition to the family

Today we hosted a baby shower for my brother and sister-in-law. It was a unique style baby shower because unfortunately they live in Texas and were unable to make the trip to Chicago. So friends and family gathered for a lovely afternoon and of course cake! We enjoyed an adorable video that my brother and sister-in-law put together of them and the baby’s bedroom to share with all of us. In turn, we took pictures and a short video to share with them what they missed.

My mom and grandma made the wonderful spread of food. We had fruit salsa, cucumber sandwiches, chicken salad sandwiches, strawberry salad, pinwheel sandwiches, and dirty diapers!

img_7520

Dirty diapers are the funniest thing that I’ve seen. My mom found the recipe online.  You cook up some ground beef with onion and garlic. Then you use the croissant dough that you buy in the tubes. You take the triangles of dough, put a triangle of cheese, lay the cooked meat on top then fold over the corners of the dough the way you would fold a diaper! So silly!

img_7521 

For dessert I made some delicious chocolates which were also made up in little take-out containers as party favors. I made yellow ones that were filled with white chocolate and dried cherries flavored with Kirsch brandy. The blue ones are milk chocolate flavored with coffee and Kahlua. The brown ones are dark chocolate flavored with Grand Marnier. My favorite of the three was probably the Kahlua flavor. YUM!

img_7508 

The cake I made was three layers of white almond sour cream cake filled with raspberry and bavarian creme. Oh sooooo good! I love almond, and with raspberry? Even better! I iced the cakes in buttercream and did all of the decorations in fondant to match the paper goods at the party. Here it is! 

img_75231

Posted by on March 7th, 2010

Celebrating 100 Years!

 

A couple weeks ago my Grandma and my Papa went up to northern Wisconsin to visit Papa’s aunt. They were going to celebrate Aunt Evey’s 100th birthday! Not too many people get to live to be 100. It was most definitely the first 100th birthday cake that I’ve ever made! 

I wanted to make something very feminine and elegant, different from my typical whimsical style. I baked a yellow cake in an oval cake pan. I love the oval shape because it is different from the traditional round or rectangle sheet cake, and I think it is very feminine. For the decorations I took the time to make all the flowers by hand out of gumpaste.

 

apple blossoms and daisies

apple blossoms and daisies

 

I started by making apple blossoms and white daisies. It’s been so cold this winter, I wanted to add a touch of spring to the cake. I used some cutters that I had to cut the flowers out of rolled gumpaste. Then I used my gumpaste tools to form and shape each petal. I also made some teeny tiny violet forget-me-not flowers. I made centers for the flowers out of gumpaste and lightly brushed the centers with vodka to dampen them. Then I dipped the flowers into granulated sugar. The sugar only stuck to the parts of the flower that I brushed with vodka and made the centers sparkle. For the daisies I made yellow centers and dipped in yellow sugar. 

 

gumpaste roses

gumpaste roses

Next I hand made pink and yellow roses. I always make extra just in case some break. When gumpaste dries it is very hard and brittle like porcelain and it can break very easily. The petals on the roses are so thin and delicate that it doesn’t take much for them to crack. Once the roses dried I lightly brushed them with my pearl luster dust. 

rose and flowers

rose and flowers

 

 

I made two different size leaves for my flowers. I colored my gumpaste a mossy green and rolled it out thinly. I used my leaf cutters to cut out the shape and then pressed each leaf in a silicone mold that gave it the vines and texture. Using a special tool I thinned the edges of the leaves and created a jagged edge that is so common of rose leaves. I propped the leaves over some crumpled paper towels to dry. This way the wouldn’t be completely flat and they had some shape. Once they dried, I dusted their edges lightly with a green petal dust to create a little variation in color.

 

spray of flowers

spray of flowers

Once all of my flowers and leaves were dried and attached to their stems it was time create a spray of flowers. I used floral tape to tape together the stems creating small bunches of flowers and leaves. Then I arranged my smaller bunches of flowers onto my cake. I saved some smaller flowers to use to fill in holes and gaps in my arrangement. 

Once my flowers were all arranged on my cake it was time to write on it. I chose to write in lavender because the yellow and pink would be too pale. The lavender writing also highlighted the forget-me-nots in my flowers.

Here is the final result!

 

The finished cake!

The finished cake!

This cake survived the  several hour car ride in the trunk all the way from Chicago to northern Wisconsin. This cake took a long time to assemble, but it gave me no troubles. I’m very happy with the results and from what I heard, the birthday girl liked it too!

Posted by on March 4th, 2010