This post is clearly a few months late, but while I have been slacking in sharing what I’ve been up to, I have still been baking as much as ever. Over the past 18 months, we’ve had two baking competitions at work. While I’m not typically a competitive person, when it comes to baking my competitive streak emerges and so of course I needed to enter them. Both competitions were judged on taste, creative use of company products, & appearance. Continue reading
Last Saturday we celebrated my friend Kevin’s 26th birthday. Since it was a surprise party and we weren’t sure exactly how many people would be there I decided to make both a cake and cupcakes. For the cupcakes we decided on a fan favorite — Irish Car Bomb Cupcakes. For the cake we decided to go with a carrot cake brushed with spiced rum and iced with cream cheese icing.
Both turned out great and were a big hit at the party.
It’s crazy to think that it was over a year ago I was posting pictures of the desserts I made for my cousin’s baby shower. For Matthew’s first birthday party, I asked my cousins’ what I could bring. They said that I could bring whatever I wanted, but they would be making an Elmo cake. I decided it was time to break out my cake pop maker (which coincidentally I hadn’t used to make cake pops since the baby shower) and make some Sesame Street cake pops to go along with his Elmo cake.
The cake pops were funfetti cake. I bought the eyes from Wilton and used a peanut M&M for Elmo’s nose, a candy corn dipped in yellow candy melts for Big Bird’s nose, and cookie crisp cereal for Cookie Monster. They turned out great especially after my mom helped me find a great way to display them. Matthew even recognized his friends and couldn’t wait to grab one!
A few weeks ago we celebrated my friend Steve’s birthday. I was put in charge of the cake. The party’s theme was the Phillies so of course I had to make a Phillies Cake.
My friend had bought sparkler candles and when it was lit it reminded us all of Citizen’s Bank Park at night.
The cake was a vanilla pound cake with strawberry mousse and lemon curd fillings and vanilla buttercream icing. It was delicious and looked great when sliced.
Two weeks ago we celebrated my cousin’s baby shower. I offered to make a few desserts. My cousin asked me to make cheesecake and I had just gotten a cake ball maker so I figured cheesecake and cookie balls would be perfect.
Above is a Cake & Cheese Cake Ball “Cake”. The outer two rows are funfetti cake balls (made with a babycakes cake ball maker), iced in vanilla icing (store bought and heated 5 seconds in the microwave to melt; half dyed blue) and then decorated with royal blue royal icing and a variety of sprinkles. The center is made up of chocolate cheese cake balls coated in semi sweet chocolate and white chocolate dyed blue with candy food coloring.I used varying heights of cookie pop sticks to give the cake more dimension. I displayed the cake & cheesecake balls using a wilton cake ball decorating stand and then wrapping it in light blue ribbon and covering the top with “It’s a Boy” buttercream mints.
The cake balls & chocolate cheese cake balls were a huge hit.
I also made peanut butter cheesecake balls because my cousin loves Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups. I took peanutbutter cheesecake, coated it in semisweet chocolate, and then rolled it in chopped peanuts. These definitely stole the show and were pretty easy to make.
To make the cheesecake balls I made a basic cheesecake recipe and split it into three bowls. To the first bowl I added semisweet chocolate to, the 2nd about a 1/4 of a cup of peanut butter, and the last I left plain. I baked all the cheesecakes in standard size cupcake tins & pans using an ice cream scoop to get approximately the same amount in each cup (made approx. 36 cupcakes). After the cheesecake was refrigerated overnight I cut each of the chocolate and peanut butter cheesecake cupcakes in half and rolled them into balls. I then put the sticks into the balls and froze them until they were solid. That made it easy to get a nice thin/even coat of chocolate on each of the cheesecakes. The plain cheesecakes I froze for the next time I make cheesecake balls.
This was one of my first attempts at real cake decorating. I based it off of a picture I found online. I used cake to make the fish head and tail raised above a 4 layer 9-inch round cake. I used white icing to decorate and then painted the icing with a paintbrush and food coloring paste mixed with a bit of vodka so that it would dry quickly. The painting technique allowed me to get the realistic coloring of the fish and water.