Playing with Fondant – A Monster High Cake

So, true confession – I have been avoiding fondant.  I mean, its not that I don’t appreciate all the creativity that fondant lends itself to, but I just have a thing for buttercream.  Its my first love, and I just wasn’t willing to cross that line over into the world of fondant… until this cake.  The person specifically requested a ‘fondant covered cake.’  Even though I mentioned ways to do a hybrid cake covered in buttercream with fondant accents, they wanted fondant, so I had to face the fondant – no more running!  I certainly didn’t think that my first foray into the world of fondant would be with a Monster High cake. I had vision of a pretty cake design with flowers maybe, but I ended up with skulls, stitches, and black hearts for my initial fondant endeavor.  Funny how things happen that way.  Perhaps its because of my indifference to fondant that I ended up doing such a ‘dark’ cake for my first fondant design. I figured that if I was going to play with fondant, that I would go all in!   So I said a quick prayer and decided to fully commit to making my first fondant cake as good as it could possibly be!

monster high cake 1

This cake was for a 7 year old’s birthday party.  The cake was a pink tinted vanilla cake, with a strawberry cream filling. The accompanying cupcakes were chocolate with a milk chocolate filling and vanilla with a strawberry cream filling.  I used the Liz Marek Marshmallow Fondant recipe because I’d read really good reviews on how easy it was to work with and I figured the marshmallows would help the taste.  Most fondant doesn’t taste very good, so this one actually tastes okay.  I did include a nice layer of good Italian Meringue Buttercream under the fondant, so for people that scrape off the fondant as most people do, they had a nice layer of buttercream for their cake!  I also ordered some Monster High accessories to help with bringing the theme to life. I definitely wasn’t at the level of creating fondant figurines for the cake, so thanks to Joann.com, I was able to get some help!

Monster High 2

I’m very happy to say that the cake was well received by all, so mission accomplished!

Would I do another fondant cake?  Well, if someone specifically requests fondant, then yes… but will I volunteer fondant as an option, probably not.  I’m still very much a buttercream girl, however I’m now at least open to playing with fondant from time to time.   Monster High Cake

monster high 3

 

 

Big Fluffy Fall Buttercream Flowers

I love the fall and I love these big fluffy buttercream flowers… after lots of practicing to try to perfect this technique for making these flowers, I think that I’ve (almost) got it!

I recently made this cake for a wedding shower, the theme was fall so they gave me free reign to do what I wanted design wise on this amaretto raspberry cake, which is a really good flavor combination by the way!

Not a lot to say today, other than that I can’t wait to make another cake covered with lots of pretty fluffy buttercream Flowers.  Enjoy!

Fluffy Fall Flowers 4

Fluffy Fall Flowers

 

Fluffy Fall Flower 3

Fluffy Fall Flowers 2

Sunshine and Raspberries

It was such a beautiful sun shining day today!  I haven’t posted on my little blog is what feels like forever, so I thought I’d do a quick post and share this lovely cake with you!  This cake makes me think of sunshine with its ombré yellow frosting, zingy lemon throughout and a pop of red with the raspberry topping!  I made this cake earlier in the summer, but never had an opportunity to share it here.  It’s a rich butter cake infused with lemon zest and rich vanilla, filled with a raspberry buttercream and frosted with a lemon buttercream.  Maybe you will head in the kitchen and whip up a cake that makes you think of sunshine too!

image

image

image

(I love the inside cake shots!)

This cake was soooo good!  If you would like to recreate this cake, I used a couple of my old faithful recipes. The cake recipe can be found here, my Meme’s rich pound cake.  The buttercream filling is an italian meringue buttercream with fresh raspberry purée, this recipe can be found here and the frosting is a whipped buttercream with lemon juice, cream and a litte vanilla, this recipe cane be found here.

Enjoy!

Red Wine, Chocolate and Coconut

When its your birthday, you can have whatever cupcake combinations that you want…

image

First up, the Nutty Coconut Cupcake!  Have you tried the ice cream flavor at Baskin Robbins?  Its my favorite, so I thought it would make a great cupcake flavor… and it truly did!!  Its a rich coconut, vanilla bean cupcake, filled with coconut filling, topped with vanilla Italian Meringue Buttercream and topped with toasted pecans, almonds and coconut!  image

I know that there are some folks out there that are not fans of coconut and I can completely understand.  I actually don’t care for the taste of raw coconut.  For me, it has to be toasted or added to something (like this wonderful filling!) in order to be ‘acceptable’ coconut for me!  I would dare say that this Nutty Coconut Cupcake might be able to make a believer out of the staunchest non coconut eaters out there!

image

Then there is the Chocolate Blackberry Red Wine cupcake!

image

A deep chocolate cupcake, filled with a red wine infused chocolate ganache, topped with a blackberry puree Italian Meringue Buttercream, drizzled with a red wine syrup (I used a sweet Shiraz by Jam Jar) and topped with a wine soaked blackberry.  Pure decadence, really… If I do say so myself!

image

Let me say a word about the wine syrup… it was SO good!  I’d never made wine syrup before, but thought that these cupcakes needed a little more wine flavor infused to be truly called red wine cupcakes!  This definitely did the trick.  It does take a while to make, so a little patience is required for it to reduce enough, but the end result is well worth the wait.  image

I received good reviews from the birthday girl, she said that everyone enjoyed them!  I also completed a good bit of taste testing on these myself and can attest to the fact that they are were quite good!

image

Anyone in the mood for some some red wine, chocolate and coconut?  :)

 

 

A Day Late and a Biscuit Short

Yesterday was national BUTTERMILK BISCUIT DAY!

Unfortunately, I am a day late, so I missed the opportunity share my love for buttermilk biscuits on the official day, but thankfully for me, everyday is a good day to share about the wonders of the buttermilk biscuit!  So, in honor of the day after buttermilk biscuit day, I thought I would share a couple pictures of the lovely and yummy buttermilk biscuits I’ve eaten over time!   ENJOY!

biscuit9

(Don’t you LOVE all those layers!!)

biscuit11

(Nothing better than biscuits made in cast iron pans!!)

biscuit7

Biscuit with the all the necessary accompaniments… bacon, eggs… YUM!

Biscuit2

(Above)  A slight twist on the classic… cheddar buttermilk biscuits… almost like red lobster?!

biscuit8

I love how each biscuits is uniquely different…

biscuit5

Jam + Fig Preserves = Perfection!

Lately, I have been topping my biscuits (after a good dousing with a little cream before baking!) with cracked black pepper… so good!

biscuit4

My go to biscuit recipe is from one of the classics… the Joy of Cooking.  No adaptations, well except for the cracked black pepper!

Buttermilk Biscuits by the Joy of Cooking

2 cups all purpose flour
2 teaspoons. baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
6 tablespoons cold unsalted butter cut into chunks
3/4 cups buttermilk

  • Preheat oven to 450 degrees and line baking sheet with parchment paper.
  • In a large bowl, whisk together all dry ingredients.  Add cold butter and using a pastry cutter, your hand or if you opt to do this in a food processor, pulse for a couple minutes until the butter is incorporated into the flour and about the size of peas.
  • Add buttermilk and lightly mix until the dry ingredients are moist.
  • Gather together the dough until it comes together and pat out the dough on the counter or on a marble board until its about 1/2 inch thick.  Cut with biscuit cutter and place on baking sheet.  IMPORTANT NOTE 1:  When cutting the biscuits, resist the urge to twist the cutter, just up and down to cut out the biscuits.  When you twist the cutter it causes them to not rise as high… and we want our biscuits to rise high, after all the higher the biscuit, the closer to God, right?  :)
  • Place biscuits on a parchment lined baking sheet and brush the biscuits with milk and add the cracked pepper if you please.  Bake them until golden brown on top and bottom, about 10-12 minutes.
  • Try to allow them to cool for at least 1 minute, then add butter and fig preserves or any preserves, apple butter or honey and repeat as often as you like.  But don’t go too crazy, they aren’t the healthiest of things to eat!  But they sure are good every once in awhile!  So now for IMPORTANT NOTE 2:  I use a small biscuit cutter (maybe 2 inches) so that I can eat two(ish) (or more) and not feel guilty… yep, you are welcome! :)

ENJOY!