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!

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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!

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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

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Red Wine, Chocolate and Coconut

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

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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!

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Then there is the Chocolate Blackberry Red Wine cupcake!

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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!

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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!

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

 

 

S’more on S’mores Cupcakes

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Chocolate…

…Marshmallows

Graham crackers….

….Cupcakes!

Need I say more?

 

S’more on Smore Cupcakes

1 batch of your favorite chocolate cupcakes

1 batch chocolate glaze at room temperature, which should be more of a solid than a glaze at this point.

1 batch marshmallow frosting (7 minute frosting), this is my favorite one

A couple graham crackers

Directions:

1. Prepare cupcakes as directed

2. Using an apple corer, create a shallow hole in each cupcake for the chocolate glaze filling.

3.  Fill each cupcake with the chocolate glaze

4. Top each cupcake with a generous swirl of the marshmallow frosting.

5. Using the graham crackers, chocolate glaze and marshmallow frosting, create mini s’mores toppers for each of your cupcakes.

6. Admire cupcakes for a few minutes before eating

7. Eat cupcake and relish in the joy of a S’more on S’mores cupcake.

ENJOY!

 

Despicable Me Minion Cupcakes

I think that Twinkies were meant to be Minion cupcakes… truly this makes for the Twinkies finest hour! 🙂image

I thought I would share a quick post about a Despicable Me birthday cake and minion cupcakes that I recently made. Not a lot of narrative today, I’ll let the cute little minions do all the talking! 

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Minion Cake Inside collage

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A quick overview on what I made…

For the Cupcakes:

  • I used Twinkies that I briefly refrigerated and cut in half for my little minions.
  • To create the smiles and to stick on the Wilton eyes, I used some store bought black frosting (the kind that comes in a tube).
  • I used brown sprinkles to do the hair… I think next time I might try thin black licorice as I think it will be much easier to work with!
  • Regular American frosting colored to match the minions overalls.
  • I made both vanilla and chocolate cupcakes.
  • There are several videos on YouTube and elsewhere that provide great tutorials on how to make the minion cupcakes.

For the cake:

  • The cake is a new recipe, it’s a sour cream chocolate pound cake by Leite’s Culinaria. I did substitute the water for coffee.
  • The frosting and filling is Italian meringue buttercream… An old favorite!
  • I made a small batch of marshmallows and dyed them yellow and added eyes… thought they would serve as a nice accent to the cake, tie it into the Despicable Me theme.  The kids loved them!

These were a lot of fun to make!  If you decide to make them, I would love to see pictures of your creations!

ENJOY!

Cupcakes for a Baby Blessing

A baby blessing should be blessed with beautiful cupcakes…BB2 collage

Cupcakes are appropriate for every occasion and a baby blessing definitely deserves cute cupcakes!  Even though the guest of honor won’t be able to eat the cupcakes, I’m sure that one day he will look back and appreciate the fact that he had lovely cupcakes in honor of his special day!

So, what did we have to celebrate this special occasion…

Vanilla Bean Cupcakes with Vanilla Italian Meringue Buttercream
PLUS, my first effort at chocolate garnishes!  Little white chocolate crosses dipped in sugar crystals.

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Red Velvet Cupcakes with Cream Cheese Frosting

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Vanilla Bean Cupcakes filled with a Mixed Berry Cream Filling and Vanilla Italian Meringue Buttercream

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Chocolate Cupcakes with Peanut Butter Buttercream filled with a Chocolate Ganache

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I think that this was a nice assortment of cupcakes!  Check out my new labels, for when I send my baked goods out into the world!  Fancy, right!

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The recipes are familiar ones, but here are the links to access the recipes so that you can quickly go about making them!

Vanilla Bean Cupcakes

Chocolate Peanut Butter Cupcakes

Red Velvet Cupcakes

ENJOY!!