Looks Can Be Deceiving

wedding

Most weddings that I do these days, the bride and groom only want a “cutting” cake and don’t actually want to serve the whole cake as a dessert at the wedding, but they still want to have a bigger cake for display at their wedding. A lot of the weddings that I have done, they literally just end up tossing the rest of the cake away (or dividing it up to different family members to take home) and they only end up cutting the top of the cake for pictures sake. This was the first bride where we actually made the bottom two tiers styrofoam instead of real cake! The only part of this cake that is actually cake is the top tier. The bottom two are styrofoam cake forms that are decorated with fondant and frosting to appear as “real” cake. It was a really fun experience because there were so many unknowns, like trying to frost a “cake” that weighs nothing and keeps trying to spin off my spin board.

I hope that more brides that only want a cutting cake choose to do styrofoam bases! It is much lighter to carry (and being seven months pregnant that made a huge difference) and it gave me more time to work on the bottom two layers because since I wasn’t actually working with a baked cake I could do it days before because I didn’t have to worry about my cake drying out.

Next time you are at a wedding and they only cut in the top cake, I’m sure you will wonder if the rest of the cake is in fact cake because now you see that looks can be deceiving! :)

Separating yolks!

Here is a fun, easy way to separate yolks when there are lots of eggs to crack!

Absence Makes the Heart Grow Fonder

So it has definitely been quite some time since my last post. Life has seemingly just been passing away so quickly and a lot has happened in the last few months! We are expecting our first child, a precious baby girl, this July!! All the excitement (and extreme sleepiness, which I am sure will only get worse in the days to come) has caused me to be too distracted (and tired) to blog! Please forgive me as I try and transition to this new stage of life! I do have plenty fun baking pictures to post so I will try and do some major catch-up this weekend! I am also doing a wedding this weekend so I will try and remember to take some video footage to be able to post tutorials.

 

Well I hope all is well with all of you lovely readers! You will be hearing from me soon!

Snickerdoodle Heaven

snickerdoodles

Ingredients:

Cookies

  • 1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, softened to room temperature
  • 1 and 1/3 cup sugar
  • 1 large egg
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 3 cups all-purpose flour
  • 2 teaspoons cream of tartar
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 2 and 1/2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt

Topping

  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 375F degrees. Line two large cookie sheets with parchment paper. Set aside.
  2. Make the topping: toss 1/4 cup granulated sugar with 1 teaspoon cinnamon in a small bowl. Set aside.
  3. Make the cookies: In a large bowl using a hand-held mixer or stand mixer with paddle attachment, cream the softened butter for about 1 minute on medium speed. Get it nice and smooth, then add the sugar on medium speed until fluffy and light in color. Mix in egg and vanilla. Scrape down the sides as needed. Set aside.
  4. In a medium size bowl, whisk together the flour, cream of tartar, baking soda, cinnamon, and salt. With the mixer running on low speed, slowly add the dry ingredients to the wet ingredients in 3 different parts. The dough can be quite thick and you may have to stir the rest by hand, although mine wasn’t, but the original creator of this recipe said hers was!
  5. Take 1.5 – 2 Tablespoons of dough and roll into a ball. I used a cookie scoop for this part so I didn’t get my hands dirty, but to each their own! Roll the dough balls into the reserved cinnamon-sugar topping. Sprinkle extra cinnamon-sugar on top if desired. Bake cookies for 11-12 minutes, but just keep an eye on them. I like my cookies extra moist so I only baked mine for about 10 minutes or so. The cookies will be very puffy and soft. Allow cookies to cool on the baking sheet for 10 minutes and transfer to a wire rack to cool completely.

 

These are BY FAR the best snickerdoodle cookies I have ever tasted! They were sweet throughout the whole cookie, where sometimes I think only the outer layer of snickerdoodles are sweet and the actual cookie tastes more like a sugar cookie. I am so glad that I stumbled upon Sally’s Baking Addiction blog to find this gem of a recipe!

 

Paula Deen Caramel Frosting

Here is the recipe for the yummy caramel frosting that topped the Toffee Crunch cupcakes (post coming soon, I promise!) I made! Of course, being that it is Paula Deen’s, it has to be delicious! I would have added a little more of the heavy cream to mine (the plus more as necessary part) because mine seemed to get stiff very quickly so I had to pipe quickly; which leads to hand cramps and if you have ever had to pipe a large number of cupcakes with stiff frosting, then you feel my pain! Overall though, this is a very yummy recipe! :)

Ingredients:

1/2 cup (1 stick) butter, softened
1 cup packed dark brown sugar
1/3 cup heavy cream, plus more as necessary
1 tablespoon pure vanilla extract
1 16-ounce box confectioner’s sugar

Directions:

Melt butter in saucepan.  Add brown sugar and cream.  Cook over medium-low heat for about 2 minutes, until the sugar is dissolved.  Remove from heat and add vanilla. Transfer to a large bowl.

Using a handheld electric mixer, beat in confectioners’ sugar until smooth.  If frosting is too thick, add 1 tablespoon heavy cream at a time until consistency is right.

 

Recipe from here!

Ganache Topping

Ingredients:

8 ounces bittersweet chocolate, finely chopped ( I used an entire bag of bittersweet chocolate bits)
1 cup heavy cream
3 tablespoons unsalted butter, at room temperature
 
Directions:
 
To make the ganache, place the chopped chocolate in a heatproof bowl. Bring the cream to a simmer in a small saucepan. Remove from heat and pour the hot cream over the chocolate; let stand 1-2 minutes, then whisk together until a smooth ganache forms.
 
I used this recipe for part of the topping of my Toffee Cruch cupcakes (post will come later!) and it was so simple and soooo yummy! The original recipe said to let the ganache chill and then pipe onto the cupcakes, but I dipped my cupcakes in the warm ooey gooey ganache right when I was done making it. It gave it a nice smooth finish with a neat glossy look!
 
 
What is ganache?? Ganache is a mixture of chocolate and cream that is used to fill pastries, and desserts (such as truffles) and as a topping for many different cakes and baked goodies!
 
Recipe found here!

How to Build a Cake

 

I took a bunch of snapshots of the process of one of the cakes I built a while back. Hope you enjoy!