Red Velvet Truffles & Minty Grinchy Cookies

Since it’s that wonderful time of year, I find myself baking every day. Yes, I have my standard recipes. Ginger cookies, sugar cookies, red velvet cakes, etc. But with the explosion of Pinterest, I find myself Pin-spired everyday to try something new.

This past weekend, I began with what I’m calling Minty Grinch Cookies. I had seen this recipe on Pinterest a number of weeks ago, but I’ve had trouble finding Andes mints. We did our groceries this weekend at a different store than usual, and behold! I found the Andes mints in the Christmas chocolate section. YAY!

Please follow the link for the recipe - http://www.sixsistersstuff.com/2012/11/andes-mint-grinch-cookies.html

As you can see by the picture below, I had a bit of a mishap with my green dye. Oh well, the more grinchy the better!

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Next on my weekend baking list – Red Velvet Truffles. 

Here are the instructions.

  • Bake your favourite red velvet cake.My fave can be found by following this link - http://divascancook.com/2009/11/the-best-red-velvet-cake-recipe-easy-homemade-moist-with-southern-flair.html
  • Make your favourite cream cheese frosting. This is the one I use - http://allrecipes.com/recipe/cream-cheese-frosting-ii/
  • Once the cake is cooled, finely crumble.
  • Mix in enough of your cream cheese frosting so that when you roll a ball of the mixture in your hands, it stays together. I used about 3/4 of my prepared frosting.
  • Line cookie trays with parchement
  • Rolls tablespoons sized balls in the palm of your hands (or use a small cookie scoop) and place on prepared trays.
  • Cover and place in fridge for several hours, or overnight until firm.
  • Melt your chocolate of choice over a double broiler and dip your cake balls in the chocolate. Place bake on parchment lined trays. While the chocolate is still wet, add sprinkles or decorations.
  • Please your chocolate covered cake balls in the fridge until the chocolate is firm.
  • For nice presentation, I put the truffles into small muffin liners for individual servings.Image
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Unicorn Cake

My co-worker’s daughter turned 5 today and tomorrow is her birthday party. She has a love of unicorns, rainbows and the colour blue! So naturally, I had to incorporate this into a cake.

Both tiers are chocolate, filled with strawberry cream and covered in vanilla bean buttercream and fondant. The decorations are made from fondant and gum paste.

Because of the humidity, I had a hell of a time with this one. The fondant was sweating and the top tier just wouldn’t co-operate with me. I always have trouble with the 6″ tier though.

With that being said, I am an uber perfectionist! One little thing wrong and it’s ruined in my eyes! I need to go easier on myself!

Thank you to Sue’s ‘Hobby’ Cakes for the inspirations!

Check our her facebook page – https://www.facebook.com/Sue.w.hobby.cakes?directed_target_id=0

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Blue Ombre Cake

I absolutely love how this blue ombre cake turned out! It was my first time doing an ombre cake, so I sought guidance from http://www.thehungryhousewife.com/2012/04/blue-ombre-petal-cake-tutorial.html. The step by step photo tutorial is very helpful and made the technique easy to master!

The cake itself is a 4 layer vanilla bean cake. Because I use actual vanilla bean paste in my cakes, they come out quite yellow. Trying to dye yellow cake blue was a challenge! The bottom layer which was the darkest shade of blue came out beautifully. The next layer came out more of an aqua colour, followed by a light greenish/aqua colour and then the top layer had no dye at all. I am sure that I could have achieved the desired shades of blue had I used clear vanilla extract rather than vanilla bean paste, but I find it impossible to sacrifice flavour for colour.

The cake was filled with a delicious blueberry buttercream. I’ve included the recipe and instructions for that below.

The frosting is a vanilla bean buttercream, which got its varying shades of blue from Wilton’s Royal Blue Icing Colour.

Blue Ombre Cake

Blue Ombre Cake

Blue Ombre Cake

 

Blueberry Buttercream

Ingredients

1/2 cup vegetable shortening

1/2 cup butter (I prefer using salted)

4 cups icing sugar

2 cups frozen blueberries

1/4 cup white sugar

1/2 tsp vanilla bean paste (or regular vanilla)

zest of 1 lemon

To make the blueberry sauce:

  • Add blueberries, white sugar, vanilla and lemon zest to a sauce pan over medium heat.
  • Using a potato masher, mash the blueberries until you have no whole blueberries left.
  • Continue to reduce your mixture, stirring constantly, for approximately 10 minutes, or until your mixture can coat the back of a metal spoon.
  • Using a fine strainer over a bowl, strain your blueberry mixture to remove the blueberry skins. This will leave you with a wonderfully smooth blueberry sauce.
  • Allow mixture to cool slightly.
  • Cover your bowl with plastic wrap, pressing down the wrap so that it’s directly on the blueberry sauce. This prevents a skin from forming.
  • Cool in the fridge for several hours, or preferably overnight.

To make the blueberry buttercream:

  • Add shortening to mixer and beat for 5 minutes.
  • Add butter and beat until incorporated.
  • Add icing sugar 1 cup at a time, scraping down your bowl after each addition.
  • Begin adding your blueberry sauce a few tablespoons at a time, beating your mixture on high until you’ve reached your desired consistency. If you are filling a cake, you want to make sure that your buttercream is spreadable, but thick enough that it’ll hold up. I added the entire amount, and had no problems!

This produces a beautiful purple frosting that would look fantastic on top of any cake or cupcake.

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Dog & Cat Cake – SPCA

I recently had the pleasure of doing 2 cakes for a Volunteer Appreciation event for our local SPCA. I was asked to do a dog themed cake & a cat themed cake. I’ve never done an animal themed cake, but I love a challenge!

After doing some brainstorming, I decided on spring themed cakes, incorporating dog themes on one and cat themes on the other.

All of the accessories on these cakes were made out of fondant & gum paste. I learned how to make the dogs by watching this tutorial – http://cake-decorating.wonderhowto.com/how-to/make-dog-out-fondant-for-cake-decorating-214441/

I learned how to make the cats from a tutorial on the Wilton website. You can find that here: http://www.wilton.com/3D/ideas/idea.cfm?alias=Cat

The animals were much easier to make than I had anticipated. Despite that, they still took about an hour each! The end result was certainly worth it and I’m very proud of them.

To make the food bowls, I rolled a grey ball of fondant and then used the Wilton ball tool to make an indent. I then used Duff’s edible silver spray to give the bowls a metallic look. For the food, I rolled tiny piece of brown fondant. For the water, I had initially done a corn syrup & blue dye blend but once I put them on the cake I was worried that they might spill during transport. Instead, I mixed in some of the blue icing that I had used for the lettering and I was still happy with how they turned out.

The ladybugs, caterpillar, mice & bones were made without the use of tutorials. I am sure that tutorials exist for these, but if you’re having trouble finding them I’ll give you the step by step instructions. :)

One of the cakes was a vanilla bean cake filled and covered with a vanilla bean buttercream. The other cake is a chocolate cake that was filled with a coconut cream, and covered in buttercream.

I’m so happy with how these turned out!

Enjoy :)

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Elegant Cupcake

Elegant Cupcake

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Cupcakes With The Wilton 1M Tip

I just love this classic cupcake swirl. It never fails to impress and folks always ask, “How did you do that?”

It really is so easy! Just Google how to decorate a cupcake with the 1M tip and you’ll have your pick of thousands of how to videos and step by step photo instructions.

This is a great tip f you’re wanting fancy cupcakes, but don’t want to spend a lot of time on them. I just love that the swirl resembles a rose!

The pink cupcakes are vanilla with raspberry buttercream. I made these last minute for Valentines Day.

The green cupcakes were for St. Patrick’s Day (of course). They were chocolate with a Bailey’s buttercream.

1M Rose Swirl

1M Rose Swirl

1M Rose Swirl

1M Rose Swirl

1M Rose Swirl

1M Rose Swirl

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Easter Cupcakes

I had no intention of baking or cooking anything for Easter this year. Not because I didn’t want to but because work was crazy that week and I was flying my youngest brother out to spend the long weekend with us. So, I was busy!

Then my partner told me that his coworkers were asking if I was going to bake something for Easter. Oh….shoot! Umm, I guess I could…? A few days later he got word that a bake sale was being organized in support of cancer research, so now I was DEFINITELY going to do some baking.

I purchased some cute grass cupcake liners, some foil wrapped chocolate eggs, a few Easter baskets and some plastic grass and got started!

I did a classic vanilla cupcake, with vanilla buttercream. They were not only delicious but looked cute and festive!

j l u y

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