Monday, May 23, 2011

Snare Drum Groom's Cake

My cousin Katy  and her now-husband, Chris, got married last month and asked me to make his groom cake.

It was a great opportunity, but it was also terrifying, since the cake design seemed a bit complicated and out of my comfort zone.  Overall though, I liked how it turned out.  And I actually took process photos this time!

The layers for this came out of the oven almost completely level for once, so it was super easy to put together.  Not to mention I got to use my turntable Christmas Present again. :)

 All frosted in buttercream and into the fridge to set.

Meanwhile, I made some of the smaller details out of white chocolate.  And hours and hours and hours later, it was all finished. :)

Just in time to get a nap in before my hair appointment the next morning. :P

It was a long day, but definitely a great wedding and super fun reception.  Thanks again guys for letting me do this. :) :) :)

Tuesday, May 3, 2011

Andy the Ankylosaurus Cake

This is Andy.  He is an Ankylosaurus. And he is my favorite. <3

He was made at the request of my buddy, Ben, who's love of  ankylosauruses is shown here via awesome dinosaur pajamas.

Andy's final hours were here, at Ben's super dorky cool ;) game night.

This cake was my first real attempt at a shaped cake. (Weelll, I suppose you can count Edgar the Turkey, but Andy was a bit more complicated.)  

And I really like how he turned out. (Even though I think something went wrong with the buttercream recipe on this one...)

So thus ends this lovely story of Andy the Ankylosaurus. :D

The End. :)

Thursday, April 28, 2011

Easter Donuts!

Welcome back to meeeee. :P

Long time no see, little blog, and I've got bunches of excuses too! money, no pictures, no time...etc etc. But regardless of all that, here I am, and here's some donuts I decorated on Easter at work!

Unless I've talked to you elsewhere, the fact that I decorated donuts at works needs just a tad bit of explaining.

Well, just about a month ago, I got hired at a gas station for the donut and breakfast food shift, which meant being up at fun hours like 3:30am and putting up with grumpy/hungry customers all morning.  I wasn't trained very well, so the majority of this job has been a lot of stress, trying to keep up with everything. But...

On Easter, my assistant manager left me some colored frosting and Easter-themed sprinkles, so work ended up being a lot of fun for once. 
Most of what I did was a matter of drizzling frosting and tossing sprinkles here and there, but I also got a bit creative and made a few flowers, butterflies, and suns.  And I before leaving work that morning, I even bought a 1/2 dozen of them and felt absolutely ridiculous. :P
I really have a ton of entries I need to post, and a few more possible ones in the near future.  I have my ankylosaurus cake, my Disney Belle Princess cake, a Converse shoe bridal shower cake, a Dead Space 2 cake, and food from my Oscar Party back in February, just to name a few.
So hang in there readers, and hopefully I'll be back soon. :D
<3 Rachel

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Dr. Seuss in Clay and Cake

I'm much more of a Dr Seuss fan than I use to be. (Aside from the classic Grinch Christmas special. I've always loved that.) When I was younger, I really didn't have much exposure to his books. I mostly just remember a big stack of them at the doctor's office and reading "Green Eggs and Ham" there. To be honest, I wasn't super fond of it. I just never liked books that repeated lines over and over again like that. And I hate to admit it but all those silly made up Seuss-words kind of irked me when I was a kid. (Which doesn't make any sense at all. I was a weirdo. :P)

The Grinch's leg broke off  :(

Steve, on the other hand, has always been a big Dr. Seuss fan.  He also happens to be fantastic at reading his books aloud.  The summer before we were dating, I sat on my porch swing one warm night and listened to Steve read me "The Lorax" over the phone, and ever since then I've realized just how lovely "those silly made up Seuss-words" are. :) 

So, for a late V-Day/early 1.5 year anniversary gift, I decided to try my first attempt at modeling clay.  (Yeah, I know. It's not edible.  But hang in there! I'm tossing a cake in at the end of this. :P)  I figured if anything, it would be good practice for fondant figures.   Overall, it was a really time consuming fun project, and a neat gift.  The Lorax seemed to approve of his miniature-self as well.  Grinch, on the other hand, just looked as devious as always :P.

As far as cake goes, I figured I'd post my first fondant cake, which  I made for Steve's birthday last summer.  It's subject-related obviously, but also, I'm desperately searching for the best fondant recipe out there.  The batch I made for this cake came from the funkiest fondant recipe I've every seen.  It even had a small amount of glycerin in it. (At the time, I didn't realize how strange that was.)  Since then I've tried simpler recipes and marshmallow fondant, and I've yet to be satisfied.  Then again, I've had professionally made cakes with fondant, and I still think the stuff is unappetizing..  Either way, if you have a good fondant recipe, drop it this way.

  On a quick side note, I've been adding a few things to the blog.  I've had it set so you don't need a Blogger account to comment for awhile, but now you can subscribe via email by using the box to the right of my posts. (Or find the button for subscribing through my RSS feed if that floats your boat instead.)  Also, if you use Stumble Upon, it would be just awesome if you could click on the Stumble Upon badge, or even click the link to share any posts on Facebook.  See, lots of fancy stuff here. :P
Alright, I'm done shamelessly self-promoting now.  Toodles! ;)

<3 Rachel

Friday, February 18, 2011

Flower Cake: How To Transfer Simple Designs

Sometimes I get really frustrated with having baking for a hobby.   Not because the occasional recipe tastes mysteriously wrong or because some projects can leave me 8+ hours in the kitchen straight.  Nope.  Well..okay, maybe a little.  But the real frustrating reason is the fact that baking can get a bit costly.  There's been quite a few cakes that I would have loved to make in the last month or so, but simply couldn't due to lack of funds.

So why am I pulling the "Boo-hoo, pity me because I'm poor" card right now?  Well, it has to do with this cake:

I made this back in August last year.  I was still really new to cake baking/decorating at the time. ( Heh, I'd still say I'm new actually.)  According to another blog I had at the time, this cake began like this:

"So I was laying around on my computer with Cake Boss playing on the TV in the background. (I kinda sorta hate the Cake Boss. He drives me insane.) And I got the urge to do some baking. I usually just do a boxed cake mix, but since I didn't have one yesterday, I looked up a super simple recipe."
Well, to cut the story short ....

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Valentine's Day Heart Cookies

I've been baking more than it seems, seeing as my last entry was over a month ago.  The biggest reason for my absence is the fact that all the pictures I've been taking for this blog have been sitting in my roommates camera forever, despite the many times I've asked her to upload them for me. (Shame on you, Holly! :P)

However!  I baked the other day at my boyfriends house and used his dad's camera, thus enabling me to write this to say both "I'm not dead after all!" and "Look! I made cookies!" :)

Steve's dad has had a box of white cake mix and a container of frosting sitting in his cupboard for months now, so when I woke up on the morning of February 13th with an urge to make heart-shaped sugar cookies, I decided to use Monster Mama's "Incredibly Easy [Cake Mix] Sugar Cookies" recipe again.

Wednesday, January 5, 2011

Funfetti and Banana Window Cookies

I've made cake mix cookies before, but when I found this recipe from Monster Mama for cake mix sugar cookies, I wanted to brainstorm something fun.  I decided to combined a few design ideas I found in my new cookie recipe book, and I came up with what I deemed: "Funfetti and Banana Window Cookies."

The only modification I made to the original recipe was replacing the french vanilla cake mix with Pillsbury's Funfetti mix.  The dough was a bit, well, cakey, so it was difficult to roll out and work with.  I used a biscuit cutter to give the cookies a crimped edge and removed a small heart from half of the them with one of my new fondant cut outs.  Then into the oven they went.

These cookies only baked for about 5 minutes.  The trick was taking them out while their middles were still soft, since they continue to bake on the hot pan.  Keeping cookies in the oven until the look done is a mistake I've made too many times to count.

 When all the cookies were done, I stacked them into piles and set them aside.  I still needed a filling, and honestly, I hadn't planned that part ahead of time.  After a lot of experimenting, I ended up with a bowl full of frosting made up of many different things like powdered sugar, french vanilla creamer, maple extract, cherry juice, and banana pudding mix.  People seemed to like the end product, but no one could really guess the flavor.

Overall, I suggest just combining the pudding mix with some water and powdered sugar to make the filling, along with some food coloring and sprinkles for appearance sake.  This recipe ended up yielding just over 20 cookies, and the filling flavor went really well with the funfetti mix.

These cookies were so adorable, that I found myself opening the refrigerator several times just to look at them.  Not to mention I had a bunch of fun making these with my friend Janey, who's camera took all the lovely pictures.  :)

Well, that's all for now. I realize I've been posting pretty infrequently, so hopefully I can start keeping up with this better.  Annywho, toodles for now!

<3 Rachel