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Happy Valentine’s Day

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I hope you have a wonderful, chocolate-filled day!

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Posted by on February 14, 2013 in Uncategorized

 

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Superbowl Party

So the Superbowl was about one month ago. It’s a little late for a post about the party we had, but you know, maybe some of you are missing football. Here is a post to hold you over for a few months until training camps start and to get you thinking pinning about next year’s Superbowl Party. We decided to host as many of our friends as our little apartment would hold, about 20 people to be exact. That meant about 6 were permanently sitting on the floor, two on our big chair and several in lawn chairs in the living room. The more the merrier, right? Check out that awesome veggie spread on the table…that only I touched!!

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Here’s a few more people packed in, watching the game intently.

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And here are all my non-football loving people, haha! We were just chatting it up and I think K was taking a nap during at least part of the game.

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Oh yeah M & C don’t really care about football either…texting, tweeting and facebooking away :)

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And then there was a power outage in the Superdome. People were sort of getting restless, so I brought out the Catch-Phrase and we played a couple rounds until the game resumed. I have to say it was quite fun after I changed the batteries and we could actually read the cues we were supposed to be guessing.

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The remains after the party…

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Here is a view of the oops-cake that made a wonderful debut as dessert at our party. I had made these cakes at work, but they did NOT work out. Look at how badly they came out of the pans!! So, I took a few layers home and made dessert for our party.

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This is a strawberry filling with a coconut milk chocolate ganache on a simple yellow cake. I found out that I did not have any platters big enough for a 12″ cake, so I will be searching for some cool platters/trays that are larger so I am prepared in the future. So much ganache dripped off the cake as I was layering it…and it ALL ended up in my mouth. What can I say, I love chocolate!!

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Other food on the menu was:

  • Walking tacos – beef and turkey options
  • Queso – I actually made really good queso in our fondue pot. Yay for a good queso recipe and using our wedding gifts
  • Guacamole – using Ben’s awesome recipe
  • Vodka-soaked chocolate dipped strawberries – thank you V for brining those!
  • Fried Chicken – thank you L for bringing that
  • Pigs in a blanket – thank you K & J for bringing those
  • Meatballs in a blanket – thank you C & N
  • Wine & Beer – Thanks H & L and M & T for that contribution

We had a great party and although I totally forgot to take a picture of the food table, I know we ended the night with more food than we started with! I actually just threw away some old veggies from the party that I still hadn’t been able to eat! Oh, and our house got a little re-arranged and we really like the set-up. Yay for parties, friends and food…and I guess the Superbowl for giving us another reason to have people over. This was our first big get-together in our tiny apartment, but hopefully it will not be the last.

 
 

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My First Wedding Cake

Oh my goodness, this was so exciting, challenging and nerve-racking all at the same time. About three weeks before I made the cake, the bakery got call about someone wanting a simple wedding cake. They were part of the family who got the eggless Mickey Mouse cake and the grandma insisted they get their wedding cake from our bakery.

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At the consultation, I sat with the bride after she had picked her flavor, filling and frosting with my boss, and talked to her about what decoration she would like. She wanted completely simple, almost to the point of no borders, but we decided a pearl border with a few small pearls on the edges would be a good combo. She was going to use fresh roses as the cake topper. Baking the vanilla cakes was no problem, and they came out of the pans beautifully, so I didn’t have to worry about fixing messy edges. I also had to make the raspberry filling (great choice bride!!) for the cake. I have made a few fillings at work and I can’t believe how easy it is to make. Literally you add 1 1/2 cups of fruit, 1/2 cup of sugar and 1 tablespoon of cornstarch to a pan and bring to a boil until the fruit breaks down and the sauce becomes “clear.” On Saturday I finished all of my other work and began working on the wedding cake. The first step was to level the cakes, as close to perfect as I could.

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I was already nervous and a little shaky at this point and this coffee cup totally summed up what I was feeling! I mean, I am in charge of making someone’s wedding cake, which they are expecting to be perfect on their day. You don’t want to be the detail that didn’t turn out right for a wedding!

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Next step, place first layer perfectly centered on the cake board, pipe the frosting wall in the middle and add the amazingly tasty raspberry filling.

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Carefully place top layer and finish pre-icing your cake. I repeated these steps for the top tier of the cake and placed both tiers in the freezer to set the filling and frosting.

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After they had set, I put the final icing on the bottom tier and got it as perfectly smooth as I could. Then I had to put a few dowel rods into the cake to support the top tier. Push the dowel all the way to the cake board, mark where it meets the top of the cake, remove from cake and cut on your mark. At this point, finish icing the top tier.

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The scariest step comes next – placing the top tier on the bottom tier. Did I mention this was my first tiered cake as well?? Oh yeah, my nerves were going crazy! Deep breath, deep breath and set cake. Thanks be to God that I was able to place the top tier almost perfectly centered on the first try.

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Take a few deep breaths, say thank you prayers and finish icing your cake.

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I have to give my boss a big thank you for trusting me to make this cake and I am very glad for the experience of creating a wedding cake and a tiered cake. Wishing the newly married couple a lifetime of happiness!

 
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Posted by on January 28, 2013 in Baking, Cakes

 

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Turkey Cake

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Happy Thanksgiving! I was asked to make a turkey cake for a friend, so I set out to find a fun design that would feed 20 people. Thank you pintetest and google, I found the right cake to try out.

The all brown turkey is the first version, and the orange and brown is the final version. I’ll post a picture later of the exact cake I made for my friend because she requested more colorful feathers.

Have a great holiday weekend!

 
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Posted by on November 23, 2012 in Cooking

 

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Oreo Chocolate Mousse Cake

Oreo Chocolate Mousse Cake

I tried to write this post a few weeks ago, but when it was almost finished, the whole thing got deleted. Here is the shortener, mainly picture version!

I had the chance to make another birthday cake this week, and it came with a great opportunity to use my creativity skills and create a cake I’ve never made before. Luckily, I got some help from The Crumb Boss and her YouTube site for recipes and how-to’s. The videos had a little more chatting than I prefer, but great to watch for technique and recipes. Before I get into making this great creation of a cake, check out what came in that big box:

I got a Kitchen-Aid Mixer!! Woo-hoo. This cake really made good use of my new mixer. I am learning to get all of my ingredients prepared before beginning the baking process. Making sure eggs, milk and butter are at room temperature will ensure your cakes and icing bind together well. If you add cold milk to your butter and sugar mixture, it can cause it to seize up and get lumpy.

Also, prepare your pans before you start mixing anything, that way you can immediately pour batter into pans and put them in the oven. Some cakes will not rise correctly if they sit after mixing or before being put into the oven.

While my chocolate cakes were baking, I began making chocolate mousse with help from the Cake Boss videos and website. First off, whip heavy cream.

Next, melt chocolate. Make sure you have as much as the recipe calls for, I only had half and ended up adding a few different chocolate bars I had around the house!

Whip egg whites until they have soft peaks.

Slowly fold half egg whites into chocolate. Add whipped cream and other half egg whites until smooth.

At some point, use food processor to chop up oreos. Begin layering process: chocolate cake, chocolate mousse and oreo crumbs.

Remember to add oreos BEFORE placing middle layer on cake. Or you will have to attempt to pull the middle layer off like I did – very nerve-racking! Lesson learned.

Finish layering cake. Figure out how to ice cake. I ended up having a lot of the chocolate sauce left that wasn’t made into mousse, so I decided to pour it over the cake kind of like a ganache.

I was very happy with the end result, even though, per usual, things didn’t go exactly as planned.

Happy Birthday M! She is demonstrating the Mexican tradition of taking a bite out of your cake before it is served. They were telling me that someone will usually push your face into the cake, so she was pretty worried about that. All of the girls restrained our men, and she came away with a cake-free face!

I love living in San Antonio and the new friends I have met here. I am getting the chance to learn about another culture and they are challenging me to bake new and interesting things! What do you love about where you live?

 
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Posted by on September 5, 2012 in Baking, Cakes, When in Texas...

 

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Reflections: 3 days of my new job

Reflections: 3 days of my new job

My first three days of work at the bakery have been great. I have always been a morning person, but waking up a 3:55am is a little earlier than I am used to. I am to work by 5 and have been working about 7 hours since I am in training right now. My main duties right now are making frosting (chocolate, buttercream, cream cheese and peanut butter), frosting cupcakes, pre-icing cakes and doing dishes. Ah, dishes, it reminds me a of my high school job, but at least now I’m only washing what I get dirty.

Today was absolutely awesome in terms of experience. Maybe you could tell from my cover picture, but today I got to help make a lego cake! The cakes were baked yesterday and pre-iced by my trainer, and then once the cakes had set, we set out on icing them in green and blue.

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Pretty cool, right?? I actually had contemplated making a lego cake for a friend earlier this year, but decided it was a little to hard for me at the time. After helping with this cake today, I think I could do one by myself. I also got to make icing for a whiskey cake and ice the cake. After tasting the whiskey icing, I may need to add liquor to all my baked goods in the future! Ok, not really, but it was pretty tasty! Check out the pictures below and guess which lego was mine.

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Which lego did I decorate? What are your favorite baked goods with odd ingredients (alcohol, candy, soda, etc)?

 
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Posted by on August 25, 2012 in Baking, Cakes

 

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Birthday Cake #2

Birthday Cake #2

Apparently July is the month for birthdays…I have several cousins, a brother-in-law, father-in-law, several co-workers and their children all with birthdays in July. What does this mean? It means I am busy making cakes in my free time. Yay, for getting more experience baking from scratch and decorating. My favorite thing about this is that I am able to make different flavors of cake and frosting to suit the preferences of each person. Two weeks ago I made two birthday cakes in one week. This is cake #2 because I forgot my camera and didn’t take pictures of cake #1.

This cake was a regular yellow cake with chocolate buttercream frosting. I learned the chocolate buttercream is VERY thick and you need a lot of water to get it to the right consistency for spreading on the cake. I had a little left-over white buttercream from a previous project and colored it with violet for the edging and writing. I really felt that this cake needed something more in terms of decorating, but just didn’t have the time to figure it out. Such is the life of an aspiring baker/decorator with a full-time job! Here you can see the edging detail. I need to work on my swirls more, but I was pleased with how the spacing turned out.

If you could do any job in the world, what would it be? I have a toss-up between two, one is owning a horse stable and teaching riding lessons and the other is a full-time cake decorator.

 

 
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Posted by on July 23, 2012 in Cakes

 

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