Friday, December 24, 2010

More Christmas Cakes!

These are just a few more of the Christmas cakes I did this week:

Christmas Candle Cake - White Velvet cake frosted in White Chocolate Buttercream.  White Chocolate 'wax' and silk Poinsettias.  This is one of my favorite cakes so far! 

Christmas Angel Cake.  Chocolate Cake frosted and decorated in White Chocolate Buttercream.  Angel is gumpaste.

Close up of the gumpaste angel - this is my first gumpaste figure ever, and I must same that I am pretty proud of him! 
I hope all of you have a wonderful Christmas and Happy Baking!

Sunday, December 19, 2010

Christmas Tree Ruffle Cake

The other day, I was looking around for inspiration for all these Christmas cakes I am baking over the next week or so, and I ran across this post by I Am Baker.  I fell in LOVE with her blog (I will be following it, for sure), and I really wanted to try that ruffle cake - its so darn cute!

Now, my cake doesn't look like the one by I Am Baker, but it is still super cute! I wanted to put my own touch on it (not to say that I didn't try those trees on the side, waaaay hard to do, btw ... maybe my cake wasn't tall enough for them), so I mixed some white and green together for the sides and did the tree on top.  For the ruffles, I used tip #125 for the sides and #104 for the tree.  

I wanted to try something 'out of the box', and I think I achieved it!  The poinsettias are just silk; I added them for a pop of color and the decorations on the tree are edible pearls.  The cake is The Best Chocolate Cake Ever - seriously, it really is the best ever - and I realize I have never shared that recipe with you, so here it is (be very excited!):

The Best Chocolate Cake Ever: 
1½ Cups Sugar
½ Cup Brown sugar
2 Eggs
¾ Cup Cocoa
1 Tsp. Salt
1¾ Cups All-Purpose Flour
1-1.4oz Chocolate Pudding, fat free sugar free
1½ Tsp. Baking Soda
2 Tsp. Baking Powder
1 Tsp. Instant Coffee
2 Tsp. Vanilla Extract
1 Cup Buttermilk
½ Cup Vegetable Oil
1 Cup Boiling Water

Sift all dry ingredient together into a large bowl - make sure to really get after that brown sugar or it will make lumps.  Add in the eggs, vanilla, buttermilk, and oil.  Mix together on low speed for about 2 minutes, or until it all comes together.  Add in the boiling water and stir with a large spatula until it all is combined.  Pour batter into two prepared (greased and floured) 8" or 9" pans and bake at 350 degrees until a toothpick inserted comes out with a few crumbs - about 28 minutes in my oven.  Prepare to be overcome with joy at the smell this leaves floating around your kitchen! Chocolate cake lovers unite! 

I used vanilla buttercream on this cake; I don't have a recipe to share yet, because I haven't really nailed down the 'perfect' ratios.  My buttercream is something that is always changing just a little.  I think I may have shared a recipe in an earlier post, but I'm pretty sure it isn't the one I used here - I'm trying to incorporate some different, more luxurious, ingredients like cream, real butter, pure vanilla ... anyway, I could go on forever, but I won't ;-) When it is perfected, I will share with you guys ... promise! 

I will have many more cakes to share over the holidays - Christmas time is a bakers heaven! 

Happy Baking! 

Friday, December 17, 2010

Mr. Tuxedo Cake is All Dressed Up!

Yesterday, I made my Dad's favorite cake - Tuxedo Cake! You can see the recipe from the first time I made Mr. Tuxedo Cake in this previous post.  My Dad requested this cake from me to give to his coworker for Christmas, so instead of buttercream decoration on top of the ganache, I put some silk poinsettias =)

I apologize for the 'in the box and ready to go' picture - I do usually try to make the pictures prettier, this was just the best one I got! 
I think this cake turned out better than my previous attempt - the sides are straighter, I better controlled my ganache glaze and my whipped cream didn't crack while it stabilized in the fridge!  I can really see that all the classes, online tutorials, and cake research are paying off!

Many more Christmas cakes to come this week - Happy Baking, ya'll!

Saturday, December 4, 2010

Christmas Tree Cake

This weekend, I made a Christmas tree cake for my sister and her friends - they are having an end of semester Christmas party at FSU.  We did a Christmas tree with personalized gumpaste ornaments for each girl and 'garnet and gold' non-edible decorations in honor of FSU!
White Velvet Cake filled and iced in White Chocolate Buttercream (recipes found in earlier posts).  The cakes were one 9", one 8", one 6", one bowl cake, and a cupcake all stacked and carved into a tree shape. 

Close up of "Tuna" the beta fish as an ornament.  He is all gumpaste.
Close up of the "Lady Gaga Lightning Bolt".  It is all gumpaste. 
In addition to Tuna and the Lightning Bolt, there were black boots, a 'No Meat' sign, and a box of mac-n-cheese.  I didn't get these ornaments in the pictures.  This cake was super fun to make and I hope they all enjoy it!

Happy Baking!