Thursday, March 29, 2012

Baking made fun

I've had the honor of baking cupcakes for various different events. Some for friends, family and others were clients. There are many people like me, who enjoy baking and decorating cakes/cupcakes for different occasions. With the amazing variety of decor available today for topping your baked goods, it just makes the whole process that much more fun. And if you're up for being even more creative, you can even make the toppings or toppers on your own. They don't always have to be edible. The image below is from a baby shower where i used rubber duckies as the toppers and filled the base of the ducks with some blue edible gel. It adds color and the they look like a puddle of water. Second image is from a bridal shower where i made black fondant flowers and used them as topper for a black and white theme shower.

I have had play dates in the past with friends and their kids where we have baked. You would be amazed at how much fun kids have baking with you. It's a great learning adventure for them and a bonding time for you. It doesn't need to be perfect because all you need is some FUN! Another fun thing to bakes with kids is crayons. Yes, you read it right. Who ever thought you can bake crayons! I'm sure those of you with kids have broken pieces of crayons. And if not, get a box of crayons. They don't need to be anything fancy, just a cheap box of crayons. Start pealing them and break them into little pieces. Place them in a shaped cookie tray and bake in the oven at 275 until they melt completely. Remove, let them chill and the crayons will pop right out of the tray. Super fun and easy! This is the one time you'll tell your child to peel away the crayons and break them all they want :). Here are some pictures of the crayons we baked, and the sugar cookies we made from scratch for a play date.

One of the events that i had fun putting the cupcakes together was for an Annaprashan. This is an event in the South Asian culture where a ceremony is held for a baby for his/her first feeding of solid food. My client provided me with the toppers she wanted which consisted of chocolate coins, ring pops, chocolate crayons, story book flags and fruit which i used fresh blueberries. On the menu were marble cupcakes with chocolate frosting, red velvet cupcakes with cream cheese and blueberries and cream cupcakes with whipped cream frosting. Here are some pictures.

Last but not least, there are edible sugar toppers that come in different shapes, theme and colors. They are quick and easy to place and they look great. Using items like cookies, chocolate, fresh fruits is also another way to make your cupcakes and cakes look amazing. Here are some pictures.

Hope this will give you some idea's on how to be creative and fun with baking!

Wednesday, February 8, 2012

Sophia's 2nd Birthday

There's something all kids love about Mickey Mouse Club House. It's like a kid on crack! My little Sophia wanted a Mickey Mouse theme cake and so i made an attempt to make it. Could have been better but the time and love mommy dear put into it is what matters most.

I got a white chocolate fondant for the cake and that was my biggest mistake. Chocolate fondants are more for sculpting since it's soft. It's so delicate that covering the cake was stressful. Lesson learned and I'll never use it again.  i used candles as the topper and made some Mickey Mouse theme cupcakes for the kids. Cupcake rings are a great way to top off a cupcake and the kids get to keep the ring for later.

 I made Chocolate and Strawberry cupcakes, both topped off with a strawberry swiss meringue frosting. Using fresh ingredients while baking or cooking makes such a difference. Everything taste that much better. Seeing everyone enjoy the cake and cupcake gave me a sense of satisfaction. And of course, seeing the huge smile on Sophia's face was the highlight of my day.

 Can't wait to bake more fun cakes and cupcakes for Sophia and my other 2 kids. Practice makes everything better. And when you put your mind and heart at it, anything can be done:)

Monday, February 6, 2012

It's been 2 yrs!

Has it really been 2 years? As i sat today looking through my blog, i realized it has been a long time since i last posted a blog about my cooking and baking adventures. So where have i been? Well, I've had my hands pretty full with my kids. I had my son Aiden on New Years of 2011 and had my baby girl Alisha, December of 2011. Yes, 2 in one year! Not to forget my oldest Sophia who has never failed to keep entertaining us with her personality.

But apart from being busy with the kids, i also ventured out on my cupcake business. Baking for people besides my family has been a great pleasure. Getting great feed back from your clients is such a great feeling. A sense of achievement.

So what did i bake for? Baby showers, birthday's and my biggest success was having a huge order for a wedding. I've obviously stopped taking orders for now and hope to be back at it soon. But in the mean time, here are some pictures of my creativity. Till my next blog, enjoy:)

Saturday, November 21, 2009

Iphone Cake

It was my husbands birthday earlier this month and had a dinner party for him at home. And since i had been taking cake decorating classes, i wanted to make a cake that wasn't filled with flowers but also something fun. I started looking around and came across a few IPhone cakes. Now for those of you who know my husband Jigar, he's always on his iPhone, or on the computer or taking pictures!!

I said to myself with a big smile, "I can totally make this!!" A week before the dinner party, i started making the applications for the phone. A day later, i re made all the applications over again because the 1st set wasn't good enough for me. I am so glad i redid them. This cake was one layer butter cake and one layer Chocolate cake with Blackberry Swiss meringue filling. All made from scratch!! i wish i had taken a picture of the cake sliced. I would have hoped the black fondant on the cake would have been a little smoother. I had rolled out the fondant and placed it on the cake, only to realize that i had to move it over. And that caused the surface to get a little bumpy :( . Writing on the cake after the applications were put on wasn't easy either! I made some royal icing for writing and using colored piping gel for some of the application. I was super stressed and didn't want anything to go wrong. The party was just 3 hrs away!!

When i completed the cake and packed it away in a cake box, i had a sense of relieve. It was a good relieve and huge smile. I was so proud of myself for actually doing it!. It felt even better when my husband looked at the cake and gave me a big hug . All our friends stood there looking at the cake with their iPhone in their hands. After which, they all took a picture of my cake:).

This is just the beginning. I have my daughter's 2nd birthday coming up in April and i am already planning her cake. Hopefully some day, I'll be able to get in orders for cakes and cupcakes because i just love baking and decorating!

Course 3 Cakes

Course 3!!! It was wedding tiered cakes and fondant. This course, we got to make 2 cakes. The first one was a present cake. We learned how to cover a cake with fondant and make other fun stuff like the ribbons and bows. I remember feeling frustrated while covering my cake with the fondant. It wasn't easy at all but practice makes perfect. Know you know why bakeries charge so much for cakes!! It's a lot of time and effort and not forgetting Patience!! For the cake, it was a yellow cake with raspberry jelly.

Here's the final cake! I decided not to do wedding cake only because my husband was going to take this cake to work. Instead, i wanted to do something more fun and went with this. i pre made the flowers at home since they needed to be cut out and placed in flower formers to curl up. The cake turned out good but i my fondant tore a little while i was covering the cake. i covered most of it up with the flowers so it wasn't to bad. Like i said, practice makes perfect and i have gotten better at covering my cake:) The top tier of this cake was a butter cake with blackberry jelly and the bottom tier was chocolate with blackberry jelly.

Up next, Fondant and Gum paste. And for that, you'll have to wait till next week. Not sure yet what I'm going to do with my final cake but I'm sure I'll figure something out soon!

Course 2 cake

Here's my cake from course 2. Unfortunately, we only got to put together one cake for this course. So what did we do for the rest of the class? Well, all the bright and lovely flowers that are on my cake is what we made every week. Pansies, Daisies, Violets, Roses, Daffodils and Apple Blossoms. The flowers were made of royal icing so they harden up. We made a different one each week and placed them in flower formers to dry up. Week 4 rolled along and we brought all the flowers we had made and place them on an iced cake and completing the cake with a rope border and a basket weave. I love bright colors and so i made my flowers bright. Everyone else chose to keep it subtle with pastel colors. For the cake, i made a Sponge cake and filled it with blackberry jelly.

At this point, i figured I've done 2 courses, what's 2 more!! So i signed up for course 3 and had even more fun! More cakes from course 3 coming up in the next blog:)

Course 1 Cakes

I've been taking cake decorating class at my neighborhood Michael's and it's just been an amazing experience. Wilton has 4 courses to offer and they each are 4 weeks long. I've always known i love baking but have now realized that i enjoy decorating cupcakes and cakes as well. The joy and sense of accomplishment i get is just wonderful. So here are the pictures of the cakes I've made in course 1. The above picture is my first cake. I made a devil's food cake and filled it with Raspberry Jelly. For a first timer, i was pretty pleased with the final decorated cake:)

For the second cake, we were allowed to do cupcakes and so i decided to make Red Velvet cupcakes. This specific class was about figure pipping and some flowers. i would have done more if i had more time at class. It was still fun.
Here is my final cake for course 1. We had to make roses and place them on the cake. When i started making my roses, i was worried i wouldn't have any roses to place on my cake! But as the evening went by, i was making roses after roses. For this cake, i made a yellow cake and filled it with chocolate filling. I completed course 1 and went home wanting more. So i signed up for course 2! Check out my next blog for pictures from course 2:)