Friday, August 19, 2011

Interesting Things

Here are some interesting things I bookmarked this week:

Sesame Street Cupcakes-I always wondered how to do Big Bird's beak

Cookies and Cream Cupcakes

Homemade Cow Tails-my best friend growing up loved theses things!

Grilled Veggie Pizza-I have fallen in love with homemade pesto!

Monday, August 15, 2011

Strawberry Tallcake

I wish that I had taken a picture of my 11 month old nephew eating some of this cake.  It made me want to fall off my chair I was laughing so hard.  He's a "big boy" now and insists on feeding himself...with his hands.  A vast majority of his cake ended up on the floor...and on him...and on me.  He was such a disaster, he had to go instantly into the tub.  But boy, did he ever enjoy himself.

This cake is a simple showstopper.  Easy to build, totally impresses, tastes amazing.  Strawberry shortcake, the quintessential summer dessert, taken up three stories.  I know we are a bit past strawberry season, but luckily I cheated an used some sweetened frozen strawberries I had tucked away in the freezer from another recipe.  It's hard to tell from the photo, but this is a 6 inch triple layer cake, which makes it look even taller.  It makes it a challenge to cut and a real challenge to transport.

Strawberry Tall Cake

5 tablespoons butter, at room temperature
3/4 cup sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla
2 eggs
2 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1 1/2 cups cake flour
2/3 cup powdered buttermilk
2/3 cup water 

1 1/2 cups heavy cream
1/4-1/2 cup powdered sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 16 ounce container of sweetened frozen strawberries, thawed

Cream together the butter and sugar until light and fluffy.  Add the eggs, one at a time, beat until smooth.  Mix together the buttermilk powder and water, add to cake batter.  Sprinkle on the baking powder, mix.  Add the flour and mix until just combined.  Divide batter evenly among three 6 inch pans.  Bake at 350 degrees for about 25 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean.

Beat heavy cream and vanilla together until slightly whipped up.  Add powdered sugar to taste. (I like my whipped cream a little sweeter than most).

Layer cake, cream, and strawberries.  The frozen, thawed strawberries are quite juicy so some will slop over the sides of the cake, this juice will soak in and taste delicious!

Saturday, August 13, 2011

Fondant Strawberries

These strawberry patch cupcakes were inspired by Martha Stewart from her Cupcakes book.  She recommends using marzipan, however, I had some red and green fondant lying around so that is what I used.

For a dozen cupcakes, I made about 20 strawberries.  I found that the cupcakes looked the nicest when there was some variation in size to the strawberry.  For the small strawberries, I took pieces of fondant that were about the size of a marble, rolled them into a smooth ball and then gently shaped them into a strawberry shape, elongated with a flatish top and bottom, fatter on one end than the other.  For the larger strawberries, I did the same thing, only using a slightly larger ball of fondant.

Next, I poked a bunch of small indentations all over the "berries" with my veining tool to simulate seeds.  You don't want to poke actual holes, just small dimples all over.  You are going to be covering the top of the strawberry, so you do not need to worry about indenting the top.

Now it is time to make the strawberry tops.  I used a small calyx cutter to make the strawberry tops.  Roll out a couple of ounces of green fondant very thin.  Cut as many tops as you can, reroll the fondant and repeat until you have enough strawberry tops for all of your berries.

For the larger strawberries, this sized top worked perfectly.  I took the top, painted the center with some water, and stuck the top on the berry.  I took the points and curled them up so that they looked a bit more like strawberry tops.  For the smaller berries, the tops were too big, so I took my exacto knife and trimmed the "leaves" to be shorter.  I attached the smaller tops to the smaller berries the same way I did the larger berries.

I let them dry for a few hours and then put them on top of the cupcakes.  For the cupcakes, I did a basketweave pattern.  Here is a good tutorial about how to basketweave on a cake.  I then used a #3 Wilton tip to pipe the strawberry "vines" and a small Wilton leaf tip for the buttercream leaves.

Thursday, August 11, 2011

Strawberry Patch Cupcakes

This summer has gotten away from me.  I made a move to a new name and then promptly abandoned my poor blog.  There is no good excuse for my lack of posting.

I made these cupcakes for a co-worker's birthday.  She gardens.  She does other cool stuff too, but its hard for me to put everything on a cupcake.

The cupcakes themselves are my coconut cupcakes.  The coconut flavor is so discreet this cupcake has almost become my go to white cake.  Almost.  I do know people who hate coconut.  And some that are allergic.  I try not to kill people with my baked goods.  It makes a bad impression.

Hopefully soon I will have a tutorial for you on how I made these strawberries.  It will be my first tutorial...hopefully that will work out...

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