Thursday, February 26, 2009

February's Enrichment

So what started out as 2 or 3 interested sisters turned into 12-15 signing the sheet, and ended up as 25 Sisters in all!!! I had enough cake, barely enough caramel and hot fudge, and almost enough icing. Wow. It was definitely an interesting experience for me, and hopefully a fun experience for them!

This is our hostess, Sister Gilbert, who graciously allowed the event at her house. We had to set up 2 extra tables for all who attended.
This is Christie (works with me at my day job). She does professional catering and cakes also so we have a lot to talk about. She provided the munchies. Let me tell you, that little cucumber sandwich was to die for!
Add Image Here are pictures of the Sisters with their cakes. No two are alike, cakes or Sisters, and they were all a lot of fun. Everyone got a 2-layer 6" cake to practice on and take home, while I did the full size 4-layer 8" cake.

For those who didn't get to make it, here is the recipe:

(Chocolate Caramel Cake)

For this cake you will need:
1 chocolate cake mix (or home-made recipe)
2-8” pans
1 batch of chocolate icing (or 1 tub of store-bought icing)
1 icing bag
1 coupler
1 #21 star tip
A spatula or other utensil to spread icing
Caramel cubes (or caramel topping)
Hot fudge topping
2 spoons

1. Bake two 8-inch chocolate cakes using a boxed mix or home-made recipe of your choice according to the box/recipe directions.
2. Cool cakes completely.
3. Level and tort to ½” to ¾” in height (total 4 layers)
4. Melt approximately 20 caramel cubes and ¼ cup milk in a small saucepan over medium heat, stirring constantly to avoid burning.
5. Place a layer of cake on a cardboard circle or plate.
6. Arrange cakes in a row with one “top” layer at one end and the plate on the other.
7. Working from the “top” layer, spoon 2-3 tablespoons of melted caramel onto each of the top three layers leaving the plate cake layer bare.
8. Spread caramel to within ¼” of cake edge with out going over. **note: the caramel will soak into the cake slightly.
9. Warm hot fudge until thin consistency.
10. Starting with the plate cake layer, spoon 2-3 tablespoons of hot fudge on to the bare cake layer and spread to within ¼” of the cake edge without going over. **note: the hot fudge will soak into the cake slightly.
11. Flip the next cake layer, caramel side down, onto the fudge layer and straighten the edges before the caramel sets.
12. On the bare cake layer, spoon 2-3 tablespoons of hot fudge onto the cake and spread within ¼” of the cake edge without going over.
13. Flip the next cake layer caramel side down, onto the fudge layer and straighten the edges before the caramel sets.
14. Repeat steps 12 and 13 on the remaining layers.
15. Ice the assembled cake using the chocolate icing of your choice and pipe a tip#21 shell boarder around the bottom of the cake.
16. Spoon 2-3 tablespoons of caramel onto the top of the cake allowing the caramel to go over the edge in places.
17. Drizzle hot fudge over the top of the cake and pull with a tooth pick to create a “web” look, if desired.
18. Enjoy.

Mardi Gras King Cakes

It's that time of year in Louisiana... Mardi Gras!!!

My boss (yes, I have a day job) is from New Orleans and is a huge Mardi Gras fan... something about being in the parade this year. Any way, because our quarterly meeting fell so close to Mardi Gras, he decided that it should be Mardi Gras themed.

We had coins, we had beads, we had King Cakes! Of course being the resident cake expert, I was called to make the actual King Cakes - 6 in all. They measured over 20" across. I actually had to bake them on pizza pans with an empty gallon can in the middle for support.

Each cake had its own baby hidden inside (for more info on Mardi Gras and the King Cake click here), and they were glazed with a powdered sugar/milk mix and covered with colored sugar. I'll never forget the sound of a metal fork scraping a metal bowl while I mixed the sugar up. Over all, not a bad cake (though it is more like a cinnamon roll in tube form). He even said they looked like they were from New Orleans! Good enough for me.

Friday, February 13, 2009

Detox Rubik's II

It's that time of year again... Ted's anniversary! He's been two years now drug and alcohol free. Yay!!!

At his request, we revisited the Rubik's Cube.I'll admit that it turned out a lot better this year. I didn't have any red, so we opted for a solved cube, and this time instead of icing, I used fondant. the finished cube measured 7" x 7" x 7". What's even more fun is that I got to dye the fondant myself. Yes, I used gloves... you should have seen what freakish Easter-egg-like coloring they were by the time I was done. And to think, that could have been my hands. :-)Anyway, here is Ted with his cube. I'm glad he was so happy with it! Now all we have to do is figure out what to do next year.

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Preach My Gospel

For those familiar with the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints, you'll probably recognize this next image...
I volunteered to make this cake for the Missionary Zone Luncheon on 2/5/09 where all of the missionaries from the tri-state area get together for lunch. The image is from the cover of the missionary handbook Preach My Gospel and depicts the Savior just before his baptism with John the Baptist.

Up until the night I decorated the cake I wasn't sure what I was going to do. I had an impression that it should be "Preach My Gospel" related, but I didn't know exactly what. I ended up painting the image onto rolled fondant with brown food coloring and a paint brush. The cake itself was a butter yellow recipe and it was iced with plain white butter cream. I placed the fondant in the center and covered the edges with a line of green icing with a star tip, then piped a shell border with the same tip and icing.

I had to drop the cake off at a friend's house for transport to the luncheon. Believe me, I was disappointed that I couldn't be there (I have a day job), but Carolyn tells me that the missionaries loved their cake... they wouldn't let anyone cut it until they took pictures.

Sassy Pixie

OK, so I'm a little behind in my posting, but I hope you'll agree that this is well worth it.

That's right, folks, our favorite sassy pixie is back to wish someone a happy birthday!This was a yellow 1/4 sheet cake with Tinkerbell on the top. Sofia liked orange, so I made her flowers to match. To make Tink, I used the same "icing drawing" that I used for many of my other character cakes, but to give her that sparkle, I dusted her wings and the cake around her with cake sparkles. Instead of a shell or other piped boarder, I opted to give her a garden of flowers around the edge of the cake. If you caught that, her name is Sofia (with an F). While I was talking to her mother about the cake, I was in Weis Market and I thought she said "S"... lesson learned here? Always verify details through email.

Any way, here is a picture of the pretty pixie who's birthday it was. I was very happy to find out that in spite of the misspelling, he loved her cake. I promise I'll spell it right next time!

Monday, February 9, 2009

The Results Are In!!!

OK Ladies (and any gentlemen that happen to be reading this), the results are in! It looks like the Triple-C (Chocolate Caramel Cake) will be the featured cake for this month's enrichment. I'll be working the next couple weeks to prep for the class, baking cakes, and getting things together for those in attendance. Initial numbers indicate that we'll have approximately 10-12 Sisters (including one Brother maybe), but that may go up to over 20. We've decided have enrichment at Sister Gilbert's house because it is more centrally located, so please come by... we'd love to have you. I promise pictures of the event will be posted here for all to see!