My Search For A ‘Go To’ Vanilla Cupcake / Recipe Review

I am not sure I am done looking yet. But I am SOO happy to say that I have found a recipe worth sharing.

Not all cake recipes translate in to really good cupcakes. So I have been looking for a ‘vanilla cupcake’ recipe. Not one just borrowed from a full size cake. After several trials and a lot of cupcakes. Some good, and some with more to be desired. I have found one I really like.

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The recipe is Perfect Vanilla Cupcake Recipe from Natashaskitchen.com. Please visit Natasha’s site for the full recipe.

They really are delicious. Soft, fluffy, with just the right amount of moisture. I pared mine with Vanilla Swiss Meringue Buttercream and the whole cupcake melts in your mouth. They are a beautiful golden color, and the recipe though not the easiest I have ever tried, is definitely on the easy side.

WHEN you try them don’t be afraid of the runny batter. It is vary runny compared to most cake batters. But don’t worry, as long as you fallowed the recipe they will come out great. I found it quite interesting that this, my favorite vanilla cupcake so far, has a vary similar batter consistency to my favorite chocolate cake recipe. Maybe cupcakes do better with a lighter batter? I love learning new things on my baking journey! Has anyone ells experienced this as well?

I plan on using this recipe for the next wedding I will be baking for. I can’t wait to share how it goes with all of you.

Thank you for reading! God bless.

Sour Cream Butter Cake / A Recipe Review

I recently ordered in a new cook book, The Cake Bible by Rose Levy Beranbaum. I am, and was so excited about being able to add this book to my ‘cook book’ shelf. The first recipe I picked to try was a simple Sour Cream Butter Cake recipe. I chose to bake it in cupcake form.

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I fallowed the recipe instructions to the letter, except for making cupcakes instead of a single cake. The book says to bake this recipe in a 9 in. spring form pan. But with little ones, cupcakes are a lot easier for this mommy to handle and then to pack away and freeze if needed.

I started out not knowing exactly what to expect. The recipe calls for vary little liquid. 4 egg yokes and 2/3 cup sour cream, and that is all, besides the butter. But the batter, though definitely on the solid side was not as heavy as I had at first thought it would be. I enjoyed watching the texture change as I beat it for a minute and a half, as per instructions. I will confess to tasting it before baking…just a touch. HUMM…even in that state it yummy.

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The recipe made 20 cupcakes. I used my favorite baking scoop from Pampered Cheff to keep the amounts even. Since the recipe was for a full cake I was not sure how long it would take to bake these properly. So I set my timer for 15 minutes, and after hearing the buzzer checked for doneness with a toothpick. It came out clean, but the cupcake tops looked a little pail and when touched and pressed slightly did not spring back. So I added 2 minutes to the timer and closed the oven door again. At 17 minutes they were perfect. A beautiful golden color, and springing back at a light touch. I let them cool in the pan for 3-5 minutes before removing them to a wire rack.

For ‘sciences’ sake I tried one hot, worm, and then fully cooled. Then after that I pared one with some of my newly learned Swiss Meringue Buttercream. Ohhh…I love to see how the texture and crumb as well as the taste develops as cooling happens.

I love the flavor of this cake. Its a lot lighter then some would expect. It has a wonderful buttery flavor, and the crumb is soft and tender. Its not supper moist, but its not dry at all. It was really wonderful un-frosted, and when I tried it with the Swiss Meringue Buttercream it was SO GOOD. It would be to sweet, in my opinion, if pared with American Buttercream. But with a cream cheese or less sweet frosting, oh the possibilities.

Oh, and those 20 cupcakes? Gone by the next morning…and no that dose not usually happen. I had little monsters stealing them when I wasn’t looking, and a husband who piled a few empty cupcake wrappers together at a time after a feast of cake. (So now I don’t feel as bad about the 4 I ate threw out the day.)

Do any of you, my friends, family, and readers own The Cake Bible as well? Have you tried this recipe? If so what did you think?

Rose’s book ‘The Cake Bible’ can be found on amazon, ebay, or check out your local book store with a cookery section.

I will be making cupcakes for a friends, daughters wedding in the next few weeks. Any thoughts on a recipe from this book? I am so looking forward to trying more recipes and learning as I go along.

Thanks for reading!

Mary Grace

Swiss Meringue Buttercream Success!

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I am SOO happy. On this my second try with Swiss Meringue Buttercream I got it right! I would like to thank all of the people from Cakecentral.com who gave me advice and read my blog post about my first try, endeavoring to find out what exactly I did wrong and how to fix it. You guys are great! (link to cakecentral conversation.)

Now I would like to share my proses to success!

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I used the same recipe as the first time I tried to make this frosting. I was given the advice that it might be better to stick to one recipe until I was able to get it. Or until I knew for sure that the recipe was no good. So that is what I did.

So I started with my carton pasteurized egg whites, and granulates sugar, 1/2 cup of each. Again it went in to the bowl of my stand mixer and over a pot of simmering water, I gently whisked it until the sugar had dissolved. I checked for this with just my fingers, feeling for a smooth texture with out sugar granules. This took about 5 or so minutes.

Since I used pre-pasteurized egg whites I did not need to use a thermometer and bring my egg and sugar mixture up to 140 -160 degrees ferenhight. If I had been using fresh egg whites I would have had to do this to kill any bacteria that may have been present in the egg whites.

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After the sugar was good and dissolved I placed the mixer bowl back in place, on to the mixer. I attached the balloon whip, and making sure to start out slow for a few seconds and then gradually increase the speed to high, whipped up my egg whites. It took about 5-7 minuets to reach stiff peaks. (This it s bit quicker then usually but I was only making half a recipe were last time I made a full recipe.) My first try at this I was not sure if I had reached full stiff peeks with my meringue. I have found that carton egg whites do not whip up quite as full or stiff as fresh. This is why a lot of people only use fresh egg whites for meringue. But for learning I feel safer with the pre pasteurized. Notice the nice curly peek sticking up in the bowl? I was able to bring these egg whites to a stiffer peek that my first try.

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Next the butter. Last attempt I had softened my butter for the morning. But this time I left it out all night to assure it was good and soft. Last time it was mentioned to me that it looked like my butter might have been to cold. This time it was nice and soft. But not melting.

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I started my mixer on low, and added in the butter a small cub at a time. I increased the speed by one but kept it on the second speed of my mixer from here on out. (Last time it is also possible that I got impatient and whipped it to fast, and broke the meringue.)

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After adding the butter is when things get soupy. But its normal for things to start looking curdled at this point. But as per instructions I kept mixing. That is the trick at this point, mix, mix, mix, and more mixing, but not at to fast of a speed. It takes a few minutes for things to start coming together.

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I scraped down the sides every once in a while, but I kept going. It started to come together FINALLY. At this pint I added in the vanilla and my speshial ingredient.

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This stuff is SOO good. It added a lovely orange honey flavor to the icing. Perfect!! Interested in trying some?? let me know and I will get you in contact with my friend Teresa who is a distributor for the company Your Inspiration at Home. They have a few more flavors like this one, and many other great spices and oils and vinegars, teas and so much more. (Sorry I just love it and can not help giving a small commercial.)

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AND WALLA! It all came together beautifully! I was like a giddy love sick school girl while I got my piping bag ready and filled it up. This stuff was perfect! Last time it was hard to control while piping and squished out of the tip in a weird way. This time it was light, fluffy, buttery, goodness. It was just as easy to control as regular icing, but not even close to as heavy or sickly sweet. I LOVE IT!

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I easily frosted a dozen cupcakes with this recipe, and had about 2 cups or just a bit less left over. (I only made half of the original recipe.)

It was a warm day and I wanted to test how well this stuff held up. So I place the frosted cupcakes in to my cake carrier and popped the cover on. But left them on my kitchen table before taking them to the BBQ we were having with friends. I could not be more happy or more excited to try adding different flavors, and hopefully repeating my success with Swiss Meringue Buttercream.

Would you like the recipe? Visit my first post about making Swiss Meringue Buttercream. When I become more consistent with his recipe I will post it again with a few variations and everything I have learned about it.

God bless!

Mary Grace

Chocolate Marshmallow Fondant Recipe

For my last wedding cake I had to make chocolate marshmallow fondant for the first time. It turned out really yummy. And though I was to busy to take pictures of the proses I would like to share just how easy it is with all of you. My friends, family, and readers.

I started with looking up recipes for black marshmallow fondant online. I needed black for the grooms side of the Batman and Beauty Wedding Cake I was getting ready to make. With less then a week before the wedding there was no time to order any black fondant online. I personally would rather FAIL at black then use Wilton black fondant. (Witch is the only brand available from stores in my little town.)

I read and watched videos were chocolate fondant was used to render black a lot easier then starting from white. (If you start from white its almost impossible to not have it taste like chemicals.) For making chocolate fondant, some people use melted chocolate, some sifted cocoa powder, and some both. I chose to try just cocoa powder. Giving my self several days before the wedding so if I didn’t like how the first batch turned out, I could try again.

This is my recipe for Chocolate Marshmallow Fondant.

Chocolate Marshmallow Fondant

  • Servings: 1 1/2 pounds fondant
  • Difficulty: easy
  • Print

Ingredients:

  • 8 ounces marshmallows
  • 2 tablespoons water
  • 1 lb, or 455 g, or 4 cups, powdered sugar
  • 1/4 cups, sifted cocoa powder
  • 1/2 – 1 teaspoons glucose or corn syrup *
  • vegetable shortening for greasing bowl and spatula

Method:

  1. Grease bowl and spatula with vegetable shortening.
  2. Place marshmallows and water in microwave safe bowl. Heat in microwave for 1 minute. Stir. If any unmelted marshmallows remain head a second time for 30-60 seconds. Stir until smooth.
  3. while mixture is hot add in glucose or corn syrup, along with cocoa powder. Stir well.
  4. Add powdered sugar and stir, then knead in the bowl with hands for as long as possible until turning out on to clean smooth counter top or non stick mat. Continue to knead until all of powdered sugar is incorporated and fondant is no longer overly sticky.

Note: * using less or more corn syrup or glucose changes the elasticity of the fondant. A bit more is better for covering cakes in fondant, a bit less for making flowers or other ornaments. You will have to play with this ingredient amount to find the consistency that works best for you.

You may notice that the only things different in this recipe, from regular Marshmallow Fondant, is the cocoa powder. Yes it really is that easy. I was really happy with how chocolaty this recipe turned out the first time. If wanted 1 oz. melted chocolate can be added to the recipe as well. But I felt it was not needed.

Need a step by step tutorial on how to make Marshmallow fondant? Check out my post on how I make my own here, and just add in the cocoa from this recipe as you go.

I was a bit disappointed in achieving my black fondant though. I ended up adding in 70 drops of Amaricolor Super Black food color to my first recipe and it was still just a dark dark brown. So I waited until the next day to see if the color had enhanced at all. (Note: most colors will deepen over time, so when making fondant and buttercream icing its best to color it a few hours before you need to use it.)

By the next morning it had darkened but was still not a true black. It looked black next to white but if held against another black or on looking close you could tell it was dark brown. I was pretty disappointed. All of the tutorials I had watched promised this would work and most of them used A LOT LESS color that I did. Next time I will try to mix in a bit of blue and see if that helps even the brown tones out of the color. (I read after that that might have worked.) So here is to a future of learning to make black fondant, and a WHOOP for delicious Chocolate fondant even in the midst of failed black.

Everyone thought the wedding cake was still great. Most people didn’t notice that the ‘black’ was really dark brown. In most of the photos it dose look black next to the white.

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Know how to make your own black fondant already? I would REALLY love it if you shared the secret with me.

God bless!

Mary Grace

Blueberry Cake Pops

Last time I made cake pops, I tried it with out sticks. Well this time I was determined to try them as true cake pops, sticks and all.

My mother had told me she didn’t want a cake for her birthday. (She knew I was tired from my last two BIG projects.) BUT…I started having thoughts…the vanilla cake scraps from my number 100 cake were calling to me from the freezer. I went out and bought some blueberry pies for the small get together we had for her. But I just could not help trying my hand at these babies as well.

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I had my husband and sister scower our little town for cake pop sticks, but alas they were not to be found in time. So I used skewers, cutting each in half as well as getting rid of the sharp point at the ends.

I had done a search on line for blueberry cake pops to get my creative juices going. I was surprised to find almost NO pictures of cake pops decorated as blueberries. There were a few more with blueberry flavors but only one AS a blueberry. So I had to come up with my own idea on how to achieve the look I wanted.

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My first step was of course to make the balls them selves. I started with my left over vanilla cake scraps, crumbling them in to small pieces. My cake was REALLY moist so I tried to be careful how much of the blueberry preserves I added to them. I added 3 large kitchen table spoons full to the cake crumbs, and using a spoon mixed them together. (Since my cake was REALLY moist and sticky I opted for the spoon instead of my hands.)

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The mix ended up a bit to moist in my opinion, but I felt it was still usable, so I continued on. (Not to self: 2 large kitchen table spoons of Jam is plenty for this cake recipe.)

I used my favorite scoop to measure out even amounts of cake, and then rolled them between my hands to smooth them in to balls. Next I popped them in to the refrigerator for about 2 hours to set up. Last time I used the freezer but found the balls got a bit to chilled before I was ready for them. The condensation that formed as a result of that, on the out side of the chocolate coating lengthened the drying stage quite a bit.

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While the cake balls were setting up I got everything ready for the dipping posses. I used Wilton’s candy melting wafers, instead of real chocolate this time. I had them in my cupboards already and with them I got the blue color I wanted with out having to buy candy color for coloring melted chocolate.

Once the balls were set up to my liking I dipped the skewers in to my melted candy melts and then inserted them in to the balls. The candy melts set up vary fast so I didn’t have to put them back in to the fridge at all before they were ready for dipping.

For dipping I melted the candy melts in a large 16 inch tall mug. It was the perfect size for holding a decent amount of candy melts, and being able to immerse the whole cake ball in the melts and pull it out with out having to twist it at all. It worked wonderfully for most of the cake pops. I used 2 spoonfuls of Crisco Vegetable Shortening to thin out my candy melts for easy dipping. It worked well to get a nice smooth consistency. BUT I did get REALLY small white spots showing up all over. Not a huge deal, but next time I will try a different method.

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I had planed on using my colander to hold the pops as they dried…but as you can see from the picture above that didn’t work so well. I believe my cake/jam mix was just to moist for them to told up while tilted to the side. I lost 3 that way. O well! I sent my sister Joy on a search for styrofoam. This worked well, BUT we found it was better to cut a slit with a knife into the foam before inserting the cake pop stick. The stick itself tended to punch a bigger hole then what was needed to hold it firmly UP. YAY! My cake pops were saved.

Everything went really smoothly until the end. I only had one bag of candy melts, and I knew this was probably not going to be enough for ALL of the cake balls. Once my candy melts started getting low it was harder to dip them smoothly and I almost lost the last two because I had to stir them a bit to completely cover them in candy. I found that one bag of candy melts covers about 20 cake pops. (My cake pops were a generous size as well.)

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For the little sprig thingy on the top of my blue berries, that is really the BOTTOM of a blue berry if you look at how they hang off of the bush, I used white modeling chocolate colored a purple/blue. I wanted the color to contrast with the main blue of the cake pop. In nature blueberries are anywhere from a dark dark blue to a beautiful purple. The bit on the bottom is usually a lot darker then the rest of the berry as well. To make these look more realistic you could pain or dust the inside of the modeling chocolate piece with a dark purple or blue, and then also touch up the sides of the berry its self with some shading. I did not have time for that this time, or have the right tools for it on hand. So my berries are a bit cartoony, but I still think they are cute.

To form that bottom/top piece I started with a simple 5 petal flower shape and simple pinched up the sides and glued the piece on to the top of the cake pop with a bit of royal icing. (Like the smallest drop) I am loving how modeling chocolate is so versatile for small jobs like this. It doesn’t dry out like fondant so I don’t have to work fast. Its easy to go back and change the shape of something if it doesn’t strike me as right on. Plus, its yummy.

That is how I made my Blueberry Cake Pops. I ended up dropping two so they cracked, and one was unable to hold its shape on the stick. (The morning after I made these I found it had slid down its skewer.) But all in all I think this try went well. Everyone who tried one said they were delicious. I will be making cake pops again for sure, and I know every time I make them they are bound to be just a bit better.

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Happy Birthday Mom!

God bless!

Mary Grace

Batman and Beauty Wedding Cake

The hardest and biggest cake I have ever made, was this last week. Just starting into recovery mode from my Number 100 Cake, I received a message from a new friend at church. A crisis had taken place in the life of her original cake lady, and she had heard I knew how to make wedding cakes. Could I possible help her? The wedding was in one week…

I really felt led to take on this cake, even though I was tired and just a BIT crabby. It tuned out to be one of those cake I will NEVER forget. Now that it is done I am SO happy I accomplished it. But there were moments in the midst of all the chaos were I questioned my sanity. My Mother had to tell me to breath, my sister had to tell me to go sit down for 5. I can not thank My mother, my sisters Joy and Patience, and my dear friend Mickey, from Oh 4 Sweet Catering, enough for there help with this one. (Mickey lent me the two largest cake pan sizes as I do not yet own then my self.)

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For this cake I made chocolate fondant for the first time, coloring it black. I experienced how to cover a cake with two different colors of fondant. It was so big that I had to take it to the venue and THEN stack the cakes and finish decorating with ribbon, fondant drapes and those beautiful fresh flowers.

I think its safe to say that I am no longer a beginner cake decorator. Its crazy to think that after just a year and a half of putting my self out there for my friends and family members wedding cakes.

I would like to thank the bride and groom for trusting me with this HUGE responsibility. I did feel its weight, but with Gods help I succeeded.

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Was this cake flawless? No. But all 5 layers were filled with tears and prayers, for my self, and for the bride and groom.

Here are a few pictures I was able to take over the 4 day proses of baking, decorating, and delivering this cake.

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Crumb coating of buttercream.

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After getting ‘dressed’ in fondant.

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Stacking and decorating at the venue.

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I am not the original creator of this design. I was given a picture  of what the bride and groom wanted, and then told what they would like different. (After some digging I have found out that the original cake in the picture I was given by the bride was made by Stiletto Studio, a small Wellington based cake decorating business. There work is stunning!) I added a few bits of my own as well. The top tier was saved for the couples first wedding anniversary. The second tier was marble cake, the third spice, and forth chocolate, and the fifth vanilla.

Thank you for reading!

Mary Grace

Modeling Chocolate Magic / A Class Review

Recently on Craftsy.com, the cake decorating class ‘Modeling Chocolate Magic‘, came on sale. I have been wanting to learn about modeling chocolate, so when a class taught by a top cake decorator is offered for 50% off, how could I not jump on it?

I have SO enjoyed this class. I mean REALLY REALLY enjoyed it. I love that I am able to watch it over and over again on the craftsy platform. You should have seen me! My husband just sat there rolling his eyes at me as I commented over and over again on things. (Me siting at the computer, him trying to watch TV.) “Look at that? Oh my! Isn’t that cool! OH what time is it? I WANT TO GO TO THE GROCERY STORE.” How he putts up with his crazy cake lady I have NO idea. But I am glad he dose.

Teaching the class is Lauren Kitchens. I find her teaching style humorous, informative, and thorough. She has readily answered ALL the questions I have left on the craftsy platform for her. That tells me she cares about the people and topic she is teaching. She wants the people who take her class to get it, enjoy it, and really learn.

If you have some cake decorating experience already under your belt, are looking for a new medium to try, and some awesome new designs, I highly recommend her class. (I stress that I bought this class with my own money, and no one asked me to write this review.)

Can you read, and watch free modeling chocolate tutorials on line, and get a lot of the same information? Yes. But the upside to being able to put out a bit of money for this class is getting all the feedback from an instructor, plus the other people taking the class. Also you have assurance she knows what she is talking about. If your looking for a bit more support as you learn, go for it. For me it was worth every penny.

Class Content

The class includes 8 lessons.

  1. The Physics of Modeling Chocolate
  2. Sea Creature Cake Part 1
  3. Sea Creature Cake Part 2
  4. Wizard’s Hat Cake
  5. Vintage Luggage Cake Part 1
  6. Vintage Luggage Cake Part 2
  7. Pricing Your Work
  8. Modeling Chocolate Basics

As this is not Laurens First class on modeling chocolate, the last lesson is were she goes over exactly how to make modeling chocolate. Its a bonus lesson. (And the one I was most interested in) She dose a vary good job of explaining everything, and showing some simple decorating tricks.

Pricing your work is more for the business cake decorator. Though it was really interesting for me a hobbyist.

The Physics of Modeling Chocolate is vary informative. Lauren shows just how strong modeling Chocolate is. The difference between it and fondant. I really enjoyed this lesson.

The lessons on the 3 cakes she teaches how to make are awesome! My favorite is the Wizards hat. Its so cool. I was SOOO excited to be able to tell my friends I could make this cake for them anytime they needed one like it! (Its along the same lines as a ‘sorting hat’ cake, like on Harry Potter.)

The Sea Creature cake is really, really cool. I don’t know if I would ever make one exactly like it. But she teaches so many design elements with in the modeling chocolate that it gives you A LOT to create your own work with. (I love the ‘splat’.)

The vintage luggage cake was my least favorite. But that is not to say I didn’t enjoy it. Its a really cool cake and she shows some really neat ways of using the modeling chocolate to make various clothing articles for inside the cake.

Here are a few links to posts I made soon after taking the class. I enjoyed using just a bit of the things a learned from the class for the first times.

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Modeling Chocolate / My first Experience Part 1

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Modeling Chocolate / My first Experience Part 2

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White Chocolate Owl Face Cake

Thank you for reading this review. I hope it helps anyone who reads it make the decision weather they would like to take the class or not. If any one has any other questions about the class I am here to answer.

God bless!

Mary Grace

The Number 100, IN CAKE!

Busy, busy, week for me. Making, cutting, icing and mostly enjoying the creation of this, my first number cake!

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I was honored to make this for a friend of mine who works at one of the local banks. There branch was celebrating 100 years! I was a bit intimidated at first. But with the help of my husband it all came together. Because the cake was so big. I tried to keep the design elements simple, and save as much of the cake for eating as I could while still cutting to form the number 100.

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I baked two 12 inch square cakes, and using a cardboard ‘0’ template that my husband made for me cut out the 0’s and my number 1. I am vary thankful that with the purchase of a new TV came the WONDERFUL blessing of a BIG STURDY BOX. AW! I glory in good cardboard when it makes its way in to my home. This stuff was GOOD. I cut it to size and covered it with foil to make it food safe. It was a nice strong base for this cake. If I ever make another one this size I will place them on separate cake boards though. I had to cut the sides of my board down after finding it didn’t fit in my box. It gave me a lot less room to get in between the cakes for piping the boarders.

I also made 100 cupcakes for the cause. 49 chocolate, and 51 vanilla. (My son just HAD to stick his finger in chocolate number 50, for whom I had no chocolate replacement.)

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All I can say is Yummy…

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Thank you to my friend for giving me the opportunity to learn a knew cake design, and spread a little bit of sweetness around.

God bless!

Mary Grace

White Chocolate Owl Face Cake

This week my older sister turned 30! For a few months she had been planing a speshial party for the big day. But life decided to get in the way, so I was not able to make the cute little baby owlet cupcakes we had planed on for the party.

Instead of the party my family planed on a trip down to Indiana. A 14 hour drive from my home in Canada, to my grandmothers. My mom asked me if I could make a cake and freeze it. Was it possible? Would it make the trip? I told her I had never done that before but as long as she was able to keep it completely frozen I felt it would be okay. So a few days before they were scheduled to leave, I set about making this creation.

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I was going for a snowy white owl face. BUT…I think it looks more like a eagle or white hawk? (people have also seen ‘Jim Henson character’, dragon, and griffin.) The eyes are also NOT what I was picturing. I am still getting use to working with white modeling chocolate, witch is what I used to hand shape the feathers, and eyes. The beak is dark modeling chocolate. Baby steps right?

The cake is a simple vanilla cake. I use my White Almond Sour Cream recipe because I goofed up my scratch recipe and it fell apart on me…eh…I hate it when I do that. I tortted and filled the layers with white chocolate ganache, and then mixed American buttercream with the white chocolate ganache as well, for icing the cake. I feel like I am getting much more confident in my simple buttercream icing and border work. Practice, practice, practice. it is the key to buttercream skills!

Have you heard about the flooding up in south western Ontario and Northern Minnesota? Well that flooding was one reason my sisters plans had to change again. After I had gotten her cake in the deep freeze she notified my mother she couldn’t go on the trip. Her friend who runs a catering company needed help to feed the US National Guard that had been called in to help with sand bagging on the American side of the border. There were other reasons that helped with the decision not to go, but with was a huge one. So instead of a birthday party, and forgoing a trip to see grandma, my sister started a 4 day stretch of getting up at 3:30 am, and making the half hour drive to help feed those hungry soldiers. I am so proud of her.

But what about her cake? Well we drought it out on her birthday, and though it didn’t have enough time to completely thaw before we tried to cut in to it. It was yummy and still nice and moist after she took it home and let it thaw completely. My sister thought it was really cute. I wish my sister a blessed year, and I love you so much!

Note: If you ever freeze a fully iced and decorated cake. Leave it in the box you froze it in to thaw. Just vent it a bit. This will keep the condensation that WILL form, on the out side of the box, and not directly on the icing.

Thanks for reading!

Mary Grace

Modeling Chocolate, My First Experience / Part 2

In my last post I showed you all how I went about making modeling chocolate for the first time. Today I will share how I covered and decorated my first modeling chocolate cake.

Modeling chocolate is different from fondant, in that it is not stretchy, it is strong. In the class I took, it was demonstrated how draping a cake in modeling chocolate isn’t the best way to cover a cake with it. It has little stretch and tares easily when one tried to smooth it down the side of the cake. So instead of draping a cake, you have to cut pieces to size. This is how I went about doing that.

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First I rolled out some modeling chocolate. I used the orange bands on my rolling pin for thickness guide. (I believe that is 1/8 in. thick.) I had a 6 inch round cake to cover so I used a 6 inch cake board to cut around to achieve a top for my cake. I then set this top aside.

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I then rolled out some more modeling chocolate in to a long strip that I was sure would MORE then wrap around my cake. I trimmed the sides length wise to make them strait. After I placed my modeling chocolate circle on top of the cake I was ready to wrap the sides.

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I had forgotten to measure the height of my cake so I made sure my strip for wrapping around the cake was to tall. I used a strait edged knife to trim this off. It cut pretty easily. At the back of the cake I overlapped my modeling chocolate and used the same knife to cut threw BOTH layers of chocolate. Then I removed the exes from both sides and had an almost perfect fit. (It would have been perfect but my son was running around so my knife warbled while cutting.)

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To get rid of those seams I simply used the heat of my hand. Now my dark modeling chocolate turned out pretty firm, so it did take some rubbing and gentle pinches and pushes to get the chocolate to mold its self back together, BUT it did work. For a first try, I am quite pleased with out it went. I used the same method with the seam at the back of the cake. If I had covered this cake in my white modeling chocolate it would have melted together ALOT easier, as the white chocolate tuned out MUCH softer and therefor more susceptible to the heat from my hands. If I had spend more time on it my lines would have been even cleaner. I love how the modeling chocolate gives you a nice squared edge on cakes. No matter how much I work with my fondant I can never get as nice an edge as I would like.

It took me a matter of…10-15 minutes to completely cover this cake. So you can imagine how fast if could be for someone who has more experience with modeling chocolate. I also love that I didn’t have to worry about the modeling chocolate drying out before I got it on my cake. I could have left it out all day and still been able to use it just the same.

I used some white modeling chocolate and my really nice set of letter cutters (a gift from my cousin) to make the message on my cake. Since the white chocolate was softer it was a little harder to work with. Next time I will role it out a bit thicker, and then also let is set for a few minutes after handling it before I cut the letters out.

It was so easy to lay out my message, move it around to get it centered and then ‘glue’ it down with just the tiniest bit of water.

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To finish, I edged the cake in melted white chocolate. HUMMMMMM. Its so easy to make drizzling chocolate. Just melt your chocolate of choice and add any kind of mild tasting oil to it, a little at a time to thin it down a bit. Here I used a kitchen spoon to drizzle it on and over the edge of the cake, letting the chocolate drip how it wanted. This is also why I didn’t take as much time with my edges. They were getting covered up anyway. (The small slit in the middle of the cake was an accident by the way. The hazard of working with little ones in the room.)

The cake was delicious. My father and husband really enjoyed it. The chocolate tasted divine. For this cake I used my go to Chocolate Cake Recipe, and ‘dirty iced’ and filled it with American buttercream mixed with chocolate ganache. The amarican buttercream was the only really sweet part of this cake, and I used it sparingly. If you are a chocolate lover, you should try the combination of this cake recipe with modeling chocolate. SO GOOD!

Thank you for reading! Looking for how to make modeling chocolate? Read my last post here. If you have any questions about it don’t hesitate to ask. I know my first go went really well, and some people have a lot more trouble at the beginning. Having a hard time with something? I am new to this so I might not have the answer, BUT I can help you look for it. I will be writing a review of the class I took on modeling chocolate, ‘Modeling Chocolate Magic’, offered at Craftsy.com, and will post it in the near future.

God bless!

Mary Grace