Wednesday, November 1, 2017

Skull Day of the Dead Ouija Board Cake


How was your Halloween? Hoping it was great and that your bag (or bags, don't judge) of sweets are overflowing!


White almond cake with raspberry "blood" inside and a buttercream exterior.



My inspiration was this wall hanging from Joanne's Fabric.


These letters worked just perfectly with black Candy Melts and a light dusting of silk white luster dust.

Used them for this cake as well. Want a set for yourself? They're on sale here!

All is calm . . .



Whatcha doin' on Halloween? It will be anything but a Silent Night around here. I'm already on a sugar high from "sampling" the trick or treat candy bowl. Can't be giving those cute little goblins any bad candy! Or cake. This one has a surprise inside.



There was a little contest for guessing what I used to mold the moon. I was tossing some paper into the recycle bin and saw the bottom of a recently emptied Diet Pepsi can. I now have a whole new appreciation for every day objects. Exactly the curve I was looking for!


Lined it with a small piece of foil and filled it with melted white chocolate and off to the freezer to wait.


It actually worked! Love the lines and texture created by the foil. Which was impossible to smooth. Or maybe I didn't have the patience needed to remove all the wrinkles. Either way, it made for a perfect surface to lightly dust for moon shadows.

I'm sad to report that on the trip to the office with my husband as the delivery boy, the cake was just heavy enough to set off the seatbelt alarm. It won't stop until you buckle and so . . . the seatbelt strap MAY have had some black frosting and red ganache adhered to it when he returned home. I have no idea how bad the damage was but his coworkers didn't seem to mind. Arggggh!!! The help these days! At least he doesn't charge much. I may have to dock his pay nonetheless.


Happy haunting!!!

Tuesday, October 3, 2017

Fabulous Finds Alphabet and Number Sprinkles!


Edible sprinkles alphabet and numbers National Cake Supply

Have you always been in love with alphabet pasta? No? You may want to stop reading now and go back to your normal life.

Years ago I found some colored abc pasta at an educational supply store but could never track down whether or not the dyes they used were food safe. You'd think so, wouldn't you? But, playing it safe, I never used them for anything but arts and crafts.

Edible sprinkles alphabet and numbers National Cake Supply

Then along come these brightly colored completely edible sprinkles into my life last week. You know. Sprinkles. Sweet. For baking. And decorating. Cakes, cookies? Yes Please. HAD TO have them. And a bag (or 3, don't judge) of their counterpart number set.

At some point I got to wondering if the alphabet was complete or if they'd skipped the more unusual letters like Qs and Zs. Nope. All there. And all recognizable as the letters they were born to be. 

Edible sprinkles alphabet National Cake Supply

And then I started wondering how many complete alphabets might be in one bag. Like you do. 

Edible sprinkles alphabet sorted National Cake Supply

Anywho . . . I sorted them. Into little muffin cups. And counted some of them. Okay. Only the A's and U's and V's and Y's. I'm not COMPLETELY nuts. Yet.

The U's, V's and Y's seemed to have the fewest in their piles. The A's seemed to have the most of all the letters, a whopping 178! The others came in at 19, 21 and 17 respectively. So one could, in theory, assemble at least 19 complete alphabets from one bag for $2.98. Assuming the bags are all the same.



Did I mention that they are tiny? Only about 1/4" tall and wide. Except the E's and F's. They are impossibly skinny and it's a miracle they made it through with all of their limbs still attached.


You'll be happy to know that the number set is just as adorable. Both sets use the same five bright colors and there is a mix of colors per shape. In other words, not all A's are red. Some are blue. Some are green or yellow or orange.



The only negatives are that some of the letters are thicker than others and have other things attached to them. Maybe their umbilical cords? Most are near perfect which was a happy surprise.


One small bag of the letters weighs 2.6 oz which is just about 1/2 cup plus 1 tablespoon or 75 grams. The broken pieces/parts weighed in at 3/8 oz after sorting which was about 1 tablespoon plus 3/4 teaspoon or 11 grams. Overall not too bad. Perhaps I was expecting the worse.



Found it amusing that the ingredients were different for the numbers vs. the alphabet. Recipe change perhaps?


I can't imagine the machinery or process for this but I'd love to see it on "How It's Made" sometime. I know. I'm insane AND boring. And yet a WEALTH OF KNOWLEDGE aka "alphabet sprinkle EXPERT" now. Want to know how to get your own Alphabet Sprinkles and Numbers Sprinkles? Or for more of a bargain look for the larger sizes! (UPDATE: just learned that GYGI carries them if you live near SLC. YAY!!!) Thank you. Thank you very much.

Monday, June 5, 2017

Mini pies & donuts


The cuteness got me. This little cherry pie stole my heart the very moment it was born. I swaddled it in cellophane and fashioned a name tag and bow 'cuz every adorable baby needs the basics.

But I didn't stop at cherry. Oh no.

 Apple sounded nice. With oatmeal crumble on top.

 And blueberry looked so sweet it had to make an appearance in the lineup.

Wasn't sure if the peach cranberry would be a good combo but they got along famously.

Blackberry. Oh Blackberry. Some had frangipane filling but the ones without were every bit as delicious.

Raspberry lemon in a raspberry crust since summer is just around the corner and what could be more refreshing?

Each little pie is less than two inches wide and fit perfectly in these two inch square cello bags.

Group selfie. I only "swaddled" 144 of the 432 total pies. They were a special surprise for my daughter to take to her  office and were gone in a flash. The rest just sort of disappeared over the next few days.


And then it was National Donut Day. Couldn't help myself from making a few hundred of these adorable and tasty minis. 

Both confections are only bite sized. Tiny really. The mini donuts were also less than two inches across. And yet still not so great for diets. It's soooo very easy to pop 3 or 14 in your mouth before you know it. How does that happen? Didn't help that each recipe made a lot and that I wanted to try a lot of flavors.

Like chocolate with chocolate glaze and chocolate sprinkles.

And the classic cinnamon sugar. So tender and yummy!

Couldn't leave powdered sugar out of the group.

And a Biscoff cookie coating with 3 sugars.

All packed up and ready to go! Can't wait to try more flavors!!!



Thursday, January 26, 2017

Valentine's Day Roundup


Pink. 💗  Red. 💔 White. Red & Turquoise.   Hearts. 💜💜💜 

Seen any of these lately?  Just kidding. Do you live in a cave? 

Valentine's Day is just around the corner. Again. Sorry.
Did I make your heart pound a little faster? Count it as cardio!
Right after you finish those ahem, "test" chocolates.

Here are a few sweet ideas from some past projects . . .










and just in case you missed the link to make your own roses:





Has Cupid's arrow hit any of your body parts yet? Better get to baking for your sweetest someone!

xoxo,
Deborah








Friday, January 6, 2017

Never enough time . . .


Where does it go? It was fall. Then I recall a flash of Christmas.
Now I look up and see Valentine's everywhere.
I think I need to start for next Christmas NOW.


This is one of the many trays of treats I made over the holidays. I ended up inventing some new techniques (happy accidents) and a simple but effective method for edible pinecones of all sizes which I hope to share with you before next Christmas. 

These grapevine wreaths are made of chocolate and are adorned with rustic berries (sugar pearls) nestled on a bed of pistachio moss. I may or may not have filled them with cherries.


Hope your holidays were jolly!!!

xoxo,
Deborah

Thursday, September 29, 2016

Pumpkin Spice Latte Mini "Coffee Cakes"


Fall is upon us my friends. Brisk mornings. Breezy dances between the wind and leaves, whirling and spiraling to be caught up on the invisible current over and over until the gentle weight of snow finally holds them still. The first snow has also arrived on the hills behind us as a reminder to enjoy every moment of the warm afternoons and long golden rays of sunshine while they're here.


pumpkin-spice-latte-cupcakes
Along with Pumpkin Spice Lattes. I may not look forward to them as much as some diehard Starbuck's fans but I'm in love with these tiny baked miniature versions!

pumpkin-spice-latte-cupcakes
I made about 90 of them recently and served them up in mini paper cups (about 3" tall) with little spoons so that nary a crumb could escape.


pumpkin-spice-latte-mini-coffee-cakes
The plain white mini cups were about 3" tall with a logo that was printed out to regular white paper and punched with a circle cutter. A glue stick made quick work of slapping them on to imitate their famous cousins.

The insides . . .  oh those lovely insides!!! Two layers of pumpkin spice latte cake nestled in with butterscotch syrup and swiss meringue buttercream. Ateco tip 829 was just the thing to imitate that generous whipped cream look. A little shower of cinnamon to finish them off and they were out the door!

Want to make your own? Here's the cake recipe. I switched out the buttercream for this one and I'm loving it although it firms up to butter consistency when refrigerated. Not a problem. 10 seconds in the microwave brings these tiny cups of deliciousness back to their original glory.

Enjoy!!!


Thursday, September 22, 2016

Mini Witches Cauldron Cupcake or Cake Toppers Tutorial



halloween-cupcake-cake-toppers-witches-cauldron-candy-corn-flames



SHEILD YOUR EYES!!! The cake pictures were taken late at night and all of the editing in the world (or underworld) can't save them. There. Disclaimer done.


candy-corn-flames-witches-cauldron-halloween-cupcake-topper-tutorial
I made 45 mini cakes for a school cake walk a few Halloweens ago. In nine styles. Some were more involved than others. Don't even get me started on the lame plastic or candy hands used for cake styles 6 & 9. I was tired of hand molding scary hands and making bubble gum spiders by then.


bones-skeleton-free-halloween-cake-cupcake-topper-tutorial

Not to mention making tiny skeletons in little surprise inside coffins. I propped up the lids so you could peek inside for these mini cake toppers but you can see how to make the originals from brownies or moist chocolate cake here.

skeleton-bones-candy-corn-flames-cauldron-halloween-cake-free-tutorial
These mini cauldrons were by far the most popular and the first to be chosen by the cake walk winners. 


witches-candy-corn-cauldron-free-halloween-cake-tutorial
Easy. You can use cake pops if you'd like but these Lindor Truffles make the job SOOOO much quicker.
Costco carries some larger bags during the holidays.

halloween-cake-witch-cauldron-candy-corn-flames-free-tutorial
They come in an assortment of flavors. Even white chocolate. All delicious. I may have sampled 1 or 12.


halloween-cake-candy-corn-witch-cauldron-free-tutorial
Poke a toothpick in the bottom of the candy where it has a natural mark from when it was born.
Okay. It's a belly button.  You can explain this to your kids. That's WAAAY beyond my pay grade.

Heat a metal tray in the oven an place the truffle on a small piece of parchment on the tray just long enough to get a flat surface.


halloween-cake-witch-cauldron-candy-corn-flames-free-tutorial
Paint the cooled truffles with a mixture of black food powder and vodka or thinned black gel color.


halloween-cauldron-witch-candy-corn-flames-cake-free-tutorial
Top the cauldrons with light green Candy Melts. Add dragees and some candy pearls for the bubbles with some candy bones thrown in for a real witches brew. 

Make a ring of candy corn flames and set your adorable little cauldrons on top.

Finished. Told you it was easy.

Want to make some?


Mini Cauldron Toppers

Supplies:
Toothpicks (1 per cauldron)
Lindor Truffles (1 per cauldron)
Lorrann’s black powder
Vodka or extract
Paintbrush
Ziploc bags (2)
Cookie sheets (2)
Scissors
Wilton’s Candy Bones (3-5 per cupcake)
Candy Corn (six per cupcake)
Green Candy Melts
Paramount Crystals or paraffin wax chips
Candy pearls, dragees (1 teaspoon or less per cupcake)
Americolor Electric Green

Other Equipment:
Oven burner
Microwave

Procedure:

1)   Color 2-3 different sized dragees and candy pearls with Americolor Electric Green using a Ziploc bag. Spread in thin layer on parchment or wax paper covered cookie sheet to dry. 
2)   Place toothpick in bottom of one Lindor Truffle. Melt top to flatten using cookie sheet over burner on very lowest setting. Set aside to cool leaving toothpick in place. 
3)   Paint exterior of cauldron with a mixture of Lorann’s black powder food color and vodka or extract of choice. Set aside to dry.
4)   Melt lime green candy melts in Ziploc bag along with Paramount Crystals or parafin. Add Electric Green Americolor until desired shade is reached. 1 minute at 50% power, check, repeat. Clip a tiny corner from the melted bag of candy melts. Pipe on top of cauldron allowing some areas of drips to imitate pot bubbling over. Add previously colored dragees/candy pearls as bubbles.
5)   Pipe tiny dots on top of the bubbles and attach 3-5 bones per cauldron. 
6)   Frost the mini cake or cupcake with dark chocolate or black tinted frosting. Add 6 pieces of candy corn to form the fire. Pipe a small dot of frosting in the center of the fire and place the cauldron on top.


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