Sunday, July 26, 2009

Sweet LA Sunset

My dear friend Heather made the move to LA and we had to warm her new place up this weekend with a little get together. She is an amazingly creative and talented photographer and you can check out her photography here .

I wanted to make her a special cake as she shoots weddings and special events with beautiful custom cakes all the time! It was her turn for a special treat made just for her!

I loved the chocolate cake from the
Paula Dean PB & Chocolate cupcakes soo much that I reused that recipe for the cake.

I just have to give a shout out for all the butter that was in this cake. 1.5 lbs. makes this cake so delicious!

Because the cake is so rich, I went with a thick layer of chocolate and vanilla pastry cream to lighten up the intense chocolate flavor of the cake.

Here is the start of the sunset I created on the side of the cake. I used thick and messy layers of each color so that I could blend the frosting out with the swoop of my knife afterwards.

I had so much fun mixing up all the forsting colors for this cake! Who doesn't love a colorful beautiful California sunset??

I added dark and light blue frosting on the top and then blended the blue into the pink.

Rolling out two shades of grey fondant and then cutting out the buildings for my skyline... I made just enough for a few gatherings of buildings around the cake. I didn't want to cover up all those colors of my sunset!!

Starting to place the buildings.

I finished the night sky with some bright yellow stars.

Congrats Heather! I wish you all the best in your new place!

Cheers to colorful Los Angeles sunsets and sweet LA sunset cake!!!



Sunday, July 19, 2009

PB & Chocolate Decadence!

In addition to the wedding cake I made for my parents I had to make something to please my chocolate loving father. Who better to turn to then Paula Deen? I am obsessed with her dessert recipes right now and this one sounded too good to pass up!

I took her Lip Smackin' Chocolate Peanut Butter Layer Cake and turned it into cupcakes. That was pretty much the only thing I could think of to make it even tastier!

You can find the recipe here

The only change I made was to the cake -using dark cocoa instead of regular cocoa. I love rich dark chocolate taste and it made a difference!

I made the chocolate frosting a day in advance as the day of required making two flavors of ganache and Peanut Butter Mousse.

Oh Paula, sifting the dry ingredients twice??? I would only do it for your recipe!

The yummy batter and my yummy Sauvignon Blanc.

Filling up some jumbo cupcake liners to make for some taller cupcakes (and they keep the toppings in too!)

The yummy cake! It is so moist and rich!

Folding the Whipped Cream mixture into the Peanut Butter & melted Peanut Butter Chip Mixture to make Peanut Butter Mousse...

I used a long cupcake filling tip to get all the mousse goodness into the center of each cupcake.

Then, I topped each one with her chocolate frosting recipe to hide all the holes.

After the frosting I topped each one with some mini peanut butter cups from Trader Joe's-they are so yummy! Of course, I enjoyed a few on the side with my vino!

Peanut Butter Ganache---before the microwave.

Topping the frosting with the ganache...these are only getting yummier. The whole house smelled like a peanut butter cup!

Filling the piping bag for the Peanut Butter Ganache.

The finished beauties!

The hubs and I had to smell these babies in the car for TWO HOURS and resist them all the way to my parents house. It was worth the wait when we finally enjoyed them with my dad's homemade vanilla ice cream.

Cheers to peanut butter & chocolate decadence!



p.s. Donna--- don't hate me for this one!

Monday, July 13, 2009

1979 Wedding Cake Re-Mix

For my parent's 30th wedding anniversary I decided to attempt a mini recreation of their 1979 wedding cake. I loved going through the old picture and seeing everyone looking so young and gorgeous.....and super 70's!

True to the 70's, they had peach and baby yellow wedding colors and I loved it!

This is my very first wedding cake creation! WOW! So much work....and even more anxiety. I was so nervous and finally so relieved when I pulled it off better than I thought I could!

I made a 6 inch top layer and a 10 inch lower layer using the Classic White Cake Recipe from The America's Test Kitchen Cook Book. You cannot go wrong with the recipes from this book. Everything from the chicken to the cookies and cakes are so delicious....not to mention the drink recipes, of course! ;)

The cakes were golden brown out of the oven...a very good sign!

What my kitchen looked like mid-process. Many dishes mean many glasses of Pinot Grigio to keep this Tipsy Baker afloat!

Trimming the layers for an even cakes have to look perfect or it just won't be a wedding cake!

I cheated on the filling by whipping up some Pastry Pride. It is super yummy and so easy to make. I was looking for a quick and yummy filling fix to simplify the process and this did the trick!

Adding a ring of Butter cream to keep the filling inside the cake-SO KEY!


Getting the crumb coat on and then back into the fridge before the smooth layer of frosting is added...

Adding the smooth top layer of frosting..

I made about two dozen roses planning to use only the best ones...I like making funkier roses and these needed to be traditional, so it took me some extra tries! I froze them so that I could easily add them to the cake without damaging the delicate petals.

So, here is the photo of my parents and their cake that I had to work with. I just love that my mom is wearing a bonnet! Oh, the 70's!

I decorated the top layer first....

Next, the bottom layer with the roses and then leaves wherever they would fit in the bunch.

I assembled the cake at my parents house where my mom had saved her original cake topper. So cute! She even added new flowers to freshen it up.

A close up of the two tier cake, fully assembled. Whew! What a relief.

Congratulations Mom & Dad!

Cheers to crazy anniversary celebrations!

Tipsy...and tired!

Sunday, July 5, 2009

Happy 4th of July!

I just love the 4th of July! What better reason to celebrate then the ability to enjoy our freedom every day of the year.

I had to come up with a patriotic and delicious bevy for the big day. I picked up some blue raspberry martini mix from BevMo and went to work. This was super simple and sure to be a new 4th tradition for us.

I added the blue raspberry martini mix, vodka, shook and served. YUMM!

A patriotic drink for the hubs...a classic Bloody Mary, his fave. Clamato, fresh lemon juice, voddy, Cholula hot sauce, and Worcester sauce on the rocks.

After a day at the pool we were so ready for the amazing fireworks show at the Indian Wells Golf Resort.
So much fun and so beautiful!

I hope you all had a fabulous 4th of July!
Cheers to the land that I love!