Sunday, March 13, 2011

Cupcakes & More Cupcakes.....

Good afternoon on this beautiful sunshine day!
First I want to say please keep Japan in your thoughts and prayers. I have a very dear friend from Tokyo and I am glad to report she is fine! A bit shook up, but nonetheless ok!

Here is a link to the American Red Cross which has valuable up to date information. You may also make donations on this site to help Japan in their much needed crisis!

I have been experimenting trying to find new & super delicious cupcakes. Every time I think of making a cupcake I want it to be just more than a simple plain ole cupcake! Most of my cupcakes have a sweet surprise inside. Some have butterscotch, chocolate ganache, cherry filling, coffee buttercream and just about anything else you can think of that I can stuff into that sweet little amazing cake!
Here are some of the cupcakes in my very near future: Key Lime, s'mores, spicy chocolate, salted caramel & a really adorable cupcake that I saw on someone's blog (Hawaiian themed party) it looked exactly like shaved ice! Here is a pic of her cupcake (this is not mine, but its so absolutely beautiful)!!

OK, now on to my most recent cupcakes! I hope you enjoy looking at the pictures. Have a wonderful day!

Orange Blossom Cupcake candied orange pieces infused throughout...♥

Butter Pecan Cupcake Butterscotch Filling White Chocolate Drizzle

I seem to love the color orange for cupcakes ;)

Honey Lavender Cupcake

Love the colors on this one! Vanilla Cupcake Chocolate Drizzle!

Espresso Cupcake with Coffee Buttercream

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

First Attempt at a Croquenbouche

I do not know what first drew my eyes into this amazing french pastry, but surely I appreciate learning about its existence! It may have been one of the many hours I spent gazing at desserts online, or walking into a local bakery, but not only is this beautiful, but its a masterpiece!

I really would have preferred an occasion to make this, but with all my excitement I had to give it a shot! OK, so maybe I don't want to make the cream puffs from scratch since this is just a test run....hehe

I must thank Sara Lee for her amazing sweet little puffy clouds of heaven since those were the foundation of this Croquenbouche. I also did another first today. I have a strong desire to learn about spun sugar so I found some pastries online that incorporated this as well. I have much more learning to do since I was only able to make a topper for this pastry. Next time I will make more and try new techniques.

I used chocolate ganache to dip the cream puffs and then layered them on top of each other to create a towering effect. I played around with chocolate decorations, but in the end I thought it looked better without them. Also I gave it a chocolate & white chocolate drizzle.
Before I removed the extra chocolate...

Not sure how the family would enjoy this, the empty plate 30 minutes into presentation kind of spoke for itself... lol
I love the chocolate on her face!!~

I hope you enjoy & Have a fabulous day!!~

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Lasagna Our Way!

My hubby and I often talk about choosing lasagna for dinner, but it quickly gets tabled for another day. The main reason is because up until now I have only known how to make lasagna one way! Growing up I always watched my mom make it. Her motto was make sure there is enough for everyone with plenty of leftovers! Well, we prefer to eat on the lite side and not having that overstuffed full feeling when we are done.

Not wanting to miss out on this delicious Italian delight it came to me one day to use my cupcake pan to create little mini lasagna's! I thought why not, let me give it a try....

Success! Not only were they extremely simple to create, tasted wonderful, everyone enjoyed, but we didn't stuff ourselves silly!

Just a side note, when trying these (if you do), lightly spray the cupcake pan with some olive oil "pam-like" spray so they come out easily without a mess! I used the Wilton circle cutter on my noodles & on my mozzarella cheese.

A wonderful suggestion from Ingrid was to be able to create a lasagna for each family member since not everyone loves the same ingredients (i.e ground turkey, spinach, artichokes, etc). This dish was a true delight and I enjoyed making it. I hope you enjoy!!~

Thursday, January 27, 2011

A Tri-Celebration!

Hello & Happy Thursday! Just a quick little note to show the most recent cake I made. I love that each cake and dessert I make, Mike gets more and more involved....! I am not sure if he really loves this or if he is doing it to make me happy. Either way, I am glad to spend the extra time with him and do something that I love!
Happy 20th Birthday Anjelica!
 This cake was a "gift" to my ex husband for his 45th birthday, his step daughter's 20th birthday, and his in-laws anniversary! I had no plan going in. No color scheme, nothing!

Happy Anniversary Dianne & Leonard!
I bought the wilton decorative flat plates with pillars, but I ended up not using those. I wasn't crazy about how they snapped and fit together. I used something that was purchased from a local bakery. It worked well & so simple to use. I also wanted to put roses over the entire top of the cake, but my lovely buttercream was a bit too soft to hold the shape of roses. I always have a full cabinet of confectioner's sugar, but this particular day I actually ran out! (That was a first)! So, I wasn't able to stiffen my buttercream. You know Reese and I ran out the next day and bought enough confectioner's sugar to recreate a snowstorm! lol

I forgot to mention, the only request Brian had was to put custard in between the layers. I used french vanilla cake, homemade custard, and buttercream. I was pleased with the outcome. I have a question though, how do baker's know what their final product tastes like if we can't cut a piece to try? haha I was so into baking that I don't even sample the cake that I cut off from the top (those get used for cake pops by the way which hopefully I will get to post soon)!

Happy 45th Brian
No matter what the occasion....its always a "celebration"!

 I was just told that today is National Chocolate Cake Day! So don't forget to indulge and enjoy in that wonderful piece of chocolate cake!

Thursday, January 13, 2011

Samoa Cupcakes

Happy Thursday! Its a beautiful chilly day outside!

Just wanted to post some pics of the cupcakes that I made last night. They are yellow butter cupcakes with a nice gooey coconut topping delicately placed upon a mouth watering chocolate ganache! Finished off with a chocolate at your own risk!

♥ Nikol trying the cupcake ♥
♥ isn't chocolate pretty? ♥

Today I went on an adventure to find something unique for my next cupcake....I stumbled upon 3 very beautiful and what I think will be Super Yummy items! I will play either tonight or tomorrow with those. I also found the cutest molds in the cake supply store. They are both suited for making chocolate lollipops. One is a cupcake on a stick and the other is a soft serve ice cream cone on a stick! How neat is that? I can't wait to decorate and play with that! OK, I also some some lavender and electric blue sugar crystals....they sort of jumped into my hand basket (hehe).

Have a sweet day!!~

Monday, January 10, 2011

P90X Yoga day & I am back on track!

Surprise surprise! Guess who took a spur of the moment trip to Disney on New Years Eve? We did!!~
Happy New year 2011. @ Epcot

I had a really nice time. We met Nikol and Thi. It was very crowded, but we had a ton of FUN!
Reese enjoying the gingerbread house @ Grand Floridian

Mickey @ Epcot with Nikol & Thi

OK, time to get back on track.    No  success comes easy and not without a few slip ups, procrastinations and possibly a few excuses (who me??) hehe

Today I started my Yoga. Props to the people in this video because they are amazing! Flexible, capable, calm, and very inspiring! I am going to do part of this now and save the rest for tonight when Mike comes home so he can help me (last time we did this together he showed me that he is awesome in yoga)! I love learning new stuff about him. But then again I just LOVE everything about him.

Also just a side note, been working on some new sugar treats. Kentucky Bourbon Balls are a success. I don't mind standing in the kitchen until 1:00am hand rolling about 100 bourbon balls thinking anytime my back is going to break. Especially after hearing the few people that have tasted them so far say "Oh wow that brings back memories", "My mom used to make those, or my grandmother made those", and then see a smile on their face while they eat them. Then... HAHA the alcohol hits them... <3 Something about sugar and alcohol just seem uniquely refreshing. 

I'm a side note kinda girl so here goes another...GUESS WHAT MIKE BOUGHT ME (totally surprised me)... Well, quick story first. I was going to save up for this until next year. No clue it was on its way to my little ole kitchen. My mom had bought me a kitchen aid hand mixer for Christmas and I love it. I used it to make my rum cake for Tiffany (she is the only one so far that buys my cake). Well as I was walking into the house he said close your eyes (yeah, I was peeking) was a kitchen aid stand mixer!! Love~~ Love~~ & More Love!

I am in search for a few sweet treats to make and possibly share with others....Mike started looking at business cards with Hayley last night. I have the perfect name, just lacking the Martha Stewart experience, but hey, that's ok. I love baking. I love seeing people smile and enjoy delicious treats ...isn't that a start?

Have a beautiful Monday!!~