My Vodka Martini

Well, I did it. I baked and decorated three cakes for my friend’s First Communion party. The backstory is that I’m not a skilled cake decorator by any means, and when I was hired by this same friend to bake a First Communion cake last year I handed her a freak show on a platter. I had to redeem myself, so for the past month and a half I was sequestered in Cake Land. I finally emerged from this lonely existence with a full beard, long fingernails, a harsh sensitivity to sun light, and some cake decorating skills under my belt. When all was said and done, and I dropped off the three cakes at the restaurant I breathed a long sigh of relief. Looking back I realize that I enjoyed every baking moment I spent with those cakes, and when it was time to decorate them they were ready and willing to put on their Sunday best. That night I celebrated by cleaning up my kitchen, and drinking the most fabulous vodka martini. Continue reading →

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Coconut Easter Egg Cake

My Put On Your Apron ‘Cause We’re Baking A Cake A Week project has been going great! I feel like I’m starting to get a hang of some basic cake decorating tricks. To date, I’ve made a chocolate marshmallow cake to practice leveling cake layers, and a vanilla Swiss buttercream cake to practice ruffle decorating. This week I focused on buttercream consistency, and a decorating technique called” scalloping”. After seeing Country Living’s coconut cake I was inspired, so in honor of the very glorious, “we’re out of the woods”, “everyone is happier” season that is known as spring, and the Easter holiday I’ve made you this delicious and lovely coconut Easter egg cake.  Continue reading →

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Vanilla Almond Cake With Swiss Meringue Vanilla Bean Buttercream

I love projects. I love to come up with a game plan and then commit to it. I also love giving my projects a title like Project Pastry Love. Some of the projects I’m currently working on are Clean Out A Cabinet, Why Don’t You?, and My Blood Pressure Is High- Is It Salt Or Stress? Investigate!, and The Kids Could Bathe More, Amiright?.  My latest project, Put On Your Apron ‘Cause We’re Baking A Cake A Week has recently begun. Last time I focused on leveling layers when I made the Chocolate Marshmallow Cake. This week I baked a vanilla/almond cake with Swiss meringue vanilla bean buttercream to focus on proper buttercream consistency with a sub plot on decorative piping. My life is exciting! Continue reading →

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Chocolate Marshmallow Cake

 

Since beginning Project Pastry Love almost 3 years ago I’ve learned a lot about baking and pastry. I know how to tell when bread dough has been properly kneaded. I know the temperature at which cooked sugar has become caramelized. I know when flour, water, and cold butter have transformed into perfect pastry dough just by touching it. I also know what I don’t know, and I don’t know how to decorate cakes. Sure, my cakes are passable, and they taste scrumptious, but they are not Pintrest-worthy. Last year a friend of mine asked me to make her son a cake for his First Communion. I took on the challenge with great enthusiasm, and made a delicious red velvet cake, which looked like a clown had vomited all over it. That disaster can still keep me up at nights along with my fear of falling tree branches, and stupid things I may or may not have said at a party. Well, I’ve been asked to make three cakes for the same friend at the end of April (she’s extremely forgiving), so I’ve decided to make a cake a week to practice. I’m starting with a chocolate marshmallow cake. This cake has everything I’ve been craving lately– two layers of moist chocolate cake, a marshmallow/caramel buttercream filling, and a very chocolatey chocolate frosting. Continue reading →

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