Saturday, October 3, 2015

Dreamy Caramel Frosting

The absolute best part of this job is research. Frosting research. Caramel Frosting research!

I have tried several versions of Caramel Frosting and the winner is Martha Stewart's Dark Brown Sugar Swiss Meringue.

What I was searching for was a creamy caramel flavor, without a super sugary taste. So that rules out every recipe that adds powdered sugar. Those were too sweet and somehow never fully incorporated the sugar, so a little crunchy.

Then there are the cooked caramel frostings. You know, the kind you think of when someone says Caramel Cake. Cake Doctor has a Quick Caramel Frosting that is nice, but this frosting tend to harden quickly. And they are not silky. And if you mess up, the frosting gets crunchy. Alton Brown did a whole episode on the science of Caramel. has this Caramel Frosting V that I really do love. The only downside is that you have to start a day in advance. Let the butter/cream mixture cool completely in the fridge overnight. And then, if it is too humid, the frosting might not whip up without 4 cups of powdered sugar. I think I've mentioned how I feel about that!

My second favorite and go-too in a pinch is Caramel Marshmallow Meringue. I found the recipe here, Abby calls it Shortcut Marshmallow Buttercream. Add a tablespoon or two of caramel sauce and instant delicious creamy frosting. Ok, so there is 3/4c powdered sugar. But it does melt into the fluff. Worth noting about this recipe: you can not double it. Somehow when you try to double this recipe, it gets too soft, not pipe-able. And it takes about 2 batches to frost an 8" cake.

That brings us to Martha Stewart's Dark Brown Sugar Swiss Meringue. It is everything I was looking for in a Caramel Frosting. Not too sweet, creamy, deep caramel flavor and one batch is plenty to cover an 8" inch cake. Takes about 30 mins to make. One hint to make this recipe fool proof: when you start to whip the egg white/sugar mixture wrap the outside of your bowl in ice packs or frozen veggies. I used canned vegetables to hold the ice bags in place. It cools the frosting to the right temp to add the butter.

To add to the caramel-i-ness, I gently poured caramel sauce over the chilled cake just enough to run down the sides.

Friday, August 14, 2015

Let's Roll!

 20 edible equilateral triangles.

Not many pictures of this process but will share what I have.  Begin by making 3 batches of rice krispie treats.

The websites that helped the most are these:  20D Gingerbread  (this has clear pictures of the pyramid shapes you will need)  and Metallic D20  (this has an excellent description of how to make this out of cardboard). Oh yes, and20D template

Once you read those to posts, you can begin to see how this is going to come together.

Step 1. Make a cardboard mold. It will be three pieces: 2 pyramids and a middle section. And like the Metallic D20, the triangles need to be 4" on every side.

The two circle like shapes are the top and bottom, You cut these out of corrugated cardboard to make a 5 sided pyramid. Once you cut the outside shape and score the inside line, tape the open ends together and tah-dah: pyramid. Cover this in foil.

The long string of triangles makes the middle section. Once you cut the strip out of cardboard and score the inside lines, you need to wrap this all in foil before you attach the two ends together with packing tape or duct tape.

Step 2:  Spray the foil with cooking spray so the RKT's don't stick! Fill the two pyramids with RKT.  Then position one pyramid below the middle round section, lining up the sides. And fill that with RKT. Finally place the second pyramid on top and really press the whole thing together. Let this chill in the fridge to get firm.

Step 3: Cut out 20 triangles from modeling chocolate. Modeling chocolate allows you to blend the seams a little better.  These need to be fairly thick. Use the yellow rings from the wilton rolling pin set.

Step 4: Place all 20 triangles of modeling chocolate on the rice krispie treat shape.

Step 5: Remove foil from cardboard and use the cardboard mold to help define your edges.

Step 6: Let the shape rest. I set one of the pyramids in a bowl, placed the shape in that.  Here was the tricky part. As my 20D rested it started to sag. No worries. Just use the cardboard to reshape the whole thing. As the modeling chocolate dries a little, the shape will harden too.

This shows the shape sitting in a bowl. The foil would leave an impression on the modeling chocolate, so take that off.  Then the chocolate should not stick to the cardboard. Nice flat edges to help shape it.

Step 7: Add numbers. I used a Wilton Number mold. But you could pipe these on with royal icing too. Once your numbers are on, spray the whole thing gold or silver!

To position this on the cake, I covered a small square with brown fondant, placed dowels in the bottom cake and set the 20D on that. I also ran kabob stick through the whole through to add stability.

Whew. It worked!  A fabulous trophy cake for the game lover in your life.

Sunday, April 19, 2015

Mr. & Mrs.

     October may be the new May for weddings, but May is still, well, Wedding Season! I love that brides have so many different ideas for cake and especially cake flavors!

I love these cakes because they really show the personality of the couple.

 These smaller cakes are among my favorite because they are so simply elegant.

 Finally, I love these cake because of the fresh flowers, the patterns, 
the white on white and the solid gold tier! 

I would love to plan something special for your wedding, please call.  
Most of all enjoy every second and look forward to Celebrating Life Together <3

Sunday, January 25, 2015

No Power? No Problem.

As most of you know, here in the Carolinas, winter really doesn't even begin until late January. I mean the days get shorter and it is kind of dreary out. But if you are looking for snow and ice, think January or February and sometime March.

It was February/March last year when we were hit with two storms in a row. The second one lasted half a day and we were without power for the next four days. By half a day, I mean the sun was shining and ice gone by 3p. No matter, we still were without power for the next 4 days. No school, no heat and most way to turn on the mixer.

By the grace of God, I had already baked all the cakes for that weekend and even had finished most of the decorations. Just need to make frosting.A lot of frosting. That meant a mixer, running water and paper towels.

Enough time has passed I can finally share the story of that weekend and the 4 orders I finished on the fly.

 First up is this adorable set of cake, smash cake and cookies. I loved this whole design. At this point in the weekend, I was still feeling positive. Lee hooked up his generator and plugged in my Kitchen Aid, I set up the 5 gallons of water at the sink and I was ready to go!

Next, were the simple and elegant cupcakes for a wedding shower.  These were sweet and simple. No power? No problem. I did have to call and change the location pick-up because I knew we would not make it much longer in our house.

By the now time was flying, one day turned in to two. I was confounded that such a short storm could disrupt My Baking Schedule so much! I packed up the Kitchen Aid, cake, butter, sugar and, well, enough stuff to compete on Cupcake Wars and moved to the first borrowed kitchen of the weekend. That was enough time to run the mixer and frost two cakes to chill in the fridge for stacking the next day.

The next day, I moved the whole show to the second borrowed kitchen for several hours to decorate this beauty for a wedding shower at my favorite, Ellis Park. And called the customer and offered to deliver the cake to gain a little more time. I didn't even get a picture but downloaded these from facebook.

Finally, after three days and two kitchen and waking up to yet another day of NO POWER. I move to the third borrowed kitchen. Although I was so very, very tempted to cancel this order, I was so very, very happy I did not!  I was not able to print the image I wanted from my own computer but went to Staples for their help, Then got busy fulfilling this last order for the Weekend-With-No-Power.

The circles and monograms were for cupcake toppers. I can't remember how many cupcakes, nor can I find my notes.And the sheet cake was for the grooms cake. When we arrived, I learned that the bride's cake baker had also lost power and sent what she was able to complete. A very,very small cake. My heart went out to the bride and baker. Losing power is hard to overcome when your buisness is at home. And I was so very, very glad that even though this cake was not what I had planned...the guests would have cake at the reception!

What a weekend. I can't say how grateful I am for two sisters and a very dear friend giving up their kitchen for hours at a time for me to complete these orders. I've had a year to consider what kind of plan I would have next time the power goes out. Meanwhile, I'll keep praying that it doesn't!