Saturday, March 26, 2011

IN-tinction of Dine-o-saurs

On Friday night I needed some stress relief, so we decided to make something for my nephew's playdate the next day just for fun.  We thought of making basketballs and soccer balls, but that wasn't quite enough to cheer me up until we thought to make these cute little dinosaurs (Cookies 'n Cream cake inside).

Apatosaurus (also known as brontosaurus) and Stegosaurus are from the Jurassic period, and Tyrannosaurus Rex and Triceratops are from the Cretaceous period.  The extinction of dinosaurs is believed to have been caused by the Cretaceous-Tertiary extinction event (also known as the K-T extinction event).  These dinosaurs have all been momentarily brought here together until the next G-I (gastrointestinal) extinction event.  Who knew that human consumption is the real reason why dinosaurs became extinct!!!

Even though dinosaurs are now extinct, people will always appreciate the sublime beauty of such magnificent creatures and continue to adore them.  ;)

Thursday, March 24, 2011

Babies, Babies, Babies!!!

These adorable treats were for a surprise dual baby shower (both boys) at work.  We figured that not everyone would want to eat a baby treat, so we mixed in coordinating cake truffles and decorated those in an elegant design.  The inside of the cake truffles were carrot cake with cream cheese frosting.

Here is a close-up of the baby faces.  Pink shimmer was brushed on for rosy cheeks.

Welcome to this world, babies!!!

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Manatee Birthday Cake

Manatees are gentle giants of the shallow sea and river tributaries, which is why my sister-in-law requested a manatee cake for her husband's birthday.  She let us choose the design and flavor of cake, but also said that in addition to the manatee, it would be fun to have a dolphin and a baby manatee on top.  I wasn't quite sure how it would all come together, but I was up for a challenge.  We picked the cake flavor, Kahlua (one of our favorites), and my sister topped it with dark chocolate ganache and decorated the side with mini-chocolate chips, which I thought was really cute.

Now it was my turn.....I molded a manatee from fondant (my first time sculpting anything like this), and had to look up a picture on the internet to get the flippers and tail just right:


Creating the mini-manatee wasn't too hard since now I've already done it once, and I thought a pink bow would be perfect (the couple has a daughter).  For the dolphin, I was originally going to mold only part of a dolphin and have it's head pop out of the water, but I wasn't quite satisfied with how it looked (even though my husband told me it was amazing), so I made another one.  After dusting the animals with edible luster, I put rock candy pebbles on top of the cake and added blue luster around the creatures and rocks to create a watery effect.  

The birthday sign was first piped onto wax paper and the writing piped in chocolate, and once it was dry, I thought it was pretty clever to prop it up on the cake with more candy rocks!

To many more Manatee Cakes, and Happy Birthday Alex!!!

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Mr. Potato Head.....x 49!!!

This was a really fun project for a one year old birthday party with Toy Story as the theme.  We had a whole assembly line for these Mr. Potato Heads since everything except the eyes and the arms had to be attached before the candy melt coating hardened.  Here is the beginning of the army of Mr. Potato Heads awaiting their eyes and arms:

The next step was giving them pupils, which I really should have left until the last step, but only because of the uncanny experience when you suddenly realize that a slew of Mr. Potato Heads are looking at you (as if they jumped off the screen into real life)!!  The amusing part of all this is that each Mr. Potato Head had a different expression, such as the right-most one in the front row who was probably wondering why are there so many of me?  Good thing none of them had their mouths yet at this point.  The arms were first piped on wax paper and then attached.

A confetti circle and a piped moustache completed the look of each Mr. Potato Head:

Finally, each Mr. Potato Head was nestled into a truffle cup and and finished off with two colors of curling ribbon.  Hmmm....isn't Buzz the one with the plastic helmet?

And how could I resist sitting Mr. Potato Head and Mr. Potato Head Jr. on a real potato?  I couldn't!  These two were extra treats that we made for our family members.  The one on the left is noseless because my nephew didn't want to eat the butterscotch nose, and of course we added a mouth and moustache!  Happy 1st Birthday Noah!!

Thursday, March 17, 2011

Happy Shamrock Day!

This array of chocolate, white, and green treats were made for an office celebration.  The chocolate and white treats have shamrock green butter cake on the inside, and the green treats contain contrasting yellow butter cake.  One bite of these, and you'll be sure to find your leprechaun and a pot o' gold!  Happy St. Patrick's Day, and don't forget to wear green today unless you want to be pinched!

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Lollipops, Flowers, and Butterflies

We used some of the birthday girl's favorite colors for her 6th birthday celebration.  The inside of the yellow flowers contain French vanilla cake with sprinkles, and the butterflies contain Cookies 'n Cream cake.  The lollipops are first coated with candy melt and then rolled in colorful sugar crystals, giving the lollipops the perfect crunch to complement their fudge brownie centers.  It's beginning to feel like spring already, with all of these cheerful colors!  Happy Birthday Emma!!

Hello Kitty Birthday

These Hello Kitties cake truffles are the real deal - pretty in pink and ready for a pre-school birthday party!  After finding some cool pink sugar pearls, we redesigned the bows from our practice-run Hello Kitties, and after making 38 of these, we packaged them into two boxes.  If cuteness could kill, I'm sure this army of Hello Kitties could certainly do the job!  Happy Birthday!!!


Sunday, March 6, 2011

Pinkalicious Cupcakes

Well, almost......we still have to put the curly border around the top of the cake, but these are the cupcakes from the Pinkalicious books.  We wanted the bottom of the cupcake to have really good fluted definition, so we used two different molds (one for the top & one for the bottom) and put them together.  The dipping was also a two-step process, and the bottom was dipped in chocolate.  After the bottom dried, the top was dipped in Pinkalicious pink and topped with a fondant cherry and hand-painted white dots.

Hello, Kitty!

These Hello Kitty's are a practice run for a preschool birthday party.  The little girl wanted all pink bows, so we practiced with other colors for these bows (to save the pink ones).  The nose is made of yellow fondant, the eyes are hand-painted, and the whiskers are hand-piped onto the Hello Kitty after the coating has dried.  These are so cute and fun to make!

Saturday, March 5, 2011

Birthday Koalas

Heehee...I couldn't post this one until today because these koalas were a surprise for my coworker's birthday on Friday.  We had to mix our own gray from white candy melt (for the head) and white fondant (for the ears).  The shape of the ears was the hardest part to figure out.  I started with bear-like ears but cringed disapprovingly because instead of looking like a koala, it looked more like a gray mouse with a gigantic nose. I tugged on the ears a bit hoping that stretching the lobes might fix the problem, but it didn't; the animal ended up looking even more grotesque, so I started from scratch.  On my third koala, the ears looked a bit more koala-like but felt a little messy, and on the fourth try, a koala finally emerged!  :)  Happy Birthday!!!


These treats are actually called Whoopie Pies ("Whoopee Pie" is the name from a specific bakery), and here we have Whoopie Pies galore.  Interestingly, Whoopie Pies are thought to have Amish origins, and the women would put these cakes into farmers' lunchboxes.  When the farmer opened up his lunchbox and saw the treat, he would cry "Whoopie!"

Below are Red Velvet Whoopie Pie with cream cheese filling, Chocolate Whoopie Pie with an extremely light whipped filling (great choice if you like your desserts less sweet, like me), and Kahlua Coffee Whoopie Pie with a coffee-flavored mascarpone filling, which I started calling a "Zippie Pie!"

Wednesday, March 2, 2011

Key Lime Pie

Okay, so this one is really my sister's story about her trip to Florida, but somehow, I'm the one telling it.  Here's a "mathemagical" equation: Trip-to-Florida = Key-Lime-Pie.  'Nough said.  When my sister's family returned from Florida, she nearly drove me crazy trying to recreate the Key Lime Pie they had in Florida into a cake treat.  A chef gave her the recipe, and since she’s a formulaic perfectionist, she wouldn’t stop (for 3 days) until she achieved her goal and the by-products that resulted from her original project.  So in addition to her “Death by Chocolate” cake treat (that’s also reminiscent of their Florida trip), below are two versions of her Key Lime Pie: one with harmless graham-cracker-crust-sprinkles on top, and the other with a homemade candied lime (the cake is spiked with tequila on the inside).  J  That’s some happy eating!

Turtles Galore

The original turtles must have told their friends about the California coast because here is all of their turtle friends.  We made 40 of these turtles last Saturday, and we threw in a few fondant seastars for fun.  The female turtles have vanilla cake on the inside, and the male turtles are chocolate on the inside.  The party was held in Turtle Rock, making these turtle treats quite appropriate!