Ivy’s Wedding Cake

Cakes | October 4, 2012 | By

I just thought I’d do a little post on the baking I did for my friend, Ivy’s, wedding.  It was in August, so this post is a tad late in coming.  But better late than never!  …Right?

Warning – there are going to be many photos in this post!  ūüôā  Enjoy!

She asked me to make her cake (I was honoured… and VERY nervous), and to make & decorate 50 cupcakes.  So I said sure!

It was a slightly crazy week.  We had decided to start ripping apart our bathroom, so all that was (… and still is) functional in our bathroom, was our toilet.  Bathtub gone, sink gone.  New drywall in, and floors and walls getting ripped up.  Window (which makes me cry to think about) ripped out (it was the only way to fit a shower in…).  And the groom stayed with us for the week before the wedding.  And then one of the groomsmen for a few nights.  On couches/the floor.  Poor guys.

Plus, of course, there were wedding preparations, rehearsals, spending time with the bride (as I hadn’t seen her for months!), and all the other routine things that happen everyday in my life.  Like, work, baby, family, cleaning, cooking, being preggo, etc, etc, etc.  It was actually a really great week.  I was exhausted by the end of the wedding, but it was definitely worth it.

So, here are a few pictures of the cake – it was based off of a cake we found on Pinterest (of course).  Ivy’s wedding colours were a mustardy-brown, seafoam green, and cream/white.  They turned out beautifully together, and the cake followed the theme.

It was a three-layered cake.  Two chocolate layers, sandwiching a vanilla layer.  With a mocha custard in between the bottom layers, and a deep, dark chocolate buttercream between the top two layers.

Then.

Buttercream frosting.  Seafoam, of course.  I got the perfect colour…  somehow.

Here is the imperfect crumb coat.  Good colour though, eh?

And now onto the details.  Also imperfect, but I wasn’t aiming on perfection.  So we’re all good.

Keep in mind – I was doing this the night before the wedding…. late.  And tired.  So.  I think it went fairly well considering.  I was almost expecting a breakdown and a spoon or two being launched across the kitchen, tears, screaming….  but I got it done.  First try.  And pretty happy with it too.

Just one more shot of the cake, I promise.  Then we’ll move onto cupcakes!

So, for cupcakes, we went with chocolate and white.  Simple.  50 of ’em.

Frosted with chocolate, seafoam, and coral buttercream.  Except in this buttercream, I used half shortening, half margarine.

I didn’t get any awesome pictures of the decorated cupcakes.  This will just have to do.

Here’s a picture of the lovely bride and her new beau, with her family, on the wedding day!

And some pictures of my little family (the lighting wasn’t great in the church at the reception, but they turned out pretty great anyhow).

Did I mention that I was a bridesmaid?  Great dress huh?  Cute little boy and handsome hubby too.

And at last – a photo of my baby bump.  This was at about 20 weeks.  I’m 26 weeks along now.  And bigger.

The dress did a great job of covering it.  Nobody would have even known I was pregnant unless I pulled it in tight below my stomach.

And last, but not least:

Baby and Mommy.

Thanks guys – hope you enjoyed!  Later days.

Spring Cupcakes

Icing and Sauce | April 27, 2012 | By

So, the title of this should really be – How to make a disastrous mess.  Because I did.

Man, did I ever.

And of course, who should come home to catch me red-handed in messiness?  But my hubby.

‘WHAT are you DOING?  Why don’t you put a tray underneath, so that you don’t make such a mess on the counter?’

It’s a good question really.  And the only real, true answer is…  I’m stubborn.  There you have it folks, I confess; stubborn to the bone.

You see, I tried a new icing recipe.  I’m constantly using our ‘Buttercream’ Icing recipe.  I use that about 90% of the time. So I thought I’d mix things up.  I used a royal icing.  And instead of following the recipe (as usual…) I made a few changes.  Which resulted in a runny mess of icing.  If it calls for meringue powder, use it.  Just saying.  Anyhow.  This is what I used for icing.  It worked in a sense, but not at all how I had envisioned them to be.

Royal Icing

4 cups icing sugar

2 egg whites

Water

Food colouring

Blend together the egg whites and icing sugar.  Add enough water to make the icing come together.  It should be slightly runny, but not overly runny (ie – more like molasses than oil).  Divide icing into bowls, and add food colouring, as desired.

For my cupcakes, I used this chocolate cake recipe.  It made about 2 1/2 dozen regular-sized cupcakes.

I dyed the icing four different ‘springy’ colours.  Then I bagged them (be careful if your icing is runny – it’ll run right out of the bags – no squeezing required!).  To achieve the tye-dye look, I put a circle of one colour (a 1-inch circle, filled in) on top of the cupcake.  Then I squeezed 2 or 3 other colours on top, and just let it run down the cupcakes, to create the effect.

If you’re smart, you’ll listen to hubby and put a tray underneath the cupcakes BEFORE you frost them.  But if you don’t, hey, that’s cool too.   ūüôā

Cael thinks they’re pretty good…

30 Day Challenge 

Day 2 – Where you’d like to be in 10 years.

Okay, so it’s most definitely time for day two of the 30 Day Challenge.  This one will be a tad more difficult than the last one… but here goes!

Realize that these are dreams, and I realized that some of them may be slightly far out…

In 1o years, I’ll be in my thirties…  man, that sounds old.  I will still be happily married, my little boy will be in the double digits, and he’ll probably have 2 or  3 (or 4?) little brothers and sisters.  We’ll be living in our house (made by us), which will have an amazingly big shower, and a kitchen with lots of counter space.  I will bake for my kids, and they’ll learn to bake with Mommy too, and love doing it (and I’ll have learned patience…  hopefully).  I’ll own a business, and bake for pay.  Yes, those are the dreams.

Where will you be in 10 years?

Red Velvet Cupcakes

Cakes, Icing and Sauce | March 12, 2012 | By

When I think of velvet, I think of really uncomfortable dresses.  I’m not sure why, something from my youth triggers it, but I just can’t remember what exactly.  Anyhow.  When I put that velvet picture in my head and add the words ‘red’ and ‘cake’…..  Well, it just doesn’t seem quite right.  Downright awful actually.  But, I was wrong.  There.  I’ll admit it [for once].  I.  Was.  Wrong.


A friend asked me the other day what was so big about ‘Red Velvet Cake’.  I responded that I wasn’t sure, but I didn’t think it was anything too crazy.  So, I proceeded to look them up (I had before, but hadn’t looked at it too hard…).  Anyway, it wasn’t anything too crazy, so I thought I’d give it a try.  I found a recipe on Bakerella, but I tweaked it a tad, and made it into cupcakes instead of just a regular cake.

Red Velvet Cupcakes  (adapted from Bakerella)

2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour

2 cups sugar

1 Tbsp cocoa, heaping

1 tsp salt

1 tsp baking soda

2 eggs

1 cup canola oil

1 cup milk

1 Tbsp vinegar

1 tsp vanilla

2 tsp red food colouring

Preheat oven to 350.  Pour milk and vinegar into a measuring cup, set aside for 10 minutes.  Line cupcake pans with liners.

Whisk eggs lightly.  Add remaining liquids and whisk until blended.  Stir in cocoa and sugar.  Add flour, salt, and baking soda.  Mix until smooth.  Pour into cupcake pans.  Bake for 20 minutes (or until tester inserted in middle comes out clean).

Makes 18 cupcakes.

Anyhow.  It was kind of a busy day making these.  I had two younger brothers to feed, and a baby who just loves attention.  But!  I prevailed, and they turned out pretty good I must say.

After I had delivered my cupcakes to my friend (who had mentioned them to me), I got home to less cupcakes than were there when I left.  Turns out they were too good to just look at.  An additional brother landed home while we were gone and just couldn’t help himself.

{I attempted to fill the cupcakes with the boiled icing… didn’t work too well (it’s just not the right consistency – too fluffy), but it kinda worked…}

A piece of interesting factual information for you about red velvet cakes – they are called red velvet because of their colour.  (Duh, right?)  The cake turns red because of a chemical reaction between the cocoa and the buttermilk (or vinegar).  It also turns red because of added RED food colouring.  Apparently, most cocoa used to be lighter than it is now, and it turned cakes more red, but cocoa is darker now, and while it still turns slightly brown-ish red, colouring is needed for the full effect.  You can still buy the lighter cocoa though.

{Just for extra prettiness, I put an espresso candy on top with a sprinkling of cocoa.}

I also did something different for icing.  Seven minute icing.  It’s a type of boiled icing.  And it’s pretty good.  But I’d never made one like this before.  One reason I really like it, was because you don’t need to use a double boiler (which you normally do).  But, it’s not quite the same.  (Not as good as my mother-in-laws, that’s for sure!)

Seven Minute Icing (adapted from bakedbree)

1 1/2 cups sugar

2/3 cup water

Pinch cream of tartar

4 egg whites

Pinch salt

1 tsp vanilla

In a saucepan, combine sugar, water and cream of tartar.  DO NOT stir.  At all.  Okay?  Bring to a boil, and boil for about 10 minutes.  While you’re waiting for that, put the egg whites and salt in a mixer, and whisk until whites are peaking.  Pour sugar water over egg whites and beat the frosting for 7 minutes (hence the name of the icing…).  Add vanilla extract.  The icing will be really nice and fluffy.  And it will taste sooo good.

I had a LOT of icing left over from the cupcakes…  And my hubby just so happens to LOVE (that’s right folks.. another baked good he’ll actually eat) chocolate cake with boiled icing.  So.  After my cupcakes were made, iced, and delivered.  .  .  .  .  .  (it took awhile)  .  .  .  .  …….  I set out to making a chocolate cake.  (Needless to say, I didn’t get a whole lot else accomplished this day!)  I made this chocolate cake recipe and slopped ALL the rest of the icing on it.  It was pretty delicious.

Notice I [attempted] to pipe the icing onto the cupcakes…  it didn’t work so amazingly well.  Boiled icing isn’t quite the right consistency… but it worked.  Just thought I’d give a warning there.  You WILL make a mess if you attempt to do that.  I would suggest using a flat spatula, and smoothing it on instead (as I did on my cake).

Anyhow.  There was my greatest adventure for the week.  (Notice I said week, not weekend.  I had quite the spree on the weekend, but we’ll talk about that later, when it’s not so fresh on my mind.)

Ever tried a red velvet cake before?