Friday, January 6, 2017

Chocolate Buttercream Icing

I didn't have a real recipe to follow for the chocolate buttercream icing, so I went based off of what I know about buttercream and winged it.  I'm writing for future reference in the hope that I can "wing" it again.

Ingredients:

2 1/2 cups butter at room temperature
1/3 of a Hershey cocoa 16 oz container
2 bags of 2 lbs powdered sugar
2 1/2 cups of hi ratio shortening
splash of vanilla (1 tablespoon)
splash of chocolate extract (1 tablespoon)
splash of wedding flavor (2 tablespoons)
hot creamer mixed (1 cup boiling water, 1 cup coffee creamer) - use 9 tablespoons of this

Directions:

Cream butter and hi ratio shortening in mixer
Add vanilla, chocolate extract, wedding flavors and hot creamer in mixer
After those are all mixed together, add Hershey cocoa - mix at low speed - should mix into a dark chocolate - you want this to be dark because when you add the sugar, it will lighten in color and chocolate flavor.
Continue mixing at low speed and add in the powdered sugar.  If the mixer motor is struggling, add one teaspoon of hot cream mix in.
If you want the chocolate color to be darker, add more cocoa or add food coloring.

This is a crusting buttercream, but it typically will be a thick consistency depending on hot much hot cream you add in.

I made this recipe and had great reviews, but I should have thinned it out to make the rosettes smoother.


Thursday, December 29, 2016

Christmas Tree for Gregory's school

Gregory's class had a Christmas party.  I brought a fruit tray and a Christmas tree cake.  I found a cheap Christmas tree pan at the grocery store, sprayed it so nothing would stick and filled it with the cake recipe that I like.  I had just enough icing to make the green tree.  While at the grocery store, I looked for the regular size M&M's to be the decorations, but only found the large M&M's - the kids loved them!  Super easy cake to decorate and make - I used a large tip to pipe the green - so it wasn't time consuming at all.


Sunday, November 27, 2016

Thanksgiving Day cake

I knew I wanted to do a Thanksgiving Day cake for Greg's family gathering.  I saw some pictures, even cakes that look like an actual cooked turkey, but it was a long work week for me and time was limited.... no time to carve a cake to look like a cooked turkey.

This picture was my inspiration:


However, it was made of fondant and I'm not a big fan of fondant.  So I took the idea and turned it into buttercream and had some fun with the method of making feathers using a piping tip.  It was fun and had a 3D look because the layers of feather went on the last layer.



Thursday, October 20, 2016

Halloween school fun

I haven't baked much for Gregory's school this year.  But the school asked parents to make small cakes for the Pumpkin Palooza this Saturday for the "cake walk."  While making the cakes, I had to also make cupcakes for Gregory's school.... how can I bring cakes to his school if he doesn't have treats in his class.  So, it's not my best work... I baked everything and made the icing and decorated all in one evening.  By the time decorations were done, I was ready to call it a day.






Wednesday, September 28, 2016

My Mom's Birthday Cake


My parents' anniversary and my mom's birthday are in the same month.  Fortunately, I had some flowers pre-made still and used pink and purple dust to give them color.  


My Parents' 50th Wedding Anniversary Cake

I was a nervous Nelly doing this cake.  A month ahead of time, I made the flowers out of fondant and gum paste.  I used toothpicks, when I should have opted for wire to better secure them in the cake.  I used gold dust to give the flowers a golden sheen.

My mom had her original cake topper - yes, 50 years old!  She requested that I paint the hair of the bride white, because my mom's natural hair color is white and has always been that beautiful color.  I touched up the gown that had some yellow in it from age, but it didn't require much work.

This was the first time doing a cascade of flowers; first time doing a tier cake of three levels and first time using malt straws as support for each level.  I decorated the bottom two layers at home, with the middle section in quilt fashion and gold sugar balls.  I finished the cake at my parents home, because I was worried about transporting it.  Here are the pictures.


Something to note:  The roses on the block are "American Beauties" - these rose petals are added with separate layers.  The "cabbage rose"  very large and very heavy (used to decorate only at the bottom of the cake) are done completely different with long strips of petals.








Monday, July 4, 2016

Wilton Modeling 101 - Puppy Figurine


For this class, we used the Measure N Shape sizing tray.  I like this idea, because if I made this again for a dog or another animal, I can have a measure tool to get the right sizes other than looking at a You Tube video and "guestimating" how much gum paste or fondant or Shape N Amaze edible decorating dough (which is what we used in the class).

Make some gum paste glue by mixing water and shaved pieces of gum paste.

The Shape N Amaze dough is HARD.  Break off small pieces and work in your hands until easy to move.  Then put under saran wrap to keep it soft.  Color the fondant as you need (put a small amount of dye into the center and fold over the center to keep the dye off of your hands).

Tint enough for the entire dog, about 2 1/5 inch ball of fondant. (takes a little more than half of the shape n amaze in a store bought container)

For Body of the dog:

Tint a 1 1/2 inch ball of fondant or if using the sizing tray - put the dough into #13 box, press into the box and then use your fingers to wipe off anything outside of the box.  Roll the dough into a thick cone.  Place the wide end of the cone on the work surface and push slightly to flatten the bottom.  Push the cone slightly forward so it leans.




For Legs:

Using same tint as the body, make four legs using # 4 in sizing tray.  Roll each ball into a 2 inch log, might need to be a little longer.

To shape the front of the legs - the front leg that is down, make the ankle by rolling the log about 1/4" from the end to make it a little thinner.  The "ball" at the end of the log is now the paw.  Bend the paw and make the toes with the knife tool.  Use the ball tool to make the area on the BODY for the front leg.  Use the gum paste water to attach the leg.

The front leg that is up - roll ankle thinner, bend the paw down and mark the toes as previously done. Now.... bend the leg up in half to form a knee.  Use a paper towel and ball it up to support the bending dog's leg.  Attach the leg after using the ball toll on the body.

Back legs - create the ankle, bend the paws and mark the toes.  Bend the leg in half to form the knee, kind of like an upside down V.  Slightly flatten the top of the leg/thigh area and press against the bottom back section of the body.  Attach the same way.

For Tail:

Using same color, using # 1 in sizing tray - roll into a long cone.  Use ball tool on body and attach the tail.

For Head:

Using same color, using # 11 in sizing tray - form a ball.  Thin the middle of the ball with using a finger to form the snout.  Kind of like a soft bean shape.  Continue to shape the head.

Use ball tool to make place for the eyes and nose (not a large ball tool though).  Use a knife tool to mark eye wrinkles, lashes, mouth and use toothpick to mark whisker holes.

Insert black sugar pearls for eyes (for mine, we didn't have black, had to use silver).  Push pearls into head - no water is needed.

Attach head to the body.  Take a toothpick (might need to break about 1/3 of it off so it's not longer than the body).  Insert it into the body.  Make sure to brush the toothpick and body with gum paste glue. Make sure there is good contact between head and body.




For the nose, tint pink and roll into a ball and attach.  But I've read on other blogs, that the nose should be upside down triangle shape!  Use toothpick to make the nostrils.

Use a tool to draw the mouth and then push in and down to open the mouth.  For the tongue, tint 1/4 inch ball pink.  Roll into a ball, then shape a cone and flatten it.  Mark the center line with a toothpick.  Insert tongue into mouth and attach.

For ears:  create two # 1 balls.  Shape them into cones and flatten.  Shape ear like feather if you want. The point of the cone is where the ear will be attached to the head.

For droopy ears, leave a rounded bottom edge.  For short, pointy ears, shape the bottom of the ear into more of a point.

Attach ears with glue.

Dog Toys/Accessories:

Bone:  # 1 ball, roll into a 2 inch log.  Roll the ends thinner, leaving about 3/4 in the center fat.  Continue to roll the ends until they are long and thing enough to tie a knot.

Ball:  # 8 ball and roll it smooth (marble it if desired).  It should fit under the dog's paw.

Rug:  Tint # 11 ball - roll out to size of rug.

Bowl:  Any color # 4 ball.  Roll and press a small circle into the center.  

Attach dog and dog toys/accessories with gum paste glue.

Finished product!