Saturday, July 18, 2009

Airbrushing a Wedding Cake ornament

I had a wedding cake client that ordered up a beautiful buttercream layer cake with a silver bow cascading down the front. Traditionally, I hand paint everything that has any kind of edible silver on it. However, this bow was just too big. So, I bit the bullet and purchased an airbrush machine. Much to my husband's dismay I am now hooked. Next up I will probably be trying to spray tan myself and give all the neighborhood kids tatoos!
I researched the various options for an airbrush and they come in all shapes, sizes and price ranges. I found through speaking to a large number of experts and doing some online homework that the KopyKake Brand is really the best choice. I chose the air master model which has adjustable settings for air pressure of 0-30psi giving you greater contgrol over details. Here it is: The cost is steep ($250) but you will have it for the long term and there are a million things you can do with it.
So, I delivered the cake last Saturday, 7/11 and I already recieved a home visit and beautiful thank you note from the bride and groom. I am very happy with the way it turned out and looking forward to doing some more airbrush work!

Toffee-Tiramisu Layer Cake

My new 2009 Christmas with Southern Living arrived and I quickly devoured it's contents. There were so many delictable choices! I settled up on a cake that had a mix of my favorites: French vanilla cake, heath bar and whipped cream! The recipe is rather simple. A important note however! I also make the cake at day ahead and let it sit in the fridge for at least 24 hours or longer and meld in all the flavors. It is even better! I received RAVE reviews when I served this and will definitely make it again!

Here are the simple steps>
The Cake:
Prep time: 27 min. Cook time: 30 min. Other: 24 hr.
  • Wax Paper
  • 1 18ox pkg French Vanilla cake mix
  • 1 pkg (1.16 oz) Swiss Mocha Cappuccino mix ( I used International foods Suisse Mocha Drink mix)
  • 1/3 cup vegetable oil
  • 3 lg eggs
  • 3/4 cup Cinnamon Espresso Syrup: See recipe below
  • Mascarpone Frosting: See recipe below
  • 3 (1.4 oz) chocolate covered toffee candy bars (i used ALOT more!
  • Garnish: additional chopped toffee or white/dk chocolate shaving
Preheat over to 350. Lightly grease 2 round cake pans. Line with wax paper. Lightly grease wax paper. dust pans with flour, shake off excess and set aside.
Beat cake mix, next 3 ingredients and 1 cup water in a large bowl at low speed with electric mixer 30 seconds then beat for 2 minutes at medium speed. Pour batter into prepared pans.
Bake at 350 for approx 28 minutes or until a wooden pick inserted into cake comes out clean. Let cool in pans on wire racks for 10 min and then remove. Discard was paper and cool layer completely on wire racks for an hour. Wrap and chill layers 1-24 hrs (this step enable you to split layers with ease.
Using a serrated knife, slice layers in half horizontally to make 4 layers. Place 1 layer cut side up on a cake plate. Brush with 1/4 of cinnamon espresso syrup. Spread with 1-1/2 cup of mascarpone frosting. Sprinkle with one fourth chopped chocolate covered toffee pieces. Repeat process with remaining 3 layers, syrup, frosting and chopped candy bar. frost sides of cake with remaining frosting and garnish as desired. Cover and refrigerate overnight. Store in refrigerator. Yields 12 servings:
Cinnamon-Espresso Syrup:

  • 1 cup water
  • 2/3 cup sugar
  • 1 3" cinnamon stick broken in half
  • 1 Tbsp instant espresso powder
  • 1/4 cup coffee liqueur
Bring 1 cup water, sugar, and cinnamon stick to boil in small saucepan. boil 1 minute. Remove from heat and let stand 15 min. Remove and discard cinnamon stick. Stir in espresso powder and liqueur
Mascarpone Frosting:
  • 2 8oz containers of mascarpone cheese
  • 1 cup powdered sugar
  • 2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1/2 cup cinnamon espresso syrup
  • 2-1/2 cups whipping cream, whipped
Beat first 3 ingredients at low speed with an electric mixer until creamy. Gradually add Cinnamon Espresso syrup, beating until smooth. Fold in whipped cream and cover and chill until ready to use. Yields 8-1/2 cups

French Vanilla Cake Mix
I used 6 heath bars!
Espresso Syrup
Two layer cakes soon to become four
Fill layers with Marscapone Frosting
Refridgerate for at least 24 hours. Slice and Serve.
So Amazing you will LOVE IT!

Monday, July 6, 2009

The BEST Cherry Pie EVER!

I came across an easy and absolutely divine recipe for Cherry Pie that I made yesterday for my Dad (whose favorite pie is cherry). It requires only a few ingredients and is pretty basic, yet it tastes as if you spent hours in the kitchen. So, here is is:

The Ingredients: 6 cups frozen tart or fresh cherries, 2 cups sugar, 6 tablespoons corn starch, 1/4 teaspoon almond extract and your favorite pie crust recipe (double batch for top and bottom).

Mix 2 cups of sugar with 6 tablespoons of corn starch in small bowl

Take the 6 cups of cherries and cook COVERED over low heat until cherries emit their juice. This may take up to 5 minutes

Add the sugar mixture and stir continuously while it thickens.

Once thickened, stir in Almond Extract and remove mixture from heat and allow to cool
Pour cooled mixture into pie dish that has one layer of pie crust placed in in. I used a heart shape cookie cutter to cut out heart shapes to place on the top of the pie as my final layer. I then sprinkled sugar on the top of the crust and placed in oven preheated to 375 degrees and baked for 50 minutes. I would recommend placing the pie on a cookie sheet covered in foil to prevent spills in the oven. I also like to cover the crusts with a layer of foil for the first half of baking to ensure that the crust does not get too brown. This pie is to die for and your friends and family will LOVE it!