Sunday, December 28, 2008

A very long, arduous update

Hello friends and fellow bloggers! It has been approximately 72 years since I last updated my blog, so I thought on this fine Sunday morning I would regail everyone with what I've been up to the last several months (plus, I'm unemployed now so I have a lot more free time). I'll get to Europe later, but for now I'll post some pictures of cakes/cookies/cupcakes I've done before and after I went to Europe. COMMENCE!

First, for my friend Tom's 21st birthday I made him a little monkey cake (inside joke with "monkey butt") Anyways, I saw a cake just like this on Baking Art's flickr site, but I changed a few things around.
The cake is a devils food cake filled with plantain buttercream and frosted with chocolate ganache. Word to the wise: do NOT work with plantains in cake unless you have ample experience with them. I was going to do a simple banana buttercream, but none of the bananas at the store were ripe enough, so I thought I'd pull a Top Chef move and use plantains instead. Well, little did I know they aren't the easiest to work with, and I thought the buttercream was disgusting. BUT, Tom said it tasted that's all that matters, right? And here's an up close of my fondant monkey:

I tried to google a tutorial or something that would help me with it, but my iPhone wasn't cooperating and I was in a rush. I even made the monkey a cute bellybutton, but I had to cover it up with a banana so the arms wouldn't look so awkward. I need more practice, but I'm glad I've gotten started on figurines!

Next, while I was making my first wedding cake (pictures to be posted later), I was fooling around with some miniature cakes. Here is one that I whipped up...and any cake decorator will know that I used buttercream and not royal icing so my piping looks like crap:

I cut open the cake too! Not often do you see the "guts" of a cake on blogs like these (dark chocolate cake with espresso buttercream):

As soon as I got home from Europe, I had a baking itch that needed to be scratched!! So, I made pizza and ciabatta and cookies and cupcakes and lord oh mighty...I baked a lot. Unfortunately, I didn't get pictures of everything :(

I made sable cookies and soft ginger cookies first. The sable cookies I got from Tartelette's blog, and the ginger cookies from The Big Cookie Cookbook (or a name close to that). They both turned out well. I ended up using homemade apricot and apple jam that my parent's friends gave us - yumm-o!

Next, one of my mom's friends ordered cupcakes for her coworkers birthday, and voila! I made german chocolate cupcakes at her request. I finally found the perfect German chocolate frosting - not too eggy, not too caramelly. The King Arthur's Flour Baker's Companion has been very helpful lately.

For Thanksgiving, I made this pumpkin cream cheese pie from How To Eat A Cupcake. I love her blog...go check it out! It turned out well, and everyone liked it! My uncle always makes bomb apple pies for Thanksgiving too, so I made sure my pie stayed in the corner so I wouldn't steal his thunder :)
I've also finalized two more recipes for my cake/cupcake business: Turtle cupcakes and Triple Caramel cupcakes. This is my turtle cupcake above; chocolate cupcake with a piece of caramel baked in, topped with chocolate buttercream and caramel/pecan bits. Woohoo! If you want to see all the other cupcakes I have to offer, visit my other blog (work in progress people).
In the next few days, I'm going to update with:
My grandpa's (Papa!) birthday cake
More cupcakes
My European adventures with food
My first wedding cake experience
Get ready!!!

Tuesday, December 2, 2008

Back from Europe

Back from European adventure - will update soon (i.e. tonight).  Stay tuned!

Sunday, August 10, 2008

On the Oregon trail...

I'm baaaacccckkkk!

It's been entirely too long! Where have I been you ask? Well, I'll tell you. For seven weeks I was a camp counselor at a weight loss camp in the Santa Barbara area. This was my third summer working there, but this year was a DRAG. Half of our staff got fired, so needless to say I had to work a little bit harder than usual and wasn't able to, I had no internet. But I'm back now, and that's all that matters! I couldn't survive without baking, so I went to my friend Desiree's house a few times throughout the seven weeks and baked cupcakes and cookies. I ended up trying two new recipes that were pretty good: triple strawberry cupcakes and molten chocolate cupcakes (I forget where I found the recipe). I also baked gooey butter cookies for my camp's evening snack one night, and they were a hit :)

After my work in SoCal was done, I journeyed up to NorCal with a friend and stayed with my aunt and uncle in San Francisco for a few days. I had a blast! We went to a musical called The Drowzy Chaperone, and I loved it so much that I'm going to make a cupcake named after it. My aunt also took me around to several different bakeries: Kara's Cupcakes, Noe Valley Bakery, Tartine, Urban Bread and Citizen Cake. When I pulled up to Citizen Cake Elizabeth Falkner was standing outside! She's a lot shorter in person. I was too nervous to say anything, but I got a few cookies from CC and they were delicious. Here's my critique of each place and what I purchased:

Kara's Cupcakes - The pictures on the website make the place seem really fancy and hoity-toity. While it is very cute inside, it's not as nice as the pictures make it seem. The floor was kind of dirty, and it made the rest of the place feel that way too. My aunt and I ordered four cupcakes: Kara's Karrot, Peanut Butter Milk Chocolate Ganache, Meyer Lemony Lemon and Fleur De Sel. I didn't get to taste the carrot cake, but I'm sure it was good. The peanut butter milk chocolate ganache was okay - nothing special. The lemon cupcake had a pretty nice tang in the filling, but it wasn't overpowering. And the fleur de sel was excellent, but expect salt people! The ganache on top of the fleur de sel was to die for. One thing I loved about all the cupcakes was how MOIST they were...I even left them out overnight and ate them a day later! Yum yum.

Noe Valley Bakery - It was a cute and quaint little bakery, something a lot like I would want for my own. I ordered a lemon mousse cake and a red velvet cupcake. Unfortunately I didn't get to try either :( The lemon mousse cake was beautiful, with a butterfly-shaped chocolate transfer on top and gorgeous layers. I gave the cupcake to a friend, and he said it was delicious and gave it a 9.5 out of 10. Damn, I wish I would have tried it!

Tartine - According to my aunt and uncle, this bakery has become very popular and won a James Beard award. I enjoyed the atmosphere, and was able to watch the bakers decorate cakes while I waited in line! I ordered a meringue and a chocolate cake cup but I had my eye on their tarts - they looked delicious! With a lack of appetite and/or time to eat it, I settled for the small items. The meringue was okay, but not what I was was too nutty for my taste. I liked the cake cup, but again not what I thought it would be - it looked like a reese's peanut butter cup but tasted like a bite of cake with a little ganache on top. It was kind of dry too :(

Urban Bread - Again, I didn't get to taste the bread (I just spent 7 weeks at fat camp, what do you expect?!?!) but the inside was cute. They had all bread, and some random cupcakes at the front counter. We bought the garlic cheese boulot, and it looks and smells amazing. From what I heard they also have some killer sourdough.

Citizen Cake - Very cute! Half of the building is a restaurant (dessert bar?) they recently opened, and the bakery section is very nice. I ordered a hazelnut cookie sandwich and a dulce de leche cookie. Both were very good...and messy!

I'm going to be doing a lot of baking and decorating this week, so hold on to your hats!!! I'll be back!

Monday, June 9, 2008

Almost there

Are you there cake blog?  It's me, Kyrie.

I am freaking out right now!  I am soooooooo close to graduating I can taste it - and it tastes stale.  Graduation is definitely long overdue.  Not that I'm not thankful for the experience college has given me...I have learned more about myself in the last four years than I feel I will ever, I have made some amazing friends and baked some KICK@$$ cupcakes!  I'm just ready to start my life!  I want to be able to experiment with recipes and work on my business plan and scout locations for the bakery and bake a million wedding cakes and - well, school gets in the way.  I LOVE learning, but learning and schooling are two completely different things.  I will put a disclaimer on this term however; I have had the best professors this spring than I have the last four years.  It's a shame it took me so long to find them!  They have instilled a new found hope that classes don't have to be all about the long as you take something valuable away from the class, you've learned.  

ANYWAYS, enough about that jazz - I have two finals on Wednesday and I'm done!  Woohoo!  Then I have two days to graduate, pack up my apartment, go out to dinner with the family, and fly to southern California for my summer job!  I can't wait!  

Here are a few things I've done recently:

Here are some mini chocolate chai cupcakes with vanilla frosting I made for my religions of India potluck.  They tasted like gingerbread, but were still yummy!  I've also been experimenting with flowers as you can see...

These were a bit of an experiment.  I got this recipe from this blog and was a little skeptical - but they turned out great!  These are dark chocolate cupcakes filled with caramelized banana rum buttercream and topped with Nutella frosting!  I didn't like the banana rum filling at first because I HATE the taste of rum, but once it went in the cupcake it was magic!  Yum yum.

Also, I have something to share with you my bakery, we've started substituting other things in the pain au chocolat for the chocolate due to a shortage...

Can you guess what it is???  Yes, it's poo - JUST KIDDING!  It's a chocolate mixture, but doesn't it look disgusting???  My last day at Metropol I had to take a picture.  Yuck.

So, I'm also famous now.  Check me out here!  Next stop: Food Network Challenge!  lol haha

Wednesday, June 4, 2008

Lots 'o' pics!

I've been dreading posting not because I have nothing to say, but because there is just too much!  Where to begin?!?  Well, my 22nd birthday came and went - I did not make myself a cake, but my parents did take me to Pix and I got macarons!  I cannot for the life of me make them, but I can sure eat them!  Their salty caramel macarons are soooooo good!  Just look at all the tasty desserts!

Someday my macarons will be decent...sigh.  

In other news, I've been baking it up at work and here's some pics (Sorry for the horrible phone...again):

This is my first mini multi-tiered cake!  I had leftover flowers, so I thought I'd give it a go.  At first I hated the colors, but it has grown on me.  The top has a hibiscus-type flower.  I had a lot of fun making this!

Here are some cookies inspired by Cake Journal.  The edges of the actual cookie are crap because I used a template and not a cutter, but I absolutely love Antonia's Royal Icing!  It's really easy to use.   

What else?  Oh yeah, I've made about a million cupcakes...just experimenting, giving for birthdays, etc. etc.  Here are some:

So many different kinds!  The bottom two are the most recent: chocolate chip cookie dough cupcakes with almond vanilla buttercream (tasty!) and red velvet cupcakes with cream cheese frosting.  I love the color of red those turned out to be.  I think I'm crazy for baking so much.  Oh well, it's getting me closer to my goal!  I'll be back soon with more pictures and stories - stay tuned!

Sunday, May 11, 2008

I graduate in 35 days!

Oh my goodness, I am so bad at keeping updated!  Let me tell is rough going to school full-time and working full-time as well.  I cannot wait until I graduate, because then I can bake ALL THE TIME!  Except I'll be in California this summer working as a camp counselor (without a kitchen!), and then going to France and various countries for about two months (no time to bake then!)...oh my goodness, this is going to be hard.  Oh well, I will post a lot of pictures of yummy parisienne desserts and such.

So the wedding cake sampling went well, I was too flustered and short of time (and a working camera battery) to take pictures, but all the flavors were pretty good.  We'll see which one the bride picks!  I'll keep you updated.

And this last week I did a few things - cupcakes and mini-cakes.  I took pictures of two of the mini-cakes I did (which sucked), and then someone ordered one for Mother's Day and I did a GREAT job on that, but of course I didn't take a picture.  Here are the poopy ones, with bad lighting to boot:

The purple one is my first attempt at a cherry blossom tree, and the pink is my first attempt at the quilted pillow look.  As for the cupcakes, I made snickerdoodle cupcakes...a recipe I've been wanting to try for awhile.  And they turned out delicious!!!  They're cinnamon cupcakes with cinnamon cream cheese frosting, and I decorated them with fondant flowers and dragees.  The actual cake part of the cupcake was super moist, but almost TOO moist because it crumbled really easily (something to work on...any suggestions?).  And the frosting was to DIE FOR!  Enjoy!

I'm going to try and make cake bites (bakerella-style) again this week, as well as a cuter version of my monkey butt cupcakes.  AND, the last bake sale went really well - and I will post pictures from this one (note to self: charge camera battery!).  Adios!

Sunday, April 27, 2008

Waiting to bake...

Here are some pictures to tide you over until Tuesday...


Saturday, April 26, 2008


Hello - it's been so long!  I have been very busy with school and work, work, work!  I have no pictures for you this time (where's my camera??), but I do have some news/updates:

1.  A couple of girls and I are having a bake sale for a friend who was diagnosed with leukemia recently.  Getting tested for bone-marrow matches is spendy, so we're going to be baking our little hearts out and selling it all at Gladstone High School's track meets on May 3rd, 15th and there!

2.  I was recently interviewed by my friend Jessica for a food blogging article in Flux magazine - and I got some pictures taken yesterday for the article too!  Be on the lookout for those :)

3.  This is the big news:


Yes, it's true!  A friend at work is getting married in August, and she wants MOI to do her cake!  I have a sampling with her next week to get down the flavors and all the little details, but I will be sure to post pics of sketches, sample cakes, etc.  I am soooooo excited!!!  I'm having her sample four cakes:

1.  Chocolate cake with chocolate gananche filling and an espresso buttercream.

2.  Tiramisu cake!  It's a light, fluffy cake with mascarpone and chocolate shavings filling, an espresso kahlua syrup and chocolate italian meringue buttercream.

3.  Raspberry chambord puree filling between a layer of white cake and cheesecake and frosted with italian meringue buttercream...yes, I said cheesecake!  The bride-to-be had this at her sister's wedding, and loved it so I'm going to give it a try...eek!

4.  Raspberry  mousse filling between a layer of white cake/cheesecake and frosted with italian meringue buttercream.  

Wish me luck...and I'll be back soon!

Tuesday, April 8, 2008

Dropped a little dough on the floor...

Busy busy!  Hey there, I haven't been able to do too much baking lately besides work-related stuff, but here's a picture of my first gumpaste flowers:


I think they're cute, but I don't like the shading of pink in the middle!  But thanks to some research on a VERY cute flickr site, I figured out I should be using powder color instead of shimmer dust to achieve the shading I want.  

While I have time, I have to mention my top 10 favorite baking blogs to read.  These blogs provide me with daily inspiration, and you should read them when you get a chance!

1.   Building A Bakery
2.   Cakespy
3.   Bakerella (recently on Martha Stewart!)
4.   MadBaker
5.   David Lebovitz
6.   Business of Cake
7.   Chockylit
8.   How to Eat A Cupcake
9.   Gigi Cakes
10. Pink Cake Box

AND...since I spend hours on the discussion forum looking at cakes, I have to mention a cake I am absolutely in love with.  It's a tie-dye cake!  

What I love about it is that even the cake part is tie-dye.  I'm going to have to make this one soon for sure!  I'll post again soon - I'm making french macarons on Thursday at work!  

P.S.  I dropped 30 croissants worth of dough on the ground last night at work - oops.  lol

Thursday, March 27, 2008

Eating sugar but thinking healthy!

Hello all!  I'm back with a post and more pictures!  FYI, the pics in the last post were my delicious pistachio cupcakes with vanilla frosting and PB&Honey cupcake with honey-roasted cashews - YUM YUM!  The pistachio is definitely going on my final recipe list once I get it a little more cupcakey and a little less muffiny.  So I've been looking at a lot of vegan/low-fat/gluten-free/low-calorie/low-sugar recipes for my bakery, and I found this short preview of a new documentary that is a lot like Supersize Me - but in reverse.  Five people go on a raw-food diet to try and reverse their diabetes - and it works!  Check it out, it's interesting.  

Now, back to the sugar:

Turtle Cupcakes: Take Two!
Aesthetically, these are a lot more appealing than the ones I made previously at the bakery.  This is a devils food cake with a rich cocoa frosting (too rich for me but everyone else liked it) covered in pecans.  There is a pool of caramel in the middle, which was a problem because it was literally
a pool - too liquidy and not caramely enough.  Do you see my dinky chocolate turtle on top?  lol needs work.  Soooo, I'm going to do take 3 soon with THREE different kinds of caramel: dulce de leche, a thick caramel 
sauce and a thick, chewy sauce using milk-maid caramels.  I'll let you know!

I worked on my sugar cookie decorating while watching ANTM (America's Next Top Model) and here is the result - better than before!  I realized that the royal icing is better for piping borders and letters when it sits overnight.  I made a thank you cookie for my french teacher (she wrote me a reccommendation for a study abroad program I'm applying for) and it turned out well!

This week has been super busy because I've been filling in for my boss at Mangiamo...I made 15 loaves of banana bread yesterday!  Five loaves of regular banana bread, five loaves of chocolate chip banana bread and five loaves of banana walnut bread.  It turned out really well because the bananas were really, really brown and on the verge of rotting (gives the bread a deep banana flavor), and I only mixed in the bananas so there was big chunks of banana in the bread!  Here is the recipe if you are interested.  For the chocolate chip version, I folded in 1/2 to 1 cup chocolate chips (depending on preference) after mixing.  For the walnut version, I folded in 1/3 cup crushed walnuts to the batter after mixing.  Enjoy!

Sunday, March 16, 2008

I baked and baked and baked

Here are some more ideas I tried out...I've got something...

Thursday, March 13, 2008

The good, the bad and the ugly

I've been cupcake crazy as usual and have plenty of more pictures to prove it! I also made a cake the other day that we ended up having to call "Study Break Cake" (it's dead week) instead of easter egg cake - no religious connotations here! I wanted to write on it "Praise the lord Jesus" and have a big cross, but K'Lynn wasn't having it (although she did laugh). Haha. Anyways, here's what I got:

These are turtle cupcakes. They turned out okay. It was a chocolate cupcake (I used a mix so they weren't the best), covered in chocolate ganache. Then I topped them with caramel buttercream (needs work) and pecans. Problems with this cupcake:

1. Accidently used milk chocolate instead of semi-sweet chocolate for the ganache - too sweet.
2. Caramel flavor in buttercream not prominent enough - remind me to work on that!
3. Pecans needed to be toasted for better flavor.
4. The way they were decorated is horrendous!

I was bored one night and made these. They're plain chocolate cupcakes with marshmallow buttercream and marshmallow fondant on top. The marshmallow fondant is absolutely delicious on top!!! It's fluffy like the cupcake, and the flavors compliment each other really well. I'm thinking I can make a low-calorie chocolate cupcake and put marshmallow fondant on top and call it "Cloud Nine". We'll see!

These cupcakes are ABSOLUTELY AMAZING! When I was little, my best friend's mom made a "better than sex" cake. It was a devils food cake, covered in condensed milk straight out of the oven with whipped cream and crushed heath bar on top. I decided it was time to make this a cupcake the other day at work, and voila! It's all the same, except I turned the condensed milk into dulce de leche (baked it for 2 hours) so it could be thick enough to fill the cupcake with and drizzled caramel on top. Why this cupcake is so great:

1. The devils food is amazing; moist but firm, full of flavor but doesn't overpower the cupcake and dark dark dark!!!
2. The heath bars on top add a perfect finishing touch both decoration-wise and taste-wise.
3. The whipped cream cuts some of the sweetness of the dulce de leche, so its not too sweet (and anyone who says it is is crazy!
4. It looks great!

So after all this cupcake making, I only have two final recipes: PB&J and Better Than What?!? (kid-friendly version)...I need to remake my other recipes and see if they're worth it!

I also made a cake yesterday to practice piping and such:

It's a chocolate cake mix with a cadbury cream filling (i.e. liquid fondant) and covered in buttercream. I topped it with colored coconut and chocolate eggs. It didn't taste like anything special, just another cake. Anyways, nothing too new at work - oh except the other croissant baker quit, so I'm picking up all her shifts until we find a new person! BUT the good part about it is, I can take over her shifts permanently when we hire someone new...that means my weekends will be free! BOOP BOOP!

Tuesday, March 4, 2008

Wasn't quick enough!

I would show you pictures, but by the time I got back to work with my camera my treats were all gone!  A good thing, no doubt!  Yesterday I made partycakes again (cakeballs) with a new flavor: white cake with raspberry cream cheese and a white chocolate topping.  Yummy!  And I made Mexican Hot Chocolate Brownies: Chocolate chip brownies with a cinnamon glaze.  Good as well!  Maybe next time I can show you pics...

Friday, February 29, 2008

Fondant Cake #3

Here's a cake I made for Molly's bf's birthday. I originally planned to have a person face down on the cake with a beer can in his hand, but felt it was out of reach for what I can here's the result! Ducks represent!

Cupcakes again!

I have had cupcake fever lately - and there's only more to come!
The rest of this term is devoted to round one of cupcakes, seeing what works and
seeing what doesn't. Here are three recipes I've tried so far:

The recipe was called "White chocolate-filled chocolate cupcakes". There wasn't even half enough filling to frost the top, so I whipped up some buttercream really quick, but it overpowered the cupcake. I enjoyed the chocolate buttercream, but next time I plan to make more filling and just put a little on top.

Cupcake #2: Hi-Hats!

I really wanted to make these because they looked a. delicious and b. like chocolate-dipped cones from mcdonald's - my favorite! These are chocolate cupcakes made with sour cream (moist!) and a marshmallow buttercream (the first buttercream I've liked) with a semi-sweet chocolate coating. The original recipe called for a meringue topping, but I don't like the taste so I changed it to marshmallow. I LOVED THESE! They are almost too rich, so next time I'll use a milk chocolate coating and they should be perfect!

Cupcake #3: Pink Lemonadies!

I was really excited to make this cupcake, and it turned out pretty well. They didn't rise as much as I thought they would, so next time I'll fill the cup more so the cake/frosting ratio is even. The pink lemonade buttercream was really good, but a little too sweet. Next time - less sugar! The tang from the lemon's I decided to squeeze in at the last minute worked well, and provided a nice tang to offset the sweetness of the frosting. I topped them with candied lemon zest - yum!

One thing I know is I need to work on my buttercream! More pictures to come soon!