Monday, December 28, 2009

Have tools, will travel

Christmas presents from my awesome future-in-laws:


My "toolbox" filled with my decorating paraphernalia (half of which Jake's parents got me last year for Christmas):


Artsy shot of most of my decorating tips:

Chocolate Peppermint Cupcakes

For Christmas dinner, I wanted to do something festive and tasty. So let's see, chocolate is pretty tasty and candy canes are pretty festive. Sounds like a win-win combination to me. I had a recipe stashed away for chocolate peppermint cupcakes already, but I wasn't sure how crushed candy canes would turn out in the cake batter. I also wasn't keen on the idea of using cream cheese in the frosting (as my recipe called for). I wanted to keep my flavors clean and distinctly chocolate and peppermint.




Devils food cake, whipped peppermint ganache (complete with ground up candy canes), "candy cane twist" peppermint buttercream, and topped with crushed candy canes.


Now if only there was a scratch-and-sniff option...

Spice Cupcakes with Cream Cheese Icing

Spice Cupcakes with Cream Cheese Icing - enough said. I was finally able to master making the frosting look like roses, but I bet you if I tried to do it again, it'd be a big FAIL.


Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Chocolate on Crack

I was given the task to make cupcakes for [Jake's] Grandpa's 91st birthday. Since Grandma had told us that Grandpa liked chocolate, I went to town.

I've been trying to give my creations catchy names. This one went something like this: Death by Chocolate? Naw, not original enough. OOh I know the OMG, I've OD'd on chocolate. Nope, doesn't quite roll off the tongue. Hmm, how would I describe this cupcake? Death by chocolate is what it is. Bingo! We'll call it Death by Chocolate. OK, so maybe it's a touch on the morbid side, but if you eat one of these and go into cardiac arrest or go into a sugar/chocolate induced coma, then they're appropriately named.



 

Devil's food cake, chocolate buttercream filling, frosted with chocolate ganache, and garnished with more chocolate buttercream and a few chocolate curls. The "Happy Birthday!" signage is completely edible. The plaque is white chocolate and the words are hand piped chocolate buttercream.

One person at work said "Wow, these are like cupcakes you get at a wedding." They are pretty aren't they?

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

Childhood memories

Almost everyone that I know that grew up in PDX during the 80's, knows exactly I'm talking about when I mention Banana cake. Banana cake is made up of layers of banana chiffon cake, fresh whipped cream, a middle layer consisting of fresh bananas, all frosted with fresh whipped cream, and simply garnished with maraschino cherries and cake crumbs.

Growing up, the Banana Bavarian Cake from Kienow's Bohemian Bakery was THE banana cake and a real treat. I remember having it only during special occasions, such as birthdays. In the 90's, when Kienow's starting going out of business and closing up it's stores, my poor dad would go to the ends of the earth just to bring home a cake.

 
 


My first birthday and yup, that's a Kienow's Banana Cake. As you  can see, my mom had to restrain me from digging into the cake.

The cake is such a favorite amongst Portlanders, that a food engineer was able to replicate the cake and published a recipe for all to enjoy. I found this recipe back in 2005-ish, but for some reason I never got around to trying it out. I recently dug up the recipe to pass along to a friend, and decided that it was time.

Instead of a 4-layer 9-inch cake, I turned out 24 cupcakes. My norm is to make filled cupcakes, but the cake was too delicate for me to use my standard filling method. The filled cupcake path was abandoned and a new plan for incorporating banana puree into the frosting was hatched. I must say it came out really tasty. One of my friends described it as a cross between banana bread and banana cream pie.

Banana chiffon cupcake with fresh banana whipped cream:



The only thing that it's missing is the maraschino cherry for garnish. For some odd reason, my grocery store didn't have any in stock. How weird is that?

On a side note, what do you think of my logo?

Thursday, October 8, 2009

New Years Eve

I know it's just a tad bit early to be thinking about New Years Eve, but just doing a little bit of pre-planning. Since Jake and I have been dating, we've thrown a NYE party every year; this will be our 3rd annual celebration.

In the past I've always had a smorgasbord of finger foods, both savory and sweet. This year I want to try something different. I've been wanting to try my hand at making a tiered cake, but haven't had the chance to. I think my debut will be NYE 2010. This is my inspiration from Pink Cake Box in NJ:


The only think that I would do differently is frost the cake entirely in swiss buttercream (they used fondant).

Anyone have flavor suggestions?

Saturday, September 26, 2009

New cupcake book

The newest addition to my cookbook collection:



Big thanks to Jake's Mom for such an awesome present. I can't wait to try some of the recipes. There's a recipe for s'mores cupcakes; time to get myself a blowtorch!

Lemon Cloud

I call this one "Lemon Cloud" but I should really just name it after Jake's friend James.

Cake - French vanilla
Filling - Fresh lemon curd
Frosting - lemon curd, cream cheese, and whipped cream concoction.

I was going for something lemony but I wanted the frosting to compliment the filling. I think I used 6 oz of cream cheese, 8 oz of heavy whipping cream, and 4-12 oz of lemon curd. I'm hoping I actually wrote the recipe down since I can't seem to remember it.


Artistic shot with the sun setting through the windows onto the wall.

 

08/18/09

August 18, 2009 is National Cupcake Day. Who knew?

Jake's Birthday

The weeks leading up to Jake's birthday party were quite hectic. At first I was only going to make 5 dozen cupcakes and a 6" cupcake topper. But then one of Jake's friends said that he was going to bring his 4 sisters and gf. I ran around like a chicken with my head cut off thinking that I needed a lot more cupcakes, so I decided to make a total of 8 dozen and the topper. As it turns out, I only needed 4 dozen. It's a good thing that cupcakes can be frozen and eaten later.


Cupcake spread before the cupcake topper was brought out. A total of 8 dozen cupcakes were made for this party. 4 different kinds of cupake flavors: chocolate cake with chocolate buttercream, chocolate cake with vanilla bean buttercream, french vanilla cake with vanilla bean butter cream, and french vanilla cake with chocolate buttercream.


Chubbs the penguin cupcake topper! 6" round cake - french vanilla cake filled with fresh strawberries and whipped cream, frosted with fresh whipped cream. Chubbbs is made completely from chocolate and vanilla flavored candy melts.

Cupcake Crawl, Part 1

OMG, I've never experienced a sugar overload like this before, but wow. Now I need to OD on something salty/savory to balance it out. Today, Colleen, Maura, Jake, and myself started the first round of the cupcake crawl. We had planned to hit 4 of the 8 places, but then reality hit, we were cupcaked out by the time we hit the 3rd place. We'd only had 1.25 cupcakes each! We realized that at most we can hit 2 cupcake shops each round.

Sugar Bakery in West Roxbury

Starting clock-wise from the left: Cherry Milkshake, Elvis, Oreo, and Peppermint Patty.
  • Cherry Milkshake - Frosting had a gritty texture, artificial cherry flavor, and left a bad after taste in your mouth. The cake was good; buttery, light, and moist.
  • Elvis - Banana/Peanut Butter frosting. The banana flavor was a bit artificial, but not overly sweet. The cake was light, moist, and had a slight banana flavor to it.
  • Oreo - American buttercream frosting. We couldn't quite figure out the flavor of the cake (oreo, chocolate, devil's food). Overall, we all agreed that it wasn't very Oreo tasting.
  • Peppermint patty - One word: YUM. 

The aftermath. As you can tell, we weren't a fan of the pink frosting from the Cherry Milkshake cupcake.


Fiore's Bakery in Jamaica Plain

Vegan Very Vanilla (left) and Vegan Raspberry/Lime (right).
  • Vegan Very Vanilla - Both cupcakes were hefty in terms of weight. The frosting was super sugary and gritty. The cake was sticky and oily. Our mouths were coated in oil! The name is kind of a misnomer, it wasn't very vanilla-y.
  • Vegan Raspberry/Lime - It tasted like a cross between coffee cake and Trix cereal. The cake was dry and hard, while the middle of it looked wet. The frosting did taste like sherbet.

 

Center of the Vegan Raspberry/Lime cupcake.

Party Favors in Brookline - We made it here, but didn't taste any cupcakes.

Sunday, May 10, 2009

Latest experiment: Chocolate Buttercream

I told myself that I was cupcaked out and and wasn't going to bake until June for Jake's Bday party, but I was itching to try my hand at making a chocolate buttercream. I searched high and low on Google for a recipe that was similar to my swiss buttercream recipe, but with chocolate. In the end, I settled on a rendition of Martha Stewart's recipe; just add melted chocolate. I'm a big fan of mixing different types of chocolate to get just the right amount of sweetness. For this I used 3 parts bittersweet chocolate and 1 part semi-sweet chocolate. The result...melt in your mouth, perfectly sweetened, creamy goodness.


Chocolate buttercream frosting/french vanilla cake

Saturday, April 11, 2009

Happy Easter

I've had this idea of decorating cupcakes with "grass" and "eggs" for easter for weeks now. I started with the vanilla cupcakes from the previous post and then piped buttercream grass and added easter colored peanut m&m's. While I was at AC Moore looking for the "grass" piping tip, I found these cute bunny/chick cupcake toppers/picks and added them to the mix as well.


Thursday, April 9, 2009

Boston Cupcake Crawl

So maybe it's more of a drive than a crawl.

Recently Boston.com posted an article listing cupcake bakeries around the city. There are 8 different places to get your cupcake fix. I've listed them below (in the event that the article gets removed) in no particular order. Someday Delightful Cakery will be on that list.

I've only been to one of these places, Sweet. Sweet is not a misnomer. Their frosting is definitely on the sweet side. In general, their cupcakes are dense, a bit on the dry side, and lack flavor. The frosting is an american buttercream frosting that over powers the cake. They do however make an incredible Orange Boston Cream cupcake. The cake is light and fluffy. And the custard has the perfect hint of orange flavoring. It's a definite must have.

My friend and I are planning to for a cupcake crawl sometime in the spring, on a warm sunny day. I'll update with pictures and opinions when that happens.

Petsi Pies
285 Beacon St., Somerville, 617-661-0686
31 Putnam Ave., Cambridge, 617-499-0801
petsipies.com

Sweet
49 Massachusetts Ave., Boston, 617-247-2253
sweetcupcakes.com

South End Buttery
314 Shawmut Ave., Boston, 617-482-1015
southendbuttery.com

Fiore's Bakery
55 South St., Jamaica Plain, 617-524-9200

Party Favors
1356 Beacon St., Brookline, 617-566-3330
partyfavorsbrookline.com

Sugar Bakery1884 Centre St., West Roxbury, 617-327-8427
sugarbakery.net

Kickass Cupcakes
378 Highland Ave., Somerville, 617-628-2877
kickasscupcakes.com

Lulu's Bake Shoppe
227 Hanover St., Boston, 617-720-2200
lulusbakeshoppeboston.com

Tuesday, April 7, 2009

Cakewrecks Replica

First you have to see the inspiration for the design of this cupcake: Cakewrecks

Now for my stab at recreating it:


So the backstory:
My coworker/mentor is taking 12 weeks of leave. For his last staff meeting, our boss asked me to bake something. I then asked my coworker if he had any special requests. His reply was the picture from Cakewrecks. And in true Cel fashion, I'm delivering.


Konditermeister watch out!

Konditermeister is a local bakery well known for its cakes, especially their wedding cakes. I'm not sure how I knew about this place when I youngen' back in Oregon, but I heard of it. I seriously thought it was a myth. But its a real place! I haven't been, but I have had a few tastes of their cakes. Let me tell you, their buttercream is superb. It's light and not overly sweet. I had a taste of one of their cakes recently and made up my mind to try and recreate it.

Enter swiss buttercream. Swiss buttercream is a meringue based frosting. The buttercream you see on store bought cakes is American buttercream (sugar/shortening/milk). My first attempt turned out well. It was a super thick consistency, but then again it was cold to the touch. Perhaps if I left it out at room temp for a couple of hours, it'd thin out a bit. My only complaint is that it was still too sweet for my tastes. I reduced the amount of sugar in my second batch. I think it turned out really well.

With no further ado, I present my latest creation (kinda boring if you ask me)...

Vanilla Cupcakes:

Is it me or does the frosting on the left look whiter? I got tired after trying to flatten out the frosting and rolling the edge in sugar after I did half a dozen. I switched to the swirl and just sprinkled the sugar on top. It turned out ok.


Monday, April 6, 2009

Chocolate Peanut Butter Cupcakes:
Chocolate Strawberry Cupcakes:

Blueberry Lemon Cupcakes:
Triple Strawberry Cupcake:

Oreo Cupcakes:

Welcome to Delightful Cakery!

Welcome!

This blog will showcase my growing creations of cupcakes, cakes, cheesecakes, and other baked goods. Basically, this will be a site for cupcake porn :)

As the name suggests, my baking is on the lighter fair. I'm not a fan of dense cakes with ultra sugary frosting. I prefer light, moist, and airy cakes with flavor. I am also a huge fan of light frosting that compliments the cake, not over power it. As you will see most of my creations are topped with whipped cream. You'll also notice that filled cupcakes are my signature. I like to suprise my guests ;)

Hopefully no one steals the name 'Delightful Cakery', someday I want to see it in lights.

Stay tuned and enjoy!

-Celia