Thursday, December 1, 2011

Cupcake Giveaway! [closed]

Free cupcakes! Who wants one?

Prize:
1 dozen cupcakes of your choice.

How to enter:
Visit my Facebook page. "Like" it and then leave a comment. One entry per person (get your family members to enter). Entries close Friday 12/09/2011, 11pm EST.

Good Luck!


Fine print: Open to residents in the contiguous United States. Winner will be picked at random and will receive a certificate (no expiration date) good for 1 dozen cupcakes of any flavor. Residents living outside the state of Massachusetts will receive their prize the next time I am in their respective area.

Thursday, October 27, 2011

Ladybug Cupcakes for Baby J


Everybody all together now...AAAAAAWWWWWWWWW!!!!!!!! Aren't those little ladybugs the cutest? They were pretty tasty too, at least that's what I was told.

I made these cupcakes for a baby shower recently. Since it was the beginning of October, I figured that pumpkin cupcakes with cream cheese frosting would be the perfect fall touch. It also helps that I know how much the mom-to-be loves pumpkin.

The lady bugs garnish were hand painted candies I made from melted chocolate and candy melts. Let me tell you, making your own candies with melted wafers and candy molds is hard, but hand painting details is insane!


The cupcake stand is a standard cardboard cupcake tree that I covered with wrapping paper and strips of red cardstock that I stamped with ladybugs. It looked super christmas-y by itself, but the chocolate brown cupcake liners pulled it all together and went beautifully with the color scheme of the party.

Monday, September 12, 2011

Christine and Stan's Wedding

Christine (Chris) contacted me about 2 weeks before her wedding to see if I was available to make cupcakes to be displayed at her reception. I was more than estatic. I was down right blown away and honored.

Chris and and her fiance (now husband), Stan, had a pretty clear idea of what they wanted. They wanted enough cupcakes to fill the cupcake stand they had already purchased. They wanted to keep things simple. I couldn't agree more since their tower already had so much going on with it. And when it came to flavor, they already had it picked out. Could I have easier clients for my first time or what?

If you haven't figure me out yet, I am the type to go all in. Since I was going to making a delivery AND doing setup work, I wanted to look professional. I didn't want to just look like my bum-y self. I purchased a basic chef's coat and ran over to a mall kiosk to have it embroidered in time for the event.

Rockin' my chef's coat.

Chris and Stan wanted lemon cupcakes, the same one's I had made for N^2's bridal shower. Vanilla-lemon zest cupcake base with lemon zest buttercream frosting. I ordered solid purple cupcake wrappers from The Baker's Confections via Etsy. (This is the same vendor that supplied me with the lime green polka dot liners from N^2's shower.)

I felt that the cupcakes needed a touch of pizzaz. After wracking my brains, I decided to give Wilton's new sugar sheets a try. The purple sugar twists were the perfect touch! Simple, elegant, and just enough for the "wow" factor.



Cupcake tower supplied by client.

Purple twist is made of sugar and completely edible.

Double happiness cake topper (supplied by client).

Congratualtions newly weds! Wishing you a lifetime of love and laughter.

Friday, September 2, 2011

Homemade Devil Dogs

First of all, I am not talking about US Marines here.  Made by Drake's, Devil Dogs are a devil's food cake and vanilla cream sandwhich. The cake is rounded and resembles a hot dog. 
 
via Drake's Devil Dogs

For non-East coasters like myself, they are the same thing as Suzie-Q's made by Hostess. Personally, I think Suzie-Q's look more delicious, but I am biased. 

via Hannaford

Jake wanted a low key birthday this year. And I wanted to keep things simple with all the crazy wedding projects I was working on. One of Jake's favorite treats are Devil Dog's, so we decided to make our own. It's ridiculously simple.

I baked the cake in a large sheet pan and cut it up into rectangles. For the filling, I (and that I mean, my KitchenAid mixer lovingly named Big Red) whipped up an extra light (less butter) batch of vanilla buttercream. The filling was piped on top of one rectangle of cake with little fuss and topped with a second rectangle of cake. Bada-Bing-Bada-Boom!



Tuesday, August 30, 2011

I am back!

I am back and ready to engineer some tastiness. I also have a couple of edible experiments to share with you from my adventures in wedding crafting.

For now, I'll leave you with a photo from one of the last baking gigs before my hiatus. Oreo and vanilla bean cupcakes made for a going away present for G's boss.

Oreo cupcakes and vanilla bean cupcakes with vanilla bean buttercream.

I forgot to take pictures of the flags (circles glued onto toothpicks) I made to accompany the cupcakes. G and company dable in the solar panel realm, so we wanted to keep with a "green" theme. However, everything I researched came up with green and blue globe photos (ugly). In the end, we went with this chillax'd sun image that was perfect.

Source - unknown, I only saved a link of the image.

Thursday, May 5, 2011

Cinco de Mayo

If I could make cupcakes for personal consumption right now, I would make these:

Margarita cupcakes via Confections of a Foodie Bride

Click on the photo for the full recipe.

Tuesday, May 3, 2011

Chocolate Nutella

Devil's food cake with Nutella cream cheese frosting.

Photo by me. I was playing with the depth of field for my photography workshop assignment.

Cupcake: Devil's Food cake
Frosting: Nutella/cream cheese/ whipped cream. Originally recipe via Tartlette. I didn't read all of the instructions before hand and didn't realize the recipe made only enough to frost 12 cupcakes. I had some leftover heavy cream, whipped it up and folded it in. I would recommend sticking with the original recipe, the whipped cream diluted the flavor of the nutella and cream cheese.

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Heritage Bundt Cake

A friend sent me a recipe for a Guinness stout bundt. The original recipe is from Smitten Kitchen, a food blog I follow regularly. I was imagining a chocolate stout cake kissed with Bailey's drizzle. It would have been perfect for St. Patty's day, right? Well, unfortunately for me, I was hit by some nasty virus that was going around. I couldn't get out of bed for a full 24 hours! The next day was better, I was able to move from the bed to the couch.

Anyways, the thing I fail to mention is that I don't own a bundt pan. That's just a tiny detail that kept me from making the cake in the first place. I finally bit the bullet and went and got one. Not just any pan, I was able to score myself the heritage bundt pan from Williams-Sonoma! According to their website, it's only available online, but I found it (it was the only one) in a store. It was meant to be. I swooped it up and promptly took it home.

I'll save the chocolate stout for another day. I decided to use the heritage bundt cake recipe that was included with the pan. Of course, I kicked things up a notch by adding the zest of a very large lemon.


How freaken cool looking is that cake? Thank you awesome pan!

Monday, April 11, 2011

Gluten Free: Banana Bread

I was ready to make plain old banana bread (you just can't go wrong with it). But something within me was itching to do it gluten free. Maybe it has something to do with the fact that I follow Bea over at La Tartine Gourmande. Bea is a food blogger, food stylist, and a food photographer that is living in Boston. I think she is my new hero. Bea is also allergic to gluten, thus her recipes have an interesting spin.

I've been curious about dabling in gluten-free for awhile now. Some days I wonder if I am gluten intolerant. Wouldn't that be a shame if it turned out to be true?! (I love me a good wheat beer). Anyways, Bea had an amazing recipe for jacked up banana bread. But I wasn't nuts about the ingredients list. I didn't want to go and spend a ton on random ingredients. Not to mention, I have no clue what almond butter is.

While perusing the grocery store aisles, I came across Bob's Red Mill gluten-free all purpose flour. Low and behold, there was a recipe for banana bread on the back. It seemed simple enough. Why not give it a try?

Not too shabby if you ask me. It wasn't as fragarant as "normal" banana bread, but I blame that on not having enough bananas. Along with not enough bananas and overbaking, it came out a touch on the dry side. Both Jake and I really liked that it wasn't as sweet, a little bitter actually. That might have something to do with the extra dark chocolate I put in it. I will cut back on amount of chocolate next time.



Bob's Red Mill - No Hassle Gluten Free Banana Bread

Ingredients:
•1/3 cup Canola Oil 
•2/3 cup Brown Sugar, packed
•2 large Eggs
•1 tsp. Vanilla
•1-3/4 cups Gluten Free All Purpose Baking Flour
•2 tsp. Baking Powder
•1-1/4 tsp. Cinnamon
•1 tsp. Xanthan Gum
•1/2 tsp. Salt
•1-1/2 cups Banana, mashed
•1/2 cup Pecans or Walnuts, chopped
•1/2 cup Raisins (Unsulfured)

Celia's ingredient edits:
Vegetable oil for Canola Oil
Dark brown sugar
1-1/4 cup mashed bananas (I only had 3 and one of them wasn't ripe enough)
1/4 cup finely chopped walnuts
1/2 cup chopped 70% Callebaut chocolate

Directions
Preheat oven to 350°F. Grease 9x5-inch non-stick loaf pan. Cream together oil, sugar, eggs, and vanilla in large bowl with eletric mixer. Add flour, xanthan gum, salt, baking powder and cinnamon to egg mixture, alternating with bananas. Beat until smooth. Stir in nuts and raisins. Batter will be somewhat soft. Transfer to pan. Bake for 1 hour. *I baked mine for an extra 15 minutes*

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Signage

Sara Gray Photography
 Do you see that yummy sign in the picture on the right? How perfect is that sign? I swear it has my name written all over it. I think it would be perfect in my kitchen or in my baking corner.

Sara purchased the letterpress print from SweetDee on Etsy. I'm going to have to get my own copy or recreate it with my own flair.

Tuesday, March 8, 2011

Baby Carrot Cake Cupcakes

I previously posted about a life changing experience with carrot cake. This time I'm back with a photo!


Yum, I think I just drooled a bit on my keyboard. This time around, I not only made cupcakes with the recipe, but I tinkered with the recipe further. Last time, I swapped out some of the oil for applesauce. This time, I was being lazy. I did not want to grate three cups of carrots. I know I could cheat and grate the carrots using the bigger slots, but I prefer the finer grate. So what did I do? I steamed and pureed baby carrots! Say WHAT?!?!

I choose to go with baby carrots because they have a sweeter flavor and they are ready to eat out of the bag. I steamed them for about 30 minutes (while I cleaned my apartment and made it guest worthy) and sent them to the blender. I blended into a fine puree so that there weren't any large chunks in the batter. Rather than 3 cups of shredded carrots, I used 2.5 cups of puree.

I was a bit afraid that the cake would be overly moist, but they came out pretty amazing. If eaten by themselves (aka, sans frosting), then they were very carroty. But they were perfectly balanced when paired with the mascarpone/cream cheese/whipped cream frosting. Speaking of the frosting, I also tweaked that recipe by reducing the heavy cream to 8 oz. This allowed for the cream cheese flavor to shine more.

Sunday, February 13, 2011

Luscious Red Velvet


Red velvet, the mac-daddy of all cakes. It's my personal belief that a red velvet and vanilla cake is the true test of how great a bakery is. Of course, I can't be a hypocrite. It took me two tries to get it right, but the results were phenomenal.

The word that comes to mind after eating one of these is "luscious". The cake rich and full of chocolately flavor. The deep red color is bold and beautiful. And to top it all off, a light and creamy cream cheese, mascarpone cheese, and whipped cream concoction that just makes you say "yuuuuuuuuuuuummmm" with a mouth full.


Monday, January 31, 2011

Tag, you're it

What a way to start off the morning...this is possibly one of the best finds in a long time.

So you've seen the cake bunting, most recently, I've been dreaming up ways to dress up my cupcakes a bit for special occasions. I was thinking about having cute flags with words like "yay", "hooray", "happy birthday", etc. How about a visual explain what I'm talking about?

via Weddingbee Pro

Those would be pretty easy to make. But maybe I want something just a little bit more elaborate, something bigger with more space for words. Enter Bakerella with premade templates:

via Bakerella

I could easily design them on my own, but let's be real here, I've been lazy or I've been preoccupied with wedding crafts. At least now I have a quick go-to when I'm in a bind.

Thursday, January 27, 2011

A taste of Christmas: gingerbread and eggnog

I think the only thing missing from the title is candy canes. No candy canes were used in this next baking expedition. Also no gingerbread men were hurt (devoured).
My friend Sara was planning a celebratory night to ring in her birthday this year, unfortunately, I couldn't make it to the festivities. But I did the next best thing, I worked in cahoots with her husband to surprised her with a cake at the restaurant! Awhile back I had put at an A.P.B. on Facebook asking followers what cupcake flavor I should do for an upcoming bake sale. Sara suggested gingerbread.

What she got was a gingerbread cake frosted with eggnog frosting. The frosting recipe said it was gingerbread, but it tasted like eggnog. No complaints from anyone that tasted it. It was a HUGE hit. The best part, it was made out from pudding. I kid you not, pudding mix, cream cheese, and whipped cream.

Happy Birthday Sara!

close-up shot of bunting made from paper, bakers twine, and chopsticks.

I also made a TON of mini cupcakes for Jake's Mom's holiday party. 

Mini gingerbread cupcakes. Square shape comes from using bite-sized square brownie tray.


Guinness Stout Cupcakes

Many moons ago, a friend asked when I was going to do some adult inspired baking, aka one full of booze. Here it is! Guiness stout cupcakes with Bailey's Irish Cream frosting. The recipe isn't original, it was sent to me via another friend and can be found at The Mess Pot.

Personal photo

Since it was Christmas, I tried to dress them up a bit with chocolate in the shape of penguins.

No shocker here, I didn't follow the recipe to a "t". I 86'd the whiskey ganache, mostly because I was just plain lazy, and I futz with the frosting. I doubled the butter and used 2-3 cups of powdered sugar. I don't know what I was thinking because everyone knows that I hate American buttercream. Cupcake was very most and tasty. Frosting was suprising fluffy, but it was still too sweet for my tastebuds. Next time I'll try frosting it with Bailey's whipped cream instead.

One learning from yet another friend who actually tested out the recipe prior, that I completely forgot about is to add a touch of esspresso to kick up the chocolate flavor.  

Wednesday, January 5, 2011

Sugar cookies

How cute is this idea? I know I would absolutely LOVE, adore, and inhale these if I received them as a treat of some sort.

I don't really need yet another project to add to my growing list of wedding to-do's, but maybe I can use this idea for a future party or baking gig now that I have a rolling pin! Yeup, Jake's parents or was it Santa, got me a rolling pin for Christmas. And not just any rolling pin, a heavy duty one.


All images are by Mary Swenson. Instructions can by found on Project Wedding.