My First Fondant Person!

Good Morning!

I had a dream about making people out of fondant last night which led me to finally post this cake this morning.

I made it for my friend Rachel who is also my brother-in-law’s girlfriend.

Here is the real Rachel (I hope she doesn’t mind me posting this!):

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And here is the cake Rachel:

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It’s a three-layer chocolate cake with chocolate buttercream filling between the layers, some sprinkles on the bottom and some dark chocolate shavings on the top.

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I used a toothpick inside the body to hold her torso and head up. My first attempt didn’t turn out very well because the head was too heavy and it just kept getting shorter and shorter from the weight.

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I wanted to do the face differently but I don’t have edible markers yet so I just had to use tiny pieces of fondant.

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Alright time to get some coffee and read blogs until I have to get ready for work! Tonight should be relaxing then tomorrow night Aaron’s band has a show at Howler’s in Bloomfield. Come out!

Happy Friday!!

Chocolate Cake with Chocolate Buttercream (and shaving giant chocolate bars)

It’s 9:03 PM right now. I’ve been sitting on the couch fighting with the fonts on my blog. I finally just gave up and decided to blog instead. Aaron is sitting next to me reading a book for his Women & Literature class. He’s taking undergraduate classes at Pitt right now in preparation for doing the Masters of Education program in a year or two. Teacher husband.

Moving on, I baked this cake yesterday for two coworker’s birthdays. They requested chocolate cake with chocolate frosting. I used my chocolate cake pope recipe and three 9 inch cake pans. I ended up having a little extra batter so Aaron made a tiny 6 inch cake with the leftovers.

(Later in the day, he ate the entire frosted mini-cake after having only eaten scones and tortilla chips all day. He wasn’t feeling very well the rest of that evening…)

Anyway, it’s s three layer chocolate cake with chocolate buttercream in between each of the layers, covered in chocolate buttercream and sliced almonds on the sides. I shaved some dark chocolate for the chocolate shavings on top.

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A little crooked on the cake board.

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I made chocolate letters for the top of the cake spelling out Happy Birthday.

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The letters:

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Please disregard the fact that the cake is swaying to the right…

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Good cake. Pictures in natural light. Eating too much frosting throughout the day.

Thumbs up.

Cake, Cake Pops and Scone Commentary

Good Morning!

I’m sitting here drinking some coffee. Aaron is still asleep. It’s only 7:26 Saturday morning… I did a little baking this week and thought I’d post about it. I baked a pound cake to test a recipe on Tuesday. I used my grandmother’s old bundt cake pan which makes a pretty cool cake. I also used double strength vanilla in this recipe because I’ve been finding that I like vanilla cake with a strong vanilla flavor. I thought it might be overpowering but it didn’t seem to be. The cake baked for an entire hour at fairly low heat and grew over the bundt pan! It looks flat bottomed in the picture but in reality, it’s teetering on a mounded bottom.

I made a random dark chocolate/coffee glaze and sprinkled with some sliced almonds. Aaron and I tasted a few bites and it was delicious! Surprisingly delicious. I ended up bringing in to work for my coworkers and they had it all but finished by noon. One of my coworkers even said it was one of the best cakes he ever had. Who knew people liked pound cake so much.

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Do you like our yellow tiled walls? They’re growing on me.

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Wednesday and Thursday evenings I spent making cake pops for a bridal shower. The bride requested vanilla cake covered in chocolate and chocolate cake covered in white chocolate. Her wedding colors are white, black and wine so I tried to stick with that scheme.

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All ready to go:

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Aaron and I are off to an estate sale this morning then to the grocery store then his parent’s are coming over for lunch and maybe some scone making. I’ve never made a scone before. I’m sort of opposed to scones. I don’t really like them. They’re dry and biscuity and not sweet enough for me. Apparently people love scones though so I have a few recipes to try. Perhaps if I cover them with a sugar glaze I will like them.

A little scone info courtesy of Wikipedia:

The scone is a small British quick bread (or cake if recipe includes sugar) of Scottish origin. Scones are especially popular in the United Kingdom, Canada, Australia, New Zealand, and Ireland, but are eaten in many other countries. They are usually made of wheat, barley or oatmeal, with baking powder as a leavening agent. The scone is a basic component of the cream tea or Devonshire tea.

The pronunciation of the word within the United Kingdom varies. According to one academic study, two-thirds of the British population pronounce it /ˈskɒn/, rhyming with “con” and “John”, with the preference rising to 99% in the Scottish population. The rest pronounce it /ˈskoʊn/, rhyming with “cone” and “Joan”. British dictionaries usually show the “con” form as the preferred pronunciation, while recognizing that the “cone” form also exists.[1]

British scones are often lightly sweetened, but may also be savoury. They frequently include raisins, currants, cheese or dates.

In the United States, scones are drier, larger and typically sweet. Those sold by coffee shops often include fillings such as cranberries, blueberries, nuts, or even chocolate chips. More original fillings include M&M’s.


After quizzing my coworkers all afternoon on whether they like scones, why they like them and what flavors they’d prefer, I am going with cranberry orange, pumpkin, and cinnamon raisin.

I’m obsessed with scones now.

Christening Cake, Cupcakes & Cake Pops!

Good Morning!

I’m not sure if anyone noticed but I moved my domain name over to my new website for my little bakery that Aaron and I have decided to start! I am still working full-time and Aaron is now working full-time plus taking three classes at PITT so we’ve been pretty busy. I’ve had about 6 or 7 orders so far (one of them being 750 chocolate covered pretzels & 150 cake pops) so we’ve just been baking every weekend and a lot of weeknights.

I finally had some time this morning though to link my blog from the new site so here is how it’s set up right now:

Blog’s URL is https://pamcakesandeggs.wordpress.com/

Bakery URL is www.pamcakesandeggs.com

There is also a link to my blog from pamcakesandeggs.com up in the far right corner.

For those of you that have my blog in your readers, it should still work because I just had the wordpress domain pointing to pamcakesandeggs.com before this. Not entirely sure though but if it doesn’t work, I’ll work on it soon.

Okay done with that junk.

I baked this cake for a coworker’s daughter’s Christening last weekend. The top cake is a 6 inch two layer almond cake with raspberry filling, covered in buttercream and then covered fondant decorations. The cupcakes are also almond cake (two different recipes though) filled with raspberry jam and then almond buttercream on top. I made the cupcake toppers out of fondant too.

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My first attempt at fondant teddy bear and booties:

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I made mini booties to match the big ones for one of the cupcake toppers too:

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20 cupcakes total:
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Aaron made the sweet cupcake stand out of wood. He’s my handyman. I made O-L-I-V-I-A blocks out of rice crispy treats covered with fondant.

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Plus ten almond cake pops:  

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Hope you enjoyed the cake! I had a lot of fun making it for them. wooo

       

  

Making a Million Cake Pops plus Wine!

Well I guess I really don’t feel like blogging about the wedding yet. Can’t.bring.myself.to.do.it.

So I’m blogging about the week before the wedding instead!

My mom and I spent HOURS making a million cake pops (a la Bakerella) for wedding favors. You can read step by step instructions of the cake pop making process here.

Yellow cake and vanilla frosting:

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Dipped in chocolate:
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And individually wrapped and tied with purple and green bows:
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My best friend and maid of honor, Gina came over and helped us tie the bows on the cake pops. At some point in that tediousness, we started drinking wine. My dad came and picked up my mom and Gina and I continued drinking wine and taking pictures of ourselves… This was my bachelorette party of sorts. I wasn’t into the whole wear a sash and crown and go out to clubs thing so we just hung out at my house drinking wine, listening to music and making fools of ourselves dancing.

My coworkers made me wear this bride to be pin when they had my office bridal shower.
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Gina is engaged too! She’s getting married next October. Can’t wait!
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We danced to the George of the Jungle soundtrack until Aaron walked in on us…
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He laughed at us then starting dancing too:

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And singing:

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Then Gina’s fiance Jason came over!
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We hung out until maybe 1-130 AM then finally made it to bed. The next day was my bridal shower. Gina and I weren’t feeling exactly awesome that morning but we made it through for the most part…

I’ll have pictures of the bridal shower probably by next weekend so I’ll get those up soon. The wedding has been over for almost a month now! I can’t believe it! I’m going to blog about the wedding eventually but in the meantime, here’s a picture of the bridal party for you:

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From left to right: Aaron’s brother Dave, Aaron, Me, Sister-in-law Sam, BFF Gina, Aaron’s friend Matt, my friend Laura, Aaron’s friend Josh.

Alright time to eat popcorn and hang out on the couch reading blogs and doing laundry. Aaron is at band practice this evening so I’m by myself. For Pittsburgh readers, Aaron’s band, Meeting of Important People, has a show this Saturday, the 24th at the Thunderbird in Lawrenceville. I’ll be there!

My First Fondant Covered Cake

Good Morning!

Yesterday I did my cake trial for the top of the cupcake stand. I made a two layer 6 inch cake, covered it with buttercream and then attempted my first fondant covered cake. I don’t really have too much time this morning to write about it but it went really well! It’s not too hard to cover a 6 inch cake. I’m thinking that it would be very hard to cover a really big cake though. The flowers and leaves are all made with rolled fondant too.

The actual cake for the top level of the wedding cupcake stand will be four layers so it’s going to be twice as tall as this one but this gives you an idea of what it’ll hopefully look like.

A few pictures (I took the cake outside for the lighting…..)

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Then Aaron came over to take a shower (we’re remodeling the bathroom at his house so he was covered in dirt) and I made him hold up the cut cake under the kitchen light so I could take a well-lit picture. ha.
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Annnnnd off to work!

(Birthday) Cake & another freaking snow storm.



Well it’s Wednesday evening. I had a semi-snow day today. We got another 8 inches or something over the course of last night and today on top of the two feet we already had sooo I didn’t make it downtown to work today. The work phone chain informed me to work from a remote location if possible. Since I can’t work from home, I trekked over to the conveniently located Bloomfield branch to work.

I kind of wish I could work there all the time except…I’ll be living in Troy Hill come June. Let’s not talk about that. I NEED TIME TO ADJUST.

Also, I’m glad you all seem to have enjoyed Aaron’s guest post! I finally read it in it’s entirety today and enjoyed it very much! He’s a pretty good story teller, eh? Maybe soon there will be a MOIP blog?? Exciting??!

So today I worked for a while, walked to Shur Save to buy Greek yogurt for lunch(who knew they would carry Chobani) and then the branches closed at 3:30 so I got to leave early.

I took advantage of my extra time and did a Dave Farmar podcast that pretty much killed me.  It was a 75 minute power vinyasa class. I wore this:

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Sweeeet ….and listened to the podcast in the dark while occasionally googling poses that I didn’t know. I fell down doing Crow and almost smashed my laptop. 201002102020.jpg

Uhhhh anyway, if you’re interested, there are a bunch of free podcasts on his website — Dave Farmar.

Moving on to the cake that I mentioned on Saturday though. I’m about to post another recipe! What is this? A food blog?? So this past Saturday, as we were snowed in, I baked a cake for the future mother-in-law’s birthday. Sadly, she never even got to taste it because of the bad weather. 😦 It’s okay though. Future MIL, if you’re reading, I promise I’ll bake you another cake soon! Also, Happy Birthday!!

On to the CAKE!  

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Perfect Party Cake Recipe

Very slightly adapted from Dorie Greenspan’s Baking: From My Home to Yours

Makes 12 to 14 servings

For the Cake

  • 2 1/4 cups cake flour
  • 1 tablespoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 1/4 cups whole milk or buttermilk (I used 3/4 cup buttermilk & 1/2 cup whole milk)
  • 4 large egg whites
  • 1 1/2 cups sugar
  • 2 teaspoon grated lemon zest (zest of one lemon)

Center a rack in the oven to 350 degrees F. Butter three 8 x 2 inch round cake pans and line the bottom of each pan with a round of buttered parchment or wax paper. Put the pans on a baking sheet (or two).

Sift together the flour, baking powder and salt.

Whisk together the milk and egg whites in a medium bowl.

Put the sugar and lemon zest in a mixer bowl or another large bowl and rub them together with your fingers until the sugar is moist and fragrant. Add the butter and, working with the paddle or whisk attachment, or with a hand mixer, beat at medium speed for a full 3 minutes, until the butter and sugar are very light. Add one third of the flour mixture, still beating on medium speed. Beat in half of the milk-egg mixture, then beat in half of the remaining dry ingredients until incorporated. Add the rest of the milk and eggs, beating until the batter is homogeneous, then add the last of the dry ingredients. Finally, give the batter a good 2-minute beating to ensure that it is thoroughly mixed and well aerated. Divide the batter between the three pans and smooth the tops with a rubber spatula.

Bake for 20 to 25 minutes, or until the cakes are well risen and springy to the tough – a thin knife inserted into the centers should come out clean. Transfer the cakes to cooling racks and cool for about 5 minutes, then run a knife around the sides of the cakes, unmold them and peel off the paper liners. Invert and cool to room temperature right side up. (The cooled cake layers can be wrapped airtight and stored at room temperature overnight or frozen for up to 2 months.)

For the Whipped Cream (in between layers)

  • 1 cup heavy cream
  • 3 tablespoons confectioner’s sugar

Using a stand mixer with whisk attachment or hand mixer, whip the heavy cream at medium speed until it begins to thicken. Increase speed slowly and add sugar. Continue to whip until soft peaks form. Do not over whip or you’ll make butter…

For the Buttercream (outside and piping)

  • 1 pound confectioner’s sugar, sifted
  • 3 sticks unsalted butter, softened
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract

Beat butter with a mixer on medium-high speed until pale and creamy, about 2 minutes (I used my stand mixer with the whisk attachment). Reduce speed to medium. Add sugar, 1/2 cup at a time, beating after each addition until smooth. (After every 2 additions, increase speed to high, and beat for 10 seconds, then reduce speed to medium-high).

Add vanilla, and beat until buttercream is smooth. Use immediately, or cover and refrigerate for up to 3 days. (If refrigerated before using, bring to room temperature, and beat on low speed until smooth.)

And here is the step-by-step pictorial thanks to Aaron:

Make the batter and put in three disposable aluminum baking pans because you don’t have nice bakeware (but soon will once people buy me things from the registry…!)

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Place in the oven on baking sheets and use an oven thermometer if your oven sucks like mine.

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After the layers have cooled, spread the whipped cream between each:
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Apparently we missed a picture of frosting the outside of the cake but that did happen. I used an offset spatula and tried to focus while Aaron commented on how GREAT I would be at spackling. 201002102008.jpg

Next up was covering the sides with slivered almonds. This happened for two reasons.

  1. Aaron’s mom said she liked almond cake.
  2. You don’t have to do a good job frosting the sides at all.

I put pieces of parchment on the cake round to pull off after I was done to keep it neat.

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Frosted and covered with almonds:
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Letting Aaron take pictures of my unshowered self in SWEET apron:
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Next up was piping the edge. I separated a portion of the buttercream for the piping bag and then thinned out the rest of it with additional vanilla extract for frosting the actual cake.
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I’m not great with piping but I’m working on it. The frosting was a bit too thick too.

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Annnd added the sugar paste flowers from the other day and DONE:
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Aaron and I shared a slice. Delicious!

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Here is our slice:
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The cake was definitely lemony and pretty dense but good. I would make it again for sure but I think I’d add more frosting on top. My frosting layer ended up being really thin because I wasn’t sure if I had enough to cover the whole cake. I definitely did have enough in the end.

Aaron took the rest of the cake to MOIP practice and then him and his roommates eventually finished the rest so it didn’t go to waste.

Alright, it’s 8:17 PM now. TIME FOR READING IN BED. Have a nice night all!