Friday, March 29, 2013

purple cat baby shower cake with petal sides

Back in December, my good friend Diana threw a baby shower for her sister Leona, and she had asked me to make the cake and cookie favors for the cat-themed event.  Diana and her husband, owners and creators of Bumble Ink, had designed the cat logo for the shower invitations, so we decided I would use the same cat logo for the cake!

The baby shower colors were to be purple and green, but after a few sketches Diana and I decided that the cake would look better with just purple and white.

Diana's sister had requested anything chocolate, so I decided to make a moist chocolate cake, filled with decadent chocolate mousse.  I split each cake layer in half horizontally, giving me four layers of cake, and three layers of mousse (with a cream cheese buttercream border so that the mousse wouldn't ooze out of the cake!).

Then I did a quick crumb coat with cream cheese buttercream, and let it set in the fridge before proceeding with the petal sides.

Once the crumb coat was set, I piped my petal sides, starting with the darkest purple on the bottom, the medium purple in the middle, and white on the top.  To see more of my petal cakes, see here, here, and here (you can also see the original tutorial over at Hungry Housewife).

After piping a congratulations message on the top, I piped the outline of the cat logo, and then filled it in with a Wilton star tip.

I finished it off with a Wilton tip #2 for the details on the cat's face, and then I was done!

At the baby shower, I loved that Diana's daughter spent some time just sitting and staring at the cake ...

... until finally she could finally have a bite!

Congratulations Leona!  We can't wait to meet your new little one!

Thursday, March 7, 2013

blackberry oreo ice cream, and the newest addition to our family!

As some of you may already know, three weeks ago I gave birth to my third baby!  This explains why I've been M.I.A, in case you were wondering!  But in the weeks right before I gave birth, I became really obsessed with Oreo cookies.  Especially in ice cream.  Maybe it was because I was very pregnant!  Or maybe it's just because I love Oreo cookies.  In any case, I made lots and lots of coffee oreo ice cream, as well as mint oreo ice cream.  (Those are my two current favorites!)

But after making multiple batches of each, I wanted to try something new.  So I started flipping through my copy of Sweet Cream and Sugar ConesBi-Rite Creamery's ice cream book (which was given to me by my good friend - thanks, Diana!).  And that's when a recipe for blackberry ice cream caught my eye.  Now, I've made Blackberry Frozen Yogurt before, but for some reason I have yet to make it in ice cream form.  So I decided to try it out - with a twist.  I've heard of blackberry chip ice cream before, basically blackberry ice cream with chocolate chips or chunks in it, so why not try it with Oreo cookies instead?

I started by cooking my blackberries with sugar on the stove for about 10 minutes, until the berries broke apart and the resulting fruity syrup had reduced.  Then I pureed it and strained it, and then made my ice cream base (the usual egg yolks, sugar, heavy cream, and milk, cooked on the stove to form a custard).  Once that was ready, I combined the custard base with the pureed blackberries, and let it cool in the fridge overnight.

The next day, I was ready to churn my ice cream!  I added my chopped Oreo cookies during the last 5 minutes of churning, and then I let it set in the freezer overnight.  And then it was time to taste it!  The blackberry ice cream was smooth, creamy, and tart.  At first I wasn't sure if the Oreo cookies went well with the blackberry.  And then I decided, yes, Oreo cookies go well with everything!  Or maybe that was just my pregnancy taste buds talking!

And now for a few pictures of the newest addition to our family, baby Micah!  He joins his siblings Matthew and Melodie, and together they are now referred to as The Three Musketeers :)