Sunday, March 8, 2020

coffee chiffon cake with dark chocolate sail sculpture

I love to make birthday cakes for my friends, and at one point last year I became obsessed with making chocolate sculptures to decorate my birthday cakes with! I had seen it all over Instagram and fell in love with the way they added such artistry to cakes, in such a free-form and abstract way. 

The first of many chocolate sculpture cakes that I ended up making throughout the year, this one was for my friend Hsing, who I met at work years and years ago. At the time we were the only females on our team, and although we are no longer at the same company, we still make it a point to meet for lunches several times throughout the year.

I typically make chiffon cakes for Hsing, since she she likes the type of light and airy cake that you can commonly find at Asian bakeries. This time I decided to make a coffee chiffon cake, filled and frosted with espresso whipped cream.

I typically do a crumb coat of frosting, then let it chill in the fridge for at least a half our, before adding a second coat of frosting and smoothing it out completely with an offset spatula.

While the assembled and frosted cake chilled in the fridge, I got started on making the topper. In a double boiler, I melted dark chocolate with a bit of coconut oil, and then poured it out onto a baking sheet lined with a silicone liner. Then I positioned the silicone liner insde of a glass bowl, using binder clips to secure it in a way that would provide an interesting shape to the chocolate.

Once the chocolate had cooled, I removed the binder clips and carefully removed the silicone liner, giving me a chocolate sculpture!

I secured it to the top of the cake with a bit of the espresso whipped cream, and then it was done!

I love the simplicity of this type of decorative cake topper, plus it's edible!

Hope you had a Happy Birthday, Hsing!

Sunday, March 1, 2020

hand painted heart and diamond ring bridal party cookies

Sometime last summer, my friend Monica asked me to make bachelorette party cookies to go inside of goody bags that she was putting together. She was the Matron of Honor for her little cousin, and they were going to be travelling to Cabo for the party. She wanted a pink and gold theme, and wanted to customize the cookies with the names of each of the ladies. We ended up deciding on heart cookies and engagement ring cookies, each decorated with pink roses and greenery, with one white heart cookie for the bride and the rest of the cookies pink. This was definitely going to be a fun cookie project!

For the engagement ring cookies, I used a cutter from Cookie Cutter Kingdom, and my favorite sugar cookie and royal icing recipes (which you can find in my book, The Hello Kitty Baking Book!). Once the cookies were baked and cooled, I started to decorate with white icing for the diamond, and finished with gold icing for the ring (tinted with Americolor gold gel-based food coloring). For a tutorial on how I did this, you can see my previous engagment ring cookie post here.

Then I finished by using pink stiff icing to pipe tiny rosettes, followed by stiff green icing to pipe green leaves (using this leaf tip).

I thought they turned out pretty cute, and the rosettes and leaves added a nice feminine touch.

For the heart cookies, I used this heart cookie cutter set (which I also used for these lovebird wedding favor cookies and these lovebird bridal shower cookies).

Even though I only needed one white heart cookie for the bride, I made several in case I messed up on painting her name!

For the gold letter painting, I used a combination of gold luster dust mixed with clear vanilla extract to form a "paint", and then used a food-safe brush to paint the caligraphy names.


I loved the combination of the rings and hearts together! 

Happy Bachelorette Party, Victoria!

Sunday, February 23, 2020

minecraft wolf birthday cake with handmade fondant topper

So my previous post was about the Minecraft pickaxe birthday cake that I made for my son's 11th birthday. And here's the cake that I made for his 12th birthday (which was 6 months ago 😂)! He wanted a Minecraft cake again, this time a Minecraft wolf birthday cake! I took the same approach to making the fondant topper - using a small square cutter to cut out various colors of fondant. Then I secured the squares onto a cardboard cut out using frosting.

For the cake, he requested a lychee and whipped cream filling, so I baked up two layers of my favorite vanilla cake (recipe in my book, The Hello Kitty Baking Book!), which I then sliced in half horizontally to give me four cake layers. Then I filled each layer with freshly whipped cream and diced lychee, which I had drained of it's juice.

Once all of the cake layers were assembled, I covered it with Swiss meringue buttercream, which I tinted gray. I typically do a crumb coat first, then let it chill in the fridge before adding a second final layer of frosting, however lately I have been doing one thick frosting layer to save myself some time.

Once I smoothed out my frosting with an offset spatula (which usually takes several iterations of smoothing, adding more frosting to uneven spots, more smoothing, etc), I was ready to add my decorations. 

I started with adding fondant letters for his name (made with tinted fondant pressed into a silicone letters mold), and then added a few of the fondant squares that I had made in advance for the topper.

Then it was time to add the wolf topper!

I added bamboo skewers to the topper so that I could secure on top of the cake. The topper turned out quite large, but I suppose it has a dramatic effect?

I cannot believe that next birthday he will be a teenager! 😭 

Happy Birthday, Matthew! We love you!