Sunday, August 29, 2010

Sometimes a Cake Stand isn't just a Cake Stand

Its hard to top a table-top presentation like this--- sometimes its just not about the cake. My friend, Patti though it would be fun to share this- "how all the cake stuff works as toys. Kids at my house used to put the metal tips on all their fingers, used cutters to outline, etc."

Thursday, August 26, 2010

I love these guys!

I've been kind of in love with ♥ ➸ Alan Richardson for somewheres about 20 years. Since I was a magazine photo editor and he was my favorite photographer, who could bring absolute magic to pretty much any assignment.
These days he's also a best-selling author. Hello Cupcake and What's New cupcake are filled with hysterically funny, sweet and even magical how to designs that seriously bring down the house.

I love love love these do-it-yourself rubber duckies cuppies:

ion (front cover):

Thursday, August 12, 2010

Why IS it so hard to find a scratch strawberry cake recipe that actually has real strawberries in it?

Why IS it so hard to find a scratch strawberry cake recipe that actually has real strawberries in it? Strawberry cake is really good! And this is coming from a big I'll-have-chocolate-or-I'll-have-nothing-at-all person.

When 5 year old super sweet Polly (pictured above) asked for Strawberry Cake for her 5th birthday the hunt for a good recipe began. I found this one on Confessions of a Foodie Bride And then... I got distracted... and didn't pay any attention when I was putting it together. I just combined all of the wet to all of the dry in one fell swoop with butter thrown in at the end--- and it was still good!
Despite the abuse, and despite achieving that broken appearance going into the pans, the batter totally rose to the occasion and made some truly lovely and delicious cakes.

Katie’s Strawberry Cake
3/4 cup strawberry puree, room temperature (follows)
1/4 cup milk, at room temperature
6 large egg whites, room temperature
1 Tbsp vanilla extract
2 1/4 cup cake flour, sifted
1 3/4 cup sugar
4 tsp baking powder
1 tsp salt
12 Tbsp unsalted butter (1 1/2 sticks), softened (not melted)

Preheat oven to 350 degrees and prepare two 8 inch pans.

In small bowl, combine puree, milk, egg, vanilla and mix with fork until well blended. In bowl of stand mixer, add sifted flour, sugar, baking powder and salt and mix to combine. Continue beating at slow speed and add butter. Mix until combined and resembling moist crumbs.

Add liquids and beat at medium speed for about 1 minute or until full and evenly combined. Stop mixer to scrape down the sides of the bowl and hand beat for 30 more seconds. Divide the batter evenly among the pans and smooth tops.

Bake for about 25 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean (time will vary). Let cakes rest in pan for about 10 minutes and turn out onto wire racks. Let cakes cool completely (about 2 hours).

Source: Good Things Catered, adapted from Cook’s Illustrated Classic White Layer Cake
Yields: 2 8-inch layers

Strawberry puree
24oz either fresh OR frozen (organic) strawberries, (thawed)*

Thaw frozen strawberries in whatever form (sliced, whole, etc) and in whatever container/bag you have them in. Pour into a fine strainer placed over a bowl and let sit. Lightly toss the strawberries occasionally to remove any pockets of excess liquid. Reserve the liquid for another use or discard. Place strawberries in a food processor or blender and puree.

Fresh strawberries: Just hull, slice and toss with a teaspoon or two of sugar and cover. Let them sit at room temperature for a couple of hours, or until nice and juicy. Place strawberries in a food processor or blender and puree.

Use leftover puree to fill the cake or fold into the frosting (I used 1 part puree to 3 parts vanilla buttercream and loved it), if desired. It’s also fabulous spooned over ice cream… and eaten straight up with a spoon.

Yields: Approx 1 1/4 cup strawberry puree

Friday, August 6, 2010

Tune in!

This coming Monday, Aug 9 @ 10/9c, tune in to see us! TLC's 4-episode special called Fabulous Cakes comes to a close. The show features a number of bakeries in Las Vegas, Philadelphia, Los Angeles, and finally New York! Also on hand to work on cakes are my friends Liz Shim from Eat Cake Be Merry, Katie Robinson of The Painted Lily and Kristen Veloria of Cakeb0t. Thanks also to Shena & Daphne for everything from the tiniest details to the heavy lifting! *Episode will air again on Monday August 16 @ 7PM

TLC press: "Three bakeries in New York create over-the-top cakes for special occasions - at City Cakes in Manhattan, chefs Mark Matthias and Benny Rivera make a four-foot-long alligator cake for a surprise twenty-third birthday party and a four-foot-tall, five-tiered sculpted cake for the New York City Gay Men's Chorus's thirtieth anniversary party, including a replica made out of cake of the house where the party will be held. Kate Sullivan and the team at Cake Power make a sculpted four-foot-tall Springer Spaniel for a six-year-old girl's birthday and a two-foot-tall mushroom for a wedding; and Michelle Doll makes a four-foot-tall terracotta urn for a restaurant opening."