Monday, August 29, 2011

Cake Pops 1.0

During this past weekend of cake orders, I did suffer a minor cake-tastrophy when one of my chocolate cakes decided it wasn't quite ready to part with the pan.  Yes, it stuck, and I hate it when that happens.  So, I had a perfectly good layer of chocolate cake missing part of its backside.  What to do?  Well, I have a hard time just throwing cake away, so I saved it and decided to give these popular cake pops a try.

I googled around and read a few sites (little did I know just HOW popular these little sugar bombs are!) and decided to go for it.  First, I made a small batch of chocolate frosting and mixed (not too much of it) with the crumbled cake.  Then I scooped up the cake mixture and rolled it into balls.  I took some lollypop sticks and dipped them in some melted white chocolate candy melts and inserted one into each cake ball.  Next, I put them in the fridge for an hour or so to harden a bit and then rolled them in melted chocolate (tinted yellow).  I sprinkled them with some decorations and stuck 'em into some styrofoam.  Voila! Cake pops!  After they dried, I grabbed some little bags (yes, I do happen to have all this stuff lying around) and tied them with some ribbon.  Trick or Treat!

Friday, August 26, 2011

Quartermaster Cake

This week's cake project had me diving into my first ever Scout cake... more specifically, a SEA Scout cake.  Yes, there is such a thing as Boy Scouts on water, and their equivalent to the Eagle Scout award is the Quartermaster Award.  Sea Scouts is a co-educational program which means that not only do boys participate in all their sailing adventures, but girls do, too!

This was the first time I experimental with food-friendly metallic painting.  I've used various luster dusts before to give some of my ribbons a little shimmer, but this is the first time I turned those powders into a "paint" and went for the full blown metal effect.

After cutting out my pieces of the quartermaster medal from fondant I had tinted gray, I piped on some finer details with royal icing.  When that dried, I mixed CK Products silver luster dust with a little clear vanilla and made what was, essentially, paint.  I had been told that you're supposed to mix vodka or lemon extract with the luster dust, and I had intended on using the lemon, but in my foggy head of late night television, I grabbed clear vanilla by accident, and it worked just fine!  Phew!

Need a recipe for royal icing?  All  the ones I have make a ton of icing which is much more than what I needed for my little medal, so I went to and found a recipe that I scaled to make a solid 1/2 cup.  Plenty for my little project.

Royal Icing (makes 1/2 cup)

2-1/4 teaspoons meringue powder
  • 1 cup sifted confectioners' sugar (always use pure cane)
  • 1 tablespoon and 1-1/2 teaspoons water

I jut mixed all the ingredients with an icing knife for 5 minutes or so until it had a peanut buttery consistency and a slight matte finish.  Worked great!  Oh, and the cake pictured above is a 14" round chocolate cake with raspberry mousse filling and vanilla buttercream on the outside.  Yum!  

Red Ribbon

This is a bit of old news, but I entered my first attempt at a sandcastle cake in the June 2011 Marin County Fair and took 2nd place!  To be honest, there were not a huge number of cakes entered, but I'm still proud of my award-winning Nabisco creation.
In order to create a sturdy canvas, I covered the cakes with fondant.  Then I spread buttercream on top and pressed a mixture of pulverized brown sugar, graham crackers, and Nilla wafers into the frosting.  The little sea creature buddies and flag were molded from fondant, and I used royal icing to make the seaweed.  All in all, it was a fun cake to make!

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

New Digs

Well, as readers familiar with my old website can see, Crestwood Cakes has undergone a "subtle" facelift.  I decided to leave Crestwood behind and embrace my inner Dixie... school district, that is.  I chose the name Crestwood Cakes while we were living in New York near the Crestwood train station as I dreamed of one day opening up shop near there.  Well, now that we've made the big move to California, I thought it might be cute to switch to a more local moniker and chose Dixie Cakes (after our local school district) as the new "brand" of my hobby.  

Oh, and I also changed to a blog format for picture posting.  I figure this way I can better tell the story of each creation as it exits my kitchen.  Now I just have to figure out how to bring over all my photos.... :)