Sunday, July 29, 2012

Olympic Cupcakes

If you're looking to have some fun with your dessert while watching the Olympics, try this easy cupcake design.

Olympic Cupcakes

What you'll need:
icing in five colors (blue, black, red, yellow, and green)
star decorating tip like #14 or #16
cupcakes (your favorite recipe)

Fill decorating bags with of the five colors in the Olympic rings (blue, black, red, yellow, green). Pipe a circle of icing around the top edge of the cupcake.

Arrange cupcakes so that they are in the same order as the Olympic rings. You can do this as a whole group like I did in the photo to the right, or make an individual grouping of five cupcakes like I did in the first photo. I used mini cupcakes, but you could also do this with full size ones.

Monday, July 16, 2012

Guest Blogger for Pistachio Cheesecake

Saturday night I had dinner at a friend's house. He made a delicious dessert that he has promised me a copy of the recipe. So far the recipe has not arrived in my email, so you'll need to simply enjoy the photos for now.

In the meantime, anyone else want to be a guest blogger? Got a recipe to share? Drop me a line, and we'll arrange a date for you to share your recipe and photo(s)!

Pistachio Cheesecake with Caramel Sauce

First, he made the pistachio cheesecake. (This was prepared before dinner.)

Then he made fresh whipped cream.

Then he made a swirl of caramel sauce on the plate, placed a square of the cheesecake on top, and garnished with the whipped cream, strawberries, and blueberries.

I should note there was also a "guest camera" for this blog post (since I did not have a camera with me) and a "guest photographer" (since another party-goer actually took some of the photos). This blog post was definitely a group effort. :)

Monday, July 9, 2012

Banoffee Pie Attempt #1

After my trip to the UK, my traveling companion and I both searched for recipes for Banoffee Pie (the tasty dessert mentioned in this blog post). Unfortunately, they all called for making a toffee layer by boiling sweetened condensed milk for a really long time--either on the stove top or in the oven. 

In this summer's record-breaking heat, I really didn't want to turn on the oven or stand over the stove top for a long time, so I tried to find a way to cheat. I melted toffee bits (which I found near chocolate chips in the store) with a little corn syrup. 

The toffee bits melted fine, but they completely hardened in the pie, so that I had a hard candy layer in the middle. Needless to say, I'll need another attempt at this, but I may have to wait until the outdoor temperature comes down!

Banoffee Pie Attempt #1

Here's some photos from my attempt. First, you need a cookie crust. You can use crushed graham crackers or shortbread. I used a combination of vanilla wafers and gingersnaps (pretty tasty, actually).

Then you need the toffee layer. On top of that, add sliced bananas.

Finally, top the bananas with some whipped cream. You can make your own from heavy whipping cream or use Cool Whip.

If you want, you can also sprinkle a little cocoa on top.

Sunday, July 1, 2012

Minnie Mouse Birthday Cake

Last week, I had the rare opportunity to make a birthday cake for my two-year-old niece who lives in Atlanta. My brother had a work conference in Chicago, so the whole family came up to visit. My niece's actual birthday isn't until tomorrow, but we had to get in the celebration while we could!

Minnie Mouse Birthday Cake

The idea for the design came from the birthday card I had bought. Minnie sure looks cute here, and the design is relatively simple, which meant time for a frozen buttercream transfer!

I did a whole post on buttercream transfer here, but this is a quick run-down of the process for you. First, I traced the design from the birthday card onto some parchment paper. Then I flipped the parchment paper over so that I'd be working the reverse image. After making sure the outline was dark enough, I taped it to a cookie sheet and then taped a piece of waxed paper over the parchment paper.

Using black icing, I outlined the entire design. Then I filled in the spaces using the appropriate color icing. (I used the available piping tips that I had, like #3, 4, and 5.)

Once I had the design filled in, I covered the whole thing with a layer of white icing that I piped on top of the colors. Then I placed the cookie sheet into the freezer over night.

After I baked and iced the cake, I took the buttercream transfer out of the freezer and carefully flipped it onto the cake before peeling off the waxed paper. I finished the decoration by adding the writing and the border. Voila! The perfect birthday cake for a two-year-old.