Friday, April 22, 2011

King of the Jungle Baby Shower Cake

Anyone who knows me, knows that I tend to go a little over the top.  As my mom always put it I "oversubscribe" myself.  So when I was hired to make a cake for a friend's baby's homecoming, I got a little crazy.

Yeah... see?  Got a little crazy.  It was really just supposed to be a cake/cupcake tower that matched the decorations, but my desire to work with gumpaste got the best of me.  So I decided to make a whole gang of jungle friends to sit on top of the cake.

Having never worked with gumpaste before, I figured I should start early.  And it's a good thing because my dog once again couldn't resist the smell of sugar and ate the first elephant I made.  This isn't the first time he has been tempted by my cake decorating.  View my previous post to see how he devoured a bridal shower cake.  I thought at first that maybe I moved the elephant without remembering... or maybe he fell on the floor... nope, he was gone.  10 minutes upstairs, unattended, and he was gone.  Gumpaste, toothpick (holding the head to the body) and all.  Gone.  I was in denial at first - how on EARTH could a dog devour en entire 3" high gumpaste elephant in 10 minutes???  It must be here somewhere... But the dog's guilty look and the absence of any trace of the elephant whatsoever finally convinced me that somehow, it could be done.

It took me a couple weeks before I could face the gumpaste again, but I'm glad I did.  First I remade the elephant:

Then I moved on to the lion:

Then the monkey:

 And then my favorite, the giraffe:

Isn't he cute???  To be honest, he was the hardest to make, so that may be why I have a certain affinity for him.

Here's a close-up of the cake with cupcakes and jungle friends topper:
The cupcakes are pumpkin spice with cream cheese frosting, and chocolate with vanilla buttercream.  The cupcake toppers are dark chocolate rounds with white chocolate feet dyed to match the decorations.

Congrats to Jen and Alan on their adorable Caleb!

Wednesday, April 6, 2011

My Shameless Self Promotion
If you go there you'll get a sneak peek at the content of my next blog update.  Exciting, I know!

Super Bowl XLV

Tisk, tisk, I'm writing about Super Bowl in April.  Shame on me, it's been a while!  Maybe I'll try to blame it on taking this long to get over the ultimate sell-out of watching Guns N' Roses' Slash play with the Black Eyed Peas at the half time show... So.  Very.  Sad.

I've had my eye on a recipe for Irish Car Bomb cupcakes for a while.  I got the idea from this book, Who You Callin' Cupcake?  A wonderful little recipe book with crazy cupcake recipes.  You might be asking yourself, "what do Irish Car Bombs have to do with the super Bowl?"  Nothing. It really was just an excuse to finally make them.  No one at the party questioned the theme and judging from the lack of left-overs, I'd say they were a big hit.

I modified the recipe a bit by using my go-to Sour Cream Chocolate Cupcake recipe from The Cake Mix Doctor and made them mini... that makes them guilt free... or so I like to tell myself.  Then I soaked them in whiskey, spread some chocolate whiskey ganache on them and topped them off with Bailey's Irish Cream chocolate buttercream icing.  And, tada....
Oh yes, and my favorite part - the footballs are made from caramels and the laces are piped white chocolate.  You can see the schmear of chocolate whiskey ganache just sticking out from under the buttercream.

And since there were going to be kids attending the party, I made some kid-friendly, plain chocolate and vanilla butercream minis for them:
I added the green sprinkles in an attempt to make somewhat of a connection to the game and in defiance of the Steelers making it to the Super Bowl over the Ravens once again... grrrr...

Here's a photo of the whole lot:

I'd like to give a little shout-out to "Mom" Harris who helped me roll and pipe the footballs until 3am the night before!  Thanks!