Wednesday, July 14, 2010

It's a Girl!

So my family planned a small shower for a cousin, and I was asked to make the cake. We know the baby will be a I bought all of the pink food coloring gel I could get my hands on and got started!

Cupcakes have been popular lately so I wantred to incorporate cupcakes with a little cake, like a tower. I figured people would be more inclined to grab a cupcake, especially if I made minis and regular sized 'cakes. Here's what I came up with for the cupcake tower:

The cupcakes were chocolate and strawberry with vanilla buttercream. I found these super cute toppers from Party City and spread them out over each...they really helped complete the look!

I thought my plain 4-tier display needed a little something extra, so I added a little ribbon to two of the fun! The cake was just a 6" round yellow cake, filled and topped with vanilla buttercream. I took some fondant and cut out some fun, groovy flowers and created a cascade around the top and down the side. It added the right feminine touch and really topped off the tower of cupcakes well!

As if I could stop there...I took some of the same ribbon, wrapped it around two pretty glass vases and filled them with...what else? Cupcake lollipops! I melted some white chocolate and candy coating, dunked balls of vanilla cake and decorated with white/pink sprinkles and shaved coconut. They turned out to be the biggest hit! Who doesn't want dessert on a stick?

Monday, July 5, 2010

Red, White and Pavlova!

I've been wanting to make a pavlova since I got to try it at a Passover seder. It's a huuuuuge meringue, topped with fresh whipped cream and berries. You say "so what?" right? Oh man, it's so good.

I cooked this meringue FOREVER. At a very luke warm temperature (180 deg) for 1.5 hours. It had to stay in the oven for another hour with the temp off to cool down. My patience was rewarded! It was a sweet, crystallized crispy bite into a smooth, light-as-air middle. The fresh whipped cream was perfect, as were the sweet-as-candy strawberries and blueberries. I made a raspberry sauce with raspberries, sugar and raspberry preserves.

Well, my family got a kick out of the funny name, and I got a kick out of exposing them to a very different dessert! Next up: meringue nests for individual desserts. I saw Ina Garten make them, 'nuff said.

Hope everyone had a Happy Fourth!