Blood Orange Truffle Cake

To start off a week straight of cake recipes, I’m proud to share my “Blood Orange Truffle Torte” recipe!

This recipe made its debut in the February issue of Plymouth Magazine, where it was not only featured in a several page spread, it starred on the cover!

This cake has been a favorite offering of Celebration Generation since its creation, and has earned many rave reviews by those who’ve been served it – including the guests of the Goth Wedding that we blogged about a while back!

It’s also one of the many cake recipes featured in Evil Cake Overlord, coming out on April 30th!

Blood Orange Truffle Torte

Cake:

2 ½ cups Cake flour
1 cup cocoa
2 1/4 cups Sugar
2 Tbsp Baking powder
1 ½ tsp Salt
3 ½ oz Instant vanilla pudding mix
6 Eggs
1 ½ cup Water
1 ½ cups Butter, melted
2 Tbsp Pure vanilla extract

Blood Orange Swiss Meringue Buttercream:
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Cutest Wedding Cake Ever – Bubble Bobble

As you may have guessed by now… I LOVES me a geeky bride!

Michelle, the bride who ordered the cake I’m posting about today, is pretty much a perfect representation of what kind of bride I love to work with: Identified geeky in the first email (which was also well written, polite, and had great grammar and spelling – FTW!), didn’t take anything too seriously – no bridezilla moments at all! -, gave me ultimate reign over the final design, and wanted her wedding cake themed around an old school NES / Taito game!

Oh yeah. She also held her real wedding in Vegas, getting married by an impersonator. Not any tired old Elvis impersonator (which, in my mind, would still be kind of awesome to do!).. no. She got married by a “Bishop” impersonator from the Princess Bride. Yes, her “mawwige” was “wut bwings us togedder”! Awesome!

Check out the cake: (more…)

Brandied Apple Upside Down Cake recipe

Hey everyone!

Still recovering from this weekend’s trip to Chicago, so I’m posting today’s entry without a ton of commentary 🙂

This Brandied Apple Upside Down Cake is one of the recipes from our boozy cookbook, The Spirited Baker. (Have your copy yet? If not, what are ya waiting for?!). The aroma of the cake – even while still in the oven – evokes warm images of Thanksgiving, Christmas eve, seasonal get togethers, etc. Yum!

Oh, and this cake is ridiculously easy to make – anyone cake do it! – and requires absolutely NO decorating!Bonus!

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Reflections on a *Crazy* career – BIG DAY!

Today I am at home, awaiting 2 deliveries. The first is something I’m pretty excited about – it’s an order of promotional materials for my book release. In particular, the order includes custom bookmarks. Yes! I’ll have my own bookmarks! How insanely cool is that?

I used to love bookmarks when I was a kid. I loved going into book stores and pouring over their selection of bookmarks, weighing the options. What color tassle? Glitter, or no glitter? Unicorns? (Of COURSE I wanted glitter and unicorns!) Loved it.

The second delivery is something even more important, and I’ve been waiting for this day forEVER. My initial shipment of “The Spirited Baker: Intoxicating Desserts & Potent Potables” arrives today! I CANNOT wait to see them, the culmination of an insane amount of work between my husband (the photographer!) and I! Insane.. this feels so surreal.

Today feels like the biggest day of my life… well, second only to meeting/marrying my amazing husband. I’m such a dork about this.. but it just feels.. augh! Amazing, and nerve wracking, and everything!

So as I sit here waiting.. and waiting.. I’m reflecting on my career. It’s been a wild ride, and we’ve had some really fun, amazing moments! Let’s take a trip down memory lane, shall we? In no particular order, here are some of my favorite moments from the past few years: (more…)

Showing off the “Mad Skillz” a bit… Ganesh Cake!

With all of the time spent working on my new book “The Spirited Baker”, and now working up to the release of it… well, there hasn’t been a lot of cake being created here… Well, now I have one to share!

This cake was made for one of my geeky tweeps. Her husband and her have had a running joke about a “Ganache Ganesh” for years. (Ganache being the thick chocolate filling that truffles are made from). She jumped at the chance to make their in-joke a reality, and planned to present him with a birthday cake of epic proportions. I am pleased to present “The Ganache Ganesh”!

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Cake Toppers: They don’t have to be as horrible as you think!

This blog entry is going to be a unique one for me – a positive blog entry about something I normally hate!

Yes, I am vehemently, rabidly anti-cake toppers. 99% of the time, I find toppers to look cheesy, cheap, and TOTALLY out of place on a cake. Most of the readily-available toppers in stores all look the same as they did 20 years ago, and they all sort of look the same. Yawn. They go completely against my belief that a wedding should be personalized, and truly reflect the couple.

Aside from the stand-alone cheese factor, the other thing that gets me is that they’re very rarely used in a way that complements the design of the cake. I’ve got almost 20 years of old school design experience, so things like jarring breaks in form, line, color.. it just gets to me.

I prefer toppers to be an extension of the cake design itself, usually made from the same materials. Sugar flowers that are also used throughout the cake design, not just plunked on top, for instance. An unbroken, balanced continuation of the design, seamlessly executed. If such a continuation isn’t possible – for whatever reason – I much prefer to have NO topper, whatsoever.

It IS, however, possible to incorporate a topper into the cake without it being cheesy OR jarring! It takes a little creativity, planning, and a talented cake designer.. but it can definitely work. Here are the two key points to remember:

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Fashion and.. cake?

Recently, we received sort of a bizarre request – to craft fake cake “hats” for a L’Etoile Magazine fashion photo shoot. Given my recent spate of nostalgia for my fashion industry days, I jumped at the chance to participate.

3 Cakers – myself, Sheela from Cake Eater Bakery, and Thea from Perfect Day Cakes were each given photos of 2 dresses to work with, and very little in the way of guidelines , restrictions, or TIME (lol!), and set free to run wild with our imaginations.

Here are the two photos I was initially provided with:

The blue dress is from Blasphemina’s Closet. For this dress, L’Etoile requested something crazy, bright, and mad-hatterish, as they wanted to play up the “Alice in Wonderland” feel of it. The grey/orange dress is from Calpurnia Peach. Here’s what we came up with:

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Happy Birthday Melissa!

As you may know, I’ve been on a writing sabbatical for the past while. It’s been interesting to spend SO much time *out* of my commercial kitchen – either in my home office, banging out my upcoming cookbook… or in my own, home kitchen, working on recipes for the book.

The time hasn’t been completely cake-less.. the Hannibal cake broke up the writing mojo for a bit… and then a friend celebrated a birthday. Such a crazy, unique individual, couldn’t resist crafting something that suited her. I’ll post more write up later, but a bit of background: Melissa – AKA “Queen of the Lizard People” – is an avid photographer. Recently, she’s taken on a few long term projects, photographing fortune cookie papers, and conversation hearts (separately!)

The cake was entirely edible – The camera & lizard bodies were carved from fresh lemon cake (which was brushed with a fresh lemon syrup, and filled with our tangy fresh lemon swiss meringue buttercream! – she wanted “in-your-face” lemon flavor!), with the camera lens and lizard head sculpted from Rice Krispie Treat. The black fondant was chocolate, the orange fondant was lemon flavored. Yum! Additionally, the “conversation hearts” were made from fondant, and the crown / fortunes were made from gum paste.

Check out the photos!

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