Happy Monday! Running a day later than normal due to our observance of 9-11. But I have two creations to share with you this week! (Oh, I don't miss the CONTEST at the bottom of this week's blog!)
First up is something that is growing with popularity for my business...Dinner Party Cupcakes! Seem grown ups like the idea of a cupcake but most cupcake designs are for little kids, not adults. So lately I've been tasked with creating grown up versions of these little yummy bites of cake! These cupcakes are Devils Food cake with a brand new version of my chocolate buttercream that we have decided to name Chocolate Brownie Buttercream because of how it tastes...like wonderful rich brownies in icing form! YUM!
Thankfully, the stores are also beginning to realize that we need grown up versions of wrappers and liners and I was able to find these fun gold petal wrappers. Now a wrapper is different from a liner. The liner is the paper cup that you bake your cupcake in the pan with but the wrapper is for after the cupcake is baked but before it's decorated. There are tricks and tips for using these. First off, whether you make them or buy them, you really need to be sure that the buttercream doesn't touch the sides of the wrapper. Buttercream is made with some sort of oil or oils that will stain through the wrapper and destroy your elegant look. Once your cupcake is totally cool then you can place it in the wrapper and then carefully pipe on the buttercream and add the embellishments. In this case I used gold sugar which looked nicely elegant on top and gave some texture while eating! Last part of this process is presentation. Obviously the clients cupcakes went out in a cupcake package for travel but, since the order was for 15 and the recipe makes 24 I had some leftover for my own girls night out so I set it up as you see it in the photo. I chose a square woven tray to set off the gold and the brown and then, once the cupcakes were in place, sprinkled the tray with the gold sugar. This little bit of dressing up helps the wonderful impression of these gorgeous little desserts!
Our second creation of the week was based on the 1970's panel purses. The panels were crocheted then stitched together with more crochet. Thankfully I actually DO crochet so I was able to copy the stitches...and here is how I did it! The first thing I did was mist the crumbcoat of buttercream to help the panels of fondant stick to the sides of the cake. I used 3 inch squares of fondant and let them set up on the cake for a few minutes. Then, using a flower petal cutter (actually part of an orchid cutting set) I cut out the mint green fondant and placed them into the center of each panel using water as "glue". This was as far as I went before starting the royal icing "stitches". The first thing I did was draw the lines down the panels to "join" them. Then I scalloped sideways "c"s down the line on one side then did the same, meeting the loop together, until I got to the bottom of the cake. Now I tried to just make "o"s and then draw a line over it but it didn't look like a stitch so there's no shortcut here unfortunately. Then I did the same process at the bottom but I piped the first line really close to the bottom of the fondant squares so that when I added the final loops they would actually go from the cake to the plate. That was when I piped the outline for the mint panel pieces and placed the tangerine flowers with the pearl candies in the centers. The last thing I did was place the circle on the top of the cake. I cut out a 7 inch round of fondant for a 6 inch cake and then, using my rotary cutter on the textured wheel, I cut around again about a half inch. I placed it on top of the cake and, using a ball tool, helped it to sort of waffle around the edges. This had to set up for awhile before I could pipe the stitching around the edges so while waiting I made the circle decoration on top. This is easier to do if you use a circle cookie cutter and gently press that into the top of the cake. Then you can follow the impression with your tip and have a nice round design. Once the round of fondant had a bit of stiffness to it I was able to pipe the edging stitches and place the flowers.
Now I know a lot of people, and I use to be one of them, don't like royal icing. Well, here's why. Most royal icing I have tasted has been commercially produced without any added flavorings. So it tastes like powdered sugar, which, unfortunately, tastes a bit like cardboard if you don't add flavoring. Come to think of it, that might be why commerically produced fondant doesn't taste all that good! But when you make your own royal icing, or fondant, you can add any flavoring you want it to taste like and it will be GOOD! I usually use vanilla to flavor mine but you can use almond or lemon or strawberry...anything you would think would go well with your cake! This cake is Mexican Hot Chocolate cake with vanilla buttercream filling so the royal icing was flavored with vanilla. Now here is another plus to using royal icing. It dries really hard and crunchy. This turned out to be wonderful texture when eating the soft fluffy cake and soft fondant. Making royal icing is really really easy and you can make yours taste so much better than the commercially produced versions so I hope you will take a chance and give it a try!
This week brings an anniversary cake that I've been working on the pieces for about a month now and just can not wait to see it all come together! We are working this event as well so I'll post lots of photos next Sunday so you can see how it all turned out!
BUT...Before you all go for the week...I have a CONTEST going on with our Facebook site! We are giving away one of three different prizes...YOU get to pick which one you want to win! Just go to http://www.facebook.com/thecherryontopevents and "LIKE" us...then get your friends to "LIKE" us too and post your name on the Wall. The person who gets their name posted the most between now and next Saturday will win the prize of their choice!!! See you on "Cherry"!
Oh...and would you like a second chance to win??? Just post a comment on this week's post telling me which of my cakes is your favorite! I will be drawing one name from this blog to win one of the prizes too! Play here and on Facebook and you could win 2 of the prizes!!