Monday, May 18, 2009

Kit Kat and M&M Birthday Cake

Today is Ad's birthday. I'm not even going to pretend I'm going to lie and say that I didn't try to take the easy way out with his cake...I totally did. I really like to make the big, over the top cakes for him and the girls, but it gets to a point where it's such a waste. It's nothing but a picture to put in my portfolio. And a ton of cake that gets tossed in the garbage. I first came across candy cakes back in February when I was lurking around on Cake Central, and loved the idea. Not only are they a cool idea, they are way easy to make. No smoothing out of the icing, no piping bags....Ad loves Kit Kats, and Cam could live on M&M's, so I decided this cake would be perfect for today. I even made it, start to finish, in just a few hours...including cooling time. What cake decorator wouldn't love a cake like this?!

I used my mom's Snowy White Cake, which I've changed up some...ok, I've changed up a lot. Don't get me wrong, I love her version, but always found it "crummy" and a little difficult to ice. Here is my version...

2 1/3 c. flour
1 1/2 c. sugar
4 tsp. baking powder
1 tsp. salt
1/2 c. butter
1/2 c. Sunny D (I've never tried actual orange juice)
2/3 c. milk
1 tsp. vanilla
1/4 c. sour cream
2 eggs (or 1 egg and 2 whites...sometimes it depends on how short I am on eggs. It works a little nicer to use the egg whites, but let's face it...I'm way cheap.)

Cream together butter and sugar. Add remaining ingredients except eggs and mix well. Add eggs and beat for two minutes. Bake at 350 degrees until top springs back.

The amounts of this recipe work great for 2 8" rounds. Another hint, too...when using this recipe to make cupcakes, fill the tins and then let them sit out for at least 15 minutes. They will get a nicer (higher) top on them.

For the frosting, I used my normal sugar-high buttercream...
2lbs confectioners sugar
1 1/2 sticks butter (or if you want it to crust, use 1 stick of butter, 1/4 c. shortening)
some vanilla
pinch or so of salt

I place everything in the mixer except for the milk, and then add the milk until I get the right consistency, and then whip it till it's fluffy. If you add too much milk, add some more confectioners sugar.

Cool and trim the cake so that it is level, then fill and ice the outside and top. Next take your Kit Kats (I needed 4 of the large packages,) break them into two bar sections, and start placing them around your cake. When you are done, spread M&M's on the top, making sure that you cover all of your icing. And then finally, tie a bow around the cake! Voila!

Monday, May 4, 2009

Chocolate Mousse

While I was Googling around today, I stumbled upon this profession-ally taken photo of a chocolate mousse that I made while working at the cafe. I have always been disappointed that I never got any photos of the desserts that I made while working there, so you can imagine my extreme surprise and excitement when I found this! The photo was taken by Jaime Reed Photography . Thanks, Jaime, for letting me use this great photo!