Tuesday, August 30, 2011

A few decorating projects...

The last few years have been pretty tough for me, and I sincerely apologize to all who joined my blog and have not seen any new posts. Like many, the job market has not been kind to me; I had set aside my pastry ways for a little while and exchanged "baker hours" for "banker hours," becoming a teller at a local bank for almost a year. However at the beginning of the summer I found myself jobless again, with a company wide downsizing. I had been so busy with my bank job that I had turned down all baking requests, and I didn't realize just how much I had missed baking and decorating. It never ceases to amaze me how many twists and turns life has, and how what's around the next corner is something I never dreamed could happen. Here's hoping that whatever is coming to me is super amazing...I sure need it!

Here's a few pics of some projects I did this summer...

These cupcakes were great; I used the Moosewood chocolate cake recipe, then decorated some with vanilla buttercream and chocolate shavings, some with chocolate buttercream and milk chocolate drizzle, and some with peanut butter frosting decorated with peanut butter cups and milk chocolate drizzle. I sent some into work with Adam, and I guess everyone liked them!

I absolutely LOVE how this cake turned out!!!! A good friend of mine asked me to make a golf theme cake for her husband's 40th birthday, and this is what I came up with (based on a cake on Cake Central.) He loves chocolate, so all tiers are chocolate cake with whipped dark chocolate ganache filling, and chocolate buttercream under the fondant. The golf ball on top is styrofoam covered with fondant (which I had to laugh, I was discussing with another friend what pans I was going to use to make the golf ball, and how I was worried it wasn't going to end up being round; her response was to use a styrofoam ball....duh, Paige!!!)

My daughter requested a volcano cake for her 9th birthday, and I think my husband was more excited about me making this cake than I was because it meant one thing...HE GOT TO PLAY WITH DRY ICE!!! It was definately a fun cake, and turned out really nice.

Soft Pretzel Awesomeness

These pretzels rooooocked!!!! I cannot even tell you how many times I made them! I originally had found a recipe for soft beer pretzels and they intrigued me, and while they were pretty good, they didn't quite hit the spot. I found this recipe from Allrecipes, and let me tell you, they were fantastic. One tip though, don't skip dipping the shaped pretzel dough in the baking soda/water mixture...I tried some without, and they don't get that nice shiny top...just definitely missing something without.