Sunday, 29 January 2012

Happy Birthday Jean-François!

So far, all the birthday orders I've filled have involved pink, purple sprinkles, and bright colours. This special birthday project didn't even come close to any of the primary colours, in fact I have never made a design like this one. When the choir was trying to figure out how to honour our choir director's birthday this past weekend one of the member suggested I make a special cake pop for him... to look like his dog, Balzac. Good thing Jean-François's furry friend was already the colours of chocolate so I didn't have to stretch too far, plus with my trusty toothpick I tried to give him a "furry" look. I think it worked! The choir loved it, and most of all Jean-François loved it too.

Saturday, 28 January 2012

Double Birthday Fun!

Although I usually say I like a week to get organized with an order, to design plan and get it right, sometimes life decides that's boring. And although a week for a fairly sizable order is comfortable, there are some people you know you'd do it in for less. My hairdresser is one of these people. Carolyn is responsible for making my and my Mother's hair look great when ever we see her. She takes her time, and works hard to do the best job for us whenever we sit in her chair. (It's perfect too because I get to practice my rusty French!). An essential part of a hairdresser's job is talking to and getting to know their customers, and visa versa. After a while you gradually get to know the person beyond the styled exterior, such as Carolyn's children. A little boy and a little girl who were both born on the same day!! When Carolyn asked if I'd make her some cakes for her children's party the coming weekend, it was a no-brainer. Anyone else I may have said I don't have the time to do anything fancy, but I wanted to show Carolyn my appreciation for making me pretty by giving her something pretty in return!
One we established basics: how many, what flavour, her children's favourite colours and some general designs my little wheels started turning. Her daughter was turning 6 and wanted like pink and princess, and her little boy was turning 3 liked red and is into cars. From all that I came up with something that I hoped ticked all the boxes and felt personal.

Naturally when I hear Princess I think of crowns. I made these out of fondant I dyed yellow. Here they are drying.

And here they are on top of their pink crown-stand. I gave them pearls, gold sugar, and lots of different colours of sprinkles to be-jewel them!

I love the boys' design! I made black-fondant strips for the road and ultra white for the road markings. The cars are layers of different colours of chocolate. I'm wondering how these would look like with little trains, thinking of my trainiack boyfriend.

Wrapped up with red and pink tags to finish them off!!

Friday, 27 January 2012

My Sweet-Heart Sprinkles

As promised, here is an example of some Valentine's Day sweet treats. I kept these ones nice and simple, by letting the sprinkles do the talking. I love all the different shapes of sprinkles you can get. These ones are particularly adorable, and aren't just your run-of-the-mill red hearts, no, they're much better! One type is called "micro hearts" and wuite rightly too. From a far they just look like red, white, and pink nonpareils, but upon closer inspection you see they're actually teeny tiny hearts. The other type is called "fill your heart" because of the heart-shaped whole in their middle, and If I had had more patients I would have attempted to literally fill the centers of these ones with another colour chocolate but alas I did not. Definitely going to keep that in mind for next time.
I have some more Valentine's truffles designs on the drawing board, I just need to find a moment to try them out!!

Bride of New France

Reading can be hungry work! It would be poor manners if the members of Mum's book club weren't looked after properly, so naturally when Mum was thinking what she could bring to this months' meeting to go with the book that they'd all read (The Bride of New France) I saw another opportunity to use the LorAnn's flavours and mixed maple flavour into the chocolate cake. I wanted them to look "maple flavour" so I made fondant leaves in red and yellow and dusted them with gold for a bit of elegance. Mum came hope and reported very positive feedback!

Engagement Celebration

Recently, my little circle of friends celebrated the engagement of two of our own! This weekend, we're having a little soiree to celebrate this fact by having a nice meal and playing the Game of Life (ironically). Naturally a gathering of people requires certain sweet offerings which I happily brought. Plus, I know my friends are willing guinea pigs for a new flavour combination I wanted to try out.
These are a nod to strawberries dipped in chocolate. The chocolate cake centers have been flavoured with strawberry essence. I didn't flavour the chocolate, not wanting to have the truffles turn down the strawberry jell-o flavour route. I dipped half the truffles in milk chocolate and the other half in dark chocolate. For that added extra flourish, I fashioned edible rings on top, using yellow chocolate, fondant and sugar.

Wednesday, 25 January 2012

Amaretto Sweet!

As I've mentioned, I'm experimenting with different flavoured oils giving tasty twists to both the chocolate and the cake. I use LorAnn's oils and flavours from one of my local stores. I have about 6 flavours now, but I would love to get my hands on all of them eventually! These are two examples of my experiments.

These are vanilla cake, dipped in dark cream coloured chocolate that I flavoured with Amaretto flavour oil. I sprinkled the tops with gold sugar which didn't change the flavour, it's only for a sparkly look in an appropriate colour.
My boyfriend's favourite, mint chocolate! When he expressed his fondness for mint chocolate, I started thinking how could I make some of my own. When I spotted to peppermint oil, I knew it would be perfect. I usually use chocolate cake dipped in peppermint-flavoured milk chocolate, but I have used vanilla cake with a drop of peppermint oil added for extra "mintiness". I sprinkle on top "mint crunch" which are white and green, mint-flavoured bits. The only thing my boyfriend complains about these cakes is that I don't make them often enough for him!

Friday, 20 January 2012

Bonne Fête Hailey!!

I believe my nieces would have loved these particular creations. Why? Because they're pink! (Most of them anyway.) The main request I had when I was designing these with the Birthday Girl's Mum was that she was a "girly girl" so could I include pink and purple. No problem. I instantly imagined designs involving bright pink, and happy purple, polka dots, flowers, sprinkles and other happy girly designs. There was also a request that the three boys at the party be catered for, so they got blue and green designed with shooting stars.
Not only was I making cakepops for the birthday girl, but her Mum also wanted a bigger cake to go with them. (First time for everything!) So again, I went with the pink, happy theme. I went with a pink butter cream, and to be honest all I could imagine when I was smearing this over the cake was "pink elephant". Don't ask me why, but but it's just what I thought this colour represented. I then topped it off with fondant polka dots in the cakepop colours.
I hope the Birthday day girl enjoys her treats, and bowls a strike at her party!!
The cake pops, drying. These are chocolate centres. There are 6 dipped in pink with purple flowers and 5 diped in purple with pink flowers. For the boys, all three were dipped in blue with green designs. I did shooting stars all three with different trails after their stars. All 14 were finished off with sugar pearls for a bit of class!
All wrapped up with their tags that read "Bonne Fête Hailey". The paper looks orange, but it's really flourescent pink.
My first order for a big cake! Chocolate also, with lots of polka dots in the same colours as the cake pops.
Side view showing the polka dots wrapping around the corners and the beading at the base.

Saturday, 14 January 2012

Pre Order for Valentine's Day

Greetings cake lovers!! We have just one month until out favourite red and pink holiday is upon us. Whether you plan on sending your secret someone a little box of treats, you're playing cupid for your friends, you want to surprise that special someone with a different kind of treat, or if you are at the top of your list, then think of sending them some cute little cakes pops.
There will be photos to follow soon, but I'll be making both cake pops and truffle cakes with seasonally appropriate designs, so think of the special someone and order soon!!
LAST DAY for orders is FRIDAY FEBRUARY 10TH! You can send your email orders to me at: Please let me know how many you would like and of what design, and we can arrange pick-up times or delivery times.

Tuesday, 10 January 2012

When Life Hand you Lemons... Make Cake!

My boyfriend's family were quite taken with my truffle cakes when I brought some over at Christmas. So much so that they placed an order for a box! They had some specifications, though: The guest they were having over and were going to serve these two was a dark-chocoholic. "The more bitter, the better" I was told. No problem. The other request was for lemon flavour in some way. Again, I thought no problem I make a lemon cake. So this is what I came up with...

All the chocolate is 65% cacao solids, so very bitter. The different flavours are as follows:
(Top row, left to right) Chocolate cake dipped in plain dark chocolate with dark chocolate shavings on top. Second is lemon cake dipped in plain dark chocolate with candied lemon peel on top. Third, we have lemon cake dipped in lemon flavoured dark chocolate with a yellow chocolate swirl. And lastly, chocolate cake dipped in lemon flavoured dark chocolate with gold sugar sprinkled on top. These are definitely more "gourmet" than others I have made, but they were fun to make and just go to show that what ever flavours or designs you want you can put together with chocolate and cake!

Truffle Boxes

I love these little treats. They look like a box of chocolates, but inside they're cake! Same centre as the cake pops, but they come in two different sizes: the larger one is the same amount of cake as the cake pops, and a smaller size.
The designs on these truffle cakes are a little more grown-up for lack of a better description. So far, I've stayed away from making cute animal faces on them, and gone more with a 'gourmet' approach and created a topping design to reflect the flavour inside, or of the chocolate.
For up-coming Valentine's Day, these really do make a lovely gift for someone. Give them a box of truffle cakes in their favourite flavour either dipped in their favourite colour chocolate, or why not chocolate dipped in their favourite sweet flavour. Finally they can be designed with swirls, sprinkles, letters, or topped with something sweet. The possibilities are endless!! It's personal, and your special someone will surly be touched at how well you know them!

I went with a "less is more" approach. I personally would stay away from a treat that looked like a needed a fork and knife to eat. I also wanted to evoke a sense of what you were eating even before you could smell the truffle cake. The swirls on top were meant to help with that:
The white swirl with coloured sprinkles is vanilla cake; The white swirl with golden sprinkles is lemon cake (normally I would use yellow chocolate, but this was for Christmas); the red swirl is red velvet cake; and the green swirl is chocolate cake, granted not chocolate but it's a 'C' and again it was for Christmas.
As I mentioned, the possibilities are endless. I've even tried flavouring the dipping chocolate. My boyfriend is quite fond of mint-chocolate so naturally I tried that one first. I dipped chocolate cake in mint chocolate and sprinkled 'mint crunch' white and green mint-flavoured pieces on top. They were a success!!