Sunday, 22 April 2012

Happy Birthday "Pat-Man"!!

It was my boyfriend's birthday this past week, and I wasn't going to let my special someone's day go by without honouring him with some form of cake. This design goes way back to even before we were dating. We both took part in a cupcake bake-off competing against each other, being judged by our two good friends (no bias at all!). Although the score was close, my boyfriend did win (by 3 points) however I have to admit his concept was pretty cool: His cupcakes, when all put together made up the Pac Man maze. It seemed more than appropriate that for his birthday I try and follow this threat and give him my version of the Pac Man maze.


 With a bit of construction paper and my trusty glue gun, I tried to best recreate the Pac Man maze, and thus the "Pat Man" (his name is Patrick, it was only natural) maze is born! The look on his face was quite wonderful, and he looked truly surprised! Happy Birthday my Handsome Man, what shall we do for next year?? 

Monday, 9 April 2012

Hippity Hoppity Easter!

Chocolate and Easter have become pretty much synonymous with one another. You hear "Easter" and you think Easter Bunny, egg hunt, chocolate O.D., etc. And although I also have more in-depth associations with Easter I can't ignore the seasonal opportunities that come with this Holy day. I make sweet treats designed to reflect the "new life" half of Easter time; new beginnings, Spring-time, new life. And besides, bunnies always seem to look so cute made out of chocolate!

 I used the designs from Bakerella's Cake Pop book, I just altered it ever so slightly. Plus I wanted to avoid what happened with the bunnies last year.
 I didn't think anything needed changing with the adorable little chicks! So I kept them pretty much the same.
 My Mum's favourite design, of course, the sheep! The only thing I changed really was the licorice logs for the legs. I didn't just use black I shook things up and threw in a white one here and there.
 These are the bunnies! A far cry from the "Alien Pig Bunnies" that came out last year
 I love these cute little chicks! So simple, and would be perfect even for Spring-time birthday parties.
 Sheep!!! Once I figured out the best way to put the sugar pearls on the chocolate without them all slipping to the underside, they were really quite straight forward.

Spring into a new beginning!

Saturday, 7 April 2012

Have a Chocolatey Birthday Vicki!

Almost a month ago a friend of mine asked if I could make him a chocolate cake for his wife's birthday. The specifications were simple: dark chocolate, boozy, no cream filling, and in the style of Première Moisson. Seemed simple enough except I had never attempted anything like this before so was glad I had the time to do my homework. Naturally this started with the testing out of several different chocolate cake recipes! I wanted to find one that was dark enough but tasted more grown-up, and so with the help of some crème de cacao I eventually found a super recipe! Now to get around the cream filling I wanted to try to use something I had learned about at a chocolate making course I went to at one of my local suppliers l'Univers du Vrac. I made an "icing" filling using hazelnut butter, which resulted in a glorious praline type filling. To top off this praline filled, rich chocolate cake I poured over melted dark chocolate ganache.....oh my. And for the crown I created my version of a microscopic view of a cell using different colours of chocolate. I loved the look of the poured ganache, so shiny and decadent looking but I for sure want to practice my technique; This calls for more cake!

 When the cakes were cooling, I poured a bit of crème de cacao over them to soak in.
 This is the image of the cell I used to inspire the chocolate design. And even if your eye doesn't see a cell, it still looks like a cool design.
 The cake just after I finished the ganache layer.

The cake all put together! Lovely richness topped off with a chocolate crown.

I have been informed that the cake is definitely "rich and chocolatey". Firm confirmation that it turned out just right.