Tuesday, October 26, 2010

cakepops for Halloween...

My Mom called me the other day and asked me to help her with something...which I was totally thrilled and happy. She wanted to make cakepops for someone at her work as part of their BOO! game. You know, the one where you leave a secret/surprise present for someone else then they return the favor to another person... Well, a batch of cakepops yields about 40 - 48 depending on size & accident and tasting rate :) We met at JoAnn's at 1:30 on a Saturday (we won't make that mistake again) and she bought all the necessary supplies. Then she came over tonight and we got to work. She had made the cake mixture the night before and headed over. All in all it took us 2 hours from shaping, dipping, decorating and wrapping. Not TOO shabby if you ask me. By myself it would have taken me at least 3!

I also got to try out a few new things that I had bought on my trip to the The Decorette Shop last month. One was these Paramount Crystals (essentially edible paraffin) to help loosen the consistency of the chocolate. Melted chocolate isn't an easy substance to work with, it is rather temperamental. We did use Wilton but with the Paramount Crystals it was tolerable. We made a variety of orange/black/purple colored and decorated cakepops. Some pumpkins, jack-o-lanterns, sprinkled and dipped ones were in the mix! We had about 22 each when all was said and done. We had about 5 accidents here and my Dad ate some of the cake before my Mom could stop him ;-) Though he was put in charge of crumbling it up... We wrapped these with little cellophane treats bags and tied with ribbon. We did this because they will be delivered in a few days and the sprinkles were a bit restless (ie. messy). I like the wrapped look when they have to be transported or the event is a few days away but I really liked the kitty ones I did a few weeks ago how they looked set up without wrapping. To each their own and to each event a different situation!

I also have recently bought two new varieties of melting chips...so expect some cakepops in the future. We have treats next Friday at school...so maybe then :-)

My Mom and I. Hard at work!

Jack-O-Lantern cakepops!!!

Divided up.

Wrapped up.

Fancied up.

PS. Some will go to my work and some to Jason's work. But don't worry...I'll be making more soon!

Sunday, October 24, 2010

cupcake camp ~ Bakerella

I have been a fan of Bakerella since my friend Megan showed me some cake pops she make a year or so ago (the chicks). And while I hadn't tried any of my own until a week or so before Cupcake Camp I checked her blog regularly. Speaking of trying my own, it was a semi-failure. The first time the chocolate melting chips were Wilton White Candy Melts and they turned out with less than desirable results. The white chocolate didn't stay "warm" very long and it was very frustrating. I posted about it on facebook and got some advise from some of my friends about adding vegetable oil to loosen up the chocolate. So I tried that with the Wilton Red Candy Melts and had okay results but they were rather oily (surprise) and didn't harden as they set. Another failure - though slightly less so than the first attempt. Then I went to cupcake camp, and learned a lot!

The class was at Nye Beach Market in Newport, OR. The owner, Celeste, was the founder of this specific Cupcake Camp (anyone can put one on...you just have to have the drive) and she owns the shop. Bakerella talked about so many things from chocolate, to sprinkles, to cake - it was heaven. She did a whole demo from start to finish, minus the baking part because the cake has to cool. I was SUPER glad I'd already tried a few batches because I got to ask some stellar questions and was one of about 5 people out of 30 that had even tried to make them before.

Cakepops/cake balls/cupcake bites/cupcake pops were the items she showed us how to make. All are made of the same basic ingredients: 1 box cake, 3/4 of a can of store bought frosting, candy melts. Sprinkles and such are extra but fun! The reason she says to use boxed cake and store bought frosting is consistency. Homemade goods are delicious but often vary in texture, consistency, and density.

We sat for three, yes 3, hours learning, talking, watching, laughing and enjoying ourselves with Bakerella. It was in heaven. I wish I had had a bit better seat for the pictures aspect but I could hear just fine and learned a lot!!

Her book! We got to sit down with her and get her signature!!

Her work station! Pink and full of cake decorating supplies!! Loved it :)

Cupcake Julie (one of Bakerella's BBFs was taking a ton of pictures)

Showing us the cookie cutter that started it all!

This is the brand she uses...wish we had it here. Kroger is a Fred Meyer 'brand' but Fred Meyer doesn't carry it...hum. Maybe my family in the mid-west will send me some (hint*hint*wink*wink*).

Cupcake pop. Not to be confuse with a cake pop.

3 of the 4 cakes are seen here. Cakeballs (the round ones in the holder), Cupcake pops (the ones that look like little cupcakes on a stick), and cupcake bites (the one's she is making).

Making my very own cupcake bite.

Dip and swirl.

Fill in the gaps.


Smile. Wish this was lighter...I just handed someone my camera and asked them to take pictures of me :)

Our treat. Her book and a bag. I now use this bag for lunches!!

Sprinkles galore!!

Bakerella and I :) Smiles!!!

The scene. Pretty awesome.

Signed and smiling :)

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

two mini cakes...

...for two mini kids.

Jason has a lot of family. Like, his Mom was one of 8 and they all have kids and most of their kids have kids! It certainly makes get-togethers on his side of the family interesting. We are closer to some of his family than others, which I suppose is natural. The best man in our wedding was Jason's cousin Kenny. Kenny married Shana and they have two kids, Linkin who is 3 and Adeline (Addy) who is 1. We call then out "niece and nephew" even though they are technically second cousins. But hey, they're babies and it seems more appropriate.

Well Link and Addy are born just a bit over two years apart in the month of October. Thankfully their parents decided to do one joint birthday part for the family and friends because this enabled us to no have to choose which kiddo's party to attend this year! We were happy for that. A while back Shana had asked me to make Addy's 'smash cake' that she would eat and I had asked if she wanted one for Link too so he wouldn't feel excluded. We decided to go ahead and do that. Shana ordered a 9X13 cake from somewhere up there...see, they live in Auburn which is over 200 miles away and I didn't want to be in charge of the only cake with a driving distance that great.

So I made two 6inch cakes about 3 layers high. Nothing too fancy since I knew the store bought cake (Spongebob to be exact) would be colorful. I did the standard boy and girl colors...because well, it made sense. The cakes themselves are pretty simple but they were intended to be destroyed by children and drive in the car for 3+ hours...so I figured that best.

The cakes!

happy first birthday Addy!

happy third birthday Linkin!


three! look at his toes :)

digging in!

Monday, October 11, 2010

crissy's first birthday (baking extravaganza)...

One of my dearest friends Stacy had a baby girl about a year ago and this weekend we celebrated her first birthday! Stacy and I grew up two houses down from each other and I consider her more family than friend. I was honored to be invited to the celebration and even more honored to bake for it! Actually, Stacy baked and made the frosting for the cat cake and I did the rest!

The cat cake was chocolate with chocolate covered in vanilla fondant. The cupcakes were vanilla with Swiss meringue butter creme. The cakepops were vanilla/vanilla pop dipped in white chocolate.

This was my first real trial at cakepops. I had tried a few before cupcake camp because I knew that at camp I'd be meeting and learning from Bakerella - who 'invented' these little things, but they'd all been flubs! While at camp I learned about the real difference between melting chips, which is the coating on the outside of the cakepop. Then on Friday I visited my friend Megan who I made this farm cake for a few months ago, and she happens to live a few blocks from The Decorette Shop in Portland! There I bought too many just enough new supplies to make me happy :)

On to the pictures!!

Crissy's kitty cake!

The set up. Stacy did a wonderful job making it all look pretty!

Setting up the cakepop station! Please mind the mess.

Patting and Patting the cakepop!

Look at them!!

My favorite. Mrs. Purple cat cakepop.

My second favorite!

Pretty pretty cakepops.

Cupcakes! I always forget I have this stand :-)

Happy First Birthday Christine Elizabeth!!!

Friday, October 8, 2010

cupcake camp ~ michelle bommarito fondant 101...

The first thing I did when I got to the Oregon Coast on that Friday was take a Fondant 101 class from Michelle Bommarito (linked in a previous post).

Though I have worked with fondant before and even taken a Wilton class on it, I figured I would learn something and DID I EVER!!! I learned about the different types of fondant, tricks of the trade, how to kneed it correctly and how fast it dries! I sat next to a girl named Holly who liked taking pictures almost as much as I did so that was a plus. This class was more "demonstration" than hads on, but we did get some time to play around. She showed us so many tools, tricks, patterns, colors, and I was soaking it all in. I did take some notes but am not sure where I have since put them so hopefully it will come back to me.

My work station. Yes, I sat right up front :-)

She's super sweet AND super sassy :-)

The rest of the class watching.



Covering. She was amazing at this part!!


After the class.

I do have another story with Michelle...but that is for a different day. Bakerella was next :)

Monday, October 4, 2010

Oregon Coast Cupcake Camp!!!

I spent this last Friday and Saturday at cupcake camp! By now you know I love baking and have began to dable in cake/cupcake decorating. I found out about this camp through a friend I went to high school with who was one of the main volunteers. And then once I found out that Bakerella was going to be there I was SET! I also got to meet, take a class from, and actually assist Michelle Bommarito!!! I also entered some cupcakes into a contest and donated some to the worthy cause of Donate Life Northwest. You see, this whole cupcake camp was a charity even put on by Celeste of Nye Beach Market in Newport, Oregon. Everyone there had something to share, learn, or give about this event. I myself am an organ donar should that time ever come. It was a toucing, exciting, fun, and pretty much "one of the best things I've ever done for myself" kind of weekend.

I'm going to post some pictures tonight and I'll write more about the events of the weekend soon! Jason and I are currently cooking like crazy in the kitchen - we're finally trying to make a menu for one week, go shopping for the 'little' stuff that week (we do our big grocery shopping at Winco or Costco once a month). This will hopefully make us become more mindful of our food, our meals, and help us to not eat out as often, though that is still on the menu, but only a few times a month... baby steps :) More on that later too...

Onto the cupcake camp pictures!!!

:) Can't wait to make more cake pops!!

Meeting Bakerella :)

Dipping a cupcake pop in Bakerella's class.

Myself and Michelle Bommarito

Look at all the cupcakes! And they were all donated!!!

I bought some cupcakes!

The judges eating MY Marionberry cupcake!!!