Monday, December 28, 2009

Peppermint Twins

On Wednesday, the day before Christmas Eve, I had three cakes to make.  Two of them were the Peppermint Chocolate Cake that I had made recently.  Here are the Peppermint Twins!  The third cake was a Lemon Mousse with Raspberries (from Tish Boyle).
Here is a side view of my Peppermint Twins.  As you can see the "baby" sized candy canes go perfectly on the side of the cake.  This cake is 3 layers of devils food chocolate, and has the crushed peppermint candy buttercream filling, all from the Cooks recipe that I posted about before.  I did change up the outer frosting.  I made a cream cheese peppermint frosting.  It was so delicious!  I found it on the Southern Living website and I'll post it below for all of you.  Once frosted, I pressed crumbled peppermints all around the cake.

I piped the white chocolate buttercream frosting around the cake and then I added the candy canes.  My sweet little 5 year old suggested the hearts on the top.  She has great ideas!

I filled the heart with dots of white chocolate peppermint frosting.  Yum.

Peppermint Cream Cheese Frosting

  • 1  (8-ounce) package cream cheese, softened
  • 1  cup  butter or margarine, softened
  • 1  (2-pound) package powdered sugar
  • 2  teaspoons  peppermint extract*


Beat cream cheese and butter at medium speed with an electric mixer until creamy. Gradually add sugar, beating at low speed until smooth. Add extract, beating until blended.
*2 teaspoons vanilla extract may be substituted.
For Quick Peppermint Frosting, stir together 3 (16-ounce) containers ready-to-spread cream cheese frosting and 2 teaspoons peppermint extract.
Southern Living, DECEMBER 1998

Here is the link to this recipe:

I hope you all had a very merry Christmas and may you all have a very blessed New Year!

Friday, December 18, 2009

Snowmen Cupcakes

Fondant Showmen on Billy's Vanilla Cupcakes.  Aren't they cute?  I just fell for them.  I wanted to keep them all but off they went to school.  Courtney took them to her daughter's Christmas party.  I was told some were devoured right away, and some got to sit on their children's desks.
I got my inspiration from Elisa Strauss.  She has some very cute snowmen in her book Confetti Cakes. Mine are nowhere are fancy as hers but I had so much fun doing them, and I love they way they came out.

I made these guys in three different colors- blue, pink, and light green.  The green is looking yellow, but I promise it really was green!

Here is Mr. Snowman with a green scarf.

This blue scarf snowman has a bit of cornstarch on his scarf.  I think he looks a little frosty that way.

Profile view of Mr. Snowman.

If you want to see Elisa's snowman, take a look here.  She is an amazing artist.

Have a great weekend!  Many blessings, Rachel

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Chocolate Candy Cane Cake

I found this recipe in Cooks Illustrated, Holiday Baking.  It sounded so yummy I just had to try it.  We had a brunch with some of the MOPS Mentor Moms from church, and I thought it would be the perfect thing!

This cake starts off with a deep dark devils food chocolate cake recipe.  Then it's layered in a peppermint buttercream, topped with a white chocolate buttercream and crumbled peppermints.  As I was making the frosting, I was wondering "Is this too much?" but later at the brunch when I took a bite, I was not disappointed!

I decided to try a square cake just for fun.  I love a square cake, it's so easy to slice up.  I also think it adds a touch of elegance.
I place the peppermint candies around the cake and piped the remaining white chocolate buttercream around.  It was a little tricky to pipe the icing on the crushed peppermint, it did not want to stick to it.  I decided to leave the crumbled peppermints on the platter like a bed of pink sugar, or pink snow- it looked so pretty to me.

A close up of the crushed peppermints.  Oh heaven.  Peppermint Mocha?  Peppermint Chocolate Ice cream? Peppermint chocolate candies?  Peppermint chocolate cookies? You have met your match-in a cake! I will be making it again soon.

Have you tried any of Cook's recipes?  I just love how they tell a little story of how they came up with the "perfect" recipe and all they did to try different ways to make it.  Very fun!
Happy Baking!  Blessings, Rachel

Sunday, December 13, 2009

A Christmas Chocolate Cake with Chocolate Covered Strawberries

What a lovely cake, even if I do say so myself!  :)  Melena asked for a Chocolate Cake with Chocolate Covered Strawberries for her upcoming Christmas party.  With my favorite book- yes you know the one - "The Cake Book" by Tish Boyle, in hand I got to work.  For this project I knew I had to use the Deeply Dark Devil's Food Cake recipe, and then I layered it with Chocolate Whipped Cream (ohhh sweet bliss!!).  I made two and a half recipes of the cake and doubled the whipped cream recipe, then I topped it with her fabulous Fudgy Chocolate Frosting, this I tripled because I wanted to make sure I had plenty of frosting for the decorative piping.

Here is the cake unadorned, but fully frosted.
A close up looking down at the cake.  I was experimenting with shell piping, star piping, loops along the top and rosettes along the bottom.  The bottom tier has three 9inch layers of cake, and two of whipped cream.  The top tier has two 6inch layers of cake, and one of whipped cream.
Side view of the cake from my kitchen table.
Here are some of my chocolate covered strawberries.  Thank you to my CA MOPS because there I became an expert at making chocolate covered strawberries at our annual fundraisers!  :)
Strawberries, yummy.

I assembled the cake at Melena's house, just before her party started.  The cake pedestal is hers.  Perfect for this cake and I do have a little pedestal envy- that is one beautiful pedestal.  I carefully placed each strawberry around the cake, and it was perfectly lovely.
Merry Christmas Melena!

I love your comments and I want to say hello to my new followers!!  :)  Blessings, Rachel

Saturday, December 12, 2009

Tween Birthday Party Cake for R

Courtney said her daughter was turning 9 and would like a colorful fun Tween Birthday Cake.  What a fun project!
I got out my copy of "The Cake Book" by Tish Boyle and I made her delicious "Devilishly Moist Chocolate Cake".  I love this book!  I layered it with Billy's white Vanilla Buttercream icing.   I sprinkled a few chocolate morsels in between the upper tier for added chocolate flavor.

I had fun decorating the top layer with fondant.  I love girly cakes and this one was a blast to decorate!  Here is a close up of the front of the cake under the bow.

Front of the cake.

Right side of the cake with flowers.

Back side of the cake, with a few stars sprinkled around the rope border.

Left side of the cake with the ribbon and butterfly.

One last picture.  Happy birthday R!!
I love to read your comments and I love followers!
Blessings, Rachel

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

Chocolate Coconut Cupcakes

I love MOPS!  Mothers of Preschoolers that is.  I know, I know, my children are too old!  That's right!  I'm a Mentor Mom at MOPS.  I just love the ladies and the fellowship I find at MOPS.  We meet once a month at our church and take turns bringing the food.  It was my turn to bring food, so of course I could not resist trying a new recipe- Chocolate Coconut Cupcakes- a similar flavor to Mounds candy bars says Tish Boyle author of "The Cake Book".  What's not to like?  But just in case I made the Vanilla, Vanilla cupcakes for those who are not Chocolate lovers.  :)
I found out the lighting is dark at MOPS!  Who knew?  
Back to the cupcakes!  The chocolate cupcakes had a chocolate coconut batter, were topped with a chocolate coconut milk ganache, and sprinkled with dried flaked coconut.  Very rich and tasty!  The Vanilla, Vanilla cupcakes are the same recipe I have posted before - a keeper for sure!  This time I topped them with colored leaf sprinkles.  They were were very festive.
The Chocolate Coconut Cupcake- Yummy!  The rich chocolate ganache makes this cupcake!
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Blessings, Rachel

Monday, November 30, 2009

Lemon Mousse Cake with fresh raspberries

As I enjoyed a coffee with an old friend she let me know her birthday was coming up.  I was so excited when she asked me to make her a cake.  We collaborated and decided a lemony cake would be just the thing.

This is one of my favorite recipes from "The Cake Book" by Tish Boyle.  A yummy Genoise cake layered with a yogurt mousse.  A delicious syrup was applied each of the four layers of cake, then topped with the lemon yogurt mousse.  There was enough of the lemon mousse left over to ice the cake, and then I decorated it with fresh whipped cream and raspberries.

I coated the raspberries with honey just before they were placed on the cake.  These raspberries were perfectly ripe, but a little too much honey maybe!  ;)
In the center of the cake I piled the rest of the raspberries.
This was my second attempt at Lemon Mousse Cake, the first one was not quite as successful.  That was a few months ago.  Now I can say, I do know how to make a Genoise!  Julia Child would be pleased!
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Hope you had a great birthday Cat!!  I love comments and followers!

Friday, November 20, 2009

Shark Cupcakes- end of soccer season!

Such a fun cupcake to make!  So, when Courtney asked me to make her cupcakes for her daughter's soccer team "The Blue Sharks", an idea formed!  Being a girly girl and having only girls, this was a new venture!

I managed to find a cute shark cookie cutter, and went to work on some fondant.  I wasn't sure exactly how the shark face should look so I called on my husband for some help.  After his artistic suggestions this is what we came up with.
Here's a school of sharks swimming on some fluffy vanilla buttercream frosting.

Watch out!  I think these guys are serious!  It makes me want to play soccer.....
Here's the cupcakes all ready to swim off!  I found this great cupcake carrier from Snapwear, I just love it!  The weather is rainy today, I hope it clears up for the game.  At least the cupcakes are dry and secure.

I love to read your comments and I always love more followers!

German Chocolate Cake

German Chocolate Yummyness is what this is.  I have never actually made or eaten homemade from scratch German Chocolate cake and for some reason I keep hearing how good it is from different people.

So when my friend asked me to make her husband a German Chocolate Cake for his birthday, I was excited!

I was happy to try a new recipe and see what everyone was talking about.
When I was a kid I remember eating German chocolate cake from the box and a premade frosting out of the container.  My mom used to make it this way, and so did my grandmother.  Who knew you could make all this from scratch??  Can I just say, making this cake from scratch, with all natural, all fresh and organic ingredients ups the level of goodness by tenfold!  It is amazing even if I do say so myself!

I made it extra tall, with five layers of cake and gooey coconut and toasted pecan filling.  For the sides I used a chocolate buttercream.

For our family we made a smaller version with no nuts or coconut (because my sweet littlest daughter despises both of them) but I added them to the top of mine and my husband's. My 5 year old had fun decorating it just like Mommy!  I was quite impressed!

I love comments and followers!  Have a great weekend!