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Minecraft Birthday Cake!

15 Sep

Hey guys!

How’s everyone doing? I’ve been quite busy this week with some birthday cakes I’ve been making for friends.  One of the cakes I did this week was a Minecraft cake!  I was asked to make a Minecraft themed cake, so I went with the actual Minecraft cake as my theme.  If you’re interested on how to make your own Minecraft cake, follow the cut for my tutorial!

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Tardis Cake

7 Jul

So I’ll be the first to admit that I haven’t quite caught on to the Dr. Who craze going on yet, but my friends have definitely been trying to get me into it! Don’t worry guys, I’ll get there, I’ve just been busy! Just got back from a two week work trip, and I’m finally trying to catch up with some blogging! So what better way to start than with a Tardis cake? This cake was made for my friend’s son, for his 14th birthday : ). Honestly, I was quite concerned about making this cake because it seems rather daunting, since it’s rather detailed, but I’m never one to back out of a challenge, and honestly it wasn’t all that bad! So let’s start!

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Camo Cupcakes

9 Jun

A couple of months ago I rotated out of my old program at work. There were also a few new people who had rotated in, so our team decided to have a celebratory cook out : ).  I’m typically in charge of bringing dessert to our cook outs, so I decided to make cupcakes.  Because I work for the military, I wanted to do something fun and themed, so I decided to make some camo cupcakes!  This was super easy, and looked really neat, let’s begin!

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Pokeball Birthday Cake

8 Jan

Hello everyone!

I hope everyone had a great holiday!  December was pretty crazy with all the birthdays and holidays, and January seems to be no different!  One of my new year’s resolution is to blog at least once a week, so we’ll be starting  the new year with a cute Pokemon themed birthday cake!  Brian, who is one of my best friends celebrated his birthday on Sunday January 6th, and as he’s an avid fan of Pokemon, so his wife (also one of my best friends) and I decided we’d make him a Pokeball cake!

Alright, let’s get started!

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Chocolate Present Cake

26 Dec

Hello everyone!
Can you believe that Christmas has already passed us by!? I feel like the holidays were a whirlwind this year!  I unfortunately haven’t had any time to do much baking, which was unfortunate, since I love baking during the holidays, but as my brother’s birthday as well as my own + Christmas all happened during this month, there was hardly a free moment!

However, since it was my brother’s birthday as I mentioned earlier, I did make his birthday cake!  I decided to go with a present theme, since I’ve always wanted to make one.  It didn’t come out perfect (my frosting skills aren’t perfected yet), but I did think it came out pretty decent for my first try.  So, during this entry, I’ll be walking you through making a very simple present cake!

Let’s begin!

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When life gives you failed cakepops, make some cupcake toppers!

10 Sep

A couple of weeks ago it was a coworker’s birthday. He happened to be a fan of golf, so I immediately thought to make golf ball cakepops! I’ve been making cake pops for years, and I’ve never had issues making them before until this little project rolled around! Normally, the last step in cakepops is to dip the cake ball in your melted chocolate/candy coating. However, to make accurate golf balls (as in to include the texture of a golf ball as opposed to a smooth surface of a normal cakepop) you need to use a mold. I had never made cakepops using a mold, so this was a bit of an adventure for me, one that didn’t end up quite the way I initially intended it to! But that’s the great thing about cooking, even when things don’t go perfectly, there is usually a positive way of salvaging your disaster : )!

In my case, my failed cake pops turned into cupcake toppers, so all was well in the end. I will eventually make a post dedicated solely to making cakepops the way I normally make them, but for now I’ll show you the process I used for this particular project.

Ok, let’s begin with the basics of cakepops!

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Vanilla Adventure!

3 Sep

Today we’re going to discuss vanilla!

In one of my previous entries I spoke about making your own vanilla, and I finally was able to get all of my ingredients to do it, so I thought I’d share my little adventure!

To make vanilla extract you need only two items: vanilla beans, and some kind of alcohol (usually vodka).

Now, if you start looking to buy vanilla beans, I highly recommend buying them online, or from a local farmer’s market.  The price difference is unbelievable!!  A typical vanilla bean from a chain grocery store will cost somewhere between 7-10 dollars, which is much more than the average price online (1-3 dollars).

Buying vanilla beans can be a little intimidating because there are quite a few varieties and grades from which to order.  It should be noted that the two most popular are Madagascar vanilla beans, and Tahitian.

So which one should be used?  From what I’ve gathered in my research it’s pretty simple: if you’re planning on using the vanilla in baked goods, go with Madagascar vanilla beans.  Tahitian vanilla beans are milder and softer in flavor, and thus are much better suited for items that don’t need to be cooked at high temperatures.  However, there is no magic rule that says you have to follow this guidance, it’s merely a suggestion : ).

Because I plan on using my vanilla extract primarily for baking, I went with Madagascar vanilla beans.

I also bought two types of alcohol to infuse, vodka as well as rum.  vodka is often the preferred choice because it’s rather tasteless, and won’t have a flavor that competes with the vanilla.  You don’t have to use a high end vodka, just one that’s relatively tasteless.  I bought some vodka called RÖKK for my extract. I almost bought another type of vodka, but the clerk at the store recommended this brand because it was cheaper, as well as more pure and tasteless than the other brand I had chosen.   As far as the rum, it was something I had seen a few people do, and since I do enjoy rum cake, I thought this could create a really interesting extract!  There are many other types of alcohol that can be used, I’ve heard of people using Brandy as well, so feel free to experiment!  Just remember to use an alcohol that’s at least 35% alcohol (70 proof).

As for sizing, it really depends on how much extract you’d like to make.  Both bottles that I bought where 1.75 liters which is almost 60 oz.

Now let’s discuss the ratio of vanilla beans to alcohol.  There doesn’t seem to any real strict rule on this.  The most common I’ve seen has been 1 bean to 2 oz of alcohol, or 4 beans for 1 cup alcohol (8 oz).   Some other vanilla makers recommend 5 beans to one cup.  Since I ordered quite a few beans, I decided to go with the 5 beans to 8 oz of alcohol.  For my 1.75 liter bottles I decided to use 36 beans for each bottle.

Now with all this background information, let’s move on to the process!

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