Friday, August 31, 2012

Secret Ingredients

Did I mention how nice everyone is here? The gal who works at 4th Street Pickers...well the day after I made the Harley cake for her boss, she called and asked me if I could possibly do a birthday cake for her son.

My reply was an over-enthusiastic "Of Course!!"

Anyway. She wanted a cake that looked like the question box on Mario Kart. After some intense research online (I'm old I guess, since I don't play video games), I knew what she was talking about, and this is what the result was:


A few days later, as we were both waiting to pick our kiddos up from school, she told me "You must put some secret ingredient in your cakes, because they are the best I've ever eaten!"

**Me Blushing**

Wednesday, August 29, 2012

Welcome to Glenrock

Well, here we are in Glenrock, one of the nicest little towns in Wyoming. The people are just so welcoming and wonderful, and although I have lots of stories to highlight that fact, here's the best one.

The second week we were here, I went down to a little shop called 4th Street Pickers. Mostly I was interested in the hot pink Christmas tree out front, but when I found out that wasn't for sale, I wandered around looking at things. Naturally, I found lots of cake making supplies I just had to have.

When I was done digging around in their basement, I went upstairs to pay for my treasures. But when the gal at the front went to ask the "boss" how much everything was, she came back in and said "You won't like what he said."

I laughed nervously and asked what he had said. And she replied "He said you can have them for free, if you make him a cake."

Only in a small town...

So I agreed, and immediately knew what to make for him. Because not only does he own 4th Street Pickers, he also owns Big Boy Toys here in town. I'm not exactly sure what they do...but there are lots of AMAZING motorcycles parked out front every day! So the cake choice was pretty easy:




Now, they would have been my favorite store in town anyway, with all the fabulous "junk" available to dig through. But their extra fun and welcoming attitudes...well that pushed me right over the top! I ♥ this town. 

Thursday, August 16, 2012

Practice Makes Perfect

In September, I'm driving back to Torrington to do a wedding cake for a friend of a friend. I met with this awesome gal twice, once when I dropped off a cake for her co-worker, and once with Sweet Lou's Bakery, where I was hired to decorate cakes...before I moved. :-(

Anyway...

After doing my sister's wedding cake, I had lots of supplies left over. So I decided to use the leftovers to practice for the next wedding cake.



The practice version turned out pretty amazing, if I do say so myself! Now I'm extra super excited to do the actual wedding cake!

What did I do with this one you ask? Well...I dropped it off at a friend's house during a family get-together. All the little girls were SUPER excited when I walked in the door. And I quote: "OH MY GOSH!! Is that for US???!!!"



Tuesday, August 14, 2012

Sweet Cheeks Coca Cola Cake

As you may know, I'm very fond of Coca Cola cake, and have been experimenting with the original recipe I found on pinterest. The first time was a disaster. The second one was tasty, but not too pretty. So I kept trying (and enjoying the practice cakes), and eventually I got the perfect combination of amazingly delicious and pretty enough to eat. So I would like to share that recipe with all of you!


Sweet Cheeks Coca Cola Cake

Cake Ingredients: 
  • 2 cups flour
  • 1 3/4 cups sugar
  • 1/2 tsp. baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp. cinnamon
  • 1 cup butter
  • 1 1/2 cups mini marshmallows
  • 1/4 cocoa powder
  • 1 c. coca-cola
  • 1/2 c. buttermilk 
    • You can buy powdered buttermilk in the baking section, and just re-hydrate it according to the directions to get 1/2 c. liquid buttermilk. Saves on buying the stuff from the milk section and then having extra.
  • 2 eggs
  • 2 tsp. vanilla
 Glaze Ingredients:
  • 1/2 cup butter
  • 3 tbs. cocoa powder
  • 1/3 cup coca-cola
  • 1 tbs. vanilla
  • 16 oz. powdered sugar, or more to get a consistency you like
  • 1 cup chopped pecans
Instructions:
  1. Preheat oven to 350, and then grease and flour a bundt pan.
  2. Mix the first list of cake ingredients together.
  3. In a saucepan over medium/high heat, stir the second list of cake ingredients together until boiling.
  4. Remove from heat, and add to the first list of ingredients. Whisk until combined. 
  5. Whisk in third list of cake ingredients - the eggs and vanilla. 
  6. Bake at 350 for 30 minutes or until cake tests done. 
  7. Make the glaze. Mix the first list of glaze ingredients in a saucepan and bring to a boil.
  8. Remove from heat, and slowly stir in the powdered sugar, then the pecans. 
  9. Pour glaze over cake. Enjoy! 

Saturday, August 11, 2012

Repeat Customers

I ♥ repeat customers, and not just because of the income. I ♥ being part of their special memories...birthday parties, weddings, baby showers. There's just something so neat about seeing your customer's families grow and change.

I did these cakes for a special lady whose adult kids, and their spouses, all shared the same birthday month - August. She called and said she wanted one cake for the guys, and one cake for the girls...and she wanted them cowboy and cowgirl. Having done a cake for her grandson few months before, I was excited to be able to add something to their family celebration once again. And she gave me free reign, which is always fun. :)

So here's the ladies' cake:



And here's the guys' cake:



After meeting up with her to deliver, and jumping her car, she said to me "Whose going to do my cakes now that you are moving?!" Maybe I'll have to drive back to town once a month, just for special customers like her.
 





Thursday, August 9, 2012

A Western Wedding

My sister got married last weekend, and was sweet enough to let me make her wedding cake. I say sweet enough because I'd never done a wedding cake before! And the next time I do, especially if I'm traveling to do it, I'm taking my own KitchenAid from home. Why? Because when we got to my sister's house the night before the ceremony to make the royal frosting for the piping, we discovered that she doesn't own a mixer. So FYI, a double batch of royal icing takes 7 minutes in a KitchenAid...or 30 minutes in a HubbyAid. Yes, my long suffering husband hand-whisked a double batch of royal icing for me. If you don't know how spectacular that is, give it a try sometime!

Although every flaw looked glaringly obvious to me, I'm definitely my own worst critic (what baker isn't?), because everyone was so kind in telling me how amazing it looked and tasted. So here it is, two layers of white chocolate raspberry and two layers of dark chocolate raspberry, with white chocolate raspberry frosting, white chocolate fondant, and edible paper camouflage. These photos were taken the night before the wedding - just in case something horrible happened to it before the reception!




Right now, my husband would be hollering this: "Make sure you tell them that I made the deer antler stand!" So I will...my husband (the closet baker) made the deer antler cake stand, and covered it in camouflage fabric - which used to be the curtains in my kitchen. Nothing like following Scarlett O'Hara's lead, right?

These were taken at the reception. Aside from getting to eat my own cake for a change, my favorite part was the wine glasses and knife, which our parents used at their wedding.