Raspberry Trifle with White Chocolate and Almonds

A number of our friends were away during the holidays so we invited everyone over for dinner at our house early January when everyone was back.  Our Christmas decorations were still hanging, my husband was trying out a Peking Duck recipe and I wanted to do a dessert with something red on it.  Love this dessert and it also happens to be the favorite of a number of our guests who were coming over for dinner.


January 23, 2010 at 10:50 pm Leave a comment

M&M’s Christmas Tree Cake

I had already sketched a design for a Snowman Christmas Cake to take to a a Christmas lunch we were attending, unfortunately, something came up on Christmas Eve and I had to scramble on Christmas morning to decorate the cake.  I realized I had Christmas M&Ms in the pantry and some Wilton Christmas sprinkles and ended up with an M&Ms Christmas Tree cake instead.  Not exactly what I planned but I guess  it still looked very “Christmassy”.  Also had great fun putting the candy and the sprinkles together!!

Quick Bits:  M&M’s

M&M’s have been around since 1941.  They are produced by Mars Incorporated and originated from the USA but are now sold all over the globe.  They are round/button-shaped candy shells with an M printed on one side and have a variety of fillings such as milk chocolate (the most common), dark chocolate, peanut, almond (my favorite), among others. They come in a lot of bright colors and during the Christmas season, I always look forward to the Christmas edition where they come in red, green & dark green. They also have white M&M’s during Christmas printed with holiday greetings on one side.

January 2, 2010 at 10:57 am Leave a comment

Christmas Black Forest Cake

A Christmas version of the Black Forest Cake.  I used Christmas jimmies to decorate the cake instead of chocolate curls.

This is a standard Black Forest Cake recipe which I am still tweaking.  Not a dessert for the kids though due to the alcohol content, so had to watch that those little fingers didn’t swipe the whipped cream frosting.

Quick Bits:  Origin of the Black Forest Cake

The Black Forest Cake is the english name for the German Dessert Schwarzwälderkirschtorte.  It is a cake made up of layers of chocolate cake with Kirsch or Kirschwasser  with whipped cream and cherries in between.  It is frosted in whipped cream with shaved chocolate on top.  The origin of this cake is unknown.  Some say it dates back to the 16th century while others claimed to have invented the cake in the 1900’s.  What is common though is that the cake is believed to have originated from Black Forest Region (Der Schwarzwald in German).  This region is well known for its cherries and Kirschwasser.  Kirschwasser is a distilled clear brandy made most commonly from Morello cherries.

Sources:  What’s Cooking America?, GermanFoods.org

January 2, 2010 at 10:57 am Leave a comment

Fondant Circles & Letters

I made this cake a couple of months ago but never got the chance to post a blog about it.  I underestimated the time it took me to decorate the cake and ended up not getting a picture of the cake in my rush to get to our friend’s birthday party.

I saw this type of fondant letters covered in colored sugars in a magazine and wanted to test if the letters will really hold.  I added Gum-Tex to the fondant to make it harden faster/quicker.  To attach the sugars, I brushed the fondant with piping gel before sprinkling the sugars over the letters.

Be sure to make the letters in advance to ensure that the fondant hardens.

December 26, 2009 at 9:17 pm Leave a comment

Baby Shower Rattle Cupcakes

These are baby rattle cupcakes for a baby shower.  My friend was attending a baby shower for her friend and asked me to make some cupcakes for her to take to the shower.  Normally, she would make the cupcakes herself but she is also pregnant and in her first trimester and these days, she just feels sick all the time.

I decided to make vanilla cupcakes using Billy Reece’s Vanilla Vanilla Cupcake recipe and for the first time also tried Billy’s Vanilla Buttercream recipe.  As I was only making 12 cupcakes for the baby shower, I asked my other friends to taste test the extra cupcakes I made.  The feedback is that these cupcakes are much lighter than the Magnolia Vanilla Cupcakes and the icing was not too sweet (Billy’s recipe calls for 6-8 cups of sugar and I made sure I stuck to the 6 and nothing more).

December 18, 2009 at 6:45 pm 13 comments

Christmas 3D Cuddly Bear

This is my first attempt at a 3-Dimensional cake.  The baking pan is the Wilton Stand-Up Cuddly Bear Pan Set.  You need to use a firm cake recipe and follow the cooling instructions included in the pan set to ensure that the cake or the form of the cake holds.  I used a Wedding Cake recipe for this cake.

It’s a bit early for a Christmas themed cake but my friend was hosting a Ginger Bread House Making party before all our other friends left for the various holidays so this cake fitted the occasion.

November 22, 2009 at 11:04 am Leave a comment

Fairy (Tinkerbell) Cake and Cupcakes

I made this cake and cupcake set for the first birthday of my friend’s daughter.  She is a lovely little girl!

The cake is frosted with buttercream icing sprayed with blue and violet food color to get an uneven effect.  The flowers are made with royal icing which you should do in advance to ensure that they are dry by the time you use them.  The leaves are made with buttercream icing.  The Tinkerbell topper is something you can get from Wilton easily.  The stars on the wires are also made from royal icing.

I am still on my quest for the ultimate vanilla cupcake recipe so for the cupcakes I decided to try Billy’s Vanilla Vanilla Cupcake recipe. Billy’s Vanilla Vanilla Cupcake recipe is a recipe from Billy Reece, owner of Billy’s Bakery in New York City. Billy was invited to appear in Martha Stewart’s show following great reviews for his cupcakes by Martha’s staff who were tasked to taste test cupcakes around the city. The video of the episode is available in Martha’s website. In the Martha Stewart Newsletter article “New York’s Best Cupcakes”, the top 4 cupcakes are from (1) Billy’s Bakery (2) Magnolia Bakery (3) BabyCakes (4) Cupcake Cafe.

November 7, 2009 at 6:14 pm Leave a comment

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