Friday, July 16, 2010

Bite My Shiny Metal Face

I recently got a request to make a birthday cake with some sort of Futurama theme. I'm a fan of the show so I was super excited to make this cake. I decided to make a chocolate cake version of Bender's head (the favorite character of the birthday girl). I did this by stacking four 6-inch chocolate cakes plus one mini-layer to create the rounded dome shape on top of the head (all of which are secured by a dowel for stability). Between each cake layer is a layer of vanilla buttercream and the entire head is covered with buttercream as well.

The face and antennae were made from fondant to help give it a sort of three-dimensional feel. I really love this cake and had a blast making it. Unfortunately, the eyes started to crack down the center of the black part when I put them onto the cake. The eyes are kind of heavy, so I carved a little shelf in the cake layer to help support the weight. Pushing the eyes back into the shelf is what caused it to crack. However, the buttercream helped prevent it from cracking any further and is also holding the crack closed. The crack is still visible, but not too bad. I'll have to use extra caution next time.

Surprisingly, it actually wasn't very hard to make this cake compared to some of the other, more detailed cakes I've made. I'll have to make another one sometime or perhaps some other fun Futurama theme. I'm envisioning Nibbler nibbling on a cupcake. time.

Friday, July 9, 2010

A Cupcake a Day Keeps the Dentist Away?

My dentist requested an order of cupcakes for her daughter's birthday. She's only turning two (her daughter, not my dentist) so she wanted a simple mix of chocolate and white funfetti buttercream cupcakes with sprinkles. Done and done! It's a little odd pushing sugar to your dentist, but if the party attendees get cavities then she gets new clients, right? I believe that is called a symbiotic relationship. Just kidding! Being a dentist, I'm sure she'll be handing out toothbrush goody bags or something. Gotta keep up the smiles of the future!

Tuesday, July 6, 2010

Red (Velvet), White & Blue

What better way to celebrate Independence Day than with a patriotic batch of red velvet cupcakes topped with cream cheese icing and festive sprinkles? This was my first  red velvet cake and I was very happy with the flavor and the lovely color.

That being said, I never realized just how much food coloring goes into red velvet cake. Something about that kind of grosses me out despite the fact that it was delicious and a gorgeous color. Plus, that requires two bottles of red food coloring and I don't typically see food coloring sold in individual bottles.

It's surprisingly difficult to find a recipe with a more natural means of providing the red color. Some people use beet juice as an alternative, but I've never tasted a cake using this method so I didn't want to test it at a Fourth of July party. Plus, I don't like beets and wouldn't know what to do with a whole can of them after using just two ounces of juice. Perhaps if I puree two ounces of strawberries or cherries, but I wonder if that would alter the flavor too much. If anyone knows of a better alternative, please share your wisdom with me.

Anyhow, the cupcakes were fun and delicious (even with the food coloring) and were a great way to celebrate the Fourth of July.

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