Friday, February 24, 2012

My dad's 60th birthday celebration!

This past weekend (on February 18, 2012), we celebrated my dad's 60th birthday with a surprise party!  He was definitely surprised - that is until he the hit the corner leading up to my brother's house and saw all of the cars - at that moment, he knew something was in store for him.  We had entertainment, great good and even better guests!  It was simply wonderful. 

Initially I was going to make cupcakes, but the day of, the time started getting funny and I was just going to let our sheet cake be the only dessert.  Then I got to thinking:  "I had better make these cupcakes for my #1 daddy".  So, I whipped up some "Love on Top" (red velvet w/cream cheese frosting) and "The Usual" (vanilla w/chocolate buttercream frosting) and it all went off without a hitch!

Wednesday, February 8, 2012

Thank you Urban Annapolis Magazine!

On Saturday, February 4, 2012, I had the pleasure of displaying my cupcakes for an event held by Urban Annapolis Magazine The event turned out to be a total success, which included special guest Chuck Brown (the Godfather of the DC based popular form of music known Go-Go for those of you unfamiliar)! Tarsha Beavers and her UAM team are doing an exemplary job with this magazine in their effort to showcase the cultural spirit and diversity which embodies Annapolis, MD. Check it out!

The cupcakes are mini and the flavors consisted of my 'Simply Strawberry' (but of course), 'Mocha-Choca''The Usual' and 'The Usual Too' (w/cream cheese frosting). Check out the UAM's logo cupcake!

Friday, February 3, 2012

My adventure with cake Pops

If at first you don't succeed...

...dust yourself off and try again!!

My first cakepop making experience was a complete disaster, fail, tragedy, mess, debacle, and any other word you could muster up to describe what took place. The evidence is right there in the top picture; they weren't cakepops-on-a-stick, but rather 'sticks in a cakepop'!  Everything that could go wrong...well...went wrong! 
1) Did not crumble the cake enough (always crumble until fine)
2) Mixed in too much frosting (for every avg cake size, 1/2 cup is just perfect)
3) Did not let cake firm up (leave in freezer for at least 30 min or refrigerator for 2 hours)
5) Did not let chocolate firm up on stick in cake pops (stick back in freezer for 30 min)

Well, if you read the 'about me' section, you'd know I wasn't going to let that be the end with the cake pops.  The following weekend, I got back to work, followed my troubleshooting instructions and voila'!  What you see in the next two pictures was the turn out for this go 'round...SUCCESS!  Cakepops are very simple to make, but like most projects, its not a 'dive right in' type of thing.  There are rules you must follow and those rules will help to ensure you come out with the perfect cake pop every single time!

More Mocha-Choca's

I'm back with more of my Mocha-Choca's, but this time I used the holy grail of all chocolates...Valrhona! Yes, I could definitely taste the difference.  If you're looking for that true, rich, semi-bitter chocolate taste (and it's all preference), this is your winner.  Trust me, my Hershey's is still the bomb, but the Valrhona is definitely all that it's cracked up to be.  I ordered some off line, because I thought (and never did much research) it could not be purchased in specialty stores in my area.  Well low and behold, I'm at the local Whole Foods store and I turn over an unmarked container of chocolate (similar resemblance) and there it is...Valrhona!  So needless to say, I was psyched and will be purchasing it from WF from here on out.  For the frosting, I switched it up and used Ghirardelli unsweetened cocoa, which didn't deviate too much from the frosting I made using Hershey's.

'Mocha-Choca' - Devil's food chocolate cupcake with caramel flavored mocha chocolate frosting.


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