Sunday, December 27, 2009

Navy Retirement Cake

I know...It has been way too long since I made and interesting cake...but frankly, I cannot bring myself to make a large, elaborate, expensive, detailed cake just to take a fork to it...or let Andrew just gobble it up as if it took no time at all to make...No, I just do not have the heart (or money) to do it...So, I put an ad on Craigslist ( I know I know) and eventually an order was received!

A very nice woman wanted a cake for her husbands retirement from the Navy...she was throwing him a surprise party and wanted something with her husband saluting a ship. Well, I needed to make it more detailed than that of course! I made sure to get a picture of her handsome husband, a description of his uniform and the name of the ship on which he was stationed...Let's just say the ship was no row boat and it was a pretty HUGE aircraft carrier. So that meant I needed so fighter jets!
I made some white modeling chocolate and sculpted these fighter jets...which was very fun!

After the models firmed up...I covered them in homemade gray Marshmallow fondant and painted the details with food coloring and a tiny brush and some serious patience.

I also took some time to make the Navy retiree out of some modeling chocolate and sugar paste...he came out pretty good but not as buff as his picture..the hardest part was making his eye glasses...not so fun!

The ship was GIGANTIC, the pictures do not do it justice (as if I will ever learn..i used my cell phone camera..I know I need to take the picture taking more seriously).
I had to make A LOT of cake and didn't have big enough pans so I used cookie sheets (apparently you CAN bake a cake on a cookie sheet (and also in a pot...see the Chicken Nugget Wedding Cake). I used tons of chocolate frosting and stacked and stacked and carved and covered in fondant, then airbrushed, then hand painted get the idea! I also made ocean out of poured sugar and waves and well..It was a LOT of work!

I really wish I had better pictures!

I am waiting for pictures of the cake at the soon as I receive them, I will post them!

I also do not have a picture of the COMPLETE cake...since this cake had to be delivered across town I did not want to put the sculpture of her husband on the cake until it are not complete either .. bummer!

Saturday, December 5, 2009

Treats to be Thankful For

I UN-acceptable amount of time has passed since the last cake I created and i apologize .. but it's not entirely my fault. Cake making (well making these fun, detailed cakes) is not cheap and after the cost of the move to Vegas from NY and the cost of finally moving into our sweet apartment I haven't had much time or money for anything more than multiple banana breads, pumpkin breads and some truffles (which I of course did not take pictures of because, well, I don't know..but I didn't).
So this was my very first major holiday away from the family and let me tell you... BUMMER!!! It is funny how when your a kid all you want to do is shove that plate of food down your throat and get back to the neighborhood to hang with friends...but now all i wanted was for the family to come on over and taste some delicious cakes! I also missed the BIG FAT ITALIAN THANKSGIVING because nothing can compare to the holidays with a big fat Italian family and i really kinda missed that stuffing that I used to complain about as a kid...

Okay, enough about my sad holiday (it really wasn't sad since I had Andrew who always happily eats and tastes everything that comes out of my kitchen..or any kitchen for that matter, but I did have a broken toe and missed the fam so I broke even)

So ABOUT THE FOOD!!! For a while now I have been looking into a good chocolate cake and I love banana so when I found a recipe for Banana Foster Cake covered in Chocolate Ganache I knew I had to make it and add a few touches... I made a super yummy double chocolate cake with chocolate chips (3 layers)...then I made banana foster filling (chopped banana, rum, brown sugar and butter) some home-made cream cheese icing, and chocolate ganache (use your fav recipe but all are pretty much 1 part good chocolate and 1 part heavy cream and a pad of butter for shine) let everything cool a bit...then assemble.
Cake..then a thin layer of cream cheese frosting (you don't want it to be too sweet) then the banana foster then cake...repeat until you top it off with your third layer of cake. Then sit your cake on a wire rack over a baking sheet lined with waxed paper (this just makes life less messy) and pour the cooled ganache over the cake and put it in the fridge to chill... I sprinkled on some shaved coconut flavored white chocolate that I found (which is sooo good I think Lindt made it)...That is it..super time i might just used fresh sliced banana and some strawberry instead of the foster. The best part of the cake was its yummy texture and that semi-hard chocolate ganache on the top and outside..LOVED IT!

I am not a huge Pumpkin Pie fan but I wanted to make a pretty pumpkin pie and I figured I would mix a few recipes together to make this pie WHICH WAS AWEEEEESOME!!!! SERIOUSLY this was the BEST pie I have ever had!It is a mix of fresh pumpkin pie and a NY style cheesecake mixed into this yummy concoction!!
I will post the recipe soon.
Start with a pie crust recipe or ... screw it and buy the Pillsbury stuff from the fridge (no one has to know)... Place it in a pie dish and bake it for about ten minutes (weigh the inside down with beans or something) then fill it with the pumpkin mixture all the way to the top (it will shrink back worries) and bake until it stops looking like liquid ( a knife or toothpick inserted near the middle..not IN the middle will come out pretty clean) it is done let it come to room temp and then fridge it...I though it tasted better the next day straight out of the fridge!!!
To make the pretty decorations, I used a paring knife and just cut pretty leaves and stuck them on...simple but time consuming...but delicious!!

Now that I perfected this pie I just need to work on my cell phone blog photos...sorry!