Alyssa's Birthday

So, my friend, Alyssa turned 32!  I asked her daughter, Jaimie, what kind of cake her mom would like? Colour? Flower?  Jaimie answered, purple, ladybugs and daisies! 

Fondant and chocolate (cupcake wrapper) cake.  Vanilla and White Chocolate Buttercream with Vanilla bean syrup.  Yummy! 

Butter Heaven!!!

Butter. What more can I say?  Butter taste good, makes everything it touches taste good.  You bake without it... it does not taste the same! On corn... yum! toast, pasta, popcorn, cupcakes...

So, Can you make butter at home?  I heard it's alot of work, churning and churning forever!  Every family has a butter churning story!  Mine, my family? Nope.. asian/ oriental cuisine does not use or depend on butter (oh! sacrilege!).  Anyways, on our first class with Chef Maurizio, he mentioned that when you over whipped cream, don't panic, just keep on going and make butter.  Make butter? butter? really?  I am so intrigued!  Chef gave us a quick run down on making butter but I am so determine to make my yellow goodness at home that I came home that same night and was 'googling' (is that a word?) how to make butter!  Yep, I found excellent instruction over the internet!

So, when to the market and purchased regular whipping cream and the organic version.  It took me a few days to get enough courage to go ahead and make my own *gulp* butter!

So here is the result... (summarized version)
over whipped cream, turning a little yellow and a little thick!

fat separating from milk which will turn to buttermilk

I don't have a picture of the straining.  I used a cheese cloth and separated the fat from the buttermilk.  You'll end up with a yellow, yummy butter. Remember, rinse your butter to completely rinse the buttermilk. Drain well!

 taste test! Unsalted butter, left: store brand.  I can hardly taste the difference but the home made butter texture is so smooth!

Last but not the least, fresh buttermilk!

A few facts before, I end this super long post, bare with me and thanks for your patience!
These info are taken from sources. I am no butter expert but here's what I learned.
  • When you use your Kitchen Aid to over-whip your cream, it will splash everywhere, unless you want to wear milk and smell like buttermilk, please cover your kitchen aid (while whipping) with a tea towel or something.
  • Best butter money can buy are European butters, it has over 80% butter fat.  Store bought ones (yes, even the organic ones) have at least 10% less.  
  • Store bought ones are mix with water or the buttermilk is not completely drain.  Why? they have more yield on their production.$$$ *cha-ching!*
  • The more butter fat your butter has the better!
  • Always use unsalted, you can control your salt!

Thank You!

Banana Cupcake with Cream Cheese Buttercream

Cait has been asking me to make her some banana cake to take to school as a recess snack.  So I made a double batch of Moist Banana Cake with Cream Cheese Buttercream.  I am not a big Cream Cheese desserts.  I find them to dense and strong tasting.  But I do love cream cheese on savory dishes.  For mother's day I made my mom some pistachio cheese cake and it was pretty good!  
I had to play around the portion of c.cheese and icing sugar as I wish it to have a hint of c. cheese without overpowering the banana. It is so YUMMY!

Jorge's 26th

Paola wanted to surprise her fiance with a football helmet cake.  I never tried making a 3D helmet before so why not.  What a challenge! I was up pass 3am for this cake it's worth it.  I hope they both like it!!! 

Black and White Classic!

There something about a black and white cakes that screams classic!  It always reminds me of the classic 'Sabrina' movie with Audrey Hepburn.  Could it be the glorious black Givenchy dress?  How about topped with a classic and simple White Anemone flower? 

I wanted to make a simple and classic cake donation for a silent auction and here is what I came up with inspired by P. Porschen.

I can't resist sharing another one... One of the cake designs that I made from the cake class with Cheft Maurizio P. from Pacific Institute of Culinary Arts.  

How many cakes can you make in a Day?

I don't know about you but I think 4 is way to much.  That is the number I have to bake, assemble and decorate for the Spring Fair.  In between the baking and cooling, I have 2 kids to care for, referee and entertain.  Thank goodness for Pokemon!  I still have one more Very, Very Special cake to make for someone :D... it's a surprise!  I will post pictures on Sunday!

My Guinea Pigs!

From those who know me, they would know that I am a total FAKE!  I love, love to bake but I don't eat lots of sweets!  Baking is my outlet and has been in awhile.  For months and months, desserts, cakes and such would sit around the house when I am experimenting and eventually will get thrown out!  I know, I know! it's not good but I don't want to gain 10 lbs a weeks!

I found some willing guinea pigs... my hubbie's co-workers! 

I made them Mango Cupcakes last night, my hubbie helped, of course! He is the best-ever dishwasher! :D

Buttercream made out of REAL fruit!  Hope they like it!
 Italian sponge cake, mango syrup and mango buttercream.

Natural food colouring?

Once in a while, I thought of not using food colouring and it is a little intimidating!  The outcome is not consistent and it is hard to take that leap.   The high price of fruits will add to the overall cost.  But, Chef Maurizio P. (from PICA), showed me how easy it is to make naturally  flavoured and coloured butter cream from fruits, nuts and such.  I cannot go back! It tasted HEAVENLY! Absolutely, the best ever! Thanks Chef!
All natural buttercream from fruit purees and nut paste.  Clockwise:  Raspberry, Hazelnut, Pistachio and Passion Fruit.  Wow! if only we have Taste-o-vision!

Coconut Dream

 I now moved my obsession to coconut cupcakes.  I was given an opportunity to make these babies and I loved it.  It was light and delicious!

Coconut Dream Cupcakes, with coconut syrup, coconut buttercream and last but not the least, coconut flakes.