Sunday, August 28, 2011

Cupcakes for Agency Model Managment's 1 year anniversary Party

This event....phew. I don't even know where to begin. Why do I always take on wayyyy to much? This was challenging , stressful, fun, and very much a learning experience. My modeling agency tells me of their 1 yr anniversary party, naturally, my first thought, that and, cake at a modeling party?! (haha) So I offer to cater. After I am approved to cater, I learn I need to make at least 100 cupcakes, of 3 different flavors. Most people would think, ok, I'm a busy / on a budget gal....lets go with simple. Not me of course. After days of intense recipe searching, and in decisiveness , I settle upon a vanilla bean cake with vanilla bean icing (i'll get to why this was not simple later), a chocolate cake with chocolate ganache and grand marnier buttercream, and a lemon chiffon cake with raspberry creme fraiche filling and a white chocolate cream cheese buttercream. Oh and all with fancy hand made decorations. Cupcake Wars anyone?

The event is Thursday evening so Wednesday is batter day. All 3 seem fine to me. The vanilla is perfect, the chocolate besides being a bit fussy coming off the wrapper is good, and the 2 nd and 3rd batch of lemon chiffon were lovely. Candied orange peels....hard work but SO good. Later that night, I decided to go ahead and do my grand marier buttercream......BAD! Thrown in trash. Next day...up early....3 separate trips to store...I get going. 2nd orange frosting is an italian buttercream. It's to hot in my apartment for this tricky frosting so it never thickens and stays soupy. Thrown out. I then go with a classic buttercream with orange zest. It's fine but not 100% happy. Im bordering on tears at this point. White choc cream cheese buttercream= a waste of extremely expensive callebut white chocolate. Use anyway.....TEARS. The homemade creme fraiche never thickens .  More Tears. Roomate steps in to help.... late to work, fight with fellow employee .....cupcakes melt in the taxi, decorations slide off...... Disaster . In the end....we fix the decorations at the event, everyone loves them (if only they knew what went in to these!)  andI leave with a new stance on where I'm at with my baking abilities, a whole new outlook on catering events. And a huge amount of respect for those who compete on cupcake wars!

Seeing my little works of art on display at a pretty impressive event was a proud moment for me. I felt like a mom taking 1,000 pictures of her kids. Seriously I took pictures of each cupcake, from all different angles, being held by almost everyone I saw eating them . Hearing people say they liked them, and seeing   people eating your cupcakes definitely reminded me how badly I want this, and prompted me to take it to the next level, I start cake decorating classes next week and am looking at culinary school as a reality, not a dream.

*Vanilla cupcake was not as easy as most b/c I made homemade vanilla sugar

And infused milk with vanilla bean
(  , scroll down to the batter instructions)

Homemade Vanilla sugar

My candied orange peels
super messy kitchen

party goer eating a with love,cupcake. cute hat lady!

Miss Lindsay @ the party...the vanilla were her fav :)

Vanilla Bean cupcake w/ vanilla bean buttercream

Def enjoying a cupcake after all that work!

Thursday, August 4, 2011

Cupcakes for my cousins wedding day!

 Chocolate cupcakes made out of 100% cacao powder , topped with a 70 % cacao chocolate ganache with a peanut butter buttercream frosting.  Made for the bridesmaids, groomsmen, bride & groom and all the other people who were part of the wedding party, setup, and picture taking , being at the  church super super early, we needed substance and cupcakes are a perfectly acceptable way to obtain nutrition ! ;)  What a fun day and an absolutely  beautiful wedding!!! 

Miss Ashley Parks - Maid of Honor

Groomsman Jonathon, usher Jase & Best Man Zac 
The Bride & Groom <3

Sunday, June 26, 2011

Peanut Butter Buttercream..... Heaven?

For many years I was a "no frosting" kinda girl. The one that scraped the icing off of birthday cakes, and disliked cupcakes b/c it's so much frosting.....but not anymore! That was before I knew about frostings that didn't come in a betty crocker can, or that Wal-mart bakeries use basically ALL powdered sugar and shortening... ick. Now that I've expanded my baking tastes buds, frostings are my favorite part of cupcakes. This PB buttercream may be my favorite of them all. It's light, fluffy, creamy, and somehow makes PB not taste just like a huge glob of PB, but instead, taste like a bite of...well, heaven. If you've got PB, powdered sugar, butter (lots of butter) , vanilla, and some heavy've got PB buttercream! So you try it, and tell me if you don't think it tastes like heaven! :)
3 sticks of butter, baby! 

Chocolate Cupcake with Callebaut White chocolate buttercream

It looks a little plain, but I like simple cupcakes like this. However, it was for a lady with a lady bug themed baby it got covered in shiny red and black sprinkles.  Didn't get to take a picture of the finished cupcake, but it was pretty! :)

Vanilla Bean Cake with Vanilla Bean piping!

The Vanilla Cupcake with Vanilla Bean Buttercream! 

Below, is the vanilla bean infused milk for the batter.

                                         The kitchen smelled glorious
                          This is the final cupcake! Made for a baby shower

Thursday, June 16, 2011

Chocolate Cupcake, Chocolate Ganache, Peanut Butter Buttercream topped with Chocolate Shavings

This cupcake is INTENSE. It's my favorite cupcake I've made thus far and a huge step forward with my baking . I decided to splurge for good cocoa powder (it is outrageously expensive :x  ) I used droste unsweetened cocoa powder and MAN the taste is worth the extra $. I can't even explain the difference, you'd have to try it for yourself. I made these cupcakes again yesterday with a friend, using a cheaper grocery store brand, and wow, it's just....not the same. So I'm pretty happy about finding a good chocolate cake recipe. Then I made a bittersweet chocolate ganache with a 75% cocoa lindt choc baking bar and topped it with a PB buttercream and lindt chocolate shavings, which I made myself :) :) It's the first cupcake for me that came out perfectly and didn't make me re think becoming a baker , haha. 

Wednesday, June 8, 2011

Baking on hold....

     Well, as much as I LOVE baking..... it's gotta be put on hold for a bit.
In the meantime.... I like to look at what we baking lovers call "Cupcake Porn" lol.... i.e, martha stewarts website would be called, cupcake porn. I think it's cute and  funny :)

     I get caught up for a minimum of 45 mins each night looking at recipes, thinking of my next cupcake... and and I bookmark exciting recipes to make after my baking hiatus.  Not things I'd sell in my future bakery, as they are not my own, but def things I would enjoy eating! Or recipes I would adapt from and make my own to sell.  So I'm going to post these pictures of mouth watering desserts along with the link to the even if I cant make them ... you might appreciate a great recipe! Just make sure to tell me how it turns out , maybe post a pic so I can look and be jealous :p

1) Blackberry Pie Bars
From: The brown eyed baker ... i LOVE her site 

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Cupcake Bakeries in NYC....who does it best? I'm on a mission to find out...

Magnolia Bakery-
I happen to love this commonly insulted "tourist place" that was only made famous by Sex & the City. I did not know that when I tried Magnolia, all I knew was I had heard alot about it, and they looked pretty. Well, you hipsters are WRONG. I could let loose on my rant about the hipsters that think a place is only cool if it has no line, no hype, and coffee and chairs always free so they can sit in their urban outfitters clothes and wine to each other about their feelings...... but enough about stupid hipsters.... magnolia bakery is just GOOD. People say it's "to sweet" but , come on, it's a southern bakery, the south lives for butter and sugar. They don't go overboard unlike some (that means you buttercup bake shop) with sugar....and the chocolate frosting is addictive. Maybe not the best cupcake in the world, but it's worth my $2.75 and the wait in line. The frosting colors are SO cute too. Pastels! Bonus points for everything baked good they sell being amazing, great customer service and really good coffee/tea/hot chocolate, and YES, apple cider :)

Buttercup Bake Shop
Oh Buttercup bakeshop, please go out of business. It's the worst cupcake I've ever had (not including places like hot & crusty or wal-mart type bakeries). Even if I didnt know what a good cupcake should taste like, I'd know enough to realize this cupcake SUCKS. This cupcake is the definition of too sweet. Very dry, and more frosting than cupcake. Crappy service, lame inside, and overpriced. Eating it actually made my tummy hate me..

Butter Lane
what is with the word butter ??)
The one I got with apple spice frosting is the best cupcake I've ever had. Maybe not bc the cake itself, but b/c of the frosting. I can't even explain it, just know that if you go to butterlane, get the apple spice frosting. Don't do pumpkin (blah) . I want to go back soon, they had alot of crazy frosting choices, and you can mix and match cakes & frostings. They bake there, and frost to order which can make for long waits with only one counter person, but it's worth it. And the staff was super helpful and nice.

Crumbs Bake Shop
MEHHHHH. I wanted to try these for so long, and my bf surprised me with a box of assorted cupcakes on my bday. The raspberry swirled cream cheese frosting one was outstanding. The pb and chocolate was pretty good. The rest, MEH. The cake is reallllly dry and crumbles bad. The tirimusu one is awful :/ To much frosting on a cupcake that is to big to eat by yourself. They do not bake at the store, they get them shipped from LI. They sit overnight to be sold the next day (the frosting gets dry and hard that way, who wants dry & hard frosting?) and the rest of their stuff is really....MEH. I KNOW the flavors sound cool, but trust me....skip it. Theres most likely a better cupcake shop down the street.

Baked by Melissa
I love these mini cupcakes! Super cute (i wish they were bigger...there extremely small even for a mini) but it allows you to eat more and get different flavors. There soft, moist, and the flavors pop. The PB&J was my favorite, followed by the mint chocolate. Smores didnt do it for me...but alot of ppl like it. Cute decorations, trendy decor is great but there a bit overpriced and the staff at all locations I've been too seem like there to good to serve you and want to be elsewhere. However, I met Melissa and she is geniunely nice and down to earth. Oh, and Snoop Dog loves these haha

(brooklyn bakery/restaurant famous for their cheesecake)
Their famous for cheesecake, not cupcakes so my low opinion of them  is not well justified. Stick to the cheesecake here...

Eleni's in Chelsea Market
Favorite cupcake I've had here. I like Butterlanes frosting the best, but not the cake as much so elenis is my fav b/c both the cake and frosting were amazing. Frosting to cake ratio is perfect.I got a reeses cupcake. Chocolate cake with a reeses stuffed under the frosting, with a peanut butter frosting and a reeses cup on top. The frosting literally tastes like the PB inside a reeses cup and the chocolate cake is moist, and very chocolatey.  Afraid of a cavity? You should be. But don't worry, it's worth it. Just go to the dentist :) The store is sooooo cute, really friendly ppl working there and the selection of cupcakes is better than your basic vanilla, chocolate, red velvet. The mini pumpkin one I had around halloween is probably the only reason I could enjoy cold weather in nyc.

Saturday, April 23, 2011

Vanilla Bean Cake with Strawberry Meringue Buttercream

Making meringue...

YUM! <3
So, about this cupcake. It tastes like strawberry shortcake. I'm not a huge fan of S.S, but everyone else seems to be, and people really liked this one, so yay:) One girl said the frosting tasted like "strawberry icecream" and was "FANTASTIC". She said it's unlike anything she's every had, and I agree. Meringue frosting is quite...odd in my opinion. But the fresh strawberry puree made it yummy over a vanilla bean cupcake. So next time, this baby gets a 'nilla wafer on top! Yeahhh

Banana cupcakes with cinnamon honey buttercream

Frosting dyed blue to compliment the event these were baked for

A first cupcake for me.... first banana cupcake, first time using a piping bag for my frosting, and my first batch of cupcakes that someone other than my friends are eating. This goes for a girls dr who themed house party....hope her guests enjoy them ! ... I ate 2 and wish I didnt have to part with the rest, sad face

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Facebook Page!/pages/Baked-with-love-cupcakes-cakes/196650767039532
Made a FB page for my cupcakes ^^
 Really excited! I am getting to make cupcakes for  an animal rescue fundraiser in May. There going to be raffle prizes! :) Happy to support such an amazing cause