Tag Archives: Birthdays

S’mores Birthday Cupcakes

3 Apr

April 3rd, 2014

I had my first ever Smores pretty late in the game. If I remember correctly, it was well after college. I mean, I’ve had marshmallows, Hershey’s chocolate and graham crackers before, but all on separate occasions. Plus, I was never a camping person, which I assume is when most S’mores are eaten, near the bonfire.

When I finally had a S’mores, I was blown away. The gooey marshmallow mixed with the slightly melted chocolate, accompanied by the crunchy graham cracker was a definite explosion. I was definitely hooked. So for a friend’s birthday brunch, I decided to make a cupcake version of S’mores, with all 3 essential components. A graham cracker crust at the bottom, moist chocolate cake, topped with marshmallow meringue. The great thing about the meringue is it can be torched, creating the toasted marshmallow flavor.

Be warned though, if you make the meringue, it’s not as sturdy as buttercream. Keep frosted cupcakes in the refrigerator overnight. If you must travel with the cupcakes, try to keep them in a cool area.

Graham Cracker Crust
1 sleeve of graham crackers
5 Tb melted butter
2 Tb sugar

Directions:
1. Place crackers and sugar in a food processor. Process until crumbly and no large pieces exist.
2. Add melted butter and mix until the mixture comes together.
3. Divide mixture among lined cupcake pan.
4. Using the bottom of a shot glass, or whatever object that is the same size of the cupcake pan, press the crumbs into the pan so that there are no loose pieces.
5. Place in 350 degree oven for 5 minutes to set the crust.
6. Allow to cool.

Chocolate Devil’s Food Cupcakes
16.5 oz sugar
3 oz cocoa powder
18 oz boiling water
3/4 C vegetable Oil
3 whole eggs
2 egg yolks
1 tsp vanilla powder
12 oz AP flour
2 tsp baking soda
1 ½ tsp salt

Yield= 32 cupcakes

Directions:
1. In a mixer bowl, mix sugar and cocoa powder together using the paddle attachment.
2. Add the hot water. Mix on low-speed until cooled. As this is cooling, gather the rest of the ingredients.
3. Add the oil, eggs, vanilla.
4. Sift dries and add to the wet mixture. Mix until incorporated.
5. Scoop batter into the cooled graham cracker crust.
6. Bake at 350 12-15 minutes, or until cupcakes bounce back from touch. Allow to cool completely.

Note: This recipe works well for cupcakes and cakes.

Marshmallow Meringue:
4 egg whites
1 C sugar
1/4 tsp vanilla extract (optional)

Directions:
1. Whisk together sugar and egg whites in a mixer bowl.
2. Place bowl over a pot of boiling water.
3. Using a hand whisk, constantly whisk the sugar-egg mixture until sugar is completely dissolved. The mixture should be warm to touch, but not burning hot on the finger.
4. Transfer the mixer bowl to the mixer.
5.Using the whisk attachment, whisk on medium speed until mixture is cooled. Continue to whisk until the mixture has increased in volume and is stiff and shiny.
6. If using vanilla extract, add it last.

Assemble the Cupcakes:
1. Using a piping bag, attach round piping tip (I used Ateco 807).
2. Once cupcakes are completely cooled, pipe meringue.
3. Using a handheld torch, carefully torch the tops of the meringue.
4. Piped cupcakes can be stored in an airtight container in the refrigerator for a few days.

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Green Ombre Birthday Cake

30 Mar

March 30th, 2014

It’s been a long, busy, exciting and eventful past year, yet it seemed to have gone and passed quickly! I have a very good reason why I have been missing since my last blog post…I was busy getting married! It was quite a hectic year of planning my wedding, executing it, then going off to my honeymoon. Not to mention, soon after we got back from our honeymoon, we welcomed home our brand new puppy! Yes, many exciting things, which explains why I didn’t have much time to get my hands dirty in the kitchen. In the beginning, I wanted to be a superhero and do it all- plan the wedding, bake, on top of work, then realized I was driving myself insane. Now that things have settled down, I’m getting back in the kitchen!

This comes a little late, but I made an ombre cake for my Dad’s birthday, which was on Sunday, March 16th. It  was also St. Patrick’s Day weekend, so I went for a green ombre cake. The ombre effect was also inspired by my own wedding cake (I did not make my own wedding cake, though it did cross my mind. I did, however, make our own wedding favors- individual macaron boxes filled with two macarons for each guest). The ombre effect is my current favorite cake thing to do because you can basically get away with the perfect imperfections from the blending of the colors.

I prepped the cake and buttercream on separate days and saved the fun assembling for the day before we had to drive to Sacramento. I used a vanilla cake recipe and filled the layers between the cake with buttercream and fresh sliced strawberries. I added some lemon zest to the buttercream to bring in more flavors. The buttercream held up well for our 2 hour drive- no mishaps what-so-ever.

Vanilla Cake: (also works well for cupcakes)
3/4 C Oil
1 oz (1lb) Sugar
3 Eggs
1 1/2 C Cream
1/4 tsp vanilla powder
11 oz AP Flour
11 oz Cake Flour
2 1/4 tsp Baking Powder
3/4 tsp Baking Soda

1 1/2 tsp Salt1 1/2C Buttermilk

Directions:
1. Mix oil and sugar in a mixer bowl.
2. Add eggs. Mix.
3. Add cream.
4. Sift together all the dries.
5. Alternate adding the dries and buttermilk into the mixture.
6. Divide batter evenly into prepared 6-in cake rounds.

7. Bake at 350 for 15-22 minutes, or until cake springsback.

Buttercream:
9 oz Sugar
3/4 C Egg whites
1 lb butter, softened and cut into pieces.
lemon zest, optional

Directions:
1. Whisk together sugar and egg whites in a mixer bowl.
2. Place bowl over a pot of boiling water.
3. Using a hand whisk, constantly whisk the sugar-egg mixture until sugar is completely dissolved. The mixture should be warm to touch, but not burning hot on the finger.
4. Transfer the mixer bowl to the mixer. Using the whisk attachment, whisk on medium speed until mixture is cooled. Continue to whisk until the mixture becomes meringue-like.
5. Once the meringue is cool enough, add the softened butter, a few pieces at a time. Allow the butter to mix in before adding the next few pieces.
6. When all the butter has been added, whisk on high speed for a few seconds. Scrape down sides if necessary. Optional: add a few drops of vanilla extract, lemon zest, or whatever preferred flavors.
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Inspired by our wedding cake

Birthday Cakes

6 May

May 6th, 2013

Back in March I was asked to make 3 different birthday cakes, which all happen to be on the same weekend! It sounds stressful, but I didn’t hesitate because they were for three adorable kids. With a little planning ahead of time, I finished the cakes on time and they turned out great.  The kids loved them and the parents were happy! Take a look:

Cake #1: A Train-Themed Cake for Landon
This was a 9-inch chocolate cake filled with chocolate buttercream and covered with fondant.

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Cake #2: A Girly Cake for Violet
This was a 6-inch vanilla sponge cake, filled with lemon mousse. The exterior was covered with buttercream rosettes.

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To give the cake more texture, I added edible sugar pearls at the center of each rosette.

Cake #3: A Despicable-Me Cake for Gavin
This was a 6-in chocolate cake filled with chocolate buttercream and covered with fondant. Surprisingly, I have never seen Despicable Me, but when I was doing my research on the Minions, it looks like a very adorable movie. Will have to add it to my movie list.

DSC_0405These Minions were carefully molded with fondant…lots of details involved

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Mini Carrot Cake Cupcakes

4 Mar

March 4th, 2012

Carrot cake is one of my all time favorites. It’s something about the combination of carrots, raisins and cream cheese frosting that makes this my preferred flavor. Not to mention, the cinnamon, nutmeg, ginger and cloves give off an aromatic scent. A lot of recipes use only cinnamon, but I prefer to use all four spices.

These were made for Chloe’s birthday bash this past Saturday. Baby Chloe had her 1st birthday party and her mom asked me to make some carrot cupcakes. To play up the cupcakes I made edible carrots out of gum paste…don’t they look so real?

Chocolate Decadence- Chocolate Ganache Cake

21 Aug

August 21st, 2011

I have been meaning to experiment with chocolate ganache on cupcakes or cakes since the only time I used ganache was for filling french macarons. It’s easy to make, and it tastes so good! So for my friend, Theresa’s early birthday celebration, I decided to go with a double layered chocolate cake glazed with a bittersweet chocolate ganache, which we surprised her with over dinner.  Since she’s a big chocolate fan, I thought the chocolate cake with the rich ganache was quite fitting. Everyone enjoyed the cake and Theresa loved the ganache!

On top of that, to play up the look and flavor of the cake, I drizzled homemade caramel sauce on top. I made the caramel sauce in advance and still have a lot left, which I’m sure I will use on cupcakes and ice cream in the near future.

Rich and creamy caramel sauce.

Happy Birthday, Theresa!

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