Thursday, December 31, 2009

How Divine, 2009

Well, exactly one year ago I made my first serious New Years resolution. "Bake weekly to take a break from digital design work, and to make more opportunities to create with my hands."

It's been 365 days now, I started this blog along the way, baked 46 out of 52 weeks this year, creating about 52 different baked good creations. So thanks to everyone who has supported this journey of mine, taste testers, fellow bakers and decorators.

This experience has influenced me more than I had imagined it would. Following the completion of my BFA this spring, I'll be relocating to NYC to pursue an education in Baking and Pastry Arts. My senior degree project is based around the experience of baked goods through the 5 senses, and I interned at a food, wine, and travel magazine this summer. So I hope you've enjoyed my baking as much as I have, and hope you'll continue following this blog into a new year.

There are no resolutions in 2010, I think I'm on the path I want to be on. So here's to a new year, let it be as sweet as the last.


Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Merry Christmas

Santa brought me a vintage cake stand for Christmas this year. It might weigh 50 lbs, but it's a beauty. I was so excited to use it, I had friends over for a chili dinner this past Tuesday.

It holds a Mexican Chocolate cake with Chocolate ganache, dusted with powdered sugar and cinnamon. While it looked great and everyone else liked it, I myself was not a fan. Something about cayenne pepper messing with my chocolate. I also ate it after a bowl of chili, so that might have something to do with my bias. Regardless, it was a lovely way to wrap up a year of baking.

Mexican Chocolate Cake with chocolate ganache, powdered sugar and cinnamon

Monday, December 14, 2009

The Holidays are Here

Christmas cupcakes for the Rezza family. They all connected with the string of lights to make a tree or wreath. Katie had let me use her printer for some final projects, so I made some festive cupcakes for her family.

Chocolate Cake with Buttercream frosting and Peanut M&Ms.

Saturday, December 12, 2009

Type Show

The Graphic Design Society asked me to bake something up for their "Type Show." I hadn't worked with chocolate in a while so I decided to make letters for the top of the cupcakes. I can't remember exactly, but I'm pretty sure Futura, Gill Sans, and Sabon are represented here. They actually made up an artist label to put next to them with my name and title, "Cake Therapy."

Vegan Chocolate with Buttercream Frosting and Milk Chocolate Letters

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

Bakery Packaging

This semester I have been taking a papermaking course. For our final sharing project, I created these little boxes made of recycled brown bag, and sisal fibers with coffee grounds and cookies 'n' cream sprinkles. I pulled the brown bag sheets in a vat of hot chocolate. The test was to see if I could get the scent to dry with the paper and enhance the experience of the cakes inside. Unfortunately, the scent left after a day, but the boxes were still cute!

I made mini vegan chocolate cupcakes with an almond and dab of chocolate on top. (sorry for the sideways photo.)

This experiment is part of my research for my degree project next semester. I'd like to explore the idea of experiencing baked goods using the 5 senses. I want to create a relationship between the packaging and the product, deeper than that of a protective outer.

Vegan Chocolate with Almond

Saturday, November 21, 2009

Cheap Date

We had dinner, but nothing for dessert. Mike and I decided to make a Cherry Chip cake mix my mom had sent. I had some left over frosting from Katie's birthday the day before, so we used that.

Betty Crocker Cherry Chip Cake with Chocolate Cream Cheese Frosting

Thursday, November 19, 2009

Katie Turns 21

Katie turned 21!...just around the time everyone was burnt out from school. So I made a vegan chocolate recipe, we had dinner in and decorated with any sprinkles we could find. What a good time it was to mismatch sprinkles everywhere, and not have any set design plans. And yes, that's an Edward cupcake in Caley's hand (for Kendra.)

Vegan Chocolate with Chocolate Cream Cheese Frosting

Friday, November 6, 2009

Steph's Last day at Simmons!

My roommate Stephanie asked me to make some sweets for her last day of work. We decided to do something of the season, an apple spice cake with cream cheese frosting and caramel swirl, and something chocolate; chocolate cake with a Junior Mint center with chocolate ganache. The blue paisley wrappers were electric against the dark chocolate.
The cake was a new recipe I have in a cupcake book. It was a bit dry, but turned out great when heated before eating. The center melted too.

Chocolate Mint with Ganache, Apple Spice with Cream Cheese Frosting and Caramel

Saturday, October 31, 2009

Mummy Mocktails

This Halloween, my friends and I went to the MassArt Iron Pour before getting together for Halloween Mocktails. The metal smith class melts down scrap iron to make molds and quite a light show. Here are a few photos:

I made these mummies I had seen on one of the many blogs I follow (can't remember which one). Their base is pumpkin carrot with a cream cheese frosting. It was an excuse to try out some of my flatter frosting tips, and the really really micro round tips for the eyes. My friend Kim made some awesome vanilla spider cupcakes to compliment the mummies, and my mom brought all the do-dads to decorate pumpkins.

Pumpkin Carrot Mummy Cake with Cream Cheese Frosting, Pumpkin decorated by Monica, Vanilla Spider Cake with Chocolate frosting by Kim

Saturday, October 24, 2009

Midterms and ASB

It's mid semester and everyone I know is in hiding. I made a huge couple batches of these cupcakes for my Primer (orientation leaders) friends I haven't seen lately, as well as to contribute to the Alternative Spring Break groups bake sale. The cupcakes sold out, and I opened the eyes of coconut loathers; Sabrina...

I had to include this photo. I just love it, even if it is a bowl of unmixed ingredients.

Four or so dozen cupcakes

Pumpkin Carrot Coconut Cupcakes with Buttercream Frosting and Coconut Flakes

Thursday, October 22, 2009

Happy 1 Year Mondo!

Wednesday October 21 marked Mondo's 1 year anniversary since Mike brought him home as a tiny 3 inch baby. Now he's all grown up! A whopping 8 inches! Though there was no cake involved, I still had to post these photos. His orange coloring compliments all these pumpkin spice cakes I've been making. And he's my favorite little lizard guy.

January 2009 ( 5 months old)

October 21 2009 (1 year 2 mths)

Lisa's Birthday Bake Off

The end of last semester it was brought to my attention a teacher at school loves to bake. I have her this semester and we have challenged each other to a bake off, much to everyone else's enjoyment. So far it's been a slow start...

She baked a few weeks ago, and I had yet to make anything to bring specifically to class. Lisa's birthday happened to be this week and so I took the opportunity to bake FOR the competition.
I've never tried such a combination, but the results were fantastic. The cake was moist, while the frosting was the most successful cream cheese frosting I've made to date. I think I've found a recipe to keep, thanks Countryliving!
Chocolate Pumpkin Spice Cake with Orange Cream Cheese Frosting

Ginger Pear for Mom's Birthday

I made this ginger pear cake for my mother's birthday a few weeks ago. It's a ginger pear cake with a honey glaze filling and cream cheese frosting. This is probably the only cake I've made and not tried so far in this experience. My mother approved though, so we'll have to make it again sometime.

A small cake, I made this two layer in my 6 inch cake pan.
Ginger Pear Cake with Honey Glaze filling and Cream Cheese Frosting

Pumpkin Spice Spider Cakes

October is here! I made these pumpkin spice cakes from a pumpkin bread mix because the store was out of pumpkin puree. The cream cheese frosting is the homemade, with a sprinkle of cinnamon on top. They are good, but a bit crumbly.

Pumpkin Spice Cakes with Cream Cheese Frosting

Friday, October 16, 2009

Baking Date

I had a baking date with Megan tonight while everyone hung out at Mike's. We made pumpkin spice cakes from scratch, called it a night, and frosted them with Betty Crocker's cream cheese frosting. We colored the frosting for autumn and experimented with my frosting tips. It was incredibly hot with a full apartment, so our frosting became a little soupy, but still delicious!

We had tea from ghoulish mugs and Megan brought some super cute Halloween cupcake liners too.

Pumpkin Spice Cakes with Cream Cheese Frosting

Sunday, October 4, 2009

Thursday Mocktails

Senior year is getting crazy. My new years resolution is falling to the back burner. I find myself trying to invent time to bake. 

I did get together with some girlfriends last week for a bit of dinner. I couldn't bring anything besides cupcakes, so in between Flash CS4 tutorials and Design Research, I made some chocolate vegan cupcakes with vanilla butter cream frosting. Half with peanut butter cup cookies. Half dipped in ganache and topped with a strawberry.

They were definitely hurried. I piped on the frosting without waiting for the ganache to cool, resulting in sad looking tops. The wrappers also pulled away from the cake over night. I don't know if there was too much oil in the recipe (vegan) and they resisted the wax lined wrappers. Regardless, they tasted yummy!

Wish for some spare time soon so I can post more (detailed and attractive) treats.

Saturday, September 12, 2009

Vegan Chocolate Cupcakes

Last September, one of my primees (I'm an orientation leader, or "Primer", at school) was vegan. I felt bad he couldn't snack on the chocolate treats I brought for the group. This fall, I decided to make vegan cupcakes for my orientation group, in the event they all turned out to be vegan or lactose intolerant. None of them were.....But the cake was pretty awesome for my first try at a vegan recipe. 

Sunday, August 30, 2009

A Painter's Cake

Kristin turned 21 over the weekend. I made these vibrant multi-colored funfetti cakes for the painterly gal who loves all colors! It was our first day back for orientation training, so I made 3 dozen to share with some of our favorite people.

Funfetti Cake with Vanilla Frosting

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

End of Summer Sweetness

Yesterday was my last day at my internship with North End Scene. The creative director requested a raspberry chocolate combination cupcake. What a sweet ending to a wonderful summer. I really enjoyed working with everyone and learned quite a bit about the inner workings of a magazine. Thanks to Bobby, Jazz, and Lauren for a 'fabulous' first internship experience!!!

Thursday, August 20, 2009

Meeting Mason!

He may only be 5 months old, but I've already baked for him twice. Going to spend the afternoon at Mark's, I brought along these cute little critters in honor of baby Mason. 

Peach, Blueberry and Thyme Cupcakes with Cream Cheese Frosting
'Little Critter' Chocolate Cupcakes with Cream Cheese Frosting

Thanks to Mike for helping photo-document these while I crazily finished frosting that morning, and for being my thyme sprinkler and sprinkles coordinator. 

Suzie's Sugar Cookie Sharks

My very favorite bitty biddy loves her sharks, funfetti, and all things cute. So I made her sour cream cupcakes with a chocolate frosting, topped with shark sprinkles and a mini funfetti sugar cookie! YIKES- that's a crazy cupcake! But it's the perfect combination when your favorite people are feeling blue.

Some giant chocolate and raspberry frosted cookies ended up in the box too.... 

Chocolate Frosted Sour Cream Cupcake with Funfetti Sugar Cookies

Vanessa's Chocolate Raspberry Decadence

My lovely friend Vanessa was turning 21. She requested a chocolate raspberry combination for our night out. Below is a little step by step to the creation of her birthday cupcakes.

Cut out the cupcake center. Cut the excess cake off, and put the top aside.

Drop in a juicy raspberry!

Pour in hot gnache.

Put the tops back on.

Frost with a raspberry butter cream frosting.

Top with fresh raspberries, fondant flowers.

Raspberry Butter Cream Frosted, Raspberry Chocolate Gnache Filled Chocolate Cupcakes!!!
Happy Birthday Vanessa!!!