Sunday, April 28, 2013

Monkey Baby Shower Cake

We made a beautiful monkey themed baby shower cake this weekend for a friend! Now monkeys can be pretty tough to make look right but Ai did a phenomenal job! Her monkeys came out incredibly sweet and super adorable! 

The cake was a wonderfully light yellow cake made with this recipe! You must follow the recipe to a T and be sure to whip it for the whole 3 minutes. The cake just comes out absolutely fantastic and has a really nice crumb.

The filling was a light vanilla custard layered with fresh strawberries and blueberries. I made the custard by hard whipping one cup of cream and folding it into this vanilla pudding recipe. It's my go to custard recipe and is super easy to make!

Now let me talk about the frosting. I've always loathed American buttercream because it's overly sweet, heavy, and not smooth enough. I'd always heard that Italian buttercream was superior but a little worried about making it. A few months ago I decided to go ahead and finally try it and all the work was definitely worth it! I used this recipe and it was just a dream! Ai and I have an unhealthy love for butter (we don't eat it very often, but when we do we really go for it!) and if we could, we'd eat the whole batch of buttercream together! Make sure you follow the recipe very closely. It's not too difficult, but takes a lot of patience to get just right.

Finally, the decorations were made using our usual marshmallow fondant.

We're so proud of how this cake turned out. It's definitely the best cake we've done so far.

The baby monkey is just so cute! 

The mama monkey is a classy gal! 

Daddy monkey is just as adorable as baby! 

We had a lot of fun making these wooden cakes filled with bananas!

That's all for this week folks! We hope that you all are inspired to make your own beautiful monkey themed goodies! Happy baking and happy crafting!♥  

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Saturday, April 20, 2013

Crazy about Ganache

So I've been on a ganache binge lately. Truth be told, I've always been too afraid to even go anywhere near ganache. I always thought that it was something too difficult and too beautiful to be made at home. After doing some research, turns out that I was dead wrong. Ganache is hands down the easiest and most beautiful thing you can make to decorate your desserts. 

Ganache is so versatile and absolutely delicious. After checking out a few recipes this was my favorite. Her recipe is easily adjustable for either larger or smaller quantities. There is one thing I need to confess here: I took a bit of a shortcut and used semisweet chocolate chips and heated the cream in the microwave! I have no idea if that's a no no, but the ganache turned out excellent. A word of caution with the chocolate chips though, you should definitely chop them up or run them through the food processor. 

I used the ganache as a glaze for some spring themed cupcakes:

I whipped it up and covered a cake with it:

Whipping it turns it into the most luscious and fudgey frosting you've ever had in your entire life!

I used it to glaze an entire cake (which I still have to work on getting the sides to be completely smooth) :

The recipe is a definite keeper! I can't wait to try to make truffles with the ganache and many more yummy things. 

That's all for this week folks! Don't be afraid to try ganache. I'm sure all of you can do it! Happy baking and happy crafting! ♥  

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