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Sunday, May 29, 2011

I love my cake tools!

Just as a painter can't get along without his brush and his rollers and his ladders, I would have a more difficult time without tools like my edible image printer, my extruder gun, and my pasta roller. I used all three of those tools in making this birthday cake.

The paint chips were printed on an icing sheet using the edible image printer. Each chip card was then mounted on a very thin piece of gumpaste.

I don't waste a lot of time rolling gumpaste to an even, thin layer - I just run it through the pasta maker attachment of my Kitchen-Aid mixer. Perfect every time!

The Klay Extruder came in handy when doing the paint can lid, base of the paint can, and the base of the cake. The extruder cost me about $50 (Canadian) and I have certainly had my money's worth! I've used it for everything from borders to the thin wire handle of the paint can (above) to hair on a gumpaste figure.

My local cake guild is having a "Junk in your Trunk" sale next month. It's an opportunity to sell some cake tools that are sitting at the back of the cupboard, rarely used. At first I was excited about this - probably because I might have the chance to pick up something new. I've looked through the dozens and dozens of tools I've purchased over the past few years and really, there is nothing I am prepared to let go. My husband would call me a "Hoarder" - I would just say that I like to be prepared for anything. ;-)

Saturday, May 07, 2011

Little Cupcake, Big Jolt

I hadn't considered how much caffeine one of these little Cappuccino Cupcakes contained ... until about 3 a.m. this morning when I couldn't sleep!

The cupcake is made from my favourite chocolate cake recipe, which can be found right on the box of Hershey's cocoa ... Hershey's "Perfectly Chocolate" Chocolate Cake .

The final step calls for adding a cup of boiling water*. That seemed a bit odd to me at first because prior to that step, the mixture has much the same texture as any other cake batter. Adding the extra liquid makes the batter very runny and you'll wonder if you've done something wrong - you haven't, and the cupcakes will bake up beautifully in less than 20 minutes.

*You can make that half water and half coffee for more of a mocha flavour.

The icing on these little caffeine bombs is a Swiss Meringue Buttercream (SMBC) with a good shot of strong espresso added. The top is drizzled with Dark Chocolate Ganache and topped with a chocolate-covered espresso bean.

... Great with, or in place of, an after-dinner coffee.