December 29, 2011

miscellaneous december

I didn't want to interrupt this blog's holiday spirit so I held off on sharing all of the pictures from this month's cake inventory. Now that the season is winding down, here they are!

1) Based off the wedding cake pictured here , I prepared this small marble cake in the same style with white and dark chocolate pleats accented with chocolate roses. Happy birthday, Talia!

2) My friend Brandon is convinced the global economy should be backed by sterling. I believe the global economy should be backed by cake. We've reached a compromise, I think, with this 30th birthday cake. Happy birthday, B!

3) To celebrate the upcoming nuptials of a lucky couple who are tying the knot at a vacation destination, I made this pink beach-themed bridal shower cake. Opalescent shells and pearls were placed along the sandy beach (brown sugar) lining the cake, with piped buttercream coral and finished with a congratulatory greeting on the top. Congratulations, Tina and Alvin! And bon voyage!

4) The fourth iteration of cake sushi: the birthday girl loves dynamite rolls so I crafted a wooden sushi serving box out of chocolate cake and placed some dynamite maki and salmon, tuna and red snapper nigiri. Little extra features included a bamboo border, chopsticks and a personalized fortune cookie. I always love the opportunity to do something I love (sushi!) with the freedom to customize each cake. Happy birthday, Maddy!

5) This wedding cake was filled with alternating layers of red velvet and chocolate cake with cream cheese buttercream. The bride's and bridesmaids' bouquets had beautiful blue orchids and white roses so I accented the cake with edible flowers. Congratulations, Jackie and Barry!

6) This coconut cream birthday cake was fashioned to look like a Tiffany & Co jewellery box. The bow, tag and "22" charm were made from gumpaste. Happy birthday, Michelle!

It has been a busy end to 2011 and I can't wait to see what 2012 has in store for sweet&splendid!


December 24, 2011

happy holidays!

Happy holidays from sweet&splendid!

December 11, 2011

the season of giving

I might be infected with the Christmas spirit. Or I really like an excuse to be in the kitchen.

This year I put together little cookie and treat bags to give as holiday party favours. I couldn't decide (besides gingerbread) what the best holiday flavour was, so I put together a few of them. I definitely wanted to include peppermint and butterscotch, and of course shortbread.

Shortbread stars, gingerbread men, peppermint meringue kisses, chocolate bark and honey florentines were packaged together in little cello baggies. The honey florentines are the easiest cookie I've ever made and they're absolutely delicious. They're somewhere between a candy and a cookie, which makes the packages exactly half candies and half cookies.

And still over 2 weeks until Christmas! Plenty more time for holiday treats.


December 3, 2011

gingerbread everything

Now that we've entered the official countdown to the holidays it's time to start some festive baking projects. This week I took the opportunity to use my favourite holiday flavour in many different recipes: gingerbread.

Even though I used half of the recipe that I usually use, I still ended up with almost 200 of these little gingerbread men. The next thought was to use the extras as cupcake toppers which gave me the excuse to make some gingerbread cupcakes. 

Cupcakes were baked with molasses, ground ginger, allspice and cinnamon - just like the cookies - and covered with a generous swirl of cinnamon buttercream. I think the smiles on the gingerbread men cookies just got bigger.

The last baking endeavour involved my favourite confections: macarons. I simply added the ground spices (ginger, cinnamon and allspice) to the dry ingredients before folding. Once cooled they were filled with a fragrant ginger-orange buttercream. 

As much as I enjoy the Christmas season for all it represents: time spent with family and good friends, gift-giving, a much-needed break from studying/research, I'm pretty certain the best aspect is the food. Let the holiday baking begin!