Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Birthday Cake

What is this?  Another post in the same month you say?  Why yes indeed it is.  This is kind of a  follow up to all the cupcakes I made.  Today is my Mommy-in-law's actual birthday and last night I made her a cake for today.  It all comes down to one little detail, I am having way too much fun with gum paste.  Or at least that is what my husband tells me.

The picture isn't the best.  It was 2:30 in the morning and I was exhausted.  But you can see the roses I made from this angle =)  The cake is a pumpkin cake with a cream cheese frosting and filling.  It's so yummy and moist it's hard not to break into it early. Anyway I just wanted to share this with you.  I worked hard and had fun.  I also learned I need to get better at frosting my cakes... I didn't make enough for a crumb coat and a finishing layer of icing.  But I don't think anyone really noticed but me. Well, until next time, this is Crafty Leo signing off!  

Monday, November 14, 2011

Gum Paste and Carrot Cake!

Long time no see!  A lot has been going on the last couple months since I posted in August.  My husband and I went to San Jose on a Business trip that ended up being nearly a whole month long excursion.  Living out of a Hotel, even a nice one, is still for the birds.  So a whole month without a kitchen to work with was kind of sad and boring.  But while we were there I discovered these amazing cookies at a little deli called "Specialties"  They were just chocolate chip cookies but they were the best thing I ever tasted! So I have been on a quest to duplicate that recipe.  But that whole story is for another post.  Today I wanted to talk about my new little obsession;  Gum paste.

If you don't know what it is, gum paste is made of powder sugar, glucose, gum tax, and water.  when you combine these ingredients you get gum paste, the clay of the sugar world!  With it you can do fun little things like this:

  I didn't just make these for fun (ok so maybe I did just a little bit), it was my Mommy-in-law's birthday.  She wanted a Karaoke party, and cupcakes, so I made enough for everybody.  A whole whopping 6 dozen (that's 72) cupcakes in three flavors, chocolate, carrot cake, and lemon.  I also made a flower to top each one.  It was a decent sized task, I have never worked with gum paste before, let alone ever molded flowers.  Now I am addicted.  my Mommy-in-law's actual birthday isn't until the 15th so I still have to make her a cake, and yes I am making flowers for that too Bwahahaha!!!

I took some pictures to show off my work >D  and below them is the recipe for my carrot cake cupcakes.

So a little back story on this recipe, the first time I made them with this recipe was when I was still working with Bethany from A fish Who Likes Flowers and the recipe just kind of stuck after that.  They are nice and moist and go really well with cream cheese frosting.

Preheat your oven to 350 F
This recipe yields about 24 cupcakes or two round cake pans if you wish to make it a cake instead

4 eggs beaten and at room temperature
2 C cake flour (you can use all-purpose too)
1 C white sugar
1 C brown sugar
2 t baking powder
1 t ground cinnamon
1/2 t baking soda
3 C shredded carrots (lightly packed)
3/4 C oil
1 t vanilla
1/2 C nuts (optional) (walnut or pecan works best)
1/2 C raisins (optional)

Step 1. Let's prep everything!  Let your beaten eggs come to room temp (approx 30 min) I recommend doing this in a medium sized mixing bowl, you are going to add stuff to them later.  If you are making a cake then this would be the perfect time to butter and flour your 9X1 1/2-inch rounds.  If you are making cupcakes then go ahead and put your liners in their respective tins.     In a large mixing bowl stir together your flour, sugars, baking powder, cinnamon, and baking soda.

Step 2.  After your eggs are at room temperature add your carrots, vanilla, and oil to them and mix them together until they are just combined. Add your egg mixture to your flour mixture and combine,  after the two mixtures are all nice and mixed together go ahead and stir in your nuts and raisins if you are adding those.

 Step 3. Put your batter into your cupcake tins (about 2-3 Tbsp per cup depending on the size).  or separate your batter in half and put into your cake pans.  For cupcakes they will bake in the oven for about 18-22 min. depending on the oven.  The cakes will bake for about 30-35 min.  Test both with a toothpick and if it comes out  clean they are done.

The last thing to do is frost them with your favorite icing.  I recommend Cream Cheese or Butter Cream.  Below is a quick Cream Cheese recipe.

1 package of Cream Cheese
4 C Powder Sugar
1/2 t vanilla extract
4 T butter
1-2 t milk

combine everything except for the milk and mix on medium until smooth, add milk to soften the mixture up as it mixes. I find depending on the day I may need even more than 2 t of milk, but it's really to taste and preferred consistency.  That is all there is to it.