Monday, November 9, 2009

Maia's First Birthday

These are Maia's first birthday cake and cupcakes. The cake is a 6-inch Ultimate Butter Cake and the cupcakes were also the Ultimate Butter Cake, and the the Ultimate Chocolate Butter Cake recipe, all from Sarah Philips.

I'm really not very good at fondants but I think I did a decent job in the cake. The cake and cupcakes turned out really good! The kids in the party loved it, especially the icing. :)

Happy birthday again my favorite little girly Maia! May you grow up still smiling sweetly like you do now. :)

Monday, October 12, 2009

Thet's Surprise Butter Cake

I made the Ultimate Butter Cake by Sarah Philips as a birthday present for my very pregnant friend Thet who celebrated her birthday last Thursday. She loves butter cakes and I made it just the way (I think) she likes it, butter cake and butter cream.

This butter cake is the first cake that I ever learned how to make and incidentally, I made it also for her birthday two years ago in Israel. And it gets better every time I make it! I took home a slice of it as dessert the next day.

Happy birthday again Thet!

Saturday, September 5, 2009

Orange You Glad

I made some Orange Butter Cupcakes last night as gift for Thet who is expecting her third baby. It was actually for her birthday two years ago that I made my first butter cake, when I was just starting to learn how to bake and since then, that butter cake recipe has been a staple for me. Sarah Philip's Ultimate Butter Cake recipe is the best butter cake recipe there is, because it bakes really flat, really moist and so delicious. And I get to make a lot of variations out of it, the most uncommon of which is probably the parmesan cheese variation that I made back home. I made some with mango too, but I guess it isn't uncommon.

I chose to make Orange this time because I have some Grand Marnier that I could use for the buttercream. And I wanted a neutral color for Thet, so I chose a color that is not specific for a girl or a boy (or come to think of it, orange is more of a girly color too!).

I wanted to make a cupcake with only one color, decorations included. I made some orange flowers to go with the cupcakes. Only when I was already making my gumpaste flowers did I realize that I left a bunch of my cutters and tools back home. I left my mini rolling pin, my 5 petal cutter, my daisy cutter and a few more small flower cutters back home! I remembered that I put it aside altogether after using it for Carlo's wedding. (And I also left a bunch of other non-baking stuff, including a few sheets that I love, favorite clothes, etc.). Anyway, here's how the cupcakes looked like. I gave all of it to Thet without having tasted the final cupcake. I just had the crumbs and a little of the buttercream separately. I do bet my life on it though that it is very good - with a perfect recipe and pretty baker, what could go wrong? LOL! Hehe kidding. :)

Best wishes to Mike and Thet! Hope you guys have a safe pregnancy!

Monday, August 24, 2009

Sort Of

I'm back, sort of. I had friends, who I haven't seen in ages, coming over the weekend at my new home. I had not psyched myself that I'd already be baking so I was sort of forced to make a cheesecake. I requested them to bring me some local dishes (laing and sinanglay), and in return Pinchette requested for a cheesecake. I made Sarah's Luscious and No Crack Cheesecake recipe, which is my absolute favorite cheesecake to make and eat! I don't eat cheesecake in restaurants anymore after I had learned how to make this recipe. The topping is strawberry jam and the frosting is a Swiss Meringue Buttercream.

The photo above is the best that I could take with bad lighting (which I think looks decent enough).

Here's us over at coffee and cheesecake. Louie is my highschool bestfriend, and Pinchette is his wife (also our highschool batchmate). Pinchette and Fr Rodel were classmates.

L-R: Fr Rodel, Louie, Pinchette and me

Monday, March 30, 2009

The Cupcake Disaster

These are the only photos that I managed to take out of the 120 cupcakes that I made for a wedding yesterday. It was a golden wedding anniversary and I decided to make a cupcake tower and a few souvenirs.

The cupcake flavors were Strawberry-filled Vanilla Cupcake with Raspberry Buttercream, Orange Cupcake with Orange Buttercream, Mango Cupcake with Mango Buttercream, Chocolate with Chocolate Ganache, Chocolate with Coffee Buttercream and Chocolate with Orange Buttercream. I know it's a lot of flavors, but it was more fun to make than building a tiered cake!

Ysabelle (my niece, who was better than Uncle Obet at building the boxes) helped me build individual souvenir boxes to be given at some guests in the wedding. We were able to make 10 pieces of the souvenirs. However, the boxes met an accident when a clumsy friend (haha!) tilted the box containing the souvenirs! The cupcakes inside the souvenir box ended up as snacks in the car.

The wedding is in Pampanga which is about 1.5-2hours drive from Manila, and as usual, I again had a major dilemma on how to transport the cupcakes. I placed the cupcakes in boxes of 12s and drove it to Pampanga. Transporting the cupcakes was fairly easy, except for a few minor scare of the cupcakes jumping out of the hole due to humps.

The wedding was at around 3pm, and we were there at 2pm. It was sooo hot in Pampanga! I think it was around 40C (no kidding!). Not having eaten anything for the whole day, we were treated to a wonderful feast and we were so full! We ate up even if it was too hot. A few minutes before 3pm, people in the house all went to the church for the ceremony, and we were left to setup the cupcakes. I setup the cupcakes, then left it to go to the church (or better yet, to eat halo halo beside the church. Haha). My brother took my camera to the church so I was not able to take a picture of the cupcakes immediately after setting it up. We left the cupcakes in the middle of the reception area (mind you the reception area was open with no airconditioning), and when I went back, the Mousseline frosting melted in the scorching heat. Here's how the tower looked like after an hour in the heat. Sobrang dugyot! I was so disappointed that I was not able to take a good photo of the tower before the disaster.

So here's how the wilted cupcakes looked like. I hope Allan and Beann gets a reception hall with full airconditioning! Even if the icing melted, the fact remains that the cupcakes were yummy and it got finished. :)

Thursday, March 19, 2009

The Wedding Cake

After much ado, I finally delivered my first wedding cake today - for Dodie and Weng's wedding. About a month ago when Dodie asked me to make their wedding cake, I was very excited because somebody finally trusted me to make a cake for their most special day. However, as the day grew nearer, I started panicking. First of all, I had only stacked 2 tiers of cake before, so making it 3 was quite a challenge. The flavors were easy though, they wanted Chocolate for the top and bottom tiers, and Vanilla in the middle. I made Sarah Phillip's Ultimate Chocolate and Vanilla Butter Cakes.

The cake tiers were 6, 8 and 10 inches. I originally planned on baking 2 layers for each tier, but it was not tall enough so I baked a third layer for each tier. Baking the layers were a breeze, this is my favorite part. Making the Vanilla Mousseline icing was a little easy this time. I made the icing in batches when I'm about the frost the layers so that I don't have to freeze or store the icing. All the 3 tiers were frosted with the Vanilla Mousseline Buttercream. After I had all tiers frosted, my biggest dilemma was how to stack the cake. I have never stacked and doweled something as big as this so I was scared to ruin the cakes. Plus I don't have spare cakes so there is no room for mistake.

While thinking about how to stack and dowel, I made the cake board by covering it with a lilac organza and yellow ribbon on the side. Then I started by securing the bottom tier onto the cake board. After an hour of just looking at the bottom layer and mustering enough courage to stack the cake, I placed the 2nd tier on the bottom tier. I doweled the 2 bottom tiers with a stick that I was lucky enough to buy in the supermarket. Lastly, I stacked the top tier. Voila, I now have a 3-tier wedding cake! The tiers looked really stable and it looked aligned and straight enough. Hehe. I was relieved! Then came the best part, decorating the cake. I had already made gumpaste flowers in advance according to the wedding's color motiff - Yellow and Lilac. I just covered the cake with lots of flowers and some butterflies. I also placed ribbons on the borders of the cake. I was done, I can finally sleep!

The biggest challenge was the long drive from my place to the reception. The first hurdle was bringing the cake from the 7th floor to the car. After a lot of fuss, the cake was finally in the front seat of the car because the box won't fit in the backseat or in the trunk.

On a normal day to work (which is near the reception), my travel time varies from 45 minutes to an hour and 15 minutes depending on the traffic. Today, however, it took me 2 hours to get there! I was driving with one hand, and holding the box with the other hand. Even if the cake was stable, it still took a beating out of the bumpy roads, the top and middle tiers slid back and tilted. The bottom tier also cracked a bit, good thing it was at the back part. Upon arriving at the reception, I setup the cake, smoothened the parts that slid and covered the crack with more flowers.

I was so concerned that because of the beating that the cake took, it would collapse on the cake cutting. Good thing it did not! The couple was able to cut the cake without any incident. :) After the ceremonies, most of the people waited for the cake to be served. They loved the cake and helped themselves with second servings! And that was the best compliment a baker could get, the second servings!

Now on to my second wedding cake on the 31st. :)

(Photos were taken the night before the reception, hence the bad light. More photos from the reception to come.)

Monday, March 9, 2009

The Sinful Cheesecake

According to Donald, Ice and Bry, this is the sinful cheesecake. They said that eating it was like committing a sin.

I planned on making lunch for them (plus Ly and Manuel) last Saturday before going to MOA for the Eheads concert. However, I only managed to make the dessert, and my mama and the help prepared the food for lunch. It was all well though, the food they served was very good and I still managed to hit the gym.

I made the cheesecake at around 1AM already because I was out the night before for a despedida/farewell party. And I'm supposed to serve it for lunch, so how's that? I think I made the cheesecake half-asleep, and half-intoxicated. LOL. As a result, the swirls were not pretty at all! I just used a regular strawberry spread for the swirls, I think I need to find a better jam for the swirls because it did not spread well. It still looked good though after baking. The cheesecake is Sarah Phillip's Luscious and No-Crack Cheesecake Recipe, which is the best cheesecake recipe in the whole world. It's so delicious, and heavenly! My guests helped themselves with second servings of the cheesecake. ;)

After lunch, we went to MOA for the Eheads concert which I had been looking forward to in months. And it did not disappoint! It was sooo fun! Here's
Ly's blog about it. It was so sulit! They sang my favorite song and I almost wanted to cry! LOL!

Monday, March 2, 2009

The Garage Sale

I went to a Garage Sale yesterday with Lyra at the QC Circle Mabini Hall. The stuff being sold there were mostly clothes and baby stuff. She invited me to bring over some cupcakes, and give out fliers to people. I decided to decorate a few pieces and put in individual boxes as samples for weddings and occassions.

I made 2 flavors of cupcakes, the Chocolate and the Vanilla to sell and as samples, both recipes by Sarah Phillips. The sample of the boxed cupcake below got sold to a couple who is planning their wedding. She said that it's their color. This is a Chocolate Cupcake with Mousselline Vanilla Buttercream.

This boxed sample is a Vanilla cupcake also frosted with Vanilla Buttercream. This has got to be my favorite flavor of cupcake. Too bad I can't make the White Chocolate Ganache with it because it will be too expensive to sell!

This last sample is a classic black and white on gold box. I need to get better at this photo thingy. :) And only after taking all the pictures and keeping the camera did I realize that the ribbons are not yet tied on the boxes! The final products had ribbons tied to the boxes.

The Garage Sale was a wonderful experience. It was fun talking with people and introducing the products. Plus I had fun selling Lyra and Mia's stuff! I wonder how much they've earned? LOL! It was also always fun to see Baby Sam because it is very easy to make him smile and laugh! :)

Here's the flier that I gave out yesterday. Nothing fancy since I just had to print it out in the morning of the sale. I should be working on fancier flier. :) It will be coming out soon!

Friday, February 27, 2009

The Quest for the Perfect Swirl

I'm sleepy. I was on a baking spree last night and I made some Mocha and Chocolate Cupcakes. Van and Ate Mayz ordered a bunch of those cupcakes. I started baking at around 8PM, and finished at past 3AM with a lot of welcome interruptions in between. I made 75 cupcakes, half of which frosted with Mousseline Vanilla Buttercream, and half frosted with Neoclassic French Buttercream.

The Mocha was a variation of Sarah Phillips' Orange Sponge Cake, and substituted the orange flavor with mocha and espresso. The cupcakes did not dome because the recipe is for a cake, and when baking a cake, it bakes nicely flat and very easy to frost. The cupcakes were still very cute though (although Van said, it's just a couple of bites to finish!). I frosted the Mocha cupcakes with the Neoclassic French Buttercream.

The chocolate cupcakes, which is my best seller, is of course Sarah's Ultimate Chocolate Cake with Chocolate Chips inside. The cupcakes domed nicely, and were very moist. I frosted it with Vanilla Mousseline Buttercream.

After baking all the cupcakes and before making the frostings, I ran out of sugar and it was already 1AM! I wondered where at this time could I buy some sugar. So I went out of the house and drove to 7-11 hoping that they were selling sugar. And they were selling sugar! I never thought I'd be buying sugar from 7-11, and then finding some in it.

I garnished the frosted cupcakes with a small piece of flower. I could only manage a single color at the ungodly hour. I was too sleepy to make it fancier. I also noticed that all of my frostings are just variations of white - from off-white, to beige, to slightly yellowish. For some reason, I always make the frostings when it is too late, so I never get to color it! Well I should next time, and if you request for it, I will color it to your liking. Price for the Mocha cupcakes is 460php for a box of 12 which is the minimum order.

And as for the quest for the perfect swirl? Well, the quest is still on. After 75 cupcakes last night, I still am nowhere close. I hope they loved the cupcakes though.

Monday, February 23, 2009

Red Velvet, Vanilla-Lemon and Carrot Cupcakes

These are some of the cupcakes that I made last week because I had orders of the Red Velvet Cupcakes and the Vanilla-Lemon Cupcakes. While at it, I made some Carrot Cupcakes to give as samples. All recipes are of course from baking911.

The Red Velvet cupcakes were frosted with Cream Cheese Frosting. I love Cream Cheese Frosting on anything, and with Red Velvet cupcakes, it's just perfect. I still can't get enough of the red coloring, it's just lovely.

These are some of the Carrot cupcakes that I made, also frosted with Cream Cheese Frosting. Cream Cheese is expensive here in the Philippines!

And lastly, these are the Vanilla-Lemon cupcakes that I made, frosted with Italian Buttercream in Vanilla.

I gave this sample box to Ice and Ly, and they loved it. Even Bry who does not eat carrots tried the Carrot cupcakes. The cupcakes were decorated with sugar gumpaste and dragees.
Current prices are 520php (box of 12) for Carrot, Red Velvet. 460 (box of 12) for Vanilla-Lemon, Chocolate. Minimum order is box of 12 per flavor.

Saturday, February 21, 2009

Chunky Cookies

I was craving for cookies yesterday and I thought of baking some of Sarah Phillip's Thick-With-A-Chew cookies. They were really easy to make and my mom was amazed that I had it done in no time. I just kind of threw in the ingredients together, mixed it a little bit, baked and voila, I have freshly baked cookies to serve. I think these are the best cookies that I have made ever, is it me or is it the sparkling new oven? I think it's the oven. Hehe.

The cookies were chunky which I loved. When you bite it, it was crunchy on the outside, yet chewy on the inside. The mix of milk and dark chocolate chips were also a real treat.

Friday, February 6, 2009

Samples and Orders

The last time that I baked was about a month ago and I have not been really on a baking mood ever since I came back from Israel. In fact, I think I despised the idea of hearing my Kitchen Aid churning. I dreaded the day that I will open my boxed baking stuff. I was basically out of sorts. I also never wanted to bake half-heartedly, or else it won't taste good. To cut a really long story short, I was forced to bake.

For the first batch, I made my most reliable recipes, Ultimate Butter and Ultimate Chocolate Butter Cupcakes by Sarah Phillips. I was able to yield 24 Vanilla Butter cupcakes and 36 Chocolate Butter cupcakes. I was surprised that it went perfectly, and none of the cupcakes fell off the liners. These became samples that I gave to my officemates, to daddy A for his birthday and as a thank you for driving for me, to the Dacios and to some of my Mama and Uncle Obet's friends. The cupcakes looked very elegant in the boxes. The boxes were a little expensive though, so Ly please go to divi with me. :)

The samples got rave reactions and I immediately got a lot of orders. Below is a glimpse of the orders that I got. I was only initially offering the Vanilla and Chocolate because I still had to compute the prices. Minimum order is box of 12 for 460php.

When I brought the orders, I also brought samples of the Red Velvet cupcakes with Cream Cheese Frosting. I was finally able to make it red, oh I love food colors here in the Philippines! The Red Velvets also got rave reviews. I don't have prices for the Red Velvet yet. I know I should be computing it really soon, as I already have orders!

Here's a sample of how the cupcakes look like in the pretty boxes. This is just a box of six though, as these are gifts.

Wednesday, January 7, 2009

Buche De Noel

I made this for Ate Jen before I left Israel. I had this left on my drafts for the longest time and I'm posting now. This is to let everyone know that I made it safely home and I'm waiting for my baking gears to arrive from shipment. Till then! :)