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!