Saturday, October 8, 2011

Killer Whale (Orca) Cake

My coworker's son's birthday is coming up- so she asked me to make him a "whale" of a cake :) Her son LOVES Shamu (the Killer Whale from Sea World), dolphins, sharks, whales, fish- so basically anything aquatic.  He asked for an Orca cake (aka Killer Whale), so I made him a white cake with strawberry filling, vanilla buttercream icing, covered in black and white fondant.

So here are a few photos of the killer whale cake before he headed off to the birthday party!

150 Wedding Cupcakes and a 2-Tier Wedding Cake- Black and White Theme

My cousin Derrick married his lovely bride Rebecca last month, and last weekend was their reception at my parents' house. I was blessed by the happy couple, by being asked to make the cupcakes for the reception!  So I got to play with several flavors of cupcake and flavor combinations.

Due to this experience, I've decided I like making cupcakes much better than cakes! Much less precision is required, and you can make several varieties all at the same time (ok, call me lazy, I'm totally fine with it :) )!  So 150 large cupcakes, 75 bite-sized cupcakes and a two-tier cake later - here are the flavor combos I came up with!

S'mores (including graham cracker crust, chocolate cupcake and toasted marshmallow topping)
German Chocolate
Chocolate with Caramel
Chocolate with Raspberry
Chocolate with Bavarian Cream
Chocolate with Chocolate Buttercream
White with Raspberry
White with Vanilla Buttercream
White with Chocolate Buttercream
White with Toasted Meringue
Coconut with Coconut Buttercream and Toasted Coconut flakes
Lemon with Lemon curd filling and Lemon Buttercream
Lemon with Raspberry

 Pictured Above: German Chocolate, Chocolate Chocolate and White with Chocolate

Pictured Above: S'mores, Chocolate Caramel

Pictured Above: Mini Chocolate and Vanilla, and Large Chocolate and Vanilla

Pictured Above: White with Vanilla Buttercream and White with Raspberry

Pictured Above: Lemon with Raspberry

Pictured Above: White with Vanilla and Toasted Coconut (bottom)

Pictured Above: S'mores! These were definitely my favorite!

Pictured above: Chocolate with Caramel

Last but not least- the cake! It was a simple 2-tier cake. The top tier was carrot cake with cream cheese buttercream, and the bottom tier was chocolate WASC cake with chocolate buttercream and bavarian cream filling.  Accents were black and white royal icing and silver dragees.

Happy Marriage to the happy couple! Love you both!

PS- here is the recipe I used for the Cream Cheese Buttercream:

Cream Cheese Buttercream

1 8oz pkg Cream Cheese (I prefer whipped, but regular is fine too)
1 stick butter (softened)
1 Cup vegetable shortening
8 Cups powdered sugar
3 tsp pure vanilla (I use homemade vanilla- I would use less than 3 tsp vanilla in this recipe if you are using store-bought extract)
2-3 Tbsp heavy whipping cream or milk

In an electric mixer using the paddle attachment, mix together the cream cheese, butter and shortening until smooth.  Next add the powdered sugar 1 cup at a time. Next add in the vanilla then the heavy whipping cream (or milk) 1 Tbsp at a time, adding more or less (if necessary) to produce the desired consistency.


Dessert Pizza

I was dying for dessert- and happened to have some pizza dough sitting in my fridge that needed to be used so after a little bit of thinking, I decided to make a dessert pizza.

I took a basic pizza crust and rolled it out on a baking stone. I coated the crust with melted butter, then covered it with a cinnamon / sugar mixture.  I baked the crust at 400 degrees F for about 12 minutes, then removed the crust from the oven.

Next I sprinkled chopped up Toblerone chocolate on the crust and let it melt before I spread it on the crust to make a sauce. From there I chopped up strawberries, pecans, and extra chocolate, then sprinkled it on the crust.  Next I added halved large marshmallows (I'd probably use small marshmallows if I did this again), then baked for about 5 minutes until all ingredients were warmed and the marshmallows looked toasted.

I cut the crust then served slices of dessert pizza with vanilla bean ice cream.  My husband even told me I could make this every week for the rest of his life if I really wanted to ;)

Enjoy and happy baking!!