Saturday, June 13, 2009

It's graduation time!

June is known for many things: the official start of summer (yea!), Father's Day and a flurry of graduation celebrations. My cousin Zach was one of the many celebrating his big leap from high school to college and, while I refuse to believe that my little cousin known for his suffocating bear hugs is no longer so little, PattyCake jumped at the chance to help him celebrate his big day.

Two early morning plane rides to Wisconsin, 17 hours and 150 assorted cupcakes and cookies later, Zach had his {cup}cake and I was ready for a much deserved nap (didn't you read Jade's former post? Birthdays, weddings and graduations...oh my!).

The assortment:
Cupcakes: vanilla, chocolate and red velvet.
Frostings: vanilla, chocolate, praline and cream cheese.
Cookies: vanilla-sugar, homemade oreos and bourbon pecan.

Monday, June 8, 2009

Busy Little Bees!

So it's been a while since Rebekah or I have posted anything, and we promise it's not because we have forgotten to! We have been extremely busy over the past month and now that we have a little time to rest, it's the perfect time to catch you up.

We have been delivering cupcakes across this great city, and also even all the way out to Wisconsin! (More on that later.) We also had our first cake order, which was probably one of the most challenging and rewarding jobs yet.

We had to recreate a wedding cake.

No small feat, let me tell you. The original cake, served five years ago at the wedding of J.'s boss M., was completely custom-made, from the bright-red fondant with elegant flowered piping, to the filling layered with dark chocolate ganache, vanilla cake, and raspberry mousse. To top it off a handmade, pure white, sugar-paste rose bouquet flourished atop the five tiers. It was a masterpiece of a cake and our task was to recreate it (in miniature!) to serve at their anniversary lunch.

We could have done a lot of this with store-bought parts. However, being the ambitious girls we are, everything was made from scratch. Once the easy parts were out of the way - the cake, raspberry mousse, and ganache – we tackled the hardest part: draping the fondant on the tiers and applying the piping. Finally, the sugar-paste flowers were molded by hand, shaping little white buds and wrapping them with thin petals with our freshly made sugar-paste.

We've heard horror stories of fondant cracking, peeling, and falling apart, but one thing we think more bakers should talk about is sweating. Not the sweating that you do when you realize you have to make fondant from scratch at 11:30 PM because the white store-bought fondant doesn't want to absorb enough red food coloring to get it even close to the color your client wants, but rather the sweating the cake does as it defrosts beneath your, previously perfect, layer of fondant, creating a problematic layer of moisture. This discovering found Jade doing her own form of sweating (and I’m sure grumbling) into the wee-hours of the morning while holding a hand dryer to the otherwise lovely cake.

Despite the unfortunate discovery of “sweating,” the cake was delivered in perfect form to the restaurant and promptly enjoyed (and admired) by the clients. Whew! Next, remind us to tell you about the red velvet mishap!