I love caramel syrup! Check out my new recipe post here!
As always, I have amazing couples. They’re friendly, outgoing and of course, have amazing style. Boo and Michael kept that going strong as seen by their BEAUTIFUL wedding (check out Boo’s amazing Oscar de la Renta dress!). Here are the photos from the entire wedding, shot by True Photography Weddings!
Our baby turned three, so it was time to party. In the past, hubby and I opted for a taco cart and a keg since she wouldn’t really remember those parties anyway. This year we decided to make it a little more kid friendly-taco cart, growlers, lemonade bar (with optional vodka) and a dessert table! The kids loved the dessert table Hope you enjoy the pics!
And a HUGE thanks to the following:
Photography: Chris Wojdak
Cake: Hey There, Cupcake
Macarons: Claire DuBois
Cake Pops and Marshmallows: ME!
If you haven’t heard of PubCakes, or worse, haven’t tried them yet, you’re missing out on one the most spectacular creations from the baking world. Misty Birchall (one of my best friends ever!) has taken craft beer and perfectly paired them with amazing favors to create beer cupcakes. Yep, beer cupcakes.
She has been operating in a shared storefront with Treehouse Coffee Co.(Which has some of the best coffee I’ve had in my life!) but is growing incredibly fast, so a new space is needed. Her ultimate goal is to open a bar that serves craft beer and a huge assortment of beer desserts. She’s made so many amazing desserts including beer that can’t be shared with the world because the space she’s in is simply too small.
Recently Misty was selected to be on Cupcake Wars, which was a super exciting and amazing opportunity for her. (If you want to check out her audition video, with a little cameo from yours truly, check it out here.) The episode she was cast on was to celebrate the 100th year celebration for the Girl Scouts. You can see where this is going. Misty and Kaitlin decided to stick to their guns and stay true to their product. As some of you know, alcohol bakes out, so what’s left is flavor-NO ALCOHOL. This is true with butterscotch and even flavoring extracts. What ended up happening is that she was eliminated in the first round based soley on the usage of beer, even though other cupcakes received far inferior comments for flavor and execution. The critique of her cupcake was actually quite good.
Instead of accepting defeat, Misty used this opportunity to kick start a pledge drive. Her goal is to raise $50,000 by May 31st in order to open her new storefront, complete with beer. What’s amazing is that every donation gets a return. For example if you donate $20, you get a $25 gift certificate to be used at the new storefront. If she doesn’t raise the money in time, you get a refund on your donation-but that won’t happen if we have anything to say about it!
Mosey on over to her pledge site and check it out. If you can donate anything, please do and if not, spread the word. We all know how hard it is to raise the money to see your dreams come true, and Misty is doing it and kicking butt along the way.
Jello Marshmallows. Not Jello and marshmallows. JELLO MARSHMALLOWS! If you haven’t noticed, I’ve been a little obsessed with homemade marshmallows. The little puffs are heavenly and, surprisingly, not too sweet! Made with basically sugar and gelatin, they’re also fairly simple. One day I thought “why not use Jello?!?!?” and of course ran to my friend, Google. I found a recipe for a recipe for Jello flavored Marshmallows from Joy of Jello. Um, this could be something horrid or something amazing. Turns out, it’s pretty amazing.
I decided to use Raspberry Jello since that’s what was in my pantry. Simple enough.
First step: Sprinkle the Jello and gelatin over the cold water in your stand mixer bowl. Slap on the whisk attachment. Yes, you should use a stand mixer. Or have really strong arms and a hand mixer that is strong like bull.
Then in a medium sauce pan, cook the sugar, corn syrup and water until the thermometer reaches 240-250 degrees. The original recipe says a minute or something, but trust me, use a thermometer. Please remember cooked sugar is hot as ish and will leave some nasty burns, so no little ones around and wear long sleeves. Or don’t be a klutz.
Cooking a little more
After it’s done, turn the stove off, turn the mixer on low and SLOWLY pour the sugar into the Jello. the stream should never be larger than the width of a regular pen.
Once it’s all in there, turn the mixer on high and let it go crazy for about 10 minutes.
It’ll get lighter and bigger.
In the meantime, get a metal 9″ x 13″ pan. Spray it with some cooking spray and sprinkle evenly with some powdered sugar. I forgot to take a picture of that step. Sorry. it was 12 am…
After the marshmallows have been whipped for about8- 10 minutes, the volume should have triple in size and the bowl should be lukewarm. Throw in a teaspoon of vanilla at this point and mix for a minute or so. It’ll make a weird noise. It’s ok.
Take a greased spatula and pour the mix into the prepared pan. It’s really, really sticky so work fast. If the spatula and the marshmallow mix are showing a strong affinity for each other, dip the spatula in some water and keep on moving. Remember, you will never get all the marshmallow goo out of the pan. Just accept it.
Spread it out evenly and let it sit overnight. The recipe says to sprinkle a powdered sugar/cornstarch mix on the top. I didn’t because the wet spatula left little pools of water on it, and I didn’t want it to get crusty. So I waited an hour or so.
After it sets, carefully peel it out of the pan and slap it on a surface covered with a cornstarch/powdered sugar mix. Use a knife, pizza cutter, cookie cutter, scissor, machete or whatever to cut up the marshmallows. Just make sure it’s greased or wet. I use a knife dusted with powdered sugar. Don’t forget to toss the cut up marshmallows in a powdered sugar/ cornstarch mix as well.
Voila! Yummy marshmallows!
The original recipe is here if you want to try it out! I can’t wait to try it with other flavors!!!!!
Last week was a bag of rad. The USPS was definitely my friend by delivering some of my favorite items ever! Take a peek-I swear I’m not bragging…
COOKIE!!! NOM, NOM, NOM!!!!! I got cookies from not one but TWO of my favorite cookie masters. The first was from Amber from SweetAmbs. I found found her on Facebook and quickly became her #1 stalker/fan. I’m truly amazed and awe-stricken every time I see her creations. They are some of the most amazing pieces of art I’ve ever seen. I almost didn’t eat them because they were so beautiful. Almost…It’s pretty amazing that they are as delicious as they are beautiful! This is her Brush Embroidery Spice Cookie in Orange Vanilla Spice.
After that I got cookies from Liz at The Cookie Chew. Liz makes delicious, rich, and decadent cookies that are all stuffed with more delicious rich and decadent happiness. I’ve had her cookies before and I was hooked like it was crack. I would have posted a picture of the actual cookies but I devoured them before I had a chance to. Out of 8, I shared 1/2. Don’t touch my cookies! My favorites: Sweet Fiesta, & Red Velvet Stuffed cookies. Who am I kidding, I want them all.
After the surge of sugar ran it’s course I got a GORGEOUS ring from my all-time favorite jewelry designer, Michelle from Mimi and Lu. I don’t go one day without wearing something from Mimi and Lu. She has such original and gorgeous designs that go with everything. I can wear them with a t-shirt and jeans to a full-on cocktail dress. This ring in particular is the Peyton Ring. Side note, the name Mimi and Lu comes from MIchelle + MIchale (the hubby) + LUcca (the great dane)= Mimi and Lu. How cute is that?
Lastly, I got some business cards from Moo.com. They specialize in mini cards that you can print an array of photos on to showcase your work. Don’t have photos? Don’t fret-they have a TON of well designed stock cards. But the great thing is they commission great artists to design them and they have so many unique ones that you most likely won’t run into someone with the same card.
So, in short, last week I won. Go me.
HAPPY NEW YEAR! Whatever you ended up doing for your New Year’s Eve, I hope it was memorable! My hubby and I curled up while the two year old slept, and watched “My Idiot Brother”. Cute movie! A great one to end 2011 and start 2012 with.
With the arrival of a new year means the arrival of a few new things with Cake Ball Love. All very exciting and all delicious!
1-This year the flavor selections will be a bit more unconventional than they were, and all flavors will be available year round (unless dependent on seasonal ingredients). Stay tuned for flavors like Spicy Dulce De Leche and Honey Pistachio! There may be a Pink Champagne in the mix too.
2-I’m REALLY excited for this addition. In 2011, I was so lucky to meet Alejandra Morin of The Marshmallow Studio. She is the first and only person I’ve met who makes marshmallow pops, and they are AWESOME. She can make any custom creation you can think of. Alejandra inspired me to delve into making homemade gourmet marshmallows, so much that I’m adding them to my line of products offered. They’ll be available neat (just the marshmallow) or dipped in chocolate. And of course, they will be available as pops.
Aside from those two changes, I’m still charging forward with one goal in mind…to be happy. Because at the end of the day, that’s all I want to be
Have an amazing 2012!
I hope your holidays were full of fun and love and I hope you have a wonderful and safe New Year!
In writing this post, I initially wanted to do a little recap of my 2011 year. Then I came across an article in my local newspaper that listed cake pops as one of the worst food trends of 2011. All it really did was ask a handful of local food professionals and one stated “I am not a fan of the cake pop. Cake suffers when you smash it like a piece of Wonder Bread, poke it with a stick, and coat it with a heavy sugar icing. Visual appeal is important — they look cute all bunched together in a bouquet — but taste is more important I think.” —Tina Luu, pastry chef, food lecturer at the Art Institute of California San Diego.
I know not everyone will love cake pops, and they are entirely within their rights. I will always respect your right to your opinion. What bothered me about this is that she was indicating that people who were making cake pops were defaming cake for the sake of a trend and were merely making visually appealing products without the consideration of taste. Then after reading the comments and thinking about past people who have expressed a disdain for cake pops, I noticed it was primarily pastry chefs who were expressing this opinion. Most were insinuating that most cake poppers were not, in fact, bakers.
Over this past year, I’ve spent countless hours perfecting recipes, combining numerous flavors, and researching high quality ingredients. I’ve poured my heart and soul into my creations and lost so much sleep for the sake of my art. I have oven burns on my hands and arms. Since I can’t go to pastry school, the internet, You Tube and great friends are my instructors. So for someone to dismiss what I do…all I can say is that I’ll rise above and thank you for pushing me harder to be better.
If you’re a cake baller and you’re proud, let it be known! Happy New Year and here’s to a prosperous 2012. Let’s make it a big one!
P.S. if you’re interested in the article, read it here.
Here’s a little break from Holiday cuteness and such. I made, quite possibly, the ugliest cake ball today. I’m not entirely sure how or why I made it, but I did, and it’s fabulous. In order to capitalize on such a disaster and to have some fun, I’ve decided to turn this mishap into a contest. Give this little guy a name, and the winner gets a dozen free assorted cake balls in January.
Are you ready?? Scroll on down.
Here’s my little friend
Sexy, right?!? Like I said, give him a name and the winner gets a dozen free cake balls in January (bakers flavor choice). Ready, Set, Go! Winner will be chosen Thursday, December 22 at 9:30 pm, PST.
A few years ago, one of my best friends gave me ” I like You: Hospitality Under the Influence” by Amy Sedaris. It’s basically the real person’s guide to entertaining By “real person” I mean us folks who want to be June Cleaver or Martha Stewart, but have full time jobs, a messy house, and a sense of humor. In it, I discovered a bunch of laughs, but more importantly, my favorite Vanilla Cupcake recipe. It works really well for me and requires little effort. You could make it as is, as lazily as you can possibly think of, or add a little pizzazz and it’s still great. So here you go, and make sure to have a martini while you bake because it’s the Amy Sedaris way.
Amy Sedaris Cupcakes
1 1/2 sticks unsalted butter
1 3/4 cups sugar
Beat well then add:
2 large eggs
2 teaspoons pure vanilla (I like vanilla bean paste)
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
2 1/2 cups flour
1 1/4 cup milk (I use 2%)
Beat well, fill cups and bake 375 degrees for 18-20 minutes. You should get 24. I get 18 because I’m doing something wrong
So there you have it! My favorite Vanilla Cupcake recipe