Lordy be, I've been bakin' up a storm over here in Brooklyn. A couple of weeks back, I fulfilled three orders in a week's time. Doesn't sound like a lot, I know, but I was also planning a surprise 30th birthday party, did some photo work for MTV, and worked three days at the bar. It all took a few weeks of planning and scheduling and some serious time-management (not my strongest suit). In the end, the week was a success all-around - the producers loved the photos, the cakes were well-received (well, except one - more later on that), and the bar was busy.
I was planning to write a superlong post with tons of pictures and stuff to cover all of this activity, but considering the intimidating volume I'd have to cover, plus the GORGEOUS weather outside in New York City right now (65 and sunny), I've decided to reduce this to more of a "photo-post."
Here's one. It's a sugar-free carrot cake that I made for my pal Richmond. It's sweetened with honey and pineapple juice. Richmond claimed to love it (even though I thought it tasted like cardboard and had a texture similar to that of a firm, oily sponge). I learned that you should never really try to sweeten cream cheese frosting with honey - it just doesn't work. The two flavors are so strong and really don't mix well at all.
Please don't ask me for a sugar-free cake again.
Another, more successful cake I made was a red velvet. I used the recipe more or less exactly as it was printed in the Baked cookbook. I iced it with the cinnamon buttercream the recipe called for, but I didn't like it too much. Maybe it was too much cinnamon, or maybe I just think it's a little blasphemous (and very un-Southern) to not use cream cheese. I mean, it was all fine and tasty and well-received, but I just felt a little guilty about that frosting thing.
It was really red!
I heated up some chocolate candy discs with a lighter and stuck on some Hot Tamales. The flowers were on sale at the cake shop. This was for Easter, by the way.
Here's the one I was most proud of, because it's my recipe (and, as far as I can tell, my idea). A chocolate bacon cake I'm going to call the Dirty Pig cake. I know this trend - chocolate paired with bacon - is very popular right now, but I've never seen a chocolate bacon cake. I mean, I'm sure there are other chocolate bacon cakes out there. Right? I don't know. Anyway, it was very, very well-recieved. I've already made another since that night.
Each layer had about two tablespoons of crispy bacon and a tablespoon of salt. So it was built up like this: cake, salted caramel, chocolate caramel ganache frosting, the bacon, and the salt.
The finished cake:
Here's Ryan, the birthday bacon boy. I think he enjoyed it, though I'm not sure how it went with that Hoegaarden he's drinking.
I also made a chocolate peanut butter Butterfinger cake for a pal in LA. I made all the components and shipped them overnight. It was then up to the recipient to assemble everything. It was a fun experiment. I vacuum-sealed the cake layers in Ziploc bags with my vacuum cleaner! In the end, though, I have no clue how it worked out. I got a ho-hum-sounding text from the recipient, and still no photos. I don't even know if the shipping worked. I haven't pressed the issue of getting more information or photos, mostly because I'm afraid to hear about it. I have a feeling it was a failure, and an expensive one at that. In the end though, I'm so glad I got to try it.
So yeah, that's some of what I've been up to lately. I hope everyone is having a great Spring. Summer's right around the corner!
Beach season! Tanning your buns! Yay!