Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Happy Birthday Cupcake Tower

One of my best girlfriends lives in a house full of men. When her birthday came around, I figured she needed something pink! For ease of serving and match her casual lifestyle, I opted for a cupcake tower. Each Vanilla Cupcake was topped with a swirl of Raspberry Swiss Meringue Buttercream. A buttery Sugar Cookie frosted with Royal Icing in this darling pattern was put on top of each cupcake. Happy Birthday Shelley!

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

Flavours - Red Velvet Cake

Red Velvet Cake is a popular flavour of cake, originally achieved with the addition of beets and traditionally served with Cream Cheese Frosting.  The more modern way to achieve the red colour is with red food colouring, as I do here.  My recipe also includes a small amount of cocoa for a mild chocolate taste. 

Layers of my Red Velvet Cake are filled and frosted with Cream Cheese Frosting.  Delicious! Just one bite and you'll know why this traditional cake is still so popular today!

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

Flavours - Double Almond Cake

One of the best memories of living in the Netherlands as a little girl might just be coffee time.  On the day my parents were expecting company or on a special day like a birthday, one of them would hop on their bicycle and ride to the local bakery where they would pick up a variety of "gebakjes".  These small, individual pastries would range from Dutch Napoleons made with puff pastry, whipped and pastry creams, to fresh fruit pastries, to various slices of cake, including mocha, chocolate and whipped cream and fruit.  Soon, there would be hot, strong coffee, lots of loud and excited voices, happy feelings and the sweet tastes of the delicious Dutch pastries.

I live in Canada now, and now I make sophisticated cakes and desserts in the North American style.  The recipe for my next cake came from a Julia Child cooking show which aired in the mid-1990s.  A relatively unknown Martha Stewart was a guest and she demonstrated this cake.  I searched high and low for the recipes, and when I had them I put them all together.  Then I tasted the cake,... this taste I had experienced before - on one of those long ago mornings with my parents and brothers and cousins.  This was on the menu at those Dutch pastry shops!  Happy, happy memories and awesome taste!

This one starts with three layers of Dense Almond Cake.  Each layer is brushed with Apricot Preserves and topped with an Almond Dacquoise, which is essentially an almond meringue.  The dacquoise is topped with and the entire cake is frosted in a Rum-flavoured Swiss Meringue Buttercream.  The result has a slight boozy taste, there is a bit of crunch from the dacquoise and a hint of sweet from the apricot.  The cake is moist and delicious and this will be my birthday cake from this point forward.  I'll brew some strong coffee and add the love of my family and friends and it will take me back in time!

Thursday, September 2, 2010

Flavours - Chocolate Lover's Cake

This one's for the purist!  This cake is all chocolate; no fruit, no nuts, nothing to adulterate the true flavours of the chocolate. 

It starts with layers of Devil's Food Cake, made with coffee to bring out the chocolate flavour. The  layers are filled with Bittersweet Chocolate Ganache and Chocolate Swiss Meringue Buttercream and the entire cake is covered in Chocolate Swiss Meringue Buttercream and is just plain awesome!

Wednesday, September 1, 2010

Flavours - Caramel Apple Cake

This lightly spiced Apple Cake is dense and moist.  Each of the four layers is smothered with Caramel Cream Cheese filling and the entire cake is frosted in luxurious Caramel Swiss Meringue Buttercream.  It is a lovely flavour very suitable to autumn, although it's fresh flavour will be welcome all year!