Saturday, March 24, 2012

Graduation cake for a chocolate lover...

This cake was chocolate with a chocolate mousse filling, and iced in chocolate ganache. I had made a cake similar to this one before, but not iced in the chocolate ganache. I used Minette Rushing's (Savannah Custom Cakes) ganache recipe for the first time, and it was absolutely fabulous. It was so easy to make, and to ice the cake with. It went on soooo smoothly. I will use it again and again. Here's the recipe:

1 lb. 8 oz. chocolate (I used the Ghirardelli's 60% double chocolate bittersweet chips)
3 1/3 cups heavy whipping cream

Put the chocolate chips in large bowl. Heat the heavy whipping cream until it just begins to boil. Pour over the chocolate chips, and let stand for a few minutes, then stir gently until the cream and chocolate are well incorporated and all of the chocolate has melted. You may need to use a wire whisk to gently stir the mixture at the end. Let mixture set overnight at room temperature and it will be ready to use.

Here is a link to Minette's You Tube video where she demonstrates making the ganache:

You can see how smoothly the ganache spread easy to work with
For the diploma and flowers I used a mixture of 50/50 gumpaste and fondant and let dry over flower formers to get the curled effect. They are trimmed with a combination of gold glaze and gold highlighter dust.
The silhouette is done with flow-in buttercream. I first trace the design into the icing with a toothpick, then outline it with regular consistency buttercream. Then I thin out the buttercream with light corn syrup until it will flow into the design easily, using a #3 tip. 

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Friday, March 23, 2012

New KitchenAid gadget...

By now, most of you are familiar with the "Beater Blade." The beater blade is good, but I have found something even better if you own a KitchenAid. It's called the "flex edge beater" and it's actually made by KitchenAid, so is very high quality, made from heavy duty steel instead of plastic like the beater blade. It has the flexible scraper edge on only one side, but works well. It's quite pricey...I got mine at Bed, Bath, and Beyond for around $39, but I had a gift card plus a $5 off coupon, so it wasn't bad. It works really, really well, and I'm not worried about it cracking, like my beater blade did...twice. So, save up your pennies and buy one!

Making Chocolate Fondant...

My daughter Paula wanted me to video making fondant in my Kitchenaid as a reference for her, as she is making fondant for a cake that she is doing for my granddaughter's 3rd birthday ...something about a platypus. Those of you who have young children will know the character she is making, I'm sure. She is making regular fondant, not chocolate, so will need to add 6 cups of powdered sugar instead of 3 cups, and leave out the chocolate, of course. You will notice that I have added one more ingredient in this chocolate fondant than what I had previously. I have found that if you add 1/2 cup of melted chocolate chips to your melted marshmallow mixture, and then add the 1/2 cup cocoa to the sugar, that it will give your fondant a richer chocolate taste. I like the Ghirardelli bittersweet chips to give a nice dark finished fondant, but  you can also use a semisweet or milk chocolate chip if your prefer. Anyway...since I'm not experienced in taking videos with one hand while trying to make fondant with the other, there are 8 segments here...hope you get the idea...enjoy watching...

Friday, March 16, 2012

Pi Day

So, here's one reason why I don't make pies very often...I'm intimidated by my daughter. Look at this cute pie she made for "pi" day...