Saturday, March 19, 2011

Now that's a Twinkie!

I'll admit I never really was a Twinkie girl.  My favorite was Ho Hos.  Gosh, I haven't had one of those in forever....mostly because we have no local Hostess distributors, so no Twinkies or Ho Hos to be found around here.  But ever since I started thinking about this cake all I want is a HO HO!

The request was for a Twinkie cake to feed about 40 people.  The most challenging part was scaling the dimensions so it looked like a Twinkie and not just a plain yellow cake.  I decided to show the Twinkie broken in half so the filling would show.  This Twinkie is about 7" wide, 5" tall, and 17" long!  I started with a 9" x 13' cake, cut it in half and rounded the tops.


Happy Birthday Twinkie Twerp!

In case you are wondering, Twinkie Twerp was a college nickname because the birthday girl was always craving Twinkies.

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Super Mario Cake

I found a great pose of Super Mario for a cake design.  I decided to do a flat fondant image on the top of the cake.  I started by printing out a few copies of the image.  The cut out made it easier for me to determine what size pan I wanted to use too.  I just had to lay the image on my different size pans to see which one looked best.    Then I cut one of the images into "puzzle" pieces.  Here I am ready to begin...


Next I rolled out the colors of fondant I needed and placed a cut out piece on top.  I used an Exacto knife to cut around the piece.  Some of the pieces like the nose and eyebrows I just molded by hand.  I used my gumpaste tools to add "seams" to the pants and texture to his moustache.  After almost two hours I had put the fondant puzzle together! 


I made this a few days early so I just wrapped him between two pieces of cling wrap coated with crisco to keep him from drying out.  I also placed this into a ziploc bag.


Two days later it was still pliable so I could easily place him on top of my cake.

I had to come up with a design to add around the sides of the cake.  I wanted Mario to be the focus so I decided on a simple blue border with a few 1UP mushrooms.  I used different circle shape cutters to put this little guy together.


Mario was looking a little lonely on top of the cake so I added a few clouds around him, he is jumping after all.  And here's the finished cake...

2011030 Super Mario 

Monday, March 14, 2011

My recent bargain purchase!

I was at my local HomeGoods store recently and found this great cake platter on the clearance rack for only $12!  After looking it over closely to make sure there were no chips or cracks and that it was level, it ended up in my cart!  I love it because it's white and the ribbon can be changed to match whatever you display on top.  How could I resist?

Saturday, March 12, 2011

Chocolate Tasting Party

I recently hosted a chocolate tasting party. It was a great time and a perfect get together to get rid of the winter blahs.  I based my party and menu from a book called Tasting Club by Dina Cheney.  This book is full of information and a great guide for hosting tasting parties including:  wine, chocolate, cheese, honey, tea, extra virgin olive oil, cured meats, balsamic vinegar, apples, and beer.

Our menu…


Croutes with Blue Cheese, Toasted Walnuts
and Port Wine Reduction
Manchego and Drunken Goat Cheese
with Quince Paste and Sea Salt Crackers
Dates Stuffed with Gorgonzola, Bacon and Chives
Opera Primo Muscato

Chocolate Tasting

Green and Black's Organic White Chocolate
Godiva Milk Chocolate
Green and Black's Organic Milk Chocolate
Ghirardelli Intense Dark Evening Dream
World Classics - Chocolate Obsession
Green and Black's Organic Dark Chocolate
Green and Black's Organic Dark Chocolate
Lindt Excellence A Touch of Sea Salt
Lindt Excellence Chili


Mini Dark Chocolate Cones w/Creme de Menthe Filling
Chocolate Covered Bacon w/Almonds
Chocolate Covered Espresso Beans

And for a finale...
Angelic Hot Chocolate!

A few of my guests brought dessert wines and we sampled them with our chocolates as well. We used baguette slices and clementines to cleanse our palates between tastings. I must say I never thought I would say this but "Wow, that was a lot of chocolate!"

A few random thoughts...

I'm glad we started with non-chocolate appetizers.  The strong flavors were a great prelude to the chocolate.

Nine chocolates were probably a little too much.  Because I didn't want to limit to just milk or just dark I chose the whole spectrum, from white to dark.  Next time I would focus on only milk, only dark, or something like only Swiss chocolate, and
probably limit to 6 chocolates. 

Directions on how to do a proper tasting and a place to record your notes is essential.  It really is amazing the differences you can notice in chocolate if you really pay attention.  For example, many of the chocolates tasted different if you let them melt on your tongue versus chewing them. 

The wrong pairing of wine with chocolate can be really bad.  Some of the wine and chocolate pairings were not so good.  The raspberry wine was OK with most of the chocolates, but definitely better with the dark chocolates.

Chocolate covered either like it or you don't.  It goes along with the whole sweet and salty thing but it IS different.  I don't know if it would be my first choice but I'm glad I tried it.

Overall it was a great can't go wrong with good friends and chocolate!