Sunday, May 25, 2008

Lions, Tigers & Dinosaurs, OH MY!

I had two jobs for kid's parties this Saturday. The first was a T-Rex loving little guy who was turning four. (He has a great ROOOOAR! He showed me when I delivered the cake.) The cake was yellow cake, sour cream chocolate filling and chocolate swiss meringue buttercream frosting. The dinosaur was sculpted out of fondant and painted with paste food colors.
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The second party was for a dear friend of mine (we were partners in crime on the dance floor, back in our wild and woolly days) who's little man was turning two. He had a jungle animal themed party so we went with a lion cake and lion, tiger, zebra and monkey cupcakes.
The cake was Summer in Your Hand (lemon cake, strawberry cheesecake filling and strawberry swiss meringue buttercream. To keep the flavors in tact but still achieve the desired colors, I did a fat crumb coat of strawberry frosting and then a thin decorative layer of colored vanilla frosting.
The cupcakes were yellow cake with vanilla buttercream frosting.
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Tuesday, May 20, 2008

Free Minis?! Ahhhh Yeah!

The Blue Saucer and Look Cupcake are hosting a little event on Saturday, May 31st. Free mini cupcakes (while they last) from 10am - noon. Come on down!

Also - click here to check out the buzz (from the blogger responsible for cakespy.com): Cakespy Blog

Wednesday, May 14, 2008

Instant Gratification

Jonesin' for a Look Cupcake? Have IMMEDIATE filled cupcake needs? Detox setting in?

We've heard you! (And, who are we to deny anyone their sweet, sweet pastry fix?)

So, we've got an exciting announcement...

Beginning this Saturday, May 17th, you'll be able to pick up a Look Cupcake or two at Blue Saucer Cafe in the Maple Leaf neighborhood of Seattle!
Blue Saucer cafe is located at 9127 Roosevelt Way NE, Seattle.

Make sure to pick up a Hellfire Mocha while you're getting your Look fix. They made me one while I was there last week and OH MY GOSH - spiced chocolate fans, unite! Delish.

A little shout out to Billie (the owner) and her staff. The place is adorable and right in the heart of the fun little Maple Leaf neighborhood. (Just up the street from Home Cake decorating shop, the Seattle cakeaholics' mecca.)

We'll be holding a Look sample event at the cafe in the near future. Stay tuned for date and time information.

Friday, May 9, 2008

A Pot of Pretty

I made this cupcake bouquet for The Official Look Cupcake Graphic Artist. He's going to surprise his wife with it for Mother's Day. They happen to have two unbelievably cute little girls (one of which, I'm told, does The Robot.) These little flowers were really fun to make. I went a little bananas piping them last night so I packed up some extra boxes for the girls to give to their mama.



Half of the cupcakes are Summer in Your Hand (lemon cake, strawberry cheesecake filling and strawberry swiss meringue buttercream.) The other half are Chocolate Hazelnut (chocolate cake with hazelnut syrup, hazelnut chocolate ganache centers and hazelnut swiss meringue buttercream.)


The butterfly and monogram are made of piped chocolate and white non-pereils.


Here are the bouquet (the toothpicks were to keep the cellophane from touching the frosting)and boxes:


Thursday, May 1, 2008

My Day Job - Now They Won't LET Me Quit

Yesterday I took in a big order of minis for my day job. They turned out amazing. People were twittering about them all day. I decided to garnish my lemon/strawberry cakes with mint and I think that will become the new standard topping for those cakes. It just makes them so fresh and even more summer-like.

I also debuted my chocolate hazelnut minis at this event. This is my new favorite flavor. Chocolate cake with hazelnut soaking syrup, chocolate hazelnut ganache and hazelnut swiss meringue buttercream. I topped them with shaved bittersweet chocolate. And..frankly..I'd sell my soul to be able to eat one of these each day.

And now for the pics:


Wednesday, April 23, 2008

A Pretty Package

At the suggestion of my trusted advisor and day-job boss, Jeannine - I've got a new packaging "thing" going on.

I was struggling to find a way to juggle cake boxes, paperwork, business cards, etc. As usual, Jeannine had the answer.

Witness, "The Info-Packet." Lovingly attached to the top of the cake box with a logo sticker:


Paperwork packet

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And, the flavor card (it's a tent card so you can let people know what they're getting into):

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Repeat Business

Nic at T-Mobile is turning out to be one of my best customers! Here are some pics of the cakes I did for her last night.

Dark chocolate cake, ultimate raspberry filling, vanilla swiss meringue buttercream, magenta fondant T and silver dragee accents.


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Saturday, April 19, 2008

Monkey Lovin'

My husband doesn't like chocolate. I'll wait a second while that sinks in.....


Yeah, I know. It's not normal. In fact, when I found this out on our first date I informed him that there wasn't much chance of us forming any sort of relationship. My love for chocolate runs deep. Obviously, I figured out that this would only mean MORE chocolate for me and I married him. I'm quick like that.


Anyway, due to his dislike of chocolate I've mastered some pretty good non-chocolate desserts over the years. One of the classics is Banana Pudding. I'm not talking about the kind in the box. I mean good, old fashioned, from scratch, homemade banana pudding. With real bananas. And creamy vanilla pudding made with whole milk, topped with freshly whipped heavy cream. My banana pudding has been known to nearly cause riots. It tops the list of my all time most requested dishes.


Since all roads lead to cupcakes around here, I'm sure you can see where this is going. I've been working on developing a banana pudding cupcake. The latest incarnation turned out fantastically.


First I drop a Nilla Wafer (do not - I repeat - DO NOT attempt to use generic Nilla Wafers) in the bottom of the cupcake liner.

Then I mix up banana cupcake batter, pour over the Nilla Wafer and bake. The result is a somewhat carmelized top to the cupcake with a very moist center.


The pudding is cooked up next. I'm not sure why people use instant pudding... the real stuff is almost easier to make. It consists of egg yolks, flour, sugar, vanilla, a pat of butter & milk (cocoa powder if you're going for chocolate). It's as complex as, "heat & stir until it's pudding." The pudding is rich, creamy and just the right amount of sweet. I let the pudding cool and then fill the cupcakes with it.


Finally, I whipped up a swiss meringue buttercream frosting. The whole thing was topped off with a mini Nilla Wafer and a carmelized banana slice.


Yum.

Pictures to come...

Friday, April 18, 2008

Cupcakes Draw Crowd - Baker Can't Keep Up

One of my day job coworkers ordered 3 dozen mini cakes to share with her department for her birthday. I brought in WAY more than she ordered (I know this place...confection causes a feeding frenzy) and did some custom decoration as a birthday present. They turned out really cute and people are going NUTS. Here are some pics:

Yellow cake with ganache centers and whipped truffle frosting:



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La Nina de Chocolate Diablo:

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Thursday, April 10, 2008

How Many Cupcake Bakers Does It Take....

Exciting times are ahead for Look Cupcake. Our new business site has been built and will launch annnnnny minute now (oh please, Interet Gods, smile upon us) at lookcupcake.com. This blog will now publish at lookcupcake.blogspot.com. You'll find a link to this blog on the business site.


Our graphic artist (Hi David! Like how you belong to Look Cupcake now?) is putting the finishing touches on the OFFICIAL Look Cupcake logo. Let the branding begin!


The recipe testing and tinkering is always in full swing. A couple nights ago I decided to try a new chocolate cake recipe to serve as the base cake for La Nina de Chocolate Diablo cupcake.
The cake turned out VERY heavy, fudge-like and moist. To give it that Mexican Chocolate kick, I add a spice blend that includes cinnamon & cayenne pepper. Not enough to make it hot - just enough to really make the chocolate pop in your mouth.



I topped this cake with edible silk. No - really. A Kahlua Swiss Meringue Buttercream that was described by someone who tasted it as, "edible velvet - I wish I were the size of my pinkie and could just lay down on it." Finished with an extra dusting of Diablo powder (powdered sugar,cinnamon & cayenne), it was seriously the shiznit.


The finished product:

Friday, April 4, 2008

A Formal Whipping

Tested a new recipe last night. I brought these cakes into the office today and by the reaction, I'm going say they fall in the "winner" category.


Tuxedo Cakes with Whipped Truffle Frosting

Yellow Cupcakes
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Chocolate Ganache
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Bake up into a handsome tuxedo swirl.
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And - the top hat. Whipped bittersweet chocolate ganache becomes Whipped Truffle Frosting.
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Wednesday, April 2, 2008

A Geology Experiment

I tested out a fantastic new recipe last weekend. I must apologize for two things. Firstly, the picture quality leaves something to be desired. (There was a little camera "issue.")
Secondly, the tardiness of my post... the last week has been a whirlwind of exciting Look Cupcake business activity. Yummy times ahead in the land o' cupcakes.

I had a novel idea. Everyone loves individual lava cakes. You know, the ones you order at the restaurant and when you cut into them a gush of warm, liquid chocolate lava oozes onto your plate? Yes, those. They're usually baked in ramekins but why not a cupcake version?


The butter and chocolate go into a bowl for melting.
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Eggs and sugar are beaten together until...
Eggs & sugar into the mixer.


thick and foamy, like this.
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All mixed together and ready for baking.
All mixed and ready to bake.


As with all good experiments, there's...experimenting! Here I'm trying different cup/liner styles and different fill amounts.
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Just out of the oven. (Obviously, more batter per cup is better.)
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The lava dome.
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They sink as they cool.
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With a simple powdered sugar/cocoa garnish.
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End result: These were AMAZING. The centers weren't liquid, but ended up very moist, gooey and brownie like. I've decided I'll finish them with with a light buttercream and fresh raspberries.
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Saturday, March 29, 2008

A T-Mobile Update

Nic laid out the cupcakes in the shape of a T. She's smart like that! :)

Here's what Nic had to say about the cakes:

"The T-Mobile cupcakes were deeeeeeeeeeeeeeelicious!!! Well and simply perfect!!! A huge hit... well and they made me look good, so that's all that matters..hahaha - just kidding. But, I ordered more than needed for the meeting so I was able to hand them out to my Directors and send them home with an extra for their wives. Rhi -- you rock! I actually got emails telling me that "I rock" so I must pass the love. Good work girl --"


A picture of the cakes in action:

Friday, March 28, 2008

Look Cupcake Goes Mobile

T Mobile that is.

A friend was charged with catering a company meeting and asked me to do some cupcakes. I kicked around ideas for matching their logo and ultimately came up with what you'll see below.

And the flavors? Ohmagosh the flavors....



Vanilla chai spice cupcakes with cinnamon cheesecake filling.And fresh ginger buttercream frosting. (I honestly considered climbing into the mixing bowl and just rolling around in the frosting. Hands down my favorite creation so far.)
Magenta fondant disks, imprinted with a T and flanked with silver non-perils.
All boxed up and ready to go.










TheA Bomb


Chocolate Chai Spice Cupcakes?
Nope.

Guess they can't all be successes. I'm not actually sure what happened here. Back to the drawing board...

Princess Confection, Part II

A continuation of The Fabulous Miss M's Princess Party goodies...

So, enduring a three year old princess party is maybe not reeeeally high on the list of all parents' (dads...I'm looking at YOU), "Things I'd Love to Spend My Saturday Doing," list. Since we didn't do cocktails, I supplied the next best thing. CAKE, with a cocktail twist.

A pink feather boa cake made of...

Coconut cream cakes. Seen here, cooling:
With mojito cheesecake filling. Zesting the lime:
The cake was frosted with pink buttercream and coated with white flaked coconut. See, like a feather boa:And this is where we pour out a little vanilla extract for our fallen homies. I piped these BEAUTIFUL white chocolate tiaras to top the cake. They were amazing. Oddly, the day of the party there was sunshine and the tiaras melted (despite turning on the car's A/C and all of us freezing) on the way to the party. A moment of silence please...

And that concludes our pink princess sweets segment.

For The Princess

My friend KT has the daintiest little peanut of a daughter. We call her The Fabulous Miss M. Last weekend Miss M had a princess party for her 3rd birthday. I supplied the confection.

Warning: What follows may cause you to require an insulin shot. It's that sweet.

For the Princes & Princesses:
Lemon cupcakes with strawberry cream filling, green buttercream frosting and topped with a pink marshmallow fondant crown, complete with silver non-peril jewels.


The lemon cupcakes cool.
The strawberries macerate for the strawberry cream filling.

The cupcakes are filled.


The marshmallow fondant was tinted the requisite princess pink and left to rest over night.
The crowns are cut, embellished with silver non-perils and painted with luster dust.

The crowns are molded so they'll stand up.


Finally, the green buttercream is piped on to the cupcakes in a swirl and the crowns are put in to place.

Voila!

Next up, the parents are treated to a pink feather boa cake. Stay tuned...