Back to Baking

After a few crazy weeks of work and not much baking, I was finally able to devote a few hours to my kitchen this weekend. I'm happy with my "core" recipes - recipes that I LOVE - but I'm always on the lookout for new things to add to my repertoire. Tried a few new things this week:

1. Covering cupcakes in fondant. These came out pretty well for my first try! It's not terribly hard to do. I ran out of time for decorating ... but they're still cute and delicious!

Chocolate cupcakes with buttercream icing and fondant, with fondant flowers:

2. Pastry Cream

Perhaps more so than cake flavors, I really want to expand my offering of cake/cupcake fillings. I saw a recipe for raspberry pastry cream this week, and just had to try it.

The pastry cream itself is really easy to make. You basically add boiling milk to a mixture of egg, cornstarch and sugar, heat until thickened, and then add a bit of butter and vanilla. Once it is chilled, I added some seedless raspberry puree that I made. It is VERY raspberry! Alone, it's a bit on the tart side, but when paired with a sweeter cake, it's absolutely delicious. This white cake is definitely one of my favorites.

Raspberry Cream Cake - White velvet cake with raspberry cream filling and buttercream icing:

I also made some more chocolate cupcakes with vanilla buttercream yesterday:

Homemade Cupcake Wrappers

Cupcake Wrapper Tutorial can be found HERE!

Inspired by Nicky from Small Things Iced (I LOVE her gorgeous cupcakes!!), I decided to make my own cupcake wrappers last night. I recently ordered some of the fancy laser cut ones, and while I like them, I can't say that I love them as much as I thought I would. They are pretty, and really make cupcakes look elegant, but they are really expensive for what they are ($1+ just for one!).

I bought a bunch of nice card stock and some scissors that cut fancy edges, and went to work!

I'm still getting used to cutting straight lines with the fancy scissors, but these aren't bad for a first try! They are time consuming to make ... but so worth it. These are closed with a little tab in the back just like the laser cut wrappers.