Jenni & Romain's Wedding Cake

This post is LONG overdue!  This past April, my dear friend Jenni married the love of her life, Romain, in Ohio.  Since Jenni and I met in cake decorating class several years ago, it only seemed logical that I make the wedding cake for this very special occasion.  So, my husband and I packed up a suitcase full of cake-making supplies, and hopped on a plane to Ohio!

Jeff and I took over Jenni's parents' kitchen for several days (thanks again to them, for the space, farm fresh eggs, and the company!), and on Jenni and Romain's big day, we delivered a gorgeous damask cake, adorned with fresh spider mums, to a beautiful train museum - the perfect location for their travel themed reception. Guests chose from 4 different flavor combinations - chocolate cake with chocolate ganache,  chocolate cake with cappuccino cream filling, white velvet cake with raspberry filling, or white velvet cake with fresh strawberries.  It's a bit rare for me to be able to have an actual slice of a cake made for an event - I think Jeff and I *may* have had the chance to sample a sliver of all of the flavors :)

You'll also notice some perfect French macarons in the photo above - Jenni, who is a pastry chef (in Paris, I must add!) somehow found the time to make macarons and buckeyes for the reception while trying to get everything finalized for the wedding.  Definitely a fun way to bring the French and American together through sweets.

And how did the cake taste? I think the above photo sums it up nicely!  Congratulations, Jenni & Romain - we can't wait to visit you in Paris!

Vanilla Bean Fleur de Sel Caramel Turtles

This may surprise a few of you, but...I'm not really a cake person.  Or a cookie person.  I'd much, much rather have ice cream, or chocolate, or a chewy, caramel-y candy!  I already knew that I like making ice cream, but I recently found that I really enjoy candy-making.  There's something very satisfying about being able to turn simple ingredients like plain old sugar and cream into wonderfully chewy caramels.

I've had a multitude of baking projects going on lately - the largest of which is baking for charity!  My husband is running the Boston Marathon next year with the Dana Farber team, and as part of our fundraising effort, we've been offering baked goods packages to our friends and family.  One of the most popular items in our winter holiday dessert packages is our Vanilla Bean Fleur de Sel Caramel Turtles, and today, I'll be sharing the caramel recipe and turtle making technique with you.  They do take a little bit of time to make, but there's still plenty of time to whip some of these up for your next holiday party!

Swiss Meringue Buttercream

I get a lot of compliments on my buttercream - I've heard many people say that it's the best they've ever had! Swiss meringue buttercream is wonderful to work with, and has just the right amount of sweetness - it's by far my favorite type of buttercream.  It does take a little bit of work to make, but it is well worth the effort.  If you bake regularly, I highly recommend that you make large batches and freeze your leftovers - my 6-quart mixer whips up triple batches frequently.

Catherine & Karl's Wedding

Wow, it's been a long time since I've posted!  Sorry y'all!  I'm going to do my best to keep the sweets coming with a bit more frequency :)  I have some cakes to share from the past year; I'll be posting those soon!

Catherine, one of my dearest friends from college, married the love of her life, Karl, yesterday!  The ceremony was held at the gorgeous Pemaquid Point Lighthouse in Pemaquid, ME, followed by an amazing reception at their house.  Great fun was had by all!

I was thrilled to be able to make Cat and Karl's wedding cake!  All three tiers were chocolate cake, filled with chocolate ganache and fresh raspberries.  The cake was enrobed with ivory fondant, and decorated with cascading gum paste hydrangeas.  I had a lot of fun creating this beauty, and particularly enjoyed making the hydrangeas.

Best wishes to Cat and Karl - I know that you'll have a life filled with happiness!

Salted Caramel Chocolate Shortbread Bars

Once a month, my dad and his friends get together to play a friendly game of poker, and I usually provide some sweets!  Recently, I was asked to make whatever I wanted - and I decided that this was a great opportunity to try out something new.

I have TONS of all sorts of recipes pinned on Pinterest - and these Salted Caramel Chocolate Shortbread Bars stood out.  Melt in your mouth shortbread, topped with a thick layer of rich, buttery, and perfectly chewy caramel, finished with a chocolate glaze and salt?  Delicious!  These bars got rave reviews; I'll certainly be making them again soon.  Enjoy!