Thursday, September 17, 2009

Doll Cakes

Doll or Barbie cakes are by far the most popular type of cakes for little princesses! They are so much fun to make as the "dress" (or cake) can be decorated many ways. To make a doll cake, you have to start with an inverted cake, or cake baked in a bowl. Once cooled, you can cut in layers as you would with a standard cake to create height. Frost as normal and decorate with coloured buttercream or fondant.

This Barbie cake was created for my friend's bridal shower. Both the "dress" and base are made of cake and would serve around 100 people. Fondant was used to create flow and dimension. The pattern on the base was created with a patterned matt (available at cake decorating stores) and the pearls on the dress were pastel dragees.

The Tinkerbell cake on the left is a smaller doll cake I made for a 6 year old's birthday. It was frosted with pastel pink and lavender buttercream. Doll picks are available at Bulk Barn to create a simple doll cake and come in blond, brunette, light and dark-skinned. If using a real Barbie, remove the bottom clothing and wrap the legs with saran wrap before inserting in the cake so that it won't get smeared with cake and icing.

The last picture is a castle cake in which both the castle and base are cake while the doll figurines sit on top.

Saturday, September 12, 2009

Recipe of the week: Classic Tiramisu

Tira-mi-su in in Italian means "pick me up"- the strong espresso and rich mascarpone cheese adds real punch to this classic Italian cake. I hate it when people substitute the mascarpone for cream cheese or whipping cream- then it becomes an ordinary trifle! Tiramisu is delicious year-round. Some people make it in a pan since the cream is too runny to stand on it's own, but this recipe makes a mousse-like cream that you don't need a pan for!

2 pkgs Savoiardi cookies (Italian ladyfingers)
1 cup brewed espresso coffee, cooled to room temperature
1/2 cup Marsala wine
2 tbsp granulated sugar
4 eggs (room temperature), divided
4 tbsp granulated sugar
1 container Mascarpone cheese, room temperature (I prefer Galbani)
Cocoa powder for dusting
1 inch ribbon, for decoration

Prepare cake on a rectangular cake board (about 12" x 18"). Combine espresso, Marsala and 2 tbsp sugar in a shallow bowl. Set aside. Beat 4 eggs yolks with 4 tbsp sugar until light and fluffy. Add mascarpone cheese with a paddle attachment or by hand until well incorporated. Do not beat or mixture will curdle. Beat egg whites until stiff peaks form. Gently fold egg whites in mascarpone mixture.  Dip cookies, one by one, on both sides in espresso mixture, placing side-by-side on board. Do not soak or cake will be mushy. Make sure to leave 2" on all four sides. Once one layer is made, pour 1/3 of mascarpone mixture on cookies and spread evenly. Dust with cocoa powder. Repeat with cookies and cheese mixture 2 more times for a 3-layered cake. Cover completely with cocoa powder. Cut remaining cookies in half and press along sides of cake to form a "gate". Add ribbon around cookies for a elegant presentation!

Tuesday, September 1, 2009

Cookie and Chocolate Favors

I come from a traditional Italian family, where bomboniere, or favors are a ritual for weddings, showers and christenings. They're usually something for the kitchen or a little something that will never be used (and can sometimes be found at the Dollar Store!).
Instead of giving something that will collect dust or be thrown out, why not give a treat that will taste as good as it looks? Here are some pics of my cookie and truffle favors. They are customizable to theme, colour, and flavour and make a real statement to your next event!

This picture is an example of cookie favors for a baby shower. They can be wrapped individually in cellophane and tied with a satin ribbon. The cookies themselves are sugar cookies with fondant and royal icing.
These miniature wedding cakes are actually truffles! You can have them in white, milk or dark chocolate and fit perfectly in one of these boxes: