Sunday, February 28, 2010

The Reason Why

Over the past few weeks, I've been asked way too many times, "Carmela, are you sure you're going into the right profession?" and "Why don't you open a bakery instead of go to medical school?"  Tomorrow morning at 8:20 AM, I am taking my second Organic Chemistry exam for the semester, and in the midst of all these chemical reactions, I wonder, "Why not just open a bakery?"  Well, according to one of my friends, I should choose the medical field because I need to help people with diabetes, not give them diabetes. 

To a certain extent, she is right.  Even though I can make a lot of people happy with the things I bake, it's only a short term effect and it gives me only a tiny bit of happiness compared to helping people on a more personal level.

So this blog is a shout out to my friends that were recently accepted to an important Pre-Medical program.  They are one step closer to becoming wonderful doctors :-)

Here I am decorating the first cake with my little brother.  He insisted on helping, so I let him color the fondant black, which is hard to do.  Props to him!
He also made the stethoscopes.  Well, he tried at least :-)
The completed cakes, tailored to match each friend's personality.  They are white almond sour cream cakes with strawberry filling and strawberry icing.

The previous three were made for girls, and the next one is for a good guy friend.  It's chocolate cake with chocolate chip cookie dough filling and vanilla icing.  The cake was baked without eggs, using a substitute that combined flour, oil, and baking powder.  It was a little crumbly, which made it difficult to fill, but it still tasted great.

Babu cuts his cake

Vi cuts her cake
I was amused by the way she cut the first piece.  When I told her this, she said, "I don't know how to cut cake! Is there a certain way to do it?" Oh Vi, you're awesome.

Deborah brought her cake home to celebrate with her family, and I heard from Stephanie that she and her friends ate some in her dorm that night.  If I can get pictures from them, I will most certainly post those too.

Well, it's back to studying for me! 
I have a date with my Organic Chemistry book in a few minutes... sigh look at all these reactions... opening my own bakery looks mighty tasty right now...

Saturday, February 27, 2010

Baking Bonanza #1: A Bridal Shower

I think today was the first time I asked God to protect strawberries, and hallelujah, it was also the last time. My story: I was invited to a bridal shower this weekend and I promised the bride I would bake her anything she wanted. She said, "Surprise me!" Since she has been an important part of my life, I tried my hardest to make her happy. My only problem was transporting her baked goods, which was probably the most torturous 30 minute drive of my life.

I started my adventure early on Friday night, attempting to make my own bride-groom cookie cutters.

I first made my template.
Then, for sturdiness, I cut up an aluminum pan.

After a few hours of bending and shaping, I had one bride and half a groom.
I really didn't like the bride cutter, so I ended up cutting out each individual dress.

What about the groom cookies? you ask. I didn't have enough dough, so I made mini hearts instead. Lacking a mini-heart cookie cutter, I again resorted to cutting out each individual shape.

But I had a hard time getting the edges smooth, so I made a cookie cutter. The shape was simpler so the cutter-making process was easier.

Here are all the cookies, cut and baked.

In the morning, I prepared my royal icing with different consistencies for outlining and flooding.

Then I proceeded to decorate. Honestly, though, my piping skills need more work.

But I somehow saved the cookie :-)

Not this one though. It made me sad.

The completed monogram cookies.

For these hearts, I outlined only.
Outlined bride cookies.

Bride cookies after flooding.

Completed cookie.

Then my little brother discovered my pastry bags and drew a chair. Can you find it?

So while the icing dried, I proceeded to decorate red velvet and strawberry filled cupcakes that I prepared earlier in the day. (You can click on the link to see another adventure I had with these.)

The cupcakes.

And the cupcake toppers.
Yes, these were the strawberries that I prayed for.

And here are the completed baked goods for the party.
The cookies were easy to transport, but the cupcakes made me anxious. The strawberries wanted to slide off the cupcakes, and one actually succeeded! It ruined the icing swirl and convinced me that if those strawberries had hands, they would have thrown them up in my face and yelled "Rollercoaster!" as I hit all the speed bumps. Torture, I tell you. Pure torture. From now on, cupcakes and strawberries travel separately.

So other than that nerve wracking drive, I had a lot of fun on this adventure. Everyone enjoyed the cookies and cupcakes, and the bride was delighted. Mission accomplished :-)

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Fondant Fun: My First Real Encounter

Ok, so I lied about my first experience with fondant. I'm sorry I lied, I promise it won't become a regular thing on here. My brother's Transformers cake wasn't really my first time working with fondant. I actually played around with it earlier in the week, but not on cake. My first encounter with fondant was with, yes, you guessed it... CUPCAKES. I practiced my fondant work on cupcakes :-)

I thought now would be an appropriate time to come clean since all I've been thinking about this week is well, cupcakes.

I did a very sloppy job of applying my crumb coat and sticky coat because I was so excited to decorate them.

I even stacked two cupcakes, but this one got eaten before I could decorate (my cousins were over that night).

And here is my first fondant-covered "cake"

I decided to paint my second fondant-covered cake, but didn't realize I needed to dilute my icing colors with an alcohol based product rather than plain water. It didn't turn out as pretty as I imagined.

I'm not the only one who had fun. My little brother enjoyed keeping me company.

Together, we had lots and lots of fun...

Don't worry, I'm better now at minimizing baking messes :-)

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Cupcake Filling Firsts

So, I am a sauce person. You can ask anyone I've eaten with. No, I won't eat my food with a lot of sauce, just a lot of different ones. I've had up to eight small piles of sauce on my plate before, making every bite taste a little different from the one before it. I just love tasting many flavors in one sitting. It makes me happy :-) so you could probably imagine how excited I was when, in my 8 AM Organic Chemistry class, I found out how to fill a cupcake without cutting it open.

I was so excited that all I could think about that afternoon during my Histology exam was cupcakes. Then that night I dreamed about decorating cupcakes. And during my nap today, I had another dream about cupcakes.

So I went on a quest to HEB to buy what I needed.
And Lo and Behold!
A very basic cupcake decorating set! (for less than $8)

The Icing Writers came free with a coupon :-D
Here is what I wanted to accomplish. Isn't that one of the most amazing things ever?

Just beautiful!
I decided to go with red velvet. I made the batter with my trusty hand-held mixer, which I've been using since I was eight-ish.
And as my cupcakes baked, I made the filling.
And with my handy-dandy Bismarck 230 tip, I filled my cupcakes.

But I messed up once...

or twice...
Or maybe twelve times...
But that didn't matter after they were iced and garnished.

Besides, I'm sure my momma, daddy, and older brother will be happy to take some to work tomorrow.
And I'll be happy to let 15 of my friends try them out as well :-)

To you, my faithful companions!


Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...