Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Valentine's Day goodies

Happy Valentine's Day! (in May) I didn't decorate too much for Valentine's Day. Maybe I was a little burned out from Christmas. Well, whatever. I did make a new deco mesh wreath for our front door. The red/pink color combo was a little hard since we have a red front door, but I think it turned out lovely :)

I might not have felt crafty, but I was ready to get back to baking! I had seen some really cool new things on Pinterest that I wanted to try. My friend Kinsey came over & we had a Saturday morning bake date. I am a tad ambitious, so I had five different pins I planned to get done. Sadly, we only got to four & one was a FAIL due to me trying to do too many things at once!!
After seeing this Pin, I knew I had to figure out how to do this rose cake! I loved it! The tutorial said it would be really easy. I didn't believe it, but it really was! You use a large star, 1M tip & just do swirls, but backwards. You start in the middle where you want your flower to be & swirl out & around. Super easy!

Here's a shot of the cake in progress. We were really shocked how well this was working!
Instead of doing the swoops in the empty places between the roses like the tutorial, we went with the little stars blobs.
We then went back & added edible sugar pearls. If it looks a little shiny, it's because we used an edible sparkly glaze. I think the whole combination makes it an even softer & more romantic look. Isn't it pretty? :)
Our next decorating attempt was ruffles, as seen in this Pin. The tutorial says to use tip 104, holding the narrow side of the tip towards the cake & the wider side towards yourself. You then just pipe in vertical columns working back & forth. It was really easy, but our cake wasn't tall enough to really get it going.  
Since we were having so much fun with the roses, we decided to finish the ruffle cake off with roses on the top. And yes, our ruffles look a little fat. I think the icing had gotten a little warm at this point so they weren't as crisp as they would have normally been.
Here's a better look at the whole cake. Cute, but not amazing.

Next up was this super cute & easy red velvet cupcake design I found pinned by Martha Stewart. This was probably the easiest of the day, but still a very pretty cupcake. Start by baking red velvet cupcakes. Since we were just playing this day, these were made from a box. After they have cooled completely, cut off the tops of the cupcakes with a serrated blade. Punch a heart shaped hole out of the cupcake tops with a small cookie cutter. Then spread a thin layer of icing on the cupcake before replacing the tops. Fill the heart with more frosting & then sprinkle with powdered sugar.
Like I said, pretty easy & super cute!

Our last pinterest decorating attempt of the day is where my failure occurred. See that Pink blob inside the cupcake that's been cut in the half? "What's that?", you ask. Well, it's supposed to be a heart. But it's not. Because I wasn't paying attention. Here's how to do these correctly: Make your cake batter. Separate 1/3 of it into another bowl & add desired food coloring. Pour the 1/3 batter into a greased square baking pan. Bake only until it is firm enough to cut into, not the fully allotted bake time. Stick in freezer to quicken cooling. When the cake has cooled, use a heart (or whatever shape) cookie cutter to cut out shapes from the colored cake. Put a dollop of the remaining 2/3 cake batter in the bottom of each cupcake liner. Then stand the hearts up vertically in the liner, filing around the heart with remaining batter. Make sure all your hearts are facing the same direction in the pans. Bake cupcakes as directed. And here's the part I screwed up- when removing the baked cupcakes from the tins, make sure you remember which way the heart is facing & line them up in the same order on your cooling rack. If you don't you will not know which way the heart faces, which results in not being able to see an actually heart when you cut the cupcake in two. You just see a pink blob.(above picture) Is it possibly the side of the heart? Regardless, it's not something you can fix after you've made this mistake. You can cut into as many as you like (we tried 4), but at that point it's just dumb luck if you happen to cut it right. We did not.  

We were tired of all the pink, so we went with purple & blue swirls to top our failed heart cupcakes. Pretty colors, but maybe more Mardi Gras.
The one we didn't get to, was this brownie, strawberry cake & vanilla icing Pin.
Pinned Image
Doesn't it look pretty & Valentiney? Next year I guess!

Kinsey took half of everything home- thank goodness! And the rest I sent with Drew to school. He gave the cake to his teaching partner Mrs. Bruton, who had just celebrated a birthday. It worked out well!
We had a great day but after we finished I was crashing off my sugar high & didn't want to bake for a while. Or at least until the next week!

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