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Cake bakers/decorators

Biscuits's picture

Cake bakers/decorators (post #63300)

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I just got "The Whimsical Bakehouse" baking/decorating book for my birthday.  You must check it out.  I adore it already - haven't made anything from it, but just the directions on decorating make me want to do a little happy dance.  I love that she has a chart that tells you how to mix all the icing colors she uses. 


I can't wait to try some of this stuff.  It looks like SO much fun!


Ruth - you have to get this book.


Life is tough - but it's tougher when you're stupid - Major Jeffrey F. Richardson, USMC

Ancora Imparo -

soccermom's picture

(post #63300, reply #1 of 23)

I bought it last week--I think it was Ruth who recommended it. Love the sloped cakes and the fun designs.

 


 

 

 

Biscuits's picture

(post #63300, reply #2 of 23)

I saw a piece on Food Network on the Whimsical Bakehouse, which is why I wanted the book.  Their cake designs are so unique and the colors they use are definitely unique! (G)  I can't wait to try a cake. 

Life is tough - but it's tougher when you're stupid - Major Jeffrey F. Richardson, USMC

Ancora Imparo -

RheaS's picture

(post #63300, reply #3 of 23)

I bought this book last year because of Ruth's glowing praise. It is now the first book I turn to when I'm making a special occassion cake. It's probably old hat for some of you here, but I didn't know how to make chocolate decorations other than curls, leaves and odd shapes until WB. Every recipe for cake that I've tried have been excellent. I used to not like butter cakes and preferred sponge-type cakes until this book made me a convert. This is a book that I most likely would not have picked up because the very colorful, lopsided, candle, whimsy cake on the cover isn't my thing. However, the "how-to" instructions can be applied to whatever design or color palette that you have in mind.

RuthWells's picture

(post #63300, reply #4 of 23)

Hi Biscuit!  Welcome to Whimsy World, LOL!  As Rhea noted, I've been a convert for about a year.  In addition to all the cool decorating tips, the cake recipes are quite good -- I've tried the choc butter cake (now my default), orange butter cake, white cake, and lemon ginger cream cheese.  All fabulous.  The cupcake recipes are good as well.


One cautionary note -- when attempting the piped "chocolate" decorations, use a parchment bag with no tip (if you can't find the plastic/cellophane sheets the authors recommend).  Bitter experience speaking here, but chocolate doesn't stay melted long when passing through a cool metal tip.


Edited:  I also am finding that piping melted "chocolate" requires quite a different touch from piping buttercream.  Takes quite a bit of getting used to, and I'm still a beginner at the chocolate decorations.


 



Ruth Wells


"Gardening is the only unquestionably useful job."
 - G.B. Shaw


Edited 10/29/2004 2:40 pm ET by RUTHWELLS

Ruth Wells

"Gardening is the only unquestionably useful job."
 - G.B. Shaw

www.lemonade-and-kidneys.blogspot.com

www.ruthssweetpleasures.com

http://www.pkdcure.org/Default.aspx?TabI...

Biscuits's picture

(post #63300, reply #8 of 23)

I'm actually pretty good at piping chocolate and filigree decorations, and have always just made little parchment cones for it, so I think I'll catch on to their technique.  I'm really excited about trying the decorations, because I really want to make the bug cupcakes for Max's next birthday - we are having it at the nature center with a bug theme (yes, I am planning his party 6 months in advance, yes, I am! (lol)).  Thing is, I've never worked with or created COLORED chocolate, so this will be new for me.


Good to know the recipes are reliable - I can proceed with confidence.  I LOVE this book - I'm so excited to start trying things from it.


Life is tough - but it's tougher when you're stupid - Major Jeffrey F. Richardson, USMC

Ancora Imparo -

RheaS's picture

(post #63300, reply #9 of 23)

Here's a recent cake I copied from Whimsical Bakehouse -- it's the mocha chocolate chip cheesecake. I'm not a cheesecake fan, but it was quite good.



Edited 11/22/2004 8:44 pm ET by Rhea_S

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baker2006's picture

(post #63300, reply #10 of 23)

That is beautiful yummy looking cheesecake!  


KC


What kind of chocolate glaze did you use?



"Only infinite patience reaps immediate rewards."


                              M.Williamson


Edited 11/23/2004 1:28 am ET by KCB

"Only infinite patience reaps immediate rewards."

                              M.Williamson

RheaS's picture

(post #63300, reply #18 of 23)

Thanks everyone. I was quite pleased with how this turned out. I think I used Medrich's Sarah Bernhardt glaze from Bittersweet, but I also may have used the one in Whimsical Bakehouse. I'll check when I get home. I'll also post the recipe later. One problem I did have with the decorations was making the 40. First, I forgot to reverse the piece of paper where I drew the numbers so they would come out with the flat side as the front. Then, I forgot that I needed feet for the numbers to stick into the cake. Lessons learned.

helena's picture

(post #63300, reply #11 of 23)

It looks *awesome*!!!


Care to share the recipe ;o) ?

RheaS's picture

(post #63300, reply #20 of 23)

Mocha Chocolate Chip Cheesecake (from Whimsical Bakehouse)

 


Crust: Combine 3 cups chocolate cookie crumbs, ¼ cup plus 2 tablespoons sugar, 4.5 oz melted butter. Pour mixture into a 10x3-inch round pan (bottom lined with parchment). Press firmly onto the bottom and one third of the way up the sides.


 


Filling:


0.5 cup heavy cream


1 tablespoon plus one teaspoon instant espresso powder


2.5 lbs cream cheese


1.5 cups sugar


1.5 teaspoons vanilla extract


6 large eggs


1.25 cups mini semisweet chocolate chips



 


Preheat oven to 350F. Simmer cream in a saucepan. Remove from heat and add the espresso powder and vanilla. Stir to dissolve. Set aside. Beat cream cheese at medium speed until smooth then gradually add the sugar. Add the espresso mixture to the cream cheese and beat on low to incorporate, scraping down the sides as needed. Add eggs one at a time at low speed. Beat only until the eggs are fully incorporated. Pour the filling into the crust. Scatter chocolate chips over the filling then carefully swirl into the filling with a small knife. Place in a larger pan, fill the larger pan halfway with hot water. Bake for 60-70 minutes or until lightly golden and set. Let the cheesecake sit at room temperature for 1 to 2 hours before unmolding.


Edited 11/24/2004 11:24 am ET by Rhea_S

helena's picture

(post #63300, reply #21 of 23)

Thank you Rhea! It looks totally delicious. We're cheesecake lovers, so I'll definately try this!

Fledge's picture

(post #63300, reply #22 of 23)

Oh great NOW I see this thread!


Well, I have been kinda busy......


 


 


"It's your thang, do what you wanna do..."
Isley Bros.

You don't scare me

I have an African Grey

RuthWells's picture

(post #63300, reply #12 of 23)

Rhea, that's GORGEOUS!  Beautiful piping on the chocolate decorations -- I need a LOT more practice doing that; mine always come out lumpy.  Your birthday friend is quite a lucky girl!


 


Ruth Wells


"Gardening is the only unquestionably useful job."
 - G.B. Shaw

Ruth Wells

"Gardening is the only unquestionably useful job."
 - G.B. Shaw

www.lemonade-and-kidneys.blogspot.com

www.ruthssweetpleasures.com

http://www.pkdcure.org/Default.aspx?TabI...

AnnL's picture

(post #63300, reply #13 of 23)

Wow, that is really nice!  :-)


 


AnnL
Transitions Farm
Gardening, cooking, and riding Central Mass.

Ann
"The elders were wise.  They knew that man's heart, away from nature, becomes hard; they knew that lack of respect for growing, living things, soon led to lack of respect for humans, too."  Chief Luther Standing Bear, Lakota Sioux

deejeh's picture

(post #63300, reply #17 of 23)

It's good to see this - it looks great.  I got the book last week, and thought this might be the first project from it.  You've given me the confidence to actually do it for an office potluck on Friday.


deej

RheaS's picture

(post #63300, reply #19 of 23)

Go for it! This one was one of the easiest cakes I've ever made/decorated. The stars are fast to make and you don't have to make them symmetrical. I made the cheesecake and the stars the night before at around 10PM. It was only one hour actual working time. Then, I let the cheesecake cool and refrigerated overnight. I made the glaze the next morning and assembled the cake in half an hour. I think the Starry Night cake in the book isn't the cheesecake, but a chocolate torte.


I just remembered that I did use the Sarah Bernhardt glaze because I remember making sure that the temperature was between 88 and 90F.

meljanbil's picture

(post #63300, reply #23 of 23)

I've made the bug cupcakes for my daughters preschool and they were a hit.  Just a hint...do not use Wilton gel colors.  They do not give a real bright result.  I ended up buying Chefmaster Candy Color and it gives bright beautiful colors.  Just don't be dumb like me and store them all tossed in a zip loc bag.  They leak even when closed.  They must be stored upright. 


I also made the chocolate polka dot cake for my daughters birthday and it was amazing.  I have made the peanut butter cheesecake and the orange cheesecake and they were great.  They are a moist cheesecake, just the way I like it, but I know alot of people prefer a drier cakier result.  The ganache from WB is wonderful and stores well, a good thing since it makes so much.

RHart18's picture

(post #63300, reply #14 of 23)

I've found that using plastic zip bags works really well by snipping off the tip.  I can reheat the chocolate right in the bag in the microwave if it starts getting hard, and then if there's any left I just leave it in the bag until it hardens, then put all of my colors in a bigger bag to store.  I've really cut down on the waste, because sometimes you only need a small amount of a color.


I do dessert for Christmas and my daughter wants me to make the snowman cake.  Wish me luck!

KarenP's picture

(post #63300, reply #15 of 23)

 Beautiful cake Rhea!  The decorations are fun and I'll bet fun to make!

RuthWells's picture

(post #63300, reply #16 of 23)

Thanks for that tip, Robin -- I've been using parchment bags, and find that the chocolate cools down quite quickly.  I'm going to try using plastic zip-bags next time.


Good luck with the snowman cake -- it's so adorable.  You must take pictures for us!


 


Ruth Wells


"Gardening is the only unquestionably useful job."
 - G.B. Shaw

Ruth Wells

"Gardening is the only unquestionably useful job."
 - G.B. Shaw

www.lemonade-and-kidneys.blogspot.com

www.ruthssweetpleasures.com

http://www.pkdcure.org/Default.aspx?TabI...

JoanneB17's picture

(post #63300, reply #5 of 23)

How come I've never seen this before? head in sand. I just reserved it at my library but I'm betting it will be on my Christmas list. I'm a sucker for cakes. thanks.

RheaS's picture

(post #63300, reply #6 of 23)

It looks like a child's baking book from the outside (thin volume, garish colors), but there's lots of good information within.

JoanneB17's picture

(post #63300, reply #7 of 23)

I still buy kids' picture books even though my boys are biggish (12.5 and almost 15), so this sounds great to me!