Chocolate seems to be an ingredient that combines with pretty much any flavor combination with great results including bacon in one bizarre cupcake experiment which was too trendy to be a long lasting traditional flavor. This seems to be the idea behind a company called Komforte Chockolates which has come out with some rather amazing flavor profiles. These could be exactly the type of ingredient that elevates cakes to something truly unique when used as an ingredient. Simply try your favorite cake recipe with the addition of one of these bars instead of your usual chopped chocolate and see what the results are in the end.
Some of the available flavors include:
- Movie Night (popcorn flavored)
- French Toast
- Ramen Noodle
- Apple Pie and Graham
- Tortilla Lime and Salt
Before wonderful cake decorating supplies were available for budding cake designers we had to do a great deal of work ourselves such as tempering chocolate. The reason we temper chocolate is to create a shiny, crisp product. This was not a job that most people attempted right off the bat because tempering had the reputation of being quite difficult. It actually isn't if you follow a few rules and the resulting chocolate can be used to create wonderful design elements such as run outs, interesting gnarled tree trucks and sculpted roses.
Some important tips to follow are:
- Use good quality chocolate with real cocoa butter.
- Start tempering with a small amount such as 12 or 16 ounces to perfect the process in case you ruin it.
- Make sure your equipment is scrupulously clean and dry to prevent seizing.
- Cut your chocolate into similar sized pieces or buy chips or coins so that it melts easily and evenly.
- Do not heat your chocolate too quickly because it can crystalize if the cocoa butter content is high.
- Use a candy thermometer to test the chocolate so the temperature is precise, about 110 degrees F.
This cake looks like something out of a fairy tale wedding and is simply too fragile appearing to cut. Wedding cakes can have completely different looks and can be covered completely with decorations such as cookies, feathers and shards of white chocolate. Indulge yourself and have a cake that truly reflects who you are and your theme.
Have you ever thought about quitting your job using a cake? Probably not, but this is exactly what a man named Chris Holmes used to resign from his job in the United Kingdom Border Force in England to pursue a career in cake decorating. It was probably the best letter of resignation his boss ever received!This was also a brilliant marketing tool for anyone starting a cake design business.
The simple sheet cake was iced in white icing and Chris wrote his very polite letter in neat chocolate piped icing on the surface. This creative approach to career change has gone viral creating what might be an interesting fringe market for cake designers. No matter what your reasons for quitting your job, such as a new family for Mr. Holmes, you can certainly create a positive atmosphere in your former company with this sweet approach. It would be a good idea to practice your cake writing skills beforehand because getting very neat evenly spaced print is difficult.
Many people find it difficult to create large cakes that feed about 100 people in their ovens at home because large sheet pans REALLY don't fit in a standard oven. So how would you go about creating a cake that weighs more than 20000 pounds? This is exactly what Dana Herbert will be attempting in October in Las Vegas with the help of several other chefs. Dana Herbert is a chef who won "Cake Boss: Next Great Baker".
Dana is trying to break a record for the biggest cake set in 2004 and will be selling off pieces of the cake to support breast cancer research through Cake for the Cure. The chef has not indicated his game plan or even the flavor of the huge cake but those details will be available after the cake is completed. You might not want to try making a cake that large but creating your own cake or cookie masterpiece for charity can be an absolutely wonderful idea.
What is one of the most well-known quotes in history concerning cake? Of course it would be the often misquoted Marie Antoinette's "Let them eat cake" concerning starving peasants who didn't have any bread. It is ironic that this statement is actually incorrect and historical fact now states she said no such thing. This did not stop Amanda MacLeod from making an incredible cake of Marie Antoinette that is over four feet tall. The stunningly intricate creation won a category at the Decorative Exhibit at the Cake International Event in London.
This amazing cake was a six month labor of love for the former student nurse turned bakery owner Amanda MacLeod and it took over 200 hours of hard work to create. There is piping work, sugar work, fondant, gum paste and every other possible design element on the cake. People can still see it at a local bakery Maldon, Essex to raise money for Farleigh Hospice. This cake proves you can take an idea and create a masterpiece.You just have to make sure you follow all the cake decorating rules concerning stability and durability so your beautiful cake stays upright and decorated.
Everyone likes cupcakes, right? Well the businesses that have cropped up everywhere devoted to these sweet tempting treats seems to point to that fact. Cupcakes speak to most people about childhood and there is something undeniably charming and precious about delectable cake topped with swirling peaks of icing. Shows such as Cupcake Wars have driven the interest in cupcakes and created a trend for weddings and even corporate events.
However, the word on the street is that the cupcake boom is coming to an end in national chains and local corner bakeries. The Wall Street Journal is proclaiming that people are no longer ordering these treats in the numbers seen in recent years. If you want cupcakes for your next party or wedding, don't panic! You will still be able to order cupcakes and will see them in bakeries just perhaps not in such staggering numbers. Cupcakes will still also be a great choice for kids parties and showers.
Most cakes are designed to be beautiful and pleasing to the eye; however, sometimes cakes are meant to shock and be frankly disgusting. These cakes have realistic dismembered body parts, zombie faces and creepy crawlies made from fondant, gum paste and piped icing. Some people even have these types of designs for their trendy wedding cake if the theme and personality of the couple is a good match.
Cakes designed to look like diseased lungs and flayed human faces were featured at St. Bartholomew's Pathology Museum in London to the delight of patrons and participants in the Eat Your Heart Out event. This is a talented group of bakers who try to push the envelope of what can be done with cake including plans for a full size autopsy in cake.
This type of decorating is not for everyone but it certainly shows how far this field has come and where it might be going. You can literally make anything out of sugar and icing and someone will appreciate the vision and skill that goes into the creation.
Many people seem to have nut allergies these days which can limit the ingredients in many desserts and cakes. I know my kids have been banned from taking peanut butter sandwiches or any other nut laden snacks to school until this past month when they switched schools. It is a luxury to be able to whip up such an easy lunch in the morning.However, since there are so many nut allergies it is important to understand the difference between nuts.
All nuts are not created equally. Peanuts are actually not nuts but rather are legumes, similar to peas and beans, but the protein in them has the same structure as nuts. This means many people who have peanut allergies are also allergic to tree nuts such as pecans, almonds and hazelnuts.These types of allergies are potentially fatal so it is important to be aware of all aspects of producing your cake to avoid accidental contamination. Things to look at that you might not think of could include:
- Ingredients such as flours and oils that may contain nuts
- Equipment you have previously used with nuts or peanuts
- Ingredients produced in facilities that also processes nuts
- Ingredients such as coconut,gianduja, cake mixes, candy, flavored coffee and some alcohols
It will be my fathers birthday in just over a week and I want to make him a special cake because number one he is my father and number two he will be a robust 78 years old this year. That deserves a special cake in my book.
Cakes designed specifically for the wonderful men in your life can take a little thought to make it perfect. There are a lot of trends geared towards men that encompass unique flavors, spectacular decorations and sometimes cake stands hat need an engineering degree to create. This can make baking and designing your cake a challenge but also a great deal of fun.
I think I will go with my dad's favorite flavor again this year, carrot cake with cream cheese icing and decorate it with a calm lake and a peaceful fisherman. This is what I envision for him in the next few years and maybe the cake will be a lucky charm!