Thursday, March 31, 2011

Tower of Flowers

I got a chance to visit the Macy's Flower Shower in downtown Minneapolis this week (it runs all week during daytime business hours). Which is a good thing because there is nary a green thing to be found outdoors here in the Land of the Neverending Winter. Ugh. Anywho, here are some pics of the show. The lighting in the auditorium is really weird so some of the colors are wacky. I really like the mosaic tower with shelves for potted plants. Hmm, maybe I could make a mini version?

Bluebird of Happiness

Ly at Sweets Bakeshop showed me how to make this sweet little bird. Cute, isn't he? This is the top of my mom's birthday cake. I made an orange and grapfruit cake with the same flavor buttercream. It was delicious and a nice flavor for spring.

Thursday, March 17, 2011

Rainbow Bright

Top o' the mornin' to ya! Happy St. Patrick's Day! I'm not in the least bit Irish but I do enjoy the color green, loved the four days I spent in Dublin a million years ago, like cute boys with Irish accents, and love the idea of the pot of gold at the end of the rainbow.
I couldn't resist making these rainbow cupcakes, even though they have been done so many times in blogs all over the place. They are a lot of fun, but take a while to layer all of the different color batters into the cupcake liner. I would recommend using cheap white liners because then the rainbow pattern will show through (for once, those cheapies come in handy! don't waste the pretty, expensive ones you have. Unless you have gold liners, which would be pretty awesome)

I also think it might be a good idea to put the different color batters in ziploc bags with a hole cut in the corner so that you can control the amount of batter in your cupcake liner. I used a spoon and it was somewhat challenging. I also used cake mix and I think a runnier cake batter might work better for these, giving you more even layers.

Above is my cupcake display, each cupcake topped with sprinkles and jelly beans in the appropriate colors. The candy at the end is the gold at the end of my rainbow. Also, I had this sparkly container below so decided that would be my pot o' gold. No ugly black cauldrons for any leprechaun of mine!

Monday, March 14, 2011

A Baby Shower

I had the pleasure of throwing a baby shower over the weekend for a friend of mine. She had a caterpillar-themed invitation so I wanted to carry that theme into the decorations. This would be a cute theme for a spring birthday, too.

I also made my first diaper cake! What do you think? It's a little lop-sided, I know, but it was still cute. They're a lot easier to put together then you would think. I googled and found very good directions on the internets.

Friday, March 11, 2011

Anatomy of a Cupcake

This image has been floating around a few blogs and such. Pretty awesome! You can find the original post here and even order a copy:

Monday, March 7, 2011

Sweets Bakeshop Externship

Hello again! I thought I'd write up a little post about my externship experience. I'm about half way through my externship at Sweets Bakeshop in St. Paul (they have a shop in Minneapolis now, too!)

You can check out their website here:

Last week I had the opportunity to help with this awesome cake that won first place in the Czar of Cakes competition at the Food & Wine Experience. Pretty cool, right? The challenge was to make a food and wine themed cake that showcased a pan from Nordic Ware. Ly, one of the owners at Sweets and the lead decorator, came up with this great decorative urn design using a turkey pan. We must have baked eight or nine turkeys in order to get as much perfect detail as we could! I think I cut out a million fondant leaves. It was a great experience! A lot of work but it's all worth it when you see the final result.

Sweets is known for their French macarons. Not too many places in the Twin Cities have them, although they are growing in popularity. The fan favorite is Salted Caramel (not pictured, as I ate it before I got around to taking photos).

The retail shop also features ten flavors of gourmet cupcakes each day. Everyone asks me what my favorite flavor is but it changes all the time! I do love the peanut butter cup (moist chocolate cake and pb buttercream) but I also enjoy the Kettle corn (a dense cornmeal cake with a carmelized top and honey buttercream). Or maybe it's the Pucker Up (Bright, tart lemon buttercream and a raspberry-filled cake). See? Luckily, I don't have to choose.

Everyone is super friendly, and I've had the opportunity to work on lots of different projects. I'm learning a ton about running a small business. I know it will help me tremendously when I eventually open my own place!