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Le Dolci Cupcakes and Cakes

11 Apr

Good morning, bloggers!

It’s been a long time since I’ve posted – the last yummy post was way back in February with some delish Valentines cookie art! I’ve been so busy – a new semester started at school, our family went on vacation over March Break and general business that comes with having a social life, a school life and a work life! But have no fear – I’ve made up for it today with a nice bright, cheery post with lots of photos. Does this make it up to you? I hope so.

This past weekend was Easter! So exciting, I know. But this isn’t a belated Easter post. It’s a birthday post! On April 9th, my sister and I share a birhday! No, I don’t have a twin. She’s 2 years older than me. But some way or another, totally naturally, we were both born on the same day. So, for my birthday I decided to go to a really neat, trendy cupcake studio downtown Toronto with my sister and a few friends! Right off of King West, Le Dolci is “Toronto’s fun, foodie studio!” I had a total blast, and I reccommend you check it out if your in the Toronto area! (Psst… Le Dolci is having a one year anniversary sale! Check it out asap to get discounts on classes!)

So, on with the photos, shall we? I think so.

(From top left clockwise; my friend Natasha, my sister’s friend Jenna, my sister Kate, me!)

Here we are at work on some beautiful cupcakes! Tons of new materials for me to work with (which Kate went out and bought for my birthday after – thank you!!) which was really fun! Usually I work with gumpaste for my cupcake toppers, but today fondant was the preference.

(This is a cute one from Natasha)

(A cute one from Jenna)

(A pretty heart from Kate)

And finally, a collection from yours truly.

Hopefully this is enough to entertain you all until I post photos from my birthday cake – Lemon Lime Cheesecake!

 

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Peanut Butter, Chocolate and Decadence

27 Dec

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What screams happiness other than two of the best decadent treats mashed together? You know what I’m talking about. Peanut butter and chocolate, baby. Oh yes.

I was really looking to create something… mouthwatering. So basically, I crammed the most chocolate and peanut butter as I possibly could into a single cupcake. Chocolate Ganache Core + Chocolate Cupcake + Peanut Butter Frosting + Chocolate Ganache Drizzle = Happiness x Indulgence.

So, you ask, “How on earth can I make this!?”. The answer my friends, is delightfully simple. I’ll share my incredibly-yum and pipe-able peanut butter frosting and the absolutely delicious and easy Chocolate Ganache.

 

Chocolate Ganache

 

Ingredients:

– 2 cups semisweet chocolate chips

– 1 cup heavy whipping cream

(Yup – that really is it)

Instructions:

1. Place a glass bowl or Pyrex wet measure in a sauce pan. Fill sauce pan about 1-2 inches of water and put on a low-medium heat.

2. Pour two ingredients into glass bowl and stir continuously until mixture is fully melted, shiny and no bumps. Turn off stove top and remove glass bowl.

 

Peanut Butter Frosting

 

Ingredients:

– 1/2 cup butter

– 1 cup smooth peanut butter

– 2 1/2 cups icing sugar

– 1 tbsp heavy whipping cream

Instructions:

1. With a stand mixer, cream butter and peanut butter together.

2. Gradually add in icing sugar and beat on high. Make sure to scrape sides often.

3. Add heavy whipping cream and mix in.

 

 

ULTIMATE PEANUT BUTTER CHOCOLATE GANACHE CUPCAKES 🙂

Ingredients:

– 24 cooled chocolate cupcakes (sorry folks, my recipe is from a book so I can’t post it here. However, I strongly recommend picking up of Buddy Valastro’s first book, Cake Boss)

–  1 recipe Chocolate Ganache

– 1 recipe Peanut Butter Frosting

Special Tools:

– Cupcake Corer (I recommend the one by Cuisipro)

– Small squeeze bottle

– Piping bag with star tip

Instructions:

1. Using the corer, twist gently into cupcakes and twist to pull up. Remove core and repeat on all cupcakes.

2. Warm chocolate ganache in microwave and pour into squeeze bottle. Squeeze ganache into centers of cupcakes.

3. Pipe peanut butter frosting on all cupcakes using star tip.

4. Create a star pattern with left over ganache on cupcakes using squeeze bottle (see the photos for example)

5. ENJOY 😀

Chocolate Ganache Cupcakes

10 Dec
(Hi all! Sorry it’s been so long since the last post! Here are my long awaited Chocolate Ganache Cupcakes, rivalling the Georgetown Cupcake classic. Enjoy!)

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Around the holiday season, you’re cookie cutters begin to get some wear and tear and you find yourself always going back to the store for some ginger, cinnamon and sprinkles. Quite frankly, it’s about time someone decided to switch it up. That’s why this December, I suggest you make something decadent, elegant and beautiful – like these Chocolate Ganache cupcakes. They’re easy enough to make whenever, but the immaculate blue flower gumpaste toppers take these cupcakes over the top. Gumpaste is a type of modelling sugar dough used in cake decorating (similar to Fondant). It’s very easy to dye and roll out. Simply cut out dough with small flower cutters (Found at Michael’s) and place a silver dragée (small, pearl-like sprinkles) in the center. Voilà! Easy and beautiful centrepieces to delicious cupcakes. These will surely be a new holiday baking tradition in every household!
(These cupcakes can be mini or regular sized, I’ve shown both in the slideshow above!)Ingredients:

24 cooled, chocolate cupcakes
2 cups semi-sweet chocolate chips
1 cup heavy whipping cream
Approx. ⅛ cup gumpaste
Icing Sugar (for dusting the surface)
Blue paste food colouring
24 silver dragées

Instructions:

1. Fill a saucepan with about an inch of water. Place a glass bowl on top of the pan and turn stovetop to a low-medium temperature.
2. Pour in chocolate chips and heavy cream. Continuously stir until there are no more lumps and it’s smooth and shiny. Turn off stove and remove bowl of ganache. Set aside.
3. Use a toothpick to dye the gumpaste blue. Using icing sugar to dust the surface, roll out gumpaste. Use a small, flower shaped cookie cutter and cut out, thing flowers. Press a silver dragée in the middle.
4. Dip tops of cooled cupcakes into ganache (you may need to reheat in the microwave). Dip and twist to get rid of excess. Place a flower in centre of cupcake. Store in airtight Tupperware.

(P.S. I’ve got tons of posts lined up right now… stay tuned!!)

DC Cupcakes!

26 Nov

There’s definitely an upside to frequently checking the Bonnie Gordon Confectionery College’s facebook page. That’s exactly how I found out about this event at Indigo Yorkdale.

Have you heard of Georgetown Cupcake, run by Sophie La Montagne and Katherine Kallinis, sisters and baking goddesses? Or maybe you’ve seen their television show, DC Cupcakes, broadcast on TLC. Either way – they are legendary in the baking world. And they’ve wrote a book.

I was so psyched to go see them! I’d been fans of the show for a while (You might remember me mentioning them in a post about cupcakes earlier ;)) and I couldn’t wait to snatch their new book off the shelves and get reading! I brought along my friend, a fellow DC Cupcakes fan, my camera and my admiration.

Yorkdale is sorta close to where I live. It was around an hour drive to get there – which wasn’t that bad. The event started at 7:00pm, and we got there at around 6:40. There was around 25 chairs in front of a stage, and when we got there, we were the start of the standing line behind all of the chairs. Luckily for us,  some one moved the standing line to the side of the chairs. So, being at the front of the standing line – we were right at the front and only a couple feet away from the stage!

It was so amazing to see them!

They did a brief introduction about themselves, and then dove right into the questions. (Heads up DC Cupcakes fans – a new holiday episode on December 2nd!) And then – they started going through the line for a meet and greet and to sign the books!

I admit – I was totally freaking out!! These two are like, my idols! They were really sweet and loved the cupcakes my friend (left) had made for them! A Chapters employee had taken my camera so he could take photos for our little meet and greet, which was really nice. It was such a great experience!

But of course – the cupcake sisters didn’t come empty handed…

They brought along cupcakes for everyone at the signing! I pretty much died at that 🙂 I snagged a delicious Toffee Crunch while my friend had the Cinnamon.

 

In other news – stay tuned for my replica of their signature cupcake, Chocolate Ganache!

Card Shark Cupcakes

7 Oct

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I think this was the first time I’d ever made Red Velvet cupcakes. I mean, I’ve made Red Velvet Cakes dozens of times before, but oddly enough, not Red Velvet cupcakes.  The good part, was that they were delicious. The cake was alright, kind of crumby but the frosting was probably my most successful and delicious frosting ever. Ever.

I started off making ‘DC Cupcakes’ cream cheese frosting, but stupidly added 1/2 cup butter instead of the 1/4 cup butter. The outcome? Extremely creamy and delicious. It easily frosted 22 cupcakes (with a bit left in the bowl) and could definitely pipe 24. So? Here’s the recipe.

– 1/2 cup butter

–  6 ounces cream cheese

– 4 cups icing sugar

– 1/4 teaspoon vanilla extract

(Usually frosting is very straight forward, but just incase here’s some instructions)

1. Beat butter and cream cheese.

2. Add in icing sugar a cup at a time and beat on high, scraping down sides.

3. Add vanilla extract and mix till combined.

4. Frost or pipe on

 

Very, very easy.

 

Anyways, these cupcakes are cards themed thanks to these little gumpaste cutters I got over the summer. My sister made the gumpaste card suits again (see her work with the Cute Pink Pig Cupcakes!) and they turned out pretty good 😉 I thought the lone heart on the cake would make a really sweet Valentines one – mental note! You can top them with all for or just one, it’s up to you! Either way, it makes some really sweet looking cupcakes.

Simple Flower Cupcakes

17 Jun

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There’s cakes that are so intricate, detailed and in-your-face amazing. And then there’s those that aren’t. But you know what? That’s okay. Simple things can be really beautiful. Like these flowery cupcakes.

These little cuties were inspired by the success of my easy and adorable Cute Pink Pig Cupcakes and the new pastel food colouring gel I was simply itching to try out. The recipe basically follows the one in the Cute Pink Pig Cupcakes recipe, but with a bit of a variation.

(I bought these daisy cutters awhile back, but now that I think about it the tiny one that I used in this recipe looks an awful lot like the flower topper on DC Cupcake’s Georgetown Cupcake’s signature flavours! Neato! http://www.amazon.com/Wilton-Fondant-Daisy-Shape-Outs/dp/B000FRXNW0)

Ingredients and Tools:

– 24 cooled chocolate cupcakes (chocolate to signify the dirt, pre-made because everyone has that favourite recipe they’re going to sub in anyway!)

– 1 batch vanilla buttercream (each recipe for the home cook usually yields enough)

– small daisy gumpaste/fondant cutter (see link above for mine!)

– Around 2 tablespoons of gumpaste… again just a guess! (Note to self: Measure next time!)

– Pastel green food colouring gel (Anything works, but this is the best)

– Pastel pink food colouring gel

– Tablespoon confectioners sugar (dusting on surface to roll out gumpaste)

– rolling pin

Instructions:

1. Tint buttercream to desired hue with green food colouring

2. Roll out gumpaste and tint with pink food colouring

3. Create 24 flowers out of gumpaste

4. Fill piping bag equipped with star tip

5. Pipe cupcakes

6. Put flower on top of each cupcake

7. Enjoy!

Cake, Cupcakes and Canucks

16 Jun

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Last night I was up until 11:00pm scrubbing dishes, putting away ingredients and wiping icing sugar off the counters. Why? Today is my school’s summer BBQ. And guess what? They have a cake walk. My school has around 400 kids, so they need tons of cakes. I made three. Well, technically cupcakes are cakes, so it’s alright.

Cake 1: Flourless Chocolate Cake

One of my good friends has an allergy to gluten and she requested that I make a gluten free cake. Luckily, I have an awesome recipe for Flourless Chocolate Cake and I was excited to make it. I made this cake first because of it’s simplicity – no clean up and quick to make! My friend has promised that she will pick mine if she wins – which makes me happy 🙂

Cakes 2 and 3: Simple Flower Cupcakes

These were really adorable cupcakes! Inspired by the pink pig cupcakes I’ve made previously and my new pastel food colouring gels, these cuties were born. It’s a chocolate cake with vanilla buttercream and a small gumpaste flower on top. Really adorable – and not too much exhausting decorating. I made 24 in total, but made 2 plates of seven cupcakes to donate to the fair. The rest I keep for myself! Omnomnomnom 🙂

It was really stressful doing all of this – in one night! Nonetheless game seven of the Stanley Cup where Boston was crushing the Canucks – which being Canadian, was very upsetting! And I had a supposed “quick” trip to Michaels in between cakes so I could grab the molds I needed for the graduation cap cake pops I plan to make my class (coming soon!), but it ended up being an hour… i love michaels 🙂

Oh well – now off to the barbecue to win a cake!