Thursday, April 29, 2010

Rose's Heavenly Cakes: The Banana Refrigerator Cake featuring White Chocolate Cream Cheese Frosting

Those of you that know me well, know I am all about scratch baking. Well recently, I have been introduced to the works of a few legendary icons of the professional baking world, most impressive of whom is Rose Levy Beranbaum. She is a celebrated master baker, pastry expert and cake scientist extraordinare! After reading about her passion for pastry, life and obsession with baking science I was hooked. We quickly found ourselves the proud owners of every single major pastry, cake and bread bible she published and then some. One of her newest books (2009) Rose's Heavenly Cakes, has an almost cult like following!


In fact, there is a group online that calls themselves "The Heavenly Bakers Club" and/or "The Heavenly Cake Bake Along" who bake their way through her newest book, one cake a week, all in unison, blogging about the affair afterwards simultaneously. I am dying to become an official part of that group! But alas, they require two cakes at least a month, or else! *Insert scary doom music here* So, I have made it my goal to bake enough of her cakes, pastries and breads from these books to be confident enough in my abilities to join with a straight face. *snickers* These are not your typical cakes! They are magic. Just pure, incredible, mind blowing magic in the kitchen. You have to forget everything you thought you knew about scratch baking, and go in with a hunger for innovation and artistic desire. She is just so incredible!

Well, here I go. Here is the first official cake I have made from Rose's Heavenly Cakes, or as we on the forum like to call it, RHC. I am so proud! I am now one step closer to my goal...and oh my, this cake was beyond words. Out of this world, in fact, it is over halfway gone already. Wowza!

Until next time!
Jemoiselle aka Jessie

Monday, April 19, 2010

An Announcement...

Dear Vanilla Expressions fans and followers,

I have really enjoyed making cakes for all of you, my special friends and family.
You have been such an inspiration to me, and I have truly loved exploring my talent and expanding my skillset with you. Due to the upcoming move, I will not be taking orders for my cakes effective immediately. I will still be baking for fun at home though, so keep an eye out for new pics!

Take care and thank you for everything,

Saturday, April 17, 2010

Super Mario Birthday for a super 5 year old love!

This might not look like it, but it was the hardest cake yet to do I think. It was a 6/10, the same chocolate blow your mind recipe from the cake bible by Rose Levy Beranbaum. It was filled with a simple vanilla buttercream, and covered in fondant with fondant and modeling chocolate accents. Mario was made of fondant, for those who might be wondering!

This cake took some serious skill to frost and stack, being that it is light as air bursting with moist crumbs and sticky with fudgey goodness! That being said, I cannot wait to hear about how it tasted at the party it was made for. A friend asked me to do this special cake for her son's 5th birthday. She really goes all out, and honored me with the task of making a cake with her son's favorite characters on it.

I used to play these games when I was a young gal, and really, still enjoy them whenever I get an opportunity to play (which is like, next to never) So I incorporated elements from different levels and typical challenges the game presents in a flowing "cake level" so to speak. It flows to the right, starting at the bottom tier by the row of coins. I tried my best to capture the flow with the camera, but it proved difficult.

Until next time,

The Choc-ROACH cake! Thanks Bobby =)

Ewww! Somebody get the shoe. No! Wait, it's just a chocroach. Yes, you heard me right! I was asked to do this cake for a friend in the pest control business! It will be raffled off at the end of the Clovis Home & Garden Show =)

Underneath a less than exquisite fondant exoskeleton, lies a real work of art that honestly needs no frosting or adornment at all. What I am hooting about now you ask? Why, this is THE All-American Chocolate Torte from Rose Levy Beranbaum's legendary book, The Cake Bible, in disguise. I adore this cake so much, it is now my standard chocolate cake. Her method of baking is so unique, thoughtful and lovingly prepared. The recipes are not mere recipes, they are scientific kitchen tangos! An exacting science, this cake took many tries before getting it right but of boy was the result worth it. It is so soft and fluffy, I feared the fondant would flatten the cake's lofty stories of deliciousness. But alas, I was afraid for nothing. The cake would stand and stand again, layer after layer, tier after tier, as in the last 48 hours I have had to make a whopping 5 batches each time learning something new. I am a high altitude baker, I should add. Cakes like to try to give me hassle, but my kitchen whip is stiff and my will unfailing LOL. As you might be able to tell I have been up two whole nights in a row without sleep making my grand total of unslept deliriousness about 36 hours. I am hallucinating, exhusted beyond expression, I fell asleep blow drying my hair upside down this morning, standing, and woke up after realizing I was blow dreaming! IS that a word? LOL Anyways, I am posting the fruits of my labor and going to bed, really, to BED! I mean it! This is the first time in my life I have stayed up all night twice in a row and didn't lie down for naps etc. I must be nuts.

Speaking of nuts, this cake had none, but was filled with GREEN BUTTERCREAM so it would really have that unique "this cake is the most incredible thing I have ever tasted, but, it looks so *excuse me* blaahhhhhh!!!" *snickers pleased with myself* It was terribly realistic, and gross! I meant to do the whole cake as one huge roach, but as I found, real Madagascar Hissers are too flat to be torted filled cakes of 4" or more. That is why you see the white base holding the chocroach's leggies up.

SO how did I make this? Because I just know you are dying to go make one for yourself (don't you?) I aim to please!

-I took a 10" square pan, baked a cake, cooled it, cut it in half stacking the removed half on top of the remaining half to make a big rectangle torted and filled with delicious but disgusting looking green bugger-cream. I meant, buttercream. Sorry.

-I proceeded with freezing the cake for a BRIEF period of time (about an hour) to make it stable for carving, then I got a sharp knife and cut myself a bug. It was wild watching sheets of cake fall away, something I would NEVER dare do to my normal cakes! It made me so nervous!

-I finally became happy with my bug base, so I frosted it then covered it with layers of fondant mimicing the Madagascar Hissing Roach's shell. It was fun! It started out pure white, then I hand painted it all with food colorings until it made me want to kill it. Voila!

The Madagascar Hissing Cockroach was my inspi-roach-ion. I am happy with how it turned out, though in the future, should I find myself needing to make another chocroach I will be making it a one layer sheet cake so it can be made without anything underneath showing. I figured the main attraction would not be my crumbcoat, lol, and took a gamble on human nature =) I hope it grossed out many a patrons at the Home and Garden Show this year (Clovis NM) and pray that it encouraged Bobby's prospective clients to hire him so they didn't have to meet the inedible less pleasant versions of this little guy at their homes, without having the win the cake. You know what I mean?

Do you live in Clovis, NM? DO you think this cake is gross? Would you want REAL cockroaches in your home eating your cake? Or would you prefer to eat a cake that looks like them instead of having them over as guests, invited or not! If you don't like the idea of meeting a chocroach MINUS the chocolate, in your own home someday soon, you NEED to call Bobby at Affordable Pest Control! He has taken great care of my family for the entire time we've lived here, and we couldn't be more pleased. In addition to professional service, we gained a true friend.

Bobby falls into the category of being one of the world's few remaining honest and trustworthy businessmen and patriots, running a business, honoring his word, supporting the Vets all around us while charging more than a fair price for his work.

If you need pest control help, please visit his site at and schedule a consultation to discuss how he can help you to keep your home free of roaches and other unspeakables all year long using ingredients safe for home organic gardeners etc! You'll lose the bugs and gain a friend in the process.

I have one more cake to post tonight then it is time to pass out into my keyboard like garfield in lasagna. Here we go, onward!


Monday, April 12, 2010

The Doggie Cake!

This cake was a hoot! I was so happy to make it =) The chocolate fondant, once again, gave me hassle hehe but oh it tasted so good! It was worth the issues it created, I think. I guess I am just a perfectionist! The little boy who received this looked so adorable blowing out his candles, too!

-6"/8" double layer two tier vanilla and chocolate scratch cakes with white and chocolate ganache.

-Fondant accents

-Vanilla almond buttercream

-Hand modeled doggie and bone topper

Until next time!


The Mod Baby Shower Cake

This one was my first busy busy print, it was so fun to make! We're looking at an 8", with some funky cake flavors to match the exterior style. One layer is chocolate cake with strawberries in the batter, and the other layer is a vanilla butter cake with blueberries in the batter. Tied together with a chocolate ganache, this was a very rich cake.

Everything is fondant (except for the topper which was simply piped chocolate) with a new inclusion for me this time of using chocolate based fondant for the brown base instead of vanilla fondant colored brown! It was a HUGE upgrade in the flavor department, but unfortunately hard to work as of yet texture wise. I like my fondant to be all satiny, velvety even, matte finished. The chocolate has a somewhat textured appearance, one that I will be working on for my future experiments. Stay tuned! 

Until next time!

The Medical Cake

Perhaps the smallest cake I have ever done to date, a 4x6, this one was really special. It was also, technically, lol, my first carved cake aka one that was cut to form a shape other than the pan it was baked in. It was deceptively difficult, because being so small, the cake's height was almost exceeding it's width.

Down to the nitty gritty, this one was a new scratch recipe for me, again being after the holy grail of cake recipes. Toba Garrett was my inspiration for every INGREDIENT element (not style, this is obviously mediocre in comparison hehe)
from the fondant to the butter cake itself, compliments of the book "The Well Decorated Cake". I am studying her and another hero of mine, Rose Levy Beranbaum, like tomorrow isn't coming! Anyhow, it was carved into thinner tortes than I usually do just for effect, I figured being smaller it could use some extra flair lol. It was filled with a ganache, and accented with fondant as usual.

The colors were inspired by the recipient, whom had just graduated from a medical program to become an anesthetist. The colors represent his University =) Happy Birthday to you! I hope it was well was so fun to make!

Until next time,