bridal shower+pink lemonade+a FAIL page

Hello! I’m so behind on my pictures!! This is what I’ve been making lately……

At the beginning of July I made cupcakes for my cousin’s bridal shower. They were carrot cake with an almond cream cheese frosting. The flowers and rings were made of fondant.

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I modeled them after a picture that had the engagement ring and band on the cupcake with a sugar diamond. I’ve never used sugar diamonds before and didn’t order them in time so I used rock candy!
This is what they started as:

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Yes I used a big chahunga knife to chop little rock candy pieces. And I made 2 beautiful diamonds!

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I was very proud of myself at almost midnight 🙂
And in the ring:

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Now for the recipe. I found it in one of the Food Network magazines and they came out deliciously moist. They tasted a bit more like a spice cake than a carrot cake, but a friend suggested adding some carrot juice to make them super moist and carroty. Here is the recipe: (reprinted from food network magazine)

1 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 cup sliced almonds
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
1/4 teaspoon ground allspice
1 1/2 cups grated carrots
2/3 cup vegetable oil
1 cup granulated sugar
3 large eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Raise the oven temperature to 350 degrees F. Line two 24-cup mini-muffin pans with paper liners. Put the flour, almonds, baking powder, baking soda, salt, cinnamon, ginger and allspice in a food processor and pulse until the nuts are finely ground.
Whisk the grated carrots, vegetable oil, granulated sugar, eggs and vanilla in a large bowl until combined. Stir in the flour mixture until just combined. Divide among the mini-muffin cups, filling each three-quarters of the way. Bake until a toothpick comes out clean, 10 to 15 minutes. Transfer to a rack and let cool 5 minutes, then remove the cupcakes from the pans to cool completely.

Remember this recipe is for minis! I doubled it and it made 2 dozen regular size cupcakes.

For the frosting I used a recipe that I’ve used many times with great success. It’s from Jo-Lynn on allrecipes.com:

1 (8 ounce) package reduced-fat cream cheese, softened
1/2 cup white sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/2 teaspoon almond extract
2 cups heavy cream

Directions
Combine the cream cheese, sugar, vanilla extract and almond extract in a large mixing bowl or the bowl of a stand mixer. Fit the mixer with the whisk attachment and mix on medium speed until smooth. While the mixture is still whipping, slowly pour in the heavy cream. Stop and scrape the bottom of the bowl a couple of times while you continue whipping until the cream can hold a stiff peak.

This frosting is amazing!! I can’t say enough about it!! It’s very light and whippy and lovely. Try it. You will eat it out of the bowl.

Ok! Last week I wanted to try a new summer recipe and made pink lemonade cupcakes.

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Pinkalicious!!! Love em. They came a lil tart but very refreshing on a hot hot summer evening. I put the oven on in 90 degree weather!! I’m a diehard what can I say.
I like how this one came out

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Yummy.

Sometimes when you are a baker, you try something out and it doesn’t work. It doesn’t set or it melts or you drop it on the floor. It fails on you. That happened to me on the 4th of July. I wanted to make a frozen raspberry cupcake that was simple and garnished with raspberries and a few patriotic stars. This is what I ended up with

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Thus, I am creating a FAIL page. On it I will post all my mistakes and messes. One time I really did drop a whole cake on the floor and then cried. I’ll have to find that picture……..

UP NEXT: chocolate strawberry and cookies and cream. Possibly another attempt to meet the cake boss!!!

Oh— and my sister is moving with us to NYC too!!! ( I forgot to mention that in my last post). Love you J Rose!!!

the cupcakes of NYC!!!

Magnolias. Crumbs. Sprinkles. If you’re a foodie like me (especially a cake foodie) you know what these words mean. For those of you who aren’t obsessed like me, these are the names of some of the most popular bakeries in NYC. On my trip to the big apple last week, my husband and I went on a “cupcake tasting day.” Four bakeries in one day, eating a cupcake at each….+ walking allll over NYC = nausea and blisters. But it was worth it!!!!

First we went to Magnolia’s bakery. Actually it was early in the am so I had a peanut butter bar and not a cupcake but I was still delicious.
Here’s me in front of it……

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Magnolias is known for it’s red velvet cake (which I’ve had and is lovely) and also for it’s country and home-y feel to it. They also do kids birthday parties where you can have a cake decorating party! There was one going on when we were there. I wish they had that sort of thing when I was growing up……

Next stop: a cupcake truck outside of the Met. Yes, you read correctly. A food truck that sells cupcakes! It’s called Cake and Shake

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That’s what it looks like outside of the Met (Metropolitan Museum of Art). It was so cute! There was one girl working in the truck and it was quite busy. She told me that they have a bakery at another location and they bring the cupcakes to the truck everyday. When they start to run out, she calls up the boss and he sends over more. So that’s how they do it!!!

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I ordered a Whoozeewhatsit. And it blew mind!!!!

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Chocolate cake with a caramel mousse inside with a nougat buttercream and topped with toasted pecans. I never had nougat frosting before and I was like where have you been all my life?!?! My mouth is watering just thinking about it.

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The filling was so good! I couldn’t figure it out at first so I asked the girl and she said it was like a caramel mousse but it tasted like a hint of pineapple in there too. I was very happy with my cupcake from a truck 🙂

Crumbs bakeshop. Two words: big and luscious.

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We ordered a peach cobbler cupcake. Vanilla pound cake with fresh chunks of peaches inside with a light buttercream frosting and topped with crumbly cobbler pieces.

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This was one of the best cupcakes I’ve had in my life!!! And it was jumbo sized! The cake was moist and light and the fresh peaches gave it a sweet summery taste. And then the cobbler topping was sooooo good it was like cookie crumbs. De-lish!!!!

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They also had custom cupcake liners which I thought was genius.
Clearly we loved this cupcake 🙂

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Me in a sugar coma 🙂

Do you watch Cupcake Wars on the Food Network? Candace Nelson is one of the judges and she is the creator of the world’s first cupcake bakery Sprinkles. They started in California but they just opened one in NYC so we had to check it out.

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It was cute inside with bright colors but it was very small inside as well. I was craving something tart and sweet so I ordered a key lime cupcake.

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My husband Adam is modeling :). This was a very yummy cupcake. It definitely tasted like key lime and was tart and refreshing. I thought the decal was fondant but it was hard and crunchy so I think it was candy? Very good choice to have on a hot NYC night for dessert!!

In my last post I mentioned going to find the Cake Boss at Carlo’s Bakery in Hoboken, NJ. Wellllllll we made it there but this was the line

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It may not look that long but take note that Carlo’s was a block away from this point. So, since the wait was about 2 hours and we were on our way home back to Buffalo, we decided to come back another day. No cake boss :(. But I DID sneak a picture of Buddy’s sister Grace who was taking photos with people (you had to have tickets).

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She’s in the doorway in beige. It’s kinda hard to see but we were just trying to snap a few pics before they realized we weren’t in the line and we didn’t have any tickets. Bandits!!

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This is my proof that I was there!! Again I’m like quick just take it before they kick us out!!! I plan to come back again soon when I have the whole day to wait. I WILL meet you Cake Boss!!!!!

***some of you may be confused about the NYC/Buffalo commuting lately. Here’s the scoop: Adam and I decided to follow our dreams and make the move to NYC this fall! He’s going first, to get everything ready, so he’ll be there all summer. Then I will move down in September once I finish out the summer at my job. So this week’s trip was to check everything out and look at my school I’m going to in October ICE (institute of culinary education), and just get more acquainted with the area in general. It’s very exciting!!! But scary at the same time…….
Stay posted for more updates!

UP NEXT: 4th of July and a bridal shower