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Vanilla Cheesecake

28 Jul

cheesecake whole cheesecake slice

It’s been a long time since I made a cheesecake. I absolutely love it as does my mom, but it’s one of the more expensive things to make, so I haven’t bothered in many many years. However, one of my students was doing well in class and loves cheesecake, so in addition to the cookies I made, I also gave a basic cheesecake another try. She gave me this recipe that she loves to make/have made, so I adapted it slightly after reading the comments there and about 10 other cheesecake recipes online to see what various alterations other people made.

I am so glad I made this, though a little frightened that it’s going to lead to a lot more cheesecakes and a lot more pounds on my waistline. This was so creamy and didn’t crack at all, another fear of trying to make cheesecake, though I’m not sure THAT many people care about it, especially once sliced. (The small dot in the center was from a thermometer just to make sure it was right since it’s been awhile.) This was also a pretty hefty cheesecake, but I picked the middle ground between some that were almost sure to run over and those that seemed just a little too thin for what I wanted.

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Decorating Practice: RJ’s birthday cake

16 Jul

RJ cake top RJ cake cut open

For the best man in our wedding, I couldn’t skimp on a birthday cake! I made the chocolate cake I made here. Then I covered with marshmallow fondant and some decorations. It was really pretty and really tasty! I secretly love other people’s birthdays because it’s a chance to make a cake that I don’t make eat in its entirety!

Following is the decorating step by step:

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Chocolate cake with sour cream

4 Jul

wilton 3 decorated cake cut wilton 3 decorated cake sideI have made a few chocolate cakes in my time, but I’ve had a carton of sour cream in my fridge for a little bit from another recipe that I wanted to use up. The recipe I normally use is this one from my shower cupcakes. It’s moist and very chocolatey without overdoing it, though honestly I’m not sure I would know what overdoing chocolate looks like.

I did a search for sour cream chocolate cakes, since I needed another cake for my decorating class and I knew I’d seen those recipes before. I combined a few of them into this recipe. Trust me, there is nothing more scary that combining recipes/creating recipes and hoping that they turn out, especially if you’re going to need them for something. I decided to give it a go since if it went really poorly I could just decorate it up, take pictures, and toss it. Luckily, it turned out well.

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Practice decorations- Rosette Cake

27 Jun

I’ve been trying to practice different decorating techniques and hope to be able to continue that over the summer. Instead of waiting until I have several, I’m going to make them each shorter posts so that I can get them up quicker, find them easier, and if I do fall behind, the little posts are up. I’ll be labeling them all “Practice decorations” followed by the technique.

I just finished Wilton course 3 in time to find out that they have replaced course 1, 2, and 3. I have picked up the new lesson books for 1 and 2 (with 3 hopefully soon) and they have some updated ideas and variations on the techniques I already learned, so I hope to be able to try some of them soon!

I started with a rosette cake- completely covered in white buttercream rosettes with a 1M Wilton tip. I love, love, LOVE rosettes. Not just on cake, mind you, but pretty much anywhere. You may also juuuust be able to see some peach under there, as I also practiced my cake covering skills with the rest of the peach fondant. It also helped me to make sure I was completely filling in with the roses.


rosette cake 3 060414


rosette cake 1 060414

You might notice on the top, there were a couple of sections I had to fill in, but overall I think it came out great. It uses a ton of buttercream, but the actual piping goes pretty quickly!

Ombre Petal cake- another yellow cake

20 May

ombre petal side ombre petal top

For our wedding, we didn’t keep the top layer of the cake. Instead, we made each layer a different flavor. I had considered buying a cake for our anniversary, but I had found this ombre petal cake a few weeks ago and I really wanted the excuse to make it. I made it purple, using one of our wedding colors.

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Yellow Cake #2

11 May

mels cake finish top mel's cake finished sideI recently posted the 1234 cake, which worked pretty well as a yellow cake for my baking class. I’ve found a couple other recipes I want to try, so this one is my second try, using the yellow cake Mel’s kitchen cafe recently posted. It was pretty good, though I’m not completely sold on it being the only yellow cake recipe I would use. I still want to try a couple other ones, which seem to mainly vary in number of eggs, yolks, whites, and ratios of flour/butter/sugar. None of them seem particularly outlandish, so I just need to find the one I like best for myself.

I’ll give credit where it’s due though. This cake was a hit and very moist. I wish it had just been a tad taller (I made 2 9 inch cakes) since I couldn’t really cut it in half (tort it) to make a 4 layer cake. At least, I’m not confident enough in my torting skills yet to not completely destroy the cake. I also just bought some new cake pans that hadn’t come in yet with straighter sides, so I may have to retry this in the new pans.

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1234 cake

20 Apr

1234 cake top 1234 cake sideI was taking a cake decorating class and needed a good cake to make for my final class. I had made one before that made wonderful cupcakes (and was originally a cake recipe!) and it crumbled like crazy when I tried to tort it (cut it in half to fill it). I found some recipes that claimed to be awesome and I’m sure they are and will try them soon (probably for my final class of my 2nd cake decorating class this week!), but I needed something easy and tasty, so I settled on a 1234 cake. It was pretty good, moist, didn’t crumble and though I’ll try others, it’s definitely going to be my quick go to recipe.

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