Tuesday, April 5, 2011

A new adventure!

It has been a while since I have posted on my blog. What has been keeping me busy besides being a mom? I am excited to announce that I have teamed up with my friend Kim to start our own online cupcake business! Vanilla Gourmet Cupcakes is the name.

The site is still under construction but we hope to have it completed soon.

You can also find us on Facebook!

Come on over and like us!

We have received an overwhelming response to our new venture and we are very grateful to everyone who has referred us! We are enjoying every minute of it!

Saturday, February 12, 2011


It was all about the black and yellow. Too bad they lost. Well not really, but that's besides the point.

We were invited to a friend's superbowl party and they are HUGE Steelers fans. So, I had to make Steelers cupcakes. I used a Guinness cupcake recipe for this and made a brown sugar buttercream. 
These are my circles made out of fondant which I put on top of the iced cupcakes.
I then combined chocolate sprinkles and yellow sanding sugar and added it to the cupcakes.
Then I added the finishing touches.

Holy Chipotle!

Who would have thought to pair chocolate and chipotle together? What an amazing combination. This cupcake has just the right amount of heat which doesn't hit you until a few chews in. I went to my local Chilly Chiles in Navan to pick up some chipotle powder and Mexican chocolate and this is what I came back with:

Now the chocolate was more for making a chocolate drink, but it was all they had in terms of Mexican chocolate. So I used that. It was a bit grainy when I was melting it but overall it worked out quite well. Although, I will use a different type of Mexican chocolate the next time around.

For the chocolate chipotle cupcake, I used the recipe off of Bakerella's website for her Fire & Ice cupcakes. You can get the recipe here. I omitted the 2 tablespoons of chipotle peppers so if you like spicy, add it in.

For the icing, I melted the Mexican chocolate and some butter together. I let that cool.
I then whipped up some butter and icing sugar to make a buttercream type icing. I added the cooled chocolate and a tsp of cinnamon. Sooooo yummy and a great accompaniment to the cupcake.

Here are pictures of the final product.

Notice the cactus?

Sunday, January 16, 2011

Birthday Cupcakes!

I was asked to make some cupcakes for a friend's son's birthday. As you can tell from the photos, he was turning 25! I remember 25 like it was 10 years ago....

I decided to make some peanut butter and jam cupcakes as well as red velvet. It was my first attempt at the PB&J and thankfully they tasted great!

Here are some photos....

Peanut Butter Cupcakes with Strawberry Jam Filling
Up close and personal.
Peanut Butter & Jam Cupcakes with Peanut Butter Buttercream

The "25" is made out of fondant tinted orange.

Red Velvet with White Chocolate Circles and Cream Cheese Frosting

On Display!
A Tower of Deliciousness!

Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Cupcakes 4 Christmas!

A facebook group was created by Josee of The Cakery Designer Cakes called Cupcakes 4 Christmas.  They were looking to raise 2500 cupcakes to be delivered to the Ottawa Mission for the annual Christmas dinner which was held on December 19th.  

My friend Calina and I decided we would contribute and agreed to bake 48 cupcakes. We had a great time doing this!  Here are some photos of our cupcake extravaganza!

The first batch - Vanilla

Preparing the second batch - Chocolate

Choo Choo!

The conversation went something like this:

Amanda: "Are you sure you can make these? Maybe you should try something a little easier."
Me: "I would like to give it a try. I think I can do these for Brandon's 4th birthday."
Amanda: "Okay. Better you than me!"

And that is how I decided to give 'making shapes out of fondant' a try.

I made the coloured fondant the week before...and the night before I set out and made the vanilla cupcakes (jumbo size) and started to assemble the trains....6 hours later....12 cute Thomas the Tank cupcakes were complete! whew! Thankfully, my wonderful hubby helped out with drawing the faces on Thomas or else it would have been more like 7 hours....

I think they turned out really well for my first attempt and the kids really enjoyed them!

All packed and ready to go!

The birthday boy enjoying his cupcake! Poor Thomas never saw it coming....

Sunday, November 21, 2010

Tres Leches

What goes well with the Nicaraguan feast pictured here?

Tres Leches cupcakes of course! "Tres Leches" translated means "three milks".  The three milks in question you ask? Sweetened condensed milk, evaporated milk and cream.

If you are going to make these, make sure you use the paper-lined foil liners as the paper ones alone won't hold up as well once you douse them with the milks.

This cake is super simple to make with only 6 ingredients: eggs, baking soda, salt, sugar, butter and flour. The complete recipe can be found at the recipe tab or at page 48 of Martha Stewart's Cupcakes book.

When the cupcakes are done baking, use a toothpick to poke holes in the cupcakes and brush them with the milk mixture.

Milk does a cupcake good!

Before the whipped cream is added.

After. With a touch of cinnamon.

After a few bites!

A special "gracias" to Rod and Amanda for having us over for such a delicious meal!

Monday, November 15, 2010

Irish Car Bombs

Guinness.  Jack Daniels (not Irish, but it's all I had).  Baileys.

From Wikipedia: An Irish Car Bomb is a beer cocktail similar to a boilermaker made with Irish stout, Irish Cream, and Irish whiskey. The whiskey is floated on top of the Irish Cream in a shot glass, and the shot glass is then dropped into the stout. Once mixed, the drink must be consumed quickly because it will curdle.
I don't know about you, but I prefer my Irish car bomb in the form of a cupcake.

Pulled this recipe off of Smitten Kitchen and it's totally worth the effort.

First you make the holes. You can use a 1 inch round cookie cutter, or use a knife.

Once the ganache filing is made....

....put it into a piping bag. Don't have one? A ziplock, with a corner snipped, also works very well.

Pipe the ganache filling into your cupcakes.
Bailey's Icing. The cupcakes are so rich and decadent, that you only need a little. The recipe only makes a small amount, so if you want to tower your cupcakes, double it.
I iced them "freestyle". It was just me and my spatula.
Are your Irish eyes smiling?

Monday, November 1, 2010

Halloween Treats

Who brings cupcakes to a Halloween party? I do! 

The buttercream I used for these had an orange flavour to it care of a few drops of orange oil. Very tasty with the chocolate cupcake.

More marshmallow fondant.  Those are some scary looking bats!


The party table!