Hey guys, just wanted to inform you of Jessica Harris weekly Crafty class giveaway. All you have to do is head on over to her blog and share with friends and family.
I personally took her Clean and Simple Cake Design class and it is amazing. Not only will you improve your cake decorating skill; you will have the confidence to take on any challenge. So head on over to her blog and show some love or visit Craftsy.com and while your there you can join me here as well.
Monday, November 4, 2013
Friday, November 1, 2013
I am pleased to announce the Grand Opening of my custom made cupcake, cookie, and cake toppers on Etsy Shop. New items will be added regularly so come on by.
At Sweet Toppers by Dari, I hope you feel inspired by my designs as much as I love making them and I look forward to working with you.
Wednesday, October 30, 2013
In the spirit of Halloween, I thought I'd share a little something with you guys to get you started early on your Festive Holiday baking. I don't know about you guys, but as soon as October rolls around I get so excited about the holidays because this means more baking and more sharing with family and friends. How can you not! You didn't expect me to eat all the goodies, now did you?
I served these delicious cupcakes during a Halloween party at my daughters dance studio. Let's just say it was a huge success. Instead of the traditional Apple Cobbler, Oatmeal Raisin, Carrot, or Cinnamon & Spice cupcakes I decided to go for more of a dark side.This moist, rich, and airy cake is quite different from the traditional chocolate cake. Its use of cocoa powder as opposed to chocolate is what makes this cake much darker and richer in flavor. You could say it's somewhat "Sinful!" I believe it's in our nature to always gravitate towards the bad. As for me, the more indulgent it sounds, the more I'm drawn to it!
Devil's Food Cupcakes
Yield: 18 Cupcakes
For the Cupcakes:
- 6 tablespoons (85 g) unsalted butter, softened
- 1 cup (230 g) packed dark brown sugar
- 1 teaspoon (5 ml) pure vanilla extract
- 1 large egg, at room temperature
- 1 egg yolk, at room temperature
- 3/4 cup + 2 teaspoons (115 g) all-purpose flour
- 6 tablespoons (38 g) unsweetened Dutch-processed cocoa powder
- 1/2 teaspoon (3 g) baking soda
- 1/2 teaspoon (3 g) baking powder
- 1/2 teaspoon (5 g) kosher salt
- 3/4 cup (180 ml) buttermilk, at room temperature
- 2 tablespoons (30 ml) mayonnaise
- 5 large fresh egg whites (150 g)
- 1-1/4 cup (250 g) superfine granulated sugar
- 1-1/2 cups (340 g) (3 sticks) unsalted butter, softened, cut into cubes
- 150 g (3/4 cup) melted bittersweet Belgian chocolate (I use Callebaut )
- 2 teaspoons (10 ml) pure vanilla extract
- pinch of salt
- Preheat oven to 350° F and line a muffin/cupcake pan with your favorite cupcake liners.
- In a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat the butter, brown sugar, and vanilla on medium-high speed until lighter in color and slightly increased in volume, about 5 minutes. Lower the speed to medium and add the eggs, one at a time, mixing until each is fully incorporated before adding the next.
- Sift the flour, cocoa powder, baking soda and baking powder into a medium bowl. Add the salt to the dry ingredients after sifting, and whisk dry ingredients.
- Alternate dry ingredients and buttermilk into creamed mixture, beginning and ending with dry ingredients. Mix until just incorporated, or finish by hand gently.
- Fold mayonnaise into batter with a whisk, until just blended.
- Fill cupcake pans 2/3 each and bake for approximately 17 minutes, or until a skewer inserted into center of cupcakes comes out just barely clean (a few crumbs).
cupcakes cool on wire rack for 10 minutes, then gently remove from pan
and continue to cool on a wire rack. Let cool completely. For the Chocolate Swiss Meringue:
- Wipe the bowl of an electric mixer with paper towel and lemon juice, to remove any trace of grease. Add egg whites and sugar, and simmer over a pot of water (not boiling), whisking constantly but gently, until temperature reaches 160°F, or if you don't have a candy thermometer, until the sugar has completely dissolved and the egg whites are hot.
- Place bowl back on mixer and fit with whisk attachment. Whip until the meringue is thick, glossy, and the bottom of the bowl feels neutral to the touch (this can take up to 10 minutes, or longer). Switch over to paddle attachment and, with mixer on low speed, add softened butter in chunks until incorporated, and mix until it has reached a silky smooth texture (if curdles, keep mixing and it will come back to smooth).
- Add vanilla and salt, continuing to beat on low speed until well combined.
- Add melted and cooled bittersweet chocolate and continue beating on low speed until well combined.
For the Cupcakes:
- Cupcakes are best enjoyed the day they are made, but these keep particularly well in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 3 days.
- If you do refrigerate, serve at room temperature--particularly Swiss Meringue Buttercream cupcakes, otherwise the buttercream is too hard and butter-like.
- The buttercream calls for superfine granulated sugar also known as caster sugar. Superfine sugar is granulated sugar that has been ground into finer crystals than regular granulated white sugar. If you cannot find superfine sugar, you can easily make your own superfine sugar using just a food processor and granulated sugar. Turn the processor to high speed and process the sugar for about 1-2 minutes.After you process it, let the dust settle back into the processor for 10-20 seconds, then remove the lid. Your superfine sugar is now ready to be used! Store it as you would regular sugar.
Southern Devil’s Cake Recipe adapted from, Sweetapolita
Enjoy & Happy Baking!
Sunday, September 29, 2013
|Happy Birthday Harper!|
What's not to love about this a super-cute Pool Party Themed Cake and Cupcakes?! Harper's mom was sweet enough to give me total creative control over these delectable desserts, and I had so much fun creating them. The 50 cupcakes featured edible fondant pool balls, flip-flops, towels, umbrellas, and Fun-in-the-Sun shades.
It was quite the "Splash Bash!"
I really loved the way these toppers came out. It's a bit hard to tell in the picture, but I added a bit of glossy sheen to the splash tier drops. It's quite easy to do and it gives it a realistic look. Just mix together equal amounts of corn syrup and clear alcohol. You can also use vodka. If you'd like more information about this great technique then head on over to Craftsy. There's a great article on this and other techniques to achieve this glossy appearance.
|A special thanks to Chrissy (Mom) for providing the extra photos.|
I am in total "love" with how this all came together.
Enjoy and until next time...
Friday, September 13, 2013
I've been wanting to make these adorable "Finger Licking" mini burger cupcakes for quite some time now. I finally got the chance over Labor Day weekend to make them for my husband's managers as a thank you for their contributions.
They're really easy to make and are a super fun weekend proyect with the kids. I know my girls loved making them as much as they enjoyed eating them. They were so cute. Assembly line and everything! I wish I had taken a picture of them.
I'm sure you've seen them around everywhere. I saw them on Bakerella's blog awhile back and knew I had to try them. Since I had some chocolate cupcakes already made from the previous day I figured I'd use those for the burger meat instead of making a batch of brownies as it calls for. I'll definitely have to make them again and try the difference with the brownies. Oh, and I'll have to add on a side of french fries to compliment.Yum!
Enjoy, and Happy Baking.
Saturday, May 25, 2013
It's been quite busy these past few weeks here at my house with Mother's Day just passing and now getting ready to prepare for my big girls 5th grade graduation. Wow, does time fly! But, with all the madness, I managed to squeeze in some much needed family time with my Mom and Brother. We flew her in for Mother's Day and then drove her 8 hours to go see him. Boy, was she surprised! It's not often that we get a chance to have these little get-together, so it was a real treat for all of us.
|This could be the beginning of a beautiful friendship-my new found love for cake stands!|
Now, because my Mother was only vacationing for a week (half of which was spent visiting my Brother) I didn't have much time to plan for this cake. Although fondant covered cakes are more appealing- in my opinion- because of their flawless finish, I opted to go with a more 'fanciful' buttercream cake. I have noticed that the piping techniques have come a long way and cake artist have been getting more and more creative. With that said, I decided to give it a hand and bake a simple cake inspired by the ruffled buttercream technique. And like always, it was my first time trying it! I have to say, easier than I thought. You definitely have to have a steady hand (which I don't) but with time and practice I'm sure I'll manage to get them more straight and uniform. All, in all, I thought it came out better than I expected.
The cake itself is a classic vanilla buttercream cake with a fluffy buttercream tinted in a pastel green color (I used a small amount of Americolor Forest Green). Growing up, I have fond memories of my mother making this buttery flavored cake covered copious amounts of fluffy-sugary 'yumminess' frosting. There's simply nothing better!
Now, with all my cakes there is a lesson learned and I can't go without mentioning my butter experience. I have learned to not skimp out on my baking products. But, like I mentioned earlier, I didn't have much time to plan for this cake so here's what happened. I have always used Plugra European Unsalted Butter for all my cakes and butter creams but this time since I didn't have enough for both I used Land O' Lakes for my buttercream. What I got was a runny-like consistency in my butter cream. So frustrating since I always weigh all my ingredients beside the fact that I have made this butter cream a dozen times and have never had this happen. The other thing, my children and husband noticed the difference in taste. Simply put they didn't like it! I assume that the Plugra has a higher fat content, it's hard to say...
It's definitely a topic that I would have to research some more as to why this occurred. It wouldn't be fair to say that one brand is better than the next, but as the saying goes, " you get what you pay for!"
Saturday, May 4, 2013
Well, for starters, I decided to roll out my fondant that was going to cover the cake. Once rolled out I covered it with saran wrap to avoid from drying out. Then I cut the zebra stripes by hand and started applying them to the rolled out fondant and then rolled the fondant one more time to blend the two together. It looked beautiful! Just like a printed zebra fabric. When it was time to apply it to the cake the fondant started to crack and cause elephant skin. AHHH!!! There was nothing I could do. I ripped it off and started again, this time covering the cake complete and then adding the stripes one by one. Lots and lots of fondant wasted. Lesson learned! I'm sure this technique works best if you have a fondant sheeter or maybe it was the humidity that day. I'm not quite sure what happened so if anyone has tried this technique and it has worked for you I'd love to hear from you.
Until next time, and thanks for looking!