I know, I know. I've been bad at blogging this year. But I've been great about everything else! I've been working hard at work, my book, some art projects, and oh yeah, a ginormous cake that totally blows away anything else I've ever made!!!
That's right. The most epic cake ever, and totally a surprise for Kevin's 26th birthday (he thought I was making a tardis cake! Could we get any nerdier?)
I started this on Sunday and finally stacked it on Friday. It consists of 12 separate cake layers (chocolate and vanilla alternating) with buttercream filling, and about six pounds of homemade marshmallow fondant. People seem surprised when they discover how expensive wedding cakes are. I will guess that this barely made it under $100, especially when I take into account all the extra tools and supplies from Michaels I needed. It's almost creepy how much butter and sugar is in that thing...
I designed it months ago, knowing that Kevin's birthday falls only three days after our one-year anniversary (we always joke about our poor planning). I of course knew right away that I wanted to do Star Wars, because I thought it would work perfectly for the ambitious, multi-tiered design I had in mind. ...continue reading →
That's right, my birthday is on the 4th of July! For many reasons, this makes it the ultimate birthday date ever. For one thing, it's pretty much as far away from Christmas as you can get, so there's no overlapping of presents. Another reason is that almost everyone has this day off!
And for my family, this means heading up to Lake Sunapee in New Hampshire, like we have been doing for over 20 years, hitting up the beach, having a barbecue, watching the fireworks, and relaxing. It's simply amazing to be surrounded by your family on your birthday, year after year, knowing that everyone is celebrating and having a good time.
My sister introducing my nephew Charlie to Lake Sunapee for the first time
So since I went strawberry picking for the first time this weekend with Kevin, I thought "why not use them to make the most epic red, white, and blue berry cake ever?"
Cooking is a lot like art. You can experiment and substitute and adapt, and still get fantastic results. Baking, on the other hand, is a lot more like science.
Being a "scientist" myself, you'd think that this make me a pretty good baker. Unfortunately this wasn't the case. It took me several months before I could bake an edible cupcake, and several more before they actually tasted good. I guess my creative, artistic side is more at home in the kitchen than my precise, analytic scientist side.
Photography is another art that can be boiled down to science. Our brains are wired to find certain pictures appealing, and others unattractive. This makes food photography even more difficult, because you have to find a way to tell a story and create a mood...while making the food look appetizing!
These brain cupcakes were a fun experiment (ha) in combining the art and science of both baking and photography, as part of my new desire to take better, more interesting pictures.
I remade my favorite biscoff cupcakes, but this time I added a chocolate ganache filling and a swiss meringue buttercream frosting to pipe the cute little cortex. I got the idea directly from Not So Humble Pie, a great blog that unfortunately isn't updated much anymore, but has an awesome section dedicated to science-themed cookies and cakes.