Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Family Guy Cake

I've maybe only watched parts of 1 or 2 episodes of Family Guy ever in my life. I remember enjoying the crude jokes made by Peter, being creeped out by Stewie's deep voice and Brian's human-like behavior. I'm not sure why I never started watching more episodes. Maybe it's time to start.

When Linda asked me to make a Family Guy themed cake, I didn't experience any panic moments like when I did with the South Park cake. I felt confident that I could pull this off even though the characters of Family Guy are much more complex in terms of their looks than the South Park characters who look essentially like circles with giant round eyes.

I kept the decoration similar to the South Park cake - using sugar cookies as the main decoration pieces. The cookies are simple sugar cookies with their outlines piped with melted dark chocolate and the borders filled with colored icing.

Linda requested the strawberry meringue cake similar to the wedding cake I made for Lisa so I created a three layered cake with a vanilla yellow cake as the base.

The first layer of the cake was covered with creamy, fluffy vanilla buttercream and fresh strawberries after it was moistened with light syrup infused with vanilla beans. Between the second and the third layers of the cake was meringue disc that was baked til crisp to add a crunch texture.

The contrast in textures, and subtle vanilla flavors combined with the freshness of the strawberries is what makes this cake a perfect choice for the summer. Lastly, the cake was finished with more vanilla buttercream for the beautiful satiny finish.

I had a lot of fun with this cake. I'd say Stewie cookie was my favorite to decorate because of his very distinct football head shape and he didn't really need any icing other than the teeny bit for his eyes.

I really hope Linda's son David enjoyed the cake on his very special day!

Monday, June 21, 2010

Almond Berry Chiffon Cake for Eric

After many weeks, I finally managed to retrieve the memory card from the camera that I took these cake photos with! So this post is extremely long overdue.

It was my boyfriend Eric's birthday a month ago so I organized a dinner at a restaurant in SF with a few of his close friends. Because they all know that I bake cakes, I couldn't let them down by showing up empty-handed. So I decided to make a special cake by Ji and bring it to the restaurant to share with everybody.

I wanted something light, fresh, and summery. While browsing through the different recipes, I suddenly thought of the raspberry almond cake that I made for my friend Van's completion of her CA exam. It was the perfect cake for the occasion with lots of fresh berries and light texture after feasting on a delicious birthday meal.

The basic composition of the cake was the same as before but I made a few changes. I switched the vanilla cake to my beloved chiffon cake with a hint of almond. Then the cake layer was spread with raspberry preserve to add some more intense berry flavor.

In between the three cake layers was fresh blueberries, raspberries and blackberries and sweet vanilla custard that was infused with ground almond and lightened by folding in whipped cream at the end. The almond flavor was subtle yet it provided a perfect complement to the fresh berries and the delicate crumbs of the chiffon cake.

The cake was finished off with cream cheese frosting sweetened with melted white chocolate that provided the perfect amount of sweetness. And finally, it was adorned with toasted almond slices and some more fresh berries on top that I bought from the farmer's market that same morning.

The cake was a big hit! I was so touched when Fay commented that it was the best cake she ever had and when I saw Jacob finish his generously sized slice claiming that he is not a dessert person. And of course, the birthday boy enjoyed the cake too - he devoured the last piece we saved the very next day!

I wanted to post some pictures I took during the dinner but unfortunately, I've misplaced my small camera that I took photos with. Hopefully it will show up somewhere soon!