Sunday, November 30, 2008

The Choklit Shop

Call me Pop Tate Sung. We never learned much about Pop Tate in the Archie comics, did we? I can't remember a single personal story line for the poor old guy who slaved away at his malt shop serving punky teenagers banana splits and milkshakes. Who was this guy? Did he have a family? Or was Jughead and freckly Archie his "family?" I just googled him and apparently his real name was Terry. Terry Tate, heehee! My sisters and I were obsessed with Archie comics when we were kids. Every time we'd go out with my Grandparents we'd get to buy one, and our collection grew to taking over an entire bookshelf. Recently I picked up a copy of an Archie and Archie was all hip-hopped out and he was drawn to be more attractive-looking. Booo!!! Bring back ugly freckly red-headed, kind-hearted doofus Archie!

Er... pictured here: dark chocolate minis with chocolate ganache buttercream, decked out in red foil and silver dragees for a 20's themed party. The larger brothers are the same flavour but with choco-chips as decoration...

Friday, November 28, 2008

Pink Berry Goods, And A Debate...

Did you know I also instruct Digital Arts to kids? We do fun projects such as mixed media collage, animation... all done on the computer, holy smokes. Those kids are smart, and too cute. For our last day of class, I made Berry Good for them as a treat... !

For the last two cupcakes, I decided to try making a mountain of buttercream frosting on top, just like I've seen on other cupcake proprietor's sites, and on various pics online (and in shops). I'm always looking to perfect the right balance between frosting and cake-- is Mountain 'O Frosting the way to go, I wondered?

Taste Test: both my husband and I felt it was TOO MUCH FROSTING! My goodness. All I could taste was the buttercream, while albeit delicious, I was like, where was the delicate soft and yummy blackberry/raspberry puree-swirled-in-vanilla-cake Berry Good? Where had it gone?? So, while I think a mountain of frosting all swirled up like a perfect soft-serve ice cream cone looks truly amazing, I think for ratio's sake, less could be more. Although, some people LOOOOVEE frosting and like to eat it with a spoon. Curious, curious. Nonetheless, I will continue to make my Coco Cakes with what I believe to be a splendid and pleasant ratio of frosting to cake.

Pictures are of Pink Berry Goods, and 1 insane-in-the-membrane Mountain Frosting vanilla buttercream Berry Good, and my ridiculously cute and cool Computer Arts kids with their Coco Cake cupcakes!

Thursday, November 27, 2008

Lee Mon Gai

Sometimes when our family goes to our usual Chinese restaurant we're not in the mood for fish and tofu on rice, or Chinese mushroom and gai lan. Sometimes we wanna go old-school Chinese-Canadian food, the kind you'd find on a plastic dish if you happened through, say, Ladysmith, British Columbia, and went to the only Chinese restaurant in town (that also sells bacon and egg breakfast for $3.99). I'm talkin' LEE MON GAI, also known as, Lemon Chicken, also known as: deep fried chicken smothered in bright yellow sweet lemon sauce. Ho-sik-lah!! Very good taste!

What does this have to do with cupcakes? Not a heck of a lot. Except for the fact that I made a very delicious batch of LEMON LOVE recently for a customer and the whole time I was making it I kept singing a little song: "LEE MON GAI, LEE MON GAI..." actually when you repeat something over and over can it really be considered a song?

So yes, let's talk about LEMON LOVE. Fragrant and perfect soft from-scratch lemon cake, topped with lemon creamcheese frosting and a sweet little accoutrement. A little bite of lemon heaven.

The other cupcake picture is of two dozen mini dark chocolates with vanilla buttercream that I made for my good friend Toni, a real decorative party-mix for her to take on her last day of class! Sorry, not the best pic because I couldn't use natural light... night-time!

The final pic is of me and my little nephew Brody at said Chinese restaurant; he is looking up at me likely because I am singing some sort of weird song.

"Lee mon gai, lee mon gai... Everybody loves to eat lee mon gai..."

Sunday, November 23, 2008

Part-ay! Cupcake Part-ay!

Sing it to the tune of "pizza party." Is that actually a song or is it just what we sing when we're getting late night pizza after a night out??

A busy cupcakeian weekend for Coco Cake and its sole proprietor, L.Sung. Chocolate ganache dark chocolate cupcakes in a mix of minis and majors as a present for my Auntie; Coconut Dream cupcakes with creamcheese frosting and those cute little stripey liners for a dinner party--- (these crack me up because they look so cartoonish)... and a lovely batch of Berry Good for a birthday, with requested two tone frosting and whimsical design.

chocolate ganache buddies with a mix of designs--
"don't mess with our gang!"
all snuggled up in their box
cartoonish Coconut Dreams with creamcheese frosting...!
Ready to go off to their party...
Pink and green vanilla buttercream atop Berry Good! Kawaii!
Light green buttercream and a little yellow fondant flower
"Bye Coco Cake headquarters! We're off to our special occasion!!"

Friday, November 21, 2008

Bacon, Persimmon, Numbers

What do these have in common? They were all part of Coco Cake's Friday baking party, starring Coco Cake and a lone but happy Chinese Canadian baker. Two special requests for two separate orders:

1. To make a dozen dark chocolate cupcakes, but with three separate funny little decoratives: bacon, mini persimmons and chicken drumsticks, all made of fondant!

2. To make 3 dozen mini dark chocolate cupcakes with vanilla buttercream, as a thank-you from a children's art school to a communications firm, in very bright colors with fondant numbers to indicate the random numbers of a report.

Pretty fun Friday. I'm a one woman baking robot. With a heart. I'm basically the Chinese (female) Wall-E wearing a vintage apron.

Thursday, November 20, 2008

Miniature Things

Those mini cupcakes, they're wonderful little things, aren't they? A bite or two of moist and luscious cake with a creamy frosting chomp, and suddenly life ain't so bad. Here are some pics of some recent mini cupcakes, pink and blue for a baby shower and the world's CUTEST 4 year old at her Montessori birthday party presenting the minis like a tiny Asian Vanna White! I love seeing where Coco Cake ends up. Thanks for sending me pics of Hailey's bday Jessica! I died inside of cuteness.

Sunday, November 16, 2008

It's My Party, I'll Make A Cake If I Want To

Okay... so yes, it was my birthday yesterday!! And what better way to spend my day than to BAKE, BAKE BAKE! Hee hee! My fave thing is to listen to the wonderful This American Life podcast and do my baking thang.

So, for probably one year now I've been loving the hamburger cake, so much so that it inspired an entire birthday party theme: the Trompe L'oeil birthday party potluck, complete with prizes for the top four entries. So I decided... I will attempt to make the elusive and visually alluring hamburger cake! Well, not so elusive. A quick google will bring up many wonderful examples of this little guy.

For your viewing pleasure, I present the "making of" the hamburger cake... !

diagrams are often helpful to draw! so i started out with making a full recipe for vanilla coconut cake for the "buns" and a half recipe for dark chocolate cake for the "patty." i used 9 inch circular pans, letting everything cool of course before assembly!

so i made a "dam" of butercream, and i am going to fill it with ganache!

my cooled ganache-- i used coconut milk and dark chocolate chips.

my piping bags filled with three different colors of buttercream-- with different tips, one leaf tip for the lettuce, one small circle tip for the mustard and one big circle tip for the tomatoes/ketchup!

filling my first layer with ganache...

i plopped my patty on top of the first ganache layer, then did the same "dam" idea with the red ketchup/tomato icing.

next up: "accoutrements" -- mustard squigglies, "lettuce" piped on and more ketchup!! at this point i was giddy with excitement!

plop the top vanilla coconut layer on top, add some white non-pareil candy bits for sesame seeds... add a little party flag... and you have... HAMBURGER CAKE!!!

The burger cake was a real hit, and I was so happy it worked out with the ganache filling! Yummy happy burger birthday to me!

Friday, November 14, 2008

Unko Smoked Salmon Cupcakes + Friends

Sometimes, even when you do something for part of your living, such as baking boutique cupcakes, sometimes even you too might make a chocolate cupcake with vanilla frosting that looks like a swirled pile of smoked-salmon unko. Yes, even when you're practicing your decorating skills on a Friday night, you can make such a thing. But, you think to yourself, oh well. Yes, artists make mistakes and sometimes the best artists are able to fix their mistakes. Even ones that look like a very heightened pile of smoked salmon unko!!! So what I did was, I added a whole crapload (haha) of sprinkles.

But then, you also think, well hey, I also just made some rather cute Coco Choco Vanilla minis, each with an Elizabethan-collar-style light pink ruffle, like haute couture Philip Treacy-raspberry-hat-topped guards standing outside of Fashion Cupcake's villa. So you think, hey. Not too shabby. And you find the comedy in the smoked salmon unko cupcake, and then when your husband comes home from work he takes a huge bite out of it anyway!!

Teddy Bear Cupcakes

What do you do when you have the cutest little rascal of a nephew? You make chocolate TEDDY BEAR CUPCAKES with peanut butter filling! I love my little nephew Brody! I made these for his six months birthday party (yep!)... and now I am devising what I will make for his 1st birthday... Kawaii!

The ears and face are vanilla wafers, with peanut butter frosting and chocolate chips for eyes and nose. A teeny bit of royal icing makes the mouths!

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Berry Good

The Coco Cake favorite "Berry Good" has been getting a lot of attention lately, likely because of its inherent Adorability+Rather Delicious factor. Raspberry/mixed berry puree and fresh berries swirled into yellow butter vanilla cake, topped with vanilla buttercream and a cute little berry on top! Berry cute, no? Berry popular too. I tried to take a better picture of the inside of an extra Berry Good but my husband had chomped it too quickly!

Also in the pics, Berry Good nestled in its nice white Coco Cake box, on its way to be delivered to a happy birthday girl. Glad you liked them Casey!

Knot bad. Berry good. Lettuce see. Pizazz! Just for the halibut!