Easter is for eating!
First thing’s first… I WANTED to work on making gum paste flowers last weekend, but I spent a week reeling with excitement after seeing my steak cake featured on Yummly. You probably already know about it b/c I spammed the crap out of everyone I knew to look @ the April Fool’s Yummly article showcasing cakes that looked like savory food =) I wouldn’t have known about it if my site didn’t send me emails to notify me regarding pingbacks and comments. I received an email just as I was packing up my stuff @ work on Thursday, March 29 to go meet Vin for dinner, and it said that some site had linked my steak post. I clicked the link and it took a couple minutes to register that I was looking @ a hugely popular food site and that third one down, right under Duff Goldman’s/Ace of Cake’s bag o’ bagels cake, was MY steak cake. Initial reaction: “Wait. *gasp* Is that–holy f*cking sh*t my cake! That’s my cake! Oh my God! AAAAAAAAHHHHHHH!!!!!” =D
The weekend came and I was still on a super giddy high about the cake feature. I had a couple baking orders for old coworker friends: one was for chocolate cupcakes with swirled pink and blue frosting for a relative’s birthday party (I threw in some hand piped rose minis for the hell of it); the other was for a red velvet cake with cream cheese for another friend’s birthday (actually on April Fool’s Day!) and I was just really happy to be able to see them in person and share the fun news. And I was honored some of my F&F gave me props on their Facebook pages and told their F&F about it. I was even kind of offered an assistant pastry chef position! Unfortunately, the pay doesn’t come close to my day job, so sadly, I had to pass on that. I was just thrilled and humbled to have this kind of recognition =)
This past weekend, Vin and I celebrated Easter with his family. It was a madhouse with the food and the babies all over the place and the weather was so nice… tons o’ fun in the sun on Sunday. I spent the last few weeks trying to decide WTF to make for dessert and nothing really special came to mind. My cousin T suggested I make a Peep cake but I wasn’t feeling the idea (or “fillin’ it” as they say on ABDC). The day before Easter rolled around and I was like, “I GUESS I’ll make macarons…?” Vin and I were out most of the day on Saturday on a photo excursion, and by the time we got home, we were pooped. I took a nap and didn’t start measuring the almond flour and weighing egg whites until… ohhhh… I don’t know… 130 am Saturday night/Sunday morning.
I saw some holiday dessert ideas and wanted to try making the macs in the shape of bunny rabbits. It got really annoying trying to pipe the ears because the more I handled the egg-almond-sugar mixture, the more “liquid” it became. My first attempts @ bunnies came out so much better than the blobular final attempts. After I while, I just gave up on piping bunny shapes and just made circles.
I put lighter colored tiny blobs on some of the circles so they’d look like fluffy rabbit tails. HOWEVER, they seemed to resemble other things, mostly b/c I wasn’t thinking @ 2 am and should have used food coloring to dye the mix another color. Seriously, I looked @ the tray after I took them out of the oven and there were rows of what looked like boobs and just thought, “… oh sh*t.” I was too tired to make more tails in another color so I just kept them anyway. And I’d like to keep my site relatively PG soooo… please keep your comments to yourselves about the baked bunny backsides. =D
Anyway, I was getting fed up with having to individually place all the sprinkles on the rabbit faces with tweezers and they’d either fall off or sink into the cookie, so I ended up with only a handful of rabbits. Vin asked if they were Asian Easter bunnies b/c he thought the top whiskers were eyes. haha (I JUST remembered I have eyeball sprinkles I could have used; they would look more freakish than cute though b/c the eyeballs are pretty big…) I used double chocolate frosting as the filling and sandwiched the salvageable bunny faces with the nipple-like tails and put them into the fridge so I wouldn’t have to look @ them.
For some reason, I wasn’t sure if this batch of macarons came out right and I was concerned they were overbaked (they ended up being perfectly fine; I just worry too much), so I decided to bring back up desserts if the macs were a complete flop. Remember the extra chocolate mini cupcakes I put in the freezer from the 1920s charity event that I said I’d save for a rainy day? I felt like it was practically pouring in my kitchen last night. I took out the rest of the mini chocolate cupcakes and the mini red velvet cupcakes left over from last week’s baking order and used the rest of the pink, blue, and cream cheese frosting to put different designs and swirls on each cupcake.
I did a basic swirl of blue for a bunch of them and thought it looked kinda “blah” and plain for Easter, so I mixed a little green frosting (blue –> green = easy!) and piped some leaves and tweezered on some edible beads to make them look more like springtime flowers. I piped pink frosting on the rest of the chocolate minis and started to place white sugar beds on them, but then I got sick of tweezing them on one by one so I left the rest. And the red velvet minis? I piped the cream cheese frosting on @ factory machine speed just so I could be done with all this and catch some Z’s. haha
Since special occasions call for special displays, I took brought my prized cake stands to Easter dinner (my precious–es…). One of my cousins gave me this beautiful light blue plate that had little birds on it and it was absolutely perfect for spring. I showcased the macaron bunnies and round cookies atop a cushion of festive yellow “grass”. The pink-chocolate mini cupcakes and the red velvet ones were stacked on my glass tiers, and the flower-like blue minis were placed on the white ceramic stand Vin’s mom gave me. After spending so much time on these, dessert was the last thing I wanted to look @, but I’m glad Vin’s fam liked them. The plate of macs I brought was practically empty by the end of dinner. I had some extra macaron cookies (I was extra critical and called them “rejects”) and decided to whip up some peanut butter frosting and use some leftover chocolate icing. The result? Reese’s macs. They were oh-so-tasty and I had quite a few leftover (I can only forcefeed Vin so much dessert) so I brought them in for my new work buddies. It was a win-win situation for all; I got my fridge space back and people are now obligated to be nice to me when I audit them b/c I gave them delicious baked goods. (Juuuuust kidding!) =D
But yeah, next Easter I think I should just make a basic Peep cake so I can actually get some sleep before the fun festivities. =)
**Vin took all the really nice pics… thanks baby! <3