Gourmet Baked Goods

http://citrusspicebakery.com (801) 923-4117 citrusspicebakery@gmail.com

Custom wedding and party cakes, cupcakes, sugar cookies, and French macarons.

All my products are made to be the most delicious you've ever eaten! Painstakingly tested recipes, innovative baking techniques, and the very best ingredients set them apart. Premium chocolates, Madagascar vanilla beans, real butter, fresh fruit, and premium toasted nuts.

Everything I make is from scratch, including my fondant, sugar paste and modeling chocolate.

Thursday, April 25, 2013

Summertime Anniversary Cake

It's my dad and step-mom's 11th anniversary, so I made them an anniversary mini cake with cupcakes!  They had heard about my strawberry champagne cake, and were interested to try it, so that's what I made for them.

My step-mom loves flowers of all kinds, so I decided to decorate the cake and cupcakes with modeling chocolate sunflowers.  Happy Anniversary!

Chocolate Cherry Cupcakes

These are moist, rich chocolate cupcakes, filled with minced cherry pie filling, and topped with vanilla bean cream cheese frosting and chocolate French buttercream, with little modeling chocolate blossoms on top.  They are so delicious!

Chocolate Macarons

I met a woman the other day who was dating a man who'd lived in France for a while.  He was always raving about the macarons he'd eaten in France, and she was excited to find out that I knew how to make them!  It happened to be his birthday this week, so she ordered a batch of chocolate macarons.

These have a chocolate almond meringue shell filled with chocolate French buttercream.

Champagne and Roses Cake

A co-worker of my husbands heard about the strawberry champagne cake I had made for the bridal tasting, and wanted to try it for herself, so she ordered a small one.

I decided to do a buttercream rose piping technique on the outside of the cake, and then made some modeling chocolate "ribbon" roses to go on top.

Bridal Tasting

I had a fun tasting with a bride and groom client this week.  I made three tasting cakes for them to try: strawberry champagne cake, lemon cake with raspberry buttercream, and vanilla almond cupcakes with salted caramel buttercream.

The bride and groom wanted a 2-tiered wedding cake with matching cupcakes, and I also did a fondant covering and a buttercream finish, so they could see and taste the difference.  It was a really fun and delicious tasting, and I'm so excited to be making their wedding cake!

Strawberry Cupcakes

If you search around for "strawberry cake" on the internet, you will find a lot of recipes advising you to use "strawberry flavoring" or a box of strawberry jello in your cake mix.  I have used these tricks, and they do taste good, but it's a fake strawberry flavor.  I wanted to create a cake that really had the essence of true fresh strawberry flavor.  I cooked strawberries briefly to release the juices, and then squeezed the solids in a fine mesh strainer to get out as much juice as I could.  I cooked this juice down to half its starting volume, and used the concentrated strawberry syrup in the cake batter, and also in the buttercream.  I also put some of the strawberry solids in the buttercream, for delicious, juicy bits of real berry in every bite.  The result is cake and buttercream that truly taste like real, fresh strawberries!

Sugar and Chocolate Flowers

One of my favorite parts of decorating is sculpting flowers out of sugar paste and modeling chocolate.  They can look so lifelike, or be fun and whimsical.

These flowers are made out of sugar paste.  Every petal, center, and leaf is hand-shaped.  The sugar paste dries hard, and these will last forever.  Brides who get sugar paste flowers on their cakes can keep them forever to remember their special day.

This hibiscus is made out of white modeling chocolate.  It smells and tastes delicious, and looks completely life-like.  

Friday, April 12, 2013

Neapolitan Cake

A good friend of mine from college ordered a neapolitan cake for her daughters. One of her daughters is having a birthday, and the other is celebrating going officially into remission from the leukemia she was diagnosed with last year. I have watched in awe of my friend and her daughter as they've gone through these difficult times. I thought they deserved an extra special cake, so instead of the normal sized plain neapolitan that was ordered, I made this tiered version with ganache glaze and modeling chocolate daisies.

The two tiers each have six layers of chocolate, strawberry, and vanilla cake!

Then each tier is frosted with strawberry Swiss meringue buttercream, and glazed with chocolate ganache.

Finally, I assembled the tiers and added the daisies. I can't wait to see the looks on their faces when they see their cake!

Tiniest Cake Ever

When I was talking to my sister-in-law about her new baby, I learned that it was her oldest daughter's birthday, but due to having her new baby a couple of weeks early, they hadn't prepared for her birthday. I had already made Claryssa's cake (see previous post), so I quickly whipped up a mini 4-inch personal size cake just for Maddi. It's a chocolate cake with chocolate buttercream, piped in ruffles, and a fun little modeling chocolate flower perched on the side.

Welcome Claryssa!

My sister-in-law, Stephanie, had a new baby girl! I made them this chocolate salted caramel cake to celebrate. It has three layers of chocolate cake, filled with caramel Swiss meringue buttercream, caramel drizzle, and sea salt. The cake is covered in homemade vanilla fondant and decorated with modeling chocolate hearts, ribbon, and bow.

I used my brother-in-law's facebook post, announcing their new daughter, Clarissa, to verify the spelling for the cake. When I gave them the cake, I was told that he had spelled it wrong on facebook, so it was also wrong on the cake! In any case, she is adorable! Welcome to the world, Claryssa!

Salted Caramel Cupcakes

I love chocolate and caramel. They were meant to be together! These were made for my youngest daughter's music class. Rich, moist chocolate cupcakes frosted with caramel French buttercream  drizzled with caramel, and then sprinkled with just a bit of coarse sea salt. 

The sea salt adds a crunch now and then that awakens the taste buds and brings the flavors to new levels. 

Frosted Sugar Cookies

A friend of mine has had a rough time in her life lately. I know she LOVES soft frosted sugar cookies, so I baked her up a batch. The cookies are thick and soft, and not too sweet, with lots of sweet whipped vanilla buttercream. I made some sweet blossoms out of modeling chocolate and added them on top.

Whipped American Buttercream
frosts 24 cookies

2 sticks unsalted butter, room temperature
2 cups powdered sugar
1 tsp vanilla extract
pinch salt
1 tablespoon heavy cream
food dye, as desired

Place butter in your mixer bowl with the paddle attachment. Beat on medium high for 3 minutes. Add powdered sugar and salt and beat on low until combined, them increase to medium high and beat 3 minutes more. Add cream, vanilla, and food dye if using, and beat on medium until combined. Store covered at room temperature up to 2 hours before using.

Pigs in the Mud Cake

My friend asked me if I could sculpt some pigs for her, to recreate a "pigs in the mud" cake that's been circling around the internet. I made them out of modeling chocolate, and thought they were so cute, I made a second set of pigs to put on my step-dad's birthday cake that weekend. The original cake was chocolate, but my step-dad does't care for chocolate. He loves peanut butter, though, so I made him a vanilla cake with raspberry jam and peanut butter Swiss meringue buttercream.

Mini Lemon Meringue Pies

These mini lemon meringue pies are so fun and delicious! Crisp shortbread crust, tangy lemon custard filling, and a toasted marshmallow meringue topping. I don't care for traditional raw meringue, as it tends to get weepy and slimy over time. I made a cooked swiss meringue instead, and used my awesome blow torch to toast the outside. The resulting meringue tastes mildly of toasted marshmallows, and never gets weepy or slimy.

Swiss Meringue

4 large egg whites
1 cup granulated sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
pinch salt

Place all the ingredients in the metal bowl of your stand mixer and place the bowl over a saucepan with an inch of simmering water. Whisk constantly until the sugar is dissolved and mixture reaches 160 degrees. (I like to use a laser gun thermometer for this.) Place mixer bowl in the mixer and whip on hih speed with the wire whip attachment 7 minutes. You should have a shiny, billowy meringue thatnholds stiff peaks. Spoon and spread the meringue onto a 9-inch lemon curd filled tart shell, or put it in a piping bag with a 1M star tip and pipe swirls onto mini lemon curd tarts. Use a torch to carefully brown the meringue.

Monday, April 1, 2013

Nemo Cake!

My youngest daughter turned 2 this week, and she requested a Nemo cake.

This cake had an 8-inch tier and a 6-inch tier.  Each tier had four layers of strawberry cake with strawberry French buttercream.  I frosted the outsides in chocolate ganache, and then covered them with homemade vanilla fondant, colored blue.  I made the decorations out of modeling chocolate.  I was very impressed with how well modeling chocolate took color.  I was able to get very bright, vibrant colors with just tiny amounts of food coloring.  Best of all, the decorations tasted delicious!

Modeling Chocolate Rose

I had some fun this week, making modeling chocolate for the first time.  Modeling chocolate is made by melting chocolate, and then stirring in corn syrup.  The moisture in the corn syrup "seizes" the chocolate, turning it into a dough that you can color and shape, a lot like fondant or gumpaste, except it is not at all stretchy.  It softens with the warmth of your hands, so you can get it really nice and thin, and make delicate decorations and flowers with it.  They harden back up to chocolate consistency as they cool, and taste delicious!  For my first modeling chocolate project, I made a white chocolate rose:

Petits Fours

A friend of mine needed some petits fours for a wedding, and asked me if I could do them.  I had not actually made petits fours before, but I knew how (theoretically) from my baking books.  So, I made up a test batch and brought them to her for judgement!

Petits fours are made with multiple thin layers of white or vanilla sponge cake, with jam between the layers, and are usually topped with a thin coating or marzipan, and then covered with poured fondant, which is mixture of corn syrup and powdered sugar, which you heat over a double boiler until it's a thin enough consistency to spoon over the little cakes.  When it cools, it hardens into a crust.

I added little gumpaste butterflies for extra fun.  The problem with poured fondant, is, in my opinion, it tastes bad.  It's corn syrup and powdered sugar - it's insanely sweet, and I felt that it overwhelmed the flavor of the cake and filling inside.  One of the main things that I don't like in the cake industry is sacrificing flavor for looks, so if I can make something taste better, I will always choose that route.

So, what I chose to do with the rest of the petits fours I made, was to dip them in tempered white chocolate.  I dyed it a light blue, to keep with the decoration theme I had done with the poured fondant.  These were very delicious.  I use a high quality white chocolate, and the flavor is really delicious.  If you think you don't like white chocolate, you have probably never had good quality - in fact, you may have never eaten real white chocolate at all.  The majority of the "white chocolate" sold in stores is not actually white chocolate.  If you look on the packages, they do not actually say "chocolate" anywhere on them - which means they are not made with cocoa butter.  In any case, get your hands on some real white chocolate and give it a try.  The mild flavor of the white chocolate went very well with the cake and the raspberry jam - a vast improvement over the poured fondant.

Lavender and Rose Macarons 2

A friend of mine happened to be having a Paris themed baby shower this week, and I thought it was a perfect opportunity to make more lavender and rose macarons for the event!

This time, I made vanilla bean macaron shells and paired them with a honey and lavender French buttercream.  They were quite unique and delicious!  When you bite into them, you smell and taste the lavender first, a hint of sweet spicy floral.  Then, the honey comes in with its sweet warmth.  The flavors mingle and trade off as you eat.

For the rose macarons, I made vanilla shells, colored light pink, and paired them with a raspberry and rose French buttercream.  The sweet floral rose went perfectly with the sweet tart raspberry.

Here's a picture of both flavors in better light, so you can see their beautiful colors.  I could not decide which flavor I liked best.

Lavender and Rose Macarons 1

Although I have made many French macarons, I have kept to "American" flavors - chocolate, vanilla, raspberry, etc. I haven't delved into more French types of flavors, such as lavender and rose.  So, while I was at the store, I picked up some rose water and lavender oil to try them out.

I paired the lavender and rose macaron shells with vanilla bean French buttercream.  It was fun to try these exotic flavors!

Fresh Fruit Tart

Spring is here, which means berries are showing up again! To me, nothing is more delicious than a cool, creamy fruit tart.

A crisp, buttery shortbread crust, filled with cool, creamy French vanilla pastry cream, and topped with delicious sweet-tart fresh berries.