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.

Saturday, June 29, 2013

Piña Colada Cake

I got an order for a pineapple and coconut cake this week. I was excited, because I had seen an article on Martha Stewart weddings about making flowers with slices of dried pineapple, and I'd been waiting for an opportunity to try it out!

The pineapple flowers came put beautifully, and they taste really delicious, too! 

The cake has 4 layers of fluffy coconut cake, with homemade pineapple curd between layers, and frosted with coconut Swiss meringue buttercream.

I made just a bit of extra batter, too... I definitely wanted to try this delicious combination!

Dried Pineapple Flowers
adapted from Martha Stewart Weddings

1 large pineapple

Heat oven to 225 and line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Cut the top off the pineapple and then cut off the peel. Use a small melon baller to remove the "eyes." Use a serrated knife to cut 8 slices as thin as possible. Arrange them on the baking sheet and bake 3-4 hours, until they look very dry and are starting to turn golden brown on the edges. Flip them over and bake 30 more minutes. Remove the slices from the baking sheet and press them into the cups of a muffin tin, to give them a flower shape. Let them cool completely. 

Chocolate Sugar Cookies

I tested a new recipe this week, for chocolate rolled sugar cookies. I am very pleased with the result - they came out delicious! 

I topped them with modeling chocolate and edible lace! 

I also frosted some with whipped American buttercream. These looks o beautiful and romantic!

Chocolate Roses Cake

A very good friend of mine had her birthday this week, so I made her a special cake.

I made a modeling chocolate rose to go on it. 

It has 4 layers of chocolate cake with salted caramel Swiss meringue buttercream, and chocolate piping, a modeling chocolate bow, and edible lace border. I really love being able to make beautiful and delicious gifts for my family and friends!

Ninja Turtles Cake

When I was young, we would visit my dad on the weekends, and he would take us to see the latest kids' movies. One of my favorites was Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, so when I got this week's order for a Ninja Turtles cake, I was thrilled!

I knew I had to include pizza - the turtles' favorite food, with absolutely no anchovies! I made the pizza out of modeling chocolate, and even grated a small piece of white modeling chocolate to create the "cheese."

I also made an authentic New York sewer grate, and of course the four turtles! Double awesome points if you can name all four!

The cake layers were lime - bright green turtle color, with homemade lime curd filling and lime Swiss meringue buttercream. Then I covered the cake in homemade vanilla fondant and impressed and hand painted a turtle shell design. 

It was so fun to make this cake! Now I need a He-Man and She-Ra order... anyone??

Monday, June 24, 2013

Craftsy Class Review

There's a really neat online school, called Craftsy, with classes on everything from cake decorating to spinning your own wool! I have taken most of the cake decorating classes on there. There are a few free classes, including a new one, Basic Fondant Techniques.

A fellow cake decorator and blogger in Richmond, Virginia, Kara of A Cake to Remember has done reviews of all the Craftsy cake classes and today I am featured on her blog in a guest post, reviewing Basic Fondant Techniques. Hop on over and check it out!

Friday, June 21, 2013

Official Website!

I now have an official website for people to place orders! I will continue this blog to share my cakes and recipes. So, go check out the site and the new easy way to order with the forms on each page!


Tuesday, June 18, 2013

Chocolate Lace and Roses Wedding Cake

I got to use a fun new toy this week - a SugarVeil confectionery mat.

This is how you make edible lace!  You make up the SugarVeil icing mix and spread it onto one of their silicone lace mats.  It dries in a few hours, and you can carefully peel it off and stick it on a cake!

This cake was chocolate with salted caramel buttercream, glazed with chocolate ganache, wrapped in the SugarVeil lace, and then topped with hand sculpted sugar paste roses and leaves.  I'm quite pleased with this product!


Lemon Blueberry Wedding Cake

I got to make this cake for a friend of mine.  The cake was lemon with lemon Swiss meringue buttercream and fresh blueberries between the layers.  I covered it in homemade fondant and added hand-painted grass swirls.  The flowers I sculpted out of modeling chocolate.

I had a little bit of extra batter and buttercream, so I made these cupcakes to sample.

The lemon buttercream is made using lemon curd.  Lemon curd is so delicious!  I use it in a shortbread tart shell for lemon tarts, or injected into cupcakes, as I did here.  It's also wonderful with cubed pound cake, berries, and whipped cream as a trifle.

Lemon Curd
1 cup (8 ounces) fresh squeezed lemon juice
8 ounces egg yolk (from about 10-12 eggs)
1 1/4 cups (8 ounces) sugar
pinch of kosher salt
1 1/2 Tablespoons lemon zest

Bring the lemon juice to a simmer in a medium pot.

Meanwhile, whisk together the yolks, sugar, and salt. When the lemon juice begins to bubble, being whisking some into the yolk, about 2 ounces at a time. Once the yolks are lemony and warm, pour them into the pot and cook on medium low heat, stirring constantly with a heat resistant spatula, until the curd has a thick, pudding-like consistency (about 165°).

Strain into the bowl of a stand mixer, discarding any bits that remain. Add the lemon zest and, with the paddle attachment, stir on low 5 minutes, until the curd has cooled to lukewarm.

Pour into a bowl, cover with plastic wrap flush on the surface of the curd, and refrigerate up to one week.

Raspberry Lemon Macarons

My own father requested French macarons for Father's day.  They are so fun to eat, with their slightly crisp crust covering a soft, cake-like interior, and then the creamy buttercream in the middle.

I chose raspberry shells and filled them with lemon Swiss meringue buttercream.  Sweet, tangy, and delicious!

Lemon Swiss Meringue Buttercream

4 large egg whites
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 cup (7 ounces) granulated sugar
pinch salt
4 sticks (16 ounces) unsalted butter, soft, cut into 16 pieces

1/2 cup lemon curd

Place egg whites, vanilla, sugar, and salt in the bowl of your stand mixer and gently whisk over simmering water until sugar dissolves and mixture is 150 degrees, about 3-5 minutes. Place bowl on mixer and whip on high speed 7 minutes. Scrape down bowl. On medium speed, add butter 1 piece at a time, counting 10 seconds between additions. Mixture may look curdled. Increase speed to high and whip until it smooths out. Add the lemon curd and beat until fully incorporated.

Oreo Cake

This may be the most delicious cake I've ever made... if you love chocolate, that is!

Chocolate cake layers with oreo French buttercream, a chocolate ganache glaze, and more oreos on top!  My sister requested this cake for her father-in-law for father's day.

Oreo French Buttercream
8 egg yolks
1 cup sugar
pinch salt
1 tsp vanilla extract
4 sticks unsalted butter, softened
12 whole oreo cookies (with the creme intact), processed into crumbs in a food processor

Place the egg yolks, sugar, salt, and vanilla in the bowl of your stand mixer and set it over a saucepan with an inch of simmering water.  Whisk until the temperature reaches 150F. All the sugar should be dissolved.  Place the mixer on its stand and whip on high speed for 7 minutes until cooled to room temperature.  Mixture will be much paler in color and very light and fluffy.  On medium speed, add the butter 1/2 stick at a time.  Increase speed to medium high and whip until smooth.  Add the oreo crumbs and mix just until combined.

Cherries and Blueberries Tarts

In my family, the favorite dessert is my fruit tart.  It is hard to beat, that's for sure!  The crisp, shortbread crust combined with the cool, creamy vanilla bean pastry cream and the fresh, tart fruit is an amazing combination of textures and flavors!  I made a fruit tart for Father's day for my step-dad this week.  One of my favorite parts is making mini fruit tarts with the dough scraps that are left after trimming the dough on the main tart.

I went with cherries and blueberries for these tarts, since they are in season, which means they are at their best!

To make a fruit tart, you will need 1 baked and cooled tart shell
1 recipe vanilla bean pastry cream, chilled
1 pint each of 2 or 3 fresh berries

Spread the pastry cream in the tart shell and top with the berries.  Refrigerate until ready to serve.

Monday, June 10, 2013

High Heel Cookies

I got to do one of the cutest projects this week!

These are soft vanilla sugar cookies, covered with modeling chocolate, and decorated with piped royal icing flowers.

Here they are all bagged for delivery!

Modeling Chocolate
16 ounces white candy coating (such as "almond bark" or Wilton candy melts)
3.5 ounces (by weight) corn syrup
gel food coloring

Place the candy coating in a medium bowl and microwave 1 minute. Stir and microwave in 15 second intervals, stirring between, until melted.  Add the corn syrup and fold in with a spatula until it makes a ball of soft dough.  Spread the dough 1/4 inch thick onto a piece of plastic wrap and let cool 1 hour.  Knead until you have a smooth ball of dough.  Color with food coloring gels as desired. Store wrapped in plastic wrap and then sealed in a sandwich bag at room temperature for 1 month.

S'mores Cupcakes

I've had this idea for cupcakes in my head for a while. I made chocolate cupcakes and frosted them with homemade marshmallow topping. Then, the most fun part, using my torch to toast the marshmallow! Then I dipped some graham cracker squares in chocolate and stuck them in. These were so delicious! Homemade marshmallow is a truly wonderful thing.

Marshmallow Meringue

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

Place all ingredients in the bowl of your stand mixer and place bowl over a pot with an inch of simmering water. Whisk constantly until sugar is dissolved and mixture is 160F. Place the mixing bowl on the stand and whip on high speed for 7 minutes until you have a billowy, sticky meringue. Scoop meringue into a piping bag with a 1M star tip amd pipe onto cupcakes. Use a kitchen torch to carefully toast the meringue.

Sugar Roses

I made some sugar roses for an upcoming wedding cake. I just love how beautiful they are, even if they take a long time to make!

Orchid Wedding Cake

I got to make this beautiful orchid wedding cake this week.

I made the decorations out of sugar paste: river rocks, orchids, and some looped leaves.

Each tier had 4 layers of white cake, filled with French vanilla buttercream and mini ghirardelli chocolate chips. Then the tiers were frosted with white chocolate ganache, and covered in homemade vanilla fondant.

Homemade Sugar Paste
4 Large Egg Whites
2 lb. bag 10x powdered sugar
1/4 cup tylose powder
4  Teaspoons shortening 

1. Place the egg whites in a Kitchen Aid mixer bowl, fitted with the flat paddle.

2. Turn the mixer on high speed for 10 seconds to break up the egg whites.

3. Reserve 1 cup of the powdered sugar and set aside.

4. Turn the mixer to the lowest speed, slowly add the remaining sugar. This will make a soft consistency royal icing.

5. Turn up the speed to setting 3 or 4 for about two minutes. 
During this time measure off the Tylose into a small container.

6. Make sure the mixture is at the soft-peak stage. It should look shiny, like meringue and the peaks fall over. (If coloring the entire batch, add the paste color at this stage, making it a shade darker than the desired color.)

7. Turn the mixer to the slow setting and sprinkle the Tylose in over a 5 second time period. Next, turn the speed up to the high setting for a few seconds. (This will thicken the mixture.)

8. Scrape the mixture out of the bowl onto a work surface that has been sprinkled with some of the reserved 1 cup of powdered sugar. Place the shortening on your hands and knead the paste, adding enough of the reserved powdered sugar to form a soft but not sticky dough. You can check by pinching with your fingers and they should come away clean. Place the finished paste in a 
zip-top bag, then place the bagged paste in a second bag and seal well.

9. Place in the refrigerator for 24 hours if possible before using to mature the paste.

10. Before use, remove from refrigerator and allow the paste to come to room temperature. Take a small amount of shortening on the end of your finger and knead this into the paste. If you are coloring the paste, add the paste color at this stage.

11. Always store the paste in the zip-top bags and return to the refrigerator when you are not using the paste. Will keep under refrigeration for approximately 6 months. You can keep the paste longer by freezing. Be sure to use zip-top freezer bags. If you will be freezing a batch of paste, allow it to mature for 24 hours in the refrigerator first before placing into the freezer. The paste can be kept in the freezer for several years with no problems.

Monday, June 3, 2013

Why I Run My Bakery the Way I Do

I bake my cakes from home, amd there are quite a few bakers who do this, but I do things a little differently than most.

I am licensed and inspected. My business is legal. I have food handler's training and a permit, and I follow correct procedures when preparing and serving my cakes. This is very important to me. Think about fondant in larticulat, which is a very popular product in wedding cakes right now. Fondant has to be kneaded to plyability and then rolled out before lifting and draping over the cake, where it is then smoothed down. As per health code rules, I keep my hair tied back, wear foodservice gloves, and roll using a food grade silicone mat and roller, which get santized between uses. Fondant does not get cooked or heated, so if a baker uses their ungloved hands and kneads/ rolls theri fondant on a pourous countertop surface that may not be disinfected, anything on there will get into the fondant, and onto the cake. Put it this way: if you went to a restaurant and the chef came out, picked up your chicken with his bare hands, and squished it around a bit, then rolled it back and forth over the counter, would you still eat it?

I make my own homemade everything. I don't like chemicals and preservatives in my own food, and I don't want my clients to eat them either! Commercial sugar pastes and fondant contain chemical preservatives, and even "homemade" marshmallow fondant is made with store-bought marshmallows, which contain chemicals as well. Cake mixes contain proplene glycol (among other things), a softening agent also used (for obvious reasons) in laxatives. Ew. I don't even use bleached flour in my cakes. 100% real, natural flavors and ingredients. I also strive to get local ingredients as much as possible. I use local eggs, local flour, local fruits... baking this way is both more delicious and better for our bodies and the environment. My recipes also use less sugar than is found in commercially prepared cakes or mix cakes. Extra sugar helps keep those commercial cakes shelf stable for a freakishly long time, and also covers up chemical flavors and lack of actual real flavor. With less sugar, the complex flavors of the real vanilla beans, fresh homemade fruit reductions, premium chocolates and real butter can shine through in my cakes.

I make beautiful sugar paste flowers. Real flowers are beautiful, of course, but not many are actually food safe. The flowers may be poisonous themselves, and they also may have pesticides on them, dirt, bugs, or chemical sprays used by florists to keep them looking fresh longer. None of these things should ever touch cake. My sugar paste flowers are both beautiful and food safe, and can also be kept as a memento of your occasion. Sugar paste has no flavor other than "sweet," so although you can eat it, it's not really yummy. I also make modeling chocolate flowers, which are yummy to eat, although it cannot be used to make as delicate and lifelike of flowers as sugar paste can.

I take great care and pride in the crafting of my cakes. It is a passion of mine to make them promarily the most delicious cake you will ever eat, and also beautiful to look at.

Well, that's my soapbox, thanks for listening!

Sunday, June 2, 2013

Hibiscus Wedding Cake

This weekend I got to make a really fun wedding cake.

This was a strawberries and champagne cake covered in my homemade vanilla fondant.  Each hibiscus flower was hand cut and placed on the cake.  The bamboo borders were hand sculpted out of fondant and painted with food dye.  

The wedding couple also had cupcakes to go with their wedding cake; 2 dozen each of four flavors: chocolate peppermint, chocolate peanut butter, vanilla raspberry, and vanilla salted caramel.  I hand sculpted the blossoms on top out of modeling chocolate, with silver sugar dragees for the centers.

I love knowing that my cakes are part of someone's special day, and that the guests will be able to enjoy a truly delicious and unique dessert.