Sunday, June 26, 2011

Summertime... Oh, summertime...

Finally, summer is here!!!!...

Coming from a very hot city {located in the northwest coast of Venezuela} I am used to very high temperatures, and Switzerland is not really what I would call... hot... ummmm... no, it isn't... however, we will always have summer up here!... {thank god} 

During summertime we spend our weekends swimming; having pick-nicks; hiking; hosting barbecue parties... the list goes on and on... and the treat that is always present in all of these fun activities is... ICE CREAM!

Ice cream really brings back so many memories of my childhood.  Every Sunday we would gather at my grandmother's home, and in the middle of the afternoon, there was a man with an ice cream trolley that would pass by the house, and we were entitled to have as much ice cream as we wanted!... that was heaven!... Then, as a teenager, I remember well that the best part of the weekend was joining my group of friends to go to the ice cream parlour of the moment, you know, the typical "place to be" back then... and again, we had to have some ICE CREAM!

Ice cream is like the ultimate treat for anybody, and that's what this post is all about... beautiful, sweet, summer-ish, and crispy ice cream....



...did I say... crispy????

Yep... Crispy ice cream cookies...Oh my... isn't that cute??

...milk, the best companion for a cookie, wouldn't you agree?? cream cookies with ice cream.... this combination should be illegal!!

Summer treats anyone??

Have a sweet and summery week!!

Sunday, June 19, 2011

Flowers and first times

Aren't first times always full of doubts, stress, and excitement?? ...all at the same time?? 

When I knew that we would be modelling roses with marzipan at Le Cordon Bleu, I exploded with excitement, mostly because modelling was not one of my strengths, so for me it meant that finally I was going to learn how to do it... and do it well!!

So, right after our demonstration, in which we learnt how to make a Dacquoise and decorate it with a marzipan rose, we rushed to the kitchen {as usually}, and started our preparation routine for the practical.  That day we had Chef Tranchant to guide us in the kitchen, he was a very tough Chef with a very "French" humor... {meaning, sometimes I didn't quite get his jokes...  d├ęsole Chef...}

As we were hesitantly experiencing with the marzipan, remembering how did the Chef make it in the demonstration, and even recalling how a rose should look like; Chef Tranchant would walk around the very long kitchen table repeating once and again: "remember... I want to see roses... not cabbages"... "let me see... hmmmm... that's a cabbage... START ALL OVER AGAIN!!" ....

I remember well how quiet the kitchen was once we got the hang of this modelling thing.  Nobody would say a word, we were so concentrated on our work ...I personally felt in the zone... and in the end, all the hard work was so worth it... we finally got roses... not cabbages!!

 Chef Tranchant, me & my rose...

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So, I wanted to include a flower in this week's project.   However, I decided not to work with marzipan {like I have done before}, but with sugarpaste...and this was the result... I hope you like it as much as I do!

Piping details...

...have a sweet week!!

Sunday, June 12, 2011

About angels & cookie monsters...

So this week's project involves angels and cookies... it couldn't go wrong, right? 

When I started learning the art of cookie decoration, I always had the tendency to use lots of color and lots of detail in the design of the cookies.  However, these days, I have found the beauty of simplicity... Sometimes you don't need much going on to get a beautiful result... and that's exactly what happened with these sweeties... wouldn't you agree???

Before showing you the final result, I kind of wanted you to see a step by step sequence of my way of decorating them... enjoy!

First, I piped the outline of the angel...

Then, I filled the center of each angel...

...let them dry...

When they were completely dry, I piped the outline again, and worked on the details.
Sometimes, I like the second ouline to be very fine; and other times, like this one, I feel like a thicker line gives a fluffier appearance to the design...

There's my angel...

"Me want cookie... me eat cookie... Om nom nom nom..."

It shouldn't be a surprise that my boys {who have grown up with the smell of freshly baked cookies, and just-out-of-the-oven cakes}, have developed a very, VERY sweet tooth.  They literally have an affair with sweets, and every now and then we like to joke saying that they are real Cookie Monsters... you know... the "me want cookie... me eat cookie..." from Sesame Street.  We even have created a timetable at home to establish the hours in which they are allowed to taste some of mommy's creations... and they look forward every single day for that glorious time to come! 

Yesterday, they could finally try this week's project, and they were over the moon to be even involved in the "photo shoot".  Normally, they see me preparing the "set" nearby the kitchen {where I have tons of light since there's a huge window}, and they would always ask: "mom, are you taking pictures of a cake?"  "can we help you?", and the answer would invariably be: "...of course, you can help me after I take the pictures, by telling me if the cake tastes good, ok?"... But yesterday, it was a different story, they actually helped me through the "photo shoot", and we all had so much fun!... I will be definitelly requiring their help more often!

Marco &, when can we eat the cookies?... Mom & Dad: in a few seconds... Marco & Manuel: like... now?... Mom & Dad: no, not exactly now... give us a moment... Marco & Manuel: what are we waiting for?... Dad: until I take a few test pictures... Manuel: Can we take just one?...  Marco: can we?... just one... can we?... Mom & Dad: ok... ok... go ahead!"

I think they approved the product...

...they were dying to do this...

Cutest Cookie Monsters ever, don't you think??? ...Have a sweet week!!!

Saturday, June 4, 2011

Let's talk ruffles!

When I think about ruffles, there are several images that come instantly to my mind... Some of them are...

But it definitely opened my eyes to a new world of possibilities when I was searching Martha Stewart's website, and came across this:

Oh my... I fell in love all over again with the cake world... this baby is just as gorgeous as it can be, not only girlie and cute, but show stopping beautiful.  I knew in the very moment I saw this picture, that I HAD to make it, and that's when this post begins... ENJOY!

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So, I started working on my pretty ruffles cake.  It was such a great fun to think of which pastel shade I would go for to decorate my cake, think about this poor woman that has two boys, who would only ask her to make superheroe cookies, star wars inspired cakes, and so on... yep.... ME!  So, it is a real treat to be working on a 100% girlie cake, with ruffles all over... cute, cute, cute... I am loving every second of it!

If you would like to give it a go {and I totally encourage you to!}, there is a great tutorial on you tube posted by Melody from Sweet & Saucy

I can't stop staring at it...

Let's dedicate a moment to ruffles... aren't they adorable???

This was a moist vanilla cake, covered with fluffy swiss meringue buttercream... you can't go wrong!

This is why I am passionate about cakes, the possibilities are endless, and inspiration comes from everywhere... hope you were inspired today!

Have a sweet and ruffly weekend!