Saturday, May 17, 2014

Still cold, but the kitchen is warm

It's May 16, and it snowed in downtown Chicago today. I shivered in my home office all day. To keep warm, I thought about baking.

Mmmm. I love to bake. I love to create in sugar and pastry - it's my happy place. Maybe I'll share some of those creations with you over the next few weeks - kind of a cake-y nostalgia.

Sweet Goodbye Cake (2014)
This is an enormous cake -- a double layer half-sheet (12 x 18 inches) in a classic yellow vanilla cake. The cake is filled with strawberry buttercream -- Swiss meringue buttercream blended with strawberry jam, which turned out to be a big hit at the retirement party.

The frosting is a base layer of Swiss buttercream, with decorations in a classic American (read: Wilton) decorator's buttercream. I wanted a spring theme, so there are poseys with leaves, stems and accent dots, using blue, pink, violet, green and yellow. The poseys are made using drop flower tips.

The Sweet Goodbye cake was so heavy, we used a cart to move it into the building (because I know I would have dropped it!). It was well-received, which makes it all worthwhile.

Bonus - Cupcakes!
I always over-make my frosting, just to be safe. What do to do with it? We have a small refrigerator, so storing six colors of frosting for any length of time is out of the question. I know! Cupcakes!

I actually used a mix for the cupcakes in the interest of time. Note there are 23 cupcakes. My mother asked who the cupcake thief was, and I answered, "Betty Crocker." Previously, the box held 18 ounces of mix; now it holds 15, which makes fewer, smaller cupcakes.

Anyway, I was very popular at work the next day!

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