Between my last post and this one, I've baked up another storm of tasty treats, a few of which are pictured here. First up are yummy s'mores cupcakes. Each of these little gems contains a graham cracker base, chocolate cupcake with a chocolate ganache center (recipe from Cook's Illustrated), and a fluffy icing that I torched with my handy-dandy propane torch. A word to the wise: cupcake papers are extremely flammable. Stick with the foil cups for this project. The final touch is a square of the ubiquitous Hershey's chocolate bar. Sometimes you just gotta stick with the traditional.
Up next is a coconut-lemon layer cake with Italian meringue icing, one of my favorite cakes. The flavors and textures marry so well and it's easy to decorate since the sides have toasted coconut to hide all the flaws.
Last, and in this case least, we have a cake on which I suffered an utter lack of artistic thought. I had really wanted to make a cherry blossom cake, very sparse, modern and clean, but I didn't have time to break out the gumpaste. So I just mixed up some lavender icing, put on a drop flower tip, and went to town. Luckily the people for whom I made it enjoyed the taste and weren't put off by the decorating, so all ended well. It was a vanilla cake with lemon curd filling and just a touch of raspberry between the layers. It too had an Italian meringue icing (gosh that stuff is addictive).
Not pictured are all the treats I made for our employee appreciation luncheon at work. I made a layer cake (kinda sorta an Italian Cream Cake), two kinds of cheesecakes, eclairs, and triple chocolate brownies. I did all of this in the midst of a bad cold/sinus infection from which I am still recuperating.
So after all of this baking I gave myself a baking vacation. I'm into week 2 of not baking anything. People are wondering if something is gravely wrong with me, but I just need a break. After I get over this nasty sinus crap I'm sure I'll be rarin' to go on another project.