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WELCOME!

This site is dedicated to sharing what we have learned with you! Enjoy our tutorials, and if you have a question please feel free to ask! I know one of our sugar enthusiasts will either know or try to find the answer.
We all have something to share...and we all have something to learn!
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Life's A Beach!

Life's A Beach!
Celebrate Summer by Creating a Beachy Topper! Click on photo for tutorial!


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Wednesday, December 4, 2013

Fudgy German Chocolate Cupcakes


My daughter-in-law wanted something really chocolaty for her birthday.  I came up with this decadent fudgy, chocolate, almost German chocolate cake for her.  It was soooooo good!  I was glad that I left all of them at their house, which is a two hour drive from my house!  

Sorry for not having step by step pics!  I was in such a hurry to get these done!!



Ingredients:

Make in this order:



Coconut-Pecan Filling:

1 cup sugar
1/2 cup butter
1 cup evaporated milk
1 teaspoon vanilla
3 egg yolks
1 1/3 cups flaked coconut + 1/2 for toasting
1 cup chopped pecans

Mix sugar, butter, milk, vanilla and egg yolks in a saucepan.  Cook over medium heat, stirring occasionally, until thick, about 12 minutes.  Stir in 1 1/3 cups coconut and pecans.  Stir for a little longer, cover with plastic wrap and set aside.

Toast the 1/2 cup coconut in a pan until it just starts getting browned.



Ganache Icing:

12 oz. semi-sweet chocolate chips
1 cup heavy whipping cream
3 tablespoons real butter

Place chocolate chips in a large bowl.  Heat heavy cream on medium high heat until it just comes to a boil.  Immediately pour over the chocolate chips and stir until it is mixed and glossy.  Allow to cool while you make the cupcakes.



Chocolate Cake:

2 cups granulated sugar
1 3/4 cups all-purpose flour
3/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder (I used half regular and half dark cocoa)
1 teaspoon salt
1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoons baking soda
2 large eggs, lightly beaten
1/2 cup oil
1 cup whole milk
1 cup boiling water


Position rack in center of the oven and preheat to 350 degrees F.  In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, combine the sugar, cocoa, salt, baking powder, and baking soda, mixing on low speed.  Mix in eggs, oil and milk.

Increase the speed to medium and beat for 2 minutes.  Reduce the speed to low and mix in water.  The batter will be soupy.  

Fill cupcake liners half way and bake for 12 - 15 minutes, depending on your oven.  Cool.


When cupcakes are cooled, cut a small hole in the middle with a knife and remove plug.  Fill with a teaspoonful of the coconut-pecan filling and replace plug.  Do with all cupcakes.

Being very careful not to lose the plug, dip the cupcake into the ganache to give it a coating.  Set aside.



Fudgy Frosting:

2 sticks butter
1 1/3 cups cocoa
6 cups powdered sugar
2/3 cup whole milk
2 teaspoons vanilla

Melt butter.  Stir in cocoa.  Alternately add powdered sugar and milk, beating on medium speed to spreading consistency.  Add vanilla.  

I then added any leftover ganache and beat to the consistency I wanted.  You may have to either add more milk or more powdered sugar to get the consistency you like.

With a bag fitted with the 1M tip, pipe a swirl on top of each cupcake.  After each icing swirl, sprinkle with the toasted coconut and left over pecans.

Enjoy!!





Rhonda Christenson
All Rights Reserved 2013
This material may not be republished or reproduced in any manner without the expressed permission of the author.

Saturday, November 2, 2013

Easy Cake Ball Punkin Patch

How does that poem go?

When the frost on the pumpkin lies... or when on the counter the cake scraps lie?


You know what I'm talking about!

So what to do you with all those cake scraps?  Make cake balls, of course.

Don't tell anyone, but I actually made some petit fors that looked SO bad after I iced them, I threw them into a bowl and took out my frustration on them, beating them into submission...and that's how my punkin patch got started.


Oh, don't act like you've never wanted to do that!
 You know you have!


And I also just hate to throw away scraps. 
So, in addition to the orange petite for disasters, I made a batch of chocolate from leftover scraps from  a cake I leveled.

 So if you want to make some "punkins", just crumble cake scraps into a bowl.
Now at this point, you can add different things to make the crumbs adhere. 

To 2 cups cake crumbs,
you can add 
3/4 to 1 cup 
of Buttercream icing,
OR cream cheese, 
OR (my personal favorite) chocolate ganache!
 
Start with a half cup, then add the binding agent until you have a nice soft paste, you can add more
if you like. That is entirely a personal preference. 
The softer the mixture, the longer you will need to chill them before dipping the cake balls.


 Chill that mixture for a few hours, then, using a melon baller, just scoop them out, 
roll them into a ball and place on waxed paper.


For  pumpkins, score the cake balls, using a toothpick, as shown.


Cover them with plastic wrap and placed them in the freezer for at least an hour, or overnight. 

Melt 8 oz orange confectionery melts in a chocolate warmer or over a double boiler.
Add paramount crystals, a tablespoon at a time, to thin until it becomes a nice dipping consistency.
If you are making a lot, then try dipping half in white confectionery melts  for contrast.


Insert a toothpick into cake ball and dip into prepared confectionery melts, and remove quickly, allowing excess coating to fall back into pan.


If desired, dip in autumn leaves sprinkles, ground nuts, or even finely ground cake or cookie crumbs directly after insertion.  Remove toothpick. Don't worry about the hole or cracking. You are going to cover that up anyway. 



They don't have to be perfect. 
I have yet to find a pumpkin that is perfect when choosing one to carve!!!

Easy so far? It really is!!

Once the coating is set, you can brush on some edible luster dust for a little gilding.


For the final step, you will need icing tips  #2,# 4, and a leaf tip #67, a piping bag fitted with a coupler,
and 1/2 cup of leafy green ( your favorite green, I used moss green ) slightly thinned buttercream.

Start with #2 tip and fill with bag with icing.
Pipe a curlyQ vine on the ball. (This is where you can cover any cracks if necessary)

Change to leaf tip #67, and pipe a one or two leaves from the center top. 

Then, with #4 pipe the stem in the center.  

If you want to display them on Hay Bales, then make some Rice Krispie Treats.
Directions for hay bales are HERE!
That's all there is to it!

Punkins for sale!


Tutorial and Photography by Jacque Benson
All rights reserved
2013
This tutorial and photography is the property of Jacque Benson- copyright 2013- and used with permission from the author. This material may not be used, copied or printed without expressed permission from the author, Jacque Benson.


Wednesday, September 4, 2013

SugarEd Productions Online Sugar Art School is now OPEN!!

Hello my sugar friends!  
The time has finally come!  It has been a long and crazy journey, but we made it! The SugarEd Productions Online Sugar Art School is now open!
  
kimcollage1

I am SO very excited about the new school and all the features we have to offer. It is your one stop place to learn all things cake.
Here is a list of just some of things waiting for you:
  • library of outstanding video tutorials featuring myself and other celebrity instructors
  • printable photo tutorial library with tons of amazing ideas and how-tos created by some of the brightest talent in the industry.
  • printable recipe bank chock full of deliciousness
  • access to business, photography and decorating articles you won’t find anywhere else
  • member tutorials and recipes – share your favorites with the rest of the community
  • member photo gallery where you can marvel at your friends’ creations and post your own
  • advice and chat forums with positive conversation and useful information; interact with me and other members anytime you want
  • enjoy games, contests and other interactive activities within the SugarEd community
  • valuable resources include lists of classes, events, organizations, and offsite tutorials
  • special SugarEd store discounts for members only
  • new content is added (at least) weekly


We have wonderful guest instructors lined up for you as well. Kathleen Lange will teach us her Lambeth and embellishment piping techniques: 
 kathy


Wayne Steinkopf of Swank Cake Design has filmed four videos for us. This beautiful celebration cake is just one example of what he has in store for us:
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The amazing Bronwen Weber and Francois Long  have  fun filled videos on sculpted cakes and structure coming soon:
bw


Here are some more examples of tutorials we have waiting for you, as well as some coming soon: 
Collages4
  

 Gorgeous piping and fantasy flowers:
Desktop16 (2)

  
Fondant figures of many types will be added to our growing library:
School

  
Do you want to learn how to ganache  and fondant cover a tall double barrel cake? And learn the popular luster and leaf techniques? We have the videos that will show you how! (The ganache and fondant videos are available now and the luster video will be added Monday)
doublebarrel
  

Learn how to get your cakes perfectly smooth, with level tops, sharp edges and no bulges!
 Sierra Exif JPEG


You can have 24/7 access to the entire online school from any computer or mobile device. We add new content every week (or more), so there is always something new to see, learn and explore.

We have tutorials on:
  • cake projects
  • chocolate work
  • flowers
  • figures
  • desserts
  • candy
  • cookies
  • cupcakes
  • specialty techniques
  • business
  • food safety
  • marketing
  • and an exclusive series on cake photography you won’t find anywhere else!

AND we have a special bonus for our new members. Everyone who joins will get an exclusive bonus PDF tutorial for this adorable elephant…….
ele


…….AND this cute badge for your profile page:
SAMPLE



It really is a wonderful  place to learn and share. Our current members are loving it. (And I thank those of you who have already joined.) I look forward to chatting with you in the forums; we have a wonderful community growing; Please come join us! 


Happy Caking,
Sharon

Wednesday, January 30, 2013

Easy Peasy Cupcake Tower DIY




This is an inexpensive, but sturdy method for building a cupcake tower. I have tried a few different ways before, but by far, this is the easiest and most sturdy one that I have built, so I wanted to share it with you all.


I always use foam core for making my cake boards, and there is usually about a 5-6 inch strip left over. Thinking I can use it for future use, I typically save them. Now I found that use! I needed 4" wide pieces of 1/2" foam core to create the platform for the tower; and using left over pieces of foam core can really save on the cost.


Another way to save on the cost is to use a craft store coupon. Also, Hobby Lobby and Michaels frequently run sales on foam core.


Here is the list of supplies you will need for the project:

1/4" Foam Core (2 boards)
1/2" Foam Core
Exacto Knife
Pencil
Ruler
Cake Pan (to use as a tracing guide)
Straight Pins
Craft Glue
3/8" Ribbon
Wrapping Paper, poster board, or foil (Opt)
Adhesive spray (Opt)


1.) Begin by deciding what size and how many tiers you will want your tower. An easy way to get a mind's eye view is to stack cake pans. For my project, I chose 18", 13", and 8" rounds.


2.) Using your cake pans as a tracing guide, mark your circles on 1/4" foam core, then carefully cut them out with the exacto knife. Take your time on this step, cutting the circles as perfectly as possible. This really effects the presentation.

NOTE*(At this point, you can cover your circles with a pretty paper, poster board, or foil. Just spray with adhesive spray, then cover front and back.) Since the one I was made needed to be white anyway, I just left it "as is".)

3.) Mark and cut the 1/2" foam core into 4" strips. These will create the platform. Again, measure twice and cut carefully, as the cut of the platform effects the stability of the whole tower.

You will need two of each length for every upper tier.



  The length is the strip will be "diameter minus 2 inches". For instance, since I chose 13" and 8" upper tiers, I needed two each platform strips measuring 11" and 6".

4.) Butt the strips together and mark the center. Then measure 1/4" from center on each side.

With a ruler, trace a two vertical line 2" in length from the edge of the strip, as shown.

Cut these two inch strips out, creating a notch.

Place the notched side of platform strips together and insert, creating a stand.

Stack your stand and check stability.


 If it is not stable, then your cut was inaccurate.

 Remeasure the width of your strips, shore it up and recheck the stability.



5.) Cut the ribbon into 5" lengths. Glue to the edges of the platform. Run a bead of glue around the edges of the rounds, then attach ribbon.

6.) Mark the center of each round. Push a straight pin through the center of each tier. Run a bead of glue onto the tops and bottoms of the platform and insert pins into center for perfect alignment.



Remove pin. Allow to dry.


Here is the Cupcake Tower set up for my great-nephews' birthday Ninjago tournament. Just ignore the fact that I didn't manage to get the top cake centered!! Sheeesh! The good news is that my little guys didn't notice or didn't care!!

Have fun. Be Creative. Your cupcake tower will be hit!


Tutorial and Photography by Jacque Benson All rights reserved 2013
Any material from this website cannot be republished or reproduced in any form without permission from the author.

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The Tutorials This Week Were Generously Shared by

SHARON ZAMBITO, BOBBIE NOTO, RHONDA CHRISTENSEN & JACQUE BENSON

Thank you
thank you pictures

And to ALL of our Readers...

ENJOY EACH DAY!

>

Think CHOCOLATE!

A Very Sweet Tutorial by Bobbie Noto

A Very Sweet Tutorial by Bobbie Noto
Who doesn't love old fashion homemade ice cream? I'll show you how, in my video tutorial, to Create and Decorate Retro Ice Cream Cookies! Click on photo to see the video tutorial!

How adorable is this?

How adorable is this?
This darling creation is the brilliant work of Yanira Rivera, a member of our SugarTeacher's Facebook group.

How Yummy does this sound? Pink Lemonade Cupcakes!

How Yummy does this sound?  Pink Lemonade Cupcakes!
A great recipe shared by Rhonda Christensen. Click on photo to see this blog post.
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