Wednesday, January 22, 2014

Better Late Than Never

I'm finally getting around to posting the pictures of one of the wedding cakes I did this past summer. The bride and groom chose 3 separate flavor profiles for their 300 guests. Carrot cake with cinnamon sugar cream cheese filling. Very Vanilla cake with fresh strawberry filling. And Dark Chocolate Fudge cake with Mocha cream filling. One of those chocolate layers was gluten free so the bride herself could indulge in the cake as well. What is the fun in being the bride if you can't eat the cake? It was all topped with hand-piped Buttercream Frosting and adorned with a cascade of calla lilies, white roses, and purple hydrangeas.

Making Roses....              






Making Calla Lillies...






Making Hydrangeas.....



As you can see each flower was individually created, hand painted, and wired together to create the effect of the cascade of flowers winding down the cake. This can all take weeks to assemble before a baker even begins to actually bake and frost the cake. 







This cake actually traveled four hours before it was assembled at the reception site. And as many of you may be wondering, how did that small 3-tiered cake feed 300 people? There were sheet cakes in the kitchen that were sliced and ready to be served as soon as the bride and groom had finished cutting the cake. A great money and time saving tip for every bride and groom out there. And yes, after spending weeks planning and assembling this cake, I believe I did indeed shed a few tears when it was cut. But that first bite fixed things pretty quickly! It was super delish! Actually the brides mother ordered them an "encore cake" for when the couple returned from their honeymoon, as they had only had that quick slice at the wedding. 
I always feel so honored to be asked to be a part of a couples very special day by providing their wedding cake. 

Wishing You Abundant Blessings...
~Amber

Tuesday, June 4, 2013

Catching Up...

I'm just trying to play catch up and post pictures of some of the cakes I've been working on this spring.



Charlotte's Web cake for my niece's 1st birthday, whose name happens to be Charlotte. The spider web cake topper is made of royal icing and the words "Happy Birthday Charlotte!" is written in the web, although it is hard to read in the picture.

The barnyard.

Wilbur and Charlotte...the best of friends.

The sheep

The geese.

An Earth day cake for my son's preschool class, which has become a tradition.


12 dozen mini cupcakes for an event at AC Moore.
A customer gave me this owl and asked me to make a cake that would go well with it so she could use it as the topper for her daughters birthday.
 I've been busy and getting busier. I'm currently working on a very large wedding cake which will be featured in the coming weeks as a series entitled "Anatomy of a Wedding Cake." So check back to see just what goes into creating a cake beautiful enough to be a part of the most blessed day of a couple's life.

May your day be abundantly blessed!
~Amber


Saturday, February 16, 2013

Time to Hang up the Apron...

     What I mean to say is I've hung up a second apron which goes quite well with my first. My Abundant Blessings Baking apron was a gift from my dear sister a couple of years ago and I treasure it. This month I've added a second apron to that same hook in my kitchen. This new Wilton instructor apron allows me to share my love of cake decorating with others and perhaps help others find their own hidden natural talent.



     While I have self taught myself quite a bit of cake knowledge, I also learned a whole lot from taking the Wilton classes at my local craft store (mine happens to be AC Moore). And by the way I had so much fun taking them. I was able to spend a couple hours a week with individuals who loved decorating cakes as much as I did, laugh a lot, try out new ideas, have fun, learn tons of new information every week, laugh, make new friends who shared the same interest, and did I mention have fun? Apparently I loved it so much I thought teaching the classes would be a fantastic idea. (Ok...so maybe my instructor kind of talked me into it and maybe I got really panicky before the first class wondering what in the world I was doing and maybe I ended up having an absolute blast and feeling totally comfortable teaching something I love....just sayin maybe!)
   


     Maybe you have a bit of experience, maybe you've never picked up a pastry bag before. Maybe you have a son or daughter who has an interest (older children are welcome at classes with a parent/guardian). There is a little something for everybody in the Wilton classes. These are some examples of skills we teach as Wilton method instructors.  Above is a cake covered in basket weave and royal icing flowers I did for a Wilton class project.
















 We teach many different techniques to use butter-cream frosting in a pastry bag to cover cakes and cupcakes and how to use the equipment and tools involved in cake decorating









     We also make flowers from royal icing and gum paste and use fondant to cover cakes and make decorations. These happen to be my favorite classes personally. Even though I had been decorating cakes for friends and family for a bit before I took the Wilton classes I learned so much and it was a great refresher for things I already had a grasp on. We start simple and teach the how-to step by step so it's fun and never overwhelming. And like I said above...we laugh a lot.
     If you have an interest in cake decorating and live near the Portland, Maine area, check out the Wilton method of cake decorating classes offered at AC Moore by the Maine Mall. I happen to teach the daytime classes, but they also offer evening and weekend classes taught by another very talented decorator. And if you don't live close-by, check out your local craft store as they likely offer Wilton classes as well. Even if you don't intend to do it professionally, get a group of friends together, get out and learn something new. I promise you'll have a great time. 

I hope to see you at a class or two in the future. And until then...
May your day be abundantly blessed,
~Amber

Thursday, February 7, 2013

It's an Owl Cake!

Sometimes when I make a cake, it's just cake. It doesn't cause me to think profound thoughts or attempt to relate two otherwise completely separate topics. I'm not given epiphanies from above. I just spend the moment in the moment trying to make a tasty beautiful cake for a special person. This was one of those cakes. I had never met the birthday girl, but I wanted her to have a very special cake because after all, isn't turning 4 a very special day? My favorite story of this cake came to me after the party from the little girls grandmother.






A little boy who was attending the party asked the birthday girl, what kind of cake it was. She said (and I para-phrase) " Duhh, it's an owl cake."
He responds by saying "I know it's an owl cake, what does it taste like?"
She says "It's an owl cake, it's going to taste like owls!"



Well Paige, I hope you had a very special birthday, but I do hope your cake tasted better than owls.

May your day be abundantly blessed,
~Amber




Thursday, November 29, 2012

The Most Wonderful Time of the Year

     My house is warm and cozy. A fire is roaring, little lights are twinkling, and I smell evergreen and cookies baking. The decorations are hung, my shopping is done and wrapped, and my cards are sent....in my mind, only in my mind.
      For those of you who wanted to hang me up with my Christmas lights I promise I am still making out that "Christmas To Do" list. Few things have been accomplished so far and I am seeing that I will not even come close to having enough time to accomplish everything I want to do to make it "the perfect Christmas." And I'm okay with that. For years I have rushed and run and stressed to get it all done. To make it perfect for my family. And by the time the 25th rolled around, I was so tired, it was difficult to enjoy it. So these last couple of years, I have slowed and I have savored. I have crossed items off of my To Do list, not because they have been done, but because I don't plan on doing them. I have let some of those little details go. I have decided to not sweat the small stuff and even some of the big stuff. What gets done, gets done and what doesn't, doesn't.
     Because when you stop and think about it, on that first Christmas, there were no twinkle lights, no cookies baking, no evergreen, no cards mailed, no five course meal, not even a house with a bed in it. There was a small manger in a dirty stable, some weary travelers, and poor shepherds. And that is where perfect showed up.
     So this Christmas I will do simple and I will do slow. I will read Christmas books with my kids and decorate cookies with the goal of making them fun, not perfect. I will smile when I see my tree with all the ornaments clustered on 3 branches under the 4 foot mark and not be tempted to move them (ok, so I might be tempted, but I won't actually move them). And many of the gifts going out my door will be simple and homemade with love, but those are my favorite kinds to get. (Last year two of my favorite gifts were a dozen fresh eggs and a pint of homegrown honey.)
     And so with simple in mind I have a few gift ideas from Abundant Blessings Baking for those people on your list who might enjoy something simple and sweet.

French Toast Basket
Includes 1 loaf of cinnamon swirl or chocolate swirl bread
and 1 bottle of maple syrup in a basket, wrapped with a bow.
Great for teachers, bosses, pastors, etc.
$25.00
Family Size French Toast Basket
Includes 2 loaves of cinnamon swirl or chocolate swirl bread (or 1 of each)
and 1 bottle of maple syrup in a basket, wrapped with a bow. 
$35.00

Egg Nog Bundt Cake
Delicious holiday cake, comes boxed with either glaze (as shown) or covered in 
confectioners sugar. 
$20.00

Cupcakes
From Dec 1-Dec 24th only, choose from an assortment of flavors
 1 Dozen: Choose 2 flavors $20.00
2 Dozen: Choose 3 flavors $40.00

Chocolate Chocolate-Chip Cupcakes with Peanut Butter Filling
White Chocolate Peppermint Cupcakes
Pumpkin Spice Cupcakes with Cinnamon Sugar Cream Cheese Filling
Lemon Cupcakes with Lemon Curd Filling
Coconut Cupcakes with Coconut Custard Cream Filling
All topped with my Signature Buttercream Frosting and flavor appropriate garnish.

Cream Cheese Cinnamon Rolls
9 cinnamon rolls can be ordered baked or unbaked.
Have them baked to give as a gift. Or plan a special weekend breakfast and have them delivered unbaked the night before. Keep overnight in the fridge and let rise on the counter up to one hour before baking the next morning. Can also be kept frozen unbaked and left on counter top to thaw and rise overnight. 
$12.00


Custom Cakes
Our family tradition includes a birthday cake on Christmas. Maybe yours does too or maybe you want to start that as a new tradition this year. Or perhaps you just want a great dessert for Christmas dinner. Also makes an original gift idea!
Customize with your choice of flavors, fillings, frosting, and decorations. 
See cake pricing page for pricing guidelines.

Place orders via email at abundantblessingsbaking@gmail.com or via phone at 428-4154.
Orders require at least a 4 day notice. All orders must be picked up or take delivery by noon on Christmas Eve. I will not be taking any orders for December 25- Jan 2.

     I hope that all of us are able to slow (even if only for a moment) and savor the simple little moments that this time of year has to offer. Because for every time that we stop and recognize the blessing and offer our thanks for it, it is only then that we will see it for what it really is...the gift of the present.

May your holiday season be abundantly blessed,
~Amber