A slice of the past

Since I should have started blogging a century ago…(I’d list the excuses but it would take up the bulk of this post).. I decided to post a few items from my “library” aka things previously uploaded to Facebook (yeah I’m one of those). Likely I will remake some of these and make an official post and comparison later :)

Pineapple Upside-Down Cake is  a favorite to make. Using fresh pineapple and following Thomas Keller’s “Schmear technique is truly key to making this a delicious and beautiful cake.

The aroma of cinnamon rolls baking in the oven is an out of this world experience. You can’t help but feel warm and comforted when you know in approximately 45 minutes there will be warm, gooey spirals of cinnamon goodness on the counter. For me, they bring back special memories of my Grandpa teaching me how to make bread when I was 8 years old and then my Grandma teaching me how to transform that with a few slight changes into Cinnamon rolls.

One of the things that I love about cakes is that it is easy to put your creative mind to work. You can turn a simple recipe into a masterpiece. Here are a couple of fun examples:

The daughter of my manager (and good friend) aspires to be a “mad scientist” – specifically to make mutant cats so for her last birthday I made her a mad scientist cake.

That lovely manager of mine also takes me to Hawaii (Kauai) with her yearly. I fell in love the minute our plane landed once a year is not nearly enough. I often find myself missing it, craving it, almost tasting it so I made the office these Hawaiian cupcakes: coconut cake with a pineapple and mango curd center,  decorated with pineapple accoutrement.

Being part Irish almost requires that you celebrate St.Patrick’s Day in some way, shape or form: I chose to celebrate with Irish Car Bomb cupcakes and Bailey’s frosting and that special leprechaun’s gold nugget.

I’m an “around Christmas” baby. Thus, historically my birthday often feels like a burden. Thus I try to make those close to me feel extra special on their Birthday:

For my youngest brother Noah’s birthday I made Domo-kun cupcakes for him to share with his classmates. Now, I will never claim to understand this creature, but he sure was fun to re-create via cupcakes. Chocolate cake, a pair of brown M&M eyes, Fruit roll-up for the rectangle “mouth” and some zig-zag white frosting for teeth.

The “middle” brother Ahmed just happens to be an amazing artist. The anime characters he creates are cartoon-worthy. For his birthday I made an “artist” cake with a bright-colored cake pallet.

Gel food coloring really is an amazing thing. If only it was stain-free it would be even better.

It truly was a fun and special cake which brought my own little artist side out.

My Mom has always been a lover of German Chocolate cake and so typically I will pile up the Chocolate and gooey-caramel coconut and pecan filling and know it will be enjoyed. This past year however, I decided to make something that was different but still represented her. It didn’t take long before I decided it would be a Caramel Macchiato cake reminiscent of Starbucks (we are Seattleites after all). As I planned the caramel cake and coffee flavored cake layers I came up with the idea to make the cake actually replicate a coffee cup. I think her reaction was best described as a caffeine jolt of shock and awe.

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