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Monthly Archives: January 2012

The Flavor of “Light Purple & Bright Yellow”

Almost two years ago I was preparing for New York Cake Co. to go on TV back in New York.  Though TV is all about presentation, flavor pairings and taste were my main focus.  lol!  What is interesting and unique; classic and clean; traditional, yet new?  I had some thinking to do and out of what seemed like no where the idea of Lavender and Lemon popped up.

Lavender and Lemon – It fit my quest for something new, interesting, unique, delicious, classic, clean.  Lavender and Lemon is a pairing that upon your first bite… your eyes close to really savor that light lavender aromatic flavor while the tangy and pungent lemon hits you full blown.  Just the aroma of the lavender itself transcends you to somewhere you haven’t been before in the world of food.  Let’s just say you must enjoy this at least once in life.

Somehow this flavor went into the back part of my brain until Friday afternoon during a phone call.

An exciting new cafe has just opened and the owner there is no ordinary cafe owner!  He wants flavors that haven’t been invented yet.  He’s full of life and savors the moment with delicious food.  The cafe is chic (please pronounce as “sheek”), bright, clean and just so New York Cake Co. friendly.  There hasn’t been a load of previously frozen mass produced stuff that needs to be cleared to make room for our fresh product.  Sometimes when I start a new cafe on our product they have to rid their freezer shelves of product, that can sit in a freezer for up to 4 months.  Yup, go ahead and freek out!!  LOL   He’s basically given me a display case to fill of all New York Cake Co. delights.  (Let’s just say I’m overjoyed, eh!).  When him and I were discussing the first order and I learned he was all about unique flavors – then that Light Purple and Bright Yellow vision popped into my mind and I slowly suggested “well, what about a Lavender and Lemon Cake?”  “Ohhhhh, my goodness!  Yes!  That’s exactly it!” he excitingly replied.  Great! 🙂

About the Cake:  Lavender and Lemon cake filled with citrus mousse covered in Lavender and Lemon creme.

About the cupcakes:  From 2008 the first time pairing Lavender & Lemon – Lemon cupcakes with Lavender and Lemon creme

Not Your Ordinary Chocolate Cake

Yesterday one of the cafe owners texted in her order (thank you!) which included a chocolate cake.  For this particular cafe I haven’t done a round Chocolate Cake yet.  For chocolate they normally get the “Death by Chocolate” log, pictured below.  It’s four layers of oh so moist Chocolate cake, layered with Chocolate Fudge Frosting then coated with Dark Chocolate ganache.

With such a general request and no direction of flavor… I was excited to explore something new.   She left the choosing up to me!  Yay!  Well for the locals here in Townsville, I’m sure you’ve guessed by now that as an American we primarily use buttercream.  Buttercream layered in the cake, buttercream on top of the cake…. buttercream, buttercream, buttercream.  Buttercream is not big around here.  So unheard of that when I started selling at the markets, people would ask “what is buttercream?”  An American five year old knows what buttercream is, he’s been licking if off his mother’s beaters since he could reach!  But as the client base grows and there are entire display cases to fill, there just has to be more than buttercream, so now I’m becoming a ganache addict.   Dark Chocolate ganache, Milk Chocolate ganache, White chocolate ganache.  Heat, stir, pour… tada!!

For a few hours I thought, “what should this Chocolate cake have in it?”  Caramel? No, too much caramel here… Caramel tart, Caramel slice, caramel, caramel, caramel, no, no, no.  Reese’s Pieces? No. too American and folk may not be ready for that yet.  Buttercream? No, though it’s delicious, I have to change.  What? What? What do I choose?  Raspberry? Yes! It will be Raspberry!  A few weeks ago I got my hands on creating a Raspberry jam that is like “oh my goooooodness” as a filling. Actually is it a jam or is it a filling?  I’m not sure, just know it is this perfect raspberry concoction that tastes amazing.  I first used it layered in a Vanilla Cake and it was a success.  But Raspberry and chocolate –  that just sounded right and it is!  So this bold, rich, red, tangy raspberry delight lies between three layers of the most moist Chocolate Cake I’ve ever tasted.  Of course, its topped with my latest addition…. Dark Chocolate ganache and garnished with fresh Raspberries.

About the cake: Chocolate Cake, layered with Raspberries, coated with ganache

About the Cake: named “Death by Chocolate” by the cafe – it’s 4 layers of chocolate cake, 3 layers of fudge frosting, coated in dark chocolate ganache

What’s Beautiful & Blue? Blueberry Cupcakes!

I love blueberries, but in Oz they aren’t found year round  😦   It’s been taking a long time getting used to the fact that everything isn’t available all the time… I’m a New Yorker where EVERYTHING is ALWAYS available!

Well I’ve recently been seeing something new at the local supermarket – Fresh Blueberries!!  Wow wee!! It’s Blueberry Cupcake time.  There are many frostings that Blueberry Cupcakes can be paired with but something about the tang of my Cream Cheese Frosting was just the perfect topping for this fruity cupcake.  For one of the local cafes these were their Flavor of the Day cupcakes…  🙂

About the Cake: Blueberry Cake with Cream Cheese Frosting

Have Your Cake and Eat It Too!!

Have your cake and then eat your “wedding cake” cookies!!   As we call it in America – Wedding favors – I’m learning that in Oz they call it Wedding Bonbonnieres.  Well, whatever you call it, little sugar cookie “wedding cakes” as wedding favors is still so cute.  A few years back I made these for Shauna’s wedding in New York and now fast forward I’m making them again for a May wedding in Oz.  Cuteness never goes out of style!!

Some people flood the cookies with a soft royal icing and some use fondant.

the fondant covered cookie!

learning with Toba Garrett, amazing cookie creator... the flooded cookie

A White Christmas in Tropical Australia

Coming from New York and being a lover of New York City’s beautiful transformation at Christmas time; waking up to a blanket of bright white snow on Christmas morning; drinking hot cocoas by the dozen; being warmed by the fire and the red plaid blanket while sipping hot French Onion soup and all those other perfect winter scenes it’s been a struggle having a hot Christmas.  I know this sounds crazy to some of my American friends that would do almost anything for a hot Christmas, but believe me… it just doesn’t sit right in the head when it’s a mega beach scene all around you; the temperatures are in the 90’s and it’s very difficult to find a human wearing full denim pants (it’s a shorts world over here) and the date is December 23rd.

But… there is always that ‘but’… my sister and I were invited to a VIP White Christmas Party – Thanks Michelle!  Well, white in the fact that everyone had to wear white.  I know it doesn’t count… but it was as close as I could get to a White Christmas.  To make the event even better New York Cake Co. provided the cupcakes.  I found this little poem on their blog and I just had to share.  At CocoBongo they are great bloggers and almost every post has me laughing!  For your laugh please do click here.  A special thanks to their great photographer Michael of MDP Photography that captured the sweet treats before the “elves” got to them.  🙂  It was a great night and I was so very happy to be a part of it!

About the cupcakes: Red Velvet, Chocolate and Lemon decorated with buttercream and fondant

with my sister. What a great night! 🙂

Aloha!!

Anything Hawaii, beach and frangipanis was the call for this one.  Miss Letticia loves frangipanis, the pink ones to be exact!  This number was made to celebrate her 21st at the chic JAM Corner.  The main cake gave the Hawaii/beach theme while the mini cupcakes supported it.

About the Main cake:  Chocolate layered with Vanilla buttercream. Fondant & Gumpaste decorations

 

About the Cupcakes:  Chocolate were topped with starfish; Vanilla were topped with pineapples and Red Velvet were topped with frangipanis

The client comments:  Dear Theresa, you are a miracle worker.  It looked too good to cut.  We couldn’t have wanted anything different.  Thanks!  All our best wishes – Maxine.

Look at that Red Hat

I vaguely remember something about the Red Hat ladies when I was in NY, but I forget what!  (I guess that does no one any good!).  When I worked as a chef at Absolute Tea here in Townsville, Australia I remember a reservation was made.  As normal you just prepare and do what you need to do.  But… when all these ladies adorned in red and purple graced the tea room with their presence it was rather beautiful.  They sat at Table 5 which was right outside the window where I would pass all the guests orders.  Quickly I grabbed my phone and took this:

20+ ladies Red Hat ladies join for tea

Unfortunately from the reservation I didn’t realize that they were from the Red Hat Society as I would have made something special as a complimentary “thank you”.  But luckily on hand I had about 20 mini Red Velvet cupcakes.  Just as they were finishing up their meal I sent out the cupcakes and they were thoroughly enjoyed!

Months later I met Ms. Judy, who ordered the green and purple hat cake for her 80th Birthday.   If you are interested, you’ll find that blog post here.  As we drove away from planning that cake I learned she was a member of the Red Hat Society and needed a cake for the Christmas tea that she was hosting.

It was just minutes past 10 am on December 20th and I walk into Judy’s gorgeous home to deliver.  On her back porch overlooking the beach and Magnetic Island were about 20 women so amazingly clad in red and purple.  Sounds really crazy, but tears welled up in my eyes!!  I don’t know why, just me… I guess!  🙂

About the Cake:  Red Velvet cake with Cream Cheese Frosting.  Covered in Fondant.  Fresh flowers

Red Hat Cake

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