Wednesday, February 2, 2011

Groundhog Day

Happy Groundhog Day! So, I have been getting to know a lot of amazing and talented folks through the magic of the interwebs, and one of these people is Andi Butler (please go to her website to see her gorgeous artwork and follow her on twitter while you are at it). She mentioned that she made some Star Wars cupcakes one day and they totally blew my mind! (check them out here). Amazing, right? Being the wonderful gal that she is, she told me about this cookbook:With a kid birthday around the corner, the firefly birthday cake (page 80) was chosen as my first attempt at creating a fancy cake with chocolate decorations. This cookbook is great, easy to follow, and full of great photographs. I made the chocolate fireflies a week ahead of time:
This photo documents me attempting to be organized! hee heeYou melt candy chocolate and then pipe it onto parchment paper to create the chocolate decorations. Andi makes it look SO EASY!!! Luckily, the firefly designs I attempted were relatively simple and the chocolate reheats easily. It was tricky, but fun, and got a little easier as time wore on. After the designs are drawn out, I melted white chocolate and colored it, and filled in the firefly bodies. Oh, and I threw in a few hearts and butterflies for extra practice.They kind of look like a mess from the working side, but are awfully cool when you flip them over...A little firefly army! They are really delicious, btw!Andi told me that she usually makes the italian meringue buttercream icing, so that is what I did, too (page 37). Here is the meringue before all the butter went in... it was SO dreamy! I had to take a photo of all of the marvelous swirls. It had a sweet and delicate flavor, but wasn't TOO sweet...Here is the finished cake. Two leveled vanilla cakes with a layer of chocolate buttercream, too. I still cannot believe I made this cake. It didn't turn out as beautifully as the one in the cookbook, but that was okay with me. The kids *really* loved the fireflies the most. I just really love that I was lucky to have found a wonderful new friend who has inspired me to stretch my wings and fly a little.Thank you, Andi!


Andi Butler said...

Oh Nina, I love you to pieces!! Your cake for Hana is beautiful! You really did an amazing job! Thanks so much for your kindness, we are quite the champion chatters on Twitter aren't we? Thank you for being my friend : )

a : )

Redheaded Stepchild said...

Wow! What a really cool cake and a really super cute groundhog! Great job, Nina!

Renee Kurilla said...

Nina it's so amazing that you can translate your illustration style into a CAKE! And I love your little groundhog, he looks like he's expecting spring soon!

Michaele Razi said...

Oh my...Those are yummily pretty! Very sweet!

Anonymous said...

I love your Groundhog (so cute!) and I love love love that cake! So pretty!

Nina Crittenden said...

Andi- DITTO!!!
Lynn- Thank you!
Renee- I'm hoping for spring, too!
Michaele- The cake was delish!
Anonymous Friend- Many thanks!!!

Christina Rodriguez said...

I think you've got a great start in a career as a cake baker, Nina! You could be called "Nina, the Baking Illustrator," or something.

Did you color the groundhog with inks, or is it watercolor? The colors are so vibrant!