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21 September 2011

Oh, Hex!

This is a 6 lb can of shortening.

Ok, well actually, it's a photo of a 6 lb can of shortening, but you get the idea.  Regardless, let's just say that this little ingredient is VERY important in most of my baking...particularly when it comes to cakes/cupcakes/etc.  And since it is so important, and I tend to plow through copious amounts of the stuff, I buy it in bulk.  We're talking 6 or more cans at a time...

Sooo...just imagine my horror, when the other day, I made several batches of icing, only to discover that they all tasted wrong, not sweet and sugary, but very blech.  We are talking horrible, nearly in-edible, spit it out, spit it out blech!  In fact, everything went to the garbage...the 3 batches of icing, the cakes I had previously filled, etc, etc.  Luckily, none of the product had left my kitchen. *Whew!*  But, upon reflecting, the only ingredient, other than powdered sugar, I had used in ALL the icing recipes was, yep, you guessed it, the shortening.

I immediately proceeded to open all the cans of shortening I had in my kitchen at the time...over 36 lbs of the stuff...only to discover, one after the other, that every single pound was unusable!

Oh, and did I mention that at the time I discovered this little "problem" that it was nearly 1 AM?  *Cue late night breakdown.*  Let's just say, sometimes the best thing a you can do is to let a problem lie for the'll still be there in the morning.  And, ya know what?  It was!

But, I persevered and managed to get all the orders out on time, with only one exception.  Luckily, J was very gracious when I explained what had happened and assured me that receiving the cake a day later would still be perfectly fine!  So sweet of her, but I still felt horrible for failing to uphold my end of the deal...

Anyway, I had done a couple of things prior to the shortening crisis.  This fun grim reaper cake:


And a few more cake pops:


Post shortening fiasco, I started obsessively taste tasting everything.  I generally will sample small bits here and there anyway, but this was a whole new level.  I think I probably gained 5 lbs this past weekend alone!  What can I say, I was even more paranoid than usual that something less than tasty was going to leave my kitchen...precautions had to be taken!  

So, what all did I create with my fresh, new shortening supply? Well...some cupcake samplers:


The one pictured here included red velvet cupcakes with cream cheese icing, white almond sour cream cupcakes with vanilla buttercream (& sprinkles!), and chocolate cupcakes with peanut butter frosting and mini chocolate chips.

A ping pong themed, root beer float flavored cake:


I was very worried about the net surviving transport, but it held up well.  K assisted on this cake by making the ping pong paddles...I'd say they turned out pretty darn good!

A Tow-Mater themed groom's cake:


The cake was German chocolate; the coconut pecan icing worked wonderfully well for the desert decorations.  Tow-Mater was a topper provided by the client, but the rocks, cacti, and wagon wheel were all handmade...and edible,of course!  (K helped on this cake, too, by making the rocks and the wagon wheel.  I'll make a sous chef/baker of him yet!)



3 dozen wedding cupcakes:



These were all topped with strawberry buttercream, and handmade, edible cupcake toppers.  The monogram "M"s and hearts were hand piped using chocolate.  They were made to complement, though not exactly match, the wedding cake.

And, a hexagon shaped wedding cake:


This was my first time to make a hexagon shaped cake...they are a pain in the kisser, but I love, love, love the look of them.  (Maybe I just need more makes perfect, after all!)  This cake was all buttercream, with hand piped scrolls, real ribbon borders, and fresh roses.  I was expecting to have a topper pre-made by the florist, but arrived at the venue only to discover that there was NO floral topper to be found.  Luckily, the florist was kind enough to bring me several stems of hot pink roses that I arranged around the monogram "M."  It was a fairly simple floral arrangement, but it added a beautiful pop of color to the cake to draw the eye.

Here's how the entire wedding cake/cupcake display looked when everything was completed:


See you soon!

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