Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Cupcake deluge

 It's strange, but not so very long ago I was writing to a fellow baker, telling her that the vast majority of all my orders are for cakes, not cupcakes.  To be sure, I have made hundreds of cupcakes in the past year, but most were donations or gifts, with the one glaring exception being the cupcakes I made for TLS in December.  Now all of a sudden I have more cupcake orders than ever before?!
I don't mind, as they are in general less work and far less stressful to create than cakes, but I am a bit bemused.  My cupcake bouquet, which I originally made as a gift for a sick friend, has become rather popular, with my fifth one being delivered all the way to Heidelburg (about an hour's drive away).
 These cute puppies were made for a client who wanted to give them as a surprise gift to a friend.  However, this friend also ordered a birthday cake from me to be delivered the same day as the puppy cupcakes.  Needless to say, the cupcake order had to be cancelled:(  I had no choice than to pack the orphan puppies carefully in a box and hope they would find a home soon.
 On a happier note, the same client contacted me a couple of weeks later to order flower and butterfly cupcakes for her mother.  I was given pretty much free rein with the design as long as they were chocolate and had butterflies.  These are what I came up with.
 June 21st, or the closest weekend after that is cause for midsummer celebrations in Finland.  Our small, but very proactive Finnish section of our school put on a whole morning of performances, culminated with snacks and drinks to celebrate.  I donated these strawberry cupcakes to the event.  The flowers are copied from the Marimekko® "poppy" fabric, which is their signature design.
 Most exciting of all is that I was finally  asked to make 2 cupcake towers! One was for a seven-year old's birthday and she wanted something very pink and very girly with butterflies.  I made a cupcake tower that was silver and pink and sparkly just for her.  The cupcakes were strawberry and vanilla  and I made a gazillion sparkly pink and white butterflies in different sizes.  During my last Alan Dunn course in Holland I had purchased some fuschia edible disco glitter dust which I use liberally!  Unfortunately I don't have a picture of the final set up as the client picked them up herself.

The other cupcake tower was for a colleague's 40th birthday party.  She wanted a shabby chic theme with rich chocolate cupcakes and Kahlua white chocolate ganache.  I was getting all excited about the design, but then her budget limited the possibilites and I ended up doing light turquoise and pink ribbon roses.  Still, she was delighted, which in the end is all that matters!  Unfortunately the picture is not very good as I took it on location and in a hurry.
 Last week my daughters and I drove to England for a week long whistle stop tour of all the universities my youngest was thinking of  attending.  One of our first overnight stops was at a pub/B&B that my cousin runs near Brighton.  I hadn't seen her in 30 years, but that wasn't a hindrance at all.  We had a fabulous stay at her George Inn, which is definitely worth visiting!  Anyway I wanted to bring her something special, so tried my hand at these fondant covered cupcakes.  I had a devil of a time covering the cupcakes, but I managed in the end.  Since we were spending the previous night in Canterbury and spending that day looking at Kent University, I arranged to leave my precious cupcakes at the Inn in Canterbury for the day, so that they wouldn't spoil!  The staff were very gracious about my unusual request, although they did threaten to eat them if I forgot to pick them up!
After an exhilarating and exhausting trip all around England, I had to find a way to thank my lovely neighbours for feeding our cat while we were gone.  They are dog lovers and in a sudden flash of inspiration I found a home for my puppies! And voila; out of left-over flowers, butterflies and orphan puppies these yummy cupcakes were born.

They were delighted, and I have guaranteed good care for our kitty whenever we're away:)

Now it is time for a break and head north for the summer.  Since I know I won't be able to resist the urge to work with sugarpaste, I plan to practice my flowers and piping skills over the summer.


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