WE'VE MOVED

Hello!

Thank you for the amazing 8 years here at A Baked Creation, we can't thank you enough for the memories! But we've decided to move over to a new site - Sincerely, Syl. Please join us there for future posts on all the things you loved here!

Sincerely,
Syl

Thursday, April 22, 2010

Bev's Grrday Cupcakes

Grrday and Argday treats for Bev! Here's the short story: Barb is best friends with Bev. Bev's birthday is coming up. Barb has been planning this since February with me, so please give her a great big hug!

Bev went on a trip to Scotland, but she couldn't find the Loch Ness Monster. Well, here's something you might not have known, Nessy (yes, calling her that) likes living in cupcakes, not lakes! Here are some of the Nessy images that I found and liked: here and here. So you can see where the inspiration is from, the second image is a bit scary (for me), but I liked how it inspired me to span Nessy over 4 cupcakes.

Happy 42nd Birthday Bev! I hope you have a blast!

Bev's dinosaur! Barb had to do some serious B&E to get me photos of this guy. But that's what best friends do.

Grr! Awww, I love that little guy, he's so cute!

My so called "studio" shot! I'm sorry if these photos aren't as crisp. I took them late in the night, so the lighting wasn't very good. See? Simple set-up that you can do at home. A white Bristol board and a lamp.

I'm sure Nessy would go "Arg" if anyone ever heard her...

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

How: T-Rex Cupcake Topper


Since I did one for our spiky friends, here's a tutorial for sharp tooth!

Fondant Tyrannosaurs Rex

Rolled fondant
Gel paste colours
Clean toothpicks
Water
Brown or black sprinkles/jimmies
A rolling pin
A knife
  1. If you are lucky enough to have coloured fondant, then you can skip these steps! Unless you want white-coloured T-Rexes, you will have to dye your white fondant. Get the gel paste in the colours you want and use a clean toothpick to dab into the gel.
  2. Transfer the gel from the toothpick onto the fondant. Knead and roll until the fondant is completely coloured. Please do not double-dip the toothpick, use a new one if you need more gel for a darker shade.

  3. There are 6 parts to making a T-Rex. You will need to make the head, body, arms, and legs separately. The body is almost in the shape of a triangle. There is the narrow and pointy tail, but the rest of the body remains the same size.

  4. You will need to use a sharp knife to cut the mouth on the head. One sharp cut will do, then gently open the mouth. Fill the mouth with white coloured fondant.

  5. Attach the arms and legs to the body. Use a small dab of water if you need to. The arms on a T-Rex are tiny and short! =)

  6. Using a sharp tip or knife, etch in the teeth. Create a zig-zag pattern along the center of teeth. Add a sprinkle or jimmy to create eyes. Then, carefully attach the head onto the body of your T-Rex. Use a tiny dab of water if you need to. Set it aside to dry.
    My! What GRReat teeth you have!

Sunday, April 18, 2010

Sugar Tiers

I recently saw an interview on Duh-Licious about a new bakery, supply shop, and classroom - all three in one! My aunt had also seen it, been to it, and told me about it. So that's two nudges! How could I not go and check it out? I know that I've been trying a lot more cupcakes these months (good-bye waistline), but like Rosalind says in the interview with Madalina, when you're actually baking and decorating, you don't indulge as much. How true!

Sugar Tiers
735 Markland Street, Unit 4
Markham, ON L6C 0G6
(905) 888-9880

Going into Sugar Tiers was a warm treat and escape from the cold and windy day. Rosalind and Evalin were in the back working. They make their cakes and even hold lessons there. Evalin heard the door and came to greet us. I did what I always do, I look for the cupcakes! Spotted:

Display Case: Red Velvet Cupcakes, Strawberry Cupcakes, and Vanilla Cupcakes

Display Case: Vanilla Cupcakes, Carrot Cupcakes, Romance Chocolate Cupcakes, and Banana Rama Cupcakes

On the other side of their L-shaped counter were other sweet treats such as pastries, macaroons, tarts, and cakes. Focus Sylvia, focus! I'm here for the cupcakes! Here are the ones I got:

One strawberry cupcake! A sliver of strawberry on pink frosting with purple sprinkles on a vanilla cake with a strawberry embedded in it. The cake smelled very good, I enjoyed the texture, it had a good crumb. I think it worked well with the embedded strawberry, some cakes become too soft or too moist when you put fruit in it, but this was a great combination.

One red velvet cupcake! You can see the red colour peaking under the buttercream in the cupcake photo above. Also, an interesting pairing as you can see. Most bakeries put red velvet with cream cheese frosting, but here they did chocolate frosting. Lots of chocolate goodness too, the drizzle, shavings, and chips!

The Banana Rama cupcake, this one was recommended to us by Evalin. A slice of banana on buttercream sprinkled with shavings piped on top of banana cake! This cupcake was moist and something my parents enjoy making. So I saved half for my mom to try.

Like I mentioned above, Sugar Tiers is also a store. You can find fondant, cutters, colour paste, flavour extracts, mats, molds, cupcake stands, and other speciality items. Evalin told us that some of the tools are from the UK! If you're in the area, they also teach classes throughout the week. Three-in-one!

Thanks Evalin for letting me snap the photos. =)

Sunday, April 11, 2010

Fondant Dinosaur Round-Up

This is so cool! Not only do I have readers and followers of my blog, I have readers and followers that write to me and share their creations with me!

For that, I am truly grinning from cheek to cheek.

Here is a round-up of bakers who were inspired by our dinosaur cupcakes and our tutorial:

Pauline from Malaysia, she also posts her baked goods on Pauline's Cakes 'N' Bakes. Here is the link to her Frolicking Dinosaur Cake:

Rachael from South Australia, she has a website showcasing all of her custom cakes, jnr cakes. Here is the link to her gallery that include her Prehistoric birthday cupcakes:

Can you believe that this was Erin's first fondant project? She even homemade the marshmallow fondant and created these adorable smiling stegosauruses for her 5-year-old!

These cuties are made by Heather from Stepford Life. Her rrrroooooaring good pterodactyl and brontosaurus:

Here are the ones Stefanie and her husband made for their son's second birthday, it was her first time working with fondant!!

Thank you to Pauline, Rachael, Erin, Heather, and Stefanie for sharing! Your e-mails brightened up my day! So please, don't be shy! If you want to share your creations with me, send me a note!

Sunday, April 4, 2010

Tokyo Bakery

Tokyo Bakery
4385 Sheppard Avenue East, Unit 7
Scarborough, ON M1S 1T9
(416) 335-5500

My mom, aunt, brother, cousin, and I had lunch today and stopped in Tokyo Bakery (same plaza). I have to say, Howard was the one that introduced us to this hidden gem. He had heard co-workers rave about the cakes there, so we had tried it last year, and bought one for a birthday celebration.

Since then, my parents have been ordering cakes from them. They are fresh, tasty, and look very pretty. The cakes come in different fruit/cheesecake flavours and are not too sweet - the perfect amount of sugar for my non-sweet-tooth parents (and their friends). So far, the favourite of the family is their blueberry cheesecake.

We couldn't resist taking a peek to see what was at the bakery, so imagine our delight when we spotted these tiny cakes in the back. We quickly asked if those were for sale (a lot of the cakes were already claimed from pre-orders), and she said "yes!" We patiently waited the 5 minutes for the baker to put on the finishing touches. And that is the story of how we ended up with 5 different flavoured "cut cakes" to try. =)

Raspberry Mango Cheesecake

Pina Colada

Mango and Chocolate

Blueberry Cheesecake

Mango and Tapioca
I told my mom the next time she made tapioca, I will try to incorporate it into cake!

As a blogger, I informed everyone that I had to take photos first. So no one was allowed to take a bite yet! Once I snapped these photos, we all dug in. The cut cakes were gone within the hour, probably less... maybe less than 30 minutes! =)

If you are looking to get a cake from Tokyo Bakery, I would highly recommend that you call ahead and place an order. They don't have many cakes in the display case, so you might be out of luck that day!

Saturday, April 3, 2010

More Portland


Hello again! I just want to share some more photos from my trip to Portland. I had the opportunity to try some amazing food too:

This is the Unagi roll (barbecued freshwater eel, tari-reduction) from Departure.

The Maguro Karai Honey roll (big eye tuna, sweet and spicy sauce). Something I haven't tried before! An interesting combination of flavours.

The view from Departure as we finished dinner. Look, you can see the MAX Light Rail!

The Valrhona chocolate hazelnut souffle with praline creme anglaise from Urban Farmer. Now, I read a lot of baking books and they all rave about using the best chocolate - Valrhona. So I had to try this. This was my first chocolate souffle (believe it or not!), so I was a bit surprised when the waitress came, poked a hole in the beautiful souffle and poured cream in it. I didn't even get a photo first, but it doesn't matter, it was delicious! The chocolate was rich, light, and fluffy. Sigh!

Don't they look real? Just one of the many art installations around the city.

Friday, April 2, 2010

Cupcake Jones

I went to Portland! It was a memorable visit because it was my first business trip (a conference for librarians)!

I also think that I may have gotten over my fear of flying! Don't get me wrong, I still get nervous, but no long-term panic. I flew on 4 planes that week since there was no direct flight from Toronto to Portland. For our trip there, we stopped in Denver. On our way back, we stopped in Vancouver. I guess flying just takes getting use to - like how taking off is the worse part (for me). Being in a cloud is going to cause turbulence. Once the plane is levelled, everything is fine. Still, safely landing is such a huge relief! I also found that I preferred larger planes, I don't feel every little attitude difference when the plane is huge. It also helps to have in-flight movies as a distraction!

My colleague and I had some free time, so yes, I took us to Cupcake Jones!

Cupcake Jones
307 NW 10th Avenue
Portland, OR
(503) 222-4404

Do you see the flavours of the day behind the window? There was another woman there taking photos too. I always feel like I snap way too many photos (and possibly make the bakers inside feel uneasy - but they were great! They encouraged photo taking.), so it was nice to see that someone else was snapping away.

This is the inside of Cupcake Jones!

Look! They have Frosting Shots!

And Doggie Cupcakes! One thing I need to mention is how environmentally friendly the city of Portland is. There are saucers outside for dogs to drink water, little water fountains for birds, lots and lots of bike lanes, and a FREE downtown transit system (I heart the MAX light rail).

My mini cupcake sampler! Yummy!

I had the 3 everyday cupcakes:
  1. The Pearl - White velvet cake with vanilla bean buttercream icing and a handmade white chocolate pearl. (Cupcake Jones is located in the Pearl district of Portland... if you were wondering.)
  2. Downtown Cupcake Brown - Devil's food cake with fudge frosting and grated dark chocolate.
  3. Velvet Painting - Red velvet cake with cream cheese frosting and a hand candied rose petal.
On Wednesday, they have:
  1. German Chocolate - Devil's food cake with fudge frosting and a pecan.
  2. Bailey's Cake - Chocolate Irish cream cake with Irish cream buttercream and chocolate sauce.
  3. Thin Mint - Chocolate cake with mint cooke buttercream and a homemade thin mint cookie.
If I get to visit Portland in the future, I would definitely stop by Cupcake Jones again and check out Saint Cupcakes too. And Voodoo Donuts! There was a crazy line-up at Voodoo Donuts!

As usual, the full gallery of photos on our facebook page.
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