Sunday, June 1, 2008

Wedding Bells

(Nope, not for me) My friends Erin and Tony got married this weekend and I got to bake their desserts! This was really fun, really stressful, and really rewarding. Here's the making of the cheezecakes:

One got a crust of crushed pretzels, a touch of oil, peanut butter, and a little extra salt. The other got crushed chocolate cookies, sugar, and oil.

I pressed the crust into my mini-cheesecake pans with the back of my measuring cups. It worked great!
Then I poured in the filling: Vanilla cheesecake for the chocolate crust and peanut butter cheesecake for the pretzel crust (this was really just the vanilla batter with peanut butter stirred in).
Then they went into my (dirty and temperamental) oven for about 45 minutes total. {You'll notice an extra cheesecake in here, I'm sure. My recipe makes enough for 3 minis and I wanted a back-up cheesecake in case something terrible happened to one of them.
Here's the finished products: The chocolate crust/vanilla cheesecake got homemade caramel sauce, chocolate ganache drizzles, and pecans. The pretzel crust/peanut butter cheesecake got peanut butter caramel and white chocolate shavings.

I also baked about 200 cupcakes, but somehow missed taking a picture of them at my house. There were about 6 or 7 large bakery boxes full on my kitchen table. My house smelled AMAZING! I had to use my cake carrier turned upside down as a bowl to mix the batter.

Flavors were almost all from VCTOTW: Chocolate Raspberry (chocolate cupcakes filled with raspberry buttercream and topped with chocolate ganache), Spice with Cream Cheese frosting, Lime Margarita, and Mexican Hot Chocolate.
There were these beautiful hydrangeas, ferns, and lilacs waiting for me to use around the desserts when I arrived at the reception hall. I think they looked so beautiful- and everyone I talked to said they loved them. I even saw a couple of women having their pictures taken while taking huge bites out of cupcakes! Erin and Tony were so sweet and introduced me to everyone as their baker- so perhaps I'll get some more jobs out of this!

I was REALLY nervous about how this was going to turn out. Along the way I learned that I can't bake cupcakes on the bottom rack in my oven. Even if I lower the heat and take them out early, the bottoms will be blackened. I learned this after ruining about 48 cupcakes.

I also learned that Earth Balance now makes 1/2 butter, 1/2 margarine sticks. I learned this after buying 4 pounds of it and almost dumping it into my mixer for the frostings. Close call! Luckily I had a stockpile of REAL Earth Balance already in the fridge, so I was able to use that.

So what do you do when life gives you burned cupcakes?

You cut off the tops and make Margarita DingDongs! This are firming up in the freezer right now.


Sarah Elise said...

You are so amazing! You must have been baking up a storm all week. Everything looks delicious.

Sarah Elise said...

Forgot to say Congrats to Erin and Tony! and yay wedding cupcakes.

Al said...

Liz, it was great to meet you. And yeah, everything was frickin' amazing! Holy crap for delicious.

Let us know if you do any more weddings so we can come and crash the reception.

Kitchen Scrapbook said...

Wow! You did great! Those cupcakes and cheesecakes are beautifully displayed and I love how you decorate the cheesecakes. They look very gourmet. That would be fun to do that for a reception, but man, would I ever be nervous!

Erin said...

That spread is stunning! Everything is beautiful. Congrats on successfully baking for an entire wedding.

jessy said...

WOW, Liz! you're awesome! the cupcakes look great and those cheesecales look freak'n amazing, too! that's a lot of baking! i'm glad everything turned out to be super stellar! baking for a wedding is a HUGE accomplishment - you rock so hard!

karen o.e. said...

Liz, you are so freaking cool. For serious.

_ Karen_

erin rs said...

Liz, I had NO IDEA that all of that stuff happened! I would never have been able to tell. The cupcakes looked absolutely gorgeous, and the cheesecakes... well, they were demolished within about 24 hours. So many rave reviews from our omni friends, and the celiacs in the house (there ended up being a few) were super appreciative of the gluten-free option : )

Anyway, THANK YOU again! And I have a feeling Chowgirls may be calling you soon. As for more baking jobs... I have a feeling that every time we do a load of laundry will be reason enough to order some cupcakes or that fantastic pb cheesecake. SO GOOD!!

Just let me know when a good time would be to drop off that pretty platter, too : ) Thank you again -- hope all is going well!

Hannah said...

Congrats to your friends! Man, that looks like one incredible spread- You deserve a serious pat on the back for doing all that work, and so beautifully, too!

Janine Serresseque said...

That looks amazing!

Wedding Bells said...

Yes, the Wedding Bell Blues is more than a song by the 5th Dimension! The wedding bell blues in this case, is a reminder of the "not so fun" things that must be taken care of before you tie the knot. Namely, tax consequences and what that means to you both.