Think about the most perfect red velvet cupcake. No really, close your eyes and just imagine it. A moist cupcake (red, of course) with a kiss of chocolate, dressed in dark chocolate ganache if you’re feeling evil, or some cream cheese frosting if you’re feeling fancy. Birthdays are generally fancy occasions, so in this scenario, we will be going with the cream cheese scenario =)
Baking for my friend Tito is a little difficult at times, because I’m never really sure exactly what he likes. I thought about this cake for about a week or so before conceptualizing a final design. These were some things I knew:
1. That one time I made red velvet cake, he housed all the extra tops I cut off to make the layers even. Red velvet – check!
2. That time I made mojito cupcakes, he liked the cream cheese frosting. Cream cheese frosting – check!
3. He absolutely loves cheesecake.
I was debating between making a red velvet cake and a dulce de leche cheesecake and was browsing the Cheesecake Factory website (mostly I was sitting in the machine shop and HUNGRY) when all of a sudden I saw their red velvet and cheesecake layered cake – a match made in heaven! I fell in love. I made the cake. He fell in love (with the cake). It was probably the most delicious cake I had ever made.
And so, I present to you, the red velvet cake with a cheesecake filling, covered in dense cream cheese frosting. You want to eat it. You know it!
CAKE: Red velvet
TOPPING: Cream cheese frosting
GARNISH: Strawberries (optional, totally unneeded but still delish!)
As I rattled down the list of potential cupcakes trying to choose the seven I wanted to make, my friend’s reaction to this one was “Ooo! That sounds like a froyo cupcake!” It was originally going to be a pound cake cupcake with strawberry Clementine compote and Clementine whipped cream, but the frozen yogurt comment got me thinking, and I attemped something else – a Calpico glaze!
CUPCAKE: Pound cake
FILLING: Strawberry Clementine compote
TOPPING: Calpico glaze
GARNISH: Clementine twist, strawberry, pound cake star
For those of you that don’t know what Calpico is, it’s actually the English name for the Japanese uncarbonated soft drink Calpis (カルピス) because English-speaking countries think it sounds like “cow piss,” which makes it slightly less attractive to drink! The taste is a little similar to plain yogurt because it has a nice tang, but with added sweetness. The name actually is a portmanteau of two works: cal from calcium and pis from sarpis (butter flavor in Sanskrit). It’s originally sold in concentrate form (which I used here) but also comes in a pre-watered down version and can be drank lie that! There’s a ton of different flavors too, but my absolute fave is the original <3 I use it on my shaved ice all the time, and I love mixing it with fruit juices (grapefruit, especially), and it totally works in soju cocktails as well!
Photo from Just Hungry
Pretty much, the best thing ever ^_^ Anyways, check below the cut for the recipe! It features something I hadn’t heard of before – the “cold pound cake” technique, but I thought it worked out well =)
My friend threw a 3-month birthday party for his beta fish, Rezzy earlier this month. He wanted to get rid of most of his spare alcohol as the semester was ending soon, so he made a large number of fish-shaped Jell-O shots – I helped out the endeavor by making a cake!
This was my first attempt at baking with alcohol, but I think it turned out pretty good! It was not as moist as I would have liked and I think next time I would do it with chocolate, but then again – this is a yellow cake and my taste buds seem to be craving a devil’s food cake! Check it out =D
CAKE: Kahlua cake (2 layers)
FILLING: Strawberry vodka compote
FROSTING: Kahlua/coffee chocolate
TOPPING: Fish-shaped strawberry slices!