Fresh strawberry cake with cream cheese frosting.

IMG-20170827-WA0006For this super strawberry cake the secret is to use fresh strawberries and …. gelatin, yes GELATIN!

Let me share the recipe with you, I hope you like it!

For the Cake:

250 grams of butter

2 cups of sugar

4 eggs

1 strawberry gelatin sachet

½ cup of milk

½ cup of fresh strawberry juice

½ cup fresh cut strawberries

3 cups of flour

1 teaspoon of baking powder

 

Preparation:

In a mixer, first, add the butter and sugar until it forms a soft and light dough.

Then add the eggs one by one until a homogeneous mixture is obtained. On a different bowl, mix together the powdered gelatin sachet with the flour and baking powder.

Alternately add the flour and the milk to the cake batter.

Finally, mix by hand in an involving movement the strawberry juice and fresh strawberries.

 

For the cream cheese filling:

2 packages of cream cheese

250 grams of icing sugar

zest of a vanilla pod

 

In a mixer, mix the cream cheese with icing sugar and vanilla, until you get a fluffy cream.20170827_112449

I used edible gel dyes for the three shades of pink. I divided the cream into three equal parts and then added the dye, varying the amount to obtain three different shades.

Finally, just fill the cake in equal parts and put the three shades of pink around.

It is very important to refrigerate the cake between each step and to keep the temperature of the cream cheese cool.

 

This cake is recommended to keep in the refrigerator until party time.

 

Hope you like it,

 

Kisses!

Important Measures

Making cakes and desserts can be in some cases a nightmare for some people who like to cook freely and without using any measures.

For me making cakes and gelatins is sort of like a ” Science” just using a different measure can alter the result of my dessert and make it all go worng.

When I teach my gelatin classes I really insist to my students to use measuring cups or weight the ingredients. So, here I leave you a little help and information on how to measure the ingredients for your cakes and sweets.

 

Medidas Importantes!1

 

Some Tips!

Use good measuring cups and spoons

DON`T ignore the instructions!

One cup of sifted flour is not the same as “sift one cup of flour”

Use spoons to fill the cups instead of filling the cup directly from a bigger container

After filling the cup, level the dry ingredient using a spoon or a knife. 

When measuring liquids , make sure your cup is set on a leveled surface. 

And don´t forget to set your scale to 0,00 before starting!

But most important…have fun!

I hope this info is somehow useful and helps you in your baking.

Don´t forget to like this post, comment, share and subscribe!

Love,

Cristina

 

 

 

 

 

 

Fresh Strawberries cake with cream cheese filling.

For this super strawberry cake the secret is to use fresh strawberries and …. gelatin, yes GELATIN!IMG-20170827-WA0005

Here I share the recipe with you, I hope you like it!

For the Cake:

250 grams of butter

2 cups of sugar

4 eggs

1 strawberry gelatin sachet

½ cup of milk

½ cup of fresh strawberry juice

½ cup fresh sliced ​​strawberries

3 cups of flour

1 teaspoon baking powder

Preparation:

In a mixer, first, add the butter and sugar until it forms a soft and light dough. Then we add the eggs one by one until a homogeneous mixture is obtained. Aside we add the powdered gelatin sachet with the flour and yeast.

Alternately add flour and milk to the cake batter. At the end mix by hand in an enveloping way with strawberry juice and fresh strawberries.

For the cream cheese filling:

2 packages of cream cheese

250 grams of icing sugar

1 tbsp of  vanilla 

In a mixer, mix the cream cheese with icing sugar and vanilla, until you get a fluffy cream similar to the buttercream.

I used gel edible dyes for the three shades of pink. I divided the cream into three equal parts and then added the dye, varying the amount to obtain three different shades.

Finally, just fill the cake in equal parts and put the three shades of pink around. It is very important to refrigerate the cake between each step and to keep the temperature of the cream cheese cool. This cake is recommended to keep in the refrigerator until party time.

Hope you like it!

And don´t forget to like, comment, share, and subscribe.

Stay creative!

Love,

Cristina

Stout Beer Chocolate Cake Recipe

So, as I said in a previous post, I decided to have a chocolate bake-off in my kitchen. I already shared with you guys my Rich Chocolate cake recipe and now is the turn for the Stout Beer Chocolate Cake.

This is such an intense flavored cake, that it is not just the richness of the dark cocoa, is also the bitter taste of the stout beer that makes the difference. Besides, it is a super moist cake and not too dense.

Let me share with you this simple recipe, the great thing is that you mix wet ingredients first, all of them; and then the dry ingredients so it is simple to make.

Ingredients:20200516_153008

250grms of melted butter

3/4 cups of dark cocoa powder

1 1/2 cup of sugar

1/2 cup of brown sugar

1 cup of Stout beer

2 eggs

3/4 cups of yogurt

3 tsp of vanilla

2 cups of self-rising flour

2 tsp of baking powder

a pinch of salt

Mix together the melted butter with both sugars, cocoa powder, stout beer, eggs, yogurt, and vanilla.

It may look crumbly when mixing but it will be a quite liquid and silky mixture at the end.

 

Once it is all mixed, add the sifted flour together with the baking powder and salt.

Bake at 200º for 35 minutes and let it cool on a cooling rack.

I top this cake with a simple American buttercream coffee-flavored.

It was absolutely delicious!

20200517_155451

Please try this one out, compare it to the other cake and tell me all about it. And as always, remember to like this post, comment, share, and subscribe!

Did you pick a winner recipe?

I couldn´t!

Love,

Cristina

 

 

 

I just want a chocolate cake!

Because at the end of the day, we are eating cake, doesn´t matter how artistic, how decorated, how innovative it is, we are eating a cake.

During these last months in the middle of this quarantine and social distancing, I´ve been meeting through social media new cake friends from all over the world, amazing artists with:  out of this world cakes and confections; skills and techniques that I can only dream of and I am in awe about it.

As amazed as I am, I have a small feeling of missing something. In Portuguese, there is a word called ” Saudades” that according to the dictionary means: “a feeling of longing, melancholy, or nostalgia that is supposedly characteristic of the Portuguese or Brazilian temperament”.

I definitely have ” Saudades” of a cake!

just a Cake!

a simple chocolate cake!

entering your mom´s house or visit your grandmother and smelling that steamy fresh cake just out of the oven.

Going back to the basics, to baking, to tasting a cake by itself, I decided to dedicate this week´s of work to an old-time favorite flavor: CHOCOLATE!

Being me, I decided to have a small bake-off in my kitchen and this past Sunday I baked two recipes of my favorite chocolate cakes and have my family be the judge of it. None of them won, they ate them both!

Both cakes being of chocolate are very different in taste, moist and sweetness. One is my all-time favorite rich chocolate cake recipe that I found a long time ago on a magazine and the other is a Stout Chocolate Cake that someone gave me the recipe many years ago.

I´ll share one of them today and the other on a next post, so let´s begin:

Rich Chocolate Cake:

Rich Chocolate Cake
Ingredients Rich Chocolate Cake

Ingredients:

1 cup of butter

350grms of golden sugar

5 eggs

1 chocolate tablet of at least 55% of cocoa or more

150 grams of flour

1 tablespoon of baking powder.

Mix together the butter and the sugar until light and fluffy. Add each egg at the time and mix well after each addition.

 

Melt the chocolate in bain Marie and let it cool before adding it to the mixture. Mix well and finally add the sifted flour.

( in the last picture you can see both recipes of chocolate cake, the Rich Chocolate Cake is the one on the left)

Now, my special twist to this cake: add a pinch of sea salt and just a 1/4 teaspoon of cinnamon, this will enhance the chocolate flavor!

This cake doesn´t rise too much, so for a taller, double this recipe and divide the batter into two molds of the same diameter.

Bake at 180º C for 40 minutes. This cake tends to sink in the middle so decorating requires a lot of leveling and carving. However, this cake is absolutely delicious and moist, it is similar to a brownie and is very rich in flavor.

I decided to top this cake with a simple dark chocolate ganache and some fresh raspberries.

Try it out and let me know how was it!

I really hope you like this post ( and this cake), and don´t forget to like, comment, share, and subscribe!.

Love,

Cristina

 

 

So, do I really need to have a Blog?

The answer is no!

Then, why have one?

Some may say it is a trend, and a trend that even I sometimes question.

I am not a writer and don´t have any studies to be one. I speak a few languages, however, English being my second language doesn´t make things easier.

So, going back to my original question, the answer still “no”, it is not needed and here is why:

There are thousands of people writing blogs nowadays about everything and I don´t believe there are that many people willing to read everything we write, so is it just bloggers following bloggers?

This is a lot of work, and I really mean A LOT! I am a Cake Designer, Gelatin Artist, teacher, and a full-time mom; and on top of that I must think about writing a weekly article , fin ideas , recipes, take pictures of my products, edit and share on social media for just a hand full of people to read.

Who has time for all of that? Maybe a few good followers, my family and some good friends that still have some patience to read my articles.

But, funny thing, I still have the blog!

Why?

First because I find this screen my confessionary, as well as so many people, this is my place to say what I believe, what I think, to try to help others and share what I believe is too good not to share.

Second because even if one person can take something good out of what I write, then my work is done.

Third, once you start, no matter the amount of work you might have, you can´t stop. It is like playing in the casino, at the beginning you win nothing, then as you start having some good hands and wining, it is hard to stop, you kind of get addicted and believe that the next article , the next post is going to be the one to get to more people and help others, to finally have the wanted outcome and make something out of your work.

That is why I still have my blog, and I´ll keep writing and sharing with you everything I do, recipes, party ideas, classes, tutorials and my personal intake on how to use social media to help our cake business.

So, do I really need to have a Blog? No. Do I want to have a Blog, Yes!

It is a great tool to keep your community informed, and updated with everything you do and specially for them to get to know you, this is social media, we mean to be social and to be there for our students, clients and community.

Which leads me to my next question, what are we really selling? A product or ourselves?

That will be for my next post, leave me a comment about it and don’t forget to like this article, comment, share and subscribe!

Stay Creative!

Love,

Cristina.

 

” Piña Colada” Jelly

The weather is about to change and as summer is coming, so we want some fresh and tasty desserts and there is one flavor, in particular, that takes us to summer, party and the beach and that flavor is …Piña Colada.

This is a simple recipe with easy to find ingredients that will give you a very fresh summer dessert.

 ” Piña Colada” Jelly🍍

Ingredients

One box of pineapple jelly

1 cup of coconut milk

3 cups of water

some teaspoons of shredded desiccated coconut for decoration

2 tablespoons of clear powder gelatin

a cherry to decorate
20180815_175107

How to make it:

Mix one package of the pineapple gelatin with one tablespoon of clear powder gelatin. Add two cups of hot water and mix until everything is dissolved.

Place this preparation on a plastic mold and let it solidify in the fridge for at least one hour.

In another bowl mix the other package of pineapple gelatin with one spoon of clear powder gelatin and add one cup of hot water and one cup of coconut milk. Mix it well until it is all dissolved.

Leave it to cool down before adding this preparation to the already set pineapple gelatin. The leave it in the fridge overnight before taking out of the molds.

I made some seashells using plastic molds and the coconut gelatin preparations to decorate.

Serve with the shredded desiccated coconut, you can paint the seashells and add the cherry on top to give it a cocktail look!

 

20180815_175740

I hope you like this summer easy dessert and don´t forget to comment, like, share, and subscribe!

Love,

Cristina.

 

 

 

 

 

So, what is a Decorated Gelatin?

Many people, including students who attend my courses, have the idea that decorated gelatins are gelatin-covered cakes, in some cases, it can be true, however, in this case, they are real gelatins made in different ways for different decorative finishes.

Decorated gelatins are original and artistic creations where different techniques are used to decorate the gelatin-based dessert.

Let me share with you some tips on the different types of decorated gelatins.

There are several types of decorated gelatins: hand-painted, two-dimensional, three-dimensional, 3D gelatin flowers, and decorated with printed wafer or rice paper.

Hand-painted gelatins are freehand painted where the decorator transfers the entire drawing and paints with edible ink.

Two-dimensional are those gelatins that combine painting and applications made out of the gelatin sheet to give a two-dimensional finish to the work.

Three-dimensional gelatins are those that are made in several layers where we can see the different decorations to “float” inside the gelatin creating a three-dimensional effect joined by transparent or translucent gelatins to allow you to see the different decorations and elements.

Gelatins decorated using prints on wafer or rice paper are an excellent option for transferring very complicated drawings or photographs. Also, a quick and easy way to decorate for beginners

These three types of work can be done with the recipes and techniques taught in my Level 1 Decorated Gelatin workshop.

Finally, we have the latest trend in gelatin decoration; the 3D gelatin flowers inside clear gelatin, this technique may need a lot of practice to achieve excellent results, however, no special tools are required. I teach this technique by using different instruments such as knives, syringes, spoons to be able to mold flower petals inside transparent gelatin.

These sweet and delicate treats will be the center of attention at your party or a beautiful edible decorative piece to complete your sweet table.

Here are some tips and tricks on how to use gelatin from my series of articles called Gelatin tips. Give it a try and if you want more information about how to learn to make all of these beautiful gelatins don´t forget to contact me!

Remember to like this post, comment, share, and subscribe!

Love,

Cristina

Coconut Gelatine

Trying to find new flavors for the 3D gelatin flowers and since the weather is getting warmer and calls for more tropical flavors, I found a recipe from the ” Asian Gelatin Flavors”.

There is some information that these 3D gelatin flowers are originally from Asia and then became popular in Latin America, even though, Latinamericns claim that they invented it and the Asians copy them.

All I know is that being self-taught I found my own technique and instruments to work with in order to make these beautiful flowers with everyday knives and pharmacy store syringes. However, I am always open to trying new flavors so I found this very tasty recipe for my friends and students.

So, here I share with you these Coconut gelatins that are very clear and work perfectly to make the 3d Gelatin Flowers. Besides is very fresh and tasty, excellent for summer!

The base is made from coconut water, so you won´t have to include flavoring or essences or even add more sugar. With all the variety of brands of coconut water available in the market, you can even choose the amount of sweetness, light products or even bio or natural ones.

3D Gelatin Flowers

Ingredients:

3 cups of coconut water

1 cup of water

56 grams of clear powder gelatin

125 grams of sugar ( optional)

3 ml of lemon juice or 1 teaspoon of citric acid

 

Ingredients Clear Gelatin
Coconut clear gelatin

To make the gelatin is very simple:

1.) Mix the coconut water, the sugar (optional) the lemon juice or citric acid.

2.) Then in another bowl, hydrate the gelatin with the water. Add the gelatin to the water and leave it to rest for a minute so the grain of the gelatin will expand and hydrate. Then heat it in the microwave at low temperature without boiling it.

3. ) Finally, mix together the liquid gelatin and the coconut water and let it rest for 5 minutes before pouring it in the container for the gelatine. Then place them in the fridge for 24 hours to solidify and to make the flowers.

Coconut Clear Gelatin
Clear gelatin

If you want to check out the process of making the 3D Gelatin Flower, please check out this video on my YouTube channel so you can see how it is done.

Try out this recipe, it is tasty and fresh for the summer. I really hope you like it!

Don´t forget to like this post, comment, share and subscribe!

Love,

Cristina

What to post during this quarantine for your cake business.

Fellow bakers, cake artists, cake designers, and cake decorators; these times have been hard for us. This forced isolation has made us face our fears, live in uncertainty, and wonder about our future and the future of our business.

Only one thing has remained true during this time and even better than ever and that has been the Internet and Social Media.

We have faced this 30 days so far ( for me) of quarantine, without work or just some few loyal clients, but in the other hand filled with new friendships from around the world, days full of tutorials and live events on Facebook and Instagram, learning for free from the best in the business and trying to keep ourselves busy and entertained so we can focus on the positive instead of falling into depression.

We have seen a rapid increase in live tutorials and online classes. Everybody is going live and teaching something, but why? Maybe in the desperate attempt to keep our business alive, our just to keep ourselves busy, maybe because possible future customers are online more often and have a better chance to see our products or maybe because we are bored and need something to do.

All the reasons above are more than valid and I can only encourage everyone to do it.

However,

These are sensitive times and we don´t want to be just selling when maybe our friends or customers are having a hard time with this virus, are sick or have lost someone. We cannot escape from that reality as much as we want to.

So, here comes the title of this post: what to post and how to post it during this quarantine.

I´ve been reading a couple of articles on digital marketing where I got inspired for writing this post, but I wanted to give you an input form a cake business point of view.

We should be communicative, talk about what you do, show your product and don´t stop marketing. It will be a waste of an opportunity now that more people are online every day. However, don´t expect a lot of sales, instead let´s focus on growing your community, help your clients, offer solutions and build a relationship.

For our cake business, this will translate on keep showing your wonderful cake art, even if you are not doing anything new show your older pics. Mention that special client, tell the story behind your cake, find new friends online with your cake passion and things in common, offer your clients to reschedule their orders and maybe send them a cookie or a treat to tell them that you are thinking of them.

Watch the tone of your posts, remember that people are more sensitive than ever. We need to be more human, be empathetic, offer compassion, provide value to your audience and even ask for help.

515435ed2f662ed04c19140c83c9bab5

Post positive captions to your pictures but without forgetting the current situation. Share positive posts and be there to help others.

Try to be empathetic, I know we are in the middle of a hard time, but you can´t ask a client to understand that you can´t cancel an order in a harsh way and from your desperation and fear. When you empathize with your client situation, this person will feel appreciated and will listen to your option to reschedule instead of canceling and order.

Some ideas for your Social Media Posts and where to post them

  • Inspirational quotes
  • Older posts or pictures
  • Baking at home
  • Creative work
  • Offer help on a topic (like a recipe or a decorating tip)
  • Educational videos, lives, Instagram lives, IGTV or stories
  • Update your profile accounts: New pictures of you, location, links, about page
  • Share some awareness of the virus situation, without going too deep into the negative and keeping the prospective of your cake business.
  • Help others selflessly: help your client or share a fellow cake artist´s work.
  • Be there just to talk and keep each other company
  • Join groups related to cake decorating and baking and interact as much as you can.
  • Meet people from around the world, comment and share their work.

And most importantly, remember we have more time! Use that to your advantage: Learn, think, create, reformulate your business, see things from a different point of view, enjoy what you were missing when you had your busy schedule and stay active in social media, you never know where that can lead you in the future.

I really hope this post has helped you and that you have enjoyed it because I loved writing it for you.

Stay safe, stay home and stay creative.

Don´t forget to like, comment, subscribe and share.

Love,

Cristina