Sunday, November 21, 2010

Once upon a time at Cupcake Camp LA...

Well, Cupcake Camp has come and gone and oh my stars what a whirlwind! The event was a lot of fun at the venue The Music Box in Hollywood.  I've been here multiple times to see concerts. So it was a little bizarre to be there with the lights on and tables of people frosting cupcakes on the stage. 

All in all, it was totally worth staying up all night. I had a great time and can never thank Eva enough for helping me. I couldn't have done it without her. Also, Marianne who gave me her Great Grandmother's recipe to try out. I am honored that you feel, I am doing justice to your family's recipe. These are my favorite tasting cupcakes I have ever made. Ever.

And now, the story of how Ammie's Sweet Treats went to Cupcake Camp LA!

Cupcake Camp Poster

Friday - I got home around 6.30pm friday night and started in on the first batch of honey cakes. Eva arrived a little while later and she started in on the marzipan bees. Eva kicked marzipan and fondant butt!  We had bees for the honey cakes and then marzipan walk of fame stars and fondant movie clappers for the devils food chocolate cupcakes.

Eva's Army of Bees

I think staying up all night and baking and talking was the best part. It was like having a cupcake slumber party:) Although at some point, time started to really move and I ended up staying up pretty much all night. I kind of took a cat nap at about 6am for 30 minutes. Eva was a trooper and stayed up with me till almost 5.

Then the morning light was coming through the window and I was starting my 2nd batch of penuche frosting for the chocolate cupcakes. Then onto my 3rd... this frosting which last week was so easy was not turning out. I had 3 batches of crap. Luckily I had made the vanilla buttercream for the 2nd half of honey cakes. So that was ready once Eva was up and ready to start back in it.  

With the third batch not working out, I decided it was time to just do chocolate. So I started 2 different chocolate recipes.  The whole time Eva was great, just reassuring that it would all be okay. Awesome. But seriously, why is frosting so hard? It really is my nemesis.

My kitchen after a 100 cupcakes baked and frosted!

Some how we did it, and as Eva was was finishing the last of the chocolate I as printing cards to hand out and taking the boxed cupcakes out to the mini.

Cupcakes are boxed and ready

Driving to the event I realized that I forgot my fondant Hollywood sign for the top of the display. As usual, Eva to the rescue. She says, "oh I can make one with paper." She is so crafty - everyone loved her hollywood sign. Which was about 1000x better than what I had made.  I love that Eva's craftiness was shown in the display. She was an awesome assistant!

This was the display for the Cupcake Camp, all bakers 
could bring a cupcake up to the stand.

We get to The Music Box and start bringing stuff in and Eva gets to work on the Hollywood Sign Cutout. After while, we are up and ready to go. After walking around I realize that I didn't have my dish for the beads for the contest. Thank you iphone - with a quick search I find a Pier One just down the street. Best on sale vase I ever bought:)

Welcome to Hollywood Cupcakes
Sunny "LA" Honey Cupcakes and Great Granny's Chocolate Devils
by Ammie's Sweet Treats

Back to the event with plenty of time.  The event was awesome. They had a photo booth complete with accessories - crowns, feather boas etc. So we got our pictures taken. And I put up one of the photos on our display in the front of the table.

Eva and I with our awesome display.

Finally, they opened the doors for Session 1. It was like a mad house. I think the best part of the day was watching all the little kids wondering through. They were adorable, wide eyed and totally overwhelmed. I was myself when it was my chance to walk around and pick.

After a little bit we saw some friendly faces coming through the line. It was great as everyone kind of showed up around the same time, so it created a little bit of buzz at our station. 

Towards the end of Session 1 they announced the sponsors and the charities for which the donated money were going towards: Angel Acres Horse Rescue, American Tortoise Rescue, and Then they had the bakers count their beads and they gave out the trophy.  We had 12 beads and I think it was 27 tickets.

During the break, Eva and I took turns going around with our tasting tickets.

Eva during the break

Then Session 2 started. It was definitely a different vibe than the frantic rush during the first session. And once again we saw some friendly faces. At the end of Session 2 we had 9 beads and 41 tickets. 

During both sessions we had some friendly faces come through the line. I'd like to thank: Reuben, Jenny, little baby Logan, Marianne and baby to be, Michael, Charlotte, Rowan, Dan, Joe, Josh, Heather and Troy. It means the world to me that all of you came out to support me and that you used your tickets for my cupcakes. I hope you enjoyed them! And Heather had my favorite quote from the whole day - "Holy cupcakes, Batman!"

Our view during cupcake camp la

I also want to thank the little girl who came up with her parents - she was enchanted with the honey cupcake with the bee. You are the reason why I love to bake. She wanted that bee cupcake and handed me her ticket with a smile on her face.  Later in the day, we noticed that they were sitting behind our station with all their cupcakes. Eva asked if she could take a picture of them with our cupcake.  A little later the little girl came over and handed me her bead and told me that I had her favorite cupcake. It made my day. Then Eva and I passed one of the Great Granny's Chocolate Devils to them to try out. They loved that one too.

We had people stopping all day long to take photos of the display. Everyone seemed to love it. It was awesome watching people stop to take photos of my cupcakes. The honey bee cupcakes were definitely the hit. People loved bees!  Plus, a few people came by that were bloggers and took photos and a video. They even had a thing on channel 7 news - and I'm almost in the video. In the video they are filming the line of tables I was in and it stops right as they are getting to my display but I saw my table cloth! :)

The cards I printed out - this is the back side.

It has a Quirk from a friends Quirk application. You can scan the image and it takes you to my greengirlbakes twitter account.

And that's it, the day ended we gave the few leftovers we had to the person who was there for the homeless charity to take back and we were outta there.  We came back and did a little tasting of the cupcakes we had selected with our tickets. And then let the sugar coma set in:)

Sunday, November 14, 2010

Cupcake Camp LA flavors have been decided!

Okay, so finally a with only 1 week to go I have finally decided on which cupcake flavors I'm bringing. I tried two more flavors this weekend for a little Sunday afternoon party I was going to.  I got a lot of good feedback from the guests and am so glad that everyone was enjoying my cupcakes. Plus a few of the guests were asking about the cupcake camp so it was so much fun talking about making cupcakes for charity. I can't wait till Saturday.

The first cupcake I made was the Honey Bee Cupcakes from the Martha Stewart Cupcakes book. I researched types of honey all week long with not much luck for which honey is best to bake with. I also find it interesting that it seems to be the only ingredient that Martha doesn't specify a brand or flavor. So, in the end, I ended up using just a plain organic honey. I made vanilla buttercream frosting and tinted it so it would be bright yellow.  I tried to make the marzipan bees. Which were fairly simple, but you need to do the yellow marzipan no where near the black as no matter how many times I washed my hands and wiped my work area, the yellow marzipan were a tinge black. But they were kinda cute.

The second flavor I decided to make last night at about midnight. It's a recipe that a friend from work had given me a while ago. Her grandmother's recipe for Red Devils Chocolate cake. These were absolutely delish! Butterscotch frosting was listed to be used in the recipe but I didn't have the evaporated milk (though after reading the recipe it seems very similar to the Penuche Frosting that I got from my own Grandmother). So today I just made Chocolate frosting from the Nestle's Unsweetened cocoa box.  It was pretty good and complimented the cupcakes. 

So, these are the 2 flavors, i might try having both the chocolate frosting and the butterscotch frosting for the camp.  Plus, the theme of the Cupcake Camp is "LA", so I've got a few ideas brewing about how to make these cupcakes more "LA" themed.

Now I just hope that the cupcake tree I ordered comes in time. I wanted to be crafty and just make my own but with having to make the cupcakes and decorative items, I figured that just ordering the cardboard stand would be easier and help ease some of the stress.

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Vegan Chocolate Cupcakes

My first batch of anything vegan just came out of the oven. I used the Vegan Chocolate Cupcake recipe from the Martha Stewart Cupcakes book.

The recipe said that the batter would be thin and I would agree. This is also a recipe where the amount was right on. It made 12 and that's it. 

I'm very curious to see tomorrow how people like them.  They do smell good though:)

Happy Baking!

Cupcake Camp LA

So, the vegan cupcakes were a bit of a fail... Actually, just a fail. By this morning some of them were sinking and the taste. Not so much. First recipe from the Martha Stewart Cupcake book that hasn't turned out. 

Sunday, November 7, 2010

Pumpkin Spice with Grandma Fran's Penuche Frosting

So, overall I think the pumpkin spice & penuche frosting cupcakes turned out well.  While making the batch last night I lost track of how many cups of flour I had added but was crossing my fingers that I was still okay. Turns out that my taste-testers said 'mmmmm' on the first bite but after some questions about the cupcakes. They all agreed that they seemed a tad on the dry side. Which, now i know I added 1 cup flour too many. 

Because of the additional flour, I think that's why they didn't seem as pumpkin flavored as I was hoping. The flavor was still there but a little subdued. But they did say that it felt like a cupcake and not like a muffin as I was worried about.

On the plus side - they all really seemed to enjoy the Penuche Frosting which they said had more of a maple flavor to them. Today's taste-testers also seemed to like that the frosting was an unusual pairing with pumpkin instead of the same old cream cheese frosting.

I'm going to try the batch one more time tonight and possibly just try the pumpkin brown-butter just to see which one people prefer tomorrow.

Friday, November 5, 2010

Baking baking and more baking

Well cupcake fans - this weekend will be filled to the brim with baking. Time to buckle down and figure out which recipe will be the one for Cupcake Camp LA on November 20th.

Still leaning towards the pumpkin flavor since its almost Thanksgiving. (Though you'd never know it in LA right now. Summer has finally decided to show up)

Stay tuned for posts and pictures as the bake-a-thon gets underway:)

Monday, October 25, 2010

Just too cool not to share

So, as you know I've signed up for the Cupcake Camp LA and today I saw that I am now on the website list of bakers. There is a little "bio" about me. When registering, you had the opportunity to answer some questions and they would post in a blog for you. So of course the Leo in me had to answer the questions.  

I've got to say, it is so awesome to see my name on the Cupcake Camp website. 

Also did a little baking this weekend for a friend's birthday party.  Chocolate-Spice cupcakes dipped in chocolate ganache. With one special "Princess" cupcake (Ariel) as requested from her hubby.  I had success with the first batch of buttercream frosting for decorating. I think I've finally figured out the key to buttercream.  Frosting really is the hardest part for me.

Still need to do a batch of the pumpkin brown-butter cupcakes... Cupcake Camp is coming up fast!

Link to my little burb;)

Link to the main Cupcake Camp LA page

Monday, October 18, 2010

Save the date for Cupcake Camp Los Angeles

It's official - they have announced the date for Cupcake Camp Los Angeles! Looks like I have plans on Saturday, November 20th. I just officially signed up to participate as a baker.  I'm so excited to be able to do some baking for another worthwhile event.  

Right now, I'm thinking that the pumpkin brown-butter cupcakes are the flavor for this event. I'd like to try out this recipe plus since the event is so close to Thanksgiving it seems like a good way to get into the holiday spirit.

You can check out more information about the event here at the website below.

Stay tuned for updates as we get closer to camp time!

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Engagement Party Cupcakes

Saturday was the Engagement Party and the cupcakes were just as lovely as the party. I'm so happy for our friends J&M and that I was able to do the cupcakes for their celebration means a lot to me.

For the final Red Velvet cupcakes I used the Wilton no-taste red coloring.  While the 2nd batch of beet red velvets were good. They just weren't right.... So, I decided to move on and focus on making the frosting and fondant flowers amazing.  

Red Velvet Cupcakes

I have never used fondant reminds me of the edible play-dough my mom made one time when I was a kid.  It was a little hard to roll out at first, but I did have fun adding the Violet coloring in and kneading the color through it. The violet color was for the medium sized daisy cutouts... 

it's like sugar cookie cutouts

I then kept some of the fondant white and made the small daisy cutouts. The lesson with the fondant is to do that the night before. It takes a long time for the fondant to dry out.

there is a reason why there are so many
decorating dishes etc. at the supply store! 

Writing this I realize that we didn't take any photos of the small white daisies with the white sparkle powder - I guess we were busy creating:)

I love how the cupcakes turned out - I had a few ideas for the fondant flowers and the end design turned out beautifully.  The best part is that J&M loved them and so did the rest of the guests. It is the best feeling when I see everyone enjoying my home-made sunshine:)

J&M Red Velvet Delights with
Cream Cheese Mascarpone Frosting 
and fondant flowers

Sunday, August 1, 2010

red beet velvet cupcakes results of test number one...

Today's test recipe is Red Velvet made with beets instead of red food coloring. The first batch is interesting. I think that there was just too much beet puree added. It tastes good, and the beet taste is getting lighter as the cupcakes cool. They just didn't rise at all and are sinking as they cool.  I do believe that I'm on the right track though, and a little less puree would've had better end results.

Will be trying again tomorrow.  It is funny though, that they weren't red at all by the time they were cooked, but they started out a deep red-purple color that was really cool. There is a very nice sweetness to them.  

I'm excited to try again tomorrow.

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

fabulous day of cupcakes remembered....

So, 2 days later and I'm still on the sugar high of Sunday's events.  I really had a blast at CupcakeCamp and can't wait for next year! 

I still can't believe that I won on Sunday. It was definitely a dream come true.  I've loved to bake since I can remember and I just kept thinking about how I would sit in my room and bake cakes in my easy bake oven and that I had just won for tastiest cupcake in a roomful of cupcake lovers. It is just so amazing to be a part of such a wonderful day and raising money for Cupcakes for Cancer.  It was quite inspiring...

Plus, I was lucky enough to be next to two great bakers who were so nice. It made the day even better to be chatting with them during the event. I hope to see them at CupcakeCamp again if there is one next year. 

How the Chocolate Salted-Caramel Twinks made it to CupcakeCamp Santa Barbara...

The baking started Saturday afternoon, luckily it didn't take too long since I was baking with the mini pan and it holds 2 dozen for each pan.  I was done baking the cakes by about 6pm and they cooled over night. 

award-winning cupcakes in the making and didn't even know it...

cooling....maybe we tried one or two:)

4am Sunday morning came very quickly. I was up and scooping out the middles by 4.16am... This didn't take nearly as long as I had budgeted for... which thank goodness.  The caramel took 3 times... really probably the first batch would've been okay but I dumped it and there was no going back.  The 2nd batch, I'm still trying to figure out what happened, just as it seemed it was turning and starting to carmalize the whole thing just crystalized and looked like snow.  Batch 2 dumped.  On to batch number 3 and the third was the charm.  

everything seems like its going smoothly....

when batch 1 went wrong... sometimes you should just follow your instincts

this is right before batch 2 crystalized and looked like snow
(notice the melting chocolate...I think this is where the lesson learned comes in:)

finally the little fella's are filled

Unfortunately, I had already started to make the chocolate frosting during batch number 2, so when I had to make caramel batch number 3 I should've put the chocolate frosting into the fridge but I didn't. Lesson learned. So by the time I tried to frost the little cupcakes, the frosting was so warm I couldn't get it to form the peaks... Well, I know my husband loves me dearly as he let me have a meltdown and when I said I wanted to give up, he wouldn't let me. 

By this time it was now after 9.30am and we still needed to get the little guys packed up and head out for the 1 hour 40 minute drive according to google maps.  Thankfully, it wasn't too sunny yet during the drive!

With fingers crossed that the frosting didn't melt on the drive we pulled into the Fess Parker Hotel parking lot.  We knew instantly we were in the right place as we saw a few ladies carrying in cupcake containers.

It was too late to turn back now, we were here. 

Once inside, we were told amateur bakers were along the right side of the wall and that envelopes with our names were at our station.  I don't think I have ever been as excited and nervous as I was walking along the row of tables looking for the envelope with my name.  

my very first spot at a cupcake baking event... supercool.

Once there, it was a pretty quick set-up. It was 3 bakers to a table and I was on one end. The tablecloth was absolutely perfect. It wasn't too long before we had all the cakes set up on the display and the little crochet guys around. We were done with plenty of time to spare... You could feel the excitement as all the other bakers started to arrive.

Ammie's Sweet Treats 
i loved my display - and i love that this photo
captured it so perfectly. 

The apron on the chair was my Grandma Twink's. She was a fabulous baker and cook. I was lucky enough to get her baking gene. That is why they are called chocolate salted-caramel twinks. I have lots of memories of her baking at the holidays and doing crafts.  Scott thinks that everything has tasted even better since my mom gave me it a few months ago:)

Once they let the doors open for the event it was a mad-house! There were so many people I couldn't believe it. As people started coming through the line I quickly realized that Nancy who was next to me was going to need to sell out of her fabulously decorated flower cupcakes. Everyone was at our table but only for Nancy's cupcakes (she had 3 different kinds) So, for the first 15 minutes or so I was a little sad as no-one was asking for one of mine.  It really was a lesson in that people go for what attracts the eye. Once her flower cupcakes were gone, business started to pick up.

almost time...

the doors are open...

love the flower design and the rootbeer cupcakes were delish

spiced coffee cake was delish and the mocha cupcakes looked yummy too

After awhile things got to be a little less crazy and the bakers I was next to we traded cupcakes to taste.  Nancy to the right of me, had these rootbeer cupcakes that looked interesting - they were excellent and my favorite of the day.  Sarah to the left of me and a spice coffee cake which was really good too. It had cream cheese cardamom frosting (cardamom is my favorite spice & is in my favorite norwegian christmas cookies)

lots of tasters coming through

the cupcakes awaiting the judges table...

close-up of my cupcakes awaiting... 

cupcake lovers unite!

I'm so happy that people chose to taste my cupcake with their donation tickets. I had so much fun handing out my cupcakes. There were 2 little girls that came through, they reminded me of my best friends little girls... I even had a 3-peat customer. I received a lot of kind words about the crochet cupcakes. One little girl tried to eat one! 

finally all my cupcakes were all gone... 

Scott traded and sat down so I could go around and do some cupcake tasting of my own.  There were so many, and so many great decorating ideas.

there were a lot of fun straw decorations...

i loved this sunflower tree

Then came the time for the announcement of the winners of the different competitions. When I heard my name called I look for Scott in the crowd and we both just looked at each other and said - they just called my name!  I was SO EXCITED! I really don't remember all that happened, except walking up and getting my gift bag and hug from Stephanie the Mother of the girl who started the event a few years ago. And then looking at the judges table, and the judges clapping and saying it was delicious.

so honored...

Nancy who was to the right, won for most unique flavor for her rootbeer flavored cupcakes.  After that, I don't know who won anything else... I hope everyone had as much fun baking the cupcakes and handing them out as I did and congratulations to all the bakers. I heart Baking.

I would really like to thank my babe, who was such a trooper and hung in there with me. And also to Eva and Mychau, without their little crochet cupcake guys the display wouldn't of been the same.

It was a long day, just like this post turned out to be but it was so worth every moment. And it really makes me know that when I finally decided that I wanted to take my baking more seriously a few months ago after years of talking about it... I know I'm on the right adventure and can't wait to see more.

Sunday, July 25, 2010

Officially award winning cupcakes - chocolate salted-caramel!

It was a long day (up at 4am)- but so worth it. Had a blast meeting other cupcake bakers during the event and then at the end..... I won!  I couldn't believe it when they called my name. I won for tastiest cupcake.  I'm so excited - there are lots of pictures that will follow tomorrow. And the crochet cupcakes were a hit as well - I think there could be a business selling just those!

Sweet Dreams!

Saturday, July 24, 2010

only 1 more day!

So, the weekend has finally arrived. I am so excited for tomorrow. The chocolate cupcakes have been made, baked and are cooling as I type.  We did a taste test and they taste pretty good. I even got a "maybe even better than last time..."  There is a lot to get done tomorrow morning, but I've written all the steps out and have time frames... Things should be fairly smooth to finish the caramel and frosting.  It's the traffic to SB that is going to determine things!

The display is ready too. I finished sewing the table cloth this morning. The new sewing machine is pretty cool. It had a program that matched the design on the fabric perfectly. The crochet cupcakes are going to be so cute next to the real ones. Eva and Mychau are my heroes for their help in creating those little guys.

Till we meet again!

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

only 4 more days until CupcakeCamp Santa Barbara!

I can't believe it is almost here!  Thanks to some fabulous girls at work, I will also have awesome crochet cupcakes to add to my display on Sunday.  

Tonight I am tackling the sewing machine again.  It beat me last night.  It's all starting to come back to me though as it has been too many years to count since I last sewed something.  I just need to get the needle to pick up the thread from the bobbin... I don't know what I was doing wrong last night. But I will prevail and will also have my own hemmed table cloth for the display as well.

Okay... enough blogging time to tell the sewing machine who the boss is!

Monday, July 19, 2010

Red Velvet Cupcakes

Back to the classic Betty Crocker recipe for this one.


add some vanilla butter cream

dripping with tastiness

Monday, July 12, 2010

Chocolate Salted-Caramel Minis

chocolate minis batter


fill chocolate cupcakes with caramel

swirl some dark chocolate frosting

add some sea salt and VOILA!  - Chocolate Salted-Caramel Minis

Wednesday, July 7, 2010

Kion's cake...

The cake has now been frosted and I actually put it in the fridge... I looked up the recipe online and some say to refrigerate and some don't. I wasn't sure and it's a few hours before I need to take it to work.... 

cake mix goes into the bundt pan

whahoo - it didn't stick to the pan!


Introducing Pistachio Cake 
with Pistachio Pudding Frosting

Tuesday, July 6, 2010

This one is for Kion!

I'm baking a special request for Kion.  According to Kion, this Pistachio Cake recipe is the best in the world. It smells delicious. The thing is, I know that between me and my brother one of us is allergic to pistachios.  I am 99% sure it is him...

Well, the cake is baking for another 30 minutes or so and will frost in the morning...

Sunday, July 4, 2010

Happy Birthday America!

Today is the 4th of July, one of my favorite holidays ... mostly because my birthday is exactly 1 month from today!! Meanwhile....

Looked at a fabric store yesterday to get an idea for making a table cloth for the Cupcake Camp Santa Barbara table display.  We found a great light green square check pattern. Right now, that is the front runner. Still want to check some other fabric stores for more ideas.

I decided to practice the strawberry cupcakes with some new frosting tests.  I was planning on the strawberry cupcakes for the Cupcake Camp Santa Barbara but I am a little nervous that the strawberries won't be very good. Even this weeks options for berries were pretty picked over and not as sweet and juicy as a couple of weeks ago.  I'm starting to come up with some backup ideas for the cupcake event.

The strawberry cupcake was still good, but you definitely need the large sweet berries for best cake taste.  Scott requested the chocolate ganache for one of the frostings. While the ganache is good, the cake is good but together the ganache was just a little too heavy. Maybe if the strawberry had been a little sweeter it would've worked better.

The other frosting was a champagne butter cream.  For this I just did a google search and read a couple of different recipes and then sort of came up with my own measurements.  The champagne taste was very light and I added just a dash of vanilla. This frosting matched the cake much better.

This time we remembered to take pictures during all the stages....

Happy 4th of July Strawberry delights!

mixing the cake batter

in go the strawberries

strawberries gently folded in

fresh out of the oven

chopping the chocolate

cream & light corn syrup simmered mixture 
slowly poured onto chopped chocolate

mixing the chocolate and cream mixture

chocolate ganache

introducing strawberry delights with 
chocolate ganache


presenting strawberry delights
with champagne buttercream frosting