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:)