Friday, November 16, 2012

My Peach Cake

Last weekend was my youngest sister 25th birthday.  I still cannot believe she is 25 years old.  No matter how many years goes by, she will always be my baby sister.  She is the one person I know that is truly both beautiful inside and out.  She is young at heart, and so wise beyond her years.  She is the one person I can trust with absolutely anything and everything.  She is my best friend...

I love that we share a beautiful thing called sisterhood.

Even though I am your big sister, I loved that sometime you take on the big sister role when I can't do it all.  I've sometimes even wish what it'd be like to have a twin, and sometimes it does feel like you're my twin born 2 years and 9 months later.  I cannot remember, when we were younger, if we ever laughed a lot together.  We had different friends and hung out at different places while we were going to school and growing up, and if we ever did or not, I love how we laugh until our tummy hurts now.  I 've come to realize that being the oldest sister is my favorite because you make it easy to be one.  Sometimes I feel like the older sister that I never got to meet is within you, and if she were here with us today, it'd be pretty amazing too.  I love that we can talk for hours about the most mundane things to the heart wrenching stuff, with plenty of heart to heart and silly moments.

I read a mini story that remind me of you and our dear sister.  It's truly a story about how I see the three of us in such a short, yet telling string of words.

"Faith, Hope, and Love are like three sisters.  Love is the big sister, Faith is the middle sister, and Hope is the little sister.  These three sisters walk side by side, holding hands with the little sister in the middle, on their way to see the King.  Hope walks quicker, with more enthusiasm, and youthful zeal than the other two.  She looks up at her two sisters saying, "Come on!  Come on!  Don't stop!" When Hope gets tired, as little girls do, Faith and Love loose momentum but they continue on - tugging at Hope's hands saying, "Come on, don't give-up, we're almost there."  Faith, Hope, and Love work together - like three friends - to give life and zest and joy to our walk toward the one we love."  - Sursum Corda

Sister Faith, our sister- Who has complete trust and confidence in someone or something.  She has faith that our little brother could be a good father to his son, but what she didn't know was that you and I already knew he would make a great father one day.  And I think that's what we love most about her.  Her ability to see the good in everyone and everything, and her trust that they will do right.

Sister Hope, you- A believer, your strong and confident expectations gives strength and courage through times of hardship, crisis and loss.  Your optimism through all the good and bad helps me see more clearly what I want in what I do.  Because you are so dynamic, I can't really define Hope can I?  You're a hopeless romantic, with a wise old brain and an adventurous heart, delighting in lifes daily dose of uncertain gifts.  And that's what I love most about you dear sister, the world is your playground.

Sister Love, me- There is nothing love cannot face.  There are no limits and conditions.  Understand that love is not perfect, each time you fall, love will be there to pick you up again (I hope I have in some way).  If you ever lose love, you will find love again, just like you have, and I have never seen you happier than you are today.   I remember telling you that one day a boy is going to look at you and you're going to fall madly in love.  And that that kiss on your forehead is going to mean more to you than all the diamonds in the world.  And that the hug, that you never fully understood, meant that tomorrow is only going to get better and better.  We really have come a long ways haven't we?  You'll always be my partner in crime.

Because of you, I could only hope that if I ever have two or more girls of my own, that they grow up to be just like you my dear sister.  I am lucky and blessed to have you and our middle sister.  It makes me sad that I am not nearly as close to our sister as I am to you, but I hope one day we'll get to be the three peas in a pod, but for now, I'm pretty darn happy with being just the two of us.

You're probably never going to see this post because this is my open letter to you.  And since you don't blog, more than likely you will never see this.  Maybe one day, I'll actually hand write this letter word for word and give it to you.  Happy birthday little sister.

Big Sister

I seem to have strayed off topic for this post a bit.  I intended to share a post about a cake I made for my sister's special day.  So... down to what this post was suppose to be about.

Courtesy of Amanda, over at Wit & Whistle, who found a wonderful recipe for a sweet delicious cake, I made an actual decorated peach cake for my sister's 25th birthday.

I also used the same buttercream frosting recipe Amanda used, so I didn't have to look very far.  I love how I can use this buttercream recipe to layer the cakes and use as a decorating icing that won't melt or lose it's shape.  Decorating was the fun part, all I had to do was add a little more powder sugar to the butterceam frosting for a stiffer consistency.

The color scheme was inspired by our recent shopping day at the mall a couple of weeks ago.  We fell in love with the color palette that were on the racks for fall/winter 2012.  This sweet color wheel is feminine, luxurious and easy on the eye.  We literally wanted to take everything home, we did a lot of damage to our wallet that day.  Luckily we tend to do these crazy shopping spree only once or twice a year.

Since we love this fall/winter color palette so much, I went with dreamy shades of apricot, peach, white and blushing pinks.  I used Wilton icing color to tint the buttercream frosting.  Wow, must I say this stuff is amazing.  I used a toothpick, dipped just the tip of the pick it into the jar once, and swirled it into the frosting, the color came out beautifully even.  I have tried other food color brands before, and nothing works like the Wilton icing color.  I used Wilton's icing color in "peachy cream" to achieve all the different whimsical shades in this cake.

When I think of this beautiful color combination, I think of pearls and chiffon, flirty, romantic and classy.  For the trims, I went with a peachy tone buttercream dots to resemble a string of pearls. 

The hearts were cut out from left over fondant, using mini cookie heart shape cutter, then scored in the middle to slightly fold or lift the petals of the hearts away from the base.  I know you're suppose to use gum paste for these little decorating pieces, but I figure since we were having such cold weather, the fondant would harden enough to not wilt, and it did hold up the whole day because it's been so cold here.  I used the decorating icing to adhere the hearts to the top of the cake, I believe I'm suppose to use gum paste glue.

Tinting the fondant for the hearts took a little longer, the fondant was very hard because the weather was so cold that morning.  I started with white fondant and swirl a toothpick with Wilton's "peachy cream" once, then knead until the ball of fondant is evenly colored.  Roll and cut out 5 hearts, and gathered the left over fondant and swirl the toothpick again with peachy cream and knead again.  Roll, cut, swirl... each time the hearts get darker and darker.  And that's how I was able to create an array of peachy tone hearts.

I was going to do mini swiss dots all over the sides, instead I went with small triplets of dots placed randomly throughout the side.  I think it work out very well because it created a good balance between the white and the peachy tones.

Then finally using the same batch of icing, I did a few more swirls of peachy cream into the buttercream frosting to get a brilliant apricot-peachy shade, and scripted "Happy Birthday Amy" in my most non-shaky handwriting, which was so hard to do.

I followed the recipe to a "T" and I had so much left over cake batter I was able to make 10 cupcakes!!  I really love the way my first decorated cake came out, and without a doubt I really love decorating cakes and wouldn't mind if a bakery decided to hire me for cake decorating, I promise I'll train hard!  =)  When I first started this cake, I had no idea or vision of how I wanted this cake to look like.  I only knew that I wanted a peach cake.  But once I started baking and decorating, everything just flowed out so smoothly.  And it was delicious, much on the sweet side, so handle your heaping of sugar with care =) unless you've got a crazy sweet tooth!  I hope this post inspires you to bake a cake for your next whimsical celebration.

Have you tried this cake recipe?  What did you think?  Link me a post to your cake, I'd love to see it.

Good luck!

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