Friday, June 11, 2010

Frosting Friday

Continuing with June's series with my favorite cake recipes, today's recipe is my all time favorite go to recipe that works for any occasion and is always a crowd pleaser - plus, it's so easy! Unfortunately I don't have a picture, so you'll just have to use your imagination to create a picture of the wonderful golden butteryness this recipe makes. Enjoy!

Ooey Gooey Butter Cake

1 box pound cake mix
4 eggs
2 sticks of butter – softened to room temperature
1 box powdered sugar
1 8oz. package of cream cheese – softened to room temperature

Preheat the oven to 325 degrees. Using an electric mixer combine pound cake mix, 2 eggs, and butter. Spread evenly into a 9x13 buttered pan.

In another bowl with an electric mixer combine powdered sugar, cream cheese, and remaining 2 eggs. Pour over the cake mixture.

Bake for approximately 50 minutes, until golden brown and center is set. Towards the end I usually check it every 5-7 minutes. Depending on the oven, it may take more than 50 minutes.

Cool completely before cutting into squares.

And if you are adventurous, Paula Deen has a Pumpkin version of this recipe: Pumpkin Gooey Butter Cakes

Monday, June 7, 2010

Happy First Anniversary ~ Sara & Alex!

Happy First Anniversary to Sara & Alex! See all the beautiful details from their Montage Beverly Hills wedding here.

photo courtesy of Christine Marie Photography

Bella Blooms

I apologize for the lack of Bella Bloom posts the past couple of weeks, in the middle of a very busy May I had to fly back to Texas to be with my family. Working on final wedding plans a couple of time zones away has set me behind just a smidgen...but rest assured, all is back on track as we enter an even busier June!
As I think about my recent trip to Texas I am reminded of the Yellow Rose of Texas. While this post is not about yellow roses, it is a tribute to amazing yellow flowers. We have been seeing yellow all around the wedding world, and can't wait to incorporate it in some of our upcoming summer weddings. Hope these yellow blooms brighten up your Monday morning.
Gorgeous flower market finds courtesy of The Hidden Garden

Bouquets courtesy of Martha Stewart Weddings

Image found on Forget Me Knot Wedding blog photography by Aubrey Trinnaman

Images found on Southern Weddings blog, flowers by Branching Out Events and photography by Kari Crowe
A gorgeous yellow wedding at a private residence courtesy of The Hidden Garden

Friday, June 4, 2010

Frosting Friday

I have been baking a lot the past few weeks, so the month of June is going to be dedicated to sharing some of my favorite cake recipes on Frosting Friday! First up is this fantastic Chocolate Peanut Butter Cake from Smitten Kitchen. I made this for a friend's birthday last year and it was heavenly!

The recipe:

Sour Cream-Chocolate Cake with Peanut Butter Frosting and Chocolate-Peanut Butter Glaze
Adapted, only barely, from Sky High: Irresistable Triple-Layer Cakes

Makes an 8-inch triple-layer cake; serves 12 to 16

2 cups all-purpose flour
2 1/2 cups sugar
3/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder, preferably Dutch process
2 teaspoons baking soda
1 teaspoon salt
1 cup neutral vegetable oil, such as canola, soybean or vegetable blend
1 cup sour cream
1 1/2 cups water
2 tablespoons distilled white vinegar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 eggs

1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Butter the bottoms and sides of three 8-inch round cakepans. Line the bottom of each pan with a round of parchment or waxed paper and butter the paper.

2. Sift the flour, sugar, cocoa powder, baking soda, and salt into a large bowl. Whisk to combine them well. Add the oil and sour cream and whisk to blend. Gradually beat in the water. Blend in the vinegar and vanilla. Whisk in the eggs and beat until well blended. Scrape down the sides of the bowl and be sure the batter is well mixed. Divide among the 3 prepared cake pans.

3. Bake for 30 to 35 minutes, or until a cake tester or wooden toothpick inserted in the center comes out almost clean. Let cool in the pans for about 20 minutes. Invert onto wire racks, carefully peel off the paper liners, and let cool completely. (Deb note: These cakes are very, very soft. I found them a lot easier to work with after firming them up in the freezer for 30 minutes. They’ll defrost quickly once assembled. You’ll be glad you did this, trust me.)

4. To frost the cake, place one layer, flat side up, on a cake stand or large serving plate. Spread 2/3 cup cup of the Peanut Butter Frosting evenly over the top. Repeat with the next layer. Place the last layer on top and frost the top and sides of the cake with the remaining frosting. (Deb note 1: Making a crumb coat of frosting–a thin layer that binds the dark crumbs to the cake so they don’t show up in the final outer frosting layer–is a great idea for this cake, or any with a dark cake and lighter-colored frosting. Once you “mask” your cake, let it chill for 15 to 30 minutes until firm, then use the remainder of the frosting to create a smooth final coating. Deb note 2: Once the cake is fully frosting, it helps to chill it again and let it firm up. The cooler and more set the peanut butter frosting is, the better drip effect you’ll get from the Chocolate-Peanut Butter Glaze.)

5. To decorate with the Chocolate–Peanut Butter Glaze, put the cake plate on a large baking sheet to catch any drips. Simply pour the glaze over the top of the cake, and using an offset spatula, spread it evenly over the top just to the edges so that it runs down the sides of the cake in long drips. Refrigerate, uncovered, for at least 30 minutes to allow the glaze and frosting to set completely. Remove about 1 hour before serving. Decorate the top with chopped peanut brittle.

Peanut Butter Frosting
Makes about 5 cups

10 ounces cream cheese, at room temperature
1 stick (4 ounces) unsalted butter, at room temperature
5 cups confectioners’ sugar, sifted
2/3 cup smooth peanut butter, preferably a commercial brand (because oil doesn’t separate out)

1. In a large bowl with an electric mixer, beat the cream cheese and butter until light and fluffy. Gradually add the confectioners’ sugar 1 cup at a time, mixing thoroughly after each addition and scraping down the sides of the bowl often. Continue to beat on medium speed until light and fluffy, 3 to 4 minutes.

2. Add the peanut butter and beat until thoroughly blended.

Chocolate-Peanut Butter Glaze
Makes about 1 1/2 cups

8 ounces seimsweet chocolate, coarsely chopped
3 tablespoons smooth peanut butter
2 tablespoons light corn syrup
1/2 cup half-and-half

1. In the top of d double boiler or in a bowl set over simmering water, combine the chocolate, peanut butter, and corn syrup. Cook, whisking often, until the chocolate is melted and the mixture is smooth.

2. Remove from the heat and whisk in the half-and-half, beating until smooth. Use while still warm.

photos courtesy of Smitten Kitchen

Wednesday, June 2, 2010

Maria & Derek ~ Saint Catherine of Siena & Montage Laguna Beach

This year's wedding season started with Maria & Derek, a very sweet and adorable couple! Maria was completely giddy as we planned the wedding and was absolutely glowing on the wedding day. Throughout their relationship, Maria & Derek fell in love with Laguna Beach and spent many weekends visiting friends and exploring the area, so when Derek proposed they immediately knew where they would get married. The Studio Restaurant at the Montage Laguna Beach was a amazing setting for the evening and the staff were amazing! I hope you enjoy these gorgeous pictures from Mi Belle, as much as we enjoyed working with Maria & Derek to plan their beautiful day!

Maria practically floated on a cloud of ruffles in her dress and she had some amazing bling to top it off!

Gorgeous bouquets from Maria's friend Kim at Collage Floral Design.

Many thanks to all of the fantastic vendors who made this day possible!

Ceremony: Saint Catherine of Siena
Reception: Studio Restaurant at Montage Laguna Beach
Coordination: Bella Weddings & Events
Photographer: mi belle inc. (see more images on the mi belle blog too!)
Videographer: Nick Kova
Cocktail Entertainment: Jason Feddy
Dinner Entertainment: 123 DJs/Dubgypsy Entertainment
Florist: Collage Designs
Cake: Sweet and Saucy Shop
Chair Rental: Fusion Linens