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My nephew Gavin turned 3 over the Christmas holidays.  His parents threw him a construction party that was supper cute.  Yellow hard hats and all.  For his cake I was given no direction other than “trucks, working trucks”.  I love it when that happens.  Creative freedom.  My mind just races.  Last year I hand-made his John Deere Tractor out of fondant, he was pretty upset that he could not play with it at all, so this year I opted with trucks he could keep forever.

For the cake, I used yellow cake and vanilla bean buttercream.   My girls happily crushed Oreo’s and animal crackers for the dirt.   To finish it off, I rolled out a very thin ribbon of yellow fondant and wrote a message on the “caution” tape.  I love this cake, it was so fun to make and Gavin stood by it as proud as he could be until it was finally time to cut it and give him his trucks.

Happy 3rd birthday budy, Aunt Cheryl and Uncle Joey love you very much!

The August 2009 Daring Bakers’ challenge was hosted by Angela of A Spoonful of Sugar and Lorraine of Not Quite Nigella. They chose the spectacular Dobos Torte based on a recipe from Rick Rodgers’ cookbook Kaffeehaus:  Exquisite Desserts from the Classic Caffés of Vienna, Budapest, and Prague.

Fun Facts:

Dobos torte (/’doboʃ/, Hungarian: dobostorta, Slovak: doboška) is a famous Hungarian cake.  The Dobos Torta is a five-layer sponge cake, filled with a rich chocolate buttercream and topped with thin wedges of caramel. (You may come across recipes which have anywhere between six and 12 layers of cake; there are numerous family variations!) It was invented in 1885 by József C. Dobos, a Hungarian baker, and it rapidly became famous throughout Europe for both its extraordinary taste and its keeping properties.  Dobos’s aim was to make a cake that would last longer than other pastries, in an age when cooling techniques were limited. The caramel topping helps keep the cake from drying out.  The recipe was a secret until Dobos retired in 1906 and gave the recipe to the Budapest Confectioners’ and Gingerbread Makers’ Chamber of Industry, providing that every member of the chamber can use it freely.

After taking a long summer hiatus, spent with my 2 amazing children, I am back.  Very back and very ready to BAKE!

When I read this challenge I was so very excited.   My daughter has a sweet little friend from school named Lili, and over the past year we have become quiet good friend with her whole family.  Her parents are both Hungarian, living and working right here in Georgia.   They love the kitchen as much as we do.  In fact we eat dinner together quiet often and try out new recipes.  Last month we made sushi rolls and even made fresh tuna sashimi.  Upon reading the recipe I immediately called them to see if they could give me any hints or advice on making this cake as accurate as possible.  They had eaten the dessert many times, just never made it.   Needles to say, we decided to eat the finished product together.

The fist batch of batter I made was just too thin and fine, it never rose and cracked where ever the parchment wrinkled from the moisture.  However I do not believe in waste, so we ate them for breakfast the next morning with giant Georgia peaches and homemade whipped cream.  It was like a cross between a pancake and a crape!  Delicious!

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For my second go around I decided to make 1 1/2 times the recipe hoping to use 1 rounded cup of batter per layer.  I also decided against the parchment paper, as I was not happy with the “wrinkling” on the first batch.  I used a silpat instead.  I drew my circle pattern right on my pan with permanent marker (which will wash off of the pan), then placed my silpat on top and could see the line perfectly.  This plan worked marvelously and my layers were nice and even.  I did not trim the edges either.

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The buttercream recipe was WAY TOO RUNNY for me.  It would not set up at all.  There was no way I could use it pipe, I was so disappointed.  Next time I will stick with my own tried and true Mocha Buttercream recipe found here at Zoe Bakes.  The Hungarians agreed that the overall cake was too sloppy and the traditional cake was much firmer and would generally have more layers.

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The Carmel, hum, what to say about the Carmel.  The lemon was not needed.  Even if it was added, 1 teaspoon would have been enough to add a hint of flavor, 8 teaspoons just overpowered the whole thing.

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Overall I had a fun time recreating this famous dessert,  can’t wait to try it again with a few tweaks.  Stay tuned to see what else I made with this “cake” recipe!

Click here to view the recipe we were challenged to make: Read the rest of this entry »

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My daughter Avery was nearing her 3rd birthday and we still had not made a decision about it’s theme.  One night over dinner, my then 2 year old, 5 year old, husband and myself brainstormed.  The outcome:  pink panther.  It was a brilliant idea considering Avery’s all time favorite color is pink.  She loves to watch the pink panther, and it was so original.  Who knew Wal Mart would have pink panther PJ’s and Barnes and Noble would sell stuffed pink panthers to add to our totally “pink” pink panther party!

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Avery wanted a vanilla cake, which I colored pink, of course.  Icing in pink vanilla butter cream and topped with the pink panther himself, this two tier cake was totally awesome!

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The April 2009 challenge is hosted by Jenny from Jenny Bakes. She has chosen Abbey’s Infamous Cheesecake as the challenge.

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We love cheesecake, the hubby and I.  This challenge was definitely for us, but not a challenge in the least.  I have over the past few years perfected my cheesecake baking process to a T, so that is now the easy part.  That leaves me plenty of time to do what I love, alter the recipe.  Thankfully this month we could do just that, Jenny even encouraged us to “alter” the recipe and make it our own.  I am calling this one American Cheesecake.  It takes diversity to make it work, and oh how it works!

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Kaighty was my assistant daring baker for this challenge, as she was on spring break.  We first crushed 20 Oreo cookies in a bag (counting to 20 is my 5 year olds speciality).  Added the butter, spread the mixture in the pan and baked our crust for about 10 minutes.  Now to mix the base recipe.  I used Abby’s recipe but added a few extras such as flour and one more block of cream cheese, as well as omitted the lemon juice.  Once we had our base mixed up, I poured 2/3rds of it into our cooled spring-form pan and crust.  The we doctored up the last third with some instant espresso and a smidge of cocoa powder.

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To ensure and even layer, I pipped on the espresso layer.  Into the oven it went, for about an hour and half.  I do open the oven door long enough to test the cheese cake, then close it back up and turn it off.  I leave it in the oven until the cake is at room temperature, this will prevent a crack in the top.  I realize I am about to top mine, so a crack could be covered.  At this point I carefully remove the cake from the pan, then put it right back in the pan.  pour the prepared ganache over it and place it in the fridge overnight.

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Overnight is the key to a good cheesecake.  For some reason it continues to meld together and comes to it’s creamiest point at about 36 hours out of the oven.  Don’t skip this step, as it is crucial for optimum taste!

The following evening, we cut and served it.  My girls ate the ganache off the top, and that was it.  The hubby and me, oh, we ate the whole thing, it was divine.  Like fresh cold watermelon in the summer, just amazing on your tongue!  Thank you Jenny, it was a wonderful challenge and a wonderful April in our house!

Read the rest of this entry »

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I baked these delicious cup cakes for Kaightlyn’s school birthday party.  Her fellow pre-K students and teachers loved the moist chocolate chiffon and strawberry cakes topped with my light swiss buttercream icing!  Oh to turn 5 again, and have the world at your finger tips!  Happy Birthday Lover!

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Better late than never, right?   March is always a huge month for us, and I just could not find the time until yesterday to make this months challenge.   The March 2009 challenge is hosted by Mary of Beans and Caviar, Melinda of Melbourne Larder and Enza of Io Da Grande. They have chosen Lasagne of Emilia-Romagna from The Splendid Table by Lynne Rossetto Kasper as the challenge.  I have made fresh pasta many times and really love it, so I was supper excited with this challenge.  Hence the late production and post.

Avery and I dropped Kaighty off at school and headed strait for the store for the last few fresh goods I needed.  Then I began chopping, wow was that a lot of cutting.  Other bakers had noted they were short on the Country Style Ragu’ , so I made 1.25 times the original recipe.   It did take quiet a while to complete the Ragu’, but man o man was it worth it!

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I mixed up my dough for the Spinach Egg Pasta by hand.  Then I read the next step, kneed for 10 full minutes.  Ah, I am a weakling from America who is so used to gadgets I could never muster up enough to kneed for 10 minutes.  Into the Kitchen Aid it went and my dough hook took over, good thing too, it took almost 15 minutes to “come alive”.  So worth it, look how beautiful it is, the most gorgeous shade of emerald.

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On to the Bechamel, which was supper easy and very tasty.  I will definitely double this portion of the recipe next time.

I had let the pasta dough rest on the stove, as it was a chilly day and the cool dough was sticking to my pasta press.  The stretching and thinning of the pasta took almost and hour, it was a long process.

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Then on to the boiling, cooling and drying.  I had things to do and was rushing through the assembly process and only managed to cook half of my noodles, so my lasagna is very short.  However, it melted in our mouth and was divine.  I can’t honestly say I would change a thing about this recipe.  I almost like it more than our American Lasagna with caned sauce, dried pasta,  ricotta and tones of mozzarella!  Thank you for a wonderful challenge Mary, Melinda, and Enza!

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Check out the new Daring Bakers Website here.

To view the recipe for this challenge, click on more.

Read the rest of this entry »

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The first 30 cup cakes were made into a semi newly invented “pull away” cake.  They are chocolate chiffon cup cakes with my all new Golden Vanilla Buttercream icing.  Let me tell you, it is much more difficult to ice “somethings” tha move, than a real cake.  However, the finished product did look very nice and the birthday boy was especially happy.  John turned 4 in November, remember the Saturn 5, John 4 cake?   Well John was supper sick by the time I finished his cake and his party had to be post-poned.  This is his second cake for his official party.  We let him pick, and boy does he love supper hero’s!    Happy (2nd) 4th birthday John!

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My husband and I just made 72 chocolate chiffon cup cakes from scratch in under 72 minutes. The kitchen is clean, all dishes put away, and the only sign we made anything tonight is the crumbs left on our mouth. Stay tuned for what I did with all of them. We only ate two!

I would like to take a moment and thank all my loyal readers.  The blog has now reached 1000 hits.  I am so proud.  I am working on 2 major projects this month, as well as Halloween goodies.  Check back or sign up for this blog and you will get e-mail updates when I post next.  Hope you all have a great Monday!

Well it is official!  I am now a Wilton Methods Instructor at Hobby Lobby.  Trying to recruit students is much harder than I had originally anticipated.  Only 1 week until classes begin and still I have no students.  I have decided to make a store display.  I have never made a dummy cake.  Where do you even begin?  The inter webs.  Still, not much to go on there either.  Humm, Fondant drys hard, so let’s try that on some styrofoam.  I still have no idea how to make fake buttercream for the dummy wedding cake that is yet to be completed.  I ended up creating a birthday cake gift box; see Wilton Course 3 Lesson 2.  I made a slightly different bow and used a modern color scheme with dots.  I hope you like it…. it will last FOREVER!


Hello reader, this Blog is a real time biography for Bonobo Cakes. BC will become an official bakery sooner than later. For now however, we are closed. With the addition of a 3rd child, life is to important to stop and spend 24 hours strait on a cake. Although we love cake, it will be a while before we get back into baking on a large scale. Enjoy the stories and photos, but please ask prior to using any of our original information on another site. Thank you and Enjoy the blog as it was!