Friday, September 5, 2008

i cater weddings. ah, sorta. heh.

i was in iowa for my brother's wedding at the end of august. about 3 weeks before flying home, i received an email from the bride to be:
We only have a little over 30 days left before the WEDDING!!!!!!! I have a job for you [...] I'm gonna do a dessert bar instead of doing [just] cake. So I figured because you like to bake, and I know you'll be home for most of that week, you might want to bake some[thing ...]
wow, does this kid know me or what? of course i'd like to bake something, but little did i know that i'd be a baking machine while i was in iowa. oh well, we all know that i didn't really mind. so i replied to her email with the suggestion of mini cheesecakes, which received a whopping quadruple four exclamation point response (you know this would have made the brother twitch, just a bit). i wasn't surprised. who doesn't love cheesecake? it is a serious crowd pleaser. and i mean serious.

anyway, i googled my way through some recipes, as i am known to do and decided on a rather random but simple confection. my soon-to-be sister-in-law brainstormed with me on the phone about possible toppings. i knew she was going for a black/red/pink theme for the wedding and reception, so i suggested some sort of chocolate or red berry. so how we ended on caramel with chocolate sprinkles. sounded good to me, so i went a shoppin' when i got home. i bought both muffin papers and "nut & party cups" for the cakes. i wasn't sure which would work best. the papers didn't seem too sturdy (and they weren't), but the cups were lined in a plastic-like material that i thought could melt. luckily, it didn't. that test batch turned out the best. nut cups won by a mile.

the recipe called for vanilla wafers for a "crust" though, and i wasn't sure if they would work. i needed to find a cookie that would take-up the majority of the bottom of the cake cup. it didn't have to be a perfect fit, but i wanted it to be close. turns out that oreos (when separated) work really well. and - AND they are chocolate, which works much better with what i was trying to i mixed the eggs, cream cheese, and such together. it made a delicious, cream concoction. and then i filled up the cups. after baking them for a bit, they got very poofy. i was worried, at first, that they might be too poofy for the topping, but, low and behold, they de-poofed with time.
the tricky part came with the caramel. i decided to put little hearts on them and the couple's last initial on a few of them too. i used wooden skewers dipped in caramel as a pen. it was so and hard and tedious! arg! but, i persevered. i made it work!

also, i'll just have you know that my sister-in-law (then to-be) asked me to make about 4 dozen. there were going to be roughly 250-300 guests at this shin-dig, but she also had cake, lemon squares, and 2 types of cookies on this buffet o' desserts. so i did as i was asked, and they flew off the table. there was cake, cookies, and squares left behind for lunch the next day - but no cheesecake. in fact, they were soooo popular. most of the wedding party had multiples :P that makes a cook happy.

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