Flourless Chocolate Raspberry Cheesecake

So, as is not uncommon, this year my birthday fell on Passover. The first night, to be exact. So, of course, I made cake. Flourless chocolate cake “crust,” raspberry cheesecake layer, and classic vanilla bean cheesecake layer. I made this cake the last time my birthday fell on Passover, too, decorating with chocolate curls. This year, I went all-out with chocolate ganache and shiny glazed raspberries.

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Hogwarts

Last summer, a few friends and I hosted a 24 hour Harry Potter Movie marathon. Yes, the same friends who co-hosted the Indiana Jones party and the James Bond Extravaganza. It was just as dorky – and just as much fun! – as it sounds. We watched all 8 movies in a weekend filled with snacks, games, costumes, and general goofiness. The only problem we have now is figuring out what we can do to top this crazy party.

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High Heel Fashion Cookies

These cookies are ready for a night on the town! I made a set of purple high-heeled sugar cookies for my friend’s mother’s birthday.

I didn’t have a heel cookie cutter and it was too short-notice to buy one, so I cut the basic shape by hand.

The heel shape got piped onto the cookie and I left the background blank. I wasn’t sure how it’d look, but I like the way it came out. Really lets the shoe shine. Next time, I’ll be more careful to keep the sparkle on just the icing, not the cookie base!

Everything was covered in luster dust and glitter dust for an extra sparkle and shine.

Simple, but sweet.

This one here was one of my favorites.

Fashionable and fun! I’d totally wear that purple shoe with the teal bow.

All lined up and ready to go out for a walk.

Some of the shoes came out rather funny-shaped, so I think I need to give these another go so I can really perfect them. Perhaps a high heel cookie cutter is in order.

Patriotic Sugar Cookies

Every heart beats true for the red white and blue! These cookies were actually sent to a congressman’s office back in November during the election campaign, but I figured that with all the craziness going on in DC, now was as good a time as any to post them.

I had fun with a basic red, white a blue starts & stripes theme.

That one up there reminds me of Captain America a tad too much.

I added a touch of white luster dust to smooth out the details. Working with bold colors is very unforgiving and the dust helps soften them.

I like the diagonal ones the best. The stars were tricky to pipe freehand but I finally got the hang of it.

Oreo Red Velvet Brownies

Will someone please just tell all the other brownies that they’ve lost and they should just go home? Because these oreo red velvet cheescake brownies will win every single time.

 
 Red velvet brownies. Why? Just do it, okay.  Start off with a dense, red velvet base.

Generous cheesecake swirl on top. 

 Oreos. Oreos, Oreo crumbs, Oreo pieces. Everywhere. These brownies are incredibly decadent but you’ll keep going back for more. Guaranteed crowd pleaser!

Baseball Cake

Take me out to the ballgame! This baseball cake was commissioned as a birthday surprise. A three-tired cake with a baseball on top. The biggest layer, the bottom one, was only 6 inches across. Think miniature.

The birthday boy’s girlfriend wanted a Giant’s colored baseball themed cake and left the designing up to me (my favorite kind of order!). Well, baseballs aren’t orange, so I did the best I could to keep tried to the theme and stick to the basics of the game.

Everything is fondant-free, of course. I just used swiss meringue buttercream for everything. It’s nice because it hardens up in the fridge so it’s easy to work with.

My first time using the grass piping tip, can you believe it? I like the added texture.I had some trouble with the orange/white seam, as you can see, but I learned enough that the next time I make a cake like this, it’ll be even better. Not everything I make is perfect, especially not the first time around, but I try to make each project into a learning experience.

I got lucky with the dome shape at the top  – the carving could have gone horribly wrong but it worked out great! Overall, not a perfect cake but definitely a fun one! Raspberry chocolate cake on the inside, by the way. Yummy!