Tag Archives: Heat

Barbie Bachelorette Cake with Easy Chocolate Ganache

It’s Thursday, and I promised you a bachelorette cake on Friday.  But plans changed, I got the posting time wrong, etc. etc. … and so today, I present to you my somewhat classy (compared to the other bachelorette cakes I found on Pinterest… some of those were seriously sketch) Barbie bachelorette cake for Sara!  And a recap of the entire bachelorette weekend.  Buckle up, buttercups.

Bachelorette Barbie Cake  | Oysters & Pearls

The cake began last Monday night.  I baked the Black Magic Cake layers (four 8″ round pans), wrapped them up tightly in plastic wrap, and froze them, as I was traveling to Greenville, South Carolina for work for 2 full days last week and knew I would be pressed for time once I got back.  Thursday night I made the chocolate ganache and Bakery-Style Buttercream Icing, and dyed it pink using Wilton Rose gel food coloring and put it all together!

Chocolate Chips for Chocolate Ganache Recipe  Oysters & Pearls

I used Nestle TollHouse pieces for the ganache.

Easy Chocolate Ganache (makes about 2 cups)


– 1 cup (8 ounces) heavy whipping cream
– 1 cup (8 ounces) dark or milk chocolate pieces
– 1 tablespoon room temperature butter


Bring the cream to a simmer in a sauce pan. Be careful – it’s easy to boil it over or scald it!  Put the chocolate in a measuring cup or bowl (I thought the measuring cup method using a scale to measure was the easiest and required the least dish washing).  Pour the hot cream over the chocolate and let it sit for 5 minutes.  Using a whisk, stir it up until creamy, then add the room temperature butter and continue whisking.  Let cool for a few minutes before using to ice or drizzle over anything.

Chocolate Ganache Recipe | Oysters & Pearls

It’s delicious!  And the dark chocolate color was very pretty against the hot pink background of the buttercream, IMHO.

Easy Chocolate Ganache Recipe | Oysters & Pearls

I whipped up the frosting and put the gel food coloring directly into the mixing bowl and mixed it in, since I knew I wanted the entire cake to be hot pink.

Hot Pink Bakery Style Buttercream Icing | Oysters & Pearls

I stacked up the layers and put ganache between each one, pushing it just shy of the edges.  You don’t want it to run over and stain your icing.

Easy Chocolate Ganache Recipe for Black Magic Cake Filling | Oysters & Pearls

Then I iced the cake with a crumb coat – put some icing in a separate bowl for that so you don’t taint your pretty icing with crumbs!

And then decorated it in all its hot pink glory.  I thought the plain hot pink was just too plain, so I drizzled some more ganache over it.  It made it more sexy than little girly….  If a cake can be sexy, that is.

4 Layer Black Magic Cake with Chocolate Ganache Filling | Oysters & Pearls

And I think it can be.

Pour the rest of the ganache in a ziploc or piping bag and snip the very tip of the corner/point off.  That’s how I drizzled the leftover ganache around the edges.

Hot Pink Cake with Buttercream Frosting and a Chocolate Ganache Drizzle | Oysters & Pearls


Hot Pink Buttercream Frosted Cake with Chocolate Ganache Drizzle | Oysters & Pearls

Unfortunately, this cake had to ride up the Eastern Seaboard to Charleston on Friday with a pit stop in Jacksonville to pick up Courtney.  For the most part, it weathered the trip unscathed, with only a little shifting and melting.  I put four kabob skewers through the center of the cake to help keep it from sliding.  I had to transport this bad boy in an upside down plastic file storage box that I purchased late Thursday evening when I realized it wouldn’t fit in my cake carrier.  It had a pink lid to match, natch.  I told Wheat that it was a “cake carrier for domestic bad asses.”  He said that wasn’t a very good name and I shouldn’t cuss.  Whatevs.

On our way up to Charleston, we discovered this gem of a pit stop.  If you’re heading up I-95, don’t miss it.  Srsly.

Georgia Peach World 2013 | Oysters & Pearls

Are those peaches?  Butt-heads?  Disturbing.  Had to share, obvi.

We went to dinner at Oku Friday night in Charleston after some quick games with the Bachelorette.  Good sushi, better atmosphere!

The Bachelorette and myself. :)


A few of our oh-so-pretty girlfriends from ADPi: Ashley, Mary Katherine (home from CHINA!), and Jennifer.

Ashley, MK, & Jen at Oku, Charleston, South Carolina | Oysters & Pearls

Saturday we had a beach day, and all loaded up on a party bus and headed to Folly Beach.

Party Bus in Charleston, South Carolina | Oysters & Pearls

All Sara’s sisters, her cousin, and her girlfriends from high school, college, and optometry school!

Beach Day at Folly Beach, South Carolina | Oysters & Pearls

After our beach day, it was time for the lingerie shower (I didn’t get pictures of it – there was lots of lace and hot pink) and the cake!

Sara had no idea I was making it or bringing it, but she had mentioned to her sister Gracie that she would like “one of those cakes where Barbie is upside down and drunk looking.”  We figured the lingerie shower Saturday night would be the perfect time for cake.

Bachelorette Barbie Cake | Oysters & Pearls

Barbie agreed.

Note her missing shoe.

Barbie Bachelorette Cake  |  Oysters & Pearls

That was a nice touch, Ashley. :)

I also brought a few cheeses I picked up from Sweet Grass Dairy back in Thomasville for the occasion.

Bachelorette Barbie Cake & Sweet Grass Dairy Cheeses | Oysters & Pearls

I brought Thomasville Tomme, Green Hill, the Heat, and a Flagship white cheddar (another cheese maker).  They were all a huge hit, and the girls ate every. last. morsel.  Thanks again for awesome cheese, SGD!

A side note about the hotel: as you can see, there is a big crack in my cheese board.  Actually, my cheese board is in two pieces. :( The bellman at our hotel (the Andrew Pinckney Inn) broke it while helping us get the massive amounts of stuff we brought up to our room.  He felt so badly about it, and even brought Courtney and me a complimentary bottle of (very good) champagne to make up for it.  I still managed to stick it together for the lingerie party and just tossed it afterwards, but I was really impressed with the service at the Andrew Pinckney Inn.  The entire weekend, they did nothing but try their hardest to make our stay as comfortable and enjoyable as possible.  That included seeing us walking out with six-packs of beer and getting us a cooler (just keeping it real) and having a mini fridge sent up to our room for all the wine/champagne/cake for the shower.  They are awesome, and I definitely hope to stay there again!  This post is not at all sponsored and they have no idea who I am.  I just like to share good reviews of places that go the extra mile.  Thank you, Andrew Pinckney Inn!

Back to the party.

Courtney helped us out by bringing a ton of the vino, which kept the party atmosphere going. :) Wish we had gotten a picture of the triplets!

Courtney, Natalie, & Barbie | Oysters & Pearls

Sara was very surprised by her cake!  I think she loved it, and she especially loved the Bachelorette Barbie, complete with sash and veil.

The Bachelorette and her Barbie Cake | Oysters & Pearls

Had to get a pic with the Bachelorette and her Barbie and the cake.  So happy for you, Miss F!

Sara, Natalie, & Barbie | Oysters & Pearls

After the lingerie shower, cake, and cheese, we went to 39 Rue de Jean for a late dinner.

Rue de Jean | Oysters & Pearls

It was SO good and very reasonably priced.  I (appropriately) got a French 75 cocktail and the cavatelli pasta with seared scallops.  It was delicious, and I ate almost every single bite.  A lot of the girls had sushi again, and said it was good, too.  The burgers looked awesome, and I snagged a mussel from across the table that was tasty, too.  I would definitely go back!

After dinner, we went to da club called NV, where we posted up in the VIP room and danced the night away with Sara.  However, I only took one picture of actual humans at NV.  Sara’s two high school friends (who we have known almost as long as we’ve known Sara!) Katie and Kate, Courtney, and myself.

At Da Club - NV, Charleston, South Carolina | Oysters & Pearls

Barbie accompanied us to dinner and the bar (which you knew if you were following me on Instagram).

By the end of the night, she was pole dancing on the champagne bottles, and it was time for her (and us) to go home.

Go Home Barbie, You're Drunk | Oysters & Pearls

Go home Barbie.  You’re drunk.

All in all, it was an awesome weekend!  I’ve been so exhausted that it’s taken me this long to update you on it.  Better late than never, right?

Happy Bachelorette, Sara!  So glad I was able to celebrate with you last weekend.  Can’t wait until October!

Look out for tomorrow’s post – I’ll be proving to you all that I am a certifiably insane crazy dog lady.


Blueberry Cake and an Office Party

Hello, Monday!

I mentioned Friday that I planned our office party last Monday at Sweet Grass Dairy in Thomasville, Georgia.  You may have even seen some pictures of it on my Instagram already.  If not, let me catch you up to speed:

IMG_1347 IMG_1340 IMG_1354 IMG_1355 IMG_1352 IMG_1353

Sweet Grass Dairy is a local dairy that makes some ridiculously delicious cheeses.  We had an awesome spread of those cheeses (Green Hill, Asher Blue, Heat, and Thomasville Tomme), a meat board, their signature Devilish Eggs (deviled eggs with their house made pimiento cheese inside), bar bread, peppadews stuffed with chevre, prosciutto-wrapped pickled okra and honeydew melon… it was divine!  But as amazing as it was, it was a little short on cake.  And as my favorite Julia Child quote goes: “A party without cake is just a meeting.”

And we didn’t want to have a meeting.

14 Layer Vanilla Cake with Blueberry Buttercream Filling | Oysters & Pearls

So I made a cake.

A 14-layer vanilla cake with blueberry buttercream filling and vanilla swiss meringue buttercream frosting, to be precise.

And since I’ve already shared the recipes for almost all of this cake, I’ll just show you how I put them together to make this beauty.

14-Layer Cake Batter | Oysters & Pearls

First, I mixed up the batter for the cake layers themselves using this recipe.  It makes such a massive amount of batter at once.  I think it’s seriously time to upgrade my mixer to the professional series.

Butter | Oysters & Pearls

I use a lot of butter.  It helps if you slice it up into little bricks and let it come to room temperature.  It warms up more quickly, and incorporates more smoothly.

For this cake, I did use 8 inch pans instead of my usual 9 inch pans, so it was a little taller.  I probably wouldn’t do that again, but it does make for an impressively tall cake!  If you want to try it with 8 inch pans, reduce the baking time to 9 or 10 minutes (testing with a toothpick to make sure it comes out clean).

Cooling Cake Layers | Oysters & Pearls

Once you get all the layers baked and cooled on racks, or while you’re baking them, thaw out a frozen batch of Swiss Meringue Buttercream frosting {recipe and instructions on freezing & thawing here}.

Swiss Meringue Buttercream Frosting and Blueberry Filling | Oysters & Pearls

Take out a couple cups of the whipped up frosting and mix in about 3 tablespoons of blueberry jam {recipe here}.  This will be your filling.

Blueberry Cake Filling | Oysters & Pearls

I guess I’m not over my blueberry phase after all.

Put a dab of plain buttercream on a cardboard cake round (which hopefully is sitting on top of a lazy susan or something that spins around).  Place your first cake layer on the cardboard round, then top it with blueberry buttercream.

Cake with Blueberry Buttercream Filling | Oysters & Pearls

Repeat, until you get to the 14th layer.  Do not put blueberry buttercream on top of the last layer.  I try to save the prettiest cake layer for last, since it will dictate the top of the cake’s shape.  But you can always fix shapes with extra icing.  No one will mind.  I promise.

14 Layer Cake with Blueberry Filling, Unfrosted | Oysters & Pearls

Now you’re ready to crumb coat!  A crumb coat is just a thin layer of icing over the entire cake.  You ice it very thinly, smooth it out, and pop it in the fridge for 30 minutes or so.  It hardens and makes the rest of your job much easier and the resulting icing much smoother.

Here’s a beautiful video tutorial on crumb coating from my favorite baker/blogger, Stella Parks (aka BraveTart): {click here}

Vanilla Cake with Blueberry Buttercream Filling | Oysters & Pearls

I don’t have a picture of a crumb coat to show you, but I do have lots of pictures of the finished product!

14 Layer Vanilla Cake with Blueberry Filling | Oysters & Pearls

I garnished it with fresh blueberries from my parent’s house (you could very loosely call it a farm).

Blueberries on Blueberry Cake | Oysters & Pearls

And that’s it!  Sounds so easy, right?  Haha.  It really is, if you’re prepared and practice.  Making icing and freezing it is simply the best thing ever, to me.  If you didn’t want to go to these extreme lengths, you could greatly reduce the time involved in this process, while still making a cake yourself, by purchasing Publix Bakery buttercream icing, making a two layer cake with Duncan Hines White Cake Mix, and mix your favorite flavor jam (homemade or not) with some of the buttercream to make a filling between layers.  It would be really good!

Vanilla Cake with Vanilla Swiss Buttercream Frosting and Blueberry Filling | Oysters & Pearls

It was an awesome office party and everyone seemed to have a great time!  And y’all know I love any excuse to bake a cake.  :)

Happy Monday!