March 27, 2013

Happy Easter!!

I recently was introduced to a wonderful website, called My Cake School and I have been enjoying the vast amount of knowledge that Melissa shares. The website offers both a blog which can be viewed by the entire public and she does a great job of making sure there is a blog post at least once or twice a month, depending on her time, but for a small yearly fee of $30 you can have access to her entire website, which hosts a wide array of video tutorials, recipes for cakes and buttercreams, and an online forum where you can chat with other decorators, and Melissa herself.  It has been a lot of fun going through her videos and finding new and creative techniques for decorating.

I recently found this cute Blog Tutorial on making an Easter Bunny cake and I fell in love with it.. So naturally I had to try:)

And here was my result



Isn't he cute???

Hoppy Easter!

February 23, 2013

Huuurrrryyy..... Hhhhhaaaaarrrrdddd!!!

A curling cake.
Nice and simple:)






February 9, 2013

Breakfast at Tiffany's for a Newly crowned Two year old

It is Claire's birthday. How are these kids getting to be so old already?
My girlfriend once again asked me to make her kid's birthday cake. This year they were having a "Breakfast at Tiffany's" themed party, and Mom asked me for  Tiffany Blue inspired cake, something elegant, frilly and wonderful.

So I obliged:)

It all started with a mass of colored gum paste.


I needed a few different shades of the same color in order to get the effect I wanted for this cake. It took a bit of time to color it all and still be "slightly" a lighter shade with each new batch.
Next came covering the cake with fondant


Ohhhh... Blue....:)

And then the long and tedious process of creating petals and adding them one by one to the cake.

All cut out individually, ruffled and



Attached on the cake. When I got to this point, I realized my colors weren't dark enough. So I had to peel off these two bottom layers I just spent an hour making and attaching, and recoloring the batches to get a deeper shade on the bottom. I was glad I did it.





Much better looking.. more contrast in the colors as the Ombre goes up.


Nearing the end!!


Final touches are added on and then...

The final result!



And of course, the inside:)



 Happy Birthday Claire!

December 8, 2012

An "Out-of-this-World-Birthday"

This is Lucas' fourth birthday. The third cake I have made for him (missed out on his second year) and it is always a wonderful treat to see his face light up for his party.
This year Lucas was having a Space themed birthday. He was all excited about the planets and the stars, but had a love for the (now Defunct) Pluto. So the only request that was made, was for a planet type cake, and to please include Pluto on it.

I decided to do a sheet cake for this, making it a bit easier to have the planets on the cake, and not have to worry about transporting. The cake itself was a chocolate cake, iced in chocolate ganache to get that "shiny" look to it. The planets were made out of cake balls of various sizes, then covered in fondant.






I wasn't overly happy about my planets. The fondant didnt want to adhere to my cake balls without issue, and I was finding the balls were getting soft rather quickly. If I were to do it again, Rice Krispies would be the next option.

The birthday boy loved it.. especially the tiny little brown planet at the very end, just for him:)

November 24, 2012

Is it Grayson's Birthday Again?

Last year I had the pleasure of making this cake for a little one year old. So I was thrilled when I was contacted again this year to make his second birthday cake.
Along with it, I was asked to create a nice cake for a special teenager who would be celebrating her birthday at the same time.

The mother saw my toy story cake I made for my own daughter  a year ago and loved it so much she wanted a replica of it. Since I had already done the project once before, I knew I could do it again, learning from the first round.






The second cake was also an old favorite of mine... the Candy Cake!





I love this one.. so simple, yet so crowd-pleasing and delicious:)

Happy second birthday G!

October 27, 2012

An Alice in Wonderland Fail

 I had the honour of making a close friends' 30th birthday cake. She requested an "Alice in Wonderland" Rosebush. I was curious about how I would do this, so it was a challenge I wanted to take on.

Needless to say I learned some lessons from this one.

The first thing was baking a LOT of cake. I think this was 7 layers of cake all stacked together. I needed to carve this into a somewhat bushy looking cake, so I froze the layers so it would be easier to carve.


Mistake #1 - 7 layers of cake, iced frozen.... no supports in it. Dummy

Next was the tedious process of piping all of the leaves on it.


Lots and lots of leaves..





Getting there!





Finally a completed Bush.
Mistake #2 - Failing to notice the cake was already leaning to one side

I went to bed that night wanting to wait until morning to attach the flowers to the cake, rather than letting the buttercream moisten up my royal icing flowers. So I hit the sheets and promptly ignored the warning signs..


Mistake #3 - Stupid Stupid Stupid...

This was what I woke up to the next morning...


Hmm... that ain't right.

It was a good thing I have a decent sense of humour and because this was for a friend, and not a client, it was easier to laugh off this horrible monstrosity.

I quickly realized the error in not putting supports in my cake and cursed myself for the rest of the morning. But I still had to fix this as best I could. Using my (clean) hands, I pushed the cake back up into an upright position. This of course meant I had chunks of icing come off the cake and it required a repair job.






Mistake #4 - Stupidly STILL not realizing I should have added supports through the cake at this point. Even a few dowels here would have at least kept it upright... But Noooooooooo..... Im not so S-M-R-T.

Another icing job taken place and the final decorations attached.


This would be the one and only time it looked "sort of straight"

By the time I got to my friend's house, who is only 6 minutes away, it looked like this:




Sigh.

Thankfully I have good friends. She still thought it was the best thing she ever saw, everyone at the party thought it was great and most didnt even notice the horrible leaning it had..(Were they drunk???)
I was able to laugh it off, and put this in my box of fails, which thankfully, is very small. I learned a ton about supporting my cakes by doing this, so at least it wasn't a total fail..


October 16, 2012

A Minnie-rific Birthday

It was my Youngest's second birthday, and she has been crazy for Mickey and Minnie Mouse. Since my Older daughter got a Mickey Themed Birthday for her second fete, I decided to go more with the Minnie route this time.

Since we were doing a birthday party with all of the kids, and then a birthday dinner with family, I decided to do cupcakes for the party, and then a "simple" cake for the dinner.

The cupcakes were incredibly cute. I decided to try making Swiss Meringue Buttercream instead of the standard buttercream. I had heard good things about it, so I wanted to give it a try....

My opinion???

BLECH!!!

The frosting was WONDERFUL to pipe with, and I would love to make it again, simply to frost a cake with it, but damn... I did not care for the taste. A normal buttercream is about 4 parts sugar to 1 part butter, whereas Swiss Meringue is the opposite. I felt like I was eating a stick of butter. (shudder)
Now I should say I was not alone in my thinking, but there were a few people at the party that actually preferred this icing to the traditional stuff. So I think its one of those things, if you love sweet, stick with the normal buttercream, if you prefer a less sweet icing, give the swiss one a try!

Anyways, I made Vanilla, Chocolate and Strawberry cupcakes, each one decorated to look a bit like Minnie. I thought they were adorable:)





For the cake with the family, I used the same cake flavors, Strawberry, Chocolate and Vanilla. I made a neopolitan style cake, 5 layers, with buttercream and jam in the centers.


Then covered the whole thing up with buttercream and simple decoration..


It was pretty devine:)


Oh, and as a party favor for the kids at the birthday, I made Mickey Mouse Rice Krispies... Huge Hit!






Happy Second Birthday my Baby Girl!



September 20, 2012

Are you ready for some Football????

My brother's neighbour was celebrating another birthday. I had done Carlos' birthday cake last year which was a Surprise cake.
This year, my brother wanted to surprise him with another cake. The four of them were going to San Francisco in October and would be attending a 49'rs football game. I guess they are all big fans.

So my brother asked for a appropriate cake. Originally I was going to make another football cake, but decided to try out a helmet. I kind of wish I had documented more on how I did the construction for this, but I forgot!

The cake started out with a ball shaped pan, and a few 8 inch rounds. Once stacked together, I carved the helmet shape out as best as I could. It was then I realized I needed another layer of cake to get the right height.
A last minute layer was added to the bottom and reshaped.
I decided a simple star tip would be the best way to pipe this cake, and completed it with a frozen buttercream transfer of the 49ers logo.

I also created a fondant face guard to complete the look. Overall I was pretty pleased with the cake. Not bad for a first time helmet! I definitely learned something new and would do things a bit differently a second time.


Close up of the transfer


I have been told the birthday boy tweeted the picture to the 49ers.. but never got a response back.. But he was thrilled with it, of course:)


September 14, 2012

A very special Wedding cake

 One of our oldest and dearest friends were finally getting married! They have been together for almost 13 years, and FINALLY a wedding was happening. Both my husband and I were thrilled to be standing up for them and sharing in their special day.
On top of that my girlfriend had asked if I would make their wedding cake.

And of course, I wanted to do it. Thankfully they only wanted it for pictures, and not for serving, so it was easy to create something that didn't mean I would be slaving over a hot oven the day before the wedding.

The cake started about two week before the wedding. She wanted red roses all over the bases of each cake. And these require a lot of time, and a lot of days in order to dry. So to start them off I had to create all of the rose bases..







This was only about a third of the bases drying on the flower rack.

Once the bases were all dry - about two days later, then I started assembling the roses. 




Because I needing about 45 roses, this took about 5 days to complete them all, with about 2-3 hours a night doing them. Lots of tea, and television time!

Finally once the roses were complete, I could start to assemble the cakes. The bottom tier was a dummy cake, and the top tier was the actual cake. Simplicity was the theme, so the cakes were covered in plain white fondant and a black ribbon. 
 Then the flowers were inserted around each base.




Looks pretty classic, right?
But it wasn't complete. The bride wanted Hearts piped onto the fondant in a "elegant, classy way"
Good thing she had an inspiration pic that I could work from!!
Now piping is still something I am working on. I haven't had the opportunity to pipe a lot of cakes, so I was looking forward to piping this and seeing what I could do.




The final result.
The cake toppers were made by our close friend Melanie, who was also the Wedding planner She is the creative one when it comes to clay work.

The cake photographed by the wedding photographer. Somehow they can make things look a lot better looking than my point and click camera can!!



The cake made it to the wedding in one piece. And the bride had surprised her guests by cutting into a Rainbow colored cake. Something which got lots of oohs and ahhs as people watched.




It was wonderful to be part of their special day in more ways than one and I was glad that I could give them a beautiful wedding cake.

The cake itself was refurbished the following weekend for  a Bridal fair which was held in our city. I had replaced the cake on top with a foam dummy and recovered and repiped the cake. It held up beautifully for the show, and once it was complete, the cake was then sold to my Michaels Store for display. Currently it sits in my classroom, waiting to be placed behind glass for future students to view.



August 24, 2012

Display Cakes

I had a chance to make a few display cakes for our store this month to help spruce up our classroom and get some more interest in the classes.
I got to do our Course II display and Course IV display.

Course II is mainly Royal Icing work, with a bit of gum paste thrown in there for fun. This is also the course where student learn the basketweave, which is why many take the class.


Our Course IV showcases Advanced Gum Paste flowers.. All flowers, no cake. Its a great course with some beautiful new flowers to learn. Everyone loves the Stargazer Lily:)





These cakes are now behind glass, and hopefully will inspire many more students to take my classes.