Sunday, November 21, 2010

Kali's Castle Cake. Vanilla Chiffon Cake filled with Vanilla
Buttercream and covered in Vanilla Marshmallow Fondant. All Edible

Kali's Curly Q Cake. Chocolate Chocolate Chip Cake filled with
Raspberry Buttercream and covered in Vanilla Marshmallow Fondant

Vegan Chocolate Cake filled with Apricot Buttercream and
covered in Vegan Buttercream. All Vegan except fondant flowers.

This was one busy week for me and for my client! All three cakes went to the same client for family events. The Castle cake is based upon a drawing by the 6 yr old birthday girl. She drew it out and colored it and I did my best to capture her design in cake. The look on her delighted face was all that I needed to know that there was a happy ending to this Castle Tale. This was for the kids bounce house party. The "secret" to this cake isn't much of a secret. The turrents are actually cut down sugar cones. Normally I would just fold food grade cardboard into a cone and cover it with fondant but I wanted it to be as all edible as I could make it for this charming little girl. Even the crown on this cake is made of fondant with candy jewels adorning it so that the birthday girl could just take a bite out of any part of it if she wished! She promptly called the figure and the crown as her own!

The second cake is the Curly Q cake. Now this cake was for the family dinner celebrating both the birthday girl's day as well as her grandmother's birthday. So while the Castle Cake was for the little girl and she got to pick out the flavors and filling for that cake, the Curly Q cake was more for the adults of the family so her mom decided a little more grown up version for the family dinner. The chocolate chocolate chip cake is a rich moist cake with little pockets of chocolate all through the body of the cake. Add that to the rich taste of fresh marshmallow fondant and you have a decadent dessert that the adults just loved. The kids loved all the candy curly q's! They are the "secret" to this cake. For this effect all you have to do is use wooden skewers and wrap strips of fondant around them, swirling from bottom to top, and then let them dry till firm. Then, using coffee stirrers to hold them up securely in the cake you just slip the curly q's right over the stirrers and stick them into the cake!

The last cake was my biggest challenge. The birthday girls grandmother is a vegan. Now, no dairy can mean no cake but there are ways around this and you still end up with a tasty dessert. Using some caker contacts I found a great recipe for dairy free chocolate cake and for dairy free buttercream. The cake turns out to be more like a brownie in consistancy. So moist but very dense. To me the buttercream was the bigger challenge. How to make something based from dairy products taste like it has dairy products when it doesn't is a huge challenge. Thanks to one caker friend who suggested using Vanilla Almond Milk I was able to get buttercream that is vegan and tastes amazing! It got rave reviews from not only the grandmother but also from those who didn't think a vegan cake could taste good!

This week I will learn how to make a new flower. I have a Christmas cake coming up next week so this week I get to learn how to make sugar paste poinsettias. I'll post my results next Sunday. In the meantime have a great Thanksgiving. I am personally thankful that I get to use my art to create such yummy masterpieces!


Sunday, November 14, 2010

Lemon chifffon cake filled with lemoncurd buttercream. Covered
in handpainted marshmallow fondant and trimmed
with fondant candy pirate coins.
All edible except center coin, keys and cake topper.

Happy Sunday! This was a busy week for me. Lots of baking went on in the kitchen followed up with a whole lotta decorating! First up is the Mickey Pirate Cake. The rum cask is made up of handpainted "wood" panels trimmed in edible gold painted straps. The coins were the fun part of this project. Planned months in advance I was able to pick up certain items when we visited Disneyland in April in order to make this cake work. The cake topper is actually a frame. I simply removed the plastic photo holder and replaced with with the handpainted scroll. The coins were made from fondant circles that were embossed using the collectors pin in the center of the cake. Once they were embossed they were allowed to dry overnight then sprayed with edible gold paint, allowed to dry another day before handpainting them to bring out the texture of the embossing. The "sand" is just ground up graham crackers. Normally I'd use ground up animal crackers because they look more like sand to me but I wanted the color of the grahams this time. The real "secret" to this cake is how it's baked. I used two small 2 cup pyrex cups from Pampered Chef to bake the cake in. These are made for baking so check first to make sure yours can hold up to the heat of the oven. Once they are fully baked you can trim off the dome and then invert one upon the other. You do need support for every 4 inches so put a piece of cake board inbetween and dowels in the lower section. I even put a long dowel into the top going all the way to the bottom for more stability. This worked in two gave more stability and helped hold up the topper! To cut a cake like this you simply remove any extra embellishments and then seperate the layers. It was a real hit with the birthday guy!

Dark Chocolate Cake fill with Raspberry Buttercream and covered in
vanilla marshmallow fondant. Trimmed in sugar roses and silk flowers.

The second cake this week is a wedding cake for Diane and Mike. They will be married today in a local venue which is a renovated barn. The sugar roses match the ones that will be in the Brides bouquet and the silk flowers match the flowers she is using in the centerpieces for the table. This is a wonderful way of incorporating your bridal style into your cake. Remember if you use real flowers to make sure they were grown organically or that your Cake Artist is using the proper tubes to insert it into your cake. More flowers than you know are actually toxic to humans or are sprayed with insecticides that you don't want anywhere near your cake. Silk flowers are a nice way to get the look. Just wash them carefully and let them dry thoroughly before placing on the cake. These are actually placed on top of buttercream piped around the bottom tier so that if any of the flower touches the cake it's only a petal or two. The sugar flowers, which are on wires, are inserted into food grade coffee stir sticks and then into the cake so that the wire doesn't touch the food. Check out the website later today for photos of this cake on the cake table at the venue! Http://

This upcoming week brings three cakes! This client has a family birthday party for her daughter plus a friends party at a jumphouse party place plus her mom's birthday as well! All in the same weekend! So I'm making three small cakes for those occassions. I'll share those on Sunday!


Sunday, November 7, 2010

Yellow cake with dark chocolate buttercream topped with
candy corn and trimmed in chocolate filled cookies

As mentioned in a previous post, rain makes working with fondant a chore and things go much slower than planned. The flowers for the wedding cake for next weekend are taking forever to make because of the high humidity making the petals very slow to dry. So I will be able to share those with you next week on the actual cake. Since I can't share something new with you I thought I'd bring out a cake from last year that is not only a huge hit with the clients but is an easy one for you to make too!

Known as a "barrel cake" this is a crowd pleaser that is quick and simple to do if you know what to do! First bake whatever flavor cake you like. Make two layers, fill them, frost them and don't worry about leveling the top layer or how pretty your frosting is on the outside. At this point, while the frosting is soft, place the cookies around the outside. You will want to measure the first cookie so it is only tall enough to clear about a half inch above the edge of the cake. Then use that measurement to trim the other cookies. Once they are all around the entire cake use a pretty ribbon (wired works best) to tie around the cake and "hold" the cookies into place. Finally, top with whatever candy you'd like. It only takes a thin layer to "fill" the barrel. The really cool thing about this cake is that it's easy to make for any holiday. Use candy corn or halloween colored m&m's for Halloween, red and green m&m's for Christmas, heart shaped candy for Valentine's Day, chocolate eggs for Easter, etc. Just tie with ribbon that fits your theme! You can also use anything long and thin as your trim. Use the pirouette cookies like I did or Twix candy or Lady Finger cookies. Anything long and thin will work to create the "barrel" effect. Take this to a holiday party and see everyone go crazy over it!

Coming up this week is a 3D birthday cake as well as the 2 tier wedding cake to go along with the sugar flowers that I will continue to work on over the next two days. See you next Sunday!