Happy Sunday! Well, you can see by the photo above how I spent my week...yup, making a LOT of sugar flowers! Every now and then I have to take a break from client orders and work on improving my caking skills. This was just such a week.
Awhile back I was going through my Demo Cake inventory and realizing that I needed to cull out the older cakes and put in some new ones that show off the newer skills or more up to date looks than the others. So out of the 12 I had on the shelf I kept only 3. My plan is to slowly add new Bridal Shower and Wedding cakes to my inventory so that Brides can see, up close, the type of work I do at the yearly Bridal Faires.
So I started thinking up new designs. I usually use the women in my life and family as inspiration for these demo cakes. I pretend they are my client and I design a cake to fit into a theme that I think would fit their personalities. About this time my niece mentioned that I "could" make one of those cakes based on her. So I did.
The design process isn't so different for Demo Cakes as it is for an actual client. First I meet with the client, get an idea of who she is, if this is for a Bridal Shower, or who the couple is together, if it's for a Wedding Cake, along with finding out what their dream cake would be for these occasions or what the theme for the event is already set to be.
For Nikki's Demo Cake I thought about who she is as a person. She is very "girly", bright, cheery and colorful...both in dress and in personality. But she's a bit scattered too. I think of her like a hummingbird, always flitting here or there but always in a cheery way. She spends a good deal of her life making other peoples lives easier and happier. Lastly, Nikki loves flowers. She is one of those moms who makes sure her kids stop and smell the roses, or peonies, or poppies or daisies...you get the idea. So almost immediately the idea of a cake with a waterfall of all different types of flowers came to mind.
Now here is where the designing process is considered very "organic"...meaning that I think on the fly when it comes to the design. Once again, not a different process from when I meet with a client. After setting the theme we discuss cake shape. You would be surprised how many people are stuck in the "round cake" rut. It is always a teeny bit overwhelming when I point out that there are square, oval, teardrop, rectangular and hexagonal cakes out there too. Nikki is no ordinary girl but she's not so cutting edge as to go with a teardrop design so I went with the hex shape. Still in the round idea range but with just a little more style.
When it came to making the flowers I picked out her favorite rose, the pink ones, and then researched other flowers in the color range I wanted to display. I knew I wanted to go from very dark purples, reds and blue to very bright yellows, oranges and light blues. I learned to make a few new flowers on my way. The bright blue aster was my very favorite! Delicate little petals but I simply love the way it looks. Even after I finished making a ton of flowers, estimating how many I needed for each tier, I found that when it came to placing them onto the cake I didn't have quite enough. So two hydrangea flowers were made to bring a bit more purple to the front of the cake. When placing flowers onto a cake you really need to take your time and make sure to let your flowers create the final picture you want to see. This means not letting yourself get too stuck in your original design. My original design had the Black-eyed Susan on the top of the cake, the white daisies on the sides and the dahlia on the front. Until I went to actually place it that way and decided that those flowers needed to be in completely different places!
Now for a "secret" you can use in your own cakes...even just that every day end of dinner cake. For the trim on both tiers I simply rolled out more white fondant and cut 1 inch strips on a grid backed mat. I kept the strips on the grid and, using that grid, evenly spaced out circle cut outs down each strip. Then I cut out little yellow flowers, made them into bowl flowers by pressing down in the middle of each one into a flower making sponge with a small ball tool and then, after putting the trim onto the cake, I pressed one flower into each hole in the trim. Then I followed that by adding in candy pearls for the center of each flower. The holes in the trim strip allowed the flower to set into the side of the cake and lay flat against it, thus adding design but not getting in the way of the other decorative flowers. This also means when you cut your cake you would still have flowers on each slice after removing the decorative ones making for a very pretty presentation on the table.
Check out our Cherry Party Blog tomorrow for the Bridal Shower party design that matches today's cake!
Next week we have a Beauty and the Beast cake for a 3 year old...I'll share that one Sunday night!