Sunday, June 27, 2010

No Tears in Cake!

This weekend I got to go to my first 'real' cake workshop....2 days, 24 hours of cake work, and so much information I'm about to bust! I learned so much and had the best time meeting other cake artists. Our theme was no cake fear...because there are no tears in cake! Over the course of the weekend, we made cakes that looked like designer purses. Such fun!

I tried to photo document the whole thing, not only so I can remember what I learned, but also so I could watch the transformation all over again. Many times when I reached for the camera I was too covered in modeling chocolate, luster dust, or cornstarch for pictures...but here are some of the ones I took!

We started out leveling and stacking our cakes, using dowel rods, foam core, butter cream, and bubble tea straws (one of my new favorite things!). This picture shows a semi-stable cake, ready for ganache (my next new favorite thing!)....but it doesn't show that I barely had enough cake, that my buttercream was too stiff, and that my cake was too soft and crummy. Needless to say, at this point I was a little concerned!

We next covered our cakes with a layer of chocolate ganache. Now, my ganache was not the best. And my cake had to be placed in the 'rehab freezer' for 'damage control' because it was so soft and runny. It got a little dicey at this point. So when I came in this morning and saw that the ganache had set up, I was SUPER happy! So happy that we snapped this spontaneous picture....

While our cakes were setting up, we went ahead and made chocolate champagne bottles for our purses to carry. We poured colored and melted chocolate, and then poured them into bottle molds. An hour later and a little carving later, poof! A chocolate champagne bottle!

Add a few sugar labels, and its pretty impressive. It looked so real, I absolutely love this bottle...can someone please ask for a bottle in their cake so I can do this again??

Once the ganache had set up, we covered it with fondant. Ganache makes fondanting SO looked great! Flawless (haha well, almost, and thats way better than nothing!) Chocolate fondant, I found, tastes SO much better than regular fondant. Even though fondant is not my preference, I learned this weekend that there ARE some delicious ways that it can be done. Chocolate is yummy, but there are other good vanilla options too! And now that I know more about this, maybe I can use it more!

Then I stitched the borders.....

And added thousands of hand cut, individually assembled and luster dusted logos...

A couple of handles, a champagne bottle, a blanket, and gum paste flowers...and I had a pretty darn cute bag! I am SO proud of this cake...obviously, as I took loads of pictures of it, but it was such hard work that really paid off. It was nice to remember why I love doing these.... and I can't wait to give this one another try sometime!

Me, super happy it turned out so well. I had the best time at this workshop, and learned so much!

Oh and did I was kind of delicious? :)


Happy Birthday Mrs Verna Scott!

When you turn 80 years old, and you've never let anyone else make a cake for you for your birthday might as well get a realllllly big cake!! Go big or go home, right?
So to celebrate the wonderful lady that she is, Mrs Verna got a huge pink, square, basket of flowers and butterflies!

I definitely underestimated the time it would take to make this cake. Without the help of my fantastic mom and sister, this cake would have taken me for-ever. As in well past 2:00 am, which is when I finished even with their help! Now, cracking 2 huge cake layers and messing up a large batch of buttercream didn't exactly put me on the fast track to success...

This cake was both White Almond Sour Cream and Carrot Cake...I had never made carrot cake before, but this one smelled amazing. I'm definitely going to have to eat some of it next time!

But I think it turned out rather well :) I love how the butterflies are hovering over the flowers! This is a bright and happy cake for a lady who has brought love and cheer to the lives of many. Happy Birthday Mrs. Verna!


Thomas and Niki Leigh...Saxaphone Love!

So Thomas Cooper and I grew up together. He was my marching band drum major, and when he went off to college, he continued playing in the ECU marching band, tenor sax section. Thats where he met his wife, Niki Leigh! Their wedding was beautiful and full of life...and music! With a wedding like that, what you need is a saxaphone cake!!
It even has keys!! They're in the right spot for keys...but good luck making any music come out of this saxaphone :)
The cake was white almond sour cream, and made up the saxaphone case. The saxaphone itself was rice crispy treats and sugar! I molded the crispy treats into the shape of the sax, stabilized it with dowel rods, and then coated it with (several!) coats of royal icing, buttercream, and then gum paste. I used edible gold luster to make the shine!

I learned so much making this cake...and it was heavy! I hope they enjoyed it as much as I enjoyed the challenge of making it!!