Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Lots of pink

Boy!  It's been a busy week!

Last week I had the great pleasure of making a really happy cake for Deanna, who was celebrating her 21st birthday.  As a graphic design student, she was very keen to design the cake for her milestone birthday.
The brief was simple.  Lots of pink, some bling and lots of flying hearts.  I was a little concerned that we might have too much pink.....but as I added the bits of bling, the cake really looked amazing.  Very happy and bright.........a lot like Deanna!

The lovely 21st pin was supplied by the birthday girl and I hope she had a really memorable night!  As you should when you're turning 21!!

Moving onto another lovely pink cake, this one for little Monica's christening.
We had a few bumps organising this cake, but, we finally made it to the church =)

And then there were some cupcakes for a few lucky recipients.

Seems like my cheeky little monkeys are getting a real reputation!

And then, between all of that.....we hosted out Classic 102 class!

Lots of smiles and really beautiful cakes!  Our cake went to ToyBox International for Tina & her friends at the Centre for Celebral Palsy!  I hope they enjoyed eating it as much as we did making it.

Thursday, June 16, 2011

Lego at any age

At the beginning of the week, I received a call from a very panicked newly wed bride who needed a cake for her hubby's 40th.  "I know I'm running out of time...." she says.   Naturally, she wanted it to be meaningful and a bit of a surprise, as you do.  So, as he was a big fan of lego, it was an easy choice!

I'm a huge fan of lego too.  When my sister, the UAA, spent hours dressing and re dressing her barbie dolls, I spent hours teaching myself to build little lego houses, with doors and windows on lovely green lego boards...complete with those little pine lego trees out the front.  Ah, life is a lot better when you're young and easily satisfied!


Here is Lego-ised Derrick with his big 4-0h sign and some of his favourite building blocks. The cake was a real hit, especially with the birthday boy.  Yes, I definately aim to please!

I hope Derrick forgives me for giving him great 70's hair!!


Cake Love was also very excited to be at Epicurious again for our winter classes.  Our Classic 101 - Buzzy Bees and Designer Cupcake classes were filled with cheerful cake enthusiasts.  Amongst them, lawyers, dieticians, auditors, mum to be....and the list goes on.

Our weekend in pictures.

Such beautiful cakes.  Makes me sooo happy!!

Moving onto cupcakes!

The designs UNVEILED......!  Such interesting responses captured!  Beware of the candid camera......

*Contented sigh*  Such beautiful cupcakes!  What a great way to spend a weekend!
And lastly, a special shout out to Kate

3 days to due date.....and still cake decorating!  What a champion!  I hope by the time this is published Kate will have her hands full with her gorgeous new bundle of joy!  

Friday, June 10, 2011

The Story of an Air Bubble......

As a cake decorator, an air bubble is your worst enemy.  It is something that easily slips in between layers of fondant or between fondant and cake.  If you knead it badly- you get an air bubble, if you roll the out the icing with too much cornflour  - you get and air bubble, if you moisten your cake any less than perfectly - you get an air bubble, if you smooth the fondant down badly - you get air bubbles.  Basically, you will always get an air bubble regardless of how careful you might be.  Oh, and I forgot to mention, air bubbles in RTR fondant, are generally only clearly visible in daylight.....

So if you are a hard working cake decorator - like most of us are....working late into the night to make a cake that is both freshly delicious and pretty for the next day, well, air bubbles are an added hazard.

As was the the drama of last weekend..

I arrived early in the morning to a very domed cake..... 3 hours to scheduled delivery....this air bubble had literally expanded to bursting point.  This is what happens when you make a cake (along with the air bubble) when its 4°C outside and then leave it there overnight and the weather warms to 20°C..........

Oh!  Woe is me!  All that work for nothing.... I was certainly not a happy chappy at this point.

Well, I certainly wasn't going to tell Peter & Jain - "er, by the way, do you mind cutting your cake at 8pm instead of 5.30pm?"

So, mad dash to reconstruct the cake.  Re-ganache, re cover and decorate.  Still you would never have known, if I hadn't told you......*wink wink*

It scrubbed up good, and got to the venue on time.

Whilst this was happening, I was also putting the finishing touches on two cute cakes for two little boys turning 5 and having a combined birthday party.  The thought of 50 children in one place, well, that sure sounds like an interesting morning.  (You can tell that I don't have any little ones of my own by that comment alone!)

For Declan, a Chinese lion dance themed cake.  Something his dad, a former Kung Fu Champion very obviously passed onto him!  Nothing like a sugar model of his favourite lion on an Italian meringue buttercream frosted cake!

And for Ben, Spiderman!  Loved hand piping spiderman and watching him come to life. 
I hope the boys had many happy memories of their birthdays and got to eat lots of cake!

And a quick sneak peek and some of the classes we are scheduling for the next couple of months.  I am looking forward to seeing how our designs are going to be implemented by our creative students!

Classic Starter - Cameo mini cake

Classic 102 - Present box 

Novelty Start - Box of popcorn

More designs to come soon as we work up to Handi's advanced classes in October.

Class registrations through the Cake Love website.

Wednesday, June 1, 2011

Exploring the cakelet

The Americans truly come up with the coolest stuff sometimes.

Joining the Flickr community (photo sharing site) a few years ago, I came across a really fantastic tag line of Amy Eilert who starting making cakes pretty much the same time that I did.  Amy calls her company - Cupcake Envy, and her tag line is "my cupcakes are better than your cupcakes".  Taking single serve cakes to a whole new level of creativity, her creations are now known in the cake world as cakelets.

Once upon a time, cupcakes were all I made, and I adored them.  But apart from the occasional foray into a pot of flowers, I haven't experimented much with cakelets.  Until this one.

A life sized cricket ball took care of that.  It was such fun to make and so enjoyable to see something recreated in sugar that looks remarkably like the real thing.

 Cakelet was 8cm in diameter and made from lemon cake and white chocolate ganache.


Whilst on the topic of making cakes for fun, I also ticked off finally making something from my new book.

The Aunt Sassy cake really took my fancy.  The Americans have a palate that enjoys a lot of sweet/savoury combinations.  Like peanut butter and chocolate, chocolate coated pretzels to name a few as well as heavily spiced things like cinnamon chewing gum.   So in general, very different flavour combinations to what we are used to.  The Aunt Sassy cake is a pistachio cake paired with a honey buttercream.  The buttercream in the book has a base of a type of milk custard/roux which is then whipped into the butter.  The cake, was made with a combination of butter and shortening.  Another ingredient seldomly used in Australia.  All in all, it seemed like an interesting one to try.

The cake was easy enough to put together.  The buttercream came together in the end.  Does it look like the cake from the book?

Close enough.  (you can see it in the big picture along with the authors of the book)
Verdict?  Because we are not used to the taste of shortening, I found the cake had a slight 'stick to the roof of your mouth' aftertaste typical of shortening.  It was however, very light and had a lovely texture.  The buttercream was lovely fresh, but split after a couple of days in the fridge.  Delicious cold, but has a slight floury taste due to the large amount of flour in the custard.
Interesting to make, but I'll probably stick to baking with recipes by Warren Brown or Rose Levy Beranbaum.

A short reminder that our Classic 101 - Buzzy Bees class and Designer cupcakes classes are running 11 & 12 June weekend from Epicurious in Subiaco.

A couple of spots are still available for Buzzy Bees, so we'd love to see you there!!

and a look at our new and improved Novelty 101 - Ted's Pillow

The new courses inlcuding French macaron classes will be listed on the Cake Love website in the next week or so!


And I'll leave you with the pic of the first full rainbow of this season that I've seen.

Hope you all have a marvelous weekend!