Dec 30, 2010

Cute! Cute! Coach Purse!




What a month we have had! December has been a crazy time for our family. At the beginning of the month we moved from West Palm Beach, Florida up to Orlando, Florida. So, for the first 3 weeks of December we spent our days at Disney World and lived in a condo while we waited for our home here in Orlando to be ready for us. I know...it's a hard life. We had family come and visit and also got to know some great friends better.
So far, we are loving Orlando. We have the greatest new neighbors and the people here are so nice. Our kids are making friends and it just feels like home.


On to the cake! After the long (very fun) pause in our lives, we are finally in our new home and my Kitchen Aid mixer was one of the first things out of the box. It has been so nice to be baking again.
This cake, I made for 2 of the nicest and funnest girls I have met, Shawn and Kaitlin. Our whole family has had so much fun getting to know them and we are grateful for their friendship. During our long vacation at Disney, we spent days at the parks and went shopping together. They both work at Disney World in Epcot. So I made this cake to say thank you to both of them.
I told them they could have any cake they wanted and they agreed almost immediately on a Coach Purse. Colors were an issue, so we made a compromise by making two shoes. One for each of them.


I hope they enjoy the cake. Shawn even came over a few days ago and helped me make the shoes. It was a blast!
Enjoy!!!

Nov 18, 2010

Gobble, Gobble!!! Turkey Cake Balls are here!



My daughter and I have had a wonderful time making these today. We made them just for fun. If you would like to make them, check out http://www.celebratefamilylife.blogspot.com There is a full set of instructions!



Happy Thanksgiving!!!

Nov 11, 2010

Got Oxygen?


First things first, A big THANK YOU to
Scott Lamont at ROTECH
for believing in me and challenging me with this great idea for a cake. I had so much fun figuring out all the components and details of this cake.

The regulator was especially fun to work on. I have spent many hours staring at the regulator Scott gave me to copy. But eventually I figured it out. This regulator is completely edible. Even the dial on the front is sugar. The inside is made of Rice Krispie Treats and it is covered by gumpaste.



The stickers on the front and the back are also edible.


Making this cake was so much fun and brought back great memories of my earlier years when I was once...can you guess?...A geeky lab rat. For about 6 years I spent my life in research and microbiology laboratories. And yes, I wore the lab coat and the goggles. I am very much at home sitting in front of a microscope or a HEPA hood. I worked for a brilliant research doctor who had the social skills of a lion. One wrong move and he would pounce all over me. Attacking every detail of my work, but listening to him talk and as I read his published papers I would sit in awe.


Back to the cake, I thought I would show the inside of the cake. It is 12 layers of Red Velvet cake with Almond buttercream filling. It's okay, go ahead and count them, there really are 12. I forgot to take a picture, but the top part of the cake is also Rice Krispie treats. Enjoy!


Thanks again to Scott Lamont and ROTECH. I have thoroughly enjoyed working with you.

Nov 7, 2010

It's a Slam Dunk!

The Utah Jazz!
Royal Palm Beach High School Varsity Basketball!
Happy Birthday to Mark Jensen of the Royal Palm Beach Varsity Basketball team! Mark loves the Utah Jazz and his favorite player is Deron Williams, so we found it very fitting to add a basketball to the cake with Deron Williams signature in sugar!

Making this cake took me back many years, to the time when I myself attempted to play basketball. I will admit that I am a much better spectator then a player. I remember being on my church team, so of course, everyone had to get a fair amount to playing time, and I was standing in the middle of the court thinking, "Please don't pass to me, Please!" I think I ran around the court looking completely perplexed, so my coach took me out. I was so relieved and forever after found every excuse possible to never play again.


Happy Birthday Mark and Good Luck in all of your endeavors!



Nov 4, 2010

A ROTECH CPAP Machine Cake

I was thrilled a few weeks ago when a friend of mine asked if I could replicate a CPAP machine. I always love a new challenge. I have replicated Coach Purses but never a machine. So thank you to Scott Lamont of ROTECH and everyone else at Rotech as well.
CPAP stands for Continuous Positive Airway Pressure and is a method of respiratory ventilation used primarily in the treatment of sleep apnea. For those who need these machines they are literally a life saver.

This is a Red Velvet cake with raspberry filling and Almond Buttercream icing.

Thanks again to Scott Lamont and the team at ROTECH! I hope the doctors and nurses love it!

Oct 20, 2010

Gingerbread Cupcakes with Cinnamon Cream Cheese Frosting!

Life doesn't get better than this!!!

These cupcakes are the most amazing, yummiest little morsels in the world! If you would like the recipe for these cupcakes check out my other blog at www.celebratefamilylife.blogspot.com
Enjoy!!!

Oct 16, 2010

It's a Halloween Party!!!

HAPPY HALLOWEEN!!!

No costume party is complete without a MUMMY and Frankenstein! And no mummy is complete without a spider.
I can't even tell you how much fun it was to make this cute little cake. I was up late last night just smiling away as I made the uni brow and all the mummy wrappings. It was probably a good thing my husband was fast asleep on the couch. He probably would of thought I had gone crazy, but then again, he knows me well enough to know that's just how I am.


It was a pretty simple cake to make, and that's what I was going for. Simple, sturdy, easily transportable, cute, fun and not too spooky.
So...Happy Halloween from Frankenstein, a mummy, a spider and ME!!!

Oct 8, 2010

A Spooky Halloween!



Tonight we celebrated my daughter's 4th Birthday! We had a wonderful time. She decided this year that she wanted a "spooky" Halloween birthday party. A few weeks ago she and I sat at the computer and I showed her pictures of haunted house cakes. She kept saying, "Nope, not spooky enough" So I got creative and decided to make a Topsy turvey haunted house cake. She loved it and I had a blast making it.

I love pumpkins! They are my favorite part of Fall, so naturally the Haunted House needed a pumpkin patch. As I was making all the little pumpkins I was thinking of the children's story The Big Pumpkin. I could just see the witch, the ghost, and the Vampire tugging and pulling on one of those pumpkins.




My daughter wanted to make sure that there were ghosts and "spooky stuff "on the cake. I did my best to make it "spooky" without making it scary.
I loved watching her and her friends tonight all dressed up in their costumes playing games and parading around the house Trick or Treating. We played Pin the Heart on the Skeleton and we took turns trying to toss chocolate kisses into a jack-o-lantern. Then all of the adults went into a seprate room of the house and the kids paraded around the house knocking on bedroom doors to get candy in the candy bags they had decorated during the party.



Details about the cake...if you are interested...The top and bottom tiers are Vanilla cake with Almond Buttercream icing. The middle tier is a Chocolate cake with chocolate Buttercream. All of the decorations are fondant except the ghosts which are Royal icing.
Extra tidbit...my daughter didn't even have any cake:) I cut the cake and she said, "I think I just want icecream" oh, I love her!
.

This is the back of out Haunted House.
I hope you all have a fun and spooky Halloween!
Boo!

Sep 22, 2010

Fall is here!

Fall is my favorite time of year.
I know, I live in South Florida and it is still 90 degrees outside and the leaves never fall off the trees, but I can still pretend can't I?
I love the idea of Fall, the smells, the flavors...pumpkin, cinnamon, nutmeg, ginger...Oh I love Fall!
So here is a little treat from me to you!
Happy Fall!

Sep 12, 2010

Go Packers!!!

I was so excited when a friend of mine asked for a Green Bay Packers cake. I love the Packers! My husband and I have been fans for a long time and it brought back some funny memories. Our first year of marriage, when we were young, dorky and very poor, my in laws gave us an old fake Christmas tree and we had nothing to put on it. So being packers fans we printed off about 100 copies of the logo, cut them out and glued them on poster board and hung them on out tree.
Wow, were we dorky. I am even a little embarrassed putting this story on here. Anyway..., we had a great Christmas.


This cake was for the cutest little 2 year old I think I have ever seen. Mason is a darling, happy little boy and it was very fun making his cake.
Happy Birthday Mason!!!

Sep 5, 2010

The Lion King



I love the Lion King movies. So when my friend asked for a Lion King cake I was excited and nervous.I have never sculpted a lion before, and it was really hard. It took me forever and it turned out okay, at least it looks like a Lion. The palm tree was fun too, I had never made a palm tree either.


I love trying new things and I know I have a long way to go on sculpting, but it was fun and i am grateful to good friends who believe in me!

Aug 31, 2010

My Other Blog!!!

I have decided to start another blog. I not only love to make cakes but I love to celebrate everything in life! Crazy holidays are our families specialty and I thought maybe others would like to join in the fun. Check it out! http://www.celebratefamilylife.blogspot.com/

Aug 29, 2010

The Blue Ocean

This cake was so much fun! I made this cake for one of my sons best friends. He has quite a few BEST friends. This best friend lives across the street from us and happened to be outside when I was taking the McDonald's cake out to the car. He was so excited about that cake, that his one request to his mom was that I make his birthday cake every year for the rest of his life. What an honor, he is a great kid!
Right before his party he came over to see the cake. He said he loved it and looked at every piece on the cake. He looked at the sugar coral and exclaimed, "Wow is that Fire Coral!" "Ummmm, yes, I guess it is" I said. I have never heard of fire coral before but hey it looked like it to me. We chatted for a few minutes, then he looked right at me and said, "I was thinking next year you could do a space shuttle with an astronaut!"



Happy Birthday Christian!!!


The one thing I really liked about this cake is that everything is edible! The fish, sea shells and star fish are all done in chocolate. Then I hand brushed each with luster dust to give them shine and depth.

The sharks and scuba diver are made out of fondant. I thought about using gum paste, but I knew those pieces would be the first things eaten and I wanted them to taste good too. Plus, gum paste may be edible, but it feels like a rock in my tummy, and that's no fun for a kid on his birthday.





The two kinds of coral are my favorite part of the cake! The "Fire Coral" is made with Isomalt. I just dyed it different colors and poured small amounts over buckets of ice. It is really easy to do, I was surprised how easy. I am happy to help if anyone out there has questions:)


The white coral was really fun too. I happened to find a recipe for it and gave it a try. Up close you can see that it is covered in tiny holes and looks and feels like real coral. It is edible too and tastes really good.
I love trying new techniques and am grateful to good friends and their kids who let me practice on their cakes so that I can improve and bring them happiness too!

Memories

I love baking cakes! I know you could probably guess that since this is a cake blog. But its not just the finished product, or the finished cake that I love. It's the process of baking the cake. Every time I start sifting flour and measuring sugar. Every time I fill the pans with fluffy batter I think of my Grandma. I can hear her reminding me to tap the pans on the counter to get out the air bubbles, or see her standing next to me as I weigh my pans to make sure there is an equal amount of batter in each pan before I cook them. I see her sitting at her blue table in the kitchen telling me where the pure vanilla is for the hundredth time. I think of her as a younger grandma, as I sit as a young child and watch in fascination as the makes perfect rose after perfect rose.


I think of sitting with her as I try again and again to make a rose, she is 85 in this memory and legally blind, but I go visit her every week. I take her cookie dough already made into balls and frozen so Grandma can always have fresh baked cookies to share with anyone that comes to visit. Grandma doesn't want anyone to go home empty handed. Those little cookies mean so much to her. And in return, although blind and home bound, she sits patiently with me, my cute little son playing on the floor at my feet and we practice roses, flowers and piping. Grandma can see out the sides of her eyes if it is close enough. So I work, then I hand her my rose nail with my awkward rose on top. Grandma puts it so close to her eyes I am worried she will get frosting on her face. She smiles at me and says "That is a little better, let me show you again." I lead her hand to the center of the nail and she proceeds to make a perfect rose. I smile and try again.


I looked forward to our time together. We would sit and talk, eat lunch together, I would clean her house and she would play as best she could with my little boy. I miss my Grandma and I love feeling so close to her each time I bake a cake.

Aug 19, 2010

Big Mac, Fries, and a Coke




Happy 30th Brian!


I have had so much fun making this cake and I have learned so much. This cake was for some very good friends of ours. Brian is turning 30 this year, and his wife Devynn asked me to surprise him with this cake. It was awesome, she set up the whole thing and he had no idea that it was even happening. The Surprise party was at The Cheesecake Factory and they were kind enough to let us bring in our own cake. (Although it did seem a little crazy to take a cake into my favorite restaurant with the best desserts in the world!)

It was great though, everyone was so kind and complementary, other customers were stopping to take pictures of the cake. Even the chefs were coming up and checking out the cake! I think someone even asked if I was single! Wow, that hasn't happened in a while!



So... Happy Birthday Brian! I hope you had a wonderful and surprising birthday!



Now, about the cake. The cake itself is Vanilla with Almond Buttercream and fresh raspberries. The cakes are covered in fondant. The cheese and onions are fondant and the lettuce is gum paste. The hamburger patties are cocoa Krispies. ( Rice Krispies treats)


The fries are my favorite part of the cake. I decided to use white modeling chocolate because it tastes much better then fondant, but is just as easy to use. I kept trying to come up with ways to shape the fries, until I decided to just make the chocolate look like potatoes and then cut them like I would fries. It worked great and brought back lots of memories of barbecues and making fries with my husband. He makes the best fries EVER!
The cup of coke was also very fun, although you can't see it all that well in these pictures. The ice cubes are made of Isomalt sugar and taste like unflavored lollipops. The "Coke" is piping gel that I tinted brown.

It was so fun to see everyones faces when the looked at the cake. It makes it so fun for me. Thank you to all the kind people at Cheesecakes Factory, especially the head chef (sorry I didn't get your name, I was a little overwhelmed) I have so much to think about and work toward. I truly appreciate your confidence in me.

Jul 27, 2010

One of the First

Years ago...well, 9-10 years ago my mom offered for me to make a wedding cake for her friends, daughter. I was happy to try.


This is one of the first wedding cakes I made. My mom helped me and we had a wonderful time making this cake. It took us one day to bake the cakes and another whole day to make the white chocolate curls. We experimented a lot with different tools and getting the chocolate to different temperatures.




I just recently found this picture and thought I would share it. I have great memories of that day, standing in my tiny kitchen that also included our washer and dryer and laughing with my mom and my husband as we worked to figure out how to get those curls on the cake.


Thanks mom for all the things you have taught me and all the time we have spent laughing.




Jul 18, 2010

A New Recipe...Chocolate Raspberry Genoise






In the past few days and weeks, though I have not been updating my blog, the wheels in my head have been spinning, turning, creating and imagining. I have been trying to figure out how to approach the cake world.

So far I have been concentrating on decorations and fondant work. I have experimented with frosting and a few cakes, but I have kept it pretty simple until now. My cakes have all been from scratch, but I was thinking I need to take it to the next level.

The problem with that is, what is the next level? So to answer that question, I went to the library and found cake books. Wow! Who new cakes could be so different. I did do a little research before going to the library and found that most professional cake decorators endorse author Rose Levy Beranbaum. She is the author of "The Cake Bible" and "Rose's Heavenly Cakes". She also has authored many other books I plan to purchase or borrow from the library:) But those will come in time.


I have spent the last few nights studying her books, the recipes and especially her tips on how to bake the perfect cake. I always loved chemistry in college, and I new baking was more science then art, but I am in awe of the information stored in these books. I have so much to learn, but I am up to the challenge...and the tasting:)


So on to the cake!



I decided to go with a new kind of cake, one I have never heard of or even knew how to pronounce, but yet I did it. It took me all day today and I had some great help from my son and my daughter. My husband even came in and kept me company while I worked. Finally after 6 hours my creation was complete.





I had made the Moist Chocolate Raspberry Genoise! That is pronounced GEN-WAH. It was intensely chocolaty, the entire cake contained 5 bars of Ghirardelli Chocolate, but also spongy (since it is a sponge cake). I was amazed at how fluffy it was. It almost had the texture of Angel Food Cake.




This cake is also different for me because instead of my regular method...make a cake, slap on the frosting and then decorate, I also had to make a Cocoa Syrup that was brushed on each layer along with an amazing Raspberry Sauce that I made to put in the Ganache Recipe.


I also learned more about liqueurs. Now I am not a drinker, in fact I don't drink at all, but I love going into liquor stores, because I LOVE cool bottles! It just one of those things, they make me happy and the best place to find cool and interesting bottles is of course...liquor stores. This recipe called for Chambord Black Raspberry Liqueur and I was so excited when I saw the bottle, I just had to show you!



Chocolate and raspberries are an amazing combination. I think they were made for each other!




I wish I could share this cake with all of you! And Rose says it tastes better the second day. Yea for tomorrow!