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.