From Cake Lab

Saturday, May 29, 2010

Graduation Cakes

Graduation season is upon us and I had two grad cakes due this past weekend. A bit of a challenge since the two cakes were for the same family and I only had three days to make both. Not only did this require a significant time investment, but I had to try to make sure both cakes were at the same level. Not sure if I was able to succeed 100%, but I'm pretty happy with the end results. Wish I had a bit more time for details but I did what I could given the time restraints.

The designs for the cakes were pretty much left up to me. Obviously this can be pretty difficult when making cakes for someone you don't know. Without much direction, I really clung on to the few details I was given and I think they ended up pretty neat. The cakes gave me the opportunity to try out a few new things, including decorating with buttercream for the grass on the flower cake. I've been a little hesitant decorating with buttercream as it's not as easy to redo if I mess up, but it worked out well enough, especially for my first try. The flower pattern on the top of the girl cake was actually just an imprint mat, so while it looks impressive it is actually pretty simple! I was able to achieve the yellow shading by using petal dust, another first that turned out well.
The guy's cake used some floral wire for the fishing pole and line, something that will be very useful in future cakes. The text was made with stencils, and I made my own stencils for the runner, kayaker, and names for both cakes (yes it is very time consuming!). Overall it was a very intense but good experience.

While I was busy decorating cakes, my own graduation was going on. I didn't feel like it was necessary to attend as I went to a friend's last year while I was living in Montreal and didn't feel like it was worth the time and money to have my family stay there for the weekend. Fortunately I was able to spend the weekend in NYC with my sisters and attended the "Glee" concert with Avery (definitely the best grad gift so far!).

Monday, May 24, 2010

"Music from the Movies" Cake

My mom is part of a choir group that recently put on a performance entitled "Music from the Movies". She asked me to make a cake for the party after the show and I thought it was a good idea. The cake was based off the promotional poster, which greatly influenced the color choices and font. The film strip was without a doubt the most time consuming decoration, but I feel like it was definitely worth the effort. Really enjoying working with the pre-made Satin Ice rolled fondant as it means I don't have to spend time making my own marshmallow fondant, and it also is available in many vibrant colors. As far as comparing tastes, I'd say they're both pretty similar. I don't really have a preference, but I rarely eat the fondant anyway as cakes are already sweet enough as is. It's really just a good decorating tool.

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Suitcase Cake

My sister Ari spent the last semester studying abroad in Singapore. She just arrived home yesterday and I made her a cake to welcome her back. I thought a suitcase cake would be appropriate, and she actually does have a set of purple luggage. The "stamps" represent all the places she visited while she was there (Singapore, Thailand, Cambodia, Indonesia twice (Bit Tan & Bali), and Malaysia).

Nothing too new about this cake, but it did offer a lot of good practice. Although, now that I've made a suitcase cake I know how I would make it better second time around. The clasps on the cake allowed me to try out my edible gold spay paint which is pretty cool. Overall I'm pretty happy with the outcome.
Welcome home Ari!

Monday, May 10, 2010

Chinese Mother's Day Cake

Been back in Maine for about a week now. Between unpacking, settling in, and keeping up on the property (a task that requires hours of daily attention), I haven't had a ton of time to work on cakes. I have, however made some recent purchases that will help take me cakes to new levels. This cake here was the first time I used pre-made fondant. It's more expensive then making it out of marshmallows, but it's really the only way to get the deep red and black colors. Definitely worth the investment in my opinion!

The Chinese symbol on the cake is the character for "Mother". Why a Chinese symbol you ask? Well my Mom is big into the culture (as you can see she even dressed to match the cake!), in part due to our time living in Asia and the online Chinese antique business she owns and operates.
Overall it was a nice simple cake with a chance to use some new colors. Currently working on two more cakes as I write this so it won't be so long till my next update!