Monday, April 16, 2012

And then there's my most favorite...

...The crazy, colorful, fun shaped cakes! Not for the faint-hearted, or those with traditional grandmas they need to impress; a whimsical cake is unique and memorable!

-it can be "flow-y" and customized:

-it can be colorful:

-it can be themed and elegant (obviously designed for a vineyard wedding):

-it can be intricate and simple at the same time:

-or it can always be a Norwegian viking love boat sailing into the horizon!

Hope that gives you some ideas MaryBeth...So excited to have you in our family!!!

Let's talk about chocolate and fresh fruit...

YUM! It's just sooo good. The bitter from the chocolate, the sweet and tart from the fruit, breathy lightness from cake and fresh cream... It's just sooo good! Also, using unadulterated ingredients like chocolate and fruit lend a pure, natural quality to your event.

-here, the white chocolate has a little syrup added to make it malleable and wrapped around the sides of the cake. It makes a nice little basket to hold the berries on the cake:

-never underestimate the power of a few well places chocolate shavings:

-oh berry coule folded into chocolate ganache dusted with cocoa powder, how I love thee...

-this is another take on the chocolate basket...piped to make it look like lace:

-warm ganache dripped over the edge...great for an event with chocolate or champagne fountains:

Oh, the fondant controversy...

So yes, fondant is not the silky, creamy frosting that we all crave with cake. BUT, there are soooooo many advantages! It doesn't melt in the middle of your summer wedding. Fondant can be dyed any color, and spread in a thin layer on your cake; no unfortunate red or green smiles in the wedding photos. The finish of a fondant cake is very smooth, so there's no need for frosting or ribbon borders to hide flaws. Finally, your cake can stay fresher longer- fondant can seal up the moisture of the cake, so leftovers can still taste good after the honeymoon!

-with this chocolate fondant cake, I was able to use edible gold paint to make vines and flowers to match:

-here, I could use an edible pearl dust and white chocolate to create a 3-D leaf design:

-you can give an antique feel to the cake by adding shadows with different edible spray paints:

Then there's fresh flower cakes....

These types of cakes tend to be very simple to allow the flowers to take all the glory. They are nice at a wedding because they tie together the bouquet, centerpieces, and boutonnieres.

-there's fresh flowers between each layer:

-there's just a topper (you often see ribbon accents with flower cakes to carry the color down in the cake design):

-or else you can have little clumps of flowers (fresh, or in this case made with marzipan):

Oldies but Goodies...

So my soon-to-be sister-in-law may let me make her wedding cake, but she would like a few examples of my work before she decides. These aren't necessarily the best...but they may help her identify the style she likes.

There's TRADITIONAL White Round Cakes :
These cakes tend to be monochromatic, iced in buttercream, and simply decorated

-strait stacked with no space between, accents, or topper:

-pillar supports with topper:

-pillar supports with topper and accents:

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Mad Hatter Tea Party

Several months ago, a lovely friend of mine was expecting her first baby girl (after three boys) and was in need of a baby shower. We went crazy with the theme of a Mad Hatter 'super-girly' tea party. Here is the Cake:

An amazing photographer and friend, Tamera Orduna Photography, was in attendance and snapped a couple photos of the refreshments and decorations. I love how she made even the simplest things look epic!

Traditional crustless tea sandwiches:
Chicken and Thyme was served on buttered white bread with a filling of chicken breast, mayo, dry mustard, lemon juice, worcheshire, thyme, and salt & pepper.
Cranberry Chicken was served on lightly toasted raisin bread and spread of homemade cranberry cream cheese. The filling is chopped sauted chicken, toasted pecans, craisins, alfalfa sprouts, and a small amount of mayo to bind.)

Petite Cucumber sandwich requires only whole wheat bread, cream cheese, Major Grey's mango chutney and cucumber medallions.

These Fresh Fruit Tea Tarts have a crust of pate sucre (3 c. pastry flour, 1 c. butter, 1/2 c. sugar, 2 eggs, salt and vanilla) and a filling of lemon curd (12 egg yolks, 2 c. sugar, 1 c. lemon juice, and 1 c. butter). A little fresh fruit and glaze completes the treat.

Tea was served, of course (don't you just love these cups!?)

The decorations, not provided by myself, were gorgeous and sooo fun! These centerpieces and hanging orbs were made from tissue paper.

Alternatives to Cupcakes

After a long silence, I am posting a couple of the tasty things I've made in recent months. WhenI had the business, I was often asked to provide gluten/dairy/or egg-free desserts. I don't particularly enjoy using cake-y substitutes for flour and dairy like 'garbanzo starch' or 'soy silky dream'...they never quite taste like the thing they're pretending to be. Instead, it is fun to make a 'safe food' cleverly disguised to look like festive birthday fare.

This little cupcake is made out of jello. Following the recipe for "Jigglers", I layered the various flavors to make a fun rainbow. The reusable silicone cupcake wrappers that you can find at any cake store or craft store featuring Wilton products work well, and can be unmolded easily after properly chilling. The icing is a non-dairy whipped topping, sprinkled with dark chocolate covered sunflower seeds.

These cupcakes served along side their egg, dairy, and gluten filled counterparts were actually the first to go.

These little morsels are made using chocolate and ice cream. One could easily substitute sorbet or fresh fruit, and not non-dairy whipped topping to accommodate other allergies.

To make the pho-cupcake base, use melted chocolate chips (in this cake dark chocolate) and apply with a pastry brush to the inside of parchment cupcake liners. All to harden in the cupcake tin to keep the form consistent. When solidified, peel away paper. Now the form is free to fill with ice cream, mousse, fruit, or sorbet, and top with something creamy. In this example I used heavy whipping cream and raspberry jam, accented by upside down chocolate chips for polka dots.