Friday, October 29, 2010

Talon's "Pumpkin Patch on Tour" Cake. (Click photos to enlarge!)

Oh man, this was seriously the most fun cake EVER.  This is definitely my favorite sized cake, an 8/6 in double layers.  It feeds a crew, but it's light enough to easily maneuver, short enough to easily transport, and small enough to quickly tort, fill, and frost.  I love to get the cake out of the way so I can go to town on the fondant, which, on this cake, was probably the most fun stuff I've ever made.  The chicken, the scarecrow, the curly vines, the pumpkins!!!  There is something magical about playing in hot orange fondant.  Of course I love the colors of fall anyway, whether it's fondant or the real outside. I guess if it's fondant, that's just a perk to a girl like me.  This cake was for my darling little nephew Talon.  I adore this kid and would shape tiny little tic-tac sized fondant eggs for him until the cows came home if it would make him happy.  I cheated and piped the fence from buttercream instead of cutting it from fondant, but I think it worked.  Erica, Talon's mom, really pushed for a blue cake, which I thought was utterly bizarre.  So glad she was firm on that, since I think it's what really made the cake special.  I swear white almond sour cream cake is NOT the only flavor cake I can bake... it's just happens to be the one most people want.  Tal's cake was WASC and it was filled and iced with a traditional buttercream.  Everything on the cake is edible except the wooden skewer holding up Miss Amanda's sign.  Special shout out to my many talented friends and acquaintences at for their constant support and inspiration.

Monday, October 18, 2010

Orange and Green Wedding Cake (click to enlarge photo).

This was a tiny little thing compared to the the other cake I did this weekend (the champagne fondant and burgundy ribbon cake), which was a real monster.  This little cake only fed about 50 people, so doing it was, well, a piece of cake.  I marbled 4 different shades of oranges and brown together for the borders, the bow, and the flowers.  Green ferns topped it off.  I didn't get any photos of the cake with the final top on it, but if I get my hands on one, I'll add it here.  October is such a gorgous month to get married.  Here's wishing love and happiness to all my brides (and everyone else's brides) this weekend!

Saturday, October 16, 2010

Champagne fondant with burgundy ribbon - a wedding cake (click to enlarge photos).

Carmen and Brandon's wedding cake was, by far, the most difficult cake I've ever made. Carmen wanted "champagne" fondant with burgundy ribbon, and that was it. I was terrified because a cake like this leaves no room for any errors.  You can't hide a flaw in the fondant with a flower or a leaf or a polka dot... so it had to be perfect.  I was a nervous wreck making this cake and even more nervous driving this thing 60 miles down the road this morning to deliver it.  This cake held another set of firsts for me:  it was the biggest cake I've ever made, it was the first 3 tiered cake I've ever made that was completely covered in fondant, and it was the first time I've ever tried covering an entire cake in homemade marshmallow fondant.  Brave!  The cake was white almond sour cream with a whipped vanilla bean filling and icing.  After I covered it in the fondant, I painted it with a combination of gold and pearl edible luster dust to make it shimmer.  Too bad the reception was inside, because as my husband carried it into the reception hall I noticed it glistened in the sunshine like Edward.  (Lame Twilight reference.)  The bride provided the topper and I popped a giant gerber daisy (also painted in luster dust) on top for a better visual weight.  (Wonder if the bride left the daisy there or removed it...)  As I was leaving, I did notice that her bouquet had gerber daisies in it, so woo on that lucky guess!!  The woman who runs the reception venue wanted to put this cake on a pedestal that would lift it higher, but when she tried to pick it up and realized it weighed so much, she quickly dismissed that idea haha.  Phew! I'm glad this bad boy is over and done!

Friday, October 8, 2010

Never thought I'd deliver a RAW (get it?) cake. (Click photos to enlarge.)

Hayden was having a WWE "RAW/Smack Down" wresting themed sleepover to celebrate his 9th birthday. His momma told me all he wanted giftwise were these wrestling figurines, and she thought he would think it was pretty awesome if we could build a cake around them. I ran into a couple problems that were firsts for me while making this cake.  First, I don't usually like anything on my cake that isn't edible, so typically I'm vehemently against toys or anything plastic sitting on cakes.  But as I went Googling for ideas on what to do, I found that cakes with "fondant" wrestlers were just pretty bad.  I think even the best cakers struggle with giant fondant muscles, mullets, goatees, tattoos, and skin tight leotards.  I decided to make an exception to my "no toy" rule just this once, because for this cake, the toys just really worked.  Another issue I dealt with on this cake was that it was my first BIG flavor mistake.  Only after I had baked and cooled a white almond sour cream sheet cake and whipped up a double batch of vanilla bean buttercream did I recall that this cake was supposed to be chocolate on chocolate.  Ah well, it all worked out in the end, as Hayden was adorable and said he was certain white on white would be just delicious.  What a sweet, sweet kid.  I didn't think I would like this cake, but in the end, I thought it was pretty hilarious and was quite proud of it.  Except for the figurines, everything else is edible.

Saturday, October 2, 2010

Boys Like Grass Stains and Cake. (Click to enlarge!)

Tiffany gave me a photo of a cake she wanted for her little boy, Brayden, so this cake isn't by any stretch of the imagination a "Peggy original."  I'm so used to working hard to make my cakes "pretty" that the idea of making one dirty on purpose made me a little nervous.  When this cake was finished, I had to go "stain" up the shirt and the baseball.  That was so weird.  It just felt wrong.  I think my heart might have palpitated and I'm pretty sure I broke out into a cold sweat.  But alas, I summoned the courage and worked it all out.  White almond sour cream cake with whipped vanilla bean filling and icing (colored brown on the outside).  Covered with graham cracker/milk chocolate "dirt" and all fondant decor (jersey, banner, baseball).  Happy birthday, Brayden.  Thank God for little boys or all my cakes would be totally covered in flowers!

Jonas Brother Cupcakes? (Click to enlarge!)

I confess, when I was asked to make "Jonas Brother" cupcakes for my friend Maura's daughter's 17th birthday, I was completely stumped on what that would mean and what I could do.  I said, "Doesn't your daughter have a favorite color?  We could do that?"  Maura said, "Nah, not really."  I asked hopefully, "Does she have a favorite pet?"  Maura said, "Um, no, not really."  Pressing on, sure I could change her mind, I asked, "Well does she have a hobby?"  Maura said, "Not anything I can think of that we could easily turn into a cupcake."  "Does she have a favorite fashion "thing," a favorite number, does she loves shoes, purses, jewelry?  Does she have a favorite flower?"  I was basically begging at this point.  You don't have favorite flowers at 17.  (Red tulips for me, please, if anyone's interested.)  "Man, what does this kid like???"  "She loves the Jonas Brothers," Maura told me for the 10th time.  So Jonas Brothers cupcakes it was!  But what to do, what to do?  How do you turn a Disney boy band into a 17 year old young lady's birthday cupcakes?  I went Googling and found darling pink and aqua blue cupcakes using "edible images" (photos printed on edible paper).  I knew that was the ticket.  I ordered 6 little "purple/pink/blue" colored cupcake-sized edible photos and got busy making fondant flowers.  In the end, I was actually rather pleased with these.  Cupcakes were white almond sour cream with a really lovely caramel and hazelnut infused buttercream icing.  So hey, happy birthday, Bekka.  I hope you had fun biting the faces off Kevin, Joe, and Nick!  (I had to go to Wiki to find their names.)
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