Thursday, April 08, 2010

Rachel & Paul's Wedding Cake

So, the last weekend in March, I had the privilege of going to my friend Rachel's wedding in Murfreesboro, TN, and helping Marie make the wedding cake. She did all of the baking on Thursday, but when I got there Friday morning, I helped with the icing and decorating. So, this cake was a joint effort by "the Cake Ladies," as we were known by many that weekend. Haha.

First, a picture of the finished product, at the wedding. Yep, those daisies are edible.

The cake was four tiers, with the bottom and top tiers being yellow cake, and the two middle tiers being carrot cake. There were two different types of icing--buttercream on the yellow layers, and cream cheese on the carrot layers, but Marie, being awesome, got them to match perfectly.

Look how cute Marie is, putting those layers together. 

And meet your host, Angela, about to spread on some icing!

Eek! The cake is naked! Except for it's first little daisy.

Almost complete!

And, a close up of the daisies and forget-me-nots. 

The wedding was a lot of fun, and everyone enjoyed the cake. It was great--we had just the right amount for all of the guests. Okay, this is making me hungry!

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

More Butter Pecans...

I got an request for a dozen butter pecan cupcakes today at work from one of the guys that said he ate FIVE when I brought them in for that big meeting. He was a big fan! He said they were the best cupcakes he had ever had. Well, this time I decided to kick it up a notch by putting none other than a PECAN on the top, along with raw sugar. The icing was my all-natural vanilla buttercream.

Here's a close up of the raw sugar on the pecans. I painted them with sugar-water to make the sugar stick. It was a sweet time.

I took a couple extra to our new neighbors and they were so excited! It's easy to please a southern guy with a butter pecan cupcake.

That's all for now!

Saturday, March 13, 2010

Little Bows

For these cupcakes, I decided to spread buttercream icing on flat instead of piping it on, and then decorate with a little icing bow. The colors seem a little misrepresented in the photo, but the main icing was mint green, and the bows were a darker teal. I didn't mean to put these cupcakes in such dramatic lighting... but they handle the spotlight well. ;-)

Oh, cupcakes are just so much fun.

Thursday, March 11, 2010

Cupcakes for Work

This past week at work, we had a global meeting and a luncheon afterwards that I helped plan. I decided to make cupcakes for the luncheon, and I ended up making 8 dozen! I made three flavors: chocolate, "funfetti", and butter pecan, all topped with my all-natural vanilla buttercream and various toppings. 

I got so many compliments about the cupcakes! It was fun. I just couldn't stand ordering a cake from a grocery store for the event, so I whipped up some cupcakes, and everyone really liked them! I think most people's favorite kind was the butter pecan. I wasn't too sure how well that flavor would go over with a large group, since it's a little more unusual than your standard chocolate cake or yellow cake with sprinkles, but after so many good reactions, I'll have to make that flavor more often.

Tuesday, March 09, 2010

The Old Well Cake

Okay, so if you don't know, I'm a tar heel. (Go Carolina!) Here's a cake I made for graduation in 2009, with a sketch of the Old Well from UNC's campus.

The cake was a white cake with vanilla buttercream filling, and Carolina blue fondant. I had to put a string of white "pearls" around the bottom of the cake along with a white doily to fit with that Carolina girl charm. Here is another photo from the top:

Rah rah, Caro-lina, lina! :-)

Sunday, March 07, 2010

My Style

I guess when it comes to anything, especially an art, everyone has their own style. Most of the time when you order a cake, I think a good decorator will match your style (as long as you specify what you want), but at the same time, everyone who decorates cakes has their own flair and eye for design.

I would describe my style as a mix of modern, elegant, and my own individuality. I like cute, but not cartoonish. I like vintage or romantic touches mixed with modern clean lines. I like interesting color combinations that catch your eye (but don't fight for attention).

And as much as style and design are important, TASTE is equally, if not more important, when it comes to cake-making. Who wants a cake that looks pretty, but then when you serve it to your guests, it's a disappointment? So I strive for moist, delicious cakes, and I have developed a great buttercream recipe using no Crisco--just the real stuff, like the good old days! Mmm, butter. Last I heard, hydrogenated oils weren't so great for you anyway.

Friday, March 05, 2010

Caroline & Michael's Wedding Cake

This cake was made for eating. It was Marie's famous carrot cake (scratch made and delicious!) for which she gave me the recipe, with a delicious homemade cream cheese icing. Cream cheese icing is a little more temperamental than buttercream, because when it gets warm, it begins to melt or get thin very easily. So, you might end up adding a lot more confectioner's sugar than originally called for to keep it the right consistency for decorating. But, boy, is it delicious, especially on a carrot or red velvet cake. 

Caroline wanted white satin wrapped around the cake in sashes to mimic her beautiful dress. The satin was pinned with fresh gardenias on the sides of the cake, and she selected a beautiful pair of white doves to top the cake. 

Something about a cake up on stilts just adds to the excitement. Caroline liked the idea of this small fountain under her cake, with aqua colored glass stones to match her wedding colors. I was guarding the table until the cake cutting so that no young children decided to come running up to it and shake the table! But, everything went smoothly, and everyone got to enjoy a slice of the cake. 

Wednesday, March 03, 2010

A "Last Day of Class" Cake.

Here's a fun little cake. I made this for a few friends on their last day of class at Carolina--ever! A good occasion to celebrate, I'd say. It was just a simple 2-layer 8" chocolate cake covered in buttercream.

As I once heard someone say, a cake makes a gathering a party. 

Friday, February 26, 2010

My first Wedding Cake

Okay, so in the process of moving a lot, I can't find any pictures of the first wedding cake I made, except this one:

Hopefully I will be able to find some other pictures soon, where the bottom isn't cut off and the cake is more clearly in focus. But anyway, the cake was five tiers, covered in ivory fondant, with hundreds of tiny white fondant rosettes surrounding each tier. Marie and I worked on this cake together, and she lovingly taught me a lot about making wedding cakes. I remember her saying, "It's about the overall effect." I also remember getting pretty good at rolling tiny rosettes out of fondant after doing quite a few! Haha.

Sorry if I sound a little distracted. I am watching "Hurt Locker" right now as I write this... what a combination. Not exactly my favorite genre, but an impressive movie. I see why it recently won so many awards.

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Welcome to my Cake Blog!

Hi everyone! Welcome to my cake blog. Some friends have suggested I keep a blog to showcase the cakes and desserts I have made, so here I go.

I owe most of what I know to a beloved family friend Marie. She taught me the tricks of the trade--how to keep a cake really moist, how to spread on buttercream without picking up a single crumb, how to smooth on a piece of rolled fondant, and how to build a cake five tiers high. A few years ago, I was her apprentice. I am thankful for all that she taught me. Now, I am continuing making cakes, and enjoying making a work of art that is also delicious!

I hope you enjoy my blog. I will be posting the cakes that I have made and perhaps some other things of interest.

Monday, February 01, 2010

My new blog header

I made this this morning. I hope you like the peony!