Busy week finally over

I had two cake orders this week, and both cakes had to be fit in between all the software testing that I’m doing at work.

My mom called a few weeks ago and asked if I could make a wedding cake for her friend’s granddaughter.  Somehow the wedding venue fell through and the cake was ordered through them – so not only did they lose the location, they also lost the cake and catering.  After two weeks of wrong phone numbers, we were finally able to connect.  Luckily she was no bridezilla.  All she wanted was a three-tiered stacked cake with a border and real flowers.  I did point out that she would have to contact the florist or get the flowers herself, but I would put them on after I put the cake together.

It was a strawberry cake with a cream cheese filling, and the standard cream cheese buttercream frosting.  When I got to to the house on Saturday (a relative offered their house for the reception), it was full of people trying to get all the food ready and the house decorated.  I put the cake together and then went out looking for the flowers.  The bride’s mom had grabbed a handful of fake roses that had baby’s breath attached to them.  They weren’t quite what I was expecting, based on the photo the bride had sent me, but when she saw them – it sounded like they weren’t what she was expecting either.

While I was putting the flowers on, her nephew of about five kept bringing me some daisies from another decoration to add to the cake.  The bride was nice about it and let us add one.

Last Minute Wedding Cake

My parents were at the reception and said that the first thing out of the groom’s mouth after having a bite of the cake was – “that’s really good!”  I find it funny how he sounded so surprised by it.

The half-sheet Ironman banana cake on Friday was a hit with the kids.

Ironman Cake

Cakes for my Favorite Couple – Part One

Two friends from work have been the best customer's I could ever have.  They give me a theme or an idea and then let me work.  The most recent case was a perfect example of how much they trust me:  It was a baby shower cake… with a baby chthulu on it, but I'll get to that one eventually.

The first cake that they gave me free reign on was for their friend Isaac.  I blogged about that one after the party, so you can see the cake and story here.

Several months later they announced they were getting married and asked me to make the cakes for their wedding.  The bride really didn't care what the wedding cake looked like, but she did have something special in mind for the groom's cake.  In the episode "Dog with Two Bones" from season 3 of Farscape, she had seen a wedding cake in the shape of the leviathan Moya, and she wanted something similar.

This was going to be my second wedding cake.  The first one, a week earlier, had collapsed less than a mile away from the wedding after driving over half an hour through the tiny back roads of Texas's hill country, and these new cakes needed to be stable enough to make it through a long car ride and then a trip on a small boat to get to the larger boat where the wedding was going to be hosted.  After the first disaster, I was panicking.

This is the chocolate stout cake with chocolate cream cheese frosting.  It doesn't look very Moyaish yet, but it will get there soon.

This was the first time I made my own fondant. Marshmallow fondant sounds kinda cheap-ass and tacky, but it tastes much better than the generic pre-made stuff.

I purchased an airbrush and compressor set specifically for this cake.  It made decorating this cake so much easier than it would have been, and I've used it quite a bit since.

Moya made it to the wedding safely and was a hit.  The wedding cake was fine too, but while it tasted great, it was a fairly forgettable design. 

The next cake would be an homage to one of the great movies of the 80's.

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CAKE: Masters Division – Part Two

I apologize for the delay.  I was having trouble uploading photos and then lost momentum. Almost two months later and I'm ready to start up again because I have a backlog of stuff to talk about.  It's one of those guilt things… I wanna blog, but don't because I haven't finished the last project, so I put it off, and then I have more stuff, and then more guilt, and on and on….

Anyway, back to the cake competition.

The Masters Division is for decorators who are experts in sugar art. They are known to have mastered specific mediums and techniques. The may be an author, instructor, or work in the sugar art business, and have more than 120 hours of instruction. This division was open to all styles.

There were a lot of entries, but the photos below are the ones I found interesting for one reason or another.

This is a Sad Little Yellow Cake with Flowers.  I didn't think it was particularly sad, but that was the entry title.  It was one of the smaller cakes in this division, but I quite liked it.  Dainty, precise, and just a little sad are things that I can't quite get with my cakes.  My cakes are more like galumphing, over-sized dogs that jump exuberantly over your pristine white furniture, tracking hair and mud all over the place.

Sad little daisies.  And this wasn't the only cake with daisies.  The next daisied-cake took first place for tiered wedding cakes in this division.

Now this cake was fantastic.  You may not think so from this photo, but when you take a closer look you can see how amazing the drop strings really are.

And here as well.

Next up are the some of the fun cakes, and one truly amazing horse cake.

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CAKE: Professional Division – Part Three

The Professional Division is for decorators with a high level of skills, more than six years cake decorating experience, and more than 90 hours of cake decorating or sugar art instruction.

There were a lot of entries, but the photos below are the ones I found interesting.

First there was the Blue Horsey, and now there are horses with Gumby legs.

This wedding cake brings out all my girlie instincts.  In fact, I would LOVE to build a wedding around this cake if I weren't already married and still paying for my culinary school loans. 

And if I can't have this cake, I'd be willing to take the one below instead.

If you look closely, you'll notice that none of the polka-dots actually lie directly on the cake's surface.  There's a little drop of something that each dot rests on so there's a three dimensional look to the cake.

I don't think very many people noticed this, which is a shame.  It's the details like this that turn my reaction from "cool", to "Wow!"  And this was a wow cake.

When my Mom and I showed up early Saturday morning to check in my cake, this was the first thing that caught my eye.  The colors seemed like they were glowing in contrast to the chocolate fondant. I couldn't wait to come back later and examine it.

 This is another one of Lisette Vergara's cakes.  This one used a polymer clay technique for the flames.  The note on the card says she used a hydrogenated fat to make the designs.  When I asked her about it later, she said that she kneaded it into the fondant to keep it from drying out so fast.  Rumor has it that she'll be demonstrating this technique in one of the industry magazines later this year.

Now for my absolute favorite for this division:

I wish I had thought of this one first.

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CAKE: Adult Beginner Division – Wedding Cakes

The Adult Beginner Division is for decorators with basic skills, two years or less decorating experience, self-taught or less then 30 hours of cake decorating or sugar art instruction.  This entry is limited to the Wedding Tiered Cake category. There were a lot of entries, but the photos below are the ones I either liked or found interesting for some reason or another.

Lots going on here.

Mmmmm, grassy.

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