Sunday, June 29, 2008

Something Blue

This is my new cake, entitled Turquoise Swirl Wedding Cake. It was done Christine, who was having a lovely lakeside wedding.
I consulted several of my cake friends to find out how to get the streaked, water effect on this cake. What I ended up doing was taking a stiff bristled painting brush, just like you would get at Home Depot. To make the streaks, I took scissors to the brush, and snipped away the bristles until it was a bit jagged.
For the color, I mixed Americolor Sky Blue with Teal. I poured vodka in with it too, to make a "water color". Vodka dries much faster than water, so it is usually what cake decorators use anytime they need to paint something.
I put each individual cake on my turn table, and spun it while dragging the brush on the surface.
When I was done, the color was a bit too garish. To mute it, I took a wet paper towel and wiped off the excess paint. What was left was a lovely essence of streaks, but nothing too obvious or flashy.
I made dozens of white gumpaste flowers to cascade down. Then, with a giant fluffy brush, I dusted the entire cake with White Sparkle Luster Dust. To finish it off, I piped centers in the flowers, and painted them with the White Sparkle mixed with vodka. Just lovely!

Sunday, June 22, 2008

Rose Tower

I really really wish that the photo was better for this cake. I have been dying to make this particular cake for a year now, and this weekend, finally had the chance.
This was for a 50th anniversary party at Maggiano's. Ruth and Larry are my Great Aunt and Uncle, and I was honored to make their cake.
I bought 6 dozen roses for it, and used all but 3! It was really a stunning centerpiece for the party. How it is constructed takes a bit of work. It is three tiers of cake, and then two tiers of roses, that make it look like the cake is floating on top of a sea of flowers. I got the idea of construction from Martha Stewart Wedding Cakes, a book that came out in January. If you are interested in knowing how it was assembled, it goes like this, from the bottom up:
1. Cake (with dowels)
2. Masonite Board
3. Floral drip pan
4. Floral foam and roses
5. Wilton cake plate
6. Next tier of cake.

For the topper, I just carefully placed the roses on the top.
I was scared to death that the construction wouldn't be stable, but once it was assembled, it stood perfectly. And I loved working with fresh flowers!
Congratulations Ruth and Larry on 50 wonderful years together!

Saturday, June 14, 2008

Katrina's Wedding

Katrina is one of the sweetest brides that I have met to date. Several months ago, she had to start her wedding planning over again, due to the venue she had booked for everything (cakes, reception food, flowers, etc) went bankrupt overnight. Without contacting their clients, the owners simply snuck off, and dozens of brides in the area were left without wedding plans, and were also out their money! Katrina told me her story over the phone, and later that same night, the local news broadcasted the story as well. That venue's loss was certainly my gain, since I was able to work with Katrina and make a lovely cake.
The wedding cake was a repeat, but done in Katrina's colors of pale green and dark pink. Instead of royal icing, I piped the scroll work in tempered chocolate, which was tinted dark pink with oil food colorings. The monogram on the top was from gumpaste, and the bottom of the tiers were wrapped with a satin ribbon.
The Groom's cake was made for an ex Marine. He wanted the Marine Corps symbol on the cake, along with some piping in chocolate. The Marine Corps emblem is an edible image. I have never worked with this technique before, but it turned out great. I then piped swags and beads around the outside of the cake. To finish it off, I surrounded the cake with 2 dozen chocolate covered strawberries. Yum!

Sunday, June 8, 2008

Les Dames D'Escoffier

This weekend there was an event called Let Them Eat Cake put on by Les Dames D'Escoffier Dallas at North Park Centre. They had several local bakeries make amazing cakes that were put on display, along with table settings. Guests could purchases raffle tickets to vote for their favorite cake, and if you bought enough tickets, you could even taste some. (I did not get to taste.) With husband and two cranky kids in tow, I dragged the family out to the mall this past Saturday evening to check them out.

The first cake I came to was created by Kristen Rahal of Tart Bakery ( Admittedly, I am a bit smitten with this bakery, and vehemently wish to be in her shoes one day! This cake was adorable-5 square tiers, all iced in buttercream. The tiers alternated colors-green and then chocolate. The green tiers had a large chocolate flower embedded into them, with a gumpaste flower on top of that. The chocolate tiers had something that I have seen a lot of lately and think it may be a new trend-rustic frosting. Instead of buttercream smoothed so perfectly that you almost can't tell that it isn't fondant, this buttercream is purposely unsmooth. Another recent example of this was Jenna Bush's wedding cake (see earlier post).

Another cool cake was one done by Nina Hunter of the Art Institute of Dallas. She did an upside down Asian Inspired cake balanced on top of drinking glasses. Just as you think that this sounds like a circus act, take a look at the cake-pretty cool, and defiantly different.

Morgan Wilson of the Ritz-Carlton created a 5 tiered pink cake, with floating tiers. Between the tiers, the cake was "floating" on hundreds of gumpaste blooms. There was lovely piping on each tier in white royal icing. I am actually making a cake in a similar style in about two weeks!

The most original cake was by David Collier of the Rosewood Mansion on Turtle Creek. You could possibly never even know it was a cake-it was an exact replica of a Chinese paper lantern. Just beautiful, and an amazing piece of art.
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