It's not often that I don't actually meet my clients, but this was one of those times. My client works for a company that I left a number of years ago, but since I still maintain friendships with many of the people there, a lot of my stuff still shows up in the office, and my client got to enjoy some of my yummies. When it came time for her first child's Baptism, she asked me to make the cake, cupcakes and cookies (not pictured, sorry). Her Dad was kind enough to pick everything up, so I never got a chance to actually meet Deanne. Not yet, anyway.
When a long time client asked me to make the cake for her sister's baby shower, I was thrilled!! Her sister was blessed with twin boys, and the shower had a jungle theme. My client sent me a bunch of pictures, including the invitation, but gave me specific instructions that this was not to be a tiered cake.
Initially I wanted to do two cakes, one for each boy, but after seeing the invitation, I decided to use it for inspiration and make one tall tier. The leopard dots turned out to be darker than I had expected (the Youtube tutorial said to make sure my colour was deep - lesson learned). I had lots of amazing feedback on this cake - everyone loved it as much as I did!
My Brother is a very active guy - from running, to rugby - and lately his new passion has been long bike rides. It wasn't a big surprise when his daughter sent me a picture similar to this when I asked her what kind of cake I should make for her Dad's 40th.
Every wedding has its share of challenges and triumphs - this wedding of 300 mini cupcakes was no exception. This job came to me after a guest at another mini cupcake wedding tried my minis and loved them. Johanna decided she wanted minis for her wedding as well, and contacted me for a tasting. Almost everything went well, but the vanilla mini cupcakes for the tasting ended up being a little overdone and dry. While they tasted OK to me the night before, they were certainly not up to my standards on the day of the tasting. Fortunately, Johanna was nice enough to let me do a do-over and impress her with what my vanillas are supposed to taste like. She decided to go ahead an book me for her wedding. We went with Vanilla & Vanilla, Chocolate & Chocolate, Red Velvet, Raspberry & Vanilla and my personal favourite, Chocolate & Mocha.
The next challenge (and triumph) was how to display all of these minis. They were going on a table in front of the head table and the bride didn't want a high tower hiding the couple, so I had to figure out how best to display them on a lower profile. I was quite happy with how it came out!
This post is long overdue - and for those who read my blog regularly (Hi Mom!), I apologize. Literally seconds before I had to carve this cake (the cake I have been most nervous about to date), I received a phone call with some devastating news about my Mother - She was diagnosed with early stage Cancer.
My gut reaction was to drop everything and go see her, but I had committed to this cake for a big 40th birthday, so I had to get it done. I have never created this cake before, so every cut was a guess. I'm always afraid that I am going to cut too much (its always easier to cut ore, but you cant put cake back once it's trimmed!) so that's why Vader look a little bloated.
Luckily, my client LOVED the cake. Phew!! And, more good news a few short weeks later - My Mom had an operation and is now 100% cancer free! Sometimes, things do work out for the best/
Sometimes, life has a wonderful sense of symmetry...I had received a request from a long-time customer asking for some sports themed cupcakes for her husband's 40th birthday, and even though I had a lot on my plate with my own Mother's birthday, I couldn't refuse! A couple of weeks later, I received another request from another long standing customer for cupcakes for her husband's 30th birthday (apparently, Gurveen was still talking about the cupcakes I made for their wedding, and this was a sweet surprise for him). She sent me a picture of cupcakes showing white and black letter tiles with a simple black dot border. I really liked the design and thought I could incorporate it into both orders, with just a slight modification to the dot border.
The Sports themed cupcakes were a little more of a challenge because each one had to be hand crafted. Being a perfectionist, this took quite a bit of concentration and attention to detail. I made themed cupcakes in Golf, Baseball, Football, Tennis, Basketball and Hockey. All of the elements are completely edible, except for a couple wires that are helping the sticks and clubs stand.
The time and effort was completely worth it! When I delivered the cupcakes, my client was otheriwse occupied and couldn't come to the door. However, she was so happy with the cupcakes, that she quickly sent me this message as soon as she saw them:
"I missed you. Soo sorry. I am in love with the cupcakes. They are amazing. I LOVE it. Thank you sooooo much."
A couple of years ago, a friend of mine asked me to lead a cupcake workshop for her Ranger troop (ages 15-17 girl guides) and it was a huge success, so she asked me to come again for a new group of girls. I was thrilled to be able to say yes and I began working on the event right away. I started by making kits for each of the girls including:
All of the girls were fantastic. They were all very polite and seemed interested in the activity, for the most part (when they weren't playing Candy Crush). Some girls took to the techniques faster than some of the other girls, but I think they all had fun. At the end of the night, we had some gorgeous cupcakes for the girls to take home - and I learned a lot myself on how I can improve future workshops.
Sometime the challenge of a cake is the recipe, sometimes it’s the technical aspects of the decorating work and sometimes the challenge is the deadline. This time, the challenge was all of the things. Most of my cakes are one-of-a-kind creations, which means I need to sit down and puzzle out exactly how I am going to make it happen. Once you do something once, it becomes much easier to do it a second time, but I didn’t have that luxury with the Slot Machine cake. This one was a doozy to figure out – and I was short on time! Once the basic construction was done, and I had the shape of the cake right, everything started to fall into place afterwards. I “cheated” a little by using some edible images to decorate some of the aspects of the slot machine instead of making them by hand. Personally for this cake, I think this was the right way to go. I wanted the reel to look as authentic as possible. Some people have asked why the Cherries are the winning symbol instead of the bars, but that answer is simple – that’s what the customer asked for! Inside is carrot cake with cream cheese icing.
I also made some cookies as give-aways for my customer.
Hockey has always been a big thing in my brother's house; they're all fans. In fact, the first night their first child came home, I held the poor girl for three hours while watching a game. I'm not a big fan myself, but it was worth watching the game to get to hold the baby!
This year I discovered that my only nephew is a Vancouver Canucks fan (not a Leaf fan, like the rest of his family). And this year he asked for a Canucks cake for his birthday. I had orginally considered doing a giant puck with the logo on it, but I decided at the last minute that he might like a jersey with his name on it instead.
I think the best part of his party was when the boys were sitting around the table, enjoying their cake, and one of the boys said "Hey Jackson, remember your Club Penguin Cake? I took one of the penguins home!". That's when I realized that I'm helping make memories for these kids. It melted my heart.
On January 2nd, 2002, Miss Jamie arrived and made me an Auntie - that was probably one of the happiest days of my life. I remember going to see my sister-in-law and the baby in the hospital. My poor sister was so whacked out on pain killers (due to the C-Section) that all I remember her mumbling was "Hey, 'Amy' is in 'Jamie'!" (referring to our rhyming names - I guess it hadn't occurred to her before then) before she passed out and I got to spend my first moments with my oldest Niece. Since then, Jamie has grown into an amazing, caring, considering, intelligent and beautiful girl. She never ceases to put a smile on my face, even when she was bossing me around and telling me where to sit, before she could even talk. I love making all the cakes I get to create for my customers, but by far my most favourite are the cakes I get to make for my nieces and nephew. This year, Jamie was going to have a spa party - so I thought of a fantastic cake idea, but at the last minute, Jamie decided to have an ice cream making party (which, by the way, turned out much better than I expected - we had actual ice cream, not just milk soup!). After some debating and figuring, I finally decided to give the giant ice cream cone a go. The cake turned out great! But, to be honest, I learned a lot about physics and cake contraction with this one.... there were originally three balls of ice cream meant to be on the cake, but I had trouble balancing them. Next time I think I could nail the three scoops!
I baked my first cookie at the age of 5, and have been in love ever since. The smiles on people's faces when they taste my creations is what keeps my passion alive!