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.
This year, I get to watch one of my very best friends get married – to one of my other good friends! We all met at work when we were kids in our 20’s, and I watch Josie’s and Roshan’s relationship develop and grow. It started with a crush and before we knew it, Roshan was decorating Josie’s office with cute butterflies and hearts. Now that they are set to tie the knot, I took the opportunity to jump in and make some cake!
Josie decided that, instead of a traditional bouquet, she would like to make a brooch bouquet for her wedding day (I had to google it to see what it was, and they are actually quite pretty!). She decided on red and gold as her theme (being that the wedding is fairly close to Christmas) and she asked her guests to bring a red/gold brooch to the shower.
I went searching and I found a lovely brooch at a second hand store. I then went looking for brooch moulds so that I could make cookie favours for the shower, but I couldn’t find anything. Never one to let life get in my way, I decided to take it upon myself to make a mould of the brooch I found. With a little food-safe moulding compound, I was able to make 2 moulds very easily. I then made sugar brooches out of gum paste and then hand painted all 40 of them, which in turn were attached to the short bread cookies. They turned out amazing!
Of course I also made cake and cupcakes for the event. The cake is a brown sugar spice cake, (which is Josie’s favourite) with cream cheese icing. Yum!
About 6 months ago, I had to do one of the things I hate most – disappoint one of my customers. I had made some amazing wedding shower cookies for her and she wanted to book me for another job, but I was already booked. It breaks my heart to say no to people, but since there is only one of me, there is only so much I can do. Luckily, a few months later, she called to see if I was free for a baby shower in September. And since she was calling so far in advance, I was free! She sent me a picture of a two tiered cake, covered in buttercream roses on the bottom and topped with baby shoes and roses on top. Lisa’s Lemon Velvet was to be the flavour (lemon cake with cream cheese icing) of both tiers – so good!!
My client also requested hand made cookies as give-aways for her guests. I made two dozen cookies, each with a slightly different variation on of the below themes. These were so very much fun to make! The decorating is when I get to go back to being a kid and get to enjoy being creative.
Last year it was Tomas the tank Engine and Lady Bugs, but this yeah Julie wanted Sesame Street to help celebrate her twins’ birthday. Inside Ava’s pink cake, there is red velvet cake with thick layers of cream cheese frosting. And inside Ethan’s blue cake, there are layers of rich chocolate cake and Oreo buttercream frosting. So Good! Julie also decided that she wanted some cookies as give-a ways for her guests and requested these Elmo cookies. She let me go a little nutty with the colours and I was quite happy with how they came out.
It's not always about the cakes...sometimes it's about other things. Yummy things. Things like cookies and care packages. Once a year, my family gets together for "Christmas in May". My Dad, two brothers, sister-in-law and Auntie all have birthdays within a month of each other. This makes it really easy on me to bake up a storm for them - and one of the things I love sending in a care package to my Auntie is cookies. This year I decided to include some peanut butter cookies - topped with a caramelized peanut (a little trick I learned in the half-a-second I worked in a 4 star restaurant). I also decided to include some cakes in a jar. It's the only safe way I've found so far to ship cake. Let me know if you want one!
A few weeks ago I was contacted by a new customer seeking a cake for her daughter's baptism. Bianca was interested in the ducky cake, but wanted it in the same colours as Quinn's birth announcement, which she kindly sent to me. She decided on chocolate cake with vanilla bean buttercream (my personal favourite combination). A couple of days after we figured out the plan for the cake, Bianca decided she would also like some cookies as give-aways for her guests. She requested Q shaped cookies again with the colours of the birth announcement (pink, green and brown).
This week it was my pleasure to work on the Baptism cake for my good friend's baby - the gorgeous Mila. Tara had seen a cake I did a few years ago for a first communion and she fell in love with it. She wanted it duplicated exactly! Inside is layers of vanilla cake, freshly whipped sweet cream and strawberries. Tara also ask for me to make some cookie bombonieres to give away to the guests. And as a last minute request, my famous peanut butter poppers were added to the order. They were a hit and sold out before desert was even served. The meal, by the way, was faboulous yet again. I LOVE going to the Portuguese events - the food is beyond amazing. I just have to learn how to make those custard tarts!
It's so nice to know that awesome people still exist in this world. My friend Janelle called me because she wanted to say Thank You to her team in the hospital. She had been doing a placement in the psych ward (I think?) as part of her Master's degree in Social Work. She wanted cookies with smiles and "big teeth" to hand out on her last day. I thought it was an odd request at the time, but if you ever spend time with Jan, you would understand. She has an amazing smile which she flashes and brightens the whole room up. These cookies did the same thing for me. Every time I looked at them on the wire rack, I couldn't help but giggle. Everyone should have a smiley cookie to brighten their day!
I was asked to make some cookie favours for a bridal shower, and I wanted to do something different than the wedding dresses I have done in the past. After a little inspiration on the internet, I was excited to get to work. And a lot of work it was! First the dough had to be made, then rolled, cut, baked and cooled. Once the yummy butter cookies were ready, I covered them with either black or white fondant, smoothed them out and then hand piped the decorations on each (40 of each in total). They were each placed in clear cello bags and tied with either black or white ribbon, which I curled. I was very pleased with how they turned out! The cookies were actually being transported down to the states for the function, so I made a couple extra for my client to sample on the way down. I heard later that the cookies were a massive hit and tasted so good that my client ate more than just the samples on the road trip!
This week, the project was a Tiffany themed wedding shower for a friend-of-a-friend (who apparently is quite the Diva!). My Mother's beautiful silver tray set was front and centre again displaying an 8" topper cake and vanilla cupcakes. The topper cake is red velvet with cream cheese covered in blue fondant and accented with an imported edible jumbo diamond. Cookies make great favours and give a-ways! The cookies in the white organza bags are going to be attached to some of the gifts while the cookies in the plain plastic are going to the kids at the party. I hope the Diva likes it! The best part was the delivery, when I got to have breakfast with my friend!
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!