My oldest niece turned 14 this year (where did the time go?) and instead of a traditional party, she decided she wanted to take her friends out to see the new Star Wars movie. She left the cake design up to me, and since I had already seen the film, I decided to make my favourite new character - BB-8. Such a fun cake to make!!
Getting to help celebrate people's important life moments is the best part of this job. Four years after their wedding, Gurveen asked me to surprise his wife with an anniversary cake.
His wife had also passed the bar exam that same week, so he requested a cake to celebrate. He also wanted both cakes to be a surprise, so i had to lie to his wife when she asked for a cake to celebrate her becoming a lawyer. It broke my heart to lie to her, but I think she understood in the end.
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/
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.
Back in October, I was blessed with the opportunity to change jobs. It was a scary prospect, but something was telling me to do it, and luckily it turned out to be an amazing decision. Part of the reason I’m so happy with my day job is the people I work with. It’s a small family run business and everyone here is very much like family, even with the practical jokes and teasing.
The youngest member of my new family is a cute, smart and talented girl named Samantha – who also happens to be the daughter of one of the other employees. Samantha is big into Cosplay (she makes her own costumes!) with her favourite show being Stargate. It’s really nice to have someone at work that I can geek out with!
As soon as her Father saw some of my cake work, he requested a Stargate cake for Samantha’s birthday – months in advance. I was quite nervous about the project because I knew what a great eye for detail Samantha has, and I know how accurate she and particular she is with her costumes. This Cake Had To Be Right!
After much crispy rice treats, fondant and airbrushing, I think the cake turned out very well. My biggest regret is not being able to see Sammy’s face when her Dad brought it home to her – since she’s on her summer hours now and doesn’t come in every day.
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!
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!
My oven was kept busy with a bunch of projects that just kind of sprang up - which was good because I had a last minute ccancellation Last week it was the birthday of one of the original supporters of OFGB. This peanut butter poppper eenthusiasthas been a fan of my work for many years and always supported my eeffortsin many ways. I wanted to come up with something that was completely over the top for him. The bottom layer is rich devil's food chocolate cake, then a layer of my secrete peanut butter popper filling following by a rich and creamy cheesecake layer and topped with a ggorgeouschocolate ganash.
I was also asked to make some mini cupcakes for my client to pass out at the office. There are 8 dozen of the little beauties and I would bet that every little one of them disappeared. Too good not to eat them like pop corn!
And if that wasn't enough, I also made some cranberry and plain tea biscuit for my weekly team meeting at work.
A few weeks ago a friend asked me to make her a birthday treat but wanted me to use her favorite liquor, Patron Tequila XO Cafe. We couldn't decide what would be the best way to incorporate this into a dessert. Perhaps Tequila chocolate cake, or Tequila infused frosting...then Stephane came up with the winner: Tiramisu! I've never made Tiramisu before, so I knew this was going to be a challenge. I started with making the lady finger cake from scratch, and while that was cooking, I whipped up the coffee syrup using premo espresso along with the cafe Tequila. While the lady fingers were cooling, I worked on the creamy marscapone filling. Once everything was ready, I dutifully soak the lady fingers in the coffee syrup and start assembling the Tiramisu. It looked lovely once it was done! Now just to hear about the taste...
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!