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.
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."
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.
This week's confection project was a dartboard for a 50th birthday party. At first I was worried that I was going to have to draw perfect circles with white icing on black fondant. So worried in fact that I decided to just skip that step all together. I worked with all fondant on this one, and it came together quite nicely. Inside the layer of black fondant is red velvet cake (do you know how tough it is to find red food colour the week after Valentine's Day?) layered with vanilla buttercream. This one really hit the mark!
Abhir is one lucky 2 year old! For his very special birthday, his Dad ordered a very special cake for his soccer themed birthday. The bottom layer is marble cake layered with rich, thick real Belgian chocolate ganache. The soccer ball is chocolate cake with Italian buttercream. This is one cake I really wish i could taste! Mmmm left over ganache....
Mateo was turning seven this year and his mom wanted to make his birthday extra special. I guess Mateo is a big soccer fan because she requested a marble cake with vanilla buttercream in the shape of the Barcelona soccer jersey. I covered the cake in navy blue fondant first, then applied the red striped. I was really excited to get to use my new stitching tool - which worked like a dream! My favourite part of the cake is the Barcelona crest, which I hand made out of gumpaste. Happy Birthday Mateo!
Maggie, much like Olga, thinks that cake/cupcakes are a great way to make people happy. For another of her friend's birthdays she requested some baseball themed cupcakes. "Nothing too girly" she said. The cupcakes are topped with French vanilla buttercream ground and grass. The edges are rolled in crushed cookie, for that nice dirty effect. I then made some bases, jerseys, bats and balls out of gum paste.
Kind of on a whim, Jenny decided she wanted a cake and cookies for her son's 14th birthday. Now, never having been a 14 year old boy myself, but thinking I know a bit about them, I figured making a cake for one wasn't going to be the easiest thing in the world. Initially Jenny had asked for 'blue cookies with thanks on them'. Easy enough, I could work with that, but I asked if her son has any interests or hobbies, or anything he was in to. I knew that flowers and butterflies wasn't going to cut it this time. 'Basketball' was all Jenny gave me, so I ran with it! I think she was really happy with it, because that was one of the best reactions I've seen in a while. She hugged me and said it was so much more than she expected. For those of you who don't know, the reaction is why we cake decsigners do what we do. It's not the money, or the fame, it's the look on your face when you see what we've crated, just for you.
P.s. That's a massive cakeball on top - Delish!
A few weeks ago, a friend and co-worker asked if I would make a special cake for her son and another cake for her husband. These cakes are going to be two of the most technically difficult cakes I've done so far (except for the hot tub). In addition, someone requested a cake based on my infamous Peanut Butter Poppers - but with cheesecake - for a long time fan's birthday. I've never created anything like it before, but I think it's going to turn out to be fantastic. I don't think it qualifies as a cake though, so I'll have to come up with another namefor the newest creation. Popper Pie, perhaps. Add to that a last minute order for 40 St. Patrick's Day cupcakes, and my schedule is full! Can't wait to see how these creations turn out!
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!