Sweet Ride – Literally!

Sweet Ride – Literally!

Last week I had an order for an Audi R8.

Needless to say, I didn’t know what an R8 was, but it was an Audi so I knew it would be NIIIIIICE.

My favourite cakes to design and create are the ones that have some importance to my client; something that tells their history, story, personality. And that means paying very special attention to the details that will replicate those items.

So. If I’m designing and making an R8, then it better end up LOOKING like an R8!

The process for a project like this is two-fold. First, print a template for the size of the cake. This was a 2-D cake so my printout was the outline being used for the aerial view, or top of the cake. Slab cakes are used to stack and decorate and then the cake is cut into the outline of the template.

Next, individual pieces of that same template are cut out to use as smaller templates for the individual pieces of the item, or in this case the car parts. The entire cake is covered in the base fondant colour and the smaller templates are then used to make the smaller, fine-detailed items like lights, exhaust etc.

When the entire piece is done I use a fine paint brush to touch up small holes, wayward fondant etc., using Edible Art paint by Sweetsticks.

When it was time for delivery, this luxe car was presented at The Cellar, an amazing restaurant at the Bear Mountain Westin. Upon walking it into the catering area, a staff member took one look at it and stated “Oh, John drives that EXACT car!”

I guess I’ll take that as a ‘win’.

😉

Gold Dust? Gold Leaf? Gold Everything!

Gold Dust? Gold Leaf? Gold Everything!

There have been a lot of gold cakes lately. For clients, in instagram stories, online tutorials and on The Food Network! The difficulty sometimes is knowing which products are best to use for the cake design you have in mind.

Lately I’ve been using a fair bit of gold leaf.

Warning – it’s not cheap! And that’s because you need to be using a good quality leaf to make sure it’s edible and food safe. I think my last order was $60 for 12 3″ x 3″ squares, and that’s 23 karat edible gold. The good thing is, a little goes a long way when applying gold leaf. For random placement I simply press small areas of the leaf directly onto the fondant covering my cakes. For much smaller, more delicate placement I’d suggest using a brush to lift and place the gold leaf exactly where you want it.

For edible gold paint, and a different look altogether, I can’t rave enough about Sweetsticks Metallic Paint Palette.

It’s vegan and alcohol, gluten, dairy, soy and peanut free! It’s also applied using only water – no vodka or lemon extract needed!

This is suggested for smaller, finer details. For larger areas use Sweetsticks Metallic Edible Art Paints – simply shake, pour and paint!

A Birthday, A Bike and a Blank Space

A Birthday, A Bike and a Blank Space

I’m so far behind on blogging that I won’t even TRY to catch up. So I’m going to jump to a concept that I thought was so cool. Sometimes my mind is full of ideas of cake designs, hoping that a client with no idea what they want will jump onto my crazy design-train. And SOMEtimes clients come to me with the coolest ideas that I embrace them with open arms.

THIS was one of those clients with one of those ideas.

A Blank Slate!

The idea that makes you think “Why have I NEVER thought of this?????” The idea was to include a bike (a love of the birthday-boy) but basically leave the rest of the cake white. A blank slate. The client had purchased edible markers so that all of the party guests could sign the cake as an ‘Edible-Birthday-Card.’

WHAAAAAT?

Crunchy spaghetti spokes 🙂

I know.

Genius.

London, Rainbows & Unicorns!

London, Rainbows & Unicorns!

My friend Laura, is inspirational.

She is a blogger, a preacher, an encourager of women and a great party-planner.

She is also, possibly singlehandedly, my most prolific client 🙂

So when her daughter London was about to turn 1, we set about planning what kind of cake to make for her birthday.  In fact I think we had barely just finished her son’s birthday cake when we started chatting!

In addition to her unicorn cake, Laura also had various other Pinterest-worthy ideas for the rest of her food table.  You can see all of the amazing details here.

Exciting for me was the fact that she was collaborating with Focal Photography to shoot the party so I knew she was going to get amazing photos from Marlboro Wang Photo who got the shots of the day!

Retiring? Lucky You !!

Retiring? Lucky You !!

Last week I had the privilege of making a retirement cake for a gentleman who had worked at the Victoria airport for over 40 years !!! That is a rare thing these days so I would say he was worthy of the celebration put on for him!

The backstory for this cake was that every Friday, the guest of honour would pick up a case of Lucky on his way home from work so if we could incorporate Lucky beer into the design it would  suit him perfectly.

And so, the Lucky beer can-cake was born.

The cake was delivered to a local restaurant, the Crooked Goose, where all of the guests assembled.  And I knew that I must have been close to the mark when as I walked in the front door two guests arriving in the parking lot said ‘that must be Ken’s cake – that’s perfect!’.  Obviously the Friday story was a familiar one 🙂

 

This was a Vanilla Cake with a Vanilla Swiss Meringue Buttercream and a generous filling of fresh Raspberry Coulis.

Ken, I hope you felt loved and appreciated on your special day.  Now relax. You’ve clearly earned it. 🙂

Giddy Up!

Giddy Up!

Do you want to know a secret? Want to know who is my FAVOURITE kind of client?

The ones who say ‘I don’t know. Here’s the theme. You just design something, and make it fabulous!”  #FAVOURITECLIENTEVER  !!!!!!

Tweet This Country Western Inspiration!

Well, Cal Faber is that kind of client.

His wife, Zenaide, was turning 50 and he wanted to surprise her with a Country-Western themed birthday party at a local hotel.

Literally all he said was two things:

1. I want it to be awesome; and 2. Here’s my budget.

I can work with that!

Being given free reign on a design actually gets my creative juices flowing.  Not that I won’t be willing to do an exact copy of your most favourite design ever viewed on a cake, but I always prefer to give a design my own flair.  And starting from scratch gives me a LOT of room for flair.

I knew right off the bat (is this a baseball term? I’ve always wondered…….) that I wanted to put Zenaide’s face on a Wanted Poster. Think a little bit Country-Western, a little bit outlaw.  Not that she is one.  FAR FROM IT! There is apple pie, and then there is Zenaide.

This made the contrast all the more wonderful.

Especially since every photo ever taken of this lady has her smiling from ear to ear!

Then, rather than do the normal cowboy, horse, boots look I decided I wanted more of an homage to the CW life than icons of the CW life itself.  Does that make sense? Perhaps the photos will.

One tier was a cactii display on a sunset background and the middle was a simple country fence with one sole lasso hanging at the gate.  Little delicate flowers were dropped all around the bottom of this tier.

All of the tiers were airbrushed and I capped off the sugar print of the Wanted poster (Thank you Cake By Taryn for that!) with a set of saloon doors either side.   I also ‘beat up’ the poster a little with extra tears and some dark brown shading and curling to really make it look like it had been dragged through the town from the water well to the Sheriff’s office.  Stuck a ’50’ on the top and there you are! Cowgirl meets outlaw meets sweetest birthday client ever 🙂

Cranberry Palette

Cranberry Palette

I’m sitting here at the end of New Year’s Day and am smiling when I think of 2017.  I was blessed with so many wonderful clients.  Brides, looking forward to their upcoming wedding day, spouses planning detailed surprise birthday parties for their significant other, and parents anticipating the birth or birthday of their special ‘littles’.  So much to be thankful for, in both business and relationships.  May you all be incredibly blessed in 2018 and find new ways to share those blessings with those around you!

And speaking of weddings, this cake was for a sweet couple, Christina and Ryan.  Ryan is on our sound-tech team for the worship team I’m involved with at Glad Tidings in Victoria, BC.

They are a sweet couple and I was excited to spend some time focusing on sugar flowers for this cake topper, as well as creating this semi-naked cake with splashes of gold.  Photography by the uber-talented Rachael Alexandra.

You want a shot at the title?

You want a shot at the title?

The only way I would ever own a championship boxing belt, is if it were in the form of cake.  And I have to confess, I know

N O T H I N G about boxing.  Other than the fact that Ali was the king, and George Foreman wasn’t always known for his grilling in the kitchen.

But a friend of mine has a husband who was turning 50, and is a HUGE boxing fan.  So when we were discussing cake options, we chatted about the usuals – boxing gloves, 2 little boxers, a boxing ring.  All had been done many times before but I had never seen a championship belt cake.  This was intriguing to me ……

BUT, it couldn’t be just any championship belt.  It had to be personal.  And on that note, when doing a themed cake I always try to take the direction of the client along with my design ideas, and then add in an element that they are not expecting but still follows along with the theme.

After deciding on the belt idea, I did some info gathering with the wife and daughter of said birthday boy and discovered that in a fight being televised at the birthday celebration, the surprisee’s choice would be competing for a belt. After finding out that he owned a belt in the WBO organization, I decided to recreate one of theirs.  But, of course, with a little bit of ‘birthday tweaking’.

Burgundy is a very deep colour to tint so I first coloured the fondant with some reddish tones but finished it off with the airbrush for a more realistic hue.  HAPPY 50TH BIRTHDAY PABLO – YOU’RE A KNOCKOUT!!!!!!

 

 

A Blogger, A Cake And A Baby!

A Blogger, A Cake And A Baby!

My friend Laura is an amazing Blogger.

She is also a graphic designer, a preacher, an events planner and an incredible encourager of girls and women in our community. Not to mention gorgeous and fun to boot!  (Click here to check out her Blog.)

About 2 months ago our friend Courtenay asked me to make a baby shower cake to celebrate Laura’s soon-to-be-here-baby-girl and after seeing the invitations (WHICH Laura made!)  I knew I wanted to re-create the invite directly onto the cake.

It was full of succulents, pastel roses, cacti and Laura’s own handwriting recreated in food colouring directly onto a semi-naked lemon cake with raspberry coulis.

Photo Credit: Laura Liira

The garden of Laura’s in-laws was the perfect backdrop to the event which was held on a beautiful Victorian summer day. Congratulations Laura and James (& little Luca! – click here to see Luca’s Birthday Cake).  Can’t wait to meet your sweet girl!