Love it or Bid On It!

Love it or Bid On It!

Back in February I met Todd & Rebecca Talbot when I took them (& their two adorbs kids!) cupcakes to the Empress Hotel.

Any Love It Or List It Vancouver fans out there? I started following Todd & the hilarious Jillian Harris as a result of their entertaining repartee on LIOLIV. As I told Todd, their Insta stories have given me life in the entertainment department as I ploughed through many-a-late-night-wedding-cake-session. 

(Side note – Todd is AS lovely as he appears on TV, and his wife Rebecca is delightful!!!)

Buuuuuuut back to my post – I also brought this cake with me, which featured the logo for the upcoming B.C. Children’s Hospital Shine Fundrasier/Afternoon Tea/Fashion Show that Todd & Rebecca were M.C.’ing. I have more than one friend who has benefitted from the amazing work done at the BCCF so the hope was that maybe, somehow, someone would benefit from this cake. Even if it was just to feed volunteers, helpers, hosts of the event.

Fortunately the Talbots were able to include this cake in the Live Auction held at The Empress and this cake raised $300 for the BCCF! AWESOME!

The cake itself was a simple fondant covered one tiered cake with a gumpaste replica of the gorgeous drawing created for this special event.

Do you volunteer for a local or international charity? I just personally want to say thank you. I have seen firsthand how both local and international organizations benefit from the countless people who simply ‘show up’. Whether it’s centre stage M.C.’ing a special event, or on the ground in the dirt meeting with people who seem to lack all hope. You are the reason so many important organizations manage to keep going. Thank you for serving.

 

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 ūüôā

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 ūüôā

 

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. ūüôā

How To Fix A ‘Slipped’ Mirror Glaze

How To Fix A ‘Slipped’ Mirror Glaze

Wow, I am REALLY behind on my Blog Posts! My apologies.

It’s been an amazingly busy Spring/Summer for cakes around here. ¬†So much so that my family didn’t even get around to booking a vacation because there literally wasn’t a week that we were all available.

So. We will play catch up another time but for this post I wanted to teach you what I’ve learned about Mirror Glaze Cakes. ¬†Those ¬†are the really shiny cakes made from a chocolate glaze that have gelatin in it. ¬†Let me start with this – MIRROR GLAZED CAKES ARE NOT VERY FORGIVING! – They are basically a one shot deal because they NEVER completely dry and remain sticky, making them a dangerous medium to be near your arm, your hands or anything else that brushes past them. ¬†If you catch it, it will come away from the cake. ¬†They are gorgeous, however, and that is why we love them.

What I mentioned above is basically what happened with my wedding cake that was due last Wednesday.  And it happened THE MORNING OF THE WEDDING!  YUP. You heard that right. Basically my worst nightmare. Let me walk you through it.

The night before the wedding I poured my mirror glaze onto my frozen entremet (an entremet is a mousse cake and it NEEDS to be frozen before you pour the glaze or you will melt the mousse from the warmth of the glaze itself) and stuck it in the fridge looking all beautiful.  But then, the next morning, this happened:YIKES!  I thought that the glaze had slipped overnight in the fridge but soon realized that the parchment paper I had laid underneath it had rolled up onto the back when I pulled it OUT of the fridge, tapped the cake and pulled the glaze away with it.  No problem, I thought.  I had saved the leftover glaze so I just gently reheated it until it was 35 degrees (C) and thought I will just re-pour it to fill in the gaps, then pour a second time to cover it evenly again and remove any lumps.

NIGHTMARE!

What is one thing people tend to do under moments of stress? NOT THINK STRAIGHT! ¬†Entremets need to be frozen when you apply your glaze. Which this one was the day before when I did it. ¬†But this time in my moment of panic I forgot it had just come from the fridge. ¬†After pouring the glaze over this unfrozen mousse cake, the second layer stuck to the first layer, started to melt the mousse underneath, and proceeded to pull ALL of the glaze off of the cake. ¬†And where it didn’t pull the glaze it ‘globbed’ up leaving blobs of unsightly gelatine all over my cake.

Wondering what i did next?

One thing.

Ran down the hall and started crying. Yes, sad but true.  This was the MORNING of this wedding and I had to leave my house in two hours to make delivery. I actually believed for the first time in 10 years that I may not be able to fix this cake. My mind started racing to what I would tell the bride, her parents, what could I quickly buy and stick on the cake table etc. etc.

But after many tears and the same amount of prayer I had a thought. (Thank you LORD!) I put the messy cake into the freezer and waited. ¬†About half an hour. ¬†Then I opened the freezer and with a sharp knife in hand (with cake still in freezer) I carefully started to cut lines around the top edge of the cake. The mousse at this time was re-frozen so it allowed me to experiment to see how I might remove the glaze. ¬†Imagine how excited I was to learn that when frozen like this, the glaze could be rolled off of the cake and leave the mousse intact!!! I actually had no idea that would be the case but I had no choice at this point but to experiment. ¬†So that’s what I did. I stood in front of my freezer, rolling off the sticky gelatinous mess until all I was left with was the blank canvas of mousse once again.

Once this was done I smoothed the outside of the mousse with a palette knife and let it re-freeze for about 45 minutes until I had a perfectly frozen entremet once more.  Once frozen I simply re-poured the glaze over top and DID NOT TOUCH IT until it was taken to the wedding site.  Problem Solved!

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!

Minnie Mouse – think pink!

Minnie Mouse – think pink!

Last weekend’s cake was for a sweet little 2 year old. ¬†Who I never met. ¬†But trust me, from the photos her Mum sent me she is the sweetest-looking-munchkin-in-a-Minnie-Mouse-Birthday-dress that you ever did see!

Another Disney themed cake for this event Рthis time a Minnie Mouse on the front (with her ears balancing in the air above her head!) and a matching dozen cupcakes for all the little guests.  Happy Birthday Little Abigail !!!

Coconut, Brandy and Some Ombre!

Coconut, Brandy and Some Ombre!

Today’s wedding cake was covered in pink ombre buttercream ruffles and held 2 different flavours underneath all of the buttery goodness. ¬† The bottom tier was a coconut cake with raspberry coulis and vanilla buttercream, and the top was a vanilla cake with a brandied apricot glaze.

Set in the most BEAUTIFUL outdoor location, I’m convinced that outdoor weddings are my FAVOURITE weddings !

Cake, Art and A Disappointed Little Boy

Cake, Art and A Disappointed Little Boy

I can’t draw.

Like, ACTUALLY can’t draw.

When my son was about 3 or 4 he said to me ‘Mummy, draw me a dolphin’. ¬†‘Oh sweetie’, I lamented, ‘Mummy doesn’t know how to draw dolphins.’ ‘Well, draw me a squirrel then.’

ummmmm huh? On what PLANET is a squirrel easier to draw than a dolphin ??????? ¬†Regardless, I couldn’t draw either and he left the room completely disappointed.

I’ve always equated being an artist, with being able to draw. ¬†So when people would see my cakes and say things like ‘you’re such an artist’ I would always deny it and tell them I didn’t know how to draw, how could I be? etc. etc. ¬†I’ve since come to terms with the kind of art that I produce, BUT…. I STILL can’t draw!

And to prove it to you, I’m going to show you a design I created recently. ¬†When last weekend’s wedding couple was at my home for a cake consultation, they discussed what they wanted in their cake design and my handy-dandy cake office-closet was perfectly situated to draw out what they were explaining.

Ummmmm…. draw might be too¬†strong of a word. ¬†Let’s go with sketch. ¬†Actually, sketch sounds a bit A R T S Y. ¬†Make that SCRATCH. Below is what I SCRATCHed out for this sweet couple.

Surprisingly, the couple totally caught the vision of what I was explaining. ¬† I’m going to assume it was DESPITE my efforts and not BECAUSE of them LOL !!!!!!

(Frankly, the fact that ANY of my ideas end up becoming real cake in the end, is a bit of a mystery!)