Friday, February 18, 2011

Happy Birthday, Dad!

My family celebrated my Dad's birthday last night, a few days early. My mom requested that I bake the cake for him a few months ago. When asked about flavors or designs, my mom hadn't a clue. So I thought and thought and thought. I was thinking maybe something golf themed as my Dad likes to golf. But what to do? Then, I thought about something bike themed...but what?

Then, I thought about my Dad. He's a pretty traditional guy. Probably not the biggest fondant fan. He would probably like a classic cake. You know, vanilla with chocolate buttercream. Classic.

Yeah. I can't just do classic, not when I'm given the freedom to "do what I want". If I'M asked to make a cake, I'm MAKING a CAKE. So, a cake decorating friend of mine, Keith, forwarded an awesome website to me that features some pretty untraditional cakes (you'll see what I'm talking about in a second). "Everyday with Rachel Ray" magazine also featured a similar cake in the last year. I just had to try.

From the outside, it looks okay, right? It's a vanilla sponge cake with chocolate mousse filling/frosting. I decorated the outside with pretty...ahem...masculine and classic...cookies.

My Dad was pleased, and then I CUT the cake. Hee hee hee!

His reaction was worth it! He actually sat back and asked, "How did you DO that?"


Happy Birthday, Dad!

Your Favorite Daughter

Saturday, February 12, 2011

Robin's Mosaic Cake

Oh, I've known Robin for a very long time indeed. She was one of my very first friends in high school. It was a welcomed friendship as I had just moved from Neenah and knew only the sweet girls in my neighborhood who took me under their wings. (Shout out to you Gina, Dena, Lisa and Emily!) Robin was in two or three of my classes freshman year and we sat next to each other and that's where our adventure began.

Through high school, college, our weddings and beyond, Robin and I remain close friends to this day. She happens to be one of the most talented people I know. Her mosaic designs are out of this world and I'm fortunate enough to have a few of her great pieces of work.

Look at the detail on this beautiful planter! I've never seen any mosiac work more detailed than this.

And this votive candle holder...seriously.

She also has a fantastic ability to capture wonderful images with her camera. A great eye indeed. She's taken my daughter's portraits the last two years and I still just look at them with great amazement and admiration.

So, when Robin's birthday was approaching, I was trying to find the perfect cake for her. She chose the flavor: Chocolate cake with chocolate ganache and caramel filling. Good choice. But how to decorate it?

A few months ago, my brother made a logo for Robin. (Consequently, my brother also made my Cake Mama logo, which I love.) I saw the logo and knew that I would somehow incorporate that into a cake design.

The fact that Robin chose a chocolate cake totally helped me out. But I do love the way it turned out. A mosaic cake.

After putting this one together and working on it for what seemed like hours, I have a great appreciation for Robin's talent. Even more than I had before, if that's even possible. You absolutely have to check out some more of Robin's work. You'll be AMAZED!

Happy Birthday, Robin! I look forward to celebrating with you!

Friday, February 11, 2011

Adrienne's Mickey Mouse Clubhouse Cake

Mickey and I go way back. Back to 1998. That was the summer that I had the privilege (or so they tell me) of working at the Magic Kingdom at Walt Disney World. Oh what a job I had. Custodial Hostess was the fancy name they gave me. I can, without a doubt, tell you that Walt Disney World is the cleanest place on the planet. Seriously. At least, when I worked there it was. :)

Thinking about that time, I remember all of the "guest" questions I'd receive. The most common one was, "When is the 3:00 parade?" You'd think that'd be a pretty straightforward answer, but you'd be surprised. The correct answer is, "Where are you going to be watching the parade?" See? See how tricky that is? The true Disney fans will tell you that the 3:00 parade starts at Main Street and ends in Frontierland. Where you're standing will depict the time of the parade for you. You probably learned something here. Right? I bet you did.

I also got the opportunity to create a few hidden Mickeys. It's a rare opportunity, as the majority of the hidden Mickeys are created by the Imagineers. But I got to create one in the old Pirates ride and also the Haunted Mansion. Here's a group of us post-hidden Mickey creation. (I'm standing directly left of the chair. Me and my awesome Custodial Hostess costume.)

That's pretty neat, but, where am I going with this? Ah, I was asked to do another Mickey Mouse Clubhouse cake. I just love Disney and was honored to make my friends' daughter's 2nd birthday cake. She's quite the fan! There are 3 Mickeys on the cake. See if you can find them. :)

And here are the bonus shots. One of Adrienne's first reaction to the cake. Seriously, could it get any cuter than this?

And here's an inside peek into the top tier of the cake. Marble with buttercream filling. Bottom tier was vanilla cake with chocolate buttercream filling (thanks for sharing these with me, Adrienne's parents!).

It certainly looks like Adrienne had the most magical 2nd birthday EVER! I'm so happy I got to be a part of her special day. ;)