Monday, September 19, 2011

Coming in Feb '12 - Wilton's Advanced Gum Paste Flowers

I spent the last two days down in Lisle, Illinois going through some Wilton training. In February of 2012, Wilton is going to be adding a 4th class to their agenda; Advanced Gum Paste Flowers. Obviously, you'd like to have taken Class 1: Cake Decorating Basics, Class 2: Flowers and Cake Design, and Class 3: Gum Paste and Fondant before taking this next class on - so there's time to get all caught up!

The training was absolutely wonderful. I am SO excited to start teaching these techniques now. But alas, I will have to wait until February to do so. I wanted to give you all a little preview of what I learned and will be teaching you soon.

Here's a grouping of all the flowers we worked on during the training.

The Gerbera Daisy

A corsage of:
Green Ivy Leaves
Yellow Sweet Peas
Pink Blossoms
White and Pink Briar Rose
White Stephanotis Bud and Flowers

Lastly, MY FAVORITE: The Star Gazer Lily

All of these are made with gum paste and fondant and are super fun to make. I hope to see you in class!!!

Andrew is Where the Wild Things Are!

Mr. Andrew celebrated his 3rd birthday this weekend. One of his favorite books is "Where the Wild Things Are" and his parents decided to theme his party to that. What fun!

I enjoy reading the book to my daughter and had a fun time thinking about the cake I was going to do for the event.

After a great many hours spent scouring the WWW, I came across a picture of a cake that just was the face of one of the monsters and it made me smile. It was simple but TOTALLY perfect.

This cake is a chocolate cake with raspberry buttercream.

I included a dozen chocolate cupcakes as well. Half are filled with raspberry buttercream and the other half were filled with vanilla buttercream. The Max face is totally my favorite. I like how grumpy he is.

Andrew - I hope you had a fabulous party! I heard lots of fun was had by all!

Sunday, September 11, 2011

Part of Her World

Little Miss Clare is turning three. Her mom, Kristie, likes to pick a theme for her daughter that introduces her to a new character. Last year, you may recall, I made Clare a My Little Pony cake. This year, Kristie wanted to introduce Clare to Disney's The Little Mermaid. Ariel, being my favorite Disney princess, made this a joy to create!

I love including toys on kid's cakes. I don't know. Call me strange. But as a kid, I know that if there was something I could later play with ON the cake - that was the dream. So I went to my local toy store and scoured the princess aisle for something that I could use on the cake. I came across a miniature Ariel and two of her sisters and thought it would be PERFECT! They were the right size, but the next step was coming up with the design.

The scene of the movie that I wanted to create was Ariel overlooking Prince Eric from the rock after she rescued him from the shipwreck.

Because the rock is tilted funny, I thought this would make the perfect topsy turvy cake! And here's how the cake turned out:

The top layer of the cake is a vanilla cake with rapsberry buttercream. The bottom layer is a chocolate cake with raspberry buttercream. (Remember that if you ever create a topsy turvy cake, you absolutely have to use a denser cake. These cakes tend to be pretty fragile otherwise.)

Clare, I hope you had a fantastic birthday celebration! I also hope that you loved The Little Mermaid as much as I do!!! Thanks for letting me be part of your special day!

Buzz Lightyear Strikes Back!

My friend Jessica requested the Buzz Lightyear cake for her son. I'm getting pretty good at doing this cake and was up for the challenge for the third time. :) She wanted a yellow cake with raspberry filling. I use raspberry preserves as filling and I had a pretty good raspberry buttercream filling (I was going to do both for Jessica), but I've never received more compliments on one of my cakes than I had when I used this amazing strawberry buttercream. Jason, a friend of my brother-in-law's, came up to me after trying a cake that was filled with my strawberry buttercream and paid me the BEST compliment I've ever received. He said, "I come from a family of bakers. And NEVER have I tasted anything as delicious as that [strawberry spiral] cake." Thank you Jason!!!

I was wondering if I could take that recipe and adapt it for raspberries. Would it get the same response? Gosh, I HOPE so!!

I used about a pound and a half of raspberries and pureed them, but the seeds got in the way. So, I strained the puree, got rid of the seeds and continued on with my recipe. The recipe is a two-dayer. I had to let it chill overnight before completing it. After whipping it for about 6 minutes, this is the beautiful (and DELICIOUS) buttercream!

You can see flecks of the raspberries swirled throughout the mixture. It was the most beautiful color too!

And here's Buzz, filled to the brim with this delicious filling.

I hope they liked it!!!