Monday, July 11, 2011

Summer Camp at The Art of Cake

The first day of camp was filled with lots of laughter and fun. We started the morning off with a lesson on reading a recipe, measuring ingredients and mixing. No baking (that is done by the chef after the campers leave) and lots of decorating.

We made ice cream cone cakes which are easy to assemble. The girls stuffed their cones with cake and icing which had been mixed together in a bowl and then topped the cone with a cupcake. Icing was scooped on and piped on, sprinkles and ganache were added and then a fondant cherry placed on top. You can see from the picture just how yummy they were!

The rest of the week includes Whoopie Pies, Cake Pop decorating and then a two tiered fondant covered cake! Summer Fun!

Sunday, July 3, 2011

A Birthday Cake for a Dallas Cowboy Named Miles Austin, III

A few days ago I was contacted by the father of a Dallas Cowboy football player asking if I could make a birthday cake for his son, Miles Austin, III. Really?

I am not a Cowboy fan and actually consider myself to be very much a Redskin fan. Would I let that interfere with my decision to do this last minute cake? Of course not! As I spoke with his father about the cake, he told me about his son and all that he had done for him and his family, what a nice boy he is and how much he gives back to the community. All he needed was a small cake with a Dallas Cowboy star and the #19.

When the call ended, a client that had been waiting to speak to me told me that she knew Miles Austin and that she had gone to school with him. She confirmed how well liked he is, how much he gives back to the community and that he was just in the newspaper for that reason.

When Miles mother came to pick up the cake she told me that Miles would say his father shouldn't have gone to all the trouble. She admired the cake and asked how I made the decorations. She was just a nice as the father..

I am not a Dallas Cowboy Fan but I am the fan of a Dallas Cowboy named Miles Austin, III and of his parents.

Graduation Cakes

What a month for graduation cakes. My favorite cake was for one of my daughter's teammates that ran the 4 x 400 relay with her at River Dell High School. The girls went to the Penn Relay's and unexpectedly won their heat. It was one of the most exciting races I have ever witnessed. After being interviewed by our county newspaper, Cat mentioned that she was like "a mama duck" to the younger girls. As the senior on a team with three sophomores, Cat was the leader and the girls followed her every move. The nickname Mama duck stuck and her graduation cake reflected the 4x400 relay team with four little ducks running on a track around the cake. The Riverdell logo and Boston College logo were printed on edible paper. The graduation cap and diploma were made weeks earlier so they could dry completely. This cake will always bring back fond memories for Cat's family and for the rest of the relay team. A fondant cake is very much the centerpiece of the party and the pictures that are taken of it capture memories that will bring smiles for a lifetime.
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Sunday, January 23, 2011

Coast of Maine Bird Watching Cake

The coast of Maine has always been my favorite place to visit. Imagine how delighted I was when I was approached to create a cake for a man wishing to give his wife a gift that she would never forget. He arrived with his daughter and a handful of pictures of birds. The birds were the birds that his wife loved watching when they were at Acadia National Park in Maine. He described the meadows, the beach and the shoreline as I remembered them and his wish to recreate this wonderful scene of Maine.

The birds were made from rice crispy treats covered in royal icing. The feathers and rest of the parts of the birds were made from a gumpaste/fondant mixture and the legs were skewers covered in the gumpaste. The top tier represented a post on a dock with a rope tied around it. The second tier represented a stormy day, third tier a meadow and the bottom tier was the beach on a sunny day. I didn't want to take anything away from the main focus of the cake (which were the birds) so I used non-toxic chalk to draw the backgrounds on the cake rather than using any fondant. The sand was brown sugar, the stones from candy shaped to look like rocks from the coast of Maine and the shells from chocolate.

The cake was beautiful and his wife could not have been more surprised. This truly is my favorite cake.

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Carving a Fondant Pumpkin

Everyday clients come to me with new ideas about a cake and why the design or idea means something to them. This past weekend Tom and I created a cake shaped like a pumpkin with a sentiment carved into it as you would a real pumpkin at Halloween. Why? Because a wonderful friend of a newly engaged girl came to me stating that she wanted to recreate a pumpkin out of fondant and cake that would represent the way her friend became engaged.

We stacked and doweled the cake like a wedding cake and pressed in the lines of the pumpkin by hand. The stem was made by rolling and twisting fondant. Although the picture doesn't show how large this pumpkin was, it was the size of a beach ball and very heavy. Carving the words in to the pumpkin was most challenging because I had to use the same font that was used on the real pumpkin. When it was finished it was truly a pumpkin.

Fun cake and fun way to congratulate a friend. Best wishes to all.

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Vintage Suitcase Cake for the Bob Hope Memorial Library

One of the most exciting moments of my career happened recently. We were chosen to make a vintage suitcase cake for the Bob Hope family for the dedication ceremony of the Bob Hope Memorial Library at Ellis Island. I was invited to attend the ceremony and luncheon as their guest. My father served during the Vietnam War when Bob Hope visited his base in Thailand. Being able to give back to a family whose father gave so much to the soliders was an honor I will never forget.

I found vintage stickers from countries that Mr. Hope visited, made books out of fondant that he wrote and copied his actual passport on to edible paper. The result was so well received that someone actually leaned on the back end of the cake thinking it was one of the many real vintage suitcases at Ellis Island.

Sunday, May 30, 2010

Vintage Suitcase for Bill Griffeth - Bye-Bye Bill -

Bye-Bye Bill -

The most memorable cake I have made in my cake decorating career was for Bill Griffeth at CNBC's Power Lunch. You can click on the link to see the actual footage of the cake when it was aired on the show.

I was told I had three hours to decorate the cake and make it look like a vintage suitcase. It was going to be filmed for the show and it had to be perfect. Okay, no pressure. The pastry chef presented me with the basic shape of the suitcase. It was covered with a chocolate fondant that had been slightly lightened. I distressed the fondant with cocoa powder, made the handle and straps and went on with the detail work. I used lemon extract and edible silver dust to give the buckle and locks their shine. The stickers were applied and there it was! When I look back at this cake I have fond memories of watching it being presented and cut on CNBC and having my family and friends call to say they saw it. It was a day I won't soon forget.