Thursday, December 31, 2009

Confection Chronicles: The Union Pacific Railroad Retirement Cake

I finally have them...Photos of my Dad's retirement cake. And after I post them I think they will be the only pictures of a Union Pacific Railroad cake that exist on the web. At least at the time I was making it I could not get even one hit on a Union Pacific Railroad Cake. I made this cake in Paris, Idaho at my auntie Tanja's house. She kindly offered me her kitchen so that I could keep the cake a surprise. My sister Jena helped me bake and mix fondant. So for a couple of days we were gone all day. Needless to say my dad was getting kind of nosy. My mom kept telling him that we were at a Bear Lake High alumni party. I think in the end he figured it out but I know he was still surprised once he saw the finished result. My Dad worked his fingers to the bone for the Union Pacific Railroad and I was so glad that we had this party for him. He definitely deserved a celebration. I'm not sure if the concept quite worked but I had Andy build me this cake stand so that it would look like the cake was tipping over. Then I planted a golf ball in the side of the cake to symbolize funner things doing away with all the hard work. In the end I ran out of time to make it really polished and perfect but I was still happy with the finished product. And I got to use Sugar Veil which has got to be the best cake decorating medium that exists. The Chef at Bear Lake West even asked me to be his cake lady. I was super flattered but told him that would be a little impossible considering I live in Oregon. Oh well, the thought was nice.
Here are some more pics of the details...

Confection Chronicles: The Four Tiered Wedding Cake

So I haven't made a cake since the last week in September when I made this...

A wedding cake for my husband's cousin's daughter, Danielle Wood Craig. I made it in a little Kitchenette in Lake Tahoe. I will be kicking myself for the rest of my life that I didn't remember to take a picture of that kitchen. Not only was I happy with the cake because of the way it looked in the end but I was very proud at being able to accomplish it under almost any circumstances. I just kept thinking of Julia Child and her first kitchen, which was tiny. Women back in the day didn't have enormous kitchens with tons of counter space. If she could manage then so could I...and somehow I did. I was so nervous about the extremely high altitude (7000 ft) but it didn't end up making the slightest bit of difference, in fact the cake was the best tasting I have ever made, before and since. I was sitting by my sister-in-law Lynda when I finished my piece and suddenly I was overcome with giddiness..."Lynda", I said, "that was the best piece of cake I have ever tasted and I can't believe I made it." She doesn't eat sugar so she picked up her plate, smelled the cake and said, "That is the best piece of cake I have ever smelled." But the most important thing is that the bride and groom were thrilled. I can't wait to make another wedding cake. They are so nerve wracking and rewarding all at once. Kind of like a wedding in general I guess.

Friday, October 9, 2009

A Baby Bear Cake!

I took a break for a little more than a month so here I am blogging nearly six weeks after my last blog post. I didn't post immediately because I have been moving. Same town, just up the street. I am so excited to get settled so I can start making cakes in my much larger kitchen. I am really going to miss the super nice oven in my last rental house but if I've learned anything in life, it's that you never get everything you want all at once. Room for two refrigerators and a TON more counter space are a pretty good trade off.

So, I know I said my next post would be the UPRR cake but those pics are just going to have to wait. I can't believe I didn't take any photos myself but, I didn't.

So the week of September 20th I was hired to make a cake for a baby shower for my Sister-in-law's Sister-in-law, Connie. She is having her first baby. Her mom, Jan called and wanted me to make a cake. At first I thought I might get the chance to make another diaper bag cake in pink but she didn't want one of those. Then I thought I was going to get a chance to make my first gift box cake but she changed her mind about that. So in the end she said she wanted a tiered cake in white, pink, and lavender with a bear on top. "And make it sparkly and pretty", she said. So this is what I came up with...
Every time I have to make a sculpture of something I get so nervous. I really want to take sculpting class because it's so far out of my comfort zone. I did this bear totally free hand and I think it turned out pretty cute. I hear it was a hit. I'm so glad I was able to do this cake for them even though I had to miss the shower. I left the morning after I finished this to travel to Lake Tahoe and make a wedding cake. Stay tuned for that story.

Monday, August 31, 2009

Sugar Hiatus!

So I decided I would post this to let you all know that I am on a Sugar hiatus right now. I am TRYING to get all these pesky extra pounds off and unfortunately that means no more cake for fun. Only cake for work. I did a cake for my Dad for his Retirement but I didn't take my camera and am at the mercy of those that did to send me a disk. My sister said she would. I will blog about it when I get it...don't anyone hold your breath. It could be awhile. I am gearing up to do a gift box cake for a baby shower on the 26th of September and I am also preparing to do a cake for a wedding in Lake Tahoe that same day. The wedding cake is going to be beautiful! My first four tiered cake and my first square cake. The baby shower cake will be my first gift box cake. Nothing I foresee to be too hard. Famous last words, right?

Monday, August 3, 2009

Confection Chronicles: The Little Sweet Pea Birthday Cake

So I had a little cake break for a few weeks. It was nice to take a breather. That Godzilla cake sort of tweaked me a little. It was kind of unsettling to make a cake with that I-just-started-I-don't-know-what-I'm-doing feeling. I hadn't had that feeling in a long time. Besides, Boys cakes just aren't as fun to make. But what can ya do? I can't go into business for just girls...

So to my delight, I received a request for a little girl cake from a friend of mine, Miss Debbie, who wanted to take one to her Granddaughter that turned One on August 2nd. She calls her little granddaughter "Sweet Pea" and wanted me to make a Sweet Pea Cake.

Most the Sweet Pea cakes I have ever looked at have babies in a pea pod on them, so I thought it might be cute to make one that looked like the baby had come out of the pod and grown up a little.
As I said before, A Sculptor I am not but I'm improving. When I told my two oldest children what I was doing I received a couple of "Okay, if you think you can do that" accompanied by looks of concern... Nice Kids, huh? I guess all their "Faith" in me stems from the fact that they saw me trying to make a little boy for the Godzilla cake. You see, I had originally planned to put a little boy by the Godzilla cake looking up in awe at Godzilla but really I just ran out of time. I thought the little boy looked older two girls just laughed. Maybe I'll post a pic sometime. I still have the head.

But I digress... in spite of my poor sculpting skills and my limited knowledge of sweet peas ( I didn't realize they actually grow peas. I just thought they were flowers. Why don't we eat them if they grow actual peas?), I made the Sweet Pea cake Miss Debbie requested. She wanted pea pods on her cake and so pea pods she got.
I seem to have misplaced my camera and strongly suspect that it has been stolen. So here are the pics, taken on my cell phone:( Sorry!
I apologize for the horrible pics. I asked Miss Debbie to
take lots of photos. Hopefully the cake will make it to the
party's driving for 10 hours. I have my fingers crossed.

Thursday, July 9, 2009

Confection Chronicles: The Godzilla Cake!

First of all, I have had quite a few inquiries as to whether or not I do Cakes for hire. My answer is SORT OF. I have inquired about licensing my kitchen and all that it requires for me to start an official business. It might actually be possible. There is a chance my teeny weeny kitchen could actually pass an inspection and if it does I will be "OFFICIAL" after I overcome my second hurdle...$$$. So I would be Ecstatic to be hired out to do a cake, it's just that I can't advertise. It's just word of mouth for now. But if you would like some info about prices and availability, just click on this or my profile to the right, get my phone number or e-mail and get a hold of me. OR just leave a comment with a way for me to get a hold of you.:)
Whew! So I finally finished the
Godzilla Cake for my nephew, Branson, who turned 8 on July 4th,
and the main thing I have to say about that is ... I REALLY thought I was going to end up on "Cake Wrecks".
I don't know if you've ever looked at the "Cake Wrecks" blog.
But If you haven't check it out here.
The girl that blogs it is hilarious and the cakes are too. I just know someday I will have a cake pic to send her. Let me tell you I'm pretty sure this Cake is still up for debate...I totally understand why Cake People on Food Network always use wood and screws and other building materials for cake supports. It is a total PAIN to try to get something to stay together and stand up without them. Not to mention the fact that while I am an artistic sort there are 2 things I am not...A Sculptor or A Painter. Some better sculpting skills would have really been nice. Thank heavens my husband jumped in to help. He did the hands and feet.
Not that I wouldn't have done just as good EVENTUALLY
but I was really pressed for time and was really grateful I didn't have to figure them out.
This cake looks like a 10 hour cake.
In fact it looks like a 6 hour cake but
And the really sad thing about the amount of time I spent on it is that it's not PERFECT or even NEAR PERFECT. Not for lack of trying. If I were to do it again, however...well, it would be better. Don't mean to be so negative but usually post cake I feel exhilarated and content. This time I just want to blog about it and put it out of my mind. But on the bright side, Branson was totally happy and all his friends were impressed. So I guess it did what a cake's suppose to do. And I guess I was challenged which is what I like to be when I do a cake. Must gain Experience somehow, right? Anyways, here are some more pics to enjoy on MY blog. "Cake Wrecks" is going to have to wait.

Confection Chronicles: Firework Cookies!

Side note...if you still want to listen to the music player I had posted, it's still on here, it's just at the very bottom and you'll have to scroll down all the way to activate it. It was driving me CRAZY!

So this week we celebrated TWO birthdays... America's (Yay, I Love America) and my nephew Branson's. I made a Gozilla cake for Branson but first things first...I made really cool firework cookies for "I" day. Yes, I used the vintage print wafer papers that I raved about in my earlier post and Yes, they are even cuter in person. I ALWAYS use the sugar cookie recipe that my mom used when I was growing up. I have tried countless others and I just can't find a better one. I frosted them all with almond flavored royal colorflow icing. Not the BEST tasting but still pretty good. If you want a really smashingly decorated cookie, you gotta use it. Check out all these babies.

I originally thought we would be having a big family get together. I ended up being only our family and Andy's parents. All of us Adults are on diets. So needless to say I had way too many cookies. But I really enjoyed looking at them and come on, if I told you I didn't fall off the wagon and eat at least 1, okay 2, Okay 6 of these cookies, I would be a big liar. And as George Washington said...Never tell a lie! Anyways, HAPPY BIRTHDAY AMERICA!

Wednesday, July 1, 2009

Confection Chronicles: Cupcakes 5 ways!

First off, is the music on this blog starting to bug anyone else? Everytime I come on here I find myself in a rush to turn the volume off before I even hear the first note. Maybe I'll have to see if I can make the music optional.

I said I was going to be decorating cupcakes this summer and after all the fun I had making the sandcastle cupcake, I wanted to get started right away. On Monday I defrosted about 10 cupcakes to use as family night refreshments. But there was no way I was just going to slap some frosting on them and call them good, Me? So first off I cut out some more cupcake wrappers using my template I made for the sandcastle cupcake. I used the wrappers as the guide for the decor.
TA DA...
The other 5 were decorated like the bottom one. They were mostly snickerdoodle cupcakes ( I had 1 tomato soup cupcake left) that I made from Martha Stewart's recipe. All of her recipes that I have tried lately have been fabulous. She has a new cupcake book out that I am now dying to get my hands on. First things first...this week I am making cupcakes, cookies, and a GODZILLA cake that my nephew has requested for his Birthday (can't wait to see how I figure that one out), all for the 4th. I'm so anxious to try out my wafer paper and more of my cutie striped cupcake liners that all just happened to show up at my door in the middle of all this cupcakery. Yay! So much to do, so little time.

Sunday, June 28, 2009

Confection Chronicles: A Sandcastle Cupcake

So I have had so many ideas bombarding me, mostly cupcake ideas, that I have been forced to come up with a solution. In order to keep myself from baking cupcakes constantly I decided to make a couple of batches and then freeze them. That way I can take out one at a time and decorate them each differently. My husband thinks I'm nuts. But I'm sure I'm not alone in that. Anyways, stay tuned for the cupcake creations that I will be coming up with over the summer. With my freezer full of cupcakes and a couple buckets of frosting in my Refrigerator, I plan to do as many as I can think up. I need to build up my portfolio, right? So to start out, my oldest daughter Sariah came home from Girl's Camp yesterday and so I made her this...
It's a tomato soup cupcake, which by the way is totally yummy. Almost undecipherable from a pumpkin cupcake. Which my daughter thought it was and I totally let her think that until AFTER she was done eating it. It's not a common cake flavor here in the west but, I have heard it is quite popular in the south. I've come across Tomato Soup cupcakes several times while perusing the web and decided to try making some for myself. They are very yummy...Moist and spicy, like a pumpkin spice cupcake. I frosted it with double buttercream frosting and topped it in a mixture of brown sugar, cinnamon, white sugar, nutmeg, and cloves for the sand. I fashioned a castle out of fondant, rolled the pieces in corn syrup and then covered them with the sand mixture. The rest I just hand sculpted out of fondant. I made the cupcake wrapper below by tracing one of my filigree cupcake wrappers onto scrapbook paper.

Because I only decorated 1, I can't really say how it tasted with all the "sand" on it. My daughter loved it. Next time, I'll have to at least make one for myself.

Confection Chronicles: The Cascading Flowers Cake and Cupcakes, too!

So I have Chronicled nearly every fondant cake I have made. I can't forget this one...

I made this cake this March for my daughter Aubrey's 10th Birthday. It was the funnest cake I have made to date. The cupcakes were so fun too. I made so many of them that we didn't even eat the cake. I had just discovered these totally cute filigree cupcake wrappers and just had to use them. I also had just accquired my first fondant embossing mat and 4 bottles of sugar pearls. I embossed the ten on top and some decor for the cupcakes.

I love the colors on this cake. So much so that if I ever get my cake business off the ground I am going to use these colors. And noticeably they are the colors on my blog. What can I say, I'm a girly girl. And luckily so is my daughter, her and all her friends loved the cake. I love that I can do this for my kids. I live to make them happy. I look forward to making them cakes every year for the rest of my life.