Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Wedding Cake Preparations Step #2

In the process of being home with kids and having no one (gown-up, that is) to talk to until my husband got home from work I decided to go and take classes offered in a near by craft store. That is where I was introduced to the Wilton Classes and the space for growth in the cake decorating (cake design, cake artist, baker, etc.) world. Other learning tools that I have used are tutorials and here is one of my favorites, which I am using to make my calla lilies. It’s from Edna, owner of Design Me A Cake. Go and check it out!

The making of the sugar flowers is my favorite part. Every baker/artist has it’s personal favorite from any of the steps in making a cake. Any cake; be it birthday, corporate or weddings has many steps and when there is an opportunity to incorporate sugar flowers I get very excited.

Now for the posting information, this is my second step in the process of making my very first wedding cake. The sugar flowers.

I have called it 2nd step, but if it was in the world of flowers it would be the 1st step, because they are still drying. After they have been hanging out (literally), I would be giving them some life by painting them with some luster dust (there are many colors available, which makes it even more interesting at the time of decorating). I have chosen to use colors like yellows, oranges, moss green. Since the wedding colors are in the oranges, tangerines, yellows… it’s an outdoor wedding (garden). Though the reception is indoors.

I have made so far; some of the roses, some of the calla lilies and still have to make some ranunculus. Lots and lots of flowers still needs to be made. But here is a sneak peek of how they are looking, so far.

Here I have some of the calla lillies hanging out, try to have them hang upside down for at least the night to dry properly. I improvised a little! šŸ™‚
If you are interested in learning more about cakes, techniques and designs I suggest you go and try a Wilton Course in a craft store like JoAnn, Michael’s or a local supply store for all party and baker products (sometimes they offer basic classes). I just enrolled in a class offered by Brenda’s Cakes (here in Florida), the owner brought in a couple (cake artists) from Colombia and they have a few classes in schedule to teach while they are here (about 2 weeks). My class is this Friday and I very excited. It feels like going back to school, which is ok with me, because I love what I do (bake, decorate).
This is a business that keeps on giving. There is always something new to learn and new designs and challenges to accomplish.
See you soon, hopefully with more flowers and after being dusted, brought to life, and with more dimensions. Can’t wait to see them! Can you?
Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Teddy Bear’s Garden

When it comes down to making cakes I need no excuse to start a batch. But, this time I did have an excuse. You see I wanted to try making some modeling chocolate and someone generously e-mailed me her recipe and I got right to work. This new friend of mines told me that she doesn’t only use MC for figures, but she covers her cakes with it too. Now, you can imagine that I was even more intrigued with this product.

Modeling Chocolate can be done with brown chocolate, white or any color found out there. I had lots of green chocolate, please don’t ask me why, you see I have no idea myself why I kept on buying green chocolate disks. Anyways, since I had it available that is the one I used first. The thing is that since I wanted to cover a cake with it I needed to come up with a design that included all of that green and looked that it was well thought of.
Recipe found in book: Cake Art by The Culinary Institute of America (modified by Anasasi, new friend)

Dark Modeling Chocolate:
1 cup corn syrup, warm* (Ā¾ cup, recomended)

1 lb dark chocolate, melted
(microwave at 30 second intervals until just until it’s all melted, careful not to overheat it)

White Modeling Chocolate:
1 cup corn syrup, warm* (3/4 cup, recomended)
1 1/2 lb white or colored chocolate, melted

Directions:

1. Stream the warm corn syrup into the melted chocolate and stir; the chocolate will appear slightly greasy, but the mixture will come together as you continue to stir. The modeling chocolate will come together in a ball once the chocolate and corn syrup have been completely blended.

2. Pour the chocolate mixture on a tray to cool. Completely cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least and hour or overnight.

3. When the chocolate has HARDENED (and don’t be surprised at how hard it gets, this means you’ve done it correctly), pull it out for about 10 – 15 minutes and then knead it. You’ll find that the chocolate will be rather stiff, if it’s too stiff just break it off in smaller portions for kneading and then incorporate it all together. This will likely be the hardest part of making it.

Unused or left overs; shape into a log and wrap well in plastic. Store modeling chocolate in the refrigerator for up to 1 month. You can also freeze it the same way for up to 3 months.
Cake covered with modeling chocolate. 
It was delicious!
And the modeling chocolate
is more forgiving than fondant.
I found it easier to fix any wrinkles in the bottom of the cake.
This is the cake with the picket fence,
I think it looks better with the addition!
This is a close-up of the teddy bear.
My camera is not great, but it does the job.
I have a new one in a wish list;
but, it’s not in the top of the list though.
So, please bear with me on this one!
It’s my 1st teddy bear and
I need another material to make it
that doesn’t dry so fast;
since it tends to crack a little.
In working process!!!
Monday, April 12, 2010

Camouflage Cake

The business of making cakes is not an easy one, thereĀ are lots of factors around it. Like:Ā the recipe (a good one), the cake design, getting the cake to lookĀ just like you and the client expected it to look like and theĀ finalĀ and most important one (I would say) isĀ making the client happy.

It can be very overwhelming. Specially if it’s the first time you make that design or that height or have a very humid day outside and things are just not in your favor. Things can go wrong. Well, how else would you learn, right?

Question of the week: Have you ever been stood up? By anyone?Ā A guy? A girl? A friend? A parent? What about a client? Guess who just got stood up? Yes, ME! šŸ™

Who ever said there is no crying in baking?

Now, for the learning experience. If you are baking for fun, well be it just that “fun”. But, when you have a passion,Ā most likely you want others to appreciate and respect your work. At least I do. My motto is to make things like if they where for God! and that’s the way I do them. As clean, as delicate and with all the attention to details as I can. Hey, I am not saying that I haven’t gotten at least once a buttercream cake combined with a humid day that has just wanted to fall down everywhere. I live in Florida, for God’s sake. Or a cake that has not been enough for all the guests. Or a cake that got somewhat dry after being in the fridge to chill.

All of those are learning experiences. But, being stood up with a cake has made me sad. I want to send a message to all prospective clients out there: “you are the client and deserve the best product ever; but, please respect the work that others do.”

Getting all theĀ crying and feeling humiliated out of the way! I do want to show you the camouflage cake I came up with. The hat was done ahead of time with a combination of fondant and gum-paste. I wanted it to dry nicely. I used one of my kids cereal plates to get it’s shape and did some stitching work with Wilton’s fondant tools.

Hope you do like it and answer this question for me. Have you ever been stood with a cake in hand? What did you do with the cake? Lucky me, someone wanted the cake and I didn’t end up eating it or drying my tears with it. šŸ™

Wednesday, April 7, 2010

Wedding Cake Preparations Step #1

My sister in law is getting married soon, very soon. In fact, her wedding isĀ goingĀ to beĀ on May 14th this year and we are very, very excited for her and her fiance. Guess who is making the cake for this special wedding…yeah…ME; of course, I would have had a tantrum is someone else did her cake, lol

Not only am I super excited for her, but I am also excited for me. You see this is what I had been waiting for, (for a long time) to be able to make a big wedding cake. When anyone is starting to taste their creative side be it as a cake artist, baker, or what ever you wish to call it, like I am, practice is key. In order to practice many cakes have to be made and if there is no family parties, events or clients where you can bake a cake for and learn along the way… guess what? you have to bake a cake, practice on it and eat it too. Or cut it in pieces and give out to family and/or friends closest to you. We have very happy friends!

Ok, nowĀ letsĀ go to the part I have been waiting for.

In order to display the gorgeous cake that is going to be made soon a cake stand is needed. I orderedĀ a big 18″ silver standĀ @ eFavorMart.com and look who just showed up at my door this afternoon?

Wedding cake, cake stand
IsĀ gorgeous, I know! Next time you see the title “Wedding Cake Preparations” there is going to be another step next to it and I am aiming for it to be the making of the flowers. My goal is to take you along the ride of the making of my first wedding cake.