Sunday, December 27, 2009

Happy Holidays!

This week has been a whirlwind of activity, but I wanted to share a couple of fun cakes...

The first cake is another take on sushi...I'm really trying to learn to appreciate sushi. I'm making some progress, but I can never pass up sushi made out of sugar and cake!

Everything including the plate and chopsticks are edible. The "bamboo" around the outside of the cake is modeling chocolate and the banner says, "Happy Birthday" in Japanese (or at least that's what I hope it says!). My friend, Kelly, at Willow & Wildflowers, ordered the cake for a friend's birthday.

This is a birthday cake for a very sweet 18 yr. old whose birthday is on Christmas Day. Her birthday always gets rolled into the Christmas holiday, so her mother wanted a birthday cake that was totally unrelated to Christmas. I must credit the design to another sugar artist named Andrea. She posts on Flikr and does incredible work! Check out Andrea's Sweetcakes for more awesome creations. I had such a good time with this cake!

Tune in next week...I have a Ferrari and a couple of really beautiful wedding cakes coming up.

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

The holidays are for carving turkey and cakes!

Hi everyone! I hope y'all are further on your Christmas shopping than I am! I have been having fun though. Although I love to make beautiful wedding cakes, I think I love to carve and make "objects" even more. This week, I had a chance to do quite a bit of it...

This is a teapot cake for my sweet grandmother who just turned 80. The cup, saucer and spoon are made of gumpaste.

A golf ball for a golf enthusiast named Doug... (tees are modeling chocolate).

And... a 1951 Chevy Pickup. Car cakes are hard...I've decided that pickup trucks are even harder. However, I was really pleased with this one. I can't remember what year or make the pickup truck in "Twilight" and "New Moon" is, but this had me reminiscing about Edward & Bella.

Okay, no more excuses! I've got to get that Christmas shopping done!

Sunday, November 29, 2009

Utah Chocolate Show

It's been awhile since I posted last, but I have been preoccupied putting together my show cakes for the Utah Chocolate Show. The annual chocolate show hosts a wedding cake contest in conjunction with the show and I'm thrilled to say that my cake won the grand prize! I was also honored to win the "Best Tasting Cake" category as well. The theme for the wedding cakes this year was "Italian Romance". My cake was inspired by Venetian Carnival costumes.

Everything on the cake, including the masks and feathers are edible.

I also entered a second cake based on the beautiful gondolas in Venice.

The bottle of "Prosecco" is actually molded chocolate that I airbrushed and decorated.

Susan Fox from Midway Country Corner and Lori Rees from Layer by Layer also placed with beautiful cakes which I encourage you to check out!

I had a lot of people ask me about the feathers on my cake. Here is a short tutorial on how to make the feathers: You'll need edible wafer paper (sometimes referred to as "rice paper"), white 28 gauge wire, pearl dust, and clear piping gel. You can get wafer paper online or at cake supply stores. It also comes in a few different colors.

First, make yourself a template shaped like a feather. Then, use the template as a guide to cut the feather out of the wafer paper.

Next, using small, sharp scissors, make diagonal cuts along both sides of the feather (the closer and smaller you can make the cuts, the more realistic it looks).

Coat the white wire with clear piping gel, using your fingers to remove the excess, and place the wire on the feather. Put the feather on a flat surface until the gel is dry (approximately 1 hour).

Gently dust the feather with pearl dust. Next, hold the feather over a steaming teapot (not too close!) to give the feather movement and shine. At this point, be very careful with your feather as it is very fragile. Here is a close-up of the feathers.

As you can see, the feathers are fairly easy to make and they are stunning on a cake when you don't wish to use real feathers. Enjoy!

Monday, November 2, 2009

Indiana Jones and the Haunted Mansion...

I hope everyone had a fabulous Halloween! I'm still reeling from the thought of taking down my Halloween decorations (we go a little overboard) and getting out the Christmas decor. It's okay though, I have plenty of excuses for making cake and ignoring chores. Here is a fun Halloween cake which also doubled as a birthday cake.

The "haunted mansion" topper is made entirely of chocolate. I colored and melted white chocolate and poured it into panels and different molds to construct the mansion. I airbrushed it and dry brushed it with dark gray to make it spooky. The "wrought iron" is piped dark chocolate.

This cake was for my "all boy" nephew Xander, who is turning 6. He loves Indiana Jones and wanted an Indiana Jones hat. The hat is chocolate fudge cake layered with cookies n' cream buttercream.

My favorite part of the cake are the chocolate snakes! I made a food-grade silicone mold using one of my son's plastic snakes. I used modeling chocolate to make the snakes in different colors and then dusted them with edible color. Happy Birthday Xander!

Monday, October 26, 2009

The Bride, the Groom and the Wedding Cake Designer

Sounds like the beginning of a bad joke, huh? However, it was the BEST party yet. I promised pics of my sweet step-daughter's recent wedding and here they are! This is Mr. and Mrs. Anthony & Kaylee Whytock...Aren't they a beautiful couple?

Kaylee is usually very decisive and quick when it comes to making decisions...not so with her wedding cake! She gave me some very definite ideas about what she liked, but there were so many options that it was difficult to put it together. Her colors were pink, orange and black. So this is what we came up with...very unique and very Kaylee.

Tony, on the other hand, knew what he wanted for a groom's cake from day 1. He said that in addition to a Jack-O-Lantern, the cake must have "pumpkin guts" and carving tools. I think it came out pretty nice. So if anyone ever needs to recreate pumpkin guts, please feel free to email me...

This last pic is of our family...lucky me!

Sunday, October 11, 2009

NEWSFLASH: "Cake Builds Amazing Muscles"

Okay, okay... This photo has nothing to do with cake. This gentleman is the current Mr. Olympia, Jay Cutler! My husband and I recently had the opportunity to attend the local NPC Open Figure championships. Jay Cutler was the celebrity "poser" for the event and I couldn't pass up the opportunity to get a closer look at his biceps! I can guarantee you that he didn't get those arms from eating cake. He was a very nice man, but I don't think there is anything I could say to talk him into one of my cakes. However, we did have one thing in common--a passion for what we do. He lifts weights and I make cake:

These are two of the latest cakes from the last week. The first one is from one of the most unique and beautiful weddings ever! The bride was breathtaking and the whole wedding was very rustic and cool. It was a pumpkin chocolate chip cake with caramel buttercream...and of course, adorned with caramel dipped apples.

The second was for a very gorgeous wedding at The Canterbury Place in Bountiful, Utah. The wedding colors were cream, black and gold--very elegant!

On my next blog, I hope to have some photos of my sweet step-daughter's wedding. I'll keep you posted!

Saturday, September 26, 2009

California Cake Camp...Las Vegas, Baby!

I'd like to introduce you to my new BFFs, Marina Sousa and James Roselle...

Okay, maybe I "stalked" them just a bit while I was in Las Vegas at the California Cake Camp. For those of you who may not be as obsessed as I am, both Marina and James have appeared and won the Food Network Cake Challenges. Basically, they are cake Gods. I took several classes from Marina and I have to say that she is every bit as nice as she is talented. Sometimes, I am hesitant to meet people that I admire from afar because I'm afraid that my expectations may not be met. Just the opposite with Marina and James. They were so very generous with their time and techniques. Follow these links "Just Cake" and "Elle Cakes" to check out their exquisite work.

Okay, now for some cake...

These two cakes were for Mr. and Mrs. Kerr Foster.

What a great-looking couple! I met Rachel and Kerr about a year ago before they moved to Texas. Talk about organized! I think Rachel had all of the wedding details ironed out a year in advance. Kerr is a fire fighter in Texas--hence the groom's cake. It's a replica of his firetruck.

Rachel, picked out the bride's cake which was red velvet cake with cream cheese frosting and chocolate cake with caramel buttercream. Congratulations guys!

Monday, August 31, 2009

Black and White Done Right!

This was a topsy turvy cake for the cutest wedding ever! The bride, Madison, told me exactly what she wanted her cake to look like and it went so well with the reception decor. The wedding was held at the Salt Lake Hardware Bldg.---What an awesome venue! It has a very industrial feel, yet, extremely cool.

This was the groom's cake for Madison's Harley loving groom, Eddie, (his bike was even displayed at the wedding).

The flowers and table displays were incredible (created by Willow & Wildflowers in Bountiful). Here are a couple of pictures...

My sincerest congratulations to the newlyweds!

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Surf's Up and Monkeyplay

This was an interesting week...I'm really surprised that I lived through it (thank goodness for Diet Coke and Junior Mints!). It was a busy week and the cake gods were not kind to me. My oven decided to quit working--guess it was tired too. Thankfully, I was able to have it repaired in time to finish my orders. I was really looking forward to making two of the cakes.

Only two weeks late, we finally celebrated our oldest son's birthday. He's been teasing me for awhile about making him a surfing penguin cake. Now, if you know Tyson, you'll understand his request, but suffice it to say that it totally fits his personality.

Please note that the penguin has a single pink candle sticking out of his forehead...Good times.

The other fun cake was for a sweet 1-year old named Kaylee. Her mom, Jeni, wanted to replicate one of her favorite toys...a sock monkey. The cake was banana (of course) and we made a small "smash" cake specifically for Kaylee.

Sunday, August 16, 2009

Rockin' Week

This was a groom's cake for a couple named Tracey & Nick. It was fun because Tracey wanted to surprise Nick with a groom's cake at the reception and she was afraid that he would call and order one on his own. It was supposed to be a X-Box "Guitar Hero" replica, but the gamers out there will notice that it's actually a hybrid of the "Rock Band" and "Guitar Hero" controllers (that's what you get when you only have access to one guitar and pictures of the other!) I hope you'll give me a break on the accuracy!

This cake was for a lovely wedding at "Rose Sachs Gardens" up Parley's Canyon in Salt Lake. The design was inspired by one of Carrie Biggers' cakes of "Carrie's Cakes" in Sandy, UT. Kristin and Mike's colors were kelly green and chocolate brown. The cake itself was chocolate fudge and old fashioned vanilla with chocolate buttercream.

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

It begins...

I've decided that a blog is the best forum to share my cake travails, stories and photos. It's also an ideal way for me to give you background and extra details about some of the most interesting cakes I have the pleasure of, the Fondanista Files are born!

These two cakes were for a very nice couple with a huge amount of sport history! The Ute logo on the groom's cake matched the colors on the bride's cake...but somehow, I think the wedding colors were very intentional!