July 29, 2011
July 22, 2011
My mother and her twin sister (mom II) are avid gardners; unfortunately, a green thumb doesn't appear to be carried on the X chromosome. The one plant I was tasked with taking care of this summer, a gerbera daisy, has been reduced to sadness.
Thankfully sugar flowers don't require as much upkeep; like real flowers, the initial time invested to get them "growing" is taxing but once it's done, they take care of themselves. No watering required. That's why I decided to make a flower pot cake for my mom and aunt's birthday(s).
The cake itself was a chocolate cake with peanut butter-chocolate buttercream filling, their favourite combination. The orchids are made of gumpaste; each leaf was hand cut and painted with petal dust and then assembled with floral wire.
Hanging from the stem of the orchid plant were two silver charms with their initials in them ("I" and "L"). Also hand cut because I foolishly lost my shape and letter cutters.
Happy birthday, moms! I hope you love your cake (because I'm counting on you to plant my garden next season...).
July 18, 2011
The better half is obsessed with fine watches; I was even thinking of making a replica of his Panerai out of cake for his birthday next year. This weekend a friend's wife beat me to the punch - she requested a replica of her husband's IWC watch for his birthday. The watch box was made of lemon cake with raspberry icing and covered in fondant.
The watch base and straps were made from gumpaste while the watch face was printed on edible paper using vegetable dye inks. Everything was shaped and textured by hand!
Happy birthday Geoff, I hope time continues to treat you so well!
Posted by Sweet&Splendid Bakeshop at 9:47 AM
July 15, 2011
I once chased a peacock around a zoo for 10 minutes so it would show me its feathers; only after somebody pointed out to me that I was chasing a peahen did I give up my quest. How can one be so easily confused, given that peahens are brown? Well, I was 5. So there you have it.
This peacock is much more willing to showcase its feathers.
I sculpted a small peacock out of fondant and accented his head feathers using flower stamens; they are the only component of the cake (including the structural support to prevent the peacock from sinking into the cake - made with gumpaste!) that isn't 100% edible.
Then came the real fun - getting to make each indiviudal feather piece that comprises a peacock's plumage. Here I flattened different colours of fondant, accented with gold lustre paint and arranged into the signature showpiece that is the peacock's derriere.
While delicious to the point I could maintain it as a staple of my diet, cake isn't exactly known for being healthy. The birthday girl leads a healthy lifestyle, so this cake marks my first departure from classic recipes towards those that are more health-conscious. For this cake I included whole grain (germ too!) flour, olive oil, organic cane sugar and egg whites, either wholly in place of or in combination with the enriched flour, butter, bleached beet sugar and whole eggs that typically constitute a cake. Still tasty, and without the added trans fat and diabetic coma.
Happy birthday, Kelly!
July 11, 2011
These ain't your grandma's dentures.
One of my lab colleagues was recently accepted into dental school around the time of his birthday; while I'm sad to see him leave, I am happy to have created for him what is arguably my most unique cake yet! He tends to shy away from sweets (so dentistry is a natural fit for his career) but does enjoy banana chocolate chip cake.
I sculpted the dental tools (I think the technical terms are "mirror-on-a-stick" and "curved poking thingy") out of gumpaste and lustre dust. I'm happy they aren't as fear-inducing as the real thing.
Congratulations and happy birthday, Chris!
July 10, 2011
The better half's sister turns 23 this year and to help her celebrate I prepared her favourite cake (red velvet with cream cheese buttercream) and decked it out with MAC cosmetics!
All of the make up pieces were sculpted from coloured fondant with the except of the brushes and pencils, which were made from gumpaste.
Happy birthday, Anna!