Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Les Miserables Cast Party Cake

I have to admit that I don't normally entertain last-minute orders.  My time off is just as precious as anyone else's, and lack of planning just doesn't cut it as an excuse.  But when I got in late from a Friday night wedding and listened to Paul's message, something pulled at my heart strings.  Paul had ordered a cake from another baker over a month ago, but on Friday he found out they had lost the order and would not be able (or willing) to provide him with his cake.  This cake was for the fine young men of the McCallie School and the girls of GPS (Girls Preparatory School).  They had worked hard all year on their production of Les Miserables, and this cake was supposed to be the centerpiece of their cast party.

I had already endured a very trying week, still had 2 weddings cakes to deliver on Saturday, and was REALLY looking forward to some rest and relaxation.  But that message kept haunting me - it made me angry that another baker would let down a client like that.  I discussed it with Chaddy and we both agreed that it would be a shame to let all those kids down after they had worked so hard.  I called Paul first thing Saturday morning and told him that we had limited time, but we would love to help out.  He gave us open reign on the cake, but said he would like the iconic girl from the poster, the McCallie and GPS logos, and something signifying the "barricade scene".  Alright, that's something we can work with!!

I did some quick reading on "Les Mis" and started baking.  Chaddy started getting graphics ready.  The top of the cake is mainly edible images (4 sheets pieced together to be exact) with the logo lettering cut out using the Cricut.  On the sides we used a blue, white, and red border to keep with the French theme.  We then made lots of modeling chocolate barrels, stools, planks and pallets to build up a barricade at each corner.  We didn't finish the cake under after 1:00 am on Sunday morning, but we had a blast making it! 

I know this was a long post, so as a bonus for sticking with me, here's a top-down shot of the cake, along with a little secret:  When I was baking, I made a blue layer, a white layer, and a red layer.  When the cast and crew cuts into the cake, they'll get another little piece of the French flag!


Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Simple Monogram Tutorial

OK, so a couple of weeks ago I ran across this little technique and it was one of those "Wow, why didn't I think of that before?" moments.  Monograms have been a big trend with wedding cakes now for a couple of years.  I do at least one or two monograms a month.  I have several different methods I use, but this will be my new "simple monogram" method.  And I must confess that I been obsessed with Pinterest lately, so I asked Chaddy to help me make my tutorial "Pinterest Friendly".  I'm not sure that it is Pinterest Friendly (its longer than I expected), and I'm not so sure how it will look here on the blog.  But I suppose that's the way we learn - whether it's cake decorating or blogging, huh?  It's always an adventure!!

1. What you need: Monogram printed on regular paper (I used PowerPoint), scissors, razor knife, rolling pin, gumpaste.  2. Use your razor knife to carefully cut out your monogram.  If you have a Cricut / Sihouette, this will be really easy!.  3. Roll out your material, place your paper template on it, and roll over it with heavy pressure.  Don't let the template move!  4.  Look at that! Now you can cut out the letters, or cut out the oval and pipe over or paint the mongram letters.  Neat huh?
OK, so I could already tell by the preview that things were looking a little wonky, so I resized the image and it looks pretty good now.  Let me know what you think in the comments!

Tuesday, April 10, 2012

Tennessee Riverplace Wedding and Toppers

When I met with this happy young couple, they were very sure of the cake they wanted.  They wanted the look and the whimsy of a wonky cake, but they didn't want to use triangular risers and they wanted each tier to maintain it's rectangular shape (no cutting the base/top at an angle.  It was a bit of a challenge, but I decided creating an angled well in the cake below was the best way to accomplish this.

The rest of the cake was fairly easy, and as you can see I decorated it with some scroll piping, some gumpaste tulips, a fondant ribbon, and gray gumpaste bows that I textured to give a more realistic fabric feeling.

I delivered this to the Tennessee Riverplace, which is the beautiful location where they had the reception.

Click to Enlarge
But take a look at this topper the couple picked out!  Isn't it just the cutest?  They got it from Etsy, but I am not sure of the seller.  They were SO cute that they just had to have their own special photo session!

Even though their groom's cake was a simple, budget-friendly design, they also had a specialty topper made for it.  Unfortunately, I don't know this Etsy seller either.

Now, they didn't explain their design to me, but I'd like to think it stems from the episode of Friends where Phoebe explains that "Lobsters mate for life" and that Ross and Rachel are each others lobsters.  I'm not sure if lobsters actually do mate for life, but I can certainly appreciate the sentiment.

As always, thank you for stopping by, and I'll see you back here next week.  If you have any questions, please leave a comment and I will reply to it using Blogger's new(ish) reply feature!

Tuesday, April 3, 2012

New Tutorial - Smooth Square Cakes with Perfect Corrners

About a year and a half ago I recorded my first video tutorial and put it up on YouTube.  The first time I went to Food Blog Forum in Atlanta they advised us to do 2 things:  (1) Expand our experience by doing things we had not tried, and to (2) "find a need and then fill it".  My first buttercream video was my attempt of doing just that.  It was slow to be watched at first, but now after over 20,000 hits there's rarely a day that goes by that I don't get a new subscriber, comment, or "like" on my little video.  It's very satisfying, but it's also a constant reminder that I should probably do more videos.

Well, I finally bit the bullet and made a new video for you guys!  This time I am focusing on getting your square buttercream cakes silky smooth with sharp, crisp, corners.  The process I use is very similar to a round cake, but all those corners and edges really up the difficulty level!  Oh heck, why should you read my babbling when you could be listening to it?! ;-)  See my new video below!

Icing Square Buttercream Cakes Smooth with Perfect Corners

Click Here for the Post that includes my All-Butter Buttercream Recipe

AND THE WINNER IS:  If you entered our giveaway for the FMM Sugarcraft cutters, then today might be your lucky day!  We had quite a few entries, but the lucky winner today is:

Thanks Random.org!

And lucky #13 is Lydia from Ever So Sweet!  Congratulations Lydia, I'll have your cutters in the mail very soon!  And for those of you that didn't win, a 20 minute buttercream tutorial is a pretty decent consolation prize, right?  If you're interested in seeing more video tutorials, either leave us a comment here, or subscribe to our You Tube channel.  Have an awesome week!!


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