Monday, October 15, 2012

How about a nice cuppa joe?

I am not a morning person.  At all.  Period.  I need coffee before I can see straight, think straight or even be a little bit nice. My husband, though he also needs coffee, is able to jump out of bed and see the good in the world.  But hey...a junkie is a junkie, right?  Naturally, for his birthday, I made him a cake that looked like a big ole "cuppa" coffee.  From one of his favorite places...
"Coffee Cup" cake

You can have your coffee and eat it, too!
This one was a vanilla sponge cake with mocha buttercream filling (duh...) and salted caramel buttercream icing.  All details were done in home-made fondant.  And it was goooooooooddd.  Even better with a "cuppa" coffee.  :)

Saturday, October 6, 2012

It's raining babies! Er...It's a baby shower!

Recently I have had a string of referrals that seemed like a game of  "6 degrees of Kevin Bacon"  Or Separation.  Whichever version you prefer. This person had a cake from this party and ordered cupcakes.  This person had the cupcakes from that party and ordered cookies.  This person was lucky enough to have the cupcakes and the cookies and has placed an order for cake pops.  And on and on and on!  How powerful is word of mouth advertising?! Well...I'm beginning to realize it's VERY powerful!  Can you believe I still haven't placed an ad or done any paid advertising since I started this thing?  Crazy.

Anywho, one of those referrals placed an order for a baby shower cake.  We had a few inspiration pictures and decided to use the simplicity of those cakes, mixed with an exact copy of the shower invitation!  I think it turned out pretty well. I just love that little elephant! 

Top view of shower cake

Full frontal of the shower cake

Close-up of the fondant figures.
I have a busy few weeks ahead of me.  Fingers crossed that I remember to update this here blog of mine...  :)

Sunday, September 30, 2012

It's not a truck. It's a MONSTER truck.

A friend of mine asked me to make a cake and some cupcakes for her son's birthday party.  He chose a monster truck theme and we came up with a design he really liked.  Then the fun began.  One small cake and 30 cupcakes later, I think the monster truck theme was achieved.  It may have been "just vanilla on the inside, but the outside was anything but!  Tires and cones and flags, oh my!  The best part?  My son and I were in attendance at the party and got to sample my work.  Love it when that happens.  :)

Monday, September 17, 2012

Everything's coming up roses

It happened again!  There was another piping technique I had been itching to try and I got another "you decide on the design" cake order!  Thank you, Quinn family...  :)  
And so, the rose design got a try.  I've admired this one on several sites and just hadn't had a chance to try it.  Once again, I was very pleased with the end result!  I thought of a few ways to tweak it and hope I get a chance to do another one, soon.  I think doing a cake with two different colors or sizes of roses would be really cool.  Here are a few pics for ya.  

Sunday, September 9, 2012

Pretty in Pink

So I have been dying to try out the "petal technique" on a cake.  It's a design I have seen all over the place but hadn't had a request for it, nor have I had the time just to play around on an extra cake.  I recently received a request for a small cake for a birthday.  A simple, feminine cake.  And I seized the opportunity to put this design into play!  I absolutely LOVE the way it turned out.  I did a two-tone pink and, now that it's been done, can see so many other ways to do it.  So?  Whaddaya think?

Saturday, August 25, 2012

Baby, it's a zoo out there...

Yep.  You guessed it.  I had a Zoo themed order this week.  Chocolate chip cupcakes with chocolate buttercream and chocolate cupcakes with a green tinted vanilla buttercream.  Some of them were a bit quicker and easier to make than others and I had a little trouble with ears falling off (??) but they were worth it.  And I have to say, the chocolate chip cupcake is a new favorite...
Whaddaya think?

I love the way the giraffe turned out.

But the hippo won many hearts at the party. 

And now?  Now I finish my hurricane prep box up and keep an eye on Isaac.  Let's hope he misses us.  And Monday, my little love starts pre-school!  Whoa.  Ready for some more then and now's?  Here they are...
From my little bitty:

To this guy!

Don't worry-I didn't really have his head on a platter (though some days...) it was an exhibit at the Museum.  Cute stuff, eh?  Anywho, what on earth will I do with my time whilst the wee one is at school 5 days a week?  Well...anything I want to, of course!!!  ;)

Monday, August 20, 2012

How about...A cupcake??

My poor 4-year old.  He walks in to the kitchen and says "You're making me COOKIES?!" (he knows I'm making cookies because of what the batter looks like in the bowl, mind you....) "No buddy. I'm sorry. This is for the cookie cake for Ms. xxxx"  "But Mo-oooommmmm!!" 
"You're making me CUPCAKES?!?!" "No buddy.  These are for Ms.' xxx's little boy". I quickly add "But I had to bake a sample cupcake and you're my best tester.  Would you mind tasting one for me when I get them all done?  It would really make me happy..." His little arms wrap a huge hug around my waist.  Whew.  

It must be tough for my family.  I'm constantly whipping up cupcakes, cakes, cookies, icings, mousse and more.  The smells coming from the kitchen are divine, the whir of the mixer can be annoying and my counter tops are off limits to little hands.  So there is often a payoff involved.  A tasting, if you will.
This weekend, the tasting had a sword on it.  An extra I made from my pirate cupcake order.  Take a look at these guys...

The family I made them for, was very pleased.  That always makes me so happy. :)
The other order I worked on was a huge cookie cake.  This is a neighborhood favorite.  And I've made three for this same little guy since May!  I can't blame him, though.  This is my very favorite chocolate chip cookie recipe. 
This week I will be working on some zoo themed cupcakes for a friend's little boy.  I have to say, I am loving the hippo.  Something about the little guy.  You'll see.  Pictures to follow next week.  

Also on the agenda for the week? My oldest starts SECOND grade tomorrow!!!  I can't even believe it.  From this 
To this!
Wow.  My little dude isn't so little anymore.  I bought him new cleats for lacrosse the other day.  He's 7.  They are a size 5.5!  Zoinks, scoob.  My husband calls my son a little Ogre. Jake's almost to my shoulder and I'm 5'8".    Bring it on, second grade!  We can handle it!!!

Thursday, August 16, 2012

Hockey puck cupcakes. Wait...let me explain...

There were actual hockey pucks on the cupcakes.  And sticks.  And skates and masks, too.  
The fondant toppers for these cupcakes were too cute.  The twin birthday boys even got fondant hockey sweaters on their cupcakes!  
Being that I'm a big hockey fan (Let's go Caps!!) this order was a lot of fun to make.  I have begun to realize, though, that ALL of my orders are fun to make!  I love creating these little miniature pieces of edible art.  It's funny-I've always been crafty but never considered myself an artist.  My sister? She's the artist.  You can check out her etsy shop here (you're welcome, Wen...)

It's so cool that my baked goods are finding their way into peoples homes.  I've been baking since I was in pre-school.  Seriously.  For years and years it has been one of my passion's but it was always a hobby.  Now my "hobby" is beginning to pay some bills!  With my little one in pre-school, I can actually do my baking during the day!  But what the heck will I do at night?  Ahhh...yes...pinterest.  :)

Sunday, July 29, 2012

Girls vs. boys...

What a week!  I don't think my mixer or oven were off for longer than a few hours at a time during the last seven days!  I made two very different cakes this week.  One was a girly-girl cake for a baby shower, complete with flowers, butterflies and satin ribbon.  The other was a "Cars" cake with a fondant gas can, tires and traffic cones!  Both had their challenges and had me sweating throughout the process.  However, I was extremely pleased with the end results and am so pleased by the reactions of my clients and their families and friends!

The shower cake was red velvet with cream cheese icing and the design matched the nursery decor.  The cake was dense and moist and the icing was the perfect creamy compliment.  

The "Cars" cake had two tiers.  It was made to look like a racetrack with three sides of a stadium over it.  The top (the stands) was chocolate cake with chocolate buttercream filling and iced in vanilla buttercream.  The bottom tier (the track) was a strawberry cake filled with chocolate buttercream and iced with vanilla buttercream.  The sides of the cake were covered in my home-made fondant-which, say what you want about fondant, this stuff just melts in your mouth!  Much of the other detail (the gas can, traffic cones, tires, checkers, etc.) were all done in modeling chocolate.  The "Happy Birthday" and the cars logo "Ty" were all done in melting chocolate.  The only things that were inedible were the flags on top and the cars!

Thankfully, I attended both parties and was able to sample both cakes! Score!  It's so nice to hear people say such nice things about my work.  It makes all of those hours of standing, mixing, assembling, icing and decorating even more worth it!  I continue to be incredibly thankful for each order and consider it an opportunity to hone my craft while making others happy.  What a great job!  

And next week?  Back to cupcakes.  Tampa Bay Lightning themed cupcakes, to be specific.  Pictures soon...  :)

Tuesday, July 17, 2012

Girly stuff...

So I got an order for a "girly" cake and decided to do a purse.  A hot pink purse!  Complete with little accessories-lipstick, nail polish, a bracelet and ring.  I worked on one like this at my apprenticeship and found that it came together easily and very well. 

This one was for a work friend of my husband's.  The hubby has done such a nice job of marketing me that I've got people from all over calling me or emailing me for orders.  How cool is that?  Such a nice boy, he is.  ;)

Anyway, this was definitely a fun order.  And I've suddenly got a pretty full schedule through the beginning of August!  I have lots of buttercream, modeling chocolate and fondant to make this week.  Thank goodness the boys are in some camps!

Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Who doesn't love a good cupcake?!

Ok, so I had a fun little order this week.  The father of an old high school friend requested a dozen cupcakes for a combo celebration-2 birthdays and father's day.  I was given free reign on the flavors AND the designs.  With a little help from him, I came up with these babies...
Here were the flavors:
1. Dark chocolate cake with an oreo buttercream filling and chocolate buttercream icing.
2. Dark chocolate cake with a ganache filling and vanilla buttercream icing.
3. Vanilla sponge cake with a salted caramel filling and a salted caramel buttercream icing.
4. Lemon sponge cake with a vanilla buttercream filling and lemon cream cheese icing.

The toppers were all made from either modeling chocolate, fondant or melted chocolate. My two favorites were the grill and the crime scene cupcake. 

I'm really loving working with modeling chocolate and fondant and have also enjoyed experimenting with melted chocolate. I have been very fortunate to have had clients who have given me "open tickets" or the ability to just create.  Not having to fit my ideas into a (figurative) box is exciting!  And it makes the end product (the one that goes into the literal box...) even more beautiful to me. :)

Wednesday, June 20, 2012

Catching up...

So it's been a crazy crazy month.  Not only in the baking world, but in my family life, as well.  It all started...Ok, you don't need all of the details.  So fast forward: this month we've spent as much time in Dr.'s offices as we have in our own home.  

Final tally?  
Croup x2 (7 yr old and 4 yr old)
Broken foot/cast (my 4 yr old)
Torn Achilles and surgical repair/cast (my husband)
Dog bite requiring stitches (my 7 yr old)
2 casts, some bandages, lots of antibiotics and pain meds later, we are a family on the mend.  

Oh, and mommy?  Mommy is just fine.  Mommy is Wonderwoman.  Mommy takes care of all of this and still manages to keep everyone fed, bathed, keep the fridge stocked and the washer and dryer spinning, repair pool screens, clean gutters, clean the pool, blah, blah, blah.  No rain, no rainbows, right?  Besides, it's not about kudo's or awards.  It's about taking care of your people.  Fixing their ills and seeing them smile.  This is all just temporary. But let's hope we are on the upswing. 

Enough of all of this negative stuff, did I mention all the baking I did this month?  Over a dozen BIG orders!  Cookie cakes, cake pops, muffins, cupcakes, custom cakes, cookies and even granola!!!  I am so thankful for each and every order I had, and for having the strength to be able to complete them all under less than ideal circumstances.  It meant being challenged in new ways, lots of off-the-cuff problem solving and even an all-nighter! In the end?  I am incredibly proud of myself and all that I have been able to accomplish.  My techniques have improved and my confidence is high. 

I'm looking forward to a fun summer and lots of  great new clients to work with.  And I can't imagine I will have any trouble keeping busy...  :)