Sunday, September 23, 2012

Winnie the Pooh Comes to Howard Beach!

I love love love lov LOVE Winnie the Pooh. Honey and bears...and a lazy Sunday afternoon. Sweeeet! 

The cake you will see in just a bit is a three tiered cake, inspired by Classic Winnie in the Garden. As he lays on top in a field of flowers with butterflies flitting and one landing on his full little belly while he stares up at the sky contently....his honey pot awaits at the bottom.

Winnie and the honey pot  was sculpted by my daughter, Theodora who in her own right is an artist.

The plaque you see on the top tier was printed on sugarpaper and adhered to the fondant backing with a bit of kept the vodka away from Winnie!

The inside you ask? A simple chocolate and vanilla cake filled with a vanilla Italian Meringue Buttercream. We alternated the layers within each tier to create a vanilla-chocolate-vanilla-chocoalte pattern filled with the white cream. So nostalgic of a time long passed.

Harajuku In The House!

Harajuku in the house!!!! This cake and cupcakes were created for my great niece Penelope who turned 5 this week.

When asked to create the Harajuku cake....I sort of had that deer in headlights look on my face....Didn't know what or who Harajuku was! But I have got to say...once I researched it...I fell in love....just as I guess the kids did and do! I love love love the seemingly unrelated designs come together. Genius fashion concept.

Now just for the record....the blonde Harajuku girl has a black ribbon in her hair. But Penelope was going to wear a blue I took creative license and made the blue ribbon. Turns out that she wore hot pink ribbons!  But that's what it's all about....Taking creative license and making something your own.

Happy Birthday Sweet P!!!! Love you so much!

Sunday, September 9, 2012

Even Raging Street Rivers Can't Prevent the Dynamic Mother/Daughter Duo From Delivering a Bride-To-Be's Shower Cake!

I don't know about you my friends but there is something about lavendar and lace that at least for me evokes a nostalgia for turn of the century grace and feminity. A time when all was well with the world. This lavendar and lace bridal shower cake - was created for a lovely bride - with input from her handsome fiance and very sweet mother-in-law.

When Stacy and her son Steve came for a consultation and asked me to create a cake for Steve's fiance Chrysoula, I must say I was very excited. They showed me pictures of the invitation and of ideas he had for the shower cake. Which by the way, is something I recommend to all my clients. Have something .... anything....for your cake designer - It helps with the inspiration. If's okay...many of us can get the general inspiration through talking.

We had a wonderful consult and then a tasting with the groom's wonderful mom and dad, and our bride's lovely mom and sister.  During tasting I like to let my guests play with their food. I put out different cake flavors and buttercreams and toppings and then just let everyone there is no food fight...just the lovely sound of people bonding and ooing and ahhhing and ...."try this combination" or "you have go to taste this combo!"

For this cake...the family came up with a twist to otherwise standard flavors. We created two flavors for this cake. Tier one and tier four....a Brooklyn Blackout Chocolate Cake filled with Nutella Italian Meringue Buttercream and topped with Ferrero Roche. For tiers two and three...Tres Leches Cake...semi-soaked in Tres Leches....didn't oversoak as the cake structure would be compromised.....but to make up for less leche we filled the cake with a capuccino-tiramisu Italian Meringue Buttercream topped with Dulce de Leche and accented with  intense orange chocolate bar shavings.  Cake flavor pairings to make your eyes roll back in head in sheer delight.

The piping on this cake was all freehand. Which once in the zone flew like a gentle summer breeze.
Too bad that gentle breeze didn't last through to the delivery. But you know what they say...the calm before the storm?

All went well with this  project .... of delivery. Waking up in the morning to stormy skies....remnants of Isaac from the gulf....I held my heart in my hand whispering . Please God...Please....let this delivery go without a hitch. Well God must have been attending to someone else's more important pleads....cuz.....the minute Theodora (my daughter) and I started packing up our emergency cake kit and had just finished putting the cake on our cart - the skies opened up like a water balloon being thrown off a roof. The rain was so heavy and  pelting it created a flowing let me correct that...a raging rain river 3 feet wide and 4 inches deep  in the street right by the back door of my Rav4!

Staring at each other like deer in headlight.....and with the clock was already 11:15 and the shower was at 12...we couldn't wait this one out....we decided to go for it. Now mind you....this cake was at least 60 pounds....I'm not exactly a weight lifter. At least if you dropped the weights the most you would get is a broken toe....This was drop this one...there is no cake and one very upset customer.

We quickly wrapped the four tiered cake in plastic...put the cake on our cart....wheeled it to the door....and then....and then....that look of now what? How do we get the cake to the car? Quickly assessing the very stormy situation...we knew that even with the plastic covering and umbrella shield did we have to get the cake INTO the truck. without one drop touching the cake...we had to wade through the river! Not an easy feat with Tory Burch sandals and BCBG leather flats! Biting the bullet....we managed our way through the rain to the river...when all of a suddent Theodora says...."Mom...stop! My sandal came off it's flowing down the road!" "Don't worry about it", I said..."What are you kidding? They're Tory Burch!" So we stopped....with cake in hand....she caught her sandal....flipped it onto the sidewalk and then foot the water which was quickly rising another inch and placed the cake in the truck. In the shoes were dress was dragging in the water....and by this time....had soaked up to my behind....Theodora's denim pants....soaked to her knees. We still had the emergency kit and the top tier and extra flowers to bring to the car....I started to slip and slide and so decided to do the rest of the delivery barefoot. It was now...11:38! Party in 22 minutes!  Crap!

We get into car...raining cats and dogs now...even more than before...the rain pelting on our windshield with a vengence...I'm in the back seat holding onto the cake....Oh by the way cake people....I'm sure you've already discovered this....even though my internal structures are very sound....I'm still very paranoid with multiple tiered cakes....I extend the center stabilizing dowel about one or two inches and hold onto it as we make our turns....and in this weather....especially....because there might be a short stop or two....which we had....or someone possibly rear fender bending you....Just my paranoia as I said.

Time? 11:45 just as we turned the corner on Northern and Searington Road...e oila!!!! LIMANI!!! The venue! We get to the parking lot of the venue....and the valet....after letting us back up into the handicap space directly in front of the restaurant....called the head waiter who promptly brought out 5 other waiters to help bring this cake in! They must have felt sorry for us...We (Theodora and I) were still dripping!!!!  We had 10 minutes to spare by the time we  finally got the cake to where it was set up....and placed the top tier  and final deco's and a couple of photos.  I said my good byes...checked to see if I had left a puddle....and swiftly ran to my car. The minute Theodora turned on the engine....the rain stopped....almost as if someone had turned off the faucet and the sun....albeit...briefly....came out!!!!!!!!  Mama said there would be days like this!

In the end...the cake....made it to the venue unscathed...On the other hand...we ...Theodora and I are still assessing and regrouping...and redesigning our delivery strategies on days such as the one we had yesterday....Oh and looking into less expensive shoes to wear just in case there is a river we have to go through. You want real cake challenges like on the cake shows you see on cable tv...which are trumped  and edited for drama....ask a cake designer what it's really like on some delivery days.

All in all....the cake was indeed delivered ....without a scratch or a water drop...and with memories we will laugh about over a glass or two of mavrodaphne!

Many many showers of happiness to the bride and groom to be...Steve and Chrysoula. May every day you spend together be strewn with flowers of love...happiness and health and prosperity.