Wednesday, 19 August 2015

Smash it!

I get asked allot about cake smash cakes. I mean who doesn't love destroying cake with no regard for etiquette or decorum?  They're a load of fun for participants and viewers. 

My own personal encounters with cake smashes bring back such wonderful memories. Seeing the babes eyes light up at the texture, then there's widen as they taste that sweetness for the first time.

 

The enormous smiles with muddled curiosity- such an adventure, its joy is contagious. 
I recently shared a video clip on my Facebook page where a little girl enjoyed an entire chocolate cake. Delighting the onlookers by picking up the entire cake and rubbing her cute face in it. I think secretly perhaps many of us wish it was socially appropriate to consume foods we loved like this. In all honesty, after 49 days sugar free I could absolutely smash a cake like that, if I wasn't scared of my dietician hehehehehe
After seeing how many people enjoyed the video, it made me reminisce the cake smashes I'd been personally involved with. 


Although I make cakes, and have a cake room (s) in my home, my own babies aren't privy to an endless supply of the sweet deliciousness that is cake. It's not cruel parenting, more so my fear that they'll forgo the good food choices they already make in lieu of the chocolate chocolatey goodness that is my own biggest weakness. My eldest has only recently become aware of cake, yet his younger brother is all over that like ants at a picnic. That kid can sniff out cake at 100 paces. Any leftovers that may sit in a tin on our kitchen bench for my husbands lunch/visitors- is spotted with eagle eyes, and I'm left with the sounds of a toddler screeching "caaaaake!!" At me through the safety gates! Yes I was delusional to think that my own children wouldn't get "cake" until they went to school. Who was I kidding?!?!? Unfortunately #2 knows the difference between the scrumptious sugar free treats I make, and sample cake. He's been known to tell me "No!" and wave his arms madly in the direction of the previously mentioned snack cake. 
Suffice to say he still eats the goodness I have offered him, in hope of greater reward lol
There is a point to this little ditty. I'd thought I'd share some of my "mum" cake efforts. If you're wanting to let your baby experience the magic of a smash cake have a go! I surprised myself and used packet mix (the first time since I was a child), and just had fun with a bit of colour and a shed load of buttercream. 


When my first baby did his cake smash, he did it with a team of babies. It was  a fab chaotic mix of squeezable babies coated in sticky sweet icing!

 

Like a natural (cake is in his genes) he took to the shenanigans like a duck to water. 


Looking back I forgot how deliciously roly- poly he was x



My second babies turn was a more ordered affair. Just himself alone with a cake, and some balloons (I'd planned more, however a whole bag of helium balloons escaped my house and floated away carelessly across the suburb- natures way of telling me I'd gone too far!)


So get in there! Live vicariously through your babies! Whether you're taking pics, or engaging a pro to do it for you, remember to have fun- loads of it! 


Tips for making a cool smash cake:

1. You can never have too much (soft) icing!
Mmmmm buttercream x

2.  Don't use fondant. 
Yes it can make for pretty outside- but it's allot harder for babies to break through. 

3. Keep it simple. 
A single shape or colour can look really effective. After all in a few minutes it's going to be mush, so intricate details aren't necessary. 

4. Be prepared for the clean up :)
Wipes, warm washers, towels, fire hoses.......... You never know how sticky it's going to get ;P

My two get such a kick out of seeing themselves as babies doing this- I'm really glad we followed trend with this and did it :)

Happy smashing x
Thanks for reading
SJ 

Monday, 10 August 2015

Decade done!

This year marks 10years since I progressed from being "that girl (Sarah-Jane) who makes cakes" to an honest and legitimate  business "Cake That!".

I remember vividly the moment my business name came about. 
My husband and I were on holidays in Palm Cove. I has tossed around names like "Couture Cakes" and "Boutique bakes" none of which really suited me and my personality - yet portrayed the image of the business and the standard delivered. 
Out of nowhere my husband suggested "Cake That!" It just clicked. To me it seemed fun, it was a name that would (hopefully) stick in clients minds, and all up it was straight to the point. It wasn't pretentious- nor too quirky that it left you wondering "what the?" Lol. 
And so began the journey of the business of Cake That!
It's been a terrific ride. It's taken me on a journey of a lifetime, enabled me to work with some truly memorable clients, to challenge me and grow my skill level immensely, it's  even enabled me to travel afar. 
Over the years I've learned so much, and I'm still learning everyday. I've become a  better cake artist, yet I keep images of my early work in clear sight to remind me of how far I've come, and what support and determination can amount to.

one of the many memory collections around my cake room

Not only has the business allowed me to be commissioned by some terrific clients, it's also enabled me to give back to the community through charity cupcake days and donating cakes and services to those otherwise less fortunate. I believe everyone has the right to enjoy cake, and if my little bit of talent can be used for greater good, then my job is done. 

Starlight Foundation Cupcake day 2007



I've met some amazing fellow cake peeps, who'll forever be more than colleagues, but honest to goodness friends. Cake That! has given me the opportunity to network alongside and make friendships with some of the best wedding vendors around. I mean, who doesn't love great cake- with a side of awesome decorator too hehehehe

My first ever client commissioned "Chocolate Mountain Cake"


Making great industry friends has really kept me accountable. Knowing that as well as my own intense critique, I had a network of people right behind me to keep me on my toes. 
I've always aimed to supply a product which is wonderful value for money. 
High quality at a very reasonable price. I'm conscious of the expense of a cake and strive to provide a product that exceeds my clients (and their guests) expectations. 

My Sister in Law's wedding cake! 5 years ago this August!


Styles and fashions have changed so much since "Cake That!" was born. 10 years ago the average tier height was 8.5cm. These days my cakes average (min) 12cm per regular height tier, with most designs  and clients opting for even taller 15-20cm high tiers. 
I can't believe that time has flown by so swiftly. It feels like only yesterday that I walked into SmartLicense and lodged my name application, then headed to BCC at Chermside to lock in all the food licensing. 
I remember how nervous I was meeting my very first client with whom I had no connection with. She was so lovely and booked me on the spot! 
Meeting with clients is still such a magnificent perk of my job! Those who've met me will know that I love a chat, and often get well of the "cake" track during consultations. Although our meetings may be brief in the scheme of things, I like to be connected to those that I'm making such a symbolic cake for.

Seriously fun and wonderful clients whom I will never forget!


My family have been the soul behind my success. They've always believed in me, supported and encouraged me, even though looking back now I'm unsure how they spotted my potential in the beginning. I often wonder if I've fluked this success. (almost everyday I feel like the girl whose family have said what a spectacular singer she is- yet in reality she's just ok with fleeting moments of wonderful) 

The High Tea Party in 2010

No doubt if you've ever been to an expo/showcase you've probably met one or two of my family. Without hesitation they're always there to help me out, and are a tremendous asset to my sales. My husband is the muscle behind most of my deliveries. Even more so in recent years where he developed a penchant for "staff lunch". Finding some of South East Queensland's best lunching spots nearby venues is a skill set he's mastered. 

Such an honor to make a 100th Birthday cake

My skills have been gained through allot of practice and hard work. Trial and error have been my best friend and worst enemy rolled into one. The majority of my skill set is self taught. I've learned a few tips and tricks from others, and passed on many myself. I've never asked another decorator about how to price a cake, how anyone else can quote on being you is just silly. 
My life has twisted and turned in many directions over this past decade. I can't imagine it any other way. I feel so blessed to wake up everyday and work within a business that makes others happy. 
Inaugural "Cake That!" Xmas Party


To all my clients who've engaged my services and enjoyed cake over the years- Thank you. 
To all my industry colleagues who've recommended and supported me over this time Thank you!

Words cannot express the gratitude I have towards my Friends and Family for being my greatest supporters, for holding my hand when I needed it, and for keeping me down to earth when things got bigger than Ben Hur. Thank you just doesn't seem enough. 

So as I move forward with Cake That! here's hoping the next 10 years are as fun as the last. Celebrations for this milestone are still undecided. Do I host a "Sarah-Jane" style shindig, or should I spoil myself with a token instead?? (If my husband doesn't read this maybe both??) 

It seems ironic that just as I'm finishing this blog my oven timer is sounding lol

So thanks for reading today, but most of all thanks you for helping Cake That! become what it is today!

Much love and appreciation 

SJ xoxoxo 

Wednesday, 5 August 2015

A family of Guinea Pigs

It is no secret that my family do allot for me. They are always there to help out with my business- you may have met one or two of them at an open day even. They are much better spruikers than I will ever be :)

So when the occasion calls for it (when doesn't an occasion need cake??) I am on hand to supply bucket loads of sugary goodness for the festivities!


This past weekend my baby sister celebrated her recent engagement. The party was a whirlwind event- organised in under 2 weeks. My soon to be BIL is the Head Chef at Archive, so organising a time when they were both off was proving a difficult task- but when discussing birthday celebrations (My baby sister had her birthday over the weekend) we thought that maybe a combined event could work- well, we made it work :) )

So we launched into planning mode. I already knew what cake I wanted to make for Alex and Duncan, as I was (surprisingly) inspired by a pair of tattoos that they had. I make no bones of the fact that I am not a tattoo person- but this pair was clever- and cute- and so would make a great cake.
Original Tattoo Artwork by Peacock's Palace Tattoo
 
After getting approval from the happy couple (AKA telling them this is my planned design) I set about organising all the bits and pieces to bring this baby together!
After a ratty scratch paper drawing and some templates- I sent my dear husband off to Bunnings to grab all the bits to engineer this piece. Then I got him to use his tools to cut it all to spec so that I could put it all together.
I had allot on last week with my "Real" cakes- so I needed to make this one out of ingredients that could handle me fiddling about across the week. Given we all see cake way too much- 3 out of the 4 "cakes" were non cake. Rocky road and Chewy Rice Krispie treat were used - and lovingly devoured by the guests too! The remaining tier was layers of extra cake mix from my "real" cake orders- which included rich chocolate and Caramel mudcake.

Time was not a commodity that I had plenty of- so I put this cake together allot different to how I would normally. I ganached and iced the tiers insitu- which was awkward- yet worked fine in the end.
It is hard to explain the scale of these cakes. They were quite large in height (and I can hear my DH saying to me- "you should have taken a picture of it with a coke can beside them for scale"- yes dear- I should have) - they we reasonable heavy- yet were a dream to transport.

 
I'm too crazy to let this be it for "cake" - so I did what I have had as a little project in my head for a few years now and set them up a DIY cupcake bar! 
 

This was a HUGE  hit with the guests.

I supplied 3 flavours of cupcakes- along with Icing ready to be piped, 2 drizzle/inject-able sauces (Salted Caramel and Rich chocolate), plus a load f toppings. Everything form colour themed lollies- through to peanut praline and silver cachous- I even ad a Black cherry compote in there to appease the Groom-to-Be's love of all things Black Forest!
Adults and kids alike went wild for this! They grabbed their little bowl cups and piled their cakes high with sugar love! Indulgent and SO much fun!
My Sister kindly posed with her creation


Did I mention I am on a No sugar diet??- yep believe that! I have to live vicariously through those I can supply the goodness to!

So although my family let me have a bit of free reign at times- they get a pretty good wicket indeed!

Ali & I are already trying to think of what next for the wedding itself! I am so excited to be able to help A & D out- Here's to fabulous mind blowing ideas and gorgeousness in wedding cake design ahead!

Don't worry I am not starving whilst on no sugar/yeast etc...... Luckily for me I can whip up a pretty mean dietary cake that can stifle cravings. 
Yesterday- after discovering I had 3Kg plus of fresh pears at home (do we need more pears?- Ok lets get more pears lol)
I made a Pear Crumble Tart with spiced date and banana pastry. Entirely cane sugar free. No added fake sugar nor Stevia- low fat and super delicious.

Served with a spoonful of Vanilla Jalna and some sliced fresh banana- this felt indulgent, wintery and was so delicious. It is (in small pieces) also approved by Peggy (super nutritionist)!

So although I could totally smash a tub of Gaytime Icecream with a Warm chocolate Fondant and rich ganache- I am satisfied with my dietary culinary efforts whilst living the sugar free dream.

Thanks so much for reading!
Keep your eyes out for "Cake That! I Made". Coming Soon xx

Follow all the latest Cake That! antics on Facebook!

Take it Easy
SJ










Sunday, 11 January 2015

My relationship with Novelty cakes




Being frank, If you asked me if I loved Novelty cakes, you'd likely get a definite "No!"  
Novelty cakes and I have a funny relationship. I love to hate them. 
You see, I get such satisfaction from making a jaw dropping Wedding Cake, the thought of a brightly coloured Novekty cake really doesn't excite me. Or so I thought. 

My lack of enthusiasm for Novelty grew as I began to realise that most consumers put less value on this style of cake. It's just a Cake right?? It's GOT to be simpler than a traditional wedding cake doesn't it??
Well, no. 
It's true, a wedding cake is complex. It requires skill and finesse to finish it to a level worthy of its positioned glory. 
A Wedding Cake is the central focal point of the reception. It's the ceremonious symbol guests rush to ogle over when they enter the reception. The Wedding cake is the surprise factor. Will it be a big opulent structure coved with hand crafted sugar flowers, or will the guests be delighted by the surprise of a unique cake that represents the quirkiness of the couple. Or maybe something In-between . Whatever the design a Wedding cake is held in high regard. 

Novelty cakes, sadly, don't have that same rap. They're fun. Sometimes they're cute. They're not as hard to make- are they????
I use to fear the very thought of mixing up 19 different colours to create a novelty. I don't like waste, and when mixing up this many colours there's always some waste. Even with years of experience colour matching and blending, knowing how much you'll need to cover a tier, still means that there's leftover.  While some colours can be saved for later, most are fiddly little bits that are not worth keeping, yet if you put all of the "bits" together in a ball, you'd have something between and orange and a grapefruit size piece left over. Pffft! That's a couple hundred grams of icing. Yes , but if you're making a few each week it adds up. 
There isn't that kind of waste with white or ivory cakes. 
Clients who couldn't see the time, effort and value in a Novelty are another reason I began to loathe this style. 
I was so disheartened by this that I dreaded anyone who inquired about a novelty cake with me. I'd send a quote, or offer one over the phone- to be met with akward silence. Or cries of "WHAT?!?!?" "IT'S JUST A CAKE!"  
But soon enough clients started to see the "Cool" in Novelty, they began to see that a 3D cake that was a replica of an object would not only serve as a delicious dessert at their gathering- it too would provide entertainment! It could Wow the guests as well as satisfying their sweet tooth!
I loved hearing how my clients guests reacted. "They couldn't believe it was a cake!!" "I didn't want to cut it", were common feedback I received. 
With all this joy and excitement I started to like Novelty cakes (insert very surprised face). And while the majority of inquiries were still alarmed at what a novelty cake costs- there were clients who appreciated their worth and ordered some truly awesome cakes. 
My appreciation of Novelty cakes was probably summed up with this cake I did in 2012

I thought it was way cool! It's head even turned!! 
It was more than just a cake. It was a feature decoration at a party. "That's a cake?!?!" "Wow!"   My job was complete. 

In 2014 I did some pretty fun cakes. I didn't realise how many until I spent time (hours) looking back through last years pictures. 
I also realised that maybe I liked Novelty design. Maybe it was pretty cool?  Perhaps I did get job satisfaction from making them :)

So I thought I'd share my favourites from last year.

This push car cake was a 1/2 scale model. 


Then there was Lola Pickles. 
Ordered as a surprise for the birthday girl- this 3D novelty cake was a cartoon replica of the family cat. 


The one that possibly impressed grown men the most was the Lego Man Transformer cake. 

 He was so big that I couldn't photograph him easily in my tent. 

He was entirely cake- with the exception of the wheels- which were Rice Krispie Treat. 
He was allot of fun. 


Then there was a replica of a young gentlemans Longboard. Complete with a mini Mr on the edge. 

Then there was the Pinball machine cake. 
This was actually for my dad. 
He turned 60 last September. I actually waned to buy him a real pinball machine, but that wasn't possible, so I gave him the next best thing- an edible one :)


My dad had a 60's themed 60th. I wanted to make a personalised cake, rather than just replicating an actual machine. 
He gets called "Magoo" by some friends due to his glasses. 
So "Disco Magoo" was the Pinball theme. 
Psychedelic swirled icing, and "scores" reflecting significant years and dates. 

It was another giant cake. Thanks to my husband Steve for drilling and screwing the supports in place. 

There were many more in 2014, but I will leave them for another day. 
Just a small collection of some satisfying novelties I did last year. 

I now get excited by the prospect of creating a fabulous 3D novelty. I love the challenge of getting the structure right, and making it entirely from cake! 
So if you've got something you'd like made out of cake - give me a shout!

Thanks for reading
SJ 

Monday, 5 January 2015

What's a Wedding Cake Worth??

A new year brings so many things. New opportunities, adventures and new learning experiences. 
Many of you may have recently become engaged (Congratulations!!) - such an exciting time for both you and your fiancé, and for your family too.
Weddings are filled with joy and love and new beginnings- just like the New Year. 
I really enjoy meeting my clients, learning about them and their style. Hearing proposal stories, and of course how they met. 
Whilst this may seem like friendly chatter (or an over excited vendor who relishes speaking with other adults lol), to me it's very important to know my clients before designing a cake for them. 
The cake not only has to fit the feel of the reception, it needs to reflect the couple themselves. 
My job isn't all about creating stunning five tier white cakes (although I do have a rather large soft spot for thee) it's about creating a fit. 
A design fit, a flavour fit (Yes most important) , and a budget fit. 
Many clients are shy to reveal their cake budget. They shouldn't be. 
I'm sure many won't say for fear of either being overcharged or offending me if what they've accounted for is far less than a cakes worth. Neither of which could be further from reality. 
I get that this is (for most) the first time they've ordered a custom cake. I'm hear to show you why a great cake costs, and show you value for money. 
I understand that there's much misinformation about, poor articles informing couples that if you mention the word "wedding" the price will double. This is not true. Each cake is priced upon its size and detail. To be honest, the function you're using the cake for is purely to help with the design. It doesn't impact the price. You'll receive the same exceptionally finished custom made professional cake from me whether you're using it in an opulent reception, or for a backyard bbq. 
There's also the common belief that if you have "fake" tiers your cake will be loads cheaper. This is also a fallacy. The cost of custom cut foam (incl delivery) is similar to most regular style cakes. Icing foam is harder, (due to its lightweight) than a stable cake, and the external decorations take the same amount of time, effort and skill as a cake you can cut and enjoy. 
Sure if you're wanting a 20 inch cake base - this will be more economical that having actual cake, but most Bride and grooms to be are requesting 10" or smaller cakes to be replaced with foam.  You may save $5-$40 on your cake but you won't save $100's. 



It's my aim to work with my clients to give them the best value for money. 
I offer a one on one service. This means you deal with myself from design to delivery. 
I bake, ice, decorate and deliver All my cakes. 
I source all the ingredients, and use local free range eggs and seasonal fruits where possible. 
I pride myself on making cakes that taste better than they look, and whilst I can make you a "Chocolate Mud" or a "Red Velvet" cake, I'd much rather bake you a custom flavour that will stick in your guests minds long after they've eaten their slice. 
If you crave Salted Caramel, I can fill your tiers with Salted Caramel fudge cake with layers of dark chocolate ganache and Peanut butter buttercream.Or a Rosewater sand cake with pistachio and Byron Bay Honey cream??  After all- if you're serving the cake as a dessert it may as well be dessert worthy. 


Let's not forget how you're going to present the cake that you'll stand in front of your guests and ceremoniously cut. I offer a range of cake stands for hire. From hand crafted pedestal stands, to timber slices and gorgeous silver ornate stands and plateaus. If my selection doesn't include quite what you're looking for, custom made stands may be available. 

Sooooooo what will your cake cost?? It's not really a simple answer. 
Your ideal cake could be a textured butter iced cake that will be adorned with flowers from your florist, or it could be a meter high hand painted, Pearl finished cake with piping and stencil detail, with sugar blooms cascading down one side. 


There's so much variations it's impossible to give a single price. 
If you're looking to set a realistic budget then take this into consideration:
At a chain bakery where you're served a piece of commercially baked pre mix cake for between $6-$8 per slice. 
If you were to dine at a restaurant where the pastry chef had created a piece of art on a plate would see you paying $20-$28. 

I am a chef by trade. 
Your cake will be baked from scratch using quality ingredients. 
If the thought of paying $6-$20 per dessert portion is too much then maybe I'm not the decorator for you. 

This is my livelihood. 
I'm a fully registered and licensed Cake Decorator. 
Please don't assume I'll be content  working for less than a checkout operator to create your custom cake. 

I have the experience, knowledge, skills and passion to create something wonderful for you. 

I'm here to work with you to put together a design that symbolizes your Union. 
I'm here to create Your Dream Cake. 

So - What is a Wedding Cake Worth?

It's worthy of the job of a professional whose skills, expertise and network of colleagues means you'll have your expectations exceeded by the quality and service provided. 

So if you're after a spectacular cake for 2015 contact me to arrange a consultation. 
Happy 2015
SJ xx

Don't forget to like me on Facebook
www.facebook.com/cakethat 


Thursday, 1 January 2015

The Luckiest Cowboy

I'm more than aware how lucky I am. How truly blessed my family is, and how fortunate we are. 
I have been priveledged to be apart of a family who encouraged and celebrated my successes, and who are always there to support me. 
Although my clients often ask me about my family, and it's not often I publicly share. 
I have written and deleted this blog many times. I've felt a bit conflicted about sharing. I've feared how it may be read, so I'm trying my best in this two dimensional platform to write it as best I can. 
For as long as I can remember I've been aware of good fortune. Whilst growing up in a working class family, my parents always gave and shared without question. This upbringing has made me conscious of giving back and helping whenever I can. 


This December  my Big boy turned 3!
I am trying to instill the same caring values in him as was taught to me. It was like a lightbulb was switched on in his mind a few months ago- where he realised people recieved "things" for their birthdays. 
So came forth the requests of anything he saw "maybe I can get this for my birthday???" became the phrase  of the moment. The highlight of this time for me was when we were driving to Kindy and he saw a plumbers truck loaded with pipes. "Look at that big truck mummy!! Maybe I can get some pipes for my birthday???" Short of bursting out laughing, this melted my heart, because it kind of said to me that maybe he would appreciate the smaller things. 
As he grasped what parties were about now- this year I wanted a simpler style party for him (yes I can hear the chorus of hysterical laughter from those who know me personally). I'm not one for commercial themed parties. I wanted something that engaged their imaginations. 
A Western Party it was to be. I had it in my mind I wanted to create a fun party without expense. We had a bbq, icecreams, a stable with watermelon, carrots and apples, and grass dip (aka Spinach hommus and Guacamole)


I made bags of "Chaff" from oven baking shredded tortillas, to create healthy crisps for the kids. 


Trail mix with popcorn added through, and I found giant marshmallows at Costco and made "campfire pops" by dipping them in chocolate- then assorted toppings. 


I love a bargain, so I  bought a number balloon off eBay for $1.90 then had it filled for $5. I reused bunting I'd made years ago (much to my husbands delight and surprise).
I upcycled old pallets to create wooden crates, and bought some hay that we later used as garden mulch for decorations. 

Yes the fiddly bits took allot of time, but what cost me in my time looked effective and kept costs down. 
I had made a hobby horse for each family to take home instead of a lolly bag. I'll be honest- I worked on these for months in whatever moment of spare time I had. I used leftover fabric pieces, stuffings of (washed) old pillows, plus old bits of braid and buttons from my grandmothers collection. The biggest expense of these was the $3 stick. 


I had in my mind that I was going to make a hobby horse cake, but about a week out from his birthday, Finley asked "can you make a little me on a cake?"  
From there my creative brain went a little overboard. Of course I could make a figurine - but how about a 3D cartoon Cowboy Kid instead?? I didn't tell Mr almost Three my plan. I wanted it to be a surprise. I wanted to see if I could impress the only person that mattered on his special day. 
So I had a go. Yes I have years of cake making and designing experience behind me, but I still lack confidence in many elembets, and I've still allot to learn. 

At one point I called my mum into my cake room to give me a bit of help, as I was doing the eyes, and scarily the cake looked like "Child of Chucky" lol. 
I channeled the artistic talents of my fellow cake peeps, and I think in the end he turned out awesome!  
I managed to keep him out of sight until the party day, then once all set up I bought the birthday boy down and showed him. 
GOBSMACKED!! He was so chuffed he kept looking at the cake- then smiling to himself. Mission accomplished ��
This was the only opinion that mattered. 
Would he have been just as delighted with a round sponge from woollies with a number 3 candle on it- Absolutely..... But given I have this talent, I'd  treasure using it to create family happiness than simply use it for paying clients alone. 


So here he is Cowboy Finley!



And with the happy recipient. 


The party goers couldn't get enough of him either. 


And finally one of us all together. 



So there's a little insight to me and my family and a stack of great memories we've just made. 

Thanks for reading! Please feel free to ask any questions in the comment section below. 
SJ x


Thursday, 11 December 2014

#makesomeonehappy

I'm a big believer in giving back. I'm extremely blessed and I don't take that for granted. 
When I saw the Channel 9 Today Show's #makesomeonehappy campaign - I instantly knew I wanted to be apart of it. 
The core of the initiative isn't about flaunting privilege, it's about genuinely doing something thoughtful (no matter how simplistic) to make someone else's day. I was excited to be able to share a little bit of my talent to make someone happy ��

So as we approach Christmas I am very wary of the fact that so many people and families find this time of year difficult. 
No matter your situation the very thought of Christmas, to many, isn't all Tinsel and Jingle Bells. 
My aim with this project is to make someone happy. 
To surprise them with a little something unexpected. 
To lift their spirit and share a little sugary love. 
Whilst you may have seen the Xmas tree cake I donated to a local Kindy - which made about 100 little people very happy- this time I am giving away a Pudding "lolly cake" Cake!


Very similar to Rocky road- but without the nuts. This can be kept and used on Christmas Day, or shared with friends, family or colleagues beforehand. 

There are only 2 conditions of winning this:
1- You must be able to collect this from my Alderley Home Studio on Saturday 13th December 2014 before 10am. 

2- I'd love it if the winner could pay the happiness forward- with a little #makesomeonehappy love of their own. 

That's it. 
To enter all you need to do is comment on this blog link on the Cake That! Facebook page. 
A winner will be drawn by Random.Org at 6pm on Friday 12/12/14. 

This competition is not sponsored or endorsed by facebook. 
This is a giveaway purely in the spirit of Christmas and holds no retail value. 
Should the prize winner not claim their prize- it will be donated to a local charity on their behalf. 

Thanks for reading and don't forget to take a little moment and #makesomeonehappy
Cheers
SJ 



Thursday, 30 October 2014

Cake Pride!



You know- I would never think of myself as an intimidating kind of person, so it always surprises me when I meet other people (as well as extended family and friends) who feel like they have to apologise or compare their cake triumphs to mine. 
Yes triumphs not tragedies. 
I love cake decorating, and I've been blessed to be able to do what I love every day. So when I hear "not like your cakes" or "I made a terrible cake" I feel sad. I truly love seeing other peoples creations. 
It can be such a sense of achievement after allot of hard work to complete a cake. 
I meet mums who dismiss their efforts as unworthy- when the truth be told these cakes they've made are the most special of any. 
I'm a huge advocate for parents making their own kids cakes. It really is a right of passage. 
My family will attest to some "challenging" cakes made for me as a kid. Not a single one looking like it stepped out of a magazine- but each and every one absolutely loved and cherished by me (and my friends). 
Goodness knows as a teenager I made many of my baby sisters cakes- we both beamed with excitement at the epic brilliant sugary creation before us! I tried many a design out on her (thanks for being my guinea pig Al)





Parents put so much pressure on themselves to create these magnificent cakes - when in reality kids love it (the cake) no matter how unlike the original idea the end result may be. 
No one has ever gone to a kids party and said "geez look at that poor excuse for a cake" - instead we all really cheer that parent/loved one on for how terrific the cake is- and it's backed up by the excited and proud grin of the birthday recipient. 
 So if you're a friend of mine, or if you meet me- please NEVER apologise for the awesome, filled with love, painstakingly put together cake you've created- stand up and be proud, as I'll be there cheering you on!

I have been honored to guide many friends to make their own cakes, and seeing how chuffed they are with their finished product makes me feel wonderful too!
I welcome you to share your proudest cake achievements in the comment section :)

Next year is the 10th Anniversay of Cake That!. I have some exciting things in store for 2015- so keep up to date by following me on Facebook!

Thanks for reading- and Happy Baking
SJ