Tuesday, 27 May 2008

All in a days work!

This week past has surely been a long one indeed.
With a wedding on Tuesday- and the ABIA awards in Tuesday night- it was all go right from the beginning!

After the big beginning for the week, it was business as per usual to get the end of the week done!
I had a huge delivery run on Saturday- and it wouldn't have been story worthy- without a hurdle at my very first droop off.
When I got to my first venue- the cake table was set right next to a window- where the warm Autumn sun was beaming right through. I was so concerned to set the cake up there ( it was a cupcake tree- might I add) that I decided to move the table- just until the reception begun, into a cool part of the room. This wasn't the concerning part- the fact that the event coordinator didn't want me to move the table to a "safe" environment- because she " Had never had a cake melt!" did! After I told her that my cake certainly wasn't going to be the first to melt- I left the cake set in the air conditioned shade of the room- where it would be safe until the beginning of the reception. My only concern was that I didn't bring my camera- and my phone had no charge to take a photo!!!
Thank goodness later that evening- I received a text from a friend- who's sister was at that very wedding- telling her how fabulous the cake looked! Phew!
I know I may sound a little anal and overprotective of my cakes, but I believe that they should be as fantastic as they were place there- not damaged because of someones ignorance!
Anyway- the day got so much better!
This next cake, is one I have been waiting to do for a while now!
I met the bride (Tracey) and her mum many months ago- and together we set out to design a real centerpiece cake design!

With five cakes in total, more than 8meters of strung Swarovski Crystals, and over 250 individual Swarovski crystals attached to the cakes- this cake was all about the Bling!
Each cake was sat upon a clear stand- where the centre pole was filled with rose petals.
Strung Beading was woven over the table, and fresh flowers and tortured Willow were used to decorate the cakes. To make sure everything had the "bling" effect- the flowers had more beading woven throughout them, and the willow had drop Swarovski crystals scattered from the branches.

Each cake had a double band of strung crystals around the base, with two of the cakes having a pretty crystal brooch in the centre of an ivory ribbon.

This cake was set up at The Villa- down at Nerang- a simply stunning Private Golf Resort. The Ceremony was also taking place there. When the staff were adding the final touches to the ceremony garden, a rouge Black Swan decided to crash the proceedings! I caught this picture of the Staff member being turned on by the Swan, as he tried to shoo it away!!!

This next design was my first ever cake for the Hilton Hotel.
It is funny that after all of the cakes I make, and all of the venues I visit- there are still some that I have never been too! So this in now another on off the list!
When delivering cakes- yo are often required to use the service entrance- and for anyof you that know the parking situation at the Brisbane Hilton - will well and truly understand that this is a true necessity! I had previously used the service entrance- when I was a chef- doing a Salon Culinaire at the hotel- so I THOUGHT i knew where I was going! So after missing the service entrance turn off- and doing a trip around the block- we made it to the underground loading dock. Then I saw a sign for a lift- and thought- according o my bearings- that this should bring us out in the Hilton. Have I mentioned that Steve is carrying this 25kg cake all on his own????
Anyway- we ended up in the third level of the Wintergarden, and then made out way to the Hilton! It was a long way around when you are carrying a cake!

Eventually safe in the Ballroom- I got to meet the lovely function coordinator- Jessica! Delivered Safe and sound- Jessica then Kindly directed us the fast and easy way back to the car! Next time it will be allot easier!

Then last but not least- I had the pleasure of making and Engagement cake for a previous client.
I first made a cake for Christine a few years back- for her 21st! She was one of my first "Cake That!" clients! On Saturday Steve and I put together a tower of Chocolate and Ivory cupcakes!

Steve being the master at setting the cupcake stand!

It was the end to a very long day! Because of the back log of clients waiting to see me on Saturdays- I had been seeing clients since 8am in the morning, then a 280km round trip delivering cakes, before returning home around 5pm!

Thursday, 22 May 2008


Problem Solved- For now! 11am 23/05/08

Currently I am unable to receive emails.
I have been having an ongoing issue, that is being investigated by my ISP.
I am sorry for any inconvenience caused.
If you need to contact me urgently - please call me on 0404 388 219.
Frustrated cake lady!

Wednesday, 21 May 2008

Second time Lucky?????

Last Night I attended the 10th Annual QLD ABIA awards ceremony.
I was- for the second year running- a Finalist in the Wedding Cake design category.
I was- and am- very proud of the achievement, and more than grateful to all of my past clients who took the time to vote for me this year.
As you may or may not be aware, last year I came an extremely close second, so I was full of hope that this year I might take out the win!

This year, instead of dragging my entire family to watch their 31 year old daughter/sister maybe win an award, I opted to take only my Mum. If you are a regular reader of this blog, you may be aware of how much my mum does for me- so last night was a way of thanking her for all her help and support over the year.

I actually had a wedding on Yesterday- so after I finished delivering the cake, it was off home, to go through the wardrobe ( No I didn't indulge in a new dress- seeing as it is only a few short weeks until I leave for the UK- I thought I had better save my pennys ;)), and beautify myself for the evening!
My mum isn't only handy with helping with cakes- she is also does fabulous hairdo's, so whilst Juggling afternoon calls from clients, my mum whipped up a fantastic hair do on me! I of course returned the favour on her too!

So all frocked up ( after many changes) we headed to the Royal on the park!
I don't "know" many people in this industry, but I the ones that I see and work with on a regular basis are fabulous! One of thos is the Wonderful Jennine from FloraBella designs! I wasn't at the venue for 5 minutes when I ran into her, which was lovely. She also introduced me to Anne Campbell- the friendliest Celebrant I have met! She was so warm, and vibrant right from the start! I love meeting people like this!

Jennine, Myself and Anne!

Jennine also introduced me to Betty Ross- the reining Wedding cake design winner! It was great to meet Betty in the flesh!
So my only stipulation to the ABIA when I booked my tickets was that we were on a table with someone fun- and can I say- My request was filled!!!
We sat with Glenys, and her family/team, from Glenys' Flowers and Gifts! This group was ready for a great night, and what a night we had!

Glenys, Mary and Penelope!

The night was so great- I am typing this blog, and I still have a headache! LOL!!!

So onto the business end of the evening! In total there were 73 Cake decorators nominated, with a total of 16 finalists.
Afterthe top 16 came the top 10... and I was still inthere!
Then came the top 5- Still holding on, Top 3- could this be my year??
And the Winner is.............
Cake Decorating by Betty Ross!!

Ah Well- I did however come a very close second!!!

Doing the number 2 dance!

So now I am the 2008 Runner up QLD AIBA awards!
Well done I say!
So Thank you Very Much to all of my past Couples who voted for me! It is a wonderful honour to be regarded so highly by my clients! Maybe next year will be my year!

A special thank you also to all of the lovely industry people I got to meet last night! It was great to be able to have a chat, rather than the rush about when I am delivering cakes! We should definately have nights like this more often!

Sunday, 18 May 2008

Travelling Hatter...

After last week- this week just breezed by!
Back to my usual amount of cakes to do- I had a great week- with a couple of really fun designs!
Once again I had my mum with me to help deliver! We had a 7 hour round trip delivering cakes over Brisbane- all the way up to Maroochydore!
It was all about the Mad hatter this week.
The first design was a three tier Square mad hatter- in a Black Red and White Theme.
To say this cake was Bold- was an understatement. Left to my own devices with the final design- I chose Black sugar bows for the mid tier- as this is what the clients were using throughout their theme. They also had a cricket theme- so the groom cartoon character was resting on a cricket bat- whilst the Bride was holding a cricket ball.

The base tier has a varied sized stripe theme, and the top was covered in mixed sized Swarovski Crystal- in Clear Black and Red- of Course. All finished off the the couple's name across the top tier! Voila!

The Next cake was a Topsy Turvy design- with fresh flowers between the tiers.
This cake was a late addition to my baking Schedule- booked a mere two weeks ago.
In this style of cake- the actual tiers are not carved to make the "wonky" shape- rather the filler between the tiers is on an angle- to support this design.

With Black White silver and Dusty pinks the theme, this cake was fun- yet elegant.
Although I had had many cakes at the Pacific Harbour Golf Club- on Bribie Island_ this is the Very first time I have actually delivered a cake there myself- and can I say- this is one great looking golf club. Chic and Modern, with wonderful landscaping, and not to mention friendly staff too!
This cake certainly caused some intrigue- as quite a few staff came by to check it out as I set it all up!

Last But not least is a cake- that I had total control of the design!This cake was for a very dear friend of mines Nono's ( Italian Grandfather) 80th Birthday!
He absolutely loves his gardening- so with that theme, and of course a rather large guest list to feed, I came up with the design below.

The base "grass" layer is a hazelnut and Dark chocolate cake, with a cute picket fence detail around the sides.

The top is a terracotta pot with a cherry tomato and Basil plant! Yes I do need to improve on the basil- But hopefully the guests can guess what it is!

In Two short days I will find out how I fared in this years ABIA Awards. The Awards are being held on Tuesday night at the Royal on the Park.
I was in two minds whether or not to attend this year- but right at the last minute before the cut off I decided to go! I am up against some fantastic decorators- once again- so I will be sure to post the final results on Wednesday!- so Fingers Crossed!

Sunday, 11 May 2008

All caked out!

OK- WOW- where do I start???
This week I have made more cakes than any week before! To paint a picture- I used 12 dozen Eggs, 20kg Butter, 25kg Flour, 30Kg Castor Sugar, 1.5kg Cocoa, Over 15 KG Chocolate, and close to 25kg Plastic icing!!! Not to mention all of the colourings, cachous, floristry wire and modeling paste!
I made over 250 roses ( made from either chocolate plastique or sugar), and spent no less than 7 hours putting cachous onto one cake alone! My oven was on for more than 30 hours, I drove more than 350km delivering cakes and despite all of this I didn't turn into a made woman- and I loved every single cake I finished!

I would have to say that I didn't have a favourite this week- because it was so hard to choose a cake out of all of the designs I made- But I do think I have found my " If I had my Wedding again" design.
This cake was timeless elegance- three tiers iced in white plastic icing, with a 1" band of satin ribbon around each tier. The top tier was covered in Sugar roses, then the roses trailed down and across the tiers- simply stunning.

There was over 50 sugar roses on the cake, each and everyone hand made to replicate the real thing!

The next cake is a design I have replicated once before- so I knew the time that lay ahead placing each and every cachous onto the cake. The challenge this time though- was making the dancing toppers! I had so much fun making these toppers- and in the end I think they looked Fabulous!
This cake worried me the most when delivering it- as the toppers are so fragile- but all the stress went unwarranted- as the cake arrived exactly as it left!
Michelle (Bride) had a dress that suited the toppers wonderfully! Michelle is a regular reader of the Blog- So Congratulations! And Thank you for getting me to make you such a fun and gorgeous wedding cake!

The next cake was simply stunning. Made using Belgian couveture plastique- this 3 tier double stacked cake ( yes 6 cakes in total) was draped in the plastique, and with close to 100 chocolate roses dotted throughout the design. The random flow of this design gave the cake a grace and elegant feel- despite its enormous size.

The wedding was held at Palma Rosa at Albion- a beautiful heritage listed Building- A must see for anyone wanting a reception with elegant old world charm. This place is even more beautiful than Customs House, in my opinion!

The next design was possibly the simplest of the week- but by far no where near uninteresting.
A trail of beautiful fresh flowers, including roses, berries and freesias, in colours that just looked so "fresh".

I also adore the picture that I managed to take- all on my own! Good enough for a magazine shot I think!!!

The next cake is one of the tallest I have made. Featuring foam layers between the tiers- cachous detail and crystal encrusted brooches- this cake was the epitome of beautiful.
In all white- it had almost a winter feel- not cold, but crisp!

The final design featured fresh flowers, here is my lovely Mum( who helped me deliver all day yesterday:)) standing beside this monster! My mum is allot taller than me- but to give you an idea, the cake from the table to the top was around 70cm high!

So in the end- I made it!
My cakes would have been eaten by close to 1500 people this week alone! I had cakes at venues from as close as Brett's wharf- to Dayboro, and all the way to Hamilton Island!

A very big thank you to all of my clients this week- for not only choosing me to create your cakes- but for challenging me to make your stunning designs!
I would have loved to include all of the cakes I made this week- however- I need to go and Thank my Mum- not only because she always helps me out- but because its Mothers day!!
'Til next week- Thanks for reading!

Birthday greetings!

This week was a mammoth week for cakes- but before I tell that story- I would love to tell the story of my very first Sugar Shoe cake!

I was asked ny a friend of my sisters to make her and her cousin a cake for their combined 30th Birthdays!
Sam came to see me and chose a handbag cake, and a shoe! To keep things classy I made the colour theme Ivory Black and Silver- which worked well.

Unfortunately I don't have a great picture if the cake- as I took it at night- Just before I had to go to the party ( due to my excessively busy week- it was a last minute job!).
The Party Theme was "PS were 30"- so I painted this onto the shoe box too!

The Shoe box was a white chocolate and Frangellico cake, with the purse being a Dark Raspberry Mudcake!

Happy Birthday Penny and Sam- I hope you had a great night!

Monday, 5 May 2008

Labour of love....

This past weekend- the whole week in fact- has just flown by! with the Labour Day Public holiday- Long weekend weddings are so popular! This week ahead is Mothers Day- which also seems to be incredibly popular too!
This week saw me make my first ever Grooms cake- but more on that later!

I began my weekend of Weddings with a Friday wedding- Usually I love Friday weddings- as it makes my delivery run that little bit easier with one less cake to deliver on Saturday.
This Friday wedding didn't have the usual white three tier cake- they had a Croquembouche! A tower of toffee encrusted Profiteroles, that were filled with Grand mariner Creme Patissiere ( A divinely rich egg custard)!

This sort of cake must be made on the day- whilst the Custard and Choux Puffs can be prepared in advance- filling the profiteroles, and assembling the tower can only be done just prior to the reception. Not only os assembling a delicate balance of profiteroles very stressful- but the transport and delivery makes me doubly wary! Luckily I only had to travel to New Farm- but the large speed humps on James street had my hearing on high alert for any possible dramas! My stress and worry went unwarranted as the Croquembouche was delivered in perfect condition to the Restaurant!!! Now all I hope is that the clients and their guests enjoyed the cake- as much as I did the samples ;)

The next cake is one that I replicated for a referral couple- that I never got to meet.
A tower of cupcakes - each embossed with stylised hearts- and topped off with a personalised cartoon couple! This cake looked really great set up!

Generally on Saturdays- My husband (Steve) and I deliver the cakes together. This Saturday- I was running a little behind with appointments- so I sent Steve out with a couple of cakes, whilst I went with another couple on my own. It felt strange not to have him there with me, not to mention the fact that I had to carry the cakes on my own! LOL!!!

I had this gorgeous tower cake to take to Venice Cafe bar- If you have never been there before- it has possibly one of the best Story Bridge views around!
This cake was a triple stacked cake- with long Dark and White chocolate chards- and fresh lilies out the top- Forming a vase effect.

So whilst I was out delivering the cakes above- Steve headed out to Cedar Creek- to deliver a wedding cake- and the grooms cake!
I wish I had a better picture of the grooms cake. I believe the groom is Irish- however he lives in Texas- so the cake was a Shamrock, with Red velvet cake inside.

My weekend of cakes continued yesterday with 2 weddings!
After delivering these I thought I would get 1/2 day off- until I started again today ( yes even though it is a public holiday today- I have a cake going to Hamilton Island on Wednesday!)
However a very good friend of mine turns 30 today! Being the resident cake decorator- I am often cautious not to presume that my friends would always want me to make the cake. Seeing as though there had been no mention of a cake- I assumed that everything was sorted! But yesterday afternoon- I was asked if I had made a cake- AND I Hadn't!!!

So with around 24 hours to design bake and decorate a cake- I decided on the one below!
Gianni is a mad Keen car enthusiast- so what more fitting ( for a last minute attempt) than to make a Wheel/Tyre cake! With no premixed black icing in the house- I actually Iced the entire cake in white- then painted the black colour on! With a touch of Glycerine in the mix, the tyre is shiny black!

Well I am off to the 30th right now! I hope he likes it!

The week ahead has me busier than ever! I have made close to 200 sugar roses for cakes this coming week alone! 'Til then.... Have a great week- and I will see you on the other side!

Thursday, 1 May 2008

Humble Appreciation.....

Out of the many cakes I make each week- I generally personally hear back from at least 80% of my clients. Some ring me the following day after their event to thank me- others send through beautiful kind words of Thanks via post or email.
This week has been a week where I have received some wonderful thanks from my clients- making me really feel so appreciative of the job I get to do every day! I love making cakes- and especially love the fact that it contributes to someone else's happiness too!
Every Thank you I receive gives me a wonderful feeling- often goosebumps-making me reflect on the fact that the job done truly met- and often exceeded the clients expectations.
I am in the midst of trying to set up a new website- where I can include- all the thank you's and testimonials I have received over the years!
Today I received the " Thank You" below from a couple who were only married 10 short days ago!
My sincere congratulations, and heartfelt thanks go out to all my clients- as without you- I wouldn't be able to enjoy this wonderful career everyday!Hannah and Matt were married on the 20th April 2008- at Glengariff Estate.
Best wishes for a long and Happy Marriage together!