Sunday, 28 December 2008

Last Cakes for 2008!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!



How time flies! With only days left until the new Year- I thought I had better share with you all the final few cakes from 2008.

I hope you all had a fabulous Xmas and are planning a wonderful New Year!

I have been having a small break over Xmas- but am back into the swing of things next weekend.

The final cakes for 2008 were some great ones indeed.
The first cake was inspired by the cover image in a Modern weddings magazine.
This two tier version of the original four tier design was really pretty.


The chocolate fondant not only looked great- but tasted good too!

The next cake is a lovely white chocolate cake- with white roses- that had a soft champagne colour in the center.


The petals filled the channels of the tiers.

The next cake was the first ever 4 tier version of the "mummy" cake I had made! I loved it!

It looked so stylish and elegant- with a contemporary edge. This cake was sent over to Tangalooma for the wedding reception.

I also had a few Corporate Xmas Cupcakes to do.

This lot also featured the companies signature silver butterfly.

I had a fabulous Xmas with my friends and family- have a had a rest from cakes- and am rearing for 2009!

Did I make a Xmas cake for myself??? Absolutely- in amongst catering for more than 25 adults for Xmas dinner- I quickly iced this cake as a token for Xmas.............



............Wouldn't want my family thinking I had forgotten them!
My time off wasn't all rest and no play ;)



Each year I also give my family and friends a goodie bag filled with homemade treats.


This year the bags included:
Eggplant relish- Grand Mariner Chocolate sauce- Spiced biscuits- mini Puds- Vanilla Fudge- Spicy peanuts and Rocky road!



I hope you all had a great Xmas and I look forward to sharing more cakes with you in 2009.

Sunday, 21 December 2008

Celebrations all round!


I got so caught up in writing about my birthday- I forgot to tell you all about the cakes from last week!
With the temperature heating up- and wedding season finally slowing down- last week was once again one filled with both Wedding and Special Birthday cakes!



The first cake was bold and bright! Inside was a Vanilla and Raspberry HD Sponge cake- layered with vanilla Butter cream! Iced in Fire engine Red icing, and with black and silver detail- this cake was all about class. The name on top of the cake was formed from icing- to match the font the Birthday Girl loved!

I also had another birthday cake- this time for a lady who shared my same birth date!


A cupcake tower in a pink and orange theme- with a Wicked chocolate top tier- exploding with chocolate lollipops. I love this crazy style design- both fun and edible!

On Sunday I had a Wedding in the City- what a fabulous day- not a cloud in the sky- and not too hot either!

The cupcake tower was made from a hand dawn design - by the clients. Mocha and Chocolate were the main colour theme- so each cake was iced in either colour- with contrasting dots piped into each one. The top tier featured irregular circles cover the tier in the three colours.

Sunday wasn't the end of my week- it was just the beginning!
I was sending a cake to New Zealand on Tuesday- so I spent Sunday getting everything ready for that.

The cake was a Mad Hatter design- being carried as hand Luggage- all the way from Brisbane to Nelson- on the southern end of the south Island.
This is not the first time I have sent a cake abroad- but the first time I have sent a Mad Hatter. I came to making this cake through my sister Alex. Her boyfriends sister was the Bride- and Alex asked me if I could make them a cake to take over for the wedding. A Mad Hatter design was the furthest idea from my mind- not to mention the figurines. I usually like to send "simple" designs long distance- as I feel that there is a slimmer chance of damage to the cake.

Seeing as the cake was a carved Made hatter design- I threw caution to the wind and made the cake just as I would for a local event.
The theme was Baby Pink Black and White. Kelly- the Bride to be- had mentioned the cakes she liked on my site- but ultimately left the end design up to me.



With a striped overlay on the base tier- and random mixed sized cachous on the top- the cake was completed with a Black sugar ribbon and Bow- and a set of Cartoon toppers sitting on the edge.



I made the toppers onto the cake ( usually I make them separately and attach them once dry)- so that they were well and truly stuck down for the journey.



I am excited to say that the cake cleared customs with flying colours, and safely survived both the 3+hour flight and the 5 hour drive to the venue location.

I am looking forward to hearing how the cake went at the reception!

Counting down the days until Xmas...........



Saturday, 20 December 2008

My turn............



As everyone was gearing up for Xmas this week- I was getting ready for my Birthday! Being born just 8 days short of xmas has its good points and its bad. This year it had great points though! As I received messages from friends and family for my birthday- a common question arose " Who is making your cake??" . I often make my own- because I get to try out new ideas on myself- but this year I was blessed with not one- but TWO cakes organised for me!!!



To give you a bit of a background into the story- the first cake was made by some fabulous Chef friends of mine. I have made them both cakes in the past- and this time they ( Natalie and Tanya K) took on the challenge of making a cake for me!! I was so excited. Natalie and Tanya made a tier each- the assembled it- drove incredibly slowly to my house ( where it had a brief cool down in my cake room) before being transported to the Restaurant for dinner!
The design was totally secret squirrels- but I was told NOT to make my own cake as it was all under control. And it was! Unbeknown to me- my sister had heard my cries over the years for a Baskin Robbins Ice cream cake- and although out west with her job- organised a cake for me to be ready and at the restaurant! Go Kate!


As my birthday fell mid week- we had a dinner at Efe's One restaurant at Albion last night. If you have never been here-GO! I have delivered cakes here before and had heard such fabulous reviews from my clients- and this restaurant delivered- Belly dancing and all. The food was fabulous and the wait staff friendly.

We had so much food- thank god for the dessert stomach! With two cakes to cut and consume I was amazed we all managed to fit it in!
The base cake of my two tier cake was a rich chocolate mud cake- layered with ganache with chocolate scrolls around the sides. the top layer was a white mud cake with white chocolate ganache and "s a r a h j a n e" chocolate lollipops coming out the top!


The Ice cream cake had my favourite- Peanut butter and chocolate ice cream- and Cookie Dough ice cream inside. There was almost 1/2 cake left over- and my sister Kate- who felt so sorry for the staff working in the hot Kitchen - donated the left over cake to them. I am sure they all appreciated it!

A huge thank you to both Natalie and Tanya- for putting yourselves through stress and frustration- to create me a fabulous cake! It was amazing!
And a Big thanks to Kate ( and Steve) for getting me the ice cream cake after all of these years! ;)

So if you wanted to know what a cake decorators birthday cake looks like- this is it! Not one- but two!

Tuesday, 16 December 2008

Cutting the cake............


Not only am I blessed to make some fabulous cakes- I also have some truly wonderful clients!
This year I have once again received overwhelming thanks and feedback from my clients. Seeing images of their cakes being cut really brings it home how privileged I feel to be apart of the celebration.
I have made a little video of the jpeg images I received! During my holidays I am planning on scanning the actual hard copy images I also received- to include them in a future video.

So Thank you , Thank you, Thank You to my wonderful clients- best wishes to you all for a safe and Merry Xmas and a prosperous 2009!




video

Sunday, 14 December 2008

Congratulations Lena and Brett!

Yesterday I had the pleasure of attending a long time School friend's Engagement party.
Not only did I get to enjoy the party- I was once again "Cake girl" bringing the cake along with me. I love getting to make cakes for people I know- generally it means that the design is left to me- which has its good and bad points- but ultimately I get to use my creativity!
I sent Lena and Brett through a heap of images to see what sort of direction they were headed in- with regards to the cake. As the party was being held outside- and the weather was predicted for the mid 30's- There were some definite designs that would not work ( well if I wanted them to stay in one piece!). Lena and Brett wanted a "surprise" on the day- but had hinted that they thought the idea of the Engaged toilet door symbol was quite funny!

I wasn't quite sure if they were truly serious- so just in case I made a 2 part design. The base layer was a double stacked cake- iced in white plastic icing- which had their names simply hand painted onto the front.



A trail of mixed sized hearts connected the two names around the cake.
Painting is not my forte- but I really wanted to improve my technique- so with this opportunity right in front of me- I grabbed it it with both hands.
The simple Black and white design was fun yet elegant.
I made the "engaged" sign separately- so that I could either mount it when I got there- or leave it beside the cake if need be.

The engaged symbol was painted in edible antique silver- and looked rather cute indeed!

I should have known Lena better to know that the sign was right up her alley- so as soon as I got there the "engaged" part of the cake was promptly attached! A definite talking point for sure. Despite my usual extroverted personality- having 80+ people all of a sudden talking about you and pointing is rather embarrassing ;) - so there began my role as "cake girl" for the afternoon.



After a couple of hours braving the Brisbane heat- it was time to cut the cake!!!
The kids had been circling it all afternoon- waiting to see if the "sign" was really cake!

Brett and Lena's family made some beautiful speeches- which made me think how we should tell each other more often just how wonderful they are- instead of only on special occasions.

Speeches aside- it was down to business- Cutting the cake! I often get asked if it upsets me to see my cake in pieces- but really it is quite the opposite. I love seeing someone cut into the cake and enjoy it for its taste as well as its looks.


Brett and Lena were getting right into the swing of posing for every family member and friend for the ceremonial cutting- and they were more than happy to oblige me too!

Lena's eldest sister Nicole (such a warm and lovely person) took on the duty of cutting and serving the cake- not phased at all by the sudden swarm of eager guests.

Nicole was a professional!

I had separated the two base cakes with a thin board- and when this was removed- it took a layer of the ganache icing with it!

Two of Lena's nieces ( Lily- Grace and Sophie) were first in to secure the chocolaty goodness- and gobble it up with a spoon! Waste not want not!



My best friend form school (Tanya) had her two fabulous kids there too! Hayley and Liam were eager to have their piccie taken too!

Thanks very much to Lena an dd Brett for a fabulous day- and a Special thank you to Maria- Lena's Mum- for a wonderful afternoon- you did a fabulous job!
Looking forward to the Wedding in April.....
Now onto the next cake design!
Any ideas??




Tuesday, 9 December 2008

A time to Celebrate...........

This past weekend gone has seen me make more celebration cakes in one week- than I have in a long time. Usually the majority of my bookings are for Wedding cakes- but this week I did 3 Special Event cakes!

The first cake was for Friday- A Hot pink Skull and Cross Bones- created from an image sent through by the client. It was certainly a striking cake indeed- on the black background- the Hot pink cake was definitely a stand out. When Teaghan came to collect the cake- I think I can safely presume from her Squeals of excitement- that the cake indeed met her expectations- maybe even more!


Complete with a pink polka dot bow- this cake was certain to be a head turner.

Saturday was HOT HOT HOT Again! so the next cakes transport was very important indeed. With the car cooled right down- it was off to the Royal on the park to set up this three tier white chocolate and raspberry cake- both inside and out!

Fresh raspberries filled the channels of this white chocolate chard design. The Raspberries at the moment are so sweet- they are beautiful!

Then it was off to the Kedron Wavell Services Club to set up the cake for the Carseldine Bunnings 10th Birthday Celebrations.
Bunnings wanted something that was a bit of fun for there birthday- so a tool box cake complete with sugar tools- and the bunnings logo- of course- was created.


Inside a Jaffa cake for the toolbox- and White chocolate and Raspberry for the Base cake. This cake had a 13" Square Base- so it was one heavy cake!

After Kedron- We headed straight for The Belvedere hotel at Woody Point. I have been to this hotel a few times this year- and every time it impresses me. The Air conditioning is always cold- the room always looks beautiful- and to top it all off the staff are a pleasure to deal with.
The Wedding was a Winter themed wedding- so with snowflakes on the base tier- and a cute Penguin topper in the top ( this was supplied by the clients at the venue- and I forgot my camera!) this cake fit right in with the wedding.

I used my new Snowflake cutters ( from the UK Trip) and some edible Glitter to give the snowflakes a sparkle.

Unfortunately my week doesn't end with Saturday. I had 2 more fabulous cakes to deliver on Sunday to go.
The first was a Frangipani cupcake tower for a 21st Birthday.


A tower of Vanilla Cupcakes iced in a pale pink butter cream- with a single frangipani on top of each cake. The top tier had a silver 21 and Wired hearts and stars, with scattered frangipanis to finish.

Last but not least is a cake, that when completed, I loved so much I couldn't stop staring at it!
I think? this is the first time I have had fresh roses on this design- and they were just perfect. A gorgeous blush colour- perfect in size and quality!
The roses came from Glenys- at Glenys' Flowers and Gifts. I first met Glenys at the ABIA Awards dinner this year- and have had the pleasure of working with her a few times throughout the year.

I only have 2 more weeks of cakes left for this year :( But some fabulous creations to come!


Saturday, 6 December 2008

Torn..............

Last Thursday afternoon I had a request like no other I had had before. A very stressed put Bride to Be was on the other end of the phone asking for my help to "Fix" a cake that her Aunt had made for her wedding (on the Saturday coming- yes in 2 days time!!)
I was going great with my pre booked cakes- and I was eager to help a girl in need. I asked her to firstly send me some pictures- so I could see if in fact there was anything I could do to help- she did- and although the cake looked not too bad she came over , and bought the cake for me to have a look at.
Now remembering that this cake was made by a hobbyist and not a professional cake decorator- the finish wasn't actually that bad. I really felt for the Aunt who had put all of her love and hard work into this cake - for it then not to meet her niece's expectations.
My emotions were torn between helping a stressed out Bride and The poor Aunt- who would be turning up to the wedding on Saturday- to see a slightly different version of the cake she had delivered only days before to her Niece's home. I expressed my concerns for the Aunt to both the Bride and her mother- reiterating that not only was the cake a fair job for a hobbyist- but also conveying how the Aunt may feel when she turns up to the wedding to see that her cake was "fixed" as it was not good enough. Personally for me- the love and heartfelt enthusiasm put into the cake is worth more than its picture perfect image- but that is just me. In the end it is only a cake- and a relationship with a family member should greatly outweigh a small ceremonial detail. There would have still been a cake- which you could proudly tell everyone that "My Aunt made this" even though it had its flaws- it was still your wedding cake.
With that said- the Bride was still keen to have the cake repaired by me. In the Aunts defence- she would have struggled with the black icing ( it was a brand which I find notoriously dry and difficult to use- and I do this for a living!) and the design itself was not as "simple" as it may have looked too.
Simple designs require skill and refinement to execute a smart finish. Just because it looks like it is easy doesn't mean that it necessarily is.
As the cake was a black and white design- I was limited as to what I could actually do to "neaten" it up.

The cake when I received it on Thursday afternoon- the ribbons were loose and the icing marked- but overall a great homemade effort.


I removed the base piping- the stripes on the mid tier- the piped dots- and all of the ribbons. Then I set out with my cotton bud and Vodka to try and remove some of the black from the icing so that I could reapply it.
Where there was piping around the base I put a 15mm Gross grain ribbon. I then reattached the 2mm ribbons using sugar glue to hold them in place ( a trick of the trade that ensures they stay where you want them too- without having blobs of icing under the bands).
I reapplied thinner ( but the same width) vertical black icing bands to the mid tier.
I re piped the Tri dot detail- having to make the dots the same size as the past ones- due to the icing being stained by the black. Then to complete the cake I made a sugar bow to top it off.
It was definitely neater- but it lost allot of family love.

So where did the design go wrong? Firstly the tin sizes were too close together- but the depth of the cakes was fabulous. Inexperience meant little tricks- like how to apply thin ribbons- meant an obvious battle to get them to stay on and taught. Piping fine dots is a skill- and the royal icing the was used was a little too stiff- which left the "dots" elongated instead of round. The stripes would have been an nightmare- as the brand of icing makes it impossible to roll it paper thin- it also makes easily and looses it shape when handled. Having used another brand- and cutting the bands less thick would have improved the design also.
As a whole the design was not an easy one to attempt- but none the less a fine attempt was made.

The end result- complete with sugar bow.


I hope that the Bride was happy with her end result- and that the Aunt can walk away feeling proud of the job she did- because in my opinion- It really wasn't that bad.

Friday, 5 December 2008

For those of you who are not in Brisbane- last weeek we endured the biggest storms in over 25 years! There were a few days last week where I sat with not only my fingers crossed- but my legs and anything else that I could- so that the power would stay on- and my Air conditioning could continue to run and keep the cakes nice and dry- and cool of course.

I had some fabulous cakes again last week- my clients really do have style!

The First ones I will showcase were for Friday last week.


This four tier cake was for a Wedding held at The Brisbane Club- where a fellow EX- Stamford Plaza Hotel employee- Michelle- is the Wedding and Events coordinator. I also ran into another ex coworker ( Brendan) there too- so after a bit of chit chat- I got down to arranging the Gorgeous peonies ( from the fabulous Glenda Pradella). Simple and Stylish!

Next I was off over the River to the Chalk Hotel to deliver this marvelous 30th birthday cake!
Themed "Ever after- the graduating colours of the cake mimic the Invitations- and the masks blended with the theme!
"Have you discovered your EverAfter.." was the catch phrase of the evening.

This email Thank you- From the Birthday Girl Herself says it all:
" Hi Sarah-Jane,

Thank you so much for my cake!!! it was perfect and tasted so good!!! I was still eating it the next day.
I had a wonderful night and the cake well it was the icing on the cake really...lol
Thanks again
Kirsty"



It is so nice to hear back from my clients!

So it was onward to Saturday- another scorcher!!!
These 30+ DegC days are really not compatible with cakes.

I had a very stylish black and white cake- so elegant and simple that it was all round gorgeous!



Plain iced and banded with Black and white ribbons- with white sugar roses on top! This fabulous decoration is encasing a dairy free fruit cake- and it weighed a tonne! the first all three tier Fruit cake I have had in Months!

I headed to the Tattersalls to deliver this next classic cake......


Twisted tiers- draping and Sugar roses- a contemporary spin on a classic design.


The last delivery for the day was a cute one indeed!

A little Groom Dressed in his Army Dress Suit and his Bride to be standing sweetly on top of a two tier cake.

I could have gone nuts with the detail on this little man- a Beret or a Slouch hat- his actual stripes and medals............. But I didn't want to outshine his blushing bride!


I am hoping to catch up on my blogging this weekend........Keep and eye out for more!
SJ