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Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Slugger's Buttercream Owl Birthday Cake

It's Slugger's birthday! And she loves owls! I saw a smaller version of this cake and knew I needed to make this cake for her birthday. I have been waiting for months to do this.

I made him from a marbled pound cake. I filled him with vanilla buttercream and his wooden stump with a chocolate buttercream before I carved them. The whole cake is buttercream, no fondant at all, which I was worried about, but I love how he turned out and wish he had a name. I'll have to think on that one. Any suggestions?

Happy Birthday Slugger!

Frida's Red & Rhinestones Birthday Cake

I made this cake for a long-time friend's special birthday party. The theme was red and silver and she loves anything sparkly so I thought this would do the trick. It is a classic white cake with vanilla buttercream and raspberry filling. Happy Birthday Frida!

Seahawks Cake

This was so fun and I am so happy with how this turned out! I made the Seahawks cake for a friend's tailgating party. Go Seattle Seahawks!

Morgan's Black Forrest Cake

Every year for Morgan's birthday, all he wants is black forrest cake. I have tried to make it before, but it has never really worked out. I always find some sort of recipe online that has the work 'easy' or 'quick'. I have found that these types of recipes really do not yield the exact type of cake which Morgan's has envisioned. So, i went as traditional as I could this year, finding the best reviewed recipe I could find, I went to work. It really isn't as daunting as I thought it wold be. I was a little skeptical about using whipping cream instead of a buttercream because I thought it would be melt if not refrigerated and I was worried about serving a big sloppy mess of something that only kind of resembled cake. It actually turned out very good. I wish i had taken a better picture of it, but what it lacked in design it made up for in taste.

A Fall Thanksgiving Cake

I made this cake for a Thanksgiving party. I cut the leaves from gumpaste and hand painted them in a variety of fall colors. The cake is chocolate with chocolate buttercream.

Oh, and handpainting gumpaste leaves is A LOT of work!

My Buddy and Me

Now, I am not someone who is really that into famous people. I didn't have walls plastered with pictures on the New Kids on the Block growing up, I've never waited for hours in line for tickets to a band or show, and as far as having any pictures of mayself with famous people goes, the characters from Disneyland are about as good as it gets. It's not really that I don't care or that I am not interested, I guess...I'm just busy? Really, I have no reason, maybe the opportunity has just never presented itslef.

The week after I took the Mad Hatter Cake Class from Kaysie Lackey at the People's Cake, I found out that Buddy Valastro, The Cake Boss, would be appearing at a local bookstore. I got really excited. Here is my reasoning... I had just taken a class from Kaysie Lackey, ownier of The People's Cake, and she is famous in cake maker cirles for her appearances on Food Networks' Cake Challenges. During her class, we had our picture taken with her and our almost completed cakes. When I saw that I could meet Buddy and have a picture taken with him too, I pictured eventuelly having my own small little cake shop with my own celebrity wall, pictures of myself and all of my new famous "cake friends". Cool right?

So, after convincing Slugger to come with me (there was really no convincing needed, as there may have been a fair amount of squealing when presented with the offer ;)), off we went the meet Buddy.

Buddy is as animated in person as he is on his show, and although we only talked to him for a few minutes, the entire experience was a great time...even if we never did meet Mia Familia. ;)

Me & Buddy

Me, Buddy & Slugger

When Brides Drunk Dial...

This one is especially good...

So, after I got home from my first day of cake class with Kaysie Lackey, which totally kicked my butt by the way, I received an email from a semi-frantic bride. She was requesting a small 8" wedding cake with a whimsical owl theme for that coming Thursday. It was already Monday night. I had two more 8-hour days of cake class. I had guests coming to dinner Thursday night and needed to clean the house and put dinner (and cupcakes) together. There was no way I could pull it off. I emailed her back and apologized for not being able to help.

The next morning, I had another email. The bride was pleading. She just did not want to have a Safeway cake at her wedding ceremony. She and her fiance were getting married in a small family ceremony that Thursday and were having a public wedding this coming spring. Please,, I emailed her back and said I would do an 8" white cake with raspberry filling and vanilla buttercream, that she needed to trust me on the design because I was being given limited time, it would have owls, I needed a deposit of half the cost that day, and the cost would be double what I would normally charge. I thought she'd bail. She asked if I could send a picture of my idea and that she would drop the deposit by the house that evening.

I sent the picture. She loved it. She said she would call me when she got home from work for directions to the house.

I texted Slugger, who I have dinner with every Tuesday night, to ask her how she felt about learning to use fondant. I was going to need some help and she seemed the right person for the job.

So, in order to actually get this cake done on time, the minute I got home from cake class I started to work. I got the cake baked and in the oven. Pulled it out and put it in the fridge to speed up the cooling process. At this point in the evening, I was getting a little worried because I had not heard from the bride and she was supposed to be bringing me the deposit for the cake. None the less, I kept working on her cake.

As I was molding some super cute bride and groom owl toppers for the cake, she finally called. When I answered, she seemed a little exasperated. So, I asked how she was doing. She seemed a little caught off guard be my question and then admitted that she had just gotten back from dinner with her fiance and that she had drank a couple of glasses of wine. She then goes on to tell me that she had decided to have her mom make the cake for Thursday, but that they were going to have a bigger public wedding this coming spring and would love for me to do that cake instead. I set down the owl topper I was working on, closed my eyes and proceeded to listen to her slur her way through a complete description of the wedding cake they would want me to make, a potential cake for her birthday in a few months, a possible cake for a Christmas party...for the next 25 minutes.

I was irritated, which I feel would be a normal reaction ;), but decided to finish the cake anyways. We had a wonderful owl themed cake for dessert on Thursday and I learned a very important lesson along the way. Never...never start a cake without meeting the person and getting a deposit...ever.