Well, long time no post. Here's the latest in cakery... This cake was designed for a Physics Class... does that make it a physics Dragon?
Mixed cake flavors: Chocolate, marble and Red-Velvet
Head and horns: Constructed using rice-crispy treats.
Covered in Buttercream and Marshmallow Fondant
It's official I want a new camera!
There is something magical about the quality of the photos taken on my friend's camera. My friend, who is a real Canon freak, came by to my chateau to stay for the weekend. He also brought his camera and a desire to break me of my stubborn belief that my camera is fine. Let me just tell you... a good camera makes ALL the difference in the world!
Take for instance this picture of my latest cake... the BATMOBILE! Yeah, that's right, the batmobile! Pretty rocking cake eh? Or at least, I thought so! But the crisp image and sweet fade made me cringe at my old camera... Let's just say a lot of colour balance and fading goes into photoshop. SIGH!
The ability to have the image iso and resolution pick up the sharpness of detail, but fade to the back in blur was super simple! How did I ever live without it?
This particular cake, if you were wondering, was made for my friend's son's birthday. The special request was painstakingly carved, covered in Satin Ice fondant, and lovingly decorated to look as close to the old BMB as possible! My friend even got some action shots!
And of course, he let me play... which is how I came to fall in love.
This cake was super fun, and very rewarding to do! I was super happy with the final product, as was the birthday boy. Now, all I have to do is give up my fight and just go buy a new camera! It is a hard thing to part with a close friend!
I am going to admit it here... I am bad at math. Which would have been not a problem, except that I am doing a cake that requires me to calculate the exact width and height needed to precisely make squares to cover a cake that is a square.
That is why I painstakingly made squares of the exact height and width I thought I would need to have a perfectly square, perfectly exact cube cake for a Minecraft cake... except, when I cut out the extra square to make the third layer.... I goofed and did not cut it on the right size.
Even though my math skills were not exact, I still think the cake turned out well! (The little boy who got the cake simply kept saying "That's awesome! That's awesome!" So I guess it can't be all bad.
As I was working on this cake, I kept telling myself... next time I paint the squares, next time I do only one block... next time I will try not to be as creative. I don't know if I could. This cake was a HUGE challenge!
I guess that is all I have to say. I am not exactly super happy with the cake, but it was a learning curve! NEXT TIME MATH! I WILL WIN!
This past month I learned a hard lesson. DON'T EVER FORGET YOUR CAMERA!
My friend, who recently had a baby, threw a wonderful baby shower. Of course, I insisted on bringing the cake! I stayed up all night making a gorgeous shower cake, complete with baby-pink-zebera stripes inside! I was thrilled with the final product and brought it to my friend's house, set it up and went for my camera.... not there.
I checked in my car, not there either....
I looked again in my supply bag.... not there.
Realizing I had made the most horrid mistake of forgetting my camera at a baby shower (where I still had not taken a photo of the cake), I began to ask around for a camera. Surely someone would have brought one. NOPE! The proud momma didn't... the proud papa didn't, and neither did the new grandma. WHAT IS GOING ON?!
In a panic, I began to wonder what to do. My only option was to find a camera. One of my friend's friends (who traveled from Winnipeg) offered hers, and I proceeded to take many lovely photos of the various parts of the cake, making sure to check balance and colour... her camera was awesome! Long story short, she never sent me the pictures.
In a scramble, my friend and I were able to come up with a few photos. I got lucky! Let that be a lesson to me! Don't forget your camera!!!!
So the cake:
Vanilla Fluff cake with pink-zebra patterned insides and pink vanilla buttercream.
Though it is not the best photo, the barrel for the baby bath was awesome! I individually cut each 'panel' of the barrel and pock-marked the fondant , then brushed on the wood grain. I added a strip of black fondant, then added in the 'screws'. This photo, of course, does not do it justice!
And of course, the baby in the bath is playing with her duckies. The water was awesome! stiff buttercream to make it look like moving bath water, and buttercream bubbles!
I now know that I need to be more cautious in the future! I am more upset that I got no good photos of baby Bea, who slept on my lap the entire shower!
Okay... have you read the books?
The hype of the Fifty Shades series had a lot of women (and secretly, men) whispering in dark corners. The story of how a normal female reporter gets swept into a dark secret world of passion captured audiences around the world.
Now, I read the series, and was not at all embarrassed to admit it... and I thought, while not well written, to be fun and entertaining (she says about a 'dirty book).
I know of at least one person who refused to read the books on anything
but a Kobo for fear of being caught reading 'dirty books.' How dirty can
a series be if seemingly the whole world is speaking about it? How can
people, knowing that many of their friends have read it, be ashamed of
reading the series? This paradox had me chuckling. Of course a book with this hype would certainly garner more readers. Additionally, the movie, set to come out some time in the future, released the name of Christian as Ryan Gosling (really?).
Fun Fact: Did you know that the Fifty Shades series started out as a Twilight fan fiction story (using Bella and Edward as the characters Anna and Christian)? Hmmm.... try to imagine the story now? It seems strange to me!
Okay, so this post has been less about the cake above, and more about the thoughts on the book/movie. Sorry... it is just that when I think about the book, I find it hard to picture a movie being made of it. The subject matter would make the movie too risque to put into theaters, meaning they will have to dull it down, which I think defeats all the fun of the books. I mean, we are talking about a book made to entertain adult audiences with its different content (not at all like a Harlequin Romance book).
But who would not like to see the embodiment of Christian Grey swooning over Anastasia? Really? Super fun (and completely superficial) story-lines are super fun to read/watch... or will it be? Can they actually take the content of the book (beyond the crazy romance which is quite messed up) and make it into a good story? (Wow, I am using a lot of brackets today!)
Anyway... here it was, a chocolate fudge cake with chocolate fudge icing, topped with MMF, decorated to look like Christian Grey's lovely chest! Made as a Bachelorette cake. Hope you enjoyed the rant :)
Okay, so I have to day, blog hopping always has me in awe of the amazing cookie photography that some of the other bloggers do. Things are always so nicely arranged, placed and the colours and textures simply shine. I have a harder time making nice photos. Having just moved to a new home (and out of a closed apartment with bad lighting), I assumed my photography would improve with better lighting and more space to stage my photos. Alas, I still find that is not the case. So.... I am officially blaming my camera. Sure, I need to do more staging, but my camera (as my friend pointed out) is more of an outdoor natural light camera, and does poorly indoors. Also it is about 7 years old... hmmm...
This week, I decided to play with the lighting outside and see if it made a difference, And it did! The colours were more vibrant and the cookies had much better shades. The only problem was that I had shadows.... which I will have to work on. here are some of the shots:
It was only when I focused on the north side of the cookies that the shadows got bad to the point that they drew attention away from the cookies...
Additionally, square-on photos suffered from shadow..
And side-photos took away from the cookie...
Again, playing with outdoor light did help. I guess I have a lot more to do. These cookies in particular were more of an experiment in photography.... again because of Lilaloa's challenge, but also because I really want to step up my photography; what use is it to not have good pictures?
I have to admit, I know very little about music. As someone who listens exclusively to the CBC radio on her iPod (yeah, I'm that lame), I find myself stumped at music lyrics which most people can belt out or recognize instantly. This is not to say that I am not musically inclined, it is just that when it comes to 'the classics,' I am not as well versed in knowing the band or song title.
With that preamble complete, I will say that I was excited to be asked to make a birthday cake for a Grateful Dead fan. The concept of the band and their "Jerry Bears," with an album cover made my client super excited. It was decided that a painting of an album cover (below) and the Bears surrounding the cake would make a super exciting treat for the Band Fan Birthday Boy.
The cake was created, rainbow (tie-dye) vanilla cake with white fondant covering. The design included one hand-painted topper (removable so you don't need to eat all that colour), and the dancing bears around the sides. The top of the cake was painted in Americolor gel colouring diluted with water. Some people have asked in the past how I paint... I don't use vodka as some do, but instead find that water, with a little white colour gel, works great!
Of course, everything I do is free-handed. This cake was a 9-inch round with MMF, which some know as being a pain to paint on... some bleeding and sugar melting was inevitable.
I think the best part of this cake, other than the amazing art which I was super happy to pull off, because let's face it.... often cake decorators try to take on projects that challenge them and that may or may not work in their execution, was the fact that I worked with a buddy (that was a run-on sentence! Fun to write, horrid to read, and I refuse to fix it! My inner English Major is screaming in silent protest). No, My friend came to help me to build a cake of her own, and to keep me company. Her husband's 37th birthday was today (yay!), and as a treat, I showed her how to create her own personalized cake. Since the birthday boy in this case is a golf aficionado, we decided to make a cute little golf cake...
Now, that's not too bad for someone who has never worked with fondant in her life. I had the cake prepped in advanced (dirty iced and good to go), and she iced, covered and decorated the cake all by herself.... well, with a little help, but it was mostly superficial! Super happy birthday to my friend! I hope you have a fabulous trip in Florida! What a great place to celebrate!