Sunday, December 16, 2012

Red, White and Black

Last week, I had the chance to make one of the classiest first birthday cakes! It was an Olivia the Pig themed birthday, complete with black and white damask, and polkadots. The entire party's decor was stunning! They had banners, food labels, little tags and toothpick "flags" that they put into my mini cupcakes. An absolutely beautiful setup! 

They were kind enough to share some pictures from their party, and in there, they had a stream of ten or so pictures of the birthday girl eating her cake... and then a picture of what happened when they took her plate away. It made my heart melt! It's moments like this that make me love what I do. I just had to share these oh-so-adorable shots! 

The cake was red velvet with cream cheese frosting. The little one has wonderful taste! 

Tuesday, December 11, 2012

It's a Bird! It's a Plane!

... No! It's Superman! 

It was a family friend's birthday this weekend, and my parents asked me to make him a cake. He's nicknamed superman among his friends, so they thought it'd make a fitting theme for the party and the cake. I stuck with simple blue and red tiers, some kryptonite, topped with a brown superman.

I've never masked a cake in ganache before, but after seeing just how much smoother cakes are when using ganache instead of buttercream, I gave it a go! I'm sold! No air bubbles, super straight lines, and oh-so-decadent to boot!

Sunday, November 25, 2012

Scrumptious Sketches

I've been working hard this past week, and for once, it doesn't involve any sugar, eggs, or fondant! I've been designing cakes... digitally! Let me back up and explain a bit. I'm a complete novice when it comes to things like photoshop, they are way too complicated for my liking, and I never had the patience to learn how to use it properly. I've tried a ton of different programs to draw out my cake sketches, and none have been simple enough for someone like me, and I always resort to drawing them out by hand. So, my search for a digital option continued... until I got my Mac, and I came across this program called Artboard. Finally, I had a simple way of bringing my visions to life, and available to share for everyone to see! :)

After a week of learning the basics, I know I'm nowhere near mastering this program, but I thought I'd share a couple of sketches anyways. To start things off, I decided to make a sketch of a cake I've already made. Look familiar? (Fit For a Fashionista)

I also made another sketch, based on a trend I'm seeing a lot in wedding cakes this year. When I was at the Elegant Bridal Show last week, I noticed a whole bunch of cakes with ruffles, cascading ribbon flowers, and an oval quilted texture. Voila! Wouldn't it be awesome to get a sketch of your wedding cake before the special day!? 

Wednesday, November 21, 2012

Yummy Minnie

I don't usually make cakes that aren't covered in fondant. Fondant is smooth, clean, and creates the perfect blank canvas. So when a repeat customer asked me to make a buttercream cake for her daughter's first birthday, I reluctantly agreed, explaining to her that I'd still use a bit of fondant to recreate the decor and topper she asked for. I probably could have made it entirely out of buttercream, but the OCD in me would have hated the imperfections! I worked extra hard on making the buttercream as flawless as possible, and topped it off with a 2D gumpaste figurine of Minnie's head.

I have to admit, the buttercream makes this cake look extra yummy! Doesn't it just want to make you stick your finger in it for a little taste!? :P

Monday, November 12, 2012

Wedding Cake Bliss

It's wedding planning time! Now that I'm engaged, I'm finally allowed to start pinning endless floral arrangements and sweet table ideas on Pinterest without looking crazy! There's just one question that everyone has been asking me without fail. "Will you be making your own cake??" As crazy as it might be, and at the risk of becoming the most insane bridezilla, I have to! As to how my wedding cake is going to be decorated, I have NO idea! That's something that will take a while to decide!

When my sister-in-law insisted that I enter the wedding cake category at the Montreal cake show last month, I was at a loss as to how to decorate the cake. The contest was about creating what we thought the wedding cake of 2013 would look like. Modern has been done, and classic is well, classic. We tried to come up with something new, techniques and patterns that haven't really been done yet. Being an interior designer, she suggested I work around some patterns we found in some wall flats from Inhabit. We also found this floral lamp, and we were set. Here's the sketch she came up with. 

So I got to work, trying to make sure her visions were reproducible in fondant! Some of it took quite a bit of trial and error, but in the end, it looked amazing! Modern and elegant.

The coloured tiers are actually painted inspired by watercolour paintings. The lampshade inspired tier was formed out of gumpaste over a dummy cake, and then suuuuper carefully placed over the painted tier. 

And to top it all off, a giant gumpaste rose, dusted in a pink/purple petal dust. Instead of sitting it straight on the cake, we thought we'd make it even more different by making it stand just an inch over the cake, with a thick stem showing. 

Friday, November 9, 2012

Bundle of Sweet Joy

Last week, my best friend and amazing cake apprentice came over to work on a friend's baby shower cake. I love working with this girl! She's got quite a bit of talent, and she's already proved herself during my insane wedding cake week ;)
Together, we came up with a design to match their jungle themed baby room. There were quite a few things that are kind of been-there-done-that, and we were absolutely set on staying away from them... Blue, baby bums, and blocks, just to name a few. So we got to work, designing a cutesy jungle-themed baby shower cake. The cake flavour is my latest favourite, it's chocolate cake with a fresh raspberry buttercream.  I made these in cupcake form for the cupcake challenge, and they were such a hit! It is beyond yummy! 

For the outside of the cake, we decided to go with a beautiful shade of green, and she made all sorts of tiny, detailed baby animals to go around the sides of the cakes. 

And while she slaved away on those adorable animals, I got to work on the cake, and this super cute baby elephant! We make quite the awesome team! 

She's even decided to give you a little insider's scoop on her experience in making this cake!
The amateur's perspective:

Fondant looks absolutely stunning, but it's no piece of cake. Imagine that playdogh stuff you used to play with as a kid. Well, instead of it drying up after an hour because you forgot to close the lid, image it drying up in 10 minutes because you forgot you left a piece outside to work with in "JUST A BIT". It's one of the most challenging materials I've ever worked with (and for all those OT's out there, yes... more annoying than thermoplastic D:)

That being said, I couldn't have made these figurines without Chef Periwinkle close by my side, validating every little move I made. From sticking on eyeballs to spotting the giraffe, it had to been done Periwinkle style, elegant with perfection. 

What has this experience taught me? I have a huge appreciation for what this girl does. She loves her work and her passion effortlessly  transpires through. She's a sugarsweet genius :)

Monday, November 5, 2012

Once a Princess...

Always a princess! No matter the age, girls will always love tiaras and pink! This pretty little cake, all decked out in bling, is just so perfect for any princess. This was my first sugar tiara, what do you lovelies think? 

Sunday, November 4, 2012


I've made cakes for just about any occasion, and in all sorts of shapes, but graduation cakes are definitely something new!  When I was asked to make a friend's grad cake, I crossed my fingers and my toes hoping he wouldn't want something typical including hats and diplomas... To my relief he asked that I make a  cake version of the McGill arts building! It was a ton of fun to make, and I think it was my first cake replica of a building. The inside was a chocolate cake with a choco-hazelnut buttercream, sooooo delish! 

Don't forget the miniature McGill flag, hand-painted, of course! 

Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Periwinkle Takes the Cake!

This weekend was Montreal's first annual cake show. To see what I was up to on Saturday, check out my last blog post. On Sunday, they announced the winners for the cake expo entries. It was insanely nerve wracking, but it turned out much better than I expected. Aside from the cupcake challenge (where I won Finest Looking Cupcake!), I entered 3 other categories in the expo. Overall, I ended up taking home prizes for 3 out of my 4 entries! Amazing results! 

As Halloween was on its way, and I was way too consumed with my caking to do our usual candy giving madness, I needed to get my zombie fix elsewhere. So, for the sculpted cake category, I decided to enter a zombie cake. I had so much fun making a zombie head for an order a while ago, so that was  obviously what I had to make again! I was super excited... until I reread the rules and realized my cake had to stand at least 24" tall and be made entirely of cake. Yikes! As scared as I was, I changed my zombie head to a zombie body, and went ahead with it. Being so huge, no part of making this cake was easy. Not the carving. Not the masking. And definitely not covering him in giant pieces of fondant. What a nightmare! 

He turned out great in the end, but when we brought him in to the expo, and looked for our number on the tables, my heart sank. Right next to our spot was this beautiful, multicoloured owl sculpture that totally drowned out my zombie. Chef Zombie looked dull and unimpressive next to THAT! So, when they didn't call out my name for 3rd place, or 2nd place, I really didn't expect it when I got called for FIRST! I was stunned! AMAZING! Chef Zombie look home the GOLD in the advanced sculpted category! 

My last winning entry was my Valentino inspired shoe. It's something I've made a couple of times before, and I keep getting emails, and comments about it. Its something I was very confident making, and knew I had to enter into the sugar shoe category. So I did, and of course, it came home a winner too! 

So there you have it! My winning entries! I also entered a wedding cake, but with all the amazing talent in that division, my cake didn't win :( But that's a-okay... I'm already planning my cake for next year ;) I'll share pictures soon! 

Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Montreal Loves Cake!

Forgive the insanely long post, dearies! I just have so much to talk about this week! Crazy crazy week! So many different cake events, so much fun!

Let me start with Wednesday evening, when I was invited to attend a super cute fashionista event. The exclusive "Baking in High Heels" event was filled with high heel workshops, martini making, hair and makeup, and of course, featured the Food Network SugarStars. All this, at the perfect location, the PRFKT Boutique, completely decked out in cupcakes, cookies, chocolate heels, and cake. It was so much fun, and I got to chat with the SugarStars about the craziness of cake making!  

They are SUCH cuties! <3

Next, over the weekend was Montreal's first annual Cake Show. Could you imagine how excited I was?! Montreal is finally opening up to its cake potentials, and I am beyond thrilled! Before this, we had a couple of cupcake camps, and even that was cancelled this year... But you all know how much I love cupcakes, so I wasn't all that disappointed about that. :P Don't get me wrong, I enjoyed cupcake camp, but cakes are SO much bigger, better, and awesomer! So, here I went, being insane as usual, and signed up for way more than I should have. I entered the wedding cake category, the sculpted cakes category, and the sugar shoe category. As if that wasn't enough, there was a cupcake challenge, and the organizers called me several times asking that I join. What choice did I have!? ;)

SO, enter four nights of very little or no sleep whatsoever. The house is a disaster, and I'm still slowly recovering from all the lack of sleep. Oh you know, the usual scene around here! But as always, it was all worth it in the end!

Saturday night was the cupcake event. All the entrants were asked to make Montreal themed cupcakes, and sell minis with proceeds going towards Dans La Rue. As always, I have to mention how beyond amazing my sis-in-law is, and how she set up a beautiful assortment of cake stands and vases for my table at the event. What an amazing lady! <3

For the cake flavour, I decided to with something tried and true. I made some chocolate cupcakes with a dark chocolate ganache center, topped with a fresh raspberry italian buttercream. You should have seen people's faces as they devoured these babies! Mmm mmm good! And obviously, they kept coming back for more! Best feeling ever! 

For the cupcake topper, I went all out! I love making mini decorations! I made the Orange Julep in the middle, surrounded by Fairmount bagels, poutine, and a Schwartz's smoked meat sandwich, with a pickle on the side. I completed the design with hand painted signs for each of the eateries. Super cute, super tiny, super detailed!

Tada! The winner of Montreal's finest looking cupcake! 

That's all for now! Stay tuned for pictures from the expo, and the rest of the goodies I went home with the next day!

Friday, October 19, 2012

To Have and To Hold

A very lovely couple ordered their engagement cakes from me last week. They wanted a simple pair of cakes to represent the bride and groom. I thought it was an amazing idea!

Here's the groom, looking dashing in his tux.

And here comes the bride in her beautiful lace dress and pearls!

What a lovely couple!

Monday, October 15, 2012

Fit For a Fashionista

This set of wedding cakes kept me up at night weeks before the deadline. I was constantly reminded of this giant project I had taken on. I was eat/sleep/dreaming of this cake. It's really not that big of a project, but let me tell you a bit about my week. This wedding was on the same day as another wedding I was making a cake for. I work a full time job, had a trade show for that job the week before, and I have another part time position on the weekends. My life right now is as crazy as it's ever been, and I couldn't be happier! If that means cows in the morning, and cakes in the evening, all the better!

I did need help with this wedding cake, and lots of it! My best friend spent both Thursday night, and Friday night with me, staying up into the wee hours of the morning. With lots of caffeine, while blasting the Spice Girls, Backstreet Boys, and Disney songs, we somehow got it all done! I owe her big time!

These cakes were for a couple of amazing clients! The bride is a fashion blogger, and had some grand ideas for her special day. They came in for a tasting a couple of months before the wedding, and were an absolute pleasure to work with! They chose to do three different cakes, and were so open to trying out whatever designs I had in mind. They did give me quite a bit of inspiration to work with, it was so perfect!

Interested in seeing what other wedding cake ideas I have in mind? Come see me at Montreal's first annual cake show at the end of this month, where I'll show you what I think the wedding cake of 2013 will look like! There's also a cupcake event, it's going to be so much fun! Hope to see you there!

A glimpse at the beautiful venue!

Saturday, October 13, 2012

Who Lives in a Pineapple Under the Sea!?

My fiance and I just took a trip out to Les Escoumins, where from our living room window, we can watch whales swimming by. It's really a magical place. We've been walking along these shores, just a few feet away from these guys!

Sitting here by the water, seeing just the tops of these majestic creatures, I can't help but think about the vast underwater life we can't see from up here. Which then lead me to think about a cake I made right before leaving on this trip... 

I cannot express how much I love making cakes for this client. He doesn't have a set budget, and lets me make whatever I want, as long as I blow him out of the water. So obviously,  some of my best cakes were made for him. Seen the zombie cake and the Rio cake?

This time, he wanted a cake that had Spongebob and Squidward on it. It definitely couldn't be a simple round cake, I had to come up with something more interesting. So, I decided to make the pineapple he lives in as the cake, and the rest as sugar figurines.

I love this cake! Super colourful, eye-catching, and the figurines have so much character!

While I'm at it, I should mention, dear readers, that I'll be taking part in Montreal's first annual cake show at the end of this month. I'll be entering some of the decorating contests, as well the cupcake challenge. All proceeds from the challenge go toward Dans La Rue, and there's some yummy cupcakes to be had for sure! So come join me at the exhibition, you know I appreciate all your support! 

Friday, October 12, 2012

White Wedding

I know I tend to put off  blogging about my biggest cakes, it's why there's still no post about my niece's last birthday cake. There's just too much pressure! I need to find the right pictures, find the right words, and usually when I wait too long, I've forgotten what I wanted to share about the cake, and it becomes useless to post it at all. So! Here I am sitting at the car dealership, while little Peri (yes, my car's name is Periwinkle) gets an oil change, and I decided to get this done! 

Let's start with my biggest cake yet. It was a wedding cake serving 150 people, it was about 20 inches tall, and weighed a whopping 26 pounds. I know that's really not that much in wedding cakes, but clearly, I was too weak to carry it from the fridge to my workspace without getting out of breath. This is where my dear fiancé comes in. Aside from cleaning the kitchen and doing my mountain of dishes when he came home from work each day, he was also the strength and engineering behind making this monstrous tower. Without his meticulous levelling and dowel making, this would have been more like the leaning tower of Pisa!

This wedding was held at the loft hotel in Montreal. It was a breathtaking setup! Beautifully decorated in all white and silver, the venue was absolutely gorgeous! Having just gotten engaged, I'm obviously starting to look at wedding venues very differently… I'm finally allowed to think about my own wedding! And let me tell you, this one was definitely an inspiration! The cake, with its simple white laced tiers, would look stunning with the rest of the decor, I'm sure. Unfortunately, I couldn't take any pictures of my cake once setup, since I left it in the fridge. The ceremony and reception were being held in the same room, and seeing as the delivery had to be made through the ceremony room, I was in and out of there before the bride was even in her dress. She came down to see the cake in the kitchen of course, and she absolutely loved it! She promised me pictures, so more pictures to come soon, I hope!