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! 


Wednesday, October 10, 2012


Dora is so popular with kids! She also has a special place in my heart, since my first big cake was Dora themed. My niece had her own Dora phase, and she was obsessed! So, for her second birthday, my fiancé and I had made her a crazy animated cake. And now, for an order, I was asked to revisit Dora's characters! 

This client always wants two cakes, one for a friends party, and one for a family party. That meant I made each character twice. You think that'd be easy... Instead I was twice as critical, and twice as picky with all my details.

Turning a 2D drawing into a 3D figurine is always tough. Any slight deviances in the features makes the character unrecognisable. Fortunately, everyone recognized this little girl as Dora, including all the children at the party, my toughest critics ;-)

Dora's sporting her backpack, as usual, with her trusty map in his pocket!

By the end of the party there was no cake left for Swiper to swipe! Oh man! :)

Monday, October 8, 2012

The Baking Of

A couple of weeks ago, I had two wedding cake orders for the exact same day. Being unable to decline the opportunity to make some amazing cakes, and being slightly insane, I took on a 150 guest wedding, along with a 200 guest wedding. With just a regular home kitchen, I had to organize myself down to the tiniest detail to be able to pull this off. Regardless, the weeks leading up to that weekend were as chaotic as possible. What fun would it be if it wasn't!?

Let's start at the beginning. Three weeks to deadline, I drew out my sketches, and made myself a schedule, with a detailed to do list for each day. And I plastered it all over my walls. Yes, I was thorough.

The first of the two weddings was fairly simple, an intricate lace on alternating tiers. The lace was detail work I wouldn't have to worry about until the end. The second wedding had a whole lot of elements to incorporate into the design. The central cake was to be hand piped with a delicate design based on their wedding invites. The other two cakes were based around the baroque bar they were bringing in for the reception. 

Here's the sketch for that wedding.

I was also asked to include white peonies, which I made a few weeks in advance as well.

And then, two weeks to deadline, I started making all the frostings. Four different kinds. Working with just one mixer was not going to work. So, my wonderful sis-in-law lent me hers as well. 

LOTS of butter and egg whites ready for buttercreaming :)

Mama mixer and baby mixer working hard!

Ten whole batches later, I was finally ready for the last week. It involved a whole lot of baking, a great deal of messes, and lots of drama. Knowing this week was going to be crazy intense, my now fiancé (!) decided to propose to me at the beginning of the week. That, along with his amazing support was probably the only thing that got me through the insanity. After a bit of celebrating, back to baking!

Red velvet and chocolate cakes freshly baked

Makeshift shelves from the veggie drawers

Luckily, I have a really wonderful friend with a fondant sheeter. SO much easier to cover cakes in fondant when I don't have to struggle to roll out the fondant! So all my masked cakes were loaded up in the car (not an easy feat) and driven to the west island, where I covered all these cakes in a fraction of the time it would have taken me at home. And then? Well, she left for a dentist appointment, I started loading up the fondant covered cakes into the trunk, threw the keys into the trunk, closed the trunk, and went to open the back doors to load up the rest of the cakes. Uhm... wait... yup! I was locked out of my car, with a dark cloud threatening to soak my cakes. Thank goodness for my dad, who drove all the way out to the west island, right before it came down like a tropical downpour! I was soaked to the bone, but my cakes were safe and sound.

Back home, I fixed up the little bobos and stacked my precious tiers. This is what a blank canvas looks like to me:

Stay tuned for pictures of the cakes once decorated! :)