Saturday, August 29, 2009

Hand-Painted Optimus Prime

As I mentioned, I did a Transformers themed ice cream cake today. But I didn't get a chance to talk about the decoration. So here are a few behind-the-scene pictures of Optimus Prime.
I used this image from Google as my guideline

I used modeling chocolate and fondant for the base

Because of the gradient in the colors, I had to do more hand-painting. So, I got another chance to practice my skills!!! Woohoo!

And that's it! I hope you like it!
Until next week, happy baking!


My First Ice Cream Cake Experience

I was asked to do an ice cream cake for a friend today and I thought it would be interesting to try it. Here is the final product with an Optimus Prime (from Transformers) decoration.

So let the story begin...
I had wanted to make an ice cream cake. I looked up directions online and it seemed easy enough... line a cake pan with cling wrap.

Spread ice cream onto cake pan, cover with more cling wrap and then re-freeze.

After a layer (or two) of cake that has baked and cooled. Stack the cake and then flip the ice cream layer on top of the cake. Sounds simple, right... Well that part was, but spreading frosting on an ice cream cake is a totally different story.

We had originally wanted to frost the cake with a chocolate ganache glaze. We poured the ganache over the cake and the ice cream started to melt immediately. I ran to the freezer and started taking things out to make room for the cake (my mind was racing, I just needed to get the ice cream back into the freezer). Sadly, we just wasted all the ganache, so I asked Tyler if he could run to the store and buy store bought frosting (I know, I don't do the store bought thing normally). Tyler came back from the store and I frosted the cake in the freezer :)

In the end, the cake worked out (I was a little worried about it melting on the drive over to the party, but luckily it didn't).

Good luck with your ice cream cake experience!

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Who wants to be a taste tester?

I just finished my month long internship last week and it's weird to be home all day again (praying that I get a full time job soon). The one good thing about being home... I get to try new recipes.

Eventually, I would like to have my own dessert studio and deciding what cake flavors and frostings you would like to offer is one of the most important first steps. I already have three flavors that I offer, red velvet, vanilla buttermilk and chocolate. I want to offer more, so I've decided to try a new recipe a week. I definitely want to pull influences from my Asian and Hawaiian roots, I think I will try a Matcha green tea recipe next! I also want to try to tweak my recipes to be more health conscience (my vanilla buttermilk recipe is actually low in calories as far as bake goods are concerned) and I would like to try some vegan and allergy sensitive recipes as well.

This past week, I tried Martha Stewart's brown sugar cake recipe topped with a browned butter glaze.

It was pretty good! The recipe is very interesting, it has similar ingredients to chocolate chip cookie dough minus the chocolate chips of course. It smells like cookie dough and it almost tastes like it too... I LOVE chocolate chip cookie dough! I would rather eat the cookie dough than the actual cookie. I am going to tweak Martha's recipe here and there, but I definitely have one fan that I know of :)

This is Isabella and she is just waiting for the box of cupcakes to fall...

If anyone would like to be a taste tester, let me know and I'll let you know when I have the next batch baked.

Happy Baking!

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Hibiscus Cake

My little sister turned 21 last week and all she wanted from me was a cake with a hibiscus on it. So, I thought I would use her cake as an opportunity to practice my hand-painting techniques. Her cake was a 6" 4 layered cake (2 vanilla buttermilk, 2 red velvet) covered in white fondant.

I haven't learned how to do gumpaste flowers yet, so I couldn't make the hibiscus three-dimensional. Hopefully, I'll be able to take a class soon!

But, my best friend did give me a fondant/gumpaste tool set for my birthday that I wanted to use. I decided to make the petals come off the cake a little to give it a bit of dimension.

Then I hand-painted each hibiscus. Here is the finished look with red velvet cupcakes to match :)

Happy Birthday Jen!

Monday, August 17, 2009

New Decisions

After some thought, I came to the conclusion to start a new blog. Something a little more professional than Flour Flinger/Messy Baker (even though I loved those titles, it reminds me so much of my mom and I). With the help of my finance, Tyler and I decided on the name Cake & Co. It's simple and straight to point and that is what I like. It also let's people know that I do more than just cake, I do cupcakes too and now that I see the awesomeness of mini desserts, I will be doing that as well!

I have been helping out at Sweet and Saucy Shop for 3 weeks now. And it was just what I needed... with my history of jumping from one job to another (I am just interested in so many things...), I was a little nervous about the idea of changing careers once again. I had many sleepless nights thinking, "what if I didn't like it" or "can I really design cakes and not run into a creative block?" One question I didn't ask myself was "can you stand on your feet for 8+ hours." Turns out, not only can I stand on my feet for 8+ hours, I can also walk away from the shop every day with a smile on my face. How can you not smile, baked goods really makes everyone around you happy!

So, it is my desire to have a career in this industry eventually. But for now I must continue to look for a full time job and do dessert artistry on the side. Here goes nothing :)

Side info. - Cake & Co.'s initials are also CC which also happens to be our abbreviated version of "cupcake," the nickname that Tyler gave me. His nickname is Stud Muffin :)