Tuesday, October 30, 2012

The Naked Cake

Frosting makes a cake look finished and offers endless design possibilities. As a cake decorator, I love how frosting covers up little mistakes like cakes not coming out of the pan perfectly or ending up a little dry. I especially love the Italian buttercream that I use to cover my wedding cakes with because it creates a smooth finish and isn't too super sweet. Frosting is a cake decorator's best friend. Lately though, I have been  infatuated with a new fad in cakes: the Naked Cake. It still has frosting, but rather than trying to cover up imperfections, the 'naked' style shifts the focus back to the cake itself. The frosting is more a compliment in flavor than design, and the result is a beautifully rustic stack of cake- with nothing to hide.

A good cake begins with good ingredients. Here's a picture of my pear and ginger cake, stripped down to its  skivvies:


This cake is so full of flavor and moisture, you won't even miss the extra frosting. 

Monday, October 22, 2012

October Birthday Cakes

 When I started my office "day job", I found a whole new cake market that has been so good to me for the past few months. Last week I even had two birthday cakes in one week- a first for my little business! I'm also loving to get to practice birthday cakes more frequently, because it is a different skill set from wedding cakes and it's a new challenge. The first of the week was a pink lemonade 1/4 sheet cake with citrus cream cheese frosting. I decorated with lots of little gumpaste flowers and yellow sugar. There's a Mamita somewhere with very happy taste buds:

The second was southern red velvet with cream cheese frosting, decorated with stucco texture and a chopped chocolate wave for Randi:

Here's to staying busy!

Tuesday, October 16, 2012

Winter Wedding Cake Tasting

Tastings are honestly one of my favorite parts of my job. I love talking designs, flavors and wedding plans, not to mention it usually means I get to reconnect with an old friend too.This particular cake has had me excited from day one. New Year's  is one of my favorite holidays and Winter is my favorite season. I've always wanted to do a wedding cake for that time of year. The wedding has mostly winter-y details, which we incorporated in her cake down to the flavor. Here is a sneak peek of the tasting we did a few weeks ago in Northern Virginia:

From left to right/top to bottom: Spice cake with cinnamon cream cheese filling, vanilla bean cake with vanilla buttercream filling and chocolate bourbon cake with homemade caramel mousse filling. The cupcakes are chocolate bourbon with espresso buttercream and confetti cake with champagne buttercream.

Tastings with me are design consults too. I did six mini sketches for Susanne and Kevin, showcasing all the different ideas I had for their cake. They wanted to go more 'winter' than 'New Year's' with the design elements of their wedding, so I did a lot with snowflakes, icicles, beading and texture.

Stay tuned for their wedding cake this New Year's!

Monday, October 1, 2012

"Just Because" Cake

I could give you a hundred occasions to buy a cake - weddings, birthdays, anniversaries, baby showers, bridal showers, graduations, office parties, bad days, national dessert day [Oct. 14!] - to name a few. Above all, though, my favorite reason I've made a cake is the simplest: just because. One of my co-workers put an order in for this cake to bring home to his wife on a Friday as a weekend surprise. When I asked them if they had anything special planned or if that was a big anniversary weekend for them he said no, the cake was just because he loved her and he wanted to tell her in a different way. I'm not sure of the official standings, but I'm pretty sure he was at the top of the running for husband of the weekend that Friday. He even gave me specific directions for decorating it that were sweet and to the point:

The cake was classic red velvet with cream cheese filling.