Saturday, August 29, 2009

Finding old cake patterns on line

I hadn't put this design on a wedding cake since we left AZ and I needed to find the pattern so I could get approximately the correct size of scallops. Since I knew which Wilton yearbook it came from, I just googled Wilton cake patterns and then typed in scallop pattern, and walla...there it was. Don't you just love the internet? This was a cake I delivered to Fort Carson. In previous years, I always put this design on a buttercream frosted cake, even though the design was originally meant to be on a fondant covered cake. It always looked OK before, but even looked nicer this time around on the fondant. This was a yellow cake filled with cream cheese and fresh strawberries...yumm. Also, it seems each time I do a cake in fondant, I learn something new. Last night, I discovered that I would probably save time and allot of cornstarch if I had a no stick mat, so I will invest in a silicone treated mat before I do my next fondant cake. The mat that I made myself from clear vinyl ends up sticking when I thought it wouldn't.

Monday, August 24, 2009

Follow-up on Anniversary cake...

The poor little anniversary just keeps getting forgotten. Bruce forgot to take it to work this morning, so I finally took it over to a friend for her family to enjoy.

Anniversary cakes...and interesting story...this is a first!

I offer an anniversary cake option to my wedding cake customers. Normally, when they order a tiered wedding cake, I do not charge them for the top tier-it is just included in the cost. I also give them the option, however, to pay for the top tier, and then I include a coupon which entitles them to a free anniversary cake for their first anniversary. Many brides prefer this option so they can have a fresh cake for their anniversary. It also means they don't have to use up extra storage space in the freezer. Some more traditional brides still opt out for saving the top tier. So anyway, this next story that I'm about to relay is very interesting to say the least, and a definite first time for me. . .

About 2 weeks ago I received a call from a customer whose wedding cake I had designed a year ago. He said he was calling to order the anniversary cake that he received the coupon for. Then he informed me that he had filed for divorce, and that because his mother paid for the cake, that he would like to order the cake for his mother and himself. He also warned me that his "soon to be X-wife" would possibly call to order a cake also and I should just refuse because his mother was the one that paid for the cake. I let him know that I thought that would most likely not happen. So, then I could hear him having a discussion with his mother in the background about what flavor they wanted to order and when he would like to pick it up. It was agreed that he would pick the cake up last Thursday evening...I would call when the cake was ready. When the cake was finished, I called the customer, and he informed me that he would not be able to pick up the cake that night, but would have to wait until the following evening to pick up the cake. I told him it would not be as fresh, but I would put it in the refrigerator, and he could call before he came. So, here it is late Sunday night-or early Monday morning-and the cake is still sitting in the refrigerator. Bruce will take it to work to share with his co-workers this morning. They will love it, even though it is no longer fresh. And no, I will not do another cake for this inconsiderate customer. Hmm...I wonder why this marriage didn't last.

Monday, August 17, 2009

Detail work...outlining with buttercream

I was looking at some of my cake pictures recently, comparing some of my more recent cakes with some done several years ago. Even though all were nice, the more recent cakes have much better detail and look nicer. I think what has made the difference is that I now use buttercream to outline, instead of piping gel, as I had many years ago. Often, I use chocolate buttercream, the darkness depending on the pattern I'm working with. I think I have also gotten pickier about being exact with my fill-in and detail work. For example, on this last cake I did for a friend's baby shower, I ended up doing the faces over again, because I was unhappy with the way the eyes looked first time around. Took me forever to decorate, but I was happy with the end result.

Friday, August 7, 2009

Fill-in Color Techniques

I received an email recently from someone who had visited my website and blog, asking me about the techniques I used to fill in the color on some of my party cakes, specifically the cakes shown on this post. Thanks to Julie for her question.

After pressing the pattern into the buttercream frosting, I outline the pattern with a normal consistency buttercream. To make the flow-in color, I add liquid paste color to the buttercream, and then thin it with Karo corn syrup. Using writing tips, I flow it into the the outlined pattern.