Archive | June, 2009

Shoe Tragedy

30 Jun

Today was already going to be a very hard day.  We have to stay goodbye to our Audience Service Manager, Stephanie and our Senior Department Manager, Virgina.  Both of these women are leaving us today for different reasons.  Virginia because of early retirement and Stephanie due to the lack of financial responsibility on Cornell’s part.  We’re having a retirement party this afternoon for Virginia, which we are being commanded to attend.  I really wanted to go to my last Walk to Run class, but I was not given a choice of what to do with my 42 minute lunch break…  I’m not happy about anything that has happened in our department.

What really is the icing on the cake (no pun intended) that makes this a terrible week, is the death of Martha Dewy.  Martha is the wife of Kent our former department chair.  On Friday evening Martha was killed suddenly in a car accident.  This shock has been hard on everyone.  Martha was one of the most positive and sweetest people I’ve ever meet.  She will be dearly missed.  The service for her is tomorrow morning, so we’re just going right into another hard day tomorrow.

Anyway I made a cake for Virgina’s retirement party.  It wasn’t what I had initially envisioned but as the days moved closer to the party and the reality of the day my enthusiasms dwindled.  The big tragedy came when I tried to transport the cake to work.  The cake slide in the box and wiped out most of the writing… I did some surgery with a tooth pick.  The pictures are from before the car ride though.

Shoe Cake 1

Shoe Cake 1

Shoe 2Shoe 3

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Less is more.

29 Jun

If you know me I tend to always go over the top.  With this cake I wanted to keep it simple and elegant.  That’s harder because you can’t cover up your mistakes with fondant as much.  Luckily the top of the cake turned out perfect!  I would love to turn this cake into a large wedding cake.  I was so happy with how simple and elegant it turned out.  I hope the pictures capture it.

Flat carnation 1

Flat Carnation 2Flat Carnation 3Flat Carnation 4Flat Carnation 5Flat Carnation 6

FYI – the cake is strawberry cake so it will have a nice delacte pink color when it is cut into.  The filling is french vanilla pudding, covered in vanilla buttecream and the rolled fondant.

Fondant Fun!

22 Jun

ButterflyIt was a typical Ithaca weekend, rain! That’s ok because it gave me plenty of time to play with fondant (and study for the GMT).  The first cake I did in class on Saturday morning.  I found that rolling out the fondant is a great shoulder work out!  All Saturday afternoon and Sunday morning they were soar.  Anyway, getting the fondant thin enough wasn’t easy, but I was pleased with out it turned out.  We tried some other techniques as well, a drab and a handkerchief.  Then topped it off with a few daises.  

 

Another angle.  I love the marble look

Another angle. I love the marble look

First time with fondant

First time with fondant

 

 

 

 

I love how the drab looks like fabric.

I love how the drab looks like fabric.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

I was also really happy with the way the second cake I made this weekend turned out.  It wasn’t exactly as I imagined it in my head, but looks good in a different way.  The best part of this cake is the way it taste.  I brought it to work today and we haven’t cut into yet but I did sample some of the scraps. Worthy of diet cheating for sure.  It is golden vanilla cake, with chocolate hazelnut filling (Nutella) mixed with vanilla buttercream, thing coat of buttercream and covered with marshmallow fondant.  The butterflies are made of out of a combination of gum paste and fondant.  The humidity this weekend was of no help for this project.  I made them on Saturday and by the time I was going to bed Saturday night they were drying very nicely.  But but Sunday afternoon they just got very tacky and lost the shape.  So they aren’t as three demential as I wanted.  They still have a delicate effect though.  I would love to try this cake again on a cool day and maybe four tiers. But I’ll wait for a special occasions, I don’t think my office needs four tiered cakes once a week!  Here are a bunch of pictures, enjoy!

 

 

Butterfly Cake

Butterfly Cake

Butterfly3

First Customer

19 Jun

Last week I made four cakes, yes four!  The first one was the baby shower cake for my c0-worker Kimberly.  This cake received mixed reviews.  Some people thought it was adorable, some though it was creepy.  Fair enough for my first attempt at a new technique.  There are pictures of this cake under the photo tab at the top of the page if you haven’t seen it yet.

The second cake was for my co-workers daughter.  She was graduating from her pre-school program.  This was my first customer! I really struggled with this cake a little and it didn’t turn out exactly how I wanted it.  I’m still trying to get the hang of gum paste.  At first I wanted to make the little graduation cap out of gum paste, but I think it was the humidity that prevented that one.  Then I tried to use a cup cake as the base and cover gram crackers with fondant as the cap.  The fondant was home made marshmallow fondant and I really couldn’t get it spread thin enough.  So the gram cracker top became very heavy.  The cupcake base just looked too small and just not right.  In the end I pulled the base and just had the cap flat on the cake.  It looked cute and my co-worker liked it, but it just wasn’t what I had in mind.  Even if it didn’t turn out the way I wanted it too, I’m sure it tasted good.  It was yellow cake with a chocolate pudding filling and covered with chocolate buttercream.

Graduation 2009

Graduation 2009

Congratulations Ari!

Congratulations Ari!

The other two cakes I made can be seen on the photo page.  My favorite cakes so far actually.  For my mom’s birthday I made the chocolate covered strawberry one. It was very rich and delicious!  It was chocolate cake, with two different fillings of chocolate mouse and strawberry jelly, then it was covered with chocolate buttercream.  I melted some chocolate and spread it on top of the cake and let it drip down the side. Then I filled the top with the chocolate covered strawberries and topped it off with a sprinkle of edible glitter!  Very simple and elegant with a VERY rich taste.

The last cake I made was the flower basket.  This was for the class I’m taking at Micheal’s.  I was so happy with the way it turned out, I absolutely love the basket weave.  Even though there is a picture on the photo page, I think it warrens a second.

Basket of Flowers

Basket of Flowers

This weekend I will be practicing more with Fondant!  I’m very excited about this and I love the way it looks when it works.  It is not easy to work with so if you can hear me screaming from my kitchen where every you are in the world, you will know why!

Have a great weekend everyone 🙂

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