Being part of something special.

I just love weekends away! The weekend just been was a long one in some parts of Oz, so we got the opportunity to take a cold drive south to catch up with family & friends. One visit I was particularly excited about was with a pair of our closest friends who have just had a wonderful addition to their family, a beautiful baby boy! Seeing them and meeting bub for the first time had me thinking about the special place friends have in our hearts, and the wonderful histories we create with them. (ohhh wow… can you tell I’m a big softy? Sorry if I’m being overly sentimental ;))

Just over 2 years ago, we were gathered together to celebrate at their wedding. It was a truly beautiful event and I was excited, proud, & more than a little scared to be part of the team that created the wedding cake.  I hope you will indulge me while I take this opportunity to share some photos & reminisce about the best cake experience I have been privileged to be a part of.

~The wedding cake~

Designed by the bride, the wedding cake was created with the theme colours of the wedding, a deep ruby red & satin white. The cupcakes were made in chocolate & red velvet, and were baked a generous muffin size to be used as the dessert at the reception.

Now to break down the collaboration which brought this all together. The cake team was made up of the bride (a chef) and her mother, who got together and baked the most delicious cupcakes, which I can’t quite remember how many there ended up being. I want to say 150… if it wasn’t that it was close. The decorating team was made up of the groom (a chef), my partner (also a chef) and myself (food enthusiast?). Oh yea… it was 2 chefs getting married. Hence my heightened nervousness with getting the cake right. 😛

Together, all the components of the cake decorating took well over 2 days (plus a good couple of nights of bow making) to get to the finished product. And it was so worth it. I can’t tell you how wrapped I was when we finally put it together. And how awesome it was to work with the guys. In the past the two had worked together in a few different kitchens, so not only were they a skilled, quick & formidable team, but they worked with an ease & a sense of humor that added to an unforgettable experience for me. (I felt like I was working with the cool kids 😉 )

The boys putting the big bow together for the top cake. 😀 And the trays of red & white finished cupcakes.

Just going through the photos has put the biggest smile on my face, and inspired me to revisit this design. Bows are such a lovely and elegant decoration. I’m happy to say, I think I have just found my first tutorial topic. Coming soon 😉

So I hope you have enjoyed this little step back in time for me.  I will post again shortly with something a little more recent, promise! 😛

Hope your having a fantastic week. Thanks for dropping by!

Miss Cat

~The happy couple~

A very cakey road trip – Surprise Halo 30th Birthday Cake!

Howdy!

So a few weeks ago, I went on a little holiday to help celebrate a good friends surprise 30th. The birthday boy is my partner’s best friend and co-conspirator in mischief. He is the head chef of a gorgeous little boutique place on the Sunshine Coast, and I was very privileged to work with him a few years ago, along with my partner to create his wedding cake (by far the best cake project I have ever been a part of – and in fact the pic on my blog heading). It was so exciting to be part of a surprise birthday celebration, and of course, I really wanted to make a special cake for him as well! There was just one particular challenge with this cake that I have not had to tackle before.  This cake had to travel.  We live 450 kms away! So how the heck was I going to show up with a cake? Excuse the dodgy pic - Road trip map!Fortunately for me (or unfortunately… it remains to be seen) I will be doing a wedding cake in a few weeks, which has to travel a further distance. So I took this as the perfect opportunity to trial run cake transporting, and get my head around the logistics involved.

This is how I planned the cake:

  • 2 weeks before – make up the modeling paste decorations.
  • 2 days before – bake chocolate mud cake, wrap & refrigerate to set for journey.
  • 1 day before – whip up batch of vanilla bean buttercream & refrigerate for the journey.
  • Night before – pack up colours, tips, piping bag & couplings, edible glitter, pallet knife & other essential decorating paraphernalia.
  • Day of travel – Prep esky with ice, seal off & stack cake & frosting in to keep cool during trip.
  • The trip – super fun drive down the coast listening to great music & stopping at cool places. (If you can’t tell, I love road trips 😉 )
  • Arrival at destination – Quick cake assemble!

The finished product! Not too bad for a travelling cake! 😉

And that’s pretty much how it all panned out. 😀 Of course I picked a pretty simple design, in order to keep the stress levels down. Just a quick plain cover of the cake in frosting, with a shell border.  I made up the 30 in white modeling paste and once dried, painted it with a nice thick paintbrush. I kept the paint job on it rough & alternated colours of dark green, purple, brown & silver for a sort of camo feel.

Painted Modeling Paste 30

The other decorations for the cake were a pile of grenades & a Halo helmet , which I also made out of white modeling paste & painted.  I had a few goes at the helmet, which ended up being harder to make than I thought.  I just couldn’t get the shape right.  In the end, I took all  of my trial pieces with me, so that I could make a decision on what looked good on the day.

The helmets… see how I couldn’t get them right? >_<

My assortment of grenades… don’t look too closely… they are all different! 😦

Overall, I was happy with the cake… but only just. Its just that the decorations weren’t as good as I wanted them to be.  I felt like I was a little out of my depth with the helmet and grenades. I have only watched the boys play Halo in passing, so I had to get my shapes and ideas off the game, it’s manual & some figurines that we had.  Maybe I would have done a better job of it if I had done the hard yards and invested a few hours in game play? 😉

 Ummm…. Some how I don’t think I will be playing games in future to improve my caking skills, no matter which way I try and justify it.  But this was a great experience in something out of the ordinary for me. Practice, practice, practice! 😀 (Its becoming my mantra this year).

Oh, and one last thing before I go… This cake was the lush chocolate mudcake that I have been making a lot of this year. It is super rich, very adult and… I will be sharing the recipe just as soon as I get a few moments to type it up.  Will post it very soon! 🙂

Until next time, thanks for dropping by!

 Tic, Tic, Tic…. Boom! – That’s the noise you hear when your playing against the birthday boy… when a grenade drops out of nowhere & gets you! 😛

Holidays & Cakey Travel!

Howdy!!

Well I have been pretty quiet on the blog front, feels like I have been away for ages! But I have been literally here, there & everywhere lately. I’ve been completely unable to sit at my laptop for more that a second! So much has been going on, and all my well meant plans to put up a few posts have gone right out the window. 😦

So for a quick catch up of the last few weeks…. Firstly, I hope everyone had a wonderful Valentines day! I love the special little celebration days through the year, and try to celebrate all of them. I guess I treat them as some of the extra spice in life! 😉  Usually I enjoy using Valentines day as an excuse to plan something special for my beau, but this year it took a back seat to an out-of-town trip that was a gift to us both.

Some trip pics!

Over the last week I have been on the most fun holiday! A very special friend of ours turned 30 and his gorgeous wife decided to surprise him by organising a group trip to Dreamworld on the Gold Coast!  It was such a wonderful trip, getting to see some of the people we love, and wish we lived closer too. And of course being a birthday, I really wanted to make a cake as well! Which posed the challenge, how to make a cake that travels! – This will get its own post!

Also while away, I found the cutest little chocolates! Do you find that when you are out and about doing things not even remotely related to cakes, you find thing that inspire new cake ideas? I know I do! Cake on my mind… all the time! 😛

Delightful Freckleberry Chocolate numbers! Wouldn't these be a super cute cake topper? They certainly made me smile! 😀

Can’t you just see these on a cake? A gorgeous chocolate cake with choc frosting and freckles all over the trims?  Ohh… or a lush red velvet cake with choc marbled ganache!  I checked out the fab Freckleberry website and they also do letters!  I will definitely be daydreaming about a cute creation just for the excuse to use these.

Also squished into the craziness of holidays was a fluffy happy cake that I made with my mum.

Mums Chiffon Cake & Soft Meringue Frosting

The photos don’t show up the lovely sky blue base colour. This cake was also for a surprise party. Must have been a good week for surprises!  I helped out with some modeling paste numbers and cute little silver stars on wire, and we finished the cake with some cheerful balloons which matched the decorations for the party.  Apparently the birthday boy was thrilled with his party, and wrapped with the cake! – As were all the guest!

A cheerful surprise for Rodney's 60th!

Anyways now I’m back – it’s a harsh reality getting back to work, and frantically catching up on the teetering piles of jobs that have amassed in my absence. I’m rambling a bit now and its dinner time, so I will call it a night. The nice thing is once I’m back to being on top of things, I will post far more regularly.

Hope your having a lovely night and thanks for dropping by! 🙂