January 19, 2013

"Bon voyage!" cake

My high school bestie is leaving for Doha next week along with her adorable baby boy Chadrick. I made this small "Bon Voyage" cake to wish them luck and safety during their trip.

"Bon Voyage, Mommy & Chadrick!" I personally think that my cake is adorable. :)

Cake details: 6 inch round 4 inch thick chocolate cake with chocolate buttercream filling, frosted with vanilla buttercream with fondant details (the white circles are supposed to be clouds)
I've been wanting to make an airplane cake for a long time now, and today's definitely the perfect occasion. I think my cake is fun and very memorable. I believe my mother and child figurines capture the excitement of my friend and her baby boy. I feel so proud with this one! I hope Crislei and Chadrick liked their cake.

January 15, 2013

Arm candy galore!


So I am back to beading.

Finally, my sister realized how lucky she is to have me as a sister because she can make all the arm candies that she wants. I have a big box full of beads, strings, cords, charms, and findings from my beading days. All she needs to do is ask, and she can have all the arm candies she wants. After all these years, this reality finally dawned on her. What's more is that she decided to start selling too. That is why I've reopened my chest full of beading goodies, and I even bought some new supplies.
My new beads
I made a few bracelets combining my old and new supplies.

Assorted

Black, white, and gold set

Colorful! (watch not included)
Here's a screenshot of my sister's Instagram page. She's happily modeling  her arm candies.

I'll be making more stuff tomorrow. Excited!





January 14, 2013

Birthday cakes

My mom celebrated her 60th birthday last January 5, but she doesn't look like it. Most people think she's in her late 40's/early 50's. The funniest thing was that the cake I made her was so inappropriate for her age. It was a kid's cake, inspired by the game Bubble Mania on my sister's iPad. She's addicted to the game! Every night, she demands that the iPad be "turned over" to her so that she can play, and she gets mad if my sister has to recharge it. Because she just loves to burst bubbles, she asks me to hand over my Galaxy Note so that she can play with the Android version called Bubble Shooter. Because of that, I decided that her cake for her party at the office be a Bubble Mania-inspired cake.

Chocolate fudge with chocolate ganache cake, 10 inch x 14 inch  x 1 inch. This cake is decorated with jelly balls and chocolate-coated jelly
*****

Last December 27, I made a Cinderella-inspired birthday cake for a seven-year-old girl. It's a two-tier chocolate cake. The base is 12 inches round by 4 inches thick. The top tier is 6 inches round and 5 inches thick. I used my new diamond impression mat on the bottom tier and decorated the top tier with swags (never thought I could pull it off). I placed a Cinderella figurine on top and made a fondant Jacq and a clock about to strike 12.

"Hurry Cinderella! It's 10 minutes before 12!"

*****
As for today, I delivered two birthday cakes. Actually I delivered three cakes within the past 24 hours. I was commissioned by one of the top events coordinators in the city (W.E.D.) to make a three-tier fondant covered chocolate cake (14-10-6 inches, each tier 4 inches thick) for a debut yesterday afternoon. I don't have a picture of the cake since I didn't get to decorate it. They were the ones who took care of placing the non-edible decor on the cake. I was told that it was a Venetian-themed party, so there were feathers and bling. Maybe they'll tag me on the final picture of the cake, so I can share it here.

Early this morning, I delivered a hot pink and emerald green (it's the color of the year according the girl's mom) Barbie cake. I'm quite proud of it actually. 

Moist chocolate cake was used for the base and fudgy chocolate for the skirt. The doll is a fake Barbie (only 59 pesos, would you believe?), but she's a very pretty version.

My second cake for today was an 8-inch round 5-inch thick red velvet cake with cream cheese filling. This is for a pool cake party. This is not my original design. This was based on a design sent by the mom (a returning customer), but I just changed some of the elements.

Cake is covered in buttercream. Only the details are in fondant. Isn't this a happy cake?

After the last 24 hours, I am just so tired. Time for a massage!






January 11, 2013

Sprinkles!

I love sprinkles! They make anything and everything look so festive. I use them on cakes, cupcakes, cakepops, and cookies. The burst of colorful just makes me so happy! Take a look at the stuff that I recently  decorated with loads and loads of sprinkles.

I made this cake for my mom's 60th birthday dinner at home (I made her another cake for her party at the office, but that's another post.) This is a chocolate cake frosted with chocolate ganache.

This is for my friend's dad today. Caption says "Happy Birthday to the Best Papa in the World." Cake is a vanilla sponge with strawberry and honey filling frosted with vanilla buttercream. I used strawberry preserves, honey, and a bit of strawberry liquer for the filling.


Birthday cupcakes for my nephew Rei Nino. Isn't the bear cute?
I just want to show you my adorable bear. But I digress.

I had some cakepops success yesterday. Save for the cracks, they were nearly perfect.

Some cake decorators may say scoff at me and say that sprinkles are too simple or too plain. Yes, I admit that they may be a "quick fix" to your cake decorating woes, but never underestimate its ability to make your dessert shine. Happiness is a cupcake covered with lots of colorful sprinkles.

January 10, 2013

Barney and Dora cake

I've been doing a lot of catching up lately. Here's a couple of cakes that I did in early December, but I never got to share them on time.

This is as "Dora" as I can get her to be.

Dora and Barney

Barney

Two of my most hated characters are Dora and Barney, so yes! These cakes were very difficult for me to make. I think I've already discussed my utter dislike of Barney in a previous post. It is for the same reason that I hate Dora: they are both so ugly (in my eyes) that they become so difficult for me to make. Ugh! Pardon me Barney and Dora lovers, but I am not a fan. They are two of the most irritating cartoon characters ever (and so is Ben 10)!

I scoured the internet for a Dora tutorial (I already did a Barney cake before, so he was easier to model), and I luckily found one (sorry, I forgot where I found it, but if I do remember, I'll share it here). The tutorial was fairly easy; the challenging part, though, was finding the exact spot to place the features of her face. Anyway, I managed. I even think my Dora is a little cute even if she's not as Dora as she should be. 

It doesn't matter if I hated these characters. What matters is that the client loved the cakes. They were a success!

The story of how and why I came to bead

I've always been into things that kept my mind and my hands busy. Before I ever started to bake, my hobby was making beaded accessories. I enjoyed it a lot. I'd make earrings and bracelets that matched almost every outfit that I had. I was a fan of really big earrings. The longer they dangled, the better. Since I don't wear make up (I can't be bothered with it), I compensated for it with my earrings. I once read an advice from Kris Aquino: If you want your face to be noticed, wear a pair of really eye-catching earrings. If you want your cleavage to be noticed, wear a necklace. I am quite gifted in the chest area, so I have no need to emphasize that part. I never wore necklaces, but earrings were a staple in my wardrobe. I loved bracelets and bangles too.

I was quite tomboyish when I was younger. It didn't help that I was an engineering student. I had to blend in with the male-dominated crowd, otherwise I'd stick out if I looked too kikay. Way back in college, I only wore hypoallergenic earring studs. Prior to that, I had my ears pierced at least three times since I was 8 years old. My piercings would always get infected, so I had to leave them alone so that they could close up again. By the time I was in high school, I felt the need to have my piercings back. I shoved hypoallergenic studs in two of the three closed up holes in each ear. I thought it was cool. However, it really wasn't. My ears continued to get irritated, and the holes got bigger until two of them intersected in each ear. They combined into bigger ear piercings. One morning when I was already 22, I woke up to find a hypoallergenic stud completely intact on my pillow. I was baffled. Then I realized that the studs were too small for my ear piercings, so I couldn't wear them anymore. I quit wearing studs, and my piercings closed up again.

My love affair with accessories started when I started working. A new friend gave me a pair of dangling earrings. They were really simple: just two wooden beads, one hot pink the other bright orange, strung together and attached to an ear hook. I was reluctant to wear them at first, but soon I realized that they looked good on me. My friend gave me another pair: white and pink beads in a hoop. I loved them too. Now I could go to the office without looking plain. I liked that they had hooks; they won't fall through my piercings, but I had to take the earrings of before going to sleep. The best part was my ears didn't itch at all, never mind if they were just nickel-plated. I always wondered why that was especially since my ears would swell even if I wore gold earrings.

That Christmas (of 2005), I went to Robinsons in Cebu. In the top floor, there was a bazaar, and there were really a lot of beautiful dangling earrings. They were sold at around 150 to 200 each. I bought around 20 pairs (for myself and as gifts for my friends) and found some guts to haggle and ask for a discount. I was so surprised when the lady told me she'll give me everything at half the price since I bought a lot. Wow!

When I got home, I studied each pair. They looked pretty easy to assemble. I thought to myself: "The saleslady wouldn't significantly reduce the price to half if she couldn't make anymore profit, would she? So these things may not cost as much to make! Maybe I can make them on my own and sell them too!"

My friend who gave me my first pair of earrings showed me where I could buy the materials (she made the earrings she gave me), and she taught me the basics too. I also did a lot of research on beaded accessories. I found out that you can sell beaded accessories at more than XX% the cost of the materials used (trade secret here; not putting real figures :D). And so there started my first business ever: beaded accessories.

I've been selling beaded accessories for around 4 years before I stopped and switched to baking and cake decorating (food businesses are more profitable). However, I am thinking of restarting it this year after (FINALLY!) convincing my sister about it.

I'm so excited at the idea of making beaded jewelry again. I hope I still have enough time, although my sister vows to help me now. I've gone bead shopping again, and I am so excited.

Wish me luck!

P.S.

This friend who taught how to bead is the same friend who taught me how to bake. I am grateful to her.


January 06, 2013

Gaby's Ballerina Birthday

Here's another catch up post.

I made a bunch of cupcakes, cookies, and a two-tier cake for my friend's daughter Gaby. It was her second birthday last December 17. Here's what I made for her.

3-D tutu sugar cookies for Gaby. I took a circle cookie cutter with a scalloped edge for the  skirt and a heart shape for the body of the tutu. 

Ballerina cupcakes. Aren't these girls adorable?

Two-tier ballet shoe cake 

Here's everything assembled with the candy giveaways.

I had so much fun making these! 'Til next year, Gaby!

My first wedding cake

This is a very late post. It's been almost a month since I made my first ever wedding cake. I've made stuff for a wedding before, but my friend made the cake and I just made the cupcake giveaways. This time, however, I made everything on my own with the help of my  husband.

It was for my husband's cousin's wedding last December 8. They wanted three tiers of cake placed separately on a wide base that I had to cover in fondant. In the middle of the base, a pool was carved out, which I filled up with baker's gel tinted blue. Over the pool was a bridge with one of the cake tiers on top. It was supposed to mimic the landscape of the reception venue.

Making the cake was very challenging. I had to make 150 cupcakes along with the three tiers of cake plus the base. I had very limited help, plus I made it while typhoon Pablo was raging hard...then we lost electricity before I could even start baking.

So how did I go about the job? Well, my husband took out our Kia's battery and hooked it up to an inverter so that I could get my mixer going. When the battery was running low, he took his cousin's truck so we can use it as a power source. Finally just before we could finish the cake, he took his cousin's generator when they got their electricity back so that I could go on working (note: we lost power for the next 10 days).

Anyway, I was able to successfully finish the cakes and cupcakes despite the insane weather and lack of electricity and with the help of my dear husband (who realized that rolling out fondant was a tough job). Here are some photos that I grabbed from one of my husband's cousins. She dedicated a special album for my work.
This is me with my cake and cupcakes.

The "pool" has a capacity of 22 liters. To cut costs, my husband inserted styrofoam into the pool and reduced the capacity to just 8 liters of bakers gel.

Front view. Cake details: One 12-inch round by 4-inch thick chocolate fudge cake with choco buttercream filling, one 10-inch round by 4-inch thick tier and one 12-inch round by 4-inch thick tier of red velvet cakes with cream cheese filling

Cupcakes: streusel sponge that was light, fluffy, and  smelled sweetly of cinnamon with vanilla buttercream  frosting

It was a tough week, but I pulled it off! I could say that I did a very good job on my first wedding cake given the challenging circumstances. Plus my fondant was perfect! It was very stable. It's a good thing that I thought of making my fondant the week before I started the cake, so it was able to set properly. I can't help but be proud of my masterpiece!