Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Carving a Fondant Pumpkin

Everyday clients come to me with new ideas about a cake and why the design or idea means something to them. This past weekend Tom and I created a cake shaped like a pumpkin with a sentiment carved into it as you would a real pumpkin at Halloween. Why? Because a wonderful friend of a newly engaged girl came to me stating that she wanted to recreate a pumpkin out of fondant and cake that would represent the way her friend became engaged.

We stacked and doweled the cake like a wedding cake and pressed in the lines of the pumpkin by hand. The stem was made by rolling and twisting fondant. Although the picture doesn't show how large this pumpkin was, it was the size of a beach ball and very heavy. Carving the words in to the pumpkin was most challenging because I had to use the same font that was used on the real pumpkin. When it was finished it was truly a pumpkin.

Fun cake and fun way to congratulate a friend. Best wishes to all.

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Vintage Suitcase Cake for the Bob Hope Memorial Library

One of the most exciting moments of my career happened recently. We were chosen to make a vintage suitcase cake for the Bob Hope family for the dedication ceremony of the Bob Hope Memorial Library at Ellis Island. I was invited to attend the ceremony and luncheon as their guest. My father served during the Vietnam War when Bob Hope visited his base in Thailand. Being able to give back to a family whose father gave so much to the soliders was an honor I will never forget.

I found vintage stickers from countries that Mr. Hope visited, made books out of fondant that he wrote and copied his actual passport on to edible paper. The result was so well received that someone actually leaned on the back end of the cake thinking it was one of the many real vintage suitcases at Ellis Island.

Sunday, May 30, 2010

Vintage Suitcase for Bill Griffeth - Bye-Bye Bill -

Bye-Bye Bill -

The most memorable cake I have made in my cake decorating career was for Bill Griffeth at CNBC's Power Lunch. You can click on the link to see the actual footage of the cake when it was aired on the show.

I was told I had three hours to decorate the cake and make it look like a vintage suitcase. It was going to be filmed for the show and it had to be perfect. Okay, no pressure. The pastry chef presented me with the basic shape of the suitcase. It was covered with a chocolate fondant that had been slightly lightened. I distressed the fondant with cocoa powder, made the handle and straps and went on with the detail work. I used lemon extract and edible silver dust to give the buckle and locks their shine. The stickers were applied and there it was! When I look back at this cake I have fond memories of watching it being presented and cut on CNBC and having my family and friends call to say they saw it. It was a day I won't soon forget.

Sunday, May 9, 2010


Cupcakes are still the trend and I have to say Tom makes the best tasting cupcakes I have ever had. Along with our cake orders we filled an order for 100 mini cupcakes and according to our client the cupcakes had to "make an impression." The cupcakes were to be served at an intimate fundraiser and they needed to be extraordinary. They were! As you can see from the picture their were 6 kinds. Red Velvet, Carrot, Black & White, Oreo Cookie, Chocolate Chocolate and Chocolate Mint. The cupcakes were decorated with tiny sugar flowers, some were iced with buttercream or chocolate ganache. Some were dipped in warm ganache to give them a smooth finish and the Black and White were dipped twice to give them the traditional Black and White cookie look. Each cupcake was filled with creamcheese, chocolate mint or chocolate so each bite was absolutely delicious. What satisfaction we felt after we received a call telling us that the "cupcakes were noticed" and that they tasted as wonderful as they looked. My thanks to our wonderful mentor and caterer Georgio for the time he took to take beautiful photographs of the cupcakes.

Sunday, April 25, 2010

A Wedding in Saddle River

Yesterday was a beautiful day for a wedding. This cake was for a couple in Saddle River - second marriage for them and yes it is nice to know that there are those people that find love again later in life.

This cake was designed by Georgio the owner of Lu Sheann Catering in River Vale. He has been a mentor to Tom and myself and is quite honestly one of the best caterers in this area. He is a perfectionist (like me) and an artist. His food is exquisite and his staff is the best.

The delicate pattern on the sides of each tier of the cake were inspired by the table cloths that Georgio used on the reception tables and the napkins at each place setting. Everything matched perfectly. After covering the cakes with the white fondant I used royal icing to free hand the design on the cake. Real satin ribbon was then placed around each tier.

The top and bottom tiers were chocolate cake with a rich chocolate buttercream and the center tier was a light vanilla cake with a lemon cream. Unbelievable. An 8" Red Velvet cake completed the three flavors of cake that would be plated with other samplings of sweets that were made by Georgio.
Another special thanks to my daughter, Paige. She has a great eye for design and helped make this cake perfect.

Alexa's Sweet 16 Topsy Turvy Cake

Alexa's cake was a two tier topsy turvy cake decorated in bright purple, black and hot pink. The cake itself was red velvet cake and Tom outdid himself. It was the best red velvet cake I have ever tasted. The Zebra print and large polka dots and shimmering stars really made the cake pop. Lots of smiles at the Melting Pot in Westwood when I delivered the cake with my daughter, Paige.