Tuesday, March 22, 2016

Sweet Beginnings, Martha Stewart and The Art of Cake

Since the day my first suitcase cake appeared on CNBC and after my appearances on The Martha Stewart Show and Cupcake Wars, I have been asked many times if I was professionally trained. The answer is no. I fell in love with baking and decorating as a child and made my first boxed cake when I was 9 years old. Thanks to a mother and grandmother that were amazing bakers, I learned that home made baked cakes and desserts made with fresh ingredients were far better than anything that could be bought at a grocery store or bakery. My cake decorating began to evolve in the early 80's when I was an Investment Advisor at a brokerage firm. When the first Martha Stewart Living Magazine was published, I looked forward to the inspiration it delivered and creative ideas I found inside. I turned through every page very slowly, read every recipe and tried every new technique of cake decorating. When it came to baking or cake decorating, I could not get enough. I began to read every article I could find in magazines, bought every cake decorating book published, and began teaching myself through trial and error this magical and sweet art. I then became that person that always volunteered to bring a cake to the party. My love of fondant cake decorating began when I saw my first fondant wedding cake and my heart just leaped out of my chest. It was the most beautiful cake I had ever seen. The sugar flowers were so lifelike. The icing was so smooth. It was truly a piece of art. It wasn't until my daughter was three that my fondant cake decorating actually began. I was on vacation in Florida and through the window of a bakery I spotted the most beautiful amazing cake I had ever seen. A christening gown on a cake made completely out of fondant. Having worked with dress patterns, I could visualize how the pieces of the fondant dress were created and then the fun began. I purchased fondant and began experimenting with the feel of it. My first attempt at a dress was a success much to my surprise and that was the beginning of my love of fondant. I have made many Communion and Christening dresses on cakes since that day but it was the knowledge that I had this hidden talent that inspired me to believe that I could make any image out of fondant! It wasn't until a vintage suitcase cake I decorated for Bill Griffeth appeared live on CNBC that I realized I had such talent. It lead me to open my own bakery, appear on the Martha Stewart Show and Cupcake Wars, and work with the Bob Hope Family for the dedication of the Bob Hope Memorial Library at Ellis Island. So no, I wasn't professional trained but I was definitely inspired by my mother, grandmother, Martha Stewart and many years of trial and error.