Wednesday, 23 December 2015

Beautiful Snow-Ladies

Just before Christmas, I treated myself to a little Spa treatment. I used to work with these girls, so I'm always happy to see them again, and I also enjoy feeding them sweet treats especially at Christmas when they are working so hard, smiling all the time, listening to Christmas music on repeat. In the past I've brought them cookies, and rocky road, or peanut butter cups, but this time I wanted something seasonal but specially made for them. Therefore, I adapted my traditional snowmen, for Hermes scarf-wearing Snow Ladies. With a bit of lipstick and mascara, these snow-peeps are sure to make an impression!

Monday, 14 December 2015

Retirement Celebrations

This cake feels like a home-grown cake. My friend who asked me to make the cake has been my friend as long as I can remember, and the event the cake is for involves a daycare I've known my whole life. I never went there myself, but I know plenty who did and I really think that adds a personal element you wont always be able to manufacture when baking and decorating a cake.

I loved the simplicity of the design, and the meaning behind their logo. I'm a firm believer that it's the little details that matter most, so I hope the Lady of Honour feels well loved as she starts her "new life".

Sunday, 13 December 2015

Merry Latimoose!!!

There is an explanation behind the title of the post. Part-time, I'm taking a massage therapy course and my beloved husband has been helping me study. Unfortunately his knowledge of anatomy is rusty to non-existent, so often I'm translating as we go. This particular gem was chiselled from the time when while doing origin and insertion points of certain muscles, he came to a road block when trying to read Latissimus dorsi, and through his own internal translator, "Latimooses" was coined.

This got me thinking that this would the perfect nerdy Christmas card from a massotherapist: "Merry Latimoose!" But this year, I thought I'm not going to rush to make the cards, so instead I'll decorate a cake with it. We had an end-of-year pot luck in class and I brought a chocolate cake. Adorned with a festive design and wishing everyone a Merry Latimoose with icing, and light bulb and snowflake sprinkles.

A Merry Latimoose to you all.....

Wednesday, 9 December 2015

The Season of the Bake Sale

The quintessential event of the holidays, and one of the best ways to gather a group of people in support of a common cause, the bake sale has taken place in many a school, church, and community event in order to raise money while feeding the masses. My Mother has donated hundred of cookies and squares for these bake sales along the years, and I have had to help her move countless tins and plates of the bake goodies from the kitchen, to the car, to the table- heavily laden with sweet treats.

Donating baked goods to a bake sale is a particularly adult thing to do in my mind, and as I am becoming more and more of an adult, I felt very right donating a few cupcakes to a friend's bake sale she was organising for her daughter's school. They always say, you help where you can by doing what you can, and I can bake therefore this is how I can help.


I made a raffle prize for the sale as well. I put together a bouquet of cake pops in a festive mug, hopefully someone had a good treat!

Friday, 27 November 2015

Three Girls and a Sweet Red Truck

Having repeat orders is the goal of any business person, it's a sign your business is steadily growing. You watch as the requests change over the years to suit the child who is growing up and who needs a different type of birthday cake to show how big they're getting. In this case, however, not only am I watching as the requests change, I'm also watching as more kiddos are added to the mix, and as the decorating techniques and skills of their Mum improves with every birthday because I get to watch the cakes being decorated.

These cakes are the cakes I make with my friend. It started out when she wanted to make her daughter's first birthday a special party, so really set her standards high. She designed a menu, and planned activities to go with their Mini Mouse theme. I came in to help Nathalie make the cake because although she had the vision, the knowhow wasn't within her reach. And why should it be, she's never had to decorate a cake like this before. So many people find they're willing to make the cake but want it to look good and professionally made so that's where I come in, to help make the vision into a sweet reality.

Nathalie and I come up with a plan for the evening; I usually design a simple cake that I know Nathalie can do well, and we divide the tasks between the two of us, then Tara joins us for the very important quality control. I bring my tool kit, the icing, plus any miscellany we need, and Nathalie provides the cake and the wine. Every year the theme is different, and to a certain extent a little more challenging. Even if the design of the cake changes we have a blast making it, we have a great time hanging out together, and we always produce a great looking cake by the end of the evening.

By popular demand I have a made a compilation of the cake sessions we've had thus far:

Lexie's First Birthday: Minnie Mouse
Left to right (clockwise): Tara and Nathalie, testing the fondant; me with Nathalie kneading out the pink fondant to cover the cake; and Nathalie holding her beautiful finished product!
Lexie's Second Birthday: Old MacDonald
Left to right (clockwise): Tara, testing the wine as well as the icing; Nathalie planting icing grass in the field; Wendy came along to help decorate the room while we decorated; our final product, I was so proud of Nathalie with this one!
Lexie's Third Birthday: Rainbow (the celestial bodies, not the 80's cartoon)
Despite my best efforts, I can't be everywhere I want to be all time so for this cake we weren't together. I made this cake for Nathalie on my own and brought it to her. Nathalie had just had her second baby, a little boy so I promised to make myself available for next year!!
Logan's First Birthday: Fire Trucks
Nathalie decided that she was going to make cupcakes for Lexie's Fourth birthday, which she felt she could manage, but asked if I could help with her son's first birthday cake. No Minnie Mouse or rainbows for Logan, he's a boy; he wanted a fire truck birthday party. Nathalie added an extra challenge for the cake. It not being to everyone's taste (and I understand that completely), Nathalie asked if we could not use fondant and just do buttercream instead. While I'm fine not using fondant, I was worried that if we went with buttercream we would end up with a pink truck (not the desired effect), so I looked into a product I'd been meaning to try: edible paper, which comes in red.
Nathalie really outdid herself, she's more confident with her icing and piping techniques and was even able to build the cake to make the truck. So proud of her! She was even teaching Lexie a thing or two... (next generation baker??) Tara, as ever did a stellar job of quality assurance. Only the best goes into my cakes!

Saturday, 7 November 2015

1st Birthday for the Fur Nephew

On the occasion when my Mum and I drive to Ontario to visit family, we often combine one, or two, or even three events into one weekend and have a good party to celebrate. This most recent trip encompassed celebrating my sister's graduation (with the Tardis pops), a belated Thanksgiving, and my fur-nephew's 1st Birthday.

This wee pup came to my sister and brother-in-law last New Year's Eve, and they have not had a moment's peace since! We had all the family together, a great dinner that my sister cooked, and gifts a plenty for this most beloved dog. Logan behaved very well, with minimal drooling on everyone.

The Birthday Boy!!

This is the cake my sister made for Logan, because butter, icing sugar, and chocolate was not the best option for a puppy to eat!
Slowly but surely, he got the taste...
...then the cream cheese was getting the better of him...
...and it was stuck to him... he went in for a second round to show the cake who the boss was!

 For the non-four legged furless people at the birthday party, who didn't really want to share their cake with the dog, I decorated a cake for the rest of us.
As a birthday present, I made Logan a batch of my (now) famous biscuits... he salivates when ever someone goes near the jar they came in... I think he likes them.

...everyone was a little tuckered out after the party. A birthday well spent :)

Friday, 6 November 2015

No Better Way to Celebrate

These were a present I made for my sister to celebrate he graduation (with Honours!!) with her Chartered Accountants Diploma. I have no head for numbers, I didn't get that gene so I am in awe of her achievements. I can however, bake, so I reward her efforts in the best way I know how with a sweet treat of her liking... anything Dr. Who will always be welcome.

...for those who need the subtitles... this is a Tardis :)