This past week I was able to make a cake for an amazing event. Family and friends of Brian Williams have an annual event in his honor. Brian found out about a year and half ago he has ALS. Brian is a force of life and I can not imagine going though what he has been going through. Fortunately he has so many great people around him as well as an unbelievable wife and daughter.
I wanted to be able to contribute something to the event even though I was unable to attend. I asked my friend Julie who was on the event’s committee if I could make a cake. She was down so I thought I would make a cake of Brian’s bulldog with a t-shirt on with the ALS symbol Brian has tattooed on his body. Needless to say I did some fbook stalking printed out some pics and went to town.
I made the head and limbs out of rice krispies and the body out of chocolate cake. I love making sculpted cakes because it’s more of a challenge than tiered cakes. Once I had the shape figured out I covered the mass in fondant and then air brushed the beast. I always think of my 7th grade art teacher when I paint/airbrush because you have to layer in order to get the right color. That’s basically what I did because Brian’s dog has so many different colors.
My friend Kimmy picked up the cake for me and dropped it off. I think I called her 8 times with instructions. I trust her but the cake delivery is the most stressful part of the whole sitch. Everything turned out great but I hope someone ate the cake.
Huey Lewis and the News can shift my mood from dark to light in one verse. Often I would put on ‘The power of love’ in the bar to rebuild my soul after being in there for 10 too many hours. I like to think of it as the theme song of my life since I try to stay on the positive side of things.
This past week I was able to witness how powerful love truly can be. My brother Adam asked me make a cake for his friends Kevin and Matt. These two men rode bicycles across the United States for a foundation they created called Team Jesse. It is for families of fallen soldiers. Kevin was moved to create the foundation after his good friend Jesse was killed in Iraq in 2007. Kevin had promised to take care of Jesse’s infant daughter if anything happen to him and he takes that promise extremely seriously. The foundation has expanded and they are doing amazing things. Please check out their website – TeamJesse.org. I promise it will move you.
Kevin and Matt started in California and rode for 92 days to end in NYC on 9/11/11. They rode through heat, hurricanes, earthquakes, and high elevations while being motivated by love. I have a great respect for them as well as the participates that helped them make their journey possible. I am very proud that Adam was a part of this event.
A dedicated crew had documented their ride and last Tuesday they put together a rough film of footage. G. Mess and I were able to go up for the event. The cake was at the after party which was a surprise for Matt and Kevin.
The whole cake is red velvet flavored but I dyed the top cake blue, the middle was white velvet and the bottom was true red velvet.
Kevin and Matt
I am once again a Pennsylvanian. It feels weird/good/stressful at times, but only because I have come back to set up shop. It’s difficult to figure out where to begin.
I can start from a residential house as long as it’s zoned and licensed. So that is where I am starting or should I say G. Mess (my dad) is on top of it, which I am forever grateful. That man has intense focus that usually tortured our family during “vacations”. A 6 am wake up call was not my idea of a good time but we did all of itineraries to keep us up to speed.
I have two cakes I am doing for next week. One my brother Adam asked me to do which I am really stoked about. He is in the process of being the tail car for two of his friends that are riding across the country for a cause called Team Jesse. It is in honor of a man that lost his life in war. They are helping raise money for the families of fallen soldiers. The cake is for this coming Tuesday and the event is in NYC. I hope it turns out as awesome as it is in my head right now.
The second cake is for a friend who has ALS. His amazing family and friends are throwing an event for him and it looks like it’s going to be huge. I asked my friend Jazz if I could make a cake for the event. I want to make it something really special but I can’t decide what I want to make yet. Hopefully it will all come together like they usually do.
Since both of these cakes are pro-bono by def. I keep going back to one of the worst situations I have been through in my short professional career. I was working in NYC at the time and was they assistant to one of the Vice-presidents. We did a lot of Pro-bono work and we were talking about it. Every time I went to say pro-bono I instead said pro-boner. I must of said it at least 8 times before I got it right. My boss never said a thing – but he watched me get an unnatural shade of red. Anyway…….
To be completely honest I haven’t been that into the cake pop fad. For one I thought trying to eat one would be a hot mess and I wasn’t down which was weird because I usually want to shove anything sweet into my mouth. I finally came around purely because I thought decorating them might be fun and they can be cute.
Since every baker is has left over cake from leveling each cake I didn’t have to bake a whole new cake to make some pops. I took the lemon extra pieces from my last cake and crumbled them up. I added the blueberry frosting to the mix which makes the situation super….well you know the M word. The word that best describes good – not dry- cake but I hate saying it.
I rolled the cake into balls and added sticks to them which sounds dirty. I dyed some white chocolate blue so I then made some blue balls. It was inapporpiate. I wanted the cake pops to look like blueberries because of the flavor of the frosting!
Well in the end I was wrong. Cake pops are well contained and once you pop it’s hard to stop.
Again I am decorating on the most humid day of the week. IT always works out that way but I did my best with the situation. I made another lemon cake and this time it is a keeper. SO let’s hope lemon cake makes a huge come back the way red velvet did because I’m ready for it. I also made Italian Meringue Buttercream which is lighter than the American version. As always Pitter was supportive of both ways to make frosting………. I am going to need a lot of taste testers in PA to help me decide which way to go.
This week I decided to use my airbrush machine because it’s a ton a fun and I wanted to see if I could in a way stencil with it. I think with better conditions it will be Ahhhhh mazing in the future.
I was thinking of going with a flower theme by creating a stencil but then I let that idea go with in a minute and came up with this…
I wanted to go with warm colors because my last two were mainly blue. Anyway I airbrushed both cakes yellow. Then I used artist tape on the bottom cake to create the stripes and airbrushed pink over it. The tape worked but it was not as tight as I would have liked it because some of the lines were not as crisp as I wanted. For the top I used fondant and airbrushed over the design to get the flag banner situation. I like how it is not as precise on the top.
Welp have a good day. I already am strictly because Bringing Down the House is on.
All last week I had in mind the cake I was going to make but at the last minute I changed my mind. I was going to practice airbrushing designs and had made a flower that I ended up hating. So after looking up gum paste flower making classes in Philly I started dying fondant different shades of blues and greens for a fabric cake. Texture on cakes has become very trendy.
I am obsessed with bright colored cakes and color contrast so after 2 mins of rethinking this week’s cake I went for it. The humidity in the air made my cakes sticky which usually isn’t ideal but for this cake it was perfect. The hardest part about the whole situation was figuring out the pattern of the blues and greens. What I mean by that is for example how they would naturally line up on a color wheel. I feel like the blue was easy but going from blue to green was more challenging. Anyway…..because I hated the flower I made I had unused flowers from my Dad’s wedding cake. The bright pink worked for my contrast obsession.
It lasted in this state for about 2 hours. Pitter then came home and taste tested. The cake is a classic white cake with hot chocolate frosting.
I have started thinking about next weeks cake but I am sure I’ll change my mind in 10 mins.
I have mostly stayed away from the blog world until now. This is mostly due to the fact I am so embarrassed by old diaries that I still have in my possession. I figured the blog world was like writing an open air diary and quite frankly I wasn’t sure I was prepared to hear my inner workings let alone others. But after a decent amount of support and encouragement I am taking the plunge.
I have been building up my cake portfolio one week at a time in hopes of gaining customers after I move back to PA. Last week I went with Pitter to an amazing card printing shop called Gus and Ruby in Portsmouth, NH. I picked up a cute card in hopes to transform it into a cake.
I made a lemon cake with blueberry frosting. The frosting was a success but I tried to alter a dense cake into a light lemon cake and it was not cute. Let’s just say things had to be double baked because the cake batter punked me. This was what came of a slightly devastating day.
I was happy with the result because I think it is very innocent.