The decades go by…

Ron's 60th cake 2014My friend Ron was turning 60 and having a big bash at a bar in downtown Toronto. I decided my gift to him would be the birthday cake. The cake had to feed about 75 people and it had to survive a five hour drive in the late summer heat.

I entrusted my friend Peter to secretly do research and nab photos of Ron to span his 60 years. Instead of a vertical cake, I went horizontal. I baked three 9″x13″ cakes and each one featured two decades of Ron’s life. The first was ages 10-20, then 30-40 and finally 50-60. Peter emailed the scanned imaged to me and I had them made into edible sheets which I put onto the cakes. I edged it with fondant sprockets to look like a film strip.

When we approached the Big Smoke (Toronto), my car’s thermometer read 36C. I was so happy that the three cakes were each in their own boxes, surrounded by freezer packs, towels and topped with a thermal blanket.

When we got to the bar, we removed the pre-cut edges of the cake boards and pushed the three cakes together to look like one extra long film strip. Ron was really surprised and he just loved it!

Ron's sliceAt the end of the evening, Peter and Ron had a few pieces of cake left over. Peter emailed me this photo which he entitled, “Remains of the cake.”

Snowy Easter

BUNNY CAKEWhat happens when it snows on Easter weekend? A few years back it did just that so I made a little Easter chocolate cake in response. Just when our corner of the world is having its spring awakening, winter won’t let go. This cake is a wave goodbye to that darn cold season and questioning, “What the heck is that white stuff doing on the back of the Easter bunny!”

St. Paddy’s Day

St Paddys DayA few years back, I was invited to a party that coincided with March 17, St. Patrick’s Day.
I wanted to make a cake that was apropos for the evening, but all the cakes I looked at on Pinterest seemed too silly for an evening dinner party, where our beer was likely not going to be green.
As a nod to the colour, I made white and green shards of chocolate and added them to a vanilla cake (that yes, I tinted green — couldn’t help myself) that was covered in vanilla buttercream. Awkward to serve, but delicious, I think it said Happy St. Patrick’s Day, in its own way.
May the luck of the Irish be with you!

Chocolate leaf cupcakes

cucakes creme anglais chocolate leaves (4)I was asked to bring dessert to a party last minute. I popped some cupcakes into the oven but how was I going to decorate them?
I looked in my cupboard for inspiration and found a small box of chocolate leaves that were given to me as a gift. Perfect! I filled the cupcakes with some creme anglais, then piped on some buttercream, a drizzle of melted chocolate and then topped them with the moulded leaves. I think it worked really well.