Buttercream roses and chocolate

Bridget & Roses 09Okay, sometimes I feel like a gal from another era. I’ve been making cakes for over 20 years now. Hard to believe. From time-to-time I dig deep and go for the classic, old fashioned look — a cake with buttercream roses. I personally love the look of a fondant cake but sometimes, depending on the occasion, a buttercream decorated cake is perfect.
This one to celebrate a birthday with chocolate icing and creamy roses. Happy birthday Bridget!

Rock around the clock

electric guitar 22This funky little electric guitar was for Marc’s 50th birthday. I used all sorts of candy for the frets and other guitar parts. His wife requested I used two of his faves: Kit Kat chocolate bars and chocolate covered coffee beans. Done! I also used chocolate mint sticks, jujubes and a Lifesaver.
Marc loved it and I know he’ll rock his 50s!

The bride wore blue

wedding KateTilkerJust down the road a piece, my friend’s daughter was marrying her partner in a small, family wedding outdoors on the farm. With only ten friends and family in attendance, the cake didn’t have to be big. But it did have to reflect the couple’s love for water and scuba diving. Kate wore a pale blue dress, Zac had a blue flower in his lapel and the cake kinda matched them both. Happy days to the happy couple. Keep swimming you two!

Tomato soup cake with seven-minute frosting

TomatoSoupCakeWhen I was a little girl, my mom always made me a cake covered with seven-minute frosting for my birthday. It was my absolute favourite. The reason it’s called seven minute frosting is because you beat it for seven minutes over the stove. She always drizzled it with melted dark chocolate.
In this case, I decided to try a 1950s recipe for tomato soup cake. (My birthday cake was most always chocolate.) It came out great! Reddish in colour and kinda spicy.Here’s the recipe:

Tomato soup cake Makes one 2-layer cake

2 cups all-purpose flour
1 1/3 cups sugar
4 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 1/2 teaspoons ground allspice
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon ground cloves
One 10 3/4-ounce can condensed tomato soup (I used Campbell’s)
1/2 cup shortening
2 large eggs
1/4 cup water
1 cup raisins

Preheat oven to 350° F. Grease and flour two 8-inch round cake pans, shaking out any excess flour. In a large mixing bowl, combine the dry ingredients. Add the soup, shortening, eggs, and water. Beat together until everything forms a smooth reddish batter. Fold in raisins. Pour the batter into the cake pans. Bake for 35 to 40 minutes; when the cake is done, a toothpick should come out clean. Let cake cool completely before frosting.

Seven-minute frosting (Paula Deen’s recipe)

1 1/2 cups sugar
1/4 teaspoon cream of tartar or 1 tablespoon white corn syrup
1/8 teaspoon salt
1/3 cup water
2 egg whites
1 1/2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract

Place sugar, cream of tartar or corn syrup, salt, water, and egg whites in the top of a double boiler. Beat with a handheld electric mixer for 1 minute. Place pan over boiling water, being sure that boiling water does not touch the bottom of the top pan. (If this happens, it could cause your frosting to become grainy). Beat constantly on high speed with electric mixer for 7 minutes. Beat in vanilla.

Retro choco mint cake

chocolate mint 2010Two of my favourite flavours are chocolate and mint. When I spied a package of creamy pastel mints at the store, the kind I grew up with, I had a good giggle — I didn’t even know they still made them!
I thought they’d be a lotta fun on a cake. They definitely have a 1950s-’60s vibe to them and they taste great with chocolate! What could be bad?
A double dark chocolate layer cake with chocolate frosting and creamy pastel mints. Blast from the past!

Weightlifters’ baby

Barbell gender revealI was very excited to do my first ever “gender reveal” cake. The secret of whether the cake is to be pink or blue is known only to the mum-to-be, dad-to-be, grandmother-to-be (who ordered the cake) and the baker! Drum roll as the cake gets cut and all the guests at the gender reveal party find out the secret.
The expectant parents are also fitness buffs who love to lift weights. So the cake reflected that, with a mini-barbell for when the little one is ready to lift his own. Oops! I let the cat out of the bag. Yes, the cake was blue velvet inside! It’s a boy!

A rose is a rose is a…

Roses is a roseI donated this cake for a cake auction fundraiser for the Madagascar School dinner held last night. A friend of mine started the Madagascar School initiative, where she actually built a primary, middle and high school in an area where children had no schools at all. Their penultimate fundraiser is an annual dinner that includes a cake auction. The cakes go for crazy high amounts and are cut and eaten at the table by the bidders. A lot of fun and a good cause too. Not sure what this beauty went for, but I’m hoping the school made a good buck on it. To read more, click on this link:  Madagascar School Project.

Architectural technologist

architecture cakeMy friend’s son Jacob graduated as an architectural technologist and Jen, his mum wanted to celebrate. She tracked down some of her grandfather’s blueprints — he was an architect — and suggested I incorporate them into a cake. Great idea! They were made into edible icing sheets (printed with edible ink) and added to the cake. I made the pencils and ruler out of fondant. Congrats Jacob. Knock ’em dead out there!

Ode to Erté

ErteThis cake was made for a designer whose favourite artist and designer was Erté.
A little history from the Erté website: The Russian-born painter Romain de Tirtoff, who called himself Erté after the French pronunciation of his initials, was one of the foremost fashion and stage designers of the early twentieth century. From the sensational silver lamé costume, complete with pearl wings and ebony-plumed cap, that he wore to a ball in 1914, to his magical and elegant designs for the Broadway musical Stardust in 1988, Erté pursued his chosen career with unflagging zest and creativity for almost 80 years. On his death in 1990, he was hailed as the “prince of the music hall” and “a mirror of fashion for 75 years.”
The cake sported an Erté-type design, the pearls around the bottom, the icing on the cake, so to speak…