Laughter & the love of friends

debras-cakeI came across this image in my files recently. It’s a cake I did over 20 years ago for a friend who knew she was dying and wanted to have a final goodbye party. While I visited her in hospital, she came upon the idea of getting a cake. Debra was a talented graphic designer and so the design of the cake became a project for her.
Back and forth we went with ideas (phone calls, it was an era before the internet). She wanted fruit. She wanted flowers. She wanted a saying. She spent many hours finding the right one and this is the one she decided upon.
I was fairly new to cake decorating at the time and was careful to get it right. The text was written on tracing paper, carefully transferred to fondant with pin pricks and then executed with dark brown buttercream.
When I brought the cake to her party, she was delighted with the results. At this point, Debra was weak so we all sat around her bedside, watching videos of her visit to South Africa when she was feeling fine. We ate cake and drank wine and said our goodbyes.
It was a sad occasion but I know that thinking about the cake gave Debra a focus for a few hours while in hospital. At the very least, I gave her that.

Flowers for 65th

floral-barbs-65thMy co-worker Barb celebrated her 65th birthday a few days ago. Her family was having a surprise dinner for her and asked me to make the cake.
I figured a significant birthday deserves a knockout cake. This one was actually based on a gift I got that was wrapped in dynamic Christmas paper. I kind of did a birthday riff on the busy poinsettia and holly leaf pattern.

Historical event

ghs-50A few years back The Glengarry Historical Society celebrated its 50th year helping to preserve local artifacts and data. I was asked to bring a cake to recognize this milestone at the Society’s annual general meeting and potluck. I figured a big bouquet of roses, in this case made out of buttercream, would do the trick. The incoming and outgoing chairs both cut the cake. Kinda sweet.

Gardener’s chocolate cake

floral-for-sigrunA friend of mine celebrated a milestone birthday this past weekend and I offered to make her a cake. Her only request? Chocolate.
Sigrun is a long distance runner, a cook extraordinaire and a gardener who has an encyclopedic knowledge of flowers. She’s also a very accomplished artist and has taught art classes too. So…what to make. A running shoe cake? Buttercream flowers? Hmmm.
I decided on doing something a little more free than my usual cakes…something that recognized the gardener in the birthday girl but also the artist.
So, I piped flowers from coloured chocolate and placed them on a four-layer chocolate cake, topped with a dark chocolate ganache drip.
A super bright and happy cake for a gal with a sunny disposition.