Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Ivory Ruffles and Chocolate Flower Wedding Cake

This is officially my favorite cake that I never got a (good) picture of :( This bride had tons of class and a fantastic idea. What if we did small subtle ruffles and a large chocolate flower on very tall tiers, all tying in the very modern mood of the Global Gallery Venue. What is most different about this cake is the dimensions. It was a6x7x8, that's right only 1/2 inch divided the sides of these tiers, and the result was a very svelt and elegant design.

The best part of all was what I saw on the way out.... her card box matched my cake!!!

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

Sex in The City Wedding Cake

It all started with this photo from the summer issue of IN Style Weddings (oh, how I will miss that magazine!) Its a cake by Collette Peters inspired by Betsy Johnson.

Then onto the true inspiration for her cake, the brides wedding dress that was inspired by Carrie Bradshaw's wedding dress, minus the bird and plus the groom (thank goodness for both)
We went through one round of revisions and came with the above sketch. I was really excited about the peacock brooch in sugar and all the feminine ruffles! The bride wore a chocolate brown sash, and it was the perfect transition from the skirt of the dress to the bodice.
Then the cake! The ruffles needed a lot of support, so I added some gumpaste to keep them stiff enough to resemble fabric. The dragee brooch was much heavier than I anticipated,so I secured with floral wire and fondant, and luckily it had enough strength to stand out of the cake for a more dramatic effect.
I love when brides want to make a statement with their wedding cake and this bride also made a fashion statement!

Monday, November 23, 2009

Alencon Lace and Pearl Wedding Cake

When this bride walked in with a Martha Stewart Planner, I knew we would get along just fine. A touch of alencon lace and pearls mimic the brides dress, and the pearl brooches give the cake a timeless and sweet feel. On a side note I have officially given up my dislike of using real ribbon on a wedding cake. This ribbon perfectly "absorbed" into the cake and gave it an even shimmer that couldn't quite be achieved with a fondant ribbon. I know it may not be part of a solid "culinary point of view"but we wont tell Bobby Flay. If it looks sharp (and is food safe) I am all for it!

Monday, November 16, 2009

Vegan Star Wars Wedding Cake

I believe that a wedding should express the combined identity and personality of the couple, and nothing said who and what this couple were about than a vegan Star Wars themed wedding cake! I LOVE the idea of a vegan wedding (even considering my love for cheese and bacon).... but the idea of cake with no butter and no eggs was a daunting order.
I started this challenge like any other baking experiment, with Google. Looking through recipe after recipe, reading the comments left and developing a game plan. I felt like a baking-genius when my first batch of vanilla cupcakes came out delicious and perfectly moist. The chocolate cake was a different story. After a multi-trial nightmare, cake explosions and implosions I felt like a baking-idiot..... that was until I found a vegan cupcake book in Anthropologie called Babycakes. The recipe was wonderful and baked exactly like regular cake (very important to have a sturdy texture when building tiered cakes). To flour the pans I brushed them with canola oil instead of butter and for the fillings I was sure to not suggest anything I couldn't confirm didn't have gelatin. The biggest challenge came with the fondant. I normally add 20% white chocolate for a smoother texture, and without it the fondant was very difficult to get super-smooth. My solution was to ensure the icing was very smooth before rolling out the fondant a little thicker (around 1/4").Ok, now for the fun part, how cute are these little figurines? The groom owned a comic book store and had these antique figurines of Hans Solo and Princess Leia (sporting a white gown.... perfect!).

Sunday, November 8, 2009

Simple Drama Wedding Cake

The two words I hear most from brides when describing their wedding cake vision are "simple" and "elegant" This cake is the perfect example of a clean, stylish cake with a pop of drama in the large sugar flower and ornate lace detail. The tone on tone piping keeps the cake looking neat yet still sophisticated. I think this same look can be acheived using a very muted base color (such as blush, or ice blue, or a deeper ivory) along with the ivory piping and flower. The large flower look has graced every bridal magazine this season, and I hope to see many brides embracing the large sugar flower in their cakes as well!

I decided to include the sketch pad for this cake to show the fluidity between concept and execution of the final design.

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

Scrolling and Quilted Wedding Cake

When I first met this bride, she seemed to know exactly what she wanted....which is not the case with every bride I meet. She LOVED the quilted look, and wanted to incorporate a hint of the damask pattern she used in the wedding invitations and paper accents of the reception. There was last minute decision to use warm orange hues in the floral elements of the cake, which I think added a gorgeous and vibrant dash of color. Although this cake was very fun to make, the best part was the next day when I received this note from her before departing for her honeymoon:
"Hi Jennyfer! The cake was just PERFECT yesterday. Really, the most beautiful cake I've ever seen :-) "
With every cake I make, my dream is to receive a note like this period, (extra awesome it was the very next day)... and it never, ever gets old :)

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

First Birthday Stacking Rings Cake

Colorful stacking rings make me think of little cooing and crawling babies, so how perfect mom chose this for her baby's first birthday! I added lots of green, blue and yellow to the design to the base of the cake to signify that it was for a boy (not that babies are concern with this), and made sure the teddy bear on top was boy-ish (without eyelashes or a bow).
So bummed I didn't get a picture of how the bear looked after I fixed the toothpicks under his chin.... but thought he was still so darn cute I had to post him :)

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

5 Reasons Carley Roney Inspires Me

I am truly inspired by Carley Roney Editor-in-Chief of The Knot, and wanted to write this post to tell my clients and readers about the people and companies that I admire... in this case it is BOTH a person and a company. I have been very fortunate to meet Carley Roney on a couple of occasions through the Engage! and what I take away from every occurrence fuels me and illuminates for me what I want MY business to look like. The following is 5 Reasons why she is a remarkable individual!
1.) Woman Entrepreneur
Carley is not only a successful entrepreneur herself, but she mentors women entrepreneurs around the country through speaking engagements. She is at the top of many lists that recognize her success at such a young age. As a graduate of NYU (in filmography, ...I know), she is sharp, and an elegant speaker. She once gave me seriously scary advice about my business in its infant stage "just jump in!".... and she was right.
2.) The Knot, The Bump and The Nest
The Knot first graced newstands in 1997, and currently draws 2.1 million unique visitors a month (source: MPA). She credits their success and abundant creativity to connecting their vendors to their brides (affectionately called Knotties). The sense of community and loyalty created by The Knot keeps brides coming back to their site even after they are married (hence The Nest and The Bump). When I was a bride I also felt this strong brand identity to The Knot, and used it almost exclusively as my wedding resource (2005-2006) to find what all brides are looking for: quality vendors, information, objective reviews from other brides and inspiration.
3.) Family Woman
When I first met Carley Roney, we both had 6 month old babies and she excused herself to go breastfeed. I was stunned to learn that while running an empire with her husband David Lui she sometimes breastfed in board meetings, brought her children to work and overall incorporated her family into the company culture. She told me the great thing about having your own company is that you can build it the way you want it to look. At that time in my life I felt a conflict between having huge dreams for my business and also a thriving family and marriage at the same time, unsure of how both are possible. If Carley Roney can run a publicly traded media conglomerate all the while being a loving mother and wife.... it IS possible! She also shared how the dynamics of her marriage are reflected in their business, saying that "the highs are high and the lows are low" and referring to the their hectic schedule as "you just have to like your life that way".... words that have reassured me over and over again.
4.) She hearts brides
Carley has a true affinity for brides, and understands what they want. Her and her husband David decided to quantify what they were hearing from brides, and came up with The Knot Survey. The Knot Survey is designed to collect information FROM BRIDES about the planning experience, from info about budgets to vendors to color combinations. In the end, it was also a way to recognize outstanding vendors through their "Best of" recognitions, an honor which we one day hope to achieve from our brides. Before this survey, no one had every taken a bride-focused approach to wedding industry statistics. We can add "trailblazer" to her list of attributes :)
5.) She is a great person.
Aside from enjoying much success, Carley is pointedly unpretentious (even though she is a New Yorker! hehe!). At conferences, she is never too busy to talk to vendors large and small alike and boasts of having all IKEA furniture in The Knot headquarters.

This woman is someone I wanted to recognize as outstanding, and her words encourage and inspire me in many different ways!

Tiffany's Inspired Wedding Cake

Gotta love a gal that loves Tiffany's! This cake was inspired by the iconic Tiffany Blue, and white bow that made the jewelry store epic (aside from Audrey Hepburn, she helped too:)) The base of the alternating tiers had a small white graduated dot design that kept the attention on the bows and stripes while giving it a simple, clean look. The three loop bow is a nice way to give more attention to this design element of the cake, and keep it looking elegant and regal.

Sunday, September 27, 2009

50th Birthday Party for an outdoors-man!

Tractors and fishing boats and black jack and beaches.... theses are a few of his favorite things!
The sculpted fishing boat was modeled after his own boat, named "Never Say Never" made of Pina Colada Cake (coconut cake iwth a rum glaze and pineapple buttercream). The gentleman is a salt water fisherman, so we had to include a Blue Marlin caught at the back of the boat. His prized tractor, complete with steering wheel, controls and a comfy seat, was sculpted from amaretto cake with chocolate and raspberry filling. This gentleman also enjoys gambling, so we included a handpainted"21" spread along with some dice (I heard that "7" was a good number in dice). My favorite part of this cake was the little sculpture of him holding a "50." I wanted to make sure that the pose was celebratory and masculine.... hope I pulled it off for this outdoors-man!

Thursday, September 10, 2009

The Knot!

I am a huge fan of The Knot (aka Knottie) and its founder Carley Roney. In fact, I have an entire blog post brewing about how much I love her and her company.... even before they posted one of my cakes on their inspiration board! Tuesday This post went up on The Knot ... I thought that people submitted cakes to the bloggers, and that was how you got your work posted.... but i guess not! Thanks to Stacey Kane (the photographer) there is a whole new group of brides I can share my work with!

The Knot Post

Tuesday, September 8, 2009

Chinese Take-out

This project made me hungry, but not for cake! This Chinese take-out themed birthday wouldn't have been complete with out a pagoda pail of cake and fortune cookies that predict a very happy birthday.

Simple Red Poppy Buttercream Cake

As many of you know, I love poppies! The bride chose a large red-ish orange poppy and for a dramatic effect we placed it on a hyper-simple cake, with a simple gold satin ribbon. Normally when a bride suggests using real ribbon my fears of butter stained satin creep up..... but I thought I would take the challenge headon this time! I lined the back of the ribbon with a white tape, and gently brushed the ribbon with a damp cloth, so it wouldn't absorb the buttercream.... and it worked great! PS, these flowers were silk! It goes to show you that as long as you choose tasteful flowers, it all works out (no hibiscus with plastic stamens, please!)

Wednesday, September 2, 2009

Planes, Trains and Automobiles!

These cakes were created for the 2nd birthday of THE sweetest little boy I know! He can't get enough of planes, trains and trucks..... clearly, all boy!

Ladybug Cupcakes

Ladybugs must be the cutest little bug in the world! These black and red ladybugs were made of fondant and royal icing, and sat atop the cupcakes. I enjoy making a little disc to adorn the cupcakes as opposed to incorporating the theme into the entire cupcake, because it leaves the cupcakes in their true colors/flavors. Client can choose whichever flavor they like best, rather than working within their color palette, and there is always ample buttercream regardless of the design.

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

iPhone Cake

This iPhone was made as a grooms cake to reflect the groom's love of his phone! The bride took a snapshot of his desktop and sent it to me from his phone (sneaky!) so that I could create the apps exactly like the ones on his phone! You can barely see it in this photo, but he had 52 emails!!! Woah, that stresses me out just thinking about it!

Monday, August 17, 2009

White with Navy Crumb Catcher Wedding Cake

This cake was created for a friend of mine who loves navy and white as much as I do! She chose this navy crumb catcher design to add some style and contrast to the wedding reception. Dave and Danielle are the perfect couple, and we wish them so much happiness!!

Monday, August 10, 2009

Storm Trooper Cake

This cake was made for a fascinating 4 year old! He loves to surf, and LOVES Star Wars... how cool can a 4 year old get!? He asked specifically for a storm trooper cake, and I was very happy to make it for him. Not knowing a thing about Star Wars, I had some research to do. I guess Storm Troopers are the bad guys, and come to think of it their mask is quite ominous and grumpy. To accompany the cake, there were OREO cupcakes: marshmallow buttercream on chocolate cake garnished with an OREO cookie, perfectly black and white.

Celtic Knot Wedding Cake

The inspiration for the design on the side of the cake was this Irish Knot cake topper. The symbol on the interior of the heart is the Celtic Trinity symbol, similar to a cross. It is encased in the heart as a traditional Irish wedding symbol. This particular bride wanted to incorporate her heritage in the colors and symbols on her cake, so I made this custom design to include the symbol in light green buttercream.