Wednesday, October 13, 2010

for Jen

upon leaving spin class last week i was told that i needed to update my blog.... an acquaintance of mine was waiting for a new post. so this is for her! wink wink (please let me off next class.... kidding)

for this month's cake for my hubby's work, i decided that i would do a pumpkin spice cake, with a fall theme. i have been dying to try another barrel cake with leaves. i did one last year, but it was my first and i didn't love it. but the one that i was going to try, was hoping i would. i had a few more tools and a few more idea's of what i wanted to create this year. so without further babble, here it is! I DO LOVE IT!
it took me quite a few hours to make all the leaves but they looked so great! i was talking to my bro-in-law on the phone as i was caking and he was telling me that most barrel's don't have a gold band and that i could use black! he saved me a bunch of time as i already had black made up and i had no clue how i was going to make gold with just a bit of shimmer dust. so thanks Spence!!!

i loved doing the wood grain barrel. it was really easy to do and it is fun to be creative. i thought it also turned out really well. i might frame this one and put it up on the wall with the pic's of my kids, who by the way are being neglected because all i take pictures of lately is of my cakes... what a bad mom!
see, they are still ok!

one reason i LOVE fall

i was baking a pumpkin spice cake yesterday and when came to the part of adding the spices in with the flour, i realized why i must love fall so much.

it looks like food! just kidding, i LOVE the warm colors of the spices. then i thought about how i would paint my next house ground clove, ginger and cinnamon. i just loved it! what a great idea, i was planning and thinking and - "Geneva, it's your turn to change the baby's bum." fine. back to reality. but i am holding that thought...

two little boys

a friend of mine called me and asked me to make her two cakes... one with Woody from Toy Story, and one with Buzz from Toy Story. so, in true style, i spent hours looking on line trying to figure out what i would do. so many of the pictures of Woody and Buzz are of them together so it was tricky to come up with an idea where they were separate. but, i finally did.

i decided that i would do colorflow to make their images and set to work tinting the 20 different colors. i like to let my color flow dry for at least 48 hours before i peel it off the wax paper, so i carefully removed the images and set to work filling and icing the cakes.

well i got Woody on just fine and then it was time for Buzz. while i was trying to place him on the cake, i broke his number three in about 8 places. with just getting ready to take the cakes out the door, i knew i didn't have time to do another colorflow - obviously!! but for once in my cake life, i didn't panic. i knew how i would fix this one. i re-traced the inside of the three (the yellow is where it was the worst) and then refilled it. you could tell as it was drying the it was filling in the old cracks, but at least it didn't look so ghetto! here is the final project...s.

Friday, September 24, 2010

fun things for fall

i have a great idea for October's office birthday cake that i have to do for my hubby's work. this time i tried a few of the ideas out so that i am not leaving it until the very last minute.i have also been doing some mini-cupcakes. they are not that exciting to me, but my kids love them. more specifically, the "prinkles"!

about me.

i just thought that i would write a few things about myself that you may not know. of course having to do with cakes.

- i LOVE cake, but i do not like chocolate cake. if i am utterly desperate, i will eat it, but i can go without. i find this weird, because i love chocolate. oh well, one less thing to help me gain weight.

- i often fall asleep at night thinking about designing cakes. it drives me crazy when i am really tired but i cannot turn my brain off.

- i am not very good with icing. i have a hard time smoothing it out and i have high expectations of myself... like perfection. i am not perfect - i know this is not a shock. but i expect it when it comes to making something.

- while i am creating in our kitchen, i have to constantly clean up after myself. i always have to tell myself to get the cake (or whatever i am working on) into the oven and then i will have time to clean. this is a hard concept for me. i don't know if it's because our kitchen is so small and there is no room when i am caking, or if it is because i thrive on organization, or because i am a bit of a clean freak. i can have truck stop toilets (well not that bad) but dang it, my kitchen better be clean!

- nothing to do with caking, but i still don't know how to spell toilet (spell check saved my life) and i often have a problem with vacuum. yes, i am 30.

- i am not a great cook, but i can make a mean dessert.

- a year and a half ago, lining a cake pan with parchment paper was too much work and 'how could anyone ever have time for this crap'... well now i do. and i love it.

- a year and a half ago decorating a cake consisted of call DQ to get an ice cream cake. (i still love those!)

- my husband and i argue often when it comes to decorating a cake. it's messy, chaotic and our kids are ALWAYS, ummmmmm, being kids?

- i often get confused because i have 25 things going on in my brain at one time, baking, icing, leveling, filling, changing a baby's bum (my hands are like sandpaper because i wash so frequently. so don't worry, if you get a cake from me it will be e-coli free! should that be my new catch phrase? kidding!), tinting, cleaning, lunch, snacks, getting pans out, putting pans away, making flowers, people, characters... it goes on and on and drives me until i notice i am standing in my kitchen, useless and not doing anything except staring at something, usually the mess.

- i usually leave things until last minute. bad habit and i would probably have less stress if i started working on things sooner than later.

- i love licking out the bowl, except i use a spatula so i can get most of the batter.

that is probably boring and long enough so i will stop there. i really love decorating and coming up with ideas for cakes. i feel like every cake i make is a huge accomplishment and i love watching (in a non-creepy way) people enjoy my cakes. i am thankful for this God given talent and i pray that i will be able to do it until i am either perfect at it (and then continue on with decorating), or really, really old!

Monday, August 30, 2010

the cake that got me...

well it has been a really busy summer. i haven't done much caking at all, i miss it, but we have been so busy i haven't had time to really do anything. i am glad that fall is on the horizon, the beautiful crisp, clean air is coming back, school is starting and routine is coming back. i have enjoyed it, but i really miss having some structure in our lives.

our littlest man had his birthday near the end of august. while we were staying at my parents house, i decided that i was going to tackle at topsy turvy cake. they are big, and i couldn't justify making one for the heck of it, so i thought that it would be the perfect birthday cake. i had the idea all ready, the colors and where i was putting what. so i started to bake.... and bake.... and bake. 9 cakes in total. here they are.once i had them baked and cooled, they went into the freezer so that they would be easier to carve. so the next step was fill, stack and carve away. carving was really fun because it was a neat shape, and i am pretty nit-picky so i had a great time looking over the shape of the cake all too next step was to cover them with a crumb coat, chill, and then cover with another coat of buttercream, then chill again. once that was done it was time for fondant. i was so excited it was going so well!!!! it was getting late and i was tired but i just thought that if i could get them all covered with fondant i would be laughing in the morning... well i tried to cover the biggest set of cakes 3 times and at 2:30am i finally decided to call it and go to bed. i was just getting more and more frustrated and i knew that wasn't helping me at all.

i finally got back to the cake around lunch time. i still had about 5 hours to finish the cake so i was in good standing. once the cakes were covered, all i had to do was decorate and that usually goes by a little quicker. so i figured i had LOTS of time. being as i was so frustrated with the biggest cake, i decided to try and cover the smallest one first. it went well and into the fridge it went. then i thought i would work on the middle tier so IF i ran out of time, i could at least use two tiers.

i guess i should have explained the process of actually covering the cakes with fondant the first time. once the buttercream was chilled, i sprayed my cake with a bit of water so that the fondant would stick to it. when the fondant tore, as it did the first three times, i had to remove the fondant, (which removed a lot of the buttercream) scrape the excess buttercream off the fondant, re-mix the fondant back together, wrap it, bag it, and then recover the cake; crumb coat again, chill, and then regular icing, and chill. i was sure that when i did it in the afternoon i would know what i was doing as i had already had a go with it 3 times before.

so onto the second tier. first attempt, RiPpEd fondant. so i repeated the entire process above again. by this time i was really annoyed. i calmed myself, telling myself that i can do anything my mind says i can. so i took a few deep breaths before i re-rolled the fondant and applied it to the cake. all i saw was more ripping and my mind was telling me to swear (under my breath of course!) and punch away................. ahhhhhhhh, relief. it felt so d.a.n.g. good! i was flying all over my kitchen, my cupboards, my floor. i didn't care. i was a total psycho for about 30 seconds.

i slouched down in the corner, totally defeated and called my hubby. "can you please come home and give me a hand for a minute." "what's going on?" he sweetly asked. "i am having trouble with the cake." "well babe, i am really busy and i can't get away right now. what is happening?" i responded, "it looks like someone punched the shart out of the second tier." he asked "well did you?" "ummm, ya." then he started to laugh and told me not to worry about it, we'd get a DQ cake. FINE WITH ME! then i called my mom. she came over and told me to scoop it into a bowl and we would eat it like that for supper and for our little man's birthday. so we did!

well of course i had the top tier left over and the bottom tier.... frozen in my freezer. so i attempted to make the cake again. i baked another middle tier, three chocolate cakes, froze, filled, stacked and carved... again.

crumb coated, chilled, frosted, chilled and then tried to cover with fondant again. this time i made my own fondant. i called an expert and asked why it kept ripping and she thought it might be because it was too dry. so like i said above, i made my own. i tried a recipe that i used for a tinker cake and didn't love, but figured it was my first try with new fondant so i need to try it again. well, it looked like elephant skin, but it didn't rip!!!

i prepped the bottom tier with dowels, and placed the top tier on it. i didn't really like how tall the second tier was looking but i was going to go with it. then i place the top tier on. it looked retarded. no, seriously. again, enough for one night. i left it and when we got home from church i decided i would take the top and middle tier off and cut the middle tier about 1-2 inches up and then replace. then it would look more proportioned.

well i forgot there was doweling all throughout the cake and the top layer just about fell apart in my hands, so i decided at this point to call it quits. i know, shocking. but i had tried enough, and i know what i will do next time (if there is ever a next time for this cake!!). i let the kids have at it and it was the highlight of this caking experience! blow out your candles little one!

Sunday, July 18, 2010

no strings attached

my girlfriend wanted an acoustic guitar cake for her hubby's birthday. it was a fun cake to do and a lot easier than i thought it would be! i was really happy about that; i was a bit nervous to attempt this one.i was lucky enough to have my Mom with me again on this job. we ran out of time and ideas on how to get the strings to attach and stay straight. we even cut the strings off of my husbands "camping"guitar that was buried in the garage (we haven't been camping in years!) and tried those out. still no luck. BUT we figured out how to do it next time!

bunnies, flowers and butterflies - oh my

this 4 layer chocolate cake with oreo filling was done for a sweet little girl who is getting big. this was her request for her cake. it took me a while to come up with the idea in my head of what i was going to do, but i was very happy with the outcome.

cookie truffles

alright. here they are with the recepie.
*take 180z of your favorite boxed cookie (any cookie would probably work just fine) oreo, fudgeo, chocolate chip, coconut cream - whatever tickles your taste buds. crumble them up, personally, i like to freeze them for a few minutes and then chop them up in my food processor so pieces are nice and small.
*next add 4oz of cream cheese to the cookie crumbs. mix well.
*once combined, take mixture by the teaspoonfull and roll into a ball.
*place in the freezer again for a few minutes until set.
*in the mean time, melt 18oz of chocolate chips with one tbsp of shortning in the microwave or on the stove.
*once melted, remove and stir until all chips have disappeared. take balls out of freezer and drop into the chocolate.
*place on a cookie sheet covered with wax paper and let set again. take out a few minutes before serving.

cupcake in a jar

i didn't invent these but whoever did is amazing! they are so cute! these were vanilla cupcakes with raspberry and Bavarian cream and then they were topped with chocolate and vanilla icing.

lots to do

well hello my friends. i haven't been on here in a while and i have a lot to update, including a really great recipe for some super easy truffles! first of all, my girlfriend asked me to do a 10th anniversary cake for her and her hubby. she wanted something that they would all enjoy and represent them as a family. so we came up with the idea of a boat. i have never, obviously, done that before. but it was a great challenge and had quite a few firsts that went with it.... like trying to make people!

my Mom made these.... ummmm.... creepers! it was late and we couldn't stop laughing. she wanted them to be realistic. they were a little too realistic in a really creepy way. needless to say, she felt a little rejected when i rejected them.

this was the boat that we came up with. it is more "fun" instead of "realistic". but it has their family with them and they are doing something they all love, together. i was glad that they were happy with it. it was cute.

Thursday, June 24, 2010

my fave so far!

i have a great neighbor/friend. we decided to team up and try making our first cake together... it went really well. this time there were 5 kids in the kitchen. it was a little crazy at times, but we kept it together. here is our cake. we both love it!

tiny baby fondant feet are on the belly...

and a really, really nice set of boobings. i must say i am a little jealous, although they are too perfect!

Monday, June 21, 2010

father's day cake

for a very special and wonderful dad. sadly not for my hubby who is also a very special and wonderful dad. but he is currently on a diet (along with the wife).

CUTEST idea ever!

cupcakes in a jar! who would have thought... obviously not me but i LOVE them. layer fave cupcakes with filling and icing, top with a fancy lid and POOF! a cute, one (or more) serving of a cupcake. serve with a spoon. great for special occasions, teachers, kids parties... the list goes on!

did you know?

i was recently reading in one of my cook books that the "German" chocolate cake, isn't really German! i was a little shocked. an English fellow named Sam German, developed the "German's Bakers Chocolate" in 1852 for the Bakers' Chocolate Co. just over one-hundred years later an un-named housewife from Dallas sent in a recipe for this "Chocolate Cake" to a local newspaper and the company that owned Baker's Chocolate, General Foods loved the idea of it and put copies of it in the nation's newspapers. so here we are today, still making this WONDERFUL and RICH cake!

Monday, June 14, 2010

is Spiderman really that ripped??

this past saturday i finished up working on a cake who featured none other than Spiderman. i was at first excited to try and do a 2d image of him, sailing through the air. that didn't work. i couldn't see the picture under the red fondant and i had wasted enough time looking on line trying to figure out how to do this technique. i actually think that i got sidetracked looking at MORE cakes! yup, i am sure that is what happened.

so anyways, i ripped a picture out of w's coloring book and did a colorflow. so that is where the title of this post comes from. i was trying to get all his muscles in there, abs, arms, neck, legs... i am sure that i now have some new muscles in my hands from working him out! in the end i was happy with how he turned out from a distance.

up close and personal it looked like he had leprosy or a serious acne problem. i am not sure which, but i think it is because i had to try and get the colored color flow so far down into the black outline. but like i said, from a distance he looked pretty good.

next up was getting him onto the cake. i wanted it to look old school comic, so i put the buildings on an angle and then i squeezed/squoze (pretty sure one of those or both aren't words) some fondant through a garlic press to try and make some stringy web. it worked out ok too! then i put it all together and called up my lovely client to come and pick up the hero. i didn't want to risk the babe getting into it in the morning while i was getting ready for church. so i said good bye to him after a small photo shoot, and now i am eagerly waiting for my next cake to come into play. only a few days away!

it's been a while... again.

i have been busy as of late. i am a SPOILED girl, who was lucky enough to convince her charming and handsome husband to let her purchase a cricut. my first project with it was to decorate a birthday cake for my girlfriends husband for his 29th birthday. after farting around with the gumpaste for 5, yes, that is right, 5 hours, i finally gave up and decorate the ugliest cake that i have ever made. this is what it looked like...

just kidding, as if i would show you! hahaha. take my word for it, seriously ugly... like second guessing my self as being somewhat talented at decorating cakes. it made a boil look good. alright, sick i know, it wasn't that bad, but a close second.

anywho, i finally phoned the cricut hot line (don't know if that was what it was really called but it was hot line enough for me!) and the cutest lady from Utah told me that i needed to freeze the fondant/gumpaste for 5 or more minutes before i cut it. and you know what - it worked! i was so excited. so from there i finished the cupcakes that i was making for the girlies that my friend and i visit teach, sent my girlfriend out the door with her ugly cake and was on my way out the door as well.

so without further babble, here are the cute little cupcakes.
i was told that they were good which is always nice to hear. i did have to send out a small apology as i accidentally "lost" (seriously i tried getting it out but it got away) an eggshell in the cupcake. two of the girls told me that they ate them so fast that they would have never noticed. LOVE IT - there is more than just one of me in this world!

Thursday, May 20, 2010


after all of this waiting and deciding on which kitchen helper i wanted to bring into our family, i finally decided on a BOSCH! i have been waiting for her to arrive and i think she is just as excited to be here as i am. i swear i could hear her calling me from inside the box "Hurry up and get me out of here! I have things to do!" so that is just what i did.

once i quickly dug through all of the packing peanuts (some of which i might add were dissolvable, but not all of them. less than a third! why not do them all?!) i located her exact position in the box. it was time to bring her out and show her our world! ( i know i am a dork, you don't have to tell me that!) WOW, what a great picture of me! whatever... i finally felt like i could get great things done with her.

after all of the excitement in our home, or my head, i can't remember which.... i figured i needed to give her a name. we would be working A LOT together over my next few decades of life, so she needed to have something special. i was thinking it needed to be something memorable, and that i could laugh and cry too. hmmmmmm, gerti or gert for short. i like that.

i will stop talking now and let you see GERT. expect to see great things from her and i, and some failures too i am sure. but hopefully most of all, a lot of fun.