What a month this has been! The year-end term holidays began almost 6 weeks ago. I said to myself that I'll slow down, give myself a real rested holiday this time round and dedicate most of those days to entertaining the children. There were enough advance party cake orders for the month and Christmas orders were expected, so I pulled the reins on further orders. 3 weeks down and I still hadn't felt the respite! My regular Christmas clients started placing their orders and by the end of the first week of December, I decided that I can't even send out my annual Christmas orders 'spam' this year! This kind of business pattern has been going on for the past year and I'm very grateful to all Great Bakes' fans for your continuous support. I thank you for being with me this year and hope to see you again next year! January 2012 is a week to go, and I'm already receiving Chinese New Year (year of the dragon starts January 23, 2012) orders! But do let me catch my breath and catch up with my MOTH, Young Master and Little Miss this week, then bring it on!!
Aunt Felicia said that Bryan loves aeroplanes and that's actually quite simple. I had a choice of modelling a run-by-mill aeroplane or one that's more suited for a 3-year old. I believe an A380 (my favourite aircraft so far) may be lost in a toddler, so I went for a Fokker-type plane with a brown bear in old-fashioned goggles and neck scarf piloting it. Had a message banner running across the skies, too! Such a simple and colourful cake, ya? This Devil's Food Cake (less sweet chocolate) cake was to feed 30 people and finished weighing 2kg.
Following the earlier Sexy 45 cake, this one had a breast enlargement.Wifey requested for larger boobs and cake to be in Newcastle United colour themes - black and white, for her Magpie-supporter husband's birthday today. Turned the Lemon Poppyseed Loaf into a chaise lounge and Miss NUFC, well....."draped" on it? When the cake was completed (1.3kg), photo was taken, I realised that I forgot to put on the red stilettos on her! So, off came part of her toes and on went the red shoes.
4-year old Zahira (Ashaz "Lightning"'s sister) is still in love with the colour purple but has entered the age of Princesses and Ballerinas, and all things pretty I'm sure. While last year's Double Birthday Carnival featured a Circus Tent, this year she went for a Princess Ballerina cake. Mum said that she loves buttercream and would like the cake to be covered in buttercream. For weeks I haven't had time to dwell on what I'll be doing for this theme until on Thursday, this idea came to me. Kind of a spin-off from the very popular Barbie cakes with the ball gown skirt of cake. But this version required tutu ruffles...lots of it. I've been using fondant so much of late that I was afraid I've lost most of my buttercream piping skills! I gave Zahira's mum a heads up in case I messed up the buttercream piping but she reiterated that her daughter loves the buttercream part of the cake. So, we agreed that it will be covered in buttercream nonetheless. If the ruffles weren't materialising, I'll change the cake design. That would have been a boring cake. Out came the nozzle and piping bag. I did the first row of ruffles and it was beautiful. From that row onwards, it was a breeze. I still have it!! Yay! In fact, the piping of ruffles were finished within minutes. Much, much more faster compared the fondant ruffling if I had used that method. The final part of the cake-the top, was still covered in fondant for a smoother finish. Mum was over the moon upon seeing the cake and I hope Zahira was, too! This Vanilla Strawberry Swirl Cake finished weighing 1.8kg.
This must be, what...my 3rd or 4th Lightning? I think I'll be putting a plug on future orders for this! Can we have other characters for Cars from now on? I think the other cars are just as interesting and pretty characteristic, if you asked me. Anyway, this 1.4kg Dark Orange Chocolate Cake was for Ashaz who turns 2 this weekend (I also did his 1st birthday cake last year - Double Birthday Carnival) and will again, be celebrating it with his sister just as before.
Another cake I thoroughly enjoyed working on. I was happy to hear that little Bianca loved Cinderella because I have been itching to do a carriage. When I researched on Cinderella, the colour scheme was very much of blue, silver and dark. It was after all, supposed to be magical and she was off to a ball at night. But it was a little girl's birthday and I really wanted a more colourful cake for her. Cinderella's ball gown had to be blue as "history" states, so I stuck to covering her cake skirt in baby blue. Little Miss said that Cinderella was spot on while the MOTH said that she looked a tad over-nourished, especially when she was supposed to be starved by her step-mother and step-sisters.. Well, this fairy godmother decided that she'll be better off looking "over-nourished" to be marketable to the prince!
For the carriage, I waved my wand and had the pumpkin (cake) turn into a little pink parlour instead of a glass carriage (I wouldn't know how to do a sugarpaste-glass version). And I think it turned out quite pretty. I had meant for the scrolls as the wheels just as it was with the glass carriage but that didn't work out. So, I had them sit on pink discs for support. The pink carriage sat on green turf with a variety of blossoms on the side. I almost forgot about Gus and Peg (the mice). Thank you, Little Miss for the reminder. They're main characters in Cinderella's life! The cake finished weighing 2.4kg.
Here's another popular telly character with toddlers - Thomas the Tank Engine. I've not seen any episodes because my children were never into it when they were toddlers. In fact, they weren't into any specific programmes and were never at any stage, followers of these popular programmes. They watched them but were never hooked on any to have a favourite. I'm not complaining... Anyway, this 3-year old's mum wanted an Elmo for her boy but you know my stand on these characters. I suppose I could do a Sesame Street cake but to only focus on Elmo, all eyes on Elmo...that, I have a problem. There's the eyes that needs to speak, and a smile that needs to be cheeky. Such expressions are very hard to copy with sugar and I can't bear having a deformed Elmo and scar the poor child's vision of cheeky Elmo!
So, mum suggested Thomas the Tank Engine. Well.....said I'll try my best. We had Chocolate Cake (finished weighing 3kg) for the base that acted as walled tunnels for the other four trains coming through the side. Thomas sat atop the cake.No problems with the tank. It was the face I was concerned about. Thomas's face was 2-D, he has those cheeks and obvious nose, plus a cheerful disposition! Sigh...you wouldn't believe how stressed I was. The final face was just ok. It was a face but it didn't quite look like Thomas. It looked more like an older Thomas...a sombre, out of steam Thomas. See? I told you!
Especially happy with the model of young Hassan. His aunt had a team Ferrari shirt for him and wanted him to wear it on his birthday. So, I re-created that syndicated shirt. The Chocolate Cake car sat on top of a 10" square, chequered flag Chocolate Fudge Cake. Yum... The whole cake finished weighing 3.6kg. Hope the doting aunts and uncle got some nice pictures of the young driver with the cake for me!
Every young man's dream - be a pilot (and have girlfriends at every airport-of-call ;-)), gadgets, footy, a race car and maybe an alter-ego like the Sith Lord??? This set of Favourite Things Chocolate Cupcakes were aptly designed for a lad turning 21. Big step to adulthood!
The new grandmother also wanted a couple of regular-sized cupcakes to be given away. For these Neopolitan (marble cake of strawberry, chocolate and butter) and Vanilla Butter Cupcakes, I stuck with the blue and white colour theme.
After this second toadstool featuring another Smurf, I'm still not feeling the love for these guys! I know, I know, how not to love them blue gnomes right? Well.....nonetheless, the toadstool house is always fun to do. I chose a pastel palette this time round since it was for a sweet young lady of 3. With such a pretty name, I wanted to "prettify" the cake with lots of flowers and a pink mushroom cap. The cake also features Smurfette, the only female in the whole village! I could have done more Smurfs but I felt they would take the limelight away from Smurfette. So, I chose to add Papa Smurf peeking through the one of the side window of the toadstool. Another special treat for Giselle was I baked a Lavender Fairy Cake. This 1.6kg cake was made with some French Lavender I got hold of, recently. Fairy Cake is basically a sponge cake that's really light but this one smells divine. I made myself a cup of Earl Grey later and added some Lavender-infused milk, it was the best tea I had.