How do one say no to baking for a child who has just started his battle with leukemia? You don't. It was a very last minute order but I was taking the week off before the onslaught of Christmas orders to bake for. So, I was more than happy to do it especially when it wasn't known earlier if he would have survived his first course of chemotherapy. Mum just needed a small 6' cake with Special Agent OSO. Yes, I had to Google this guy and loved what I learnt about this Oso (means bear in Spanish). He's an agent who helps children perform tasks and is superbly-assisted by S.A.Wolfie (in blue cut-out) and S.A.Dotty (cut-out cat in yellow-orange). I handed the cake over to mum with a hope that Heston will draw positivity and strength from his favourite Special Agent to recover completely. Let's aim for a Digi-Medal, Heston! The Chocolate Cake weighed 1.2kg.
Ahh.....3-year old girls and their princesses. Don't they all go through that phase...yes, even my I-prefer-to-be-a-boy daughter went through it. But not at all hardcore like the girls you'd see walking in malls in their princess costumes, clip-clopping in ill-fitting pink, furry, diamante kitten-heels or sleeping in nighties featuring their favourite Disney princess. Not to mention the school bags, handbags, pencil cases, water bottles...that's a huge money-making industry there! Our Little Miss never wanted anything remotely close to being princessy. Those few pieces of pink tiara, pencil sets and what-nots were presents from well-meaning friends who thought we were depriving her of being a princess *sigh* Her brushes with Disney princesses were in forms of movies and magazines. She enjoyed the stories but after awhile, she found them repetitive...the whole happily ever after ending after meeting a prince? Yeah, that part will have her rolling her eyes...even at 4. So, here we have Ariel depicted under the sea next to her underwater musical instruments. The bottom tier was covered in pink fondant because Aryssa loves the colour pink.This was a 2.2kg Chocolate Cake for a small party of 15.
Yeah, the fancy feathered mask is missing in this picture. I was to assemble a 2-tier Dark Chocolate Orange Cake with a simple design provided by the client and she will get the striking masqurade-type mask to top the cake. I was not too happy with the gold on this cake, it wasn't as glittery nor "goldie" as I hoped for. I think my American gold colour and edible dusting powder just doesn't have their China-made counterparts' umpph, eh? Personally, I'd rather a pale gold than gold that'll leave my skin shiny...just saying ;-p Cake finished weighing 4kg.
This order has been overdue like for 2 years! Ethan's aunt made the first inquiry 2 years ago for a cake but I was competely booked out, I think. And last year, we were away for vacation. This year, it coincided with our vacation again! I know, this happens a lot whenever it's school term break. We, too go away for holidays like all of you. And with school-going children, term breaks are the only time we get to travel a wee bit and for me to actually get some rest even if we're not on vacay.
Nonetheless, we finally got to settle on the cake and the young man wanted one of Plants vs Zombies. I had to do all the tiny figures a week ahead and they're quite fiddly to do. Ethan's aunt was a great help though, providing me exactly what her nephew wanted on his cake with pictures. Least I didn't have to spend any time sitting in front of Google Search. I also made the house out of cake. Apparently, that is necessary to set the layout right for the actual game. Don't ask me what or how this game works because you'll get me started on questioning the relevance of zombies and plants??? Then again, games...sighhh. Anyway, I had my children tell me exactly where to put each character correctly (apparently they've only played it once or twice.....yeah, right). The cake looked pretty cool actually, very much like the actual game scene no? This Chocolate Cake was heavy though, with the house and load of figurines on it - 4.5kg. Well, cause and effect.
Zayn's mum: Adventure Time with Finn & Jake, can?.
Me: What's that, ah?
Yes, another one of those Cartoon Network series which I have no idea of, nor do I fancy even if I've seen it. For one, they're ugly. For some reason, Cartoon Network always show ugly (and irritating-sounding) cartoons. Seriously! Everytime I hear some high-pitched wail or annoying nasal drawl going on and on from the telly out in the hall, I discover that it's some ugly, mindless program from Cartoon Network like Phineas & Ferb, Oggy & the Cockroaches or something. Sponge Bob...Wallace & Gromit....uggghhh. They're all ugly! No one has so far managed to convince me anything good about these shows...bad grammar, unnecessary whining, speaking loudly or frantically all the time are just a few to name. The only shows I approve of from Cartoon Network for my kids to watch is Tom & Jerry. Period. Any maybe a couple of those Marvel cartoons. Otherwise, they get a wring on their ear from me.
So, back to the cake. It's pretty much a no brainer actually (duhh...) after looking it up online. There wasn't really a scene to work on except the feature has to be the yellow creature (dog/cat/mutant?) and the boy (what's with the bonnet??). I'm assuming Finn is the yellow blob with flaying legs and Jake's the boy with equally long, flaying arms and legs. I think the cake design did its job well because the young man loved it. Glad to be of service *snigger* This Vanilla Chocolate Chip Cake finished weighing 2.6kg.
We entered the month of November with this cake...and with Trisztan, too, I've had the privilege of baking his birthday cake since he was 1 (Pocoyo Zoo). This year, his mum said his "thing" was Dibo the Gift Dragon. Took me awhile to figure what it was when I was on the phone with his mum! I've only done this dragon once and it was awhile back...plus, my children never saw it, so zero awareness in my memory bank. It was a very small cake and kind of overwhelming having all the characters on it. But it worked out. The Lemon Poppyseed Cake finished weighing a mere 1.6kg (7' or was it 6' ??? Can't remember).
This is an absolutely funny, yet sad cake! The brief was - cake for a couple who loves to drink. Put them in bed with beer cans strewn all over. They have a toddler. Simple and straightforward...as the cake was. The 9' Butter Cake bed (2.8kg) had the drunk couple, pretty much knocked out. While the birthday couple and beer cans strewn all over the bed was meant to be the highlight, I think my impression of their toddler was the one that stole the show. It would have been easy to just have the toddler join in to drunkenness and the whole cake would have been funny. But, I made the little fella pouting and in tears. I think THIS toddler made a better impact and basically stole the cake show!
This 3-tier whopper finished weighing 4.5kg! As you can see, it was a pretty elaborate cake...I was just impressed that the soft and moist Lemon Poppyseed Cake held up with all the fondant weight. It was a grand 1st birthday party for a pair of twins and their mum thought it will be fitting to go revisit her childhood author- Enid Blyton, for the party theme. Magic Faraway Tree cum Woodland Fairies (for guests not in the know, I presume). I had meant to simply cover the cake in pastel-coloured fondant, do a cut-out of a tree and have a couple of dainty, pastel coloured characters sitting on it...as one of the examples provided by the twins' mum. But as I was working on the key characters in this book, I realised that not only the pastel colours didn't make much sense with Moonface nor the Saucepan Man, the whole 3-tier cake in pastel green with a white cut-out tree would have Enid Blyton roll in her grave! Her writing had us making up vivid imaginations of how each character would look like and the book illustrations also gave us an insight to each character. I just couldn't do it the "modern" way!
So, I went back to the drawing book and redesigned the cake. This was the finished product. I basically replicated the giant treehouse complete with a door and the windows. The 3 main characters were Moonface on top of the cake, the Green Fairy (accompanied by another smallish one and an elf) and the Saucepan Man on the ground. I was happy with the design and I think it did justice to the grand Dame of children literature's creativity.
Finally, I'm getting to sit down for a bit and update this blog! I know, I know...the earlier excuse was me having to lay low in accepting business so I can help Young Master prepare for his Primary 6 exams in September. Well, it's been 2.5 months and what have I been doing? Catching up with home chores, finish up sewing projects, cooking and baking up storms (you can the updates via Doing a Julie/Julia ...err, eventually ;-p). But most of all, spending time with my children. All these exam preps have turned me into a Cruella. In between it all, I did take a couple of orders..mostly regulars. Like this cake for example.
I've been fortunate enough to bake for Noah since his 1st birthday (Pocoyo ) through his 2nd (Toy Story) and now his 3rd. This very small 2-tier Chocolate Cake was a tricky one. Hotwheels' trademarks are the orange loops and the fire ring. I had to make them way in advance and thankfully, the weather was kind and the loops held up on their own. The plan was to use only one and have another loop in case one broke/collapsed. But since the whole cake construction went exceptionally well, I thought, "Why not? Let's use both!". Turned out to be a REAL Hotwheels cake (finished weighing 2kg). Mum also ordered 60 pieces of mini cupcakes to feed the small mouths in the party.