Sometimes, what is most important about a cake is not how objectively beautiful it is, but how meaningful it is to the recipient. This cake hit the bullseye for Al's 90th Birthday. Al's daughter, Janet, contacted me as they were throwing Al a big birthday celebration at Alvin & Friends restaurant. She wanted a cake that would have meaning to him, but what would it be? After some brainstorming, we came up with the idea of putting words from the family describing Al all around the side of the cake. The words included the biographical ("dad," "New Yorker," etc.), characteristics ("punny,", "mentor," "helpful," etc.) and even places he loves ("Paris,", "Maine," etc.). But it needed something more - something with punch. We settled on a hat, as Al is known for wearing his favorite British walking hat. This style of hat is made of woven tweed, and is a bit softer than a felt hat. I made Al's hat -- out of cake -- to go on top of the round cake!
Both the hat cake and the round cake are made from chocolate cake, with a vanilla bean pastry cream (Al's favorite) in the bottom cake and vanilla bean buttercream in the hat. Both are covered with ganache and then fondant. The hat is hand painted and has some texture to replicate the tweed. As you can see from these photos, the hat was a big hit with Al and his family! (Note Al's actual hat is on the table next to the cake.) Happy 90th Birthday, Al! Looking at these photos of you, I cannot believe that you are 90 years young! May all your days be as happy, healthy and full of love as this day was for you.
Tuesday, October 29, 2013
This cake is boxed and ready for delivery to Rod, who recently retired from a long and successful career as an engineer. His daughter Christa and wife surprised him with this cake, and they suspect that a lot of his free time will be spent fixing up his vintage orange VW Beetle (what a great car - I want one!) The cake is Rod's favorite, Boston Cream Pie -- yellow cake, a creamy vanilla custard filling, and chocolate ganache frosting. The car is made from modeling chocolate and has some depth to it to give it a hint of 3-D. Congrats Rod! Enjoy your freedom.
Here's a golf-themed birthday cake for Nick and John, complete with golf bag, clubs and a few golf balls scattered about on the green and grassy fairway (which may need mowing). Who's counting the number of balls, the number of the hole, or even the ages of the recipients? Not this baker, that's for sure! Lemon cake with raspberry meringue buttercream filling drizzled with raspberry preserves, and lemon buttercream icing the cake. Yum. I hope it was Happy Birthday Gentlemen!
Sunday, September 1, 2013
A gluten-free chocolate stout cake (using gluten-free stout!) with chocolate ganache frosting and filling for Michelle and Scott who are getting married on a beach in the Caribbean. The design is based on a photo from their wedding blog. A bottle of wine awaits them by their beach chairs.
Congrats you two!! May you have many happy years together!