Cake is happiness

A few years ago, I decided I wanted to make a huge cake for my sister’s birthday. I had been experimenting with fondant, but only to decorate cookies. I could have started with a small cake, but instead went for a two-tired cake with zebra print and red icing. I do like a challenge! I lost track of how many hours I put into that cake, but it turned out great!

20454_478782500623_3007884_n

After that, I was hooked and started making all kinds of cake!

This one was for a friend’s daughter’s birthday.

25538_10150160209420624_4574892_n

For a collegue’s birthday. I used ganache and it made the cake all slidey and crooked, but it tasted blissful.

31096_10150172368215624_3097644_n

I made this one for my cousins birthday.

34189_10150204074075624_1108755_n

This one was a special order from a friend for her boyfriend’s birthday. I complied, but this is not my team!

150514_10150339838265624_5941872_n

And then there was the castle cake for another little cousin.

167750_10150354517250624_78247_n

My little sister saw all the cakes I was making and asked for something special for her fifteenth birthday.

198929_10150448800560624_2090835_n

This one was for a circus themed baby shower. The tent is leaning a little and the elephant looks like he’s wearing sunglasses, but this is still one of my favourites!

200518_10150488572730624_7110382_n

When my cousin got married, she asked me to make her cake. I had never made a cake this big before, but it came out looking pretty great, if I do say so myself!

293956_10150761355355624_7666646_n

My friend Caroline’s daughter wanted a princess cake for her third birthday.

409474_10151198496390624_177178233_n

When my friend Julie got married, I offered to make her cake. It was not perfectly level, but in no way did it look as crooked as it does in this picture!

534494_10151923120075624_677580712_n

When my friend Dominique got married, she planned a small wine and cheese, but her daughter really wanted her to have a ckae, so we devised a secret plan to surprise her with one!

001

And, most recently, I made a baby shower cake for my friend Suzanne. Baby Stella was supposed to arrive eight weeks after the shower, but instead, she showed up a few days later! She’s small, but healthy and happy.

IMG_0099

Making a cake takes a while, but it’s worth it to see the looks on people’s faces when they see their cake! However, I think I’m going on a little cake hiatus. I’m still going to eat cake, just maybe not decorate any for a while!

Ooh la la!

My best friend Suzanne is going to have a baby. We’ve been friends since the first grade, and now she’s going to be someone’s mom. It’s strange, wonderful and perfect, all at the same time. She’ll be an awesome mom. I can already picture her with her daughter. Of course, in my mind it’s all Hallmark moments, but I’m sure real life will be different! Either way, I hope the next two months go by really fast, because I can’t wait to meet baby Stella.

Suzanne’s mom and sisters hosted a Paris themed baby shower yesterday. I don’t know where they came up with that idea, but it was perfect! They really went all out with the decorations too, with paintbrushes hanging from the ceiling and impressionist-ish paintings done by Suzanne’s two year old nephew. It all felt very artistic and Parisian.

IMG_0105

IMG_0106

We all had to wear hats, which was fabulous, because how often do I get to wear a hat that’s not a woolly toque these days? I wore my fascinator and it made me quite happy. I didn’t think I would get the chance to wear it again! Especially not in the winter. I didn’t get a picture though, as I was busy being the photographer with my awesome new camera. I did get Suzanne’s sister to take a picture of the two of us, but I had removed my feathers by then!

IMG_0134

I was asked to make the cake. I wanted to stay with the Paris theme, but not be too tacky. I decided “chic” would be my theme. I bought some edible paper, which I had never worked with before. I liked the design, but I couldn’t cut out shapes like I wanted, it kept cracking. I decided to go with strips instead and this is what I came up with.

001

IMG_0095

010

I wanted to take step-by-step photos as I was decorating the cake, but I am way too messy for that to be possible. Making fondant is not difficult, but it requires a very hight tolerance for extreme messiness. Powdered sugar everywhere. And I’m not exaggerating!

I hope baby Stella liked it!

Calla Lily Cake

My friend Dominique got married on Saturday. She’s having a beautiful wedding ceremony with family and friends in January, but she had a civil ceremony this weekend. She wanted to keep things simple and invited us to the ceremony, followed by a wine and cheese at her house. Her daughters wanted to make sure the day was extra-special, so they planned little surprises. One of those surprises was asking me to make a cake.

I remembered she had mentionned calla lilies for her bouquet, but I couldn’t ask her about it, it was meant to be a surprise!

I decided to go with the lilies, but I had never made life-like flowers before. I usually just cut my decorations out of fondant. I found a tutorial with a little video and it didn’t look that hard. Turs out, it was pretty easy! I made several flowers and let them dry overnight. I covered the cake in light yellow fondant, added a yellow ribbon, and voilà! Calla lily perfection!

How to say thank you with cookies

For all of September, I had free yoga classes. Everyone who does yoga knows, that while it’s definitely worth it, it’s not usually free. Since the challenge I was participating in was to raise money for charity, Jen and Amber at Pure Yoga Ottawa gave all of us challenge people free yoga for the month. Most people went a few time, some even 10 or 12 times. I went to 30 classes. That’s a lot of free yoga.

I wanted to make something for the girls to say thank you. I decided to make cookies. I love to bake, but I didn’t do it much in September, since I was busy getting blissed out on daily yoga.

I made the sugar cookies from the Five Rose cookbook, since those are the ones my mom always makes, and also because I’ve made them so often, I barely have to look at the recipe!

I like to fill  a cookie sheet with all the same shape of cookie. That way, they bake evenly. Also, I use thin, cheap, aluminum cookie sheets. I have “better” cookie sheets, but these cheap ones make the best cookies!

After they cooled, I covered them in fondant. I make my fondant in large batches and freeze it, so I always have some on hand. This time, I had white and yellow, so that’s what I used!

I made royal icing in two colours to pipe some designs on the cookies. My piping skills are not excellent, I’m much better with fondant, but I think they came out pretty cute!

I put them in a pretty little box with some tissue paper and voilà, a cookie thank you!