October happens to be a busy month of birthdays for the teachers at my kids’ school. Last week they had a lunch to celebrate them all and I just had to sign up to bring dessert so I could try out this awesome witch cake. I got the idea from the Wilton website and then, as usual, made a few of my own tweaks. Both the witch’s dress and the cauldron are made of cake covered with black fondant. I used green gel color and green pearl dust for the potion brewing in the pot. I bought a doll pick and dyed her blond hair black with streaks of royal icing and covered her hands and face with green pearl dust.
A few months ago I discovered a site called craftsy.com. For anyone artistically inclined or who likes crafts as a hobby, this site is definitely worth checking out. They offer classes in many different categories, including of course, cake decorating. I’ve loved every class I’ve purchased including my most recent class “Clean and Simple Cake Design” by Jessica Harris. There are about 4 different projects she goes through in the class and this cake is one of them.
A while back I was asked to donate a cake as a raffle item for a Relay for Life fundraiser. I took the opportunity to try out this cake from Jessica Harris’s class and am very happy with the results. If you are interested in decorating cakes yourself I would highly recommend her class and others offered on craftsy.com.
This cake is vanilla with strawberry filling and covered in my homemade vanilla fondant. The stripes for the offset chevron pattern were made with a mix of fondant and modeling chocolate. This was the first time I used modeling chocolate as a medium for decorations on a cake and I am a total convert. It was so easy to work with and tasted amazing! I will definitely be using it again in future projects. By just changing the color scheme, this design could work for so many different occasions and I’m sure this won’t be the last time you see it 🙂
I think this year marks the most I have ever acknowledged or celebrated Valentine’s Day. I’m stubborn about it and think that if you really love someone you should be finding ways to show it all year long and not feel the pressure to do something “big” on one day of the year. By the same token, I think it’s kind of silly to expect big gifts or date nights from someone else on Valentine’s Day. If we pay attention and appreciate the loving things they do for us all year round, do we really need over priced flowers or date nights on Valentine’s Day? I’m sure I’ve offended someone now so I’ll move on.
I do think Valentine’s Day can be a nice reminder to acknowledge the people we love. (And a good reminder to teach our kids this concept as well) Especially, those we may not do a great job of appreciating throughout the year. Those people for me are my son’s preschool teachers. They are amazing! And that’s probably an understatement. As a stay-at-home mom of two boys under 5 it is beyond my comprehension why someone would actually want to spend half their day coralling 20 kids aged 3-5. But not only do these two women seem to like it, they’re able to construct a well-rounded, productive three hours for these unpredictable little balls of energy.
I’ve helped out in the class a few days this year and know first hand what an incredible accomplishment that is. You would think with that many kids against 2 teachers it would be glorified babysitting with a little education thrown in. But I can tell my son has really learned a lot this year, and I am grateful to them for making so much of the few hours a week he spends at school.
So this cake was made as a big, fat thank you to them and all the other teachers at my kid’s school, and my way of saying that I love them for what they do 🙂
As I’m taking a week off from cake decorating to get ready for christmas next week, I thought I’d post a christmas themed cake I did last year. This was done for a school district whose colors just happen to be crimson and gray. I made the gray tier silver by mixing silver lustre dust with a little bit of vodka and painting the entire top tier. Then I used sugar pearls “glued” on with a little royal icing to make large snowflakes. The topper is my very first attempt at a gumpaste flower and is supposed to be reminiscent of a poinsettia.
When I look at this picture I have to laugh at myself a little bit. This cake shows my very early attempts at a lot of different things. My first reaction is, “wow, this is awful!” But honestly, I was actually quite proud of this cake at the time, and I still am. You can only get better by practicing and taking chances. With any craft, you’re not going to be great the first time. The challenge is just jumping in and trying things you’ve never done before, because that’s the only way you can get good at them. Sometimes, (well, actually a lot of times in my case) things don’t turn out as well as I hoped. But the great thing is that now I know how to do it better the next time. I’m glad I can look back at the pictures from a year ago and cringe a little bit. It just shows how far I’ve come in the last year, and I hope a year from now my cakes will have improved that much again.