Thursday, October 13, 2016

African Serengeti 40th Birthday Cake

I have planned this cake for a  few years. My husband spent 2 years in southern Africa in his twenty's serving a religious mission and doing much service work. He has always loved Africa and I've always wanted to give him an African cake. The opportunity came in the perfect way- his surprise 40th birthday party! I had a hard time coming up with a theme for the party, even after a year of trying to plan it, since he is a man of many loves!  Finally, after much though, I decided to theme the party around all his favorite things! What better way to represent Africa than the cake?!
 He loved, and speaks fondly of the many different Safaris he was able to travel on. He loved the animals and the scenery and the beauty of the colors. So for the cake, I decided to spotlight exactly those things!  I couldn't pick a favorite animal pattern, so I chose the cheetah and zebra.
 Photos of the African savannah always show the gorgeous red and orange sunsets, so I decided to highlight the sunsets and put the animals and trees in silhouette against the colors!
I wanted a simple but rustic way to separate the tiers so I simply tied some raffia around the bottom two tiers and loved how vibrant the colors turned out! One of my favorite cakes, I'd have to say!
Happy 40th to my wonderful hubby! Here are some pics from his fun Favorite Things party!

Wednesday, October 12, 2016

Musically Sweet Violin Cake

This cake was a challenge I was excited to take on! A cake was requested for the 20th anniversary celebration of a violin music studio, and she requested something classic but with a bit of a wow factor and also to include an edible violin on top.
It was fun to brainstorm ideas with her, and we came up with a simple top, highlighting the 3 dimensional violin to go on top, with a few red chocolate flowers to give the cake a pop of color.
For the bottom tier we went with classic white frosting rosettes. I thought it would be a nice element to give the cake some dimension with the mix of fondant and buttercream, plus I decided to airbrush a bit of gold luster dust to give it some shimmer- who doesn't love a little bling!

My favorite was the middle tier, which we decided to wrap in a type of sheet music. To accomplish this, I printed music sheets onto wafer rice paper and shredded it into bits. The process of "gluing" it on allowed for the paper to shrink up a little on the edges, giving it an aged and worn look. It was finished off with a touch of the gold luster dust  to match the bottom, giving the bottom two tiers more of an antique finish and spotlighting the violin on the top- fresh white- tier. I loved how the middle "aged" sheet music tier turned out!
 The violin was a new project for me, but I have done a handful of wood finishes so that part was fun as always. The struggle once I had the violin pieced together, was what to use for the strings. Sadly, everything edible was either too heavy, or would degrade (in the event of spun sugar) in the fridge which, due to a previously schedule trip, was where the cake would have to stay for 3 days before the event. I ended up using a heavy black thread, which suited it fine. I may have used a dark metal thread if I were to do it over again!
In the end, this was a fun cake to work on and I was more than thrilled to see it come together! Of course, the true verdict is in the clients face, and I was thrilled to see her slightly speechless when she picked it up!! Congrats to the Ruth Godfrey Violin and Viola Studios for a wonderful 20 years!