Honey and Cinnamon Cheesecake

Of all the people I make food for, my number one priority in life is my boyfriend, Cameron. He's what motivates me to learn and try new things and attempt to impress him with some crazy dessert. He gets to eat almost everything I make, the only exception being commissions, really. I'll upload snaps of my cakes to Facebook and people will be quick to tell him how lucky they believe him to be. They think he must get the most amazing, whimsical cakes for his birthday. They think him blessed to be able to request from me to bring anything to life via this edible medium. But the reality is that he wants none of that. At heart, he's a simple man.

So when his 30th birthday rolled around I wanted to make him something impressive to mark the occasion.

He just wanted a cheesecake.

What the birthday boy says, goes…

First Birthday Elmo Cake

This is a commission from December last year. I never had time to post it with all the Christmas madness and actually forgot all about this! I was browsing through photos from my old camera when I stumbled across it and it occurred to me that I hadn't shared it with you.

This birthday cake was for a little boy called Anush who was celebrating his very first birthday.

Elmo loves you…

Triple Chocolate Ripple Joconde

Last Thursday was my sister's 21st birthday. It was a given that I was going to make the cake. I told her with a week to go to have a think about what sort of cake she wanted. She had no idea. It's harder to think of ideas when you're not a baker – you're much less aware of the possibilities. 

A few days out I became resigned to having to work it out myself. Almost as soon as I came to this resolution, she piped up with, "I know what I want! A chocolate ripple cake!"

". . . really?" I replied. 

My heart sunk a little. I'd been looking forward to the opportunity to create something whimsical, test some new skills, have some license to create. Of all the things I could make, she chose the easiest cake in the entire world.

Well, the birthday girl has to get what she wants. But, me being me, I couldn't stop at making just any old ripple cake…

Death By Chocolate…

Cookie Monster Cupcakes

There are some things you never get too old to enjoy. The Cookie Monster is definitely pretty high up on that list. Be it nostalgia or just a love for the kooky blue guy, everyone seems to love him.

These cupcakes were a commission from my sister for her friend's birthday. My sister had been almost begging me for months to make these for her friend, but I kept saying it would depend on my research commitments as to whether I would have time. When my trapping schedule got delayed by a week, I found the time to fill the order, much to my sister's excitement.

There are a thousand versions of this guy in cupcake form. This is mine. 

C is for Cookie…

Happy Birthday Pupcakes

Have you guys met my son? He's fluffy, has 4 legs and is often seen hovering in the back of my dessert photos desperately trying to guilt me into sharing with him. He's a Siberian husky and his name is Tobias.

This is what he looked like when he became mine 22 months ago:

I've always been a bit of an animal person. Animals are my life, more than anything else in this world. My love for them is why I'm now a Zoologist. I love the wild critters, but I have a great fondness of the domesticated ones, too. I've not lived a second of my life without having a pet of one kind or another. I'd feel lost without their company. For most of it, I've lived with a virtual menagerie of them, thanks to all the rescue cases we've inherited. But right now, it's just me and Tobias. And the aquarium.

Today is his second birthday.

He's quite a lot bigger…

Bunny Birthday Tier

Cake commissions are one of my most loved and most hated things. I love making something inspired by the ideas of someone else, of taking a concept and running with it. But it's also terrifying. I'm the worst decision maker in the world and want to double-check every tiny aspect with the person, which is difficult as half the time the person wanting the cake doesn't even know what fondant is. I spend the whole time fretting about doing it wrong.

This cupcake tier was commissioned for a 21st birthday party. The brief was for fondant covered mudcake cupcakes, coloured hot pink and white with 21s and playboy bunnies.

Follow the white rabbit…

Pixie Tea Party

It's been a while since I did a novelty cake, so I decided to give one a go for my birthday party. I couldn't go past the teapot: a group of my friends from Uni, who've dubbed ourselves the co-op crew, used to meet up at the food co-op once a week to indulge in nommy vegetarian food, baked goods and tea (from the mouth of a camel teapot). 

Cup of tea?

My 24th Birthday Cake

As I mentioned in my last cakey post, Easter weekend was my birthday. I ended up making three cakes that weekend, which is probably some record for me. This was the one I made for my birthday.

I seem to have such a lack of inspiration for cakes lately. The month leading up to my birthday, I just could not figure out what I wanted to do. Even as I began making it, I had little direction. It's those unplanned cakes that usually come out the worst for me, so I wasn't expecting great things.

Strawberries will make everything better…

Pirate Dreams

Were you ever one of those kids who used to sneak-read?

Your parents would tell you lights out and you'd pretend to sleep until you could hear they were out of range. Then you'd sneak a torch, or any handy light source, under the covers and get stuck into a novel, heart beating from the adrenaline at the thought of getting caught.

And just sometimes, you'd be so into the book that you'd fall asleep. Still engrossed in the story, your dreams would follow suit — you lived the story with eyes wide shut as you dreamed the hours away. That's exactly what happened to this little boy…

Turn the page…