Last post I mentioned those kind of posts where I’m mostly just showing you guys what I’ve been up to. This is one of those! When my cousin announced his first born’s first birthday party, I leapt at the chance to make the birthday cake. The proud parents had settled on a jungle-themed party. Not only is it a lot of fun to make a cake along with a theme, but hell yeah jungle theme! Any excuse to make a lion out of fondant. I used elements in the invitations and party decorations to inform the final design for the cake.
Along with making the cake I got to have some fun designing a personalised 3D printed cake topper along with it. I’m now offering this customisable design for sale in my Etsy store.
The bottom tier of the cake was made using my absolute favourite white chocolate mudcake recipe, and the top using my favourite chocolate mudcake recipe. Both recipes were also used for this cake and can be found there. Both cakes were also coated with the whipped chocolate ganache recipe seen there.
A quick little post this week to show you guys a cake I made for a 5th birthday. The brief was for a TMNT cake with just the little heads poking through the manhole. The other request was to not make the cake too sweet. I was honestly more nervous about this part than anything. You can’t simply cut out the sugar without changing the texture of the cake, and then there’s all that icing!
I decided to drop the sugar amount by about 15% and substituted half the caster sugar with raw sugar. They wanted a red velvet cake so I used an oil-based blended recipe like this one to give me more flexibility with the sugar amount.
Here’s a quick little cake I did for a customer who was organising a pirate party for her son’s birthday. She got her son to choose the theme, and he responded with a ‘pirate and green’ theme. While she got to crafting all the decorations for the occasion, I set about making the cake to match.
As a lot of you already know, 2 and a half years ago I joined deviantART. For anyone who hasn’t heard of it before, dA is an artist community where users can showcase their art of any kind of medium. I’d been a distant admirer of many artists there for a long time, but it was only recently I finally joined. I only really joined so I could actively follow those artists, throwing a few photos of my cakes and crafts in my own gallery just so it wouldn’t be empty. It’s no exaggeration to say it became a life changing experience. For some reason I can’t explain, people gravitated towards my food stuff and I started getting a lot of attention uncharacteristically quickly. The community changed the way I thought about cake decorating and made me challenge myself to start creating outside of the box. I started to see food as an artistic medium and used it to create fan art or participate in art collabs. The community also inspired me to start learning about still life photography in the hope of elevating my photos of food stuff beyond quick snap shots. A number of individuals in that community promoted my work and brought it to the attention of a larger audience, something that was the catalyst for my stuff getting plastered all over prominent websites and even in newspaper articles! It’s been an absolutely crazy, wild ride.
I owe a lot to the community there. These days I’m a Community Volunteer for the Artisan Crafts galleries. A big part of my job is bringing attention to lesser know artists and showing off their work to the masses. I’ve been doing it for over a year now and I love being able to do for other artists what others did for me.
Today is the websites 14th birthday. There’s loads of celebratory events and contests going on. This years virtual party has an Alice in Wonderland theme, so I just had to make some cupcakes to celebrate the occasion.
This last month has been pretty cake crazy, and with a number of family events around the corner it’s about to get crazier. Every time I finish a cake project, another one appears. When I finished the owl cake I was relieved to have a break from impending deadlines, but then the next Link’s Blacklist Project round opened for sign ups. Oops. Maybe one day I’ll be able to return to my own giant list of fan art projects that’s steadily growing my the moment.
Last month I got the opportunity to step away from all that and make a birthday cake for an occasion, rather than an art project. This family had been at the birthday party of another family who commissioned a cake from me. They liked what they saw enough to want me to make a cake for their son’s birthday, too. That’s always an incredibly flattering way to receive a commission, knowing the person has seen and tasted your work and wants more of it.
The idea was as simple enough: they wanted a colourful, two tiered cake adorned with all their son’s favourite toys.
This cake is another of the commissions I was working on last month. I was contacted by the family of a little boy for who I made his first birthday cake. I actually couldn’t believe an entire year has passed since then. I still think we’re in April most days.
After a bit of back and forth we worked out a design that would suit the occasion and I got to work.
I mentioned in my previous post that I’ve never tried pumpkin in a sweet dish before. With Halloween around the corner I decided it was a good change to change all that. I bought a stack of pumpkins on the weekend and started having some fun.
My first stop was incorporating pumpkin into cake. I absolutely love all the spices that make up pumpkin pie spice, so I just knew I was going to love these. But I also wanted to incorporate some of Halloween into them as well. Here’s where the ghosts come in.
Over on deviantART one of my favourite groups, Project Educate, is holding an Artisan Crafts contest. The theme this year is "Circus". I've been wanting an excuse to do a circus cake for forever. Alas, with the weather being as phenomenally hot as it is, I couldn't days working on an epic cake. So I had to downsize.
When I think circus, my first thought is my favourite: Cirque du Soleil. Particularly since I just recently witnessed their amazing Ovo show, as well as the Cirque du Soleil "Worlds Away" movie. I well and truly have cirque on the brain. But doing a cake that did that amazing circus justice was out of the question, do I went for something a little smaller.
A year ago, I made the decision to finally join deviantART. It was a rather flippant decision, not meant to turn into anything significant. I certainly didn't plan to become invested in the site. I just couldn't comment and fave art I stumbled upon without an account, so I joined.
I turned into one of the best decisions I made. deviantART has a thriving artisan craft community. You have to dig a little to find it, and it's virtually imperceptible from the outside. But it is there, and it is full of some incredibly talented artisans.
The community has not only been supportive of me beyond what I thought imaginable, it has inspired me and it has changed the way I view this hobby. I've come to respect culinary art as an art form. From the photography of savoury dishes to the creation of novelty cakes, it's all art, it's all expression. The community has motivated me to improve not just in culinary art, but to learn and improve in still life photography as well.
I have so much to thank the community for, so I decided to say thanks in the best way I know how.
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.