Friday, March 25, 2011

What's been happening around here lately.............

What a busy few months it has been in the Baked by Kate household!

I have some exciting news to share and you, my loyal blog followers, are going to be the first to hear about it.  While driving up through the NT for our "goodbye" tour I got to thinking about how this all started and where I am now. I seem to be less about the baking and more about the design and art these days.I wanted a name that better fitted this direction.

I also thought that given I was moving states back to Mornington, it was a perfect place to draw a line in the sand. So for the last two months I have been madly working behind the scenes on logo design, website design, council accreditation and some more training, as well as raising a family and making cakes.

So, in the next 10 days, I will officially become "The Cake Table". All very exciting. I am also lauching myself to the community at the weekly Mornington Wednesday Market in the first week of April. Eeeek!!

Meanwhile I have been squeezing in some cakes, and I am cheating and showing them all here at once. Here they are:

This one was straight out of the Planet Cake book and made for my inlaws friend who is being treated for a multitude of cancers. May I have the pleasure of making his cake for many years to come. Happy birthday Ken!

This cake was just a bit of a play and I took it to a friends BBQ lunch - I was very popular!

Oh, how I love this cake! Love the colours, love the flower, the shoe and I, on the other hand have a love hate relationship! Everything, including the shoe, is made from fondant. Although the shoe has some helping hand with acetate and styrofoam. I completed this cake at a Planet Cake Training Day and it is something I have wanted to learn for a long time. The shoe and I ended the day unhappy with each other, so I will be practicing this again soon! LOL! So pleased to have learnt the technique though, very popular cakes with ladies of my age group!

This teapot was completed in Planet Cake training too. I had a ball. It was such a relaxing, enjoyable cake after the shoe! I wanted to try something different here, so the blossom stems are all hand painted. Amazing how tricky this is on a rounded object! This cake was then consumed at my mum in law, Kay's, birthday. Happy birthday Kay!

This cake was made for a person leaving their workplace for the police force. Her boss commissioned me to make it. I was told later that the lady in question refused to cut the cake at her farewell and last I heard was scouring the shops for a display case to put it in. Very nice compliment.

I love this cake, I wanted to keep it all for myself! It was my first barbie cake and after a particularily challenging week, it really gave me back my cake "zen".

And lastly, here are some cupcakes. I don't do a lot of these anymore, although that will change with the market, they are quite time consuming for such a little morsel. I have a new appreciation for those that only specialise in cupcakes.

Thanks for reading x

Friday, February 25, 2011

My first baptism cake!

I loved making this cake! (I feel like I say this all the time lately).

This cake was white chocolate and raspberry, filled with a white chocolate and raspberry sauce and covered in white chocolate and fondant.

It was a joy to make, partly because it is a simple but elegant design and partly because the people I made it for are so damn lovely (and not just because they are about the only ones who still bother to read my blog, now that I am on facebook!).

Michael and Lisa have been long term friends of ours, we love catching up with them and having a good old talk fest about life, loves, marriage, children, parents etc. Lots of laughs. And now they have also turned into paying clients, the best friends to have ;).

Lisa has been a great supporter and encourager of mine in this cake game. Which is also very handy, because she is a lawyer, so lots of friend type advice and lots of serious business advice, like, "charge your clients properly Kate!" and words to that effect.

When they contacted me to do this cake, she also warmed my heart because she said "do what you want, it will be great". This is often music to a cake makers heart because we get to try new things or favourite cake designs we have saved away for a rainy day. In this instance, I had a few too many designs I was keen to do, so I sent a few options to Lisa to narrow down.

She chose a design I had seen done by a very talented lady in Melbourne, Designer cakes by Effie, who I just happen to know as she trains and works at the same place I trained, Planet Cake. So, I contacted her for permission to use her design for inspiration. So, this one is designed by Effie and made by me.

I loved the square cake and the balls were quite nice to make for a change but more time consuming than I thought. Lots of cake artists try and steer their clients away from square cakes as they are technically much more difficult to pull off than round cakes, but I love them. I love the challenge, the neat, methodical order of them. Their sharp edges and straight lines (if you do it right!).

This cake was well recieved by the gathering and I have orders for two more, which is even more exciting!

Saturday, January 22, 2011

50th Wedding Anniversary

Ohhhh, how pretty! I love cakes with flowers, and pink to boot. What a lovely combination. I loved making this cake!

It was a raspberry and white chocolate mud cake, layered with white chocolate ganache and raspberry jam and, I am not too shy to say, it was divine. I have been tweaking this recipe for a while and each time it tastes better. I may need to keep tweaking just to invent reasons to eat it. :)

This cake was ordered by my former boss, Megan, from my former marketing life. She, along with some other former collegues, have been following my Alice Springs cake journey over the last couple of years, so when I came back to Melbourne, they have all been so supportive and decided to try the real thing.

Her mum and dad have been married for 50 years and were having a celebration. They had pink water lillies in their original wedding so we decided to keep the theme, along with a "wedding cake" tier look.

The cake is actually white but because my cake room is pink, I think all the pink in the room and on the cake reflected back on to the cake so it looks pink!

The large flower on the top was hand cut and assembled, the others were made using a daisy cutter and some imagination! Anyone who knows me, or has been following the blog, will know that sugar flowers make me shake in fear. I have mentioned that I need to conquer them this year, so I guess, I am off to a good start.

My main problem with flowers is that they are so delicate and breakable. I am always breaking them. Maybe my home made flower paste is too soft. But also, I am not the most delicate petal going around myself. So this combination saw me making and pulling apart and making the top flower THREE times. URRRRGGGGGGGGGGHHHH!

Everytime someone mentions flowers on a cake, I find it hard to breathe. I am definitely going to work on this. It will not break me! I will be fine! LOL. :)

Happy 50th Anniversary Ken and Norma.  Something to aspire to.

The Courthouse cake

Last week, I had the pleasure and professional challenge of building my first court house replica.

The local courthouse, which is now an information centre, turned 150 this week and wanted to mark the day with a celebration. I have displayed some cakes there in the past, so they asked me to quote on a cake for them.

The week spent building the cake coincided with one of the hottest, humid weeks the Mornington Peninsula has seen for some time. It was also the week my air conditioning was installed. Yay!....But alas..... it blew up within 24 hours.

Despair. I managed to get the cake carved and ganached before it blew up but the covering of the cake in fondant occured in 96% humidity. I quickly transported the cake to the inlaws and continued work there. The poor cake was sweating, along with its maker.

Once the humidity left us, the rain came. I needed to make a site visit and make some notes but it was raining so bad even the kids refused to leave the car. LOL!

Luckily, I had enough photos to go on, although one night I snuck down to the courthouse and did a walk around to double check before continuing! The detail in replicas are amazing and incredibly time consuming. It took around 15 hours work, 3 mud cakes, 2kg of ganache and I seriously under quoted it but I am learning as I go and have made notes for next time!

It was a fantastic experience and to quote the event organiser I "exceeded their expections" and the cake and some committee members made it into the local paper. Great result.