Most of my work is inspired by fashion, or at least design outside the culinary world. Yet people always ask me to make a cake that looks like their purse. Why do you want to eat your purse! This blog can be a learning tool for you and an outlet of self expression for me:) No more purse cakes! Enjoy!

Friday, June 12, 2015

Edible Lace Fashion Cakes

I know I talk a bunch about the products in2food carries....but that's because we have some really good ones!  So now I want to fill you in on a new one....Magic Decor!

I cannot even count the amount of times a bride has asked me to incorporate lace from her dress into the cake.....probably a million!;)  This stuff makes my job a whole lot easier.


Now there are a few edible lace products on the market, but this one is the easiest to work with.  It can be baked for 6 minutes in a low temp oven or dried at room temp for 3 hours.  No more waiting overnight!!

So let's make a fashion cake shall we! 

Lace is a huge part of the fashion world....especially in the bridal market....

Carolina Herrera...

This is EVERYTHING!!


Marchesa....


Zuhair Murad....


And of course my favorite....

McQueen....


There is fashion inspiration for days.

Magic Decor is very simple to make.  You just add water, stir until thickened, and spread into the mat!

This is one of the mats.  They are thin and very detailed.



Once the product is mixed with water, you spread it over the mat.


I used a small offset spatula to spread it around.


Once the mat is covered, I use a bowl scraper to remove the excess.





Make sure all the excess is removed!  The only white you should see is the design itself.

Now bake at 180 degrees F for 6 minutes.  The package comes with instructions on how to bake.  I had to adjust it for my oven.

NOTE*  This will vary for everyone.  All ovens heat differently.  I messed up the first couple of attempts until I got it right.  If you let it bake for 6 minutes, and it's still a bit wet, leave it for a couple more.



Pull the finished product out with the mat up side down.  This will allow you to pull the mat and not the lace.  The lace is durable but you don't want to take any chances of it ripping!




The lace is flexible and will wrap around a cake easily.  Once you have made the Magic Decor lace, store it in an airtight container until you are ready to use it.  Otherwise, it will dry firm after a day or so and be stiff.

I made the lace in white but you can color the mix.  I prefer to airbrush it.  

Here are a few of my finished pieces.....







Yay!!

A big thanks to America Cake Decorating Magazine for publishing my Mustang Robot Cake for the Rev Heads collaboration.


He was fun to make.

Another huge thank you to Dessert Professional Magazine!  I was named one of the top ten cake designers in America!  Woo Hoo!!



Speaking of Magic Decor....I will be teaching this cake at Nicholas Lodge's fall open house in November.  Click on the cake for info.  Bye!




















Chanel and Chocolate Tiles


Sorry I have been absent for a while!   But I am back with lots to share.  I came across this video of the making of a Christian Dior bag.  I love it because it's something I have always wondered about....but also because it reminds me of what I do.  Look at all the work and detail that goes into this purse.....



This is why they are so expensive!  The same amount of time and effort goes into a cake....especially a wedding cake.  That is why we charge the prices we charge!

A couple months ago I was asked by Cake Central to create a cake based on this Chanel look.


Cool right?   It's like a hipster's version of the little black dress.  I was drawn to the colorful square tiles...so that's exactly where I took my inspiration.

As I have mentioned before, I work for a food importer, in2food.  We carry a line of silicone molds from Pavoni and I have the perfect one for this project!


Its called Savain Quardrato....no I can't pronounce it either;)  

So I want the idea of the tiles, but I don't want to just cut out squares.  I need some dimension!  I am going to make truffles in this mold to use as my decoration.

I think spatter paint is the way to go.


I have loaded a couple piping bags with colored chocolate.  Now I cut the tip and splatter the chocolate into the mold in a random pattern.



Here is another one I did in purple and green.

Now before you fill the mold with chocolate, scrape off the excess colored chocolate.


Now make the truffles and once set, turn them out.


Ta Da!!....the tiles are born.  I just used chocolate to glue them to the fondant.

Here she is....





She came out pretty good!  You can see I tried to vary the colors of the tiles to get a fun and avante garde kind of look.


That's all for now.


















Saturday, May 10, 2014

To Margaret...my hero


The picture above is a cake I made for my cousin Jenn's wedding....look familiar?  It was based on Baroque in Patent Leather, a cake that graces the cover of this beautiful, inspiring, and (at least for me) life changing book.....


I made Jenn's cake when I was a baby cake designer.  I was living in New York at the time and was totally obsessed with the woman I call my hero.....Margaret Braun!  If you don't know who Margaret Braun is....first of all....shame on you!...and secondly...she is the woman who changed my life.  I know that sounds dramatic, but it is true.

In 2002 (I was in college a the time), I found this book.  I must have read the book 100 times in the first week.  I was consumed with ideas and found myself practicing my piping skills everyday.  I would tape a piece of parchment paper to my dorm room wall and practice over and over using toothpaste.  What?  Listen, I was a poor college student and toothpaste is cheap....and it actually looks and pipes like royal!....but you have to get the super cheap, pasty kind.

Now, 12 years later.....here is what my book looks like today....


She's been through it....just for the record, I eventually bought another copy so I could try to preserve what was let of this one.....because it is SIGNED!!





...and yes...I have had many, many adventures in sugar!  She signed my book at a demo at Macy's in NYC.  As a young cake designer....it was one of the best days of my life.  So naturally, much of my early work looked very Margaret-like......


God this picture is old!  Sorry for the quality..I think I used a disposable camera.  

The best thing about Cakewalk, is that it taught me to be fearless and try to push the limits of cake design.  It gave me chance to understand the importance of detail and develop my own style!  This is when I understood that MY cakewalks were the fashion shows, magazines, and pop culture I loved to obsess over.  I started to pull inspiration from everything around me.

Okay enough about me....let's talk about the work.   Here are a few of my favorites from Margaret...


Seriously, she even managed to reinvent the polka dot!



   Chalice toppers are a signature Margaret statement.




I love this fashion cake by Margaret....


Gorgeous!  It was inspired by Italian designer Rene Caovilla....check out this shoe he designed...


This is everything!...cake inspiration for days!!

And we can't forget her movie work...

Meet Joe Black


Bride Wars


And this showstopper from Rachel Getting Married....


That could not be more awesome!

A couple weeks ago, a friend asked me to create an over the top baby shower cake....something that didn't scream BABY!  Ha....so no blocks or strokes.  I was looking though my fashion archives and realized this was the perfect time to pay respects to the woman who I have always looked up to!

Margaret is known for her sculpted tiers, hand painted cakes, and signature cake toppers.  I have to get all three things on this cake.....and my added touches with some fondant texture.

I started by sculpting the top edge of each tier...




I run my knife along in a wave pattern.  Then I coat the cake in white chocolate ganache.


I know...it looks funny....stay with me...

Next I smooth the ganache, cover in fondant, and use my fingers to pinch and define this top edge.




I add some texture...you guys have seen this before in my Stella McCartney cake....

It's time to paint....


I am using pink food coloring, white to tone it down, and then a lightly damp craft sponge to wipe the color off.


I paint color into the lines....


Then I use the craft sponge to wash the color over the surface...




I added some embellishments.  Once again....it still looks a bit crazy...stay with me;)

Let's talk about the topper.  I need to make an ode to a chalice without actually making a chalice.  I am gonna try to make a golden rattle.  I start by making a chocolate piece from my Pavoni mold.  It needs a hole though so I can feed it through the dowel.  I am gonna use a bubble tea straw.



I dip the straw in chocolate...


Place it into the top of the mold and hold it to dry so it remains level....


Then I popped the top off and filled the mold with chocolate....





Okay I got a couple air bubbles but I'm gonna gold leaf this thing so it won't matter.....


The cake is stacked and ready to paint....



With the middle tier I wanted to add some polka dots but in a different way than Margaret does them.  So I gave them some texture...

I also added some bows based off this cake Margaret made for Puff Daddy's baby shower....




It's coming along!!  Here is the finished topper....


I just continued to paint until there was nothing left!!!



And here she is all together....


Yay!  I love her!  And she made it on TV!.....


The cake was for Kim Z. from Don't Be Tardy on Bravo!  I also got the chance to meet Margaret again in person!


Here was my cake from her class.







I would like to send a huge thank you to Margaret Braun for being my hero, giving us this amazing book, and allowing me to do this blog post.....because....by the way....Margaret is super down to earth....watch this Master Class....



That's all for now;) Bye!!