Dalek Cake for a Doctor!

So… I’m about 3 months late posting this, but better late than never, right?

Back at the end of May, I had the opportunity to not only make the electronics-enhanced Dalek cake I’d been wanting to do some day… but to make it for a Doctor! Console Room had invited Colin Baker to be a Guest of Honour. Of COURSE he needed a special cake! I came out of my “Never going to ever make another cake again, EVER!” retirement, just for the occasion!

As was the case in my (now-retired-from) cake days, and as is the case with our costuming, I designed it and had my husband do the electronics for it.

The cake itself is fairly basic: a stacked tower of cake layers, a food safe tube running up the middle to house the wires, and a head (and one layer in the middle) made from Rice Krispie Treat, to securely hold the electronics and accessory parts in place. The wiring up the center and into the head allowed for lights – the two on top of the head, as well as the.. forehead mini plunger thing. (So technical, I know!). It was about 2′ tall, decorated in marshmallow fondant, and accented with edible metallic-airbrushed chocolate domes.

The cake stand had electronics of its own – a speaker, a sound modulator, and the switches to control the lights and sound. When activated, the sound modulator played Dalek sound clips – it was a lot of fun! Click here for video of the sound modulator in action. I STILL lose it at “Would you care for some tea?”!

Now, I’ve served many, MANY cakes. I’ve assisted in many, MANY first cuts of a cake… but this one is definitely my favourite cake cutting experience of all time. Colin Baker was *amazing* – so much fun, and really got into it. Check it out:

So, yes. I got to teach a Doctor how to destroy a Dalek. I feel like I achieved a crazy bucket list item that I didn’t know I had!

Click here to see more photos from that evening!

Sushi Cake, or “Help Me Become the ‘Czar of Cakes’!”

Let me start off with a confession: As the kid who was always picked last for… well, everything, really… I’ve never won anything that involved a popular vote. EVER.

As a kid, it was because I was “weird” (Aspergers). That was ok, they were all JUST as weird to me!

As an adult, it’s always been a mix of logistical concerns (Only taking on no more than 2 cakes per week puts one at a disadvantage against companies that churn out 60+ cakes per week!), and – again – being “weird”. I’m mouthy. I have turquoise hair. I *refuse* to “play the game”, and I don’t kiss anyone’s butt. When it comes to the wedding industry… yeah, no popular vote winning, for me! Usually, such popular votes are for totally meaningless awards, so I’ve never minded.

Here’s the thing though. I’ve entered the Food & Wine Show’s “Czar of Cakes” competition again this year. (Past year’s entries are here and here.) This year, things have changed… and I need your help. More on that in a bit, More on that in a bit, first let me ply you with cake photos!

(more…)

The Food and Wine Show – Czar of Cakes Competition

So, the Minnesota Monthly Food & Wine Show – and its “Czar of Cakes” competition – happened several months ago. I’m stuck on what to blog today, so I figure it’s about time for me to blog about my cake competition entry! Kinda lame, seeing as how I was pretty good about blogging about it up UNTIL the event!

As with last year, I wanted to go for a theme that no one else would be doing… behold, my “White Trash Cuisine” cake!

(more…)

Cue the Swan Song, I am FREE!

Yesterday was a day that I’ve been looking forward to for a very long time. I delivered my very last wedding cake!

You see, my retiring from cakes was something that had to be worked out carefully, 2+ years in advance. I stopped advertising in wedding media. I stopped taking mainstream orders, choosing to just work with nerds and geeks. I slowed, then stopped taking orders – quietly – so I could finish off the majority of my remaining contracts without adding to the work load.

Eventually, I made it to the next step . Made the big announcement, and publicly was off the market for cakes at that time. There were still a couple cakes still on the horizon for friends, as favors, etc. Nevertheless, at that point, I felt like a huge weight had been lifted off my shoulders.

As of yesterday, I’m done. DONE. Man, it feels good. So, let me tell you about the cake, the bride, and the retirement.

(more…)

Why I Love My Twitter Followers

Short and sweet blog entry today, wanted to share something that made my day.

As you may – or may not know – growing up as an outlier not only went a long way to forming my personality and aptitudes, it left me with a pretty healthy dose of social awkwardness. I’m mild-to-fairly phobic about most group situations, and it varies depending on the size / demographics of the group involved.

Tonight, I’m going to an event for local food bloggers. This kind of thing always leaves me torn – I’m excited to get out and learn, experience new things… but OMG there are going to be people there. Strangers.

That kind of thing is really scary to me, and I tweeted a comment about it. I have a wonderfully supportive Twitter following, a lot of whom are fellow nerds, geeks, and whatnot. You know. My tribe.

TOTALLY appreciate the commiseration I received, it’s good to not feel so alone in my awkwardness and fears… but the following advice made my day:

Aw yeah. Leave it to one of my Klingons to provide such sage advice, and make my day!

… I’m starting to think I need a “Klingons” category. Done!

Food & Wine Experience – 1 Day to Go. OMG.

I tell ya, if there was a “went through the most crap in order to even show up today” award being handed out at the Minnesota Monthly Food & Wine Experience‘s “Czar of Cakes” competition… hey, I’d probably win it!

Brief updates:

– The cake is no further forth than it was 2 weeks ago. Was supposed to get a bunch done on it today, but did not.

– The sugar wine bottle mold is proving more difficult / pain in the butt than I’d anticipated. My mold is ugly, and I doubt it’ll work for casting anything.

Luckily, Facebook came to the rescue, and I’m having a mold made by a pro mold maker! More on that in a coming blog entry. I’m picking it up tomorrow – nothing like leaving it till the last minute, huh?

– I’ve still never casted sugar / isomalt in my life. Tomorrow’s dry run won’t be a real dry run, as I’ll pretty much have to get it right, right away. No time for errors!

– While I was supposed to get my oven hooked up last night so I could bake the taster competition cake… things went down wrong (A part that we needed was packed wrong – wrong part, right package. UGH!). So, hubby’s been hooking up the oven AND the non-functional sink tonight. A missing part meant ANOTHER late run to Menards, where he is now. Yes, it’s after 8:30 pm. We’ve been up since 6am. We haven’t had supper yet. BAH!!

– The oven is done, and the taster cakes are being baked, finally. What a nightmare to get them on! I had to unpack a bunch of kitchen stuff and organize them into the meager existing cabinetry before I could even start. We have no counter space. Loads of change / mess / no room = me Aspie-ing right out. BUT… it’s in the oven.

Of COURSE I had to pick the most expensive, and one of the most labor intensive flavors, too. Picked one straight from Evil Cake Overlord… hope the judges like it! Oh, and the mold maker, cause he’s getting a hunk of it, too!

I am totally beat up. I don’t think I’ve ever hurt so much in my life. I seriously hope I’ll recover enough in time to ENJOY the show, rather than just pass out and nap under my cake’s table there!

Reflections on a *Crazy* career – BIG DAY!

Today I am at home, awaiting 2 deliveries. The first is something I’m pretty excited about – it’s an order of promotional materials for my book release. In particular, the order includes custom bookmarks. Yes! I’ll have my own bookmarks! How insanely cool is that?

I used to love bookmarks when I was a kid. I loved going into book stores and pouring over their selection of bookmarks, weighing the options. What color tassle? Glitter, or no glitter? Unicorns? (Of COURSE I wanted glitter and unicorns!) Loved it.

The second delivery is something even more important, and I’ve been waiting for this day forEVER. My initial shipment of “The Spirited Baker: Intoxicating Desserts & Potent Potables” arrives today! I CANNOT wait to see them, the culmination of an insane amount of work between my husband (the photographer!) and I! Insane.. this feels so surreal.

Today feels like the biggest day of my life… well, second only to meeting/marrying my amazing husband. I’m such a dork about this.. but it just feels.. augh! Amazing, and nerve wracking, and everything!

So as I sit here waiting.. and waiting.. I’m reflecting on my career. It’s been a wild ride, and we’ve had some really fun, amazing moments! Let’s take a trip down memory lane, shall we? In no particular order, here are some of my favorite moments from the past few years: (more…)

Showing off the “Mad Skillz” a bit… Ganesh Cake!

With all of the time spent working on my new book “The Spirited Baker”, and now working up to the release of it… well, there hasn’t been a lot of cake being created here… Well, now I have one to share!

This cake was made for one of my geeky tweeps. Her husband and her have had a running joke about a “Ganache Ganesh” for years. (Ganache being the thick chocolate filling that truffles are made from). She jumped at the chance to make their in-joke a reality, and planned to present him with a birthday cake of epic proportions. I am pleased to present “The Ganache Ganesh”!

(more…)

W00tstock Awesomeness.

I had fully intended to write this blog yesterday, but I was a complete zombie. I’m *mostly* recovered now, so let’s see if I can do this thing justice!

Back in the beginning of March, I received an email from one of my tweeps. She excitedly told me that w00tstock was coming to Minneapolis, and “I don’t know about you, but I think w00tstock would be better with cake!”

Well, I had to agree, so I got a hold of Paul and Storm, the geeked out musical comedians in charge. Offered up some cake, they were interested, mentioned I’d have my husband – a photographer along with me to take pics… they asked if he’d be willing to be the official backstage photographer (Willing? Hell YES he was!)…
and we were on track for an adventure in epic geekery!

The plan was to make a surprise “Tardis” cake for Adam Savage & Wil Wheaton. Hubby would photograph the goings on, while I doled out samples of our caffeinated brownies and blondies (from our line of baking mixes. Cake would be served, geeking out would occur, and it would be an awesome night.

Monday was the day, finally! It had been difficult to not blab the details of the cake design itself, while I had been free to tweet that I would be DOING a cake. Everyone wants to know what it’ll look like, especially when it’s a.) Geeky, and b.) Intended for geek royalty! This blog entry is gonna get long and image-heavy, so click through to read & gawk! (more…)

Fashion and.. cake?

Recently, we received sort of a bizarre request – to craft fake cake “hats” for a L’Etoile Magazine fashion photo shoot. Given my recent spate of nostalgia for my fashion industry days, I jumped at the chance to participate.

3 Cakers – myself, Sheela from Cake Eater Bakery, and Thea from Perfect Day Cakes were each given photos of 2 dresses to work with, and very little in the way of guidelines , restrictions, or TIME (lol!), and set free to run wild with our imaginations.

Here are the two photos I was initially provided with:

The blue dress is from Blasphemina’s Closet. For this dress, L’Etoile requested something crazy, bright, and mad-hatterish, as they wanted to play up the “Alice in Wonderland” feel of it. The grey/orange dress is from Calpurnia Peach. Here’s what we came up with:

(more…)