|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!
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!
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!
|A few weeks ago, our friend Tara invited us to her “End of the World as We Know It” birthday party – scheduled for the day after this most recent “rapture” date.
Well, we all know what happened to my husband and I the day after the LAST scheduled rapture, so I was already a teeny bit nervous about this date. Trust me, I had no idea how horrifying and twisted the day would become.
You see, our friend wanted a Cake Wreck for her birthday. As I was BEYOND finished with decorating cakes, my husband graciously stepped up to the plate.
… the man has never decorated a cake in his life.
Due to the nature of the cake theme – you know about Cake Wrecks, right? – I was woefully unequipped for my husband to get his decorating on. No, to do a cake of this wrecktitude, it would require a trip to the cake shop, and the purchase of – shudder – Wilton stuff. I’m pretty sure “Wilton” was the name of one of the lesser known fifth horsemen of the apocalypse. Yes. Pestilence, War, Famine, Death, and Wilton Fondant.
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!
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.
Remember that time I made a Klingon Bird of Prey cake, and got photos of the fully-costumed Klingons cutting it with a Batleth weapon? I have similarly cool/geeky cake cutting photos today!
I have a friend, Todd, who is well known locally as “The Predator”. No, not for anything gross, but for his costuming prowess. He routinely dresses up as The Predator for Conventions and special events, and looks great!
In fact, I was gonna bring him as my date to an event, in costume. Received an event invite from a local business person who’d badmouthed me and my business, and it got back to me. Yes, the one who said I was throwing it all “down the toilet” by cavorting with Klingons. Whatever. She’d made the mistake of referring to “creative fashion appreciated” on the invite for her chi-chi “NYC style” event, so I figured “The Predator” woulda been fun. In the end, A.) I figured she was probably baiting me, and B.) I’m not fond of spending much time with wannabes and pretentious fake people, so I didn’t go. I can get by on the mental images of what coulda been, though!
Yes, it could have been delicious, but I digress. Todd hosted a room party at a local horror movie convention this weekend, so we planned to do a small cake for the event. I think I’ll let the photos do the talking for me 🙂 (more…)
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”!
As you may know, I’ve been on a writing sabbatical for the past while. It’s been interesting to spend SO much time *out* of my commercial kitchen – either in my home office, banging out my upcoming cookbook… or in my own, home kitchen, working on recipes for the book.
The time hasn’t been completely cake-less.. the Hannibal cake broke up the writing mojo for a bit… and then a friend celebrated a birthday. Such a crazy, unique individual, couldn’t resist crafting something that suited her. I’ll post more write up later, but a bit of background: Melissa – AKA “Queen of the Lizard People” – is an avid photographer. Recently, she’s taken on a few long term projects, photographing fortune cookie papers, and conversation hearts (separately!)
The cake was entirely edible – The camera & lizard bodies were carved from fresh lemon cake (which was brushed with a fresh lemon syrup, and filled with our tangy fresh lemon swiss meringue buttercream! – she wanted “in-your-face” lemon flavor!), with the camera lens and lizard head sculpted from Rice Krispie Treat. The black fondant was chocolate, the orange fondant was lemon flavored. Yum! Additionally, the “conversation hearts” were made from fondant, and the crown / fortunes were made from gum paste.
Check out the photos!
I confess. I’m a nerd. I married a nerdy geek, and most of my friends are some combination of the two 🙂Lately, we’ve had a run of orders for geeky / nerdy cakes, and I LOVE it! There’s a wedding cake in December that I’m very much looking forward to doing (Super Mario!), and a World of Warcraft groom’s cake next summer that is going to be *awesome*. This weekend was the “Week of the Geek”, with not one, but THREE nerd/geek cakes! (more…)
A carved birthday cake for a reality tv star! Shawn Bakken (of Beauty & the Geek fame) is a soccer playing Scout leader.