Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Topping off 2010

Woah, 2010 just flew by! It has been such an amazing year! To end it, I thought i'd do a little countdown to my top 5 creations of 2010:

5: My ICES show cake

Not only does this cake remind me of the awesome time I had at the ICES convention, all the wonderful people I met, and everything I learned. It also makes me laugh as I think back at what a challenge it was to transport this cake, and its ever so delicate gumpaste mask all the way down to San Diego in my suitcase. If you look closely you can spot a small crack on the mask. I was honestly surprised that was the worst of the damage! I never bothered trying to bring the cake home.

4: Finding Nemo Cake

I just had too much fun making this cake. I had never tried making fish before, so I wasn't sure how it would turn out. I was really pleased with the end result.

3: The Butterfly Cake

People love this cake! Brides keep asking for this design, or a similar one - adjusted to their colour choice. Simple and cute.

2: The cupcake pop!

Everyone knows i'm obsessed with cupcakes. Now, mini ones on a stick?! Really do I need to say more?

1: Duff's birthday cake!

Okay- this cake was not made at Le Gateau Bake Shop, but I did made it at Whole Foods. For those of you that don't know when i'm not busy running my business I spend my time working as assistant manager of the bakery at WF- one of the busiest bakeries in Vancouver.
Anyways, back to the cake. Duff Goldman, from the famed show "Ace of Cakes" was doing an autograph signing at Michaels on his birthday. The good people at Michaels asked your truly and WF to provide a birthday cake for him! At first I jumped at it- I was so excited. Then reality sunk in. I was going to make a cake of the Ace Of Cakes! "The guy". And- make it at Whole Foods, using only natural ingredients. Even food colouring had to be natural. One thing about plant based food colouring, its very unpredictable. To top it off, I had less then 24hrs to come up with it! This would truly be a challenge- a challenge not to embarrass myself it seemed like.So I decided to go for a fresh and natural approach, no fondant!
End result:

Really I was pretty happy about the turn out. I had made all the chocolate panels in record time. When the people at Michaels came to pick up the cake, they were so excited about it they asked if I would present it to him myself! That was the best part. I can honestly say Duff was one of the most awesome persons i've ever met. He was so nice, and fun to be around. I was so nervous, it was almost embarrassing. The whole experience was a great way to end the year :)

Sunday, December 12, 2010

Santa's Workshop

I was asked to create an extraordinary gingerbread house for Whole Foods Market. Having made a few gingerbread houses in the past, I knew two things: this would not be easy, and I could not do this alone. So I enlisted the help of my friend Lise Depres, who is an amazingly creative and talented baker that I worked with in the past.

The theme we came up with for the house was "Santa's workshop". The idea was that we would create a house (a min. 3ftx3ft in size) where the front was set up and decorated like your average gingerbread house, and the back was open so you could see inside the workshop with all the busy elves.

One thing I had learned from watching Food Network Challenge was that if you are building an extreme gingerbread house, you were going to need some extra support. So we made a trip to Home Depot for some wood. Lise ended up sawing the pieces of wood to fit herself (superwoman!). Me being an extremely clumsy person, was not going near a hand saw!
Step 1:

The walls of the house were so large, that we had to bake them in multiple pieces and glue them together with royal icing.

See those fancy windows? Gelatin leaves! The perfect glass window.
Next we constructed the second level of the house, along with the stairway.

A fireplace, chimney, and kitchen was also added...

After that came the fun part, decorating!

Taa Daa!!!!

This house will on display at Whole Foods Market Cambie location. There are also 8 other smaller houses on display that are built and decorated by each of the departments in the store, so there's lots of stuff to check out while you do your holiday shopping!