Saturday, July 23, 2011

Matt Preston Cake

What does one do when asked to make a cake for renowned foodie Matt Preston? Create a crevat cake of course! Based on a variety of crevats from Preston's own personal, named collection, Ritzy and Naoko made this woden case entirely of cake. Yep, NO styrofoam whatsover, making it absolutely a two man job to carry it to the car.

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Realistic Animals

It is so rare that we get the chance to see our cakes once they zoom out the gates in Carlos’ trusty van, and so I always get a thrill when clients email us photos from their big day. This week newly weds Lexi and Tim sent us these beautiful pics of their very quirky wedding cake, courtesy of Welsch Photography

Margie is well-known for her super-realistic animal figurines, and believe it or not, this is far from the first pet wedding cake we’ve been asked to do!

Creating a realistic animal cake involves several tricky steps and up to three days of labour, even for someone as experienced as Margie. While the main body of this cat is made from choc mud (most other flavours are not stodgy enough to mould into organic shapes) more delicate areas such as the head and tail are carved from Styrofoam.

Once the body is covered with one large piece of icing, it is important to work quickly in order to prevent it from hardening, making it difficult to create detail. Margie always covers the head last, using a thinner, single piece of fondant, working quickly with her thumb and frilling tool to get into the tiny facial details. If you’re attempting a realistic animal at home, using the jaw line/neck area is a great way to hide your joins.

Lastly, the realistic color is achieved with the use of an airbrush, so it’s really important that the client has provided lots of detailed references in order to to get an exact match. The real secret trick, however, to making your animals look freakishly real, is the use of piping gel on the eye, giving it that naughty gleam

Friday, July 15, 2011

Planet Cake for Lady Gaga

Sometime around midday on Tuesday we received the call asking us to provide a cake for Lady Gaga’s Sydney show. Um, can you say A-B-S-O-L-U-T-E-L-Y?! For tomorrow? No problem! Everyone was way too busy trying not to jump out of their skin to worry about something as trifling as an unrealistic deadline, and Ritzy and Naoko were all over it like a rash in a matter of minutes.

Step one, design. With our resident Antony not in the office until Thursday, we were faced with the monumental decision on our own. Where does one begin to design a cake for an uber-celebrity who can consider herself a muse of John Galliano? Drawing inspiration from her dramatic arrival at Sydney airport, and the Monster Ball tour theme, a futuristic blinged out rocket was deemed the order of the day.

When paired together on a major project, Ritzy and Naoko are absolutely unstoppable, and didn’t blink twice at the notion of putting together this monumental cake in less then 24 hours. Like all big cakes, a large portion of this one was carved from Styrofoam, although, in this case both the top third of the rocket, and it’s yellow cloud were made from chocolate mud. Also, like all major cake undertakings, this one required somer serious engineering, and included a strong centre dowel, surrounded by another three for additional support, in order to avoid the entire thing caving in on itself.

In their usual resourceful fashion, the girls constructed the cloud from cotton stretched-out cotton wool, before pulling apart a disco ball in order to create the space-ship detailing. Gotta love the originality.

The entire rocket was then airbuished before being finished with loads of glitter, general bling (never ones to shy away from a bit of bling factor) and of course, Ritzy's realistic figurine. Thoseslightly stressed-looking guys you can see in the background are our delivery driver (it was seriously down to the wire on this one) and John, our PR guy, waiting to escort the cake to the Lady herself.


Monday, July 11, 2011

Weeky Update 11.07.11

Brrrrrr, it is C-O-L-D in Sydney this week! I am happy to report however that I am rugged up and tucked away in the Planet Cake office this morning which I have turned into our very own sauna for the day! It's been a while since I've been in on a Monday and seen the place all abuzz with the new-week ganaching madness. With the Basics Marathon now done and dusted for 2011, we are taking a moment or two to catch our breath before we do it all over again with the Novelty series, beginning from the end of this month.

The marathon series coupled with this year's Majestic Sugar Flower festival, I realised there has been little space devoted to what the rest of our decorators have been up to of late. And so, I invite you to take a look at some of the newest designs to emerge from Planet Cake...

If you've been following our (very-soon-to-be-revamped) website you may have noticed a few new designs popping up on the online store. A couple of months ago, it was decided that the online cakes were in much-need of some general schoozing, and each of the artists have taken their hand to design in order to come up with some new ideas.

While our showroom is absolutely bursting at the seams with beautiful wedding cakes and sugar flowers galore, Antony decided a couple of weeks ago that it was need of a touch of quirky. With Margie on the task, it was only a matter of hours before this appeared.

And, the rest of the best from the last couple of weeks...

Thursday, July 7, 2011

Final guest blog from Amanda Eising of Cake Delish - the Basics Masters!!

Masters Blog by Amanda Eising of Cake Delish

Well… I did it! Last Friday marked my last day of the 4 days Masters Course – the challenging and mind blowingly awesome Topsy Turvy cake. This is the last in the Basics series and I can certainly understand why.

Aside from the challenge of structuring a cake with uneven tiers giving it that ‘toppling’ effect, we are encouraged to really put our signature on our creation in this final course. We are given 4 days to create any design we want. Square, round, the corset or a mixture of all 3. We can do 3 tiers, 4 tiers and as many different flowers as we like. In fact the first morning on day 1 is devoted entirely to designing our cake.

As you could imagine, this course is extremely challenging for the teacher. Not only is she advising us on whether our crazy ideas will work, but she is effectively overseeing the creation of 10 entirely individual designs from start to finish in just 4 days. A major part of the challenge is time management and at this level we are expected to know our capabilities and plan our design and days around getting everything done very independently, but the teacher also needs to keep tabs on each of us to make sure we are hitting the right stages each day.

As some of you know my passion is elegant cakes, especially wedding cakes. And there was never any doubt that I was going to go all out with a beautiful elegant design filled with flowers and piping as my grand finale. I have a love / hate relationship with sugar flowers. Love the look of them, hate the time consuming hours involved in achieving just one small sugar flower. So my goal during this course was to fall in love with making flowers. And I’m glad to say that’s exactly what happened. I went for a very simple piping design on my tiers, so the majority of my 4 days were filled with flower making. And boy did I need it!

Of course I had to go the overambitious 4 tiered cake, which apparently have never been finished in the 4 days because you need a ridiculous amount of flowers. I must thrive on making life difficult for myself as I just saw this as a challenge I had to tackle! (Well, it’s not called Masters cos it’s easy!)

140 hand made, individually wired sugar flowers and leaves later and it was time to assemble my cake and see if I’d made enough to fill all 4 tiers. I must admit I literally got goosebumps as I started to place the flowers. I adored the colour combination and the cake fully represented me as a decorator. 2 hrs later as I placed the last few sugar leaves in place, filling that final tier, I couldn’t have been prouder.

The Masters cakes are created as dummy cakes so that we can take them home and use them as a display (most students have started a business before they get to Masters). I live a couple of plane trips away from Sydney so suffice to say I was extremely nervous about getting my cake home! Not only with the possibility of damage, but also just getting it on the plane at all. I did my best to sweet talk my cake onto the plane at check in but no amount of smiling worked. I had to buy my cake a seat on the plane. Yep, it had its very own seat. The hostess even asked me if my cake would like to order anything (gotta love that Virgin humor!). And security helpfully pointed out that I needed to be careful as “a couple of those tiers are on a lean!”….

I also wanted to just quickly explain something about “Masters” for anyone who may be confused… attaining Masters means that you have completed every course in the PC Basics series. It is possible to skip a few courses along the way depending on your skill level, but you cannot actually get “Masters” until all courses have been completed. This is why there is often a class full of students in Topsy Turvy, but there have only ever been 9 people to attain Masters.

Our class was lucky enough to have 2 people achieving their Masters this year – myself and the very lovely, extremely talented quiet achiever Sarah. We were both so proud to be numbers 10 and 11 in that prestigious group and receive that little plaque and we’ll both surely treasure every moment we’ve spent learning between the very talented four walls of Planet Cake.

It was a whirlwind couple of weeks and I’m glad to report I’m typing this from the comfort of my hometown where I can smell the sweet baking aromas of this weeks orders. I feel very privileged to have learnt my skills from the best. I have loved sharing my Masters journey with you and feel very blessed to be so well supported in my home town so that I can continue to do what I am most passionate about.

Happy Caking everyone

Saturday, July 2, 2011

Masters Topsy Turvy

Yesterday we finished up our annual Basics Marathon with the creme de la creme of cake decorating, the one and only Topsy Turvy. A special congratulations to Amanda Eising and Sarah Lowe who have completed our entire series and now oficially Planet Cake trained. We wish you all the very best with your decorating ladies, and we look forward to seeing more of you in the near future.