Monday, October 24, 2011

ICCA Annual Wedding Cake Competition 2011

So SIL and I went to KL for a week for our first ever formal cake decorating workshop at ICCA (International Centre of Cake Artistry). We have both  never been to any cake decorating or baking workshop before and it was an amazing experience indeed! I will detail that in the next post.

Anyway, we took a flight to KL on Sunday, the day before the course was to start. We were initially supposed to arrive in the evening, but decided to change our flight to an earlier one in order to catch the last day of the Annual Wedding Cake Competition organized by ICCA.

We do not regret paying the extra money to change the flights, because the cakes at the show were just simply magnificent! SIL and I were snapping away with our cameras! We even had to trudge around with all our luggage, as it was still too early to check into our hotel! :)

Well, here are some of  the amazing entries:

Here are some of my favourites which did not win any prizes:

I think this was the one unbelievably created by a 13-year old!

This Beauty & The Beast cake was gorgeous! Look at her dress and their faces!

This was adorable, not to mention intricate and amazingly detailed!

Here are the winners:

3rd place: The colourful flowers are just gorgeous! She obviously likes Ron Ben Israel's style.

Second place goes to this magnificent creation. I love his painting and intricate royal icing string work! Apparently his girlfriend is the 3rd place winner and both of them are veterans in the cake decorating world. Check out his blog Vinism Sugar Art to see his other masterpieces!

And the first place goes to.... *drumroll*... Kris, my friend from Thailand! I'm so happy for him, he only started dabbling in fondant 9 months ago and look at his mind-blowing cake! Besides being so intricate, the design is totally original and unique! He wins an 8-day trip to Squires Kitchen, UK! I'm so jealous!! Hahahaha...

I met Kris when we were both digging through the same cake decorating books in the Kinokuniya bookstore in Bangkok, and we ended up exchanging blog addresses. Go check out his blog, Bake in Paris.

Congratulations again Kris! Hope you'll join the UK one as well!! That would be so exciting!!
So that was the cake competition... I'll tell you about the workshops we attended next!

Saturday, October 22, 2011

Alexis & Lana's wedding

Hubby's close friend Alexis, who is also my childhood friend (neighbour) got married last month and I had the honour of making their wedding cake! Since the wedding was out of town and we had to fly in, I suggested that they have a cupcake tower instead of the traditional tiered wedding cake which would be near impossible to transport!!

So I ended up making a 6" cutting cake to go on top of the cupcake tower and 27 large cupcakes (the exact number that I could squeeze into a 12" square box!) as well as 80 mini cupcakes.

The cake was a chocolate cake covered in chocolate ganache and decorated in fondant. The penguin toppers were made from gumpaste and credit for the design goes to Esther (also known as Fliepsiebiep in Flickr). Visit her Flickr page and see her amazingly adorable creations!

The cupcakes were also chocolate cake frosted with a mound of chocolate ganache each! Then I covered them in white textured fondant (I used my floral texture mat) and topped them off with red ribbon roses and black leaves. I also hot glued black ribbon and tiny black bows onto the cupcakes cases. That was too much work for such little effect that next time I think I'll be skipping that part! :)

As for the mini cupcakes, those were red velvet cake with a swirl of cream cheese frosting. This is the first time I have made and eaten red velvet cakes and they blew my mind!! They're my favouritest cake right now!

So from making, to transporting, to assembling this cupcake tower, there was a lot of work involved. But it was all worth it when the bride and groom showed their pleasure at the end product!

Weddings are kinda scary, but now that I am more experienced, I have more courage to take on extra challenges! In December, another one of our friends are getting married and I have agreed to do a wedding cake and a dessert table!! I've been ogling at dessert tables ala Amy Atlas or My Sweet and Saucy, for ages and now I really want to try one myself!! This is gonna be interesting....

Friday, October 21, 2011

Kitty Cookies

Once in a while I get tempted to make cookies. What's not to like about fancy, decorated cookies? They're so pretty and delicious to boot! I think Bridget of Bake at 350 is mostly to blame!! Pop over to her blog and you'll see what I mean!! Her cookies are all sooooo extremely gorgeous!!

 Anyway, every time, without fail, after I slave over my cookies, I promise myself never to make cookies ever again!! It's just that cookies are so much work! I have a teensy weensy oven, so I have to bake in many small batches. Making cookies mean an assembly line of rolling, cutting, refrigerating, baking and repeating over and over and  over again...

These Kitty cookies were no exception. I had to make 30 pieces of iced cookies and another 30 un-iced. I don't think I'll be taking orders for cookies again anytime soon! But I don't think this will be the last time I make cookies either! (I'll succumb to the temptation again, just you wait and see!!)

So anyway, Hello Kitty is fortunately quite a simple design. The cookies were baked then cooled, and decorated with fondant. I used red food color mixed with lemon extract to paint the ribbon. Next time I will make sure to use alcohol, as the color took a long time to dry. I was worried that the cookies were going soft  since I left them out to dry for so long. Yet I could  not pack them or put them in an air tight container until the red was dry!

In the end I packed them while they were still a little bit wet and there was some smudging. I had no choice, as that was better than soft, mushy cookies!!

So I packed them into individual bags, sealed them and hot glued ribbons onto the bags. They turned out pretty nice I must say...

Pooh and Piglet

Here are some 2D cupcakes of Winnie the Pooh and Piglet. I got an order for Pooh cupcakes and was very happy to finally be able to use my Pooh cutters.

The cupcakes are chocolate cupcakes with chocolate ganache frosting. They're all topped with fondant.

They were quite simple and straight forward to make so there's not much I have to say about them! :)

Oh yes, in case you were wondering, one of the cupcakes was purposely left blank for a candle, as per customer's request.

Thursday, October 20, 2011

Barney and Friends

Sorry for the headache-inducing, neon colours... I got carried away with Picasa!! :)

I've taken ages to get around to blogging about my cakes that I've pretty much forgotten who I made these for! :)

The big boss

Anyway, they're chocolate cupcakes with chocolate ganache frosting and the Barney and friends figures are all made from gumpaste. I used some Barney pictures which I Googled as a reference when creating the figures. That's all I can remember and I'm too lazy to refer to my notebook! heh...

So I'll leave you with the pictures! ;)

What's up doc??

So my little boy Solomon celebrated his birthday at home with the Bert and Ernie cake. Now he needed another one to bring to school. I let him choose what he wanted from my Debbie Brown 'Cartoon Characters' book. He was switching between Barney, Thomas the Tank engine and Bugs Bunny. Nearing his birthday, he finally settled on Bugs Bunny. (Mummy might have influenced him a bit, as it's much simpler to make!! hehehe)

The cake is quite easy to make as it's basically just a mound (no corners or edges!) covered in small rolls of orange fondant with a small Bugs on top. I don't even have to cover the cake with a fondant sheet!

I made a madeira cake, which is firm and thus the best for cakes that have to be carved. Bugs was not too hard to create and the carrots were a piece of cake (pun intended), though still a bit of work because of the sheer number of them!

As usual, I'm very happy with the designs from my Debbie Brown book. I'm always waiting for an opportunity to try out another one of her creations!

Saturday, October 15, 2011

A little bit of everything

So I had this customer from out of town who wanted some cuppies for her husband's birthday. She could not decide what to ask for and wanted something for everyone in her family and so she came up with a list of 3D figures. I usually do a whole set with a single theme, but seeing as she was from out of town and was going to pick up the order while in transit from her hometown to Kuala Lumpur, I did not have the heart to turn down her request.

Anyway, here are the photos. I've done most of them before...

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