Friday, July 29, 2011
I had thought about skipping this month’s challenge due to my lack of focus. My mind was filled with thoughts about completing a shopping bag birthday cake which was initially being ordered for delivery on 22nd this month. For some reason it was postponed for another week and the new date was 27th which was also the date of delivering Daring Bakers’ Fraisier. It was tedious to concentrate on a couple of things at the same time so I finally decided to just focus in my shopping bag project.
The cake was delivered on time and I thought that was it – me setting aside the Daring Bakers Challenge and was merely happy with one achievement rather than two. But then something happened, on the way back home T bought me 2 packs of strawberries out of the blue. He never did this before and it was like a hint that within whatever time left out there I had to continue with the challenge, even though I was late. Well, better be late than never at all, right?
So there I was, making the best I could mending for the lost time. And I should really say that I am glad that I have done it. This Fraisier is filled with strawberries and instead of having a layer of almond paste on the top, I chose to cover it with Mango Jelly. I was just so in a mood of summer due to my boredom of the rainy season we have right now, so mango and strawberry definitely brighten up my day… and I am sure they will to yours too.
Thanks to Jana of Cherry Tea Cakes for this wonderful challenge. Jana of Cherry Tea Cakes was our July Daring Bakers’ host and she challenges us to make Fresh Frasiers inspired by recipes written by Elisabeth M. Prueitt and Chad Robertson in the beautiful cookbook Tartine.
Saturday, July 23, 2011
Sometimes we are surprised of how simple things could please our eyes and bring us happiness. I guess some great cake decorators understand and practice this concept occasionally. The other day I was decorating my cake and thinking hard what design I should create to go along with my Gerbera sugar flowers. So there Mich Turner came into picture.
A London’s top cake designer who are well known for her creations, Mich Turner has written many inspiring cake decorating books. One that is in my collection and has become an important source of ideas is “Wedding Cakes” published in 2009. In that wonderful book on page 78 Mich, who is famous for her chic and contemporary design showed that when a grid of ½ inch lines running in random direction are piped on cake, and then dots of pearls are added at random spots on those lines, the result is a very cool pattern.
It took me just a short while to complete such seemingly detailed pattern. And I could not wait to quickly compose my Gerbera flowers on it. These blossoms are made in various colors and sitting in the air-proof container for quite some time now. The moment has arrived for them to strike a pose.
Thanks to Mich for the wonderful pattern, and wish to read and enjoy more of her books in the near future. I am sure if you are fond of fondant cake decorating, you might have some of her books in your collection too. Which one is your favorite?
Wednesday, July 6, 2011
Cattleya is a genus of 113 species of orchids from Costa Rica to tropical South America. The genus was named in 1824 by John Lindley after Sir William Cattley who received and successfully cultivated specimens of Cattleya labiata that were used as packing material in a shipment of other orchids made by William Swainson (wikipedia.com)
Cattleya is definitely the queen of orchirds. Due to its size and beauty, Cattleya represents our visual idea of all orchirds. Typically recognized by its showy flowers, there are hundreds of species around. Recently my observation in the orchird exhibition concluded that there were almost no color limits to this flowers – white, yellow, light green, purple, orange, you name it!
I had so much fun forming and shaping these flowers. And if you notice well, Cattleya is in Top 5 of flowers to be used in decorating Wedding Cake. I can’t agree more, once these flowers are up there on the cake, they turn the creation into magical beauty and elegance. I wasn’t sure about which colors to start with but yellow and purple could never go wrong.
Satisfaction was all I had once they were up there on the cake. With their charm, they made my photo shoot into a fun but indecisive session – I had to photograph them in almost any angle possible instead of just stick with one best.I promised myself I would continue making them in the future.
My next attempt would be lime green and white orchird, even though frankly speaking the orange ones did catch a lot of my attention.