Seeing Red

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When I found out that my nephew had decided to celebrate his birthday with a viewing of Pixar’s newest movie, Inside Out, I was stoked. Which character would he want his aunt (aka – me) to make for his cake? I was secretly hoping that it would be Anger. Not only because I have a soft spot for the heated little fellow (he reminds me so much of my youngest son), but I felt like I could have the most fun creating this one.
It was easy to create a story that would suit his demeanour. Anger was about to eat his piece of birthday cake when the plate fell, sending his delicious confection plummeting to the floor. Who couldn’t relate to something like that?
Anger is made of dark chocolate cake, filled with dark chocolate buttercream and is covered in fondant over chocolate ganache. His flames are made of wafer paper (which the kids LOVED eating).
My favourite details in this cake have to be his tie and his tweed pants. Out of all the Inside Out characters, Anger is my favourite (with Sadness and Disgust coming in a tie for second). He’s spunky, hilarious and dresses like Dwight from the Office.
If you haven’t had a chance to watch Inside Out yet, I’d highly recommend it. If you are a parent of small-ish children, bring a box of kleenex. You are going to bawl!

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Lightning McQueen

Sometimes when you are given a request to create a well known, much loved cartoon character, the results can be underwhelming (just check out Cakewrecks for many humorous examples). This was the challenge I was given when I was asked to create a cake of the Disney Cars leading character, Lightning McQueen. Things got ever so slightly more arduous when the client wanted Lightning reimagined in Dinoco form. How many of you even understand what I am talking about? Having two young boys of my own, I was lucky (?) enough to have watched Cars about a million times. In fact, our DVD is so worn, it would serve better use as a coaster than a DVD.
The cake was for a fabulous little four year old boy, Elliott (who also happens to be my son), so the stakes were high with this one. Not only did I need to impress him, but also a room full of brutally honest children. I knew I had done well when one of the guests didn’t even realize it was a cake.
This was definitely one of my personal favourites and it actually came together easier than I anticipated. Thanks for the challenge Elliott. I can’t wait to hear what he picks for birthday No. 5.

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You Only Turn Fabulously Forty Once

While I always do my best to impress my clients, my latest cake came with a bit of extra pressure. You see, my client was my very own sister and the cake was for her 40th birthday party (you only turn fabulously forty once, you know).
The theme was just like my sister: classic, glamorous and extravagant.  With gold, white and black as the colour scheme, I felt it was the perfect opportunity for me to try my hand at edible gold leaf. The cake was made up of two tiers of delicious, seasonally appropriate carrot cake filled with a coconut cream cheese buttercream. The design was simple and sophisticated; The bottom tier was layered white ruffles, while the showy gold leaf covered tier stole the show on the top.
Having never used gold leaf before, I wasn’t really sure what to expect. If I had even a little experience with it, I would have realized that you need A LOT of it. Gold leaf isn’t something easily accessible in the GTA, so it’s not exactly an easy fix when you make it to the top of the cake, only to realize you’ve run out.
My initial design plan had been to leave the top tier clean with only gold leaf and no adornments. However, with my slight hiccup, leaving the top of the cake white would just not do. I decided to continue with the ruffle theme, creating a spiral effect with white fondant. I was quite happy with the final product, but what mattered more was that my sister loved it.
Happy 40th Michele! May the next forty be as fabulous as the first.

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