One of the most surprising discoveries I've made in my culinary school adventure, and the resulting baking I get to do for my clients, is that I LOVE cake decorating (I really didn't think I would)(no really, I'm being honest here). I'm a lucky girl to know Sarah over at Lil Hoot, because she's as creative as she is fun, and often when we work together I get emails with pictures of GORGEOUS cakes- I'm talking real stunners.

"I like this- thoughts?"

Sarah, my thoughts are always "drooooooooool." followed quickly by "I'LL DO IT!" followed quickly by, "I have to figure out how to do this." I kid. I really love it when a client comes to me with some specific ideas, be it flavor, or color....the more I know about what a client really likes, the more fun I have because I know what I'm working on will be something they'll love (uh, hopefully).

I'm equally lucky that one of Sarah's go-to girls is Meredith, (of Meredith Nelson Photography), someone with a real talent for photography. Meredith is singlehandedly responsible for capturing some of my very favorite cake pictures. Behold:

(for Lil Hoot's Lil C)

(For Sugar on Top)

Yes, really. Thank you, THANK you, Meredith, for making my cakes look so pretty (and my macs...and my brioche cinnamon buns....).

I'm hard at work on the ultimate cake- this one is a long term project for school. We've been given free reign to create our own wedding cakes, and I've happened across an inspiration cake that I can't get off my mind. So? I'm going for it. I'll save THAT picture for when I've completed the cake, but I will share my progress so far.

Traditional wedding cake design includes a pastillage structure system (pastillage is a very strong sugar based paste that rolls out like dough and dries into a heavy, rigid product....sort of like porcelain), and our cakes are no exception.  Our cakes will be small wedding cakes, with the first tier consisting entirely of a pastillage support structure. On Friday I designed my support tier, measured and cut my templates, mixed my pastillage, and got to work.  

Here are my templates (and my sketch)(and my tea):

and HERE is my cut pastillage, drying on forms, or in molds (or flat, on the sheet pan):

The tubes you can see there will be support for the cake, the flat discs will be the base and the top of the support (that's what the rest of the cake will sit on directly). Oh, and those are trees. And the top of a house. There's MORE pastillage to complete, and then it will all be painted. And that's simply the bottom support layer of the cake.

You might be wondering how a house and some trees and a couple of tubes made of sugar come together to make a wedding cake, and what on EARTH it will look like. I'll give you a hint: the cake is an homage to a famous work of art that pays tribute to the stoic American pioneer spirit. And there's a pitchfork. 

Just trust me, it makes sense. I'll show more pictures along the way.

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