Tuesday, August 9, 2011

All things chocolate! Part 2

Have you ever slept in a room created from chocolate??? With a chocolate mosaic wall and chocolate furniture? 
Well, Godiva created one for a contest:

Godiva created the most amazing chocolate paradise! a room filled with all of a chocolate-lover’s dream, in the the Bryant Park Hotel NY.

The creating included: a full-walled mosaic compose of  chocolates, chocolate artworks were hang on the walls, and two huge chocolate statues were placed in the dining room. The rest of the room was decorated with  more chocolate treats.

This was a prize by Godiva for their annuel Valentine’s Day sweepstakes. The winners of this prize will enjoy the one in a life time suite

And here is a video of the suite!:

I found a lot of other stuff made of chocolate, but I thought that you might find the next idea as really easy, cool and fun to do, and there is also a tutorial! on how to create- Mini chocolate hamburgers!

So, how can you make these mini chocolate hamburgers?
For the burgers:
use chocolate discs (dark or milk)

For the buns:
make these cookies:
7 ounces of butter, at room temp.
5.3 ounces sifted flour
5.3 ounces cup sifted white cornflour
1 teaspoon of baking powder
3.5 ounces of confectioner’s sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Place in a mixing bowl the butter, confectioner’s sugar and vanilla extract and beat for several minutes using the flat beater, until you reach a smooth cream.
Gradually add the flour, cornflour and baking powder and mix until combined.
Place the dough in the refrigerator for 30 minutes.
Turn on the oven to 350 F/175 C

Create balls from cookie dough, for ½ of the balls make sure the ball isn’t wider than the chocolate discs; flatten them just a bit. For the second half, use just half the amount of cookie dough and flatten the ball to create a round disc. Thus creating 2 parts of the bun, top and bottom.
Both cookie types should be about the same diameter, and just a tad larger than the chocolate discs.

Brush the cookies that are rounded on top, lightly with egg white; spread some sesame seeds on each one.

Line a baking pan with parchment paper.
Place a flat cookie, a chocolate disc on top of it and a rounded dome shaped cookie on top of the chocolate.
Bake for 10-12 minutes, be careful not to burn the cookies!, let cool fully and enjoy your chocolate maple mini burgers!

I hope you enjoyed me summer glimps to the chocolate dreams in this world

Til next time
Cake away


Tuesday, August 2, 2011

All things chocolate! first part (because I couldn't choose!)

I'm gonna make a statment I'm pretty sure you'll be able to relate to:

That's why, today I brought you a gift! the most amazing things created in chocolate.
Sit back and enjoy the ride:

First come the shoes and bags, they are so beautiful and I really like the sets of items.
Frances Cooley a chocolatier and owner of Choc Chic creates fabulous stiletto shoes and handbags out of Belgian chocolate.
Frances Cooley

I'll take this one! thank you

And a matching pair of shoes! great

Next are these AMAZING dresses created for the Salon Du Chocolate- an annual exhibit held at Paris.

I was very lucky to visit this exhibit with my husband on our honeymoon almost 15 years ago. It was amazing, an Eiffel tower from chocolate activated as a chocolate fountain, a candy machine throwing candies at you at high speed and kids collecting them using their shirts as bowls, beautiful and tasty chocolate acorns, chocolate branches, tasting the coca fruit pulp, it was so good I still remember its flavor, unbelievable! 

Check out the NY chocolate fashion show:

Cadbury Chocolate Couture Collection Fashion Show:

If you want to visit the great wall of china but enjoy an easy trip, this is the way to do it:

I found a lot of other stuff made of chocolate,but I don't want you to have too much at once, you know the saying.. good things come in small packages.

Til next time,
Cake away

Monday, August 1, 2011

Remember The Puzzle cake?

If you haven't seen it yet, this is it!

I've been decorating cakes for many years, (over 15 as a hobby and over 6 as a business) I must say that I have the most amazing customers! (mainly brides, and sometimes the bride's moms)
Most of them call me a few days after the wedding, or drop a line to tell me how great their wedding cake was.

That really makes me happy,  I gotta tell you, even after sooo many cakes, I always have the jitters and never truly relax until I know everything went well. (hubby, that's why I have so much white hair!)

Once in a while, I get really fun reviews that are even more exciting than usual!
I got one of those today ! yeh-y!
I felt like sharing, it with you, if you decorate cakes, cookies or occupay in any business that involves working with people, I'm sure you can relate.

so, here goes:

"Dear Sharon,
I am sending you two photographs of Leora and Ran with the wonderful wedding cake you made for them!

Everyone who tasted it said how good it was.

It also looked fantastic and turned out exactly as we discussed beforehand.

I would heartily recommend your cakes to anyone who wants something original, impressive, and tasty. 
So thank you.


Hedva Rechtman"
Leora & Ran about to cut their wedding cake

Til' next time
Cake away!

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Summer Times...

Hey there, I really really wanted to publish a post on a celebrity wedding cake I did last week, but summer flu had me and I was spending my time not thinking about any type of food...

So I will tell you all about it in the next few days, but right now here is my latest creation- a cute bucket and rake cake, made yesterday for his kindergarten end of the year party.

I haven't really told the teacher what I do for a living, thus elegently avoiding special requests all throught the year...even his birthday cake was very simple, I only used edible paper -pooh drawing, because the next day he had a cute birthday cake for his party at home.

Well, the teacher, oblivient to my primary love (yaha, after my hubby and kids of course..) asked us to bring to the party a vegtable platter and 3 soft drink bottles
I love vegetables and was quite content with the request, but I didn't count on my baby boy (3.5 yrs) expectations-
"mommy, I want you to make a cake for the party!".
"Honey, I can't your teacher asked for vegetables and drinks!"
"I want a cake!!!!" ( he wasn't screaming, he's a very sweet kid he hardly raises his voice)
"well, let me see if that's possible"
"If I can make a cake, what shall it be?"
"I want a sand bucket and a spoon, with lots of sand and seashells!"

Well, he knows what he wants, you have to give him that..
I arranged a switch with one of the moms and peace returned to our home.

So, how was this cake created?
Since I started working on the cake around noon, I didn't have the time to create a tutorial, but I will walk you through the steps:

The sand is actually edible sand and very easy to make.
The cake is created from 4 layers of cake about 7" / 18 cm diameter.

I added ganache between the layers and on the top.

Then I placed on top of the cake a circle I cut from paper, it was 5" / 13cm diameter. It was my guide to cut the top 2 levels diagonally, all around, to create a sand bucket look.
once it looked like an upside down bucket I ganached the sides of all 4 layers.

I then rolled out pink sugarpaste and coverd the cake.
When covering a cake as tall as this, and especially when the cake is wider at the bottom, you will encounter some difficulty with access sugarpaste.
There are a few ways to manage this-
1. cut a slit in the paste once it is placed on the cake and set aside the access sugarpaste.
2. keep on opening the paste when it wrinkles and smooth it out as much as possible.
The second option was what I did. (it leaves less of an impression on the final cake.

I let the cake set for about 20 minutes and then flipped it over with a wide pizza spatula, directly on to the board, on a dab of royal icing. The cake was placed at its final location.
I then added cmc to some of the pink sugarpaste and let it stand for 15minutes. Then I rolled it out and cut a long strip , which I attached to the side of the bucket, at the top.
I paced the strip about 1/4" / 1cm higher from the cake sides, thus creating a border, where I could later add the edible sand and avoid any spillage.

Then I created the sand bucket handle from a white strip of gumpaste I attached with royal icing to the cake and added two toothpicks, one on each side. on top of each toothpick I placed a piece of pink sugarpaste.

While waiting for the cakes to bake, I created the spoon and the rake:
the spoon was really easy because it is just a handle with a hole at the end. I rolled out green sugarpaste with cmc and created a long skinny sausage. I then inserted a skewer almost all the way to top. For my step before last I flattened the sugarpaste using a cake smoother.
I used a small cutter to cut out a hole at the end of the handle and placed it on baking paper to dry.

For the rake I created the handle just like I did for the spoon. The more difficult part was the teeth. So I took a photo from the web of a real plastic rake that seemed as a good model and followed the look, first I cut it out flat, to create a similar look, and then I used a tool created for clay work. I find that you can never have too many types of tools while decorating cakes. When I see a tool that seems it will come in handy one day, I will usually buy it.  Sure, I have my share of unused tools, but once in a while I'm grateful, I have the unique tools that will help me out in that tight spot.

Keeping my  sugarpaste flat, I used the clay tool to create the teeth.
Then I bended them, stuck in each tooth a short flower wire, used a skewer to create a canal for the skewer to be added later, and let it dry against a flat surface, just to make sure the teeth are all aligned.
Final step using some royal icing as glue, I attached the rake body to the handle and let dry for a few hours.

The rake actually worked!

I created the seashells using 2 different chocolate molds. Although the shells were also sugarpaste with cmc.

Assembling the cake:
I spread edible sand on the board and in the sand bucket. Then I placed the spoon handle and the rake, actually using it to create markings in the sand!
Finally I added the seashells and was rather happy of the outcome. (my son was thrilled!|)
But it felt like something was missing...


It says in hebrew, have a nice vacation!

Have a great summer everyone!

Til next time,
Cake away

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Didn't hold up to my promise...

I really don't like admitting to this one (bad, bad wife..)
But with the wedding season and all, I really really couldn't stand up to my promise.
A few posts ago I told you my husband has a birthday and I was planning on creating a special Bday cake for him. He really loves the sea, diving etc' so I planned a very special coral reef cake.

However, as I already said I didn't have a minute to spare.
So sadly I had to skip on my big plans and go minimal.

That weekend we had friends that came over to celebrate the beginning of summer.
I ain't a big summer fan myself, other than the wedding cakes, that I totaly love! I can't stand the heat, humidity, mosquitos, jelly fish, etc'.
Well, we live in a complex with a pool and every year there's a big party with inflatables and music, the kids have lots and lots of fun, so I thought that that was the best time to have a mini celebration of our own.

I did what I could, for me it meant baking Banana cupcakes, they had to be spaeical, so I used 3 types of sillicon pans, turning these banana cupcakes into unique tiny-pop in your mouth cupcakes.

The recipe was new to me, I found it on the back package of cupcake baking cups.
It was so good It will definiatly star in our kitchan and will also be offered to my brides for wedding cupcake towers.
Here it is:
Banana Cupcakes:
2 cups all purpose flour
3/4 cup granulated sugar
1/4 cup unsweetend cocoa powder
3/4 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 cup sour cream
1/2 cup muashed ripe banana
1/4 cup milk
1/3 cup vegetable oil
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
3 large egg whites.

preheat oven to 350 F / 180 C
in a large bowl, mix flour, 1/4 cup sugar, cocoa, baking soda, baking powder and salt.
in a medium bowl beat egg whites until foamy, gradually add remaining 1/2 cup of sugar, beat well untill stiff peaks form.
Stir sour cream mixture into flour mixture until moistend.
fold in 1/3 egg white mixture, fold gently remaining egg white mixture.
fill cupcake pan 3/4 full with batter.
bake 20-25 minutes, the cupcakes are ready when a wooden pick inserted in center comes out clean.

let cool and watch out, you won't be able to resist them...

Til' next time,
Cake away

Tuesday, July 5, 2011

A puzzling cake

I did debat with my self (again?!) if the topic name had lost it's charm..
But nah, I decided to go with it anyway, (I like it).

On my last post I covered the proccess of creating the puzzle pieces for the puzzle cake.

Here's the cake, finallized, at the wedding hall as promised.
What do you think? does it feel like the pieces are falling out of the puzzle box?

Puzzle wedding cake

Do you like my cake design?

View of the open box with the falling puzzle pieces
Til' next time!

Cake away


Thursday, June 30, 2011

I'm Puzzled...

If you were wondering what I've been up to this week, well I was really busy with... wedding cakes and a few birthday cakes. (no surprise there)

I wanted to let you have a sneak peak at a rather special cake I'm working on for Friday

The bride and groom love solving puzzles, so their brother (everyone needs such a brother!) ordered an unusuall wedding cake for them, as a wedding gift.

The top tier will look like a starry night- puzzle box opened and the pieces spilling out.
so far I made the puzzle pieces and hand painted them.
The brides brother said that they actually have a starry night puzzle they are currently working on. (it's one of Van Gouch's paintings)

Starry night

The cakes are in the oven, and the edibale page with the starry night drawing is printed to the exact size to fit the cake.

To achieve the effect of the pieces falling out, the top layer will be set on pillars, and some pieces will be attached to one of the pillars, to the cake sides and the cake base.

I really wanted the puzzle pieces to look real, so I took a couple of real puzzle pieces and traced them on paper, I copied them 3D to create my own set of puzzle cutters and the result is great. They really look like puzzle pieces.

Puzzle cutters I custom made for this cake from a tin box of coco powder

Another thing I was worried about (but really happy about now), is the pieces color. 
I don't mean the front; i'm talking about the sides and back. I know the back will only be seen if someone looks at the cake from the back and that won't be possible since the cake will be set in front of a wall... But I had to take care of the sides, if I wanted it to look real.
I debated (with myself, I do that sometimes) whether I should color the gumpaste on the sides only, or the whole piece before I roll it out and cut it.

Eventually I realized coloring it before the roll and cut will be less time consuming and will give the best results.

So I did. But the color itself was a big question mark.
You know how puzzles have that cardboard special color to their back side? well I tried several food color mixes and ended up with a combination of Extra black, enough to have a midum gray bulk of gumpaste and then I added a dab of party green (I think leaf green should work as well)
and Voilla! I got that cardboard color.

Puzzle pieces made of colored gumpaste

Just to make sure, I placed a gumpaste puzzle piece next to the real puzzle piece. My eldest daughter asked if she could have a bite and pick up the real puzzle piece... 

The hand painted puzzle pieces. 

Luckily I saw what she was doing and stoped her in time!
Stay tuned for the next post. where you will see the finallized cake at the wedding hall!

Cake away!

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

White and lilach dreams

In many weddings, I take photos of the garden, the tables, even the brides maids flower bouqet.
I've never posted them before, because I'm no expert photographer. (I've been planning on going to a photography course, forever! )

But at this wedding (sunday), the light was just right, the setting was beautiful, and even I with my poor photography skills got it right...
Some tables had these magnificent flower bouqets

The bridesmaids bouqets and wreaths await

Closeup on one bridesmaid bouqet

Of course it all started with a wedding cake, that is why you're hearing about it in the first place...

The bride, iris, is training to be a doctor. She was so busy, she sent her mom to choose the cake.
We really had to work out some way to compromise between what the bride wanted and what her mom wanted. It wasn't easy and took some negotiating skills... But we did find a cake design that worked for everyone.

The chosen wedding cake was white, elegent, classy, topped with a bouqet of white and lilach gumpaste Lisianthus flowers.

Lisianthus sugar flowers topping the wedding cake

The Lisianthus flowers have a special place in my heart, because they were used in the flower arrangments at my wedding!

They are great flowers, they are not too difficult to recreat, and they work well in a bouqet consisting only Lisianthus or several very different flowers.

I'm actually working on a tutorial on how to create them.

One other thing, if you haven't joined my mailing list yet, I urge you to so. I almost finished writing a series of CakeTips with a lot of real important information and knowledge for cake decorators.

I'm also working on a few surprises, one of them at least is a real revolution in cake decorating.
So stay tuned...

Cake away, until next time!

Floral dreams

We created a new Wedding cake- I called it white floral dreams

This wedding cake was truly a challenge!

A really cute couple met with me a couple of months ago for a consulting, they wanted to choose the perfect wedding cake. The problem was they had no clue as to what they want…

Sometimes when a couple doesn’t know exactly what cake design they want I discuss with them things they already decided about such as the wedding theme or theme colors, the brides wedding gown or fabric, the invitation design, the location etc’  
Usually that helps finding a direction or at least a better idea of their preferences, thus enabling me to get closer to designing the perfect cake for them.

I have to say that once I saw their wedding invitation I had an exact image of their cake (luckily that happens some times).
It was a real lifesaver. Once I explained the idea they loved it. (Thank god!)

Looking at the flowers on their invitation, at first glance I thought they are Lotuses, after taking a longer look I realized they are actually Peonies that are one of my favorite flowers. I was really thrilled about this chance to create the flowers because up to this point I only practiced creating them but haven’t actually used them on any cake.

Another challenge was creating the 2d flowers on the cake sides. I had to create special one-time cutters to achieve perfect and identical cuts each and every time. So I created 3 detailed cutters: a flower, a leaf and a spiral shape. The flower was the one that had the most details and was the hardest to create.
At times you need to do something that seems time consuming at that moment but saves you a lot of time in the future. This was the reason for the cutters. If I would have attempted to create each piece by hand (cutting it with a knife individually) it would take me forever and I would never achieve the clean accurate look I was aiming for.

So with no further ado, this is their wedding cake!

Congratulations Mira and Noam!

Cake away!


Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Do you want access to free cake decorating tutorials?

If you haven't had a chance to gain access to my free cake decorating tutorials, yet, go to Cakeopedia.com and let the fun begin! 

I have a great Caketip for you today:
when kneading your sugar paste/ rolled fondant, some will say use cornflour, some will say use confectioners sugar. I recommend combining that advice. 
mix your confectioners sugar with about 1/3 cornflour. 
The powdered sugar softens the paste and the cornflour dries and hardens it. mixing them will give you a better resault, than using just one. I know confectioners sugar contains 1/10 cornflour, but that still won't be enough.

so mix 2 cups of confectioners sugar with one cup of cornflour. keep in a closed box until you need it.

Enjoy my free tutorials,
Til' next time
Cake away


Sunday, June 12, 2011

Here we go!! Eilat

This weekend we took some time off and went on a beach vavction in the southest city in Israel, Eilat.

It's an amazing place, a touristic city of course, with great beaches, resturants, water sports and more. But the best thing by far is the red sea. (the name comes from the mountains surronding the sea, called the red mountains).
We share the sea with Jordan and Eygpt.

The sea is a real nature resereve, with so many amazing types of fish and corals, it is truly astonishing.
how cool is this garbage can!
look what I found in the equarium!
There is a place called the underwater observatory marine park, where you can see most if not all of the fish in pools and aquariums.

The biggist attraction is however the actuall underwater observatory- a building built in the sea, covered with coralsin the water. you can climb the stairs to the top and enjoy the view of the sea and mountains that surround you, or descent to the bottom, (using stairs as well), where you can walk in the round cell looking through glass windows and watching the fish and corals in their natural habitat.
Actually whenever we go there I kinda feel as if i'm in an aquerium and the fish are looking at me...

We also went to the Dolphin reef to see Dolphins as close as possible and take some time to build sand castels.
a thirsty dolphin

In the evening we went to a great show called WOW on ice, If you get  a chance to visit Eilat I highly recommend going to see it.

I loved how the costume designer combined fish into the costums of the skaters.
That was really inspiring and now I would really love to create a cake with some beautiful fish and corals.

So how's this- my husband has a birthday in about a week, I have three wedding cakes to prepare this week so I won't have much time, but will try to plan and design a special sea cake for him. He was actually born in Eilat and loves the sea and everything concerning the sea.
If I do find the time- you guys will be the first to know...(he does read my blog, but this week he will be sooo busy I hope he'll miss it...)

It was a wonderful vacation, a bit short, but that always leaves a taste for more.

Til' next time

Cake away

Tuesday, June 7, 2011

Bursting bloom

I love sugar flowers, not any sugar flowers, but the ones that either simulate real flowers and are done perfectly to reflect real flowers. Or the ones that are sooo very different that they are obviously not real but merely a fantasy in their creators mind...

Loving these flowers obviously affects my cake designs, many of my clients come to me because of my ability to recreate real flowers into sugar flowers.

One of my favorites is obviously creating a wedding cake with a "bursting bloom", I call them bursting because they decorate the top tier of the wedding cake and usually look like the flowers are poping out of the cake.  They seem as if they are bursting..

With all my love to these cakes, they are not the majority we create, due to the amount of flowers. These cakes consist of hundreds and hundreds of flowers (which present hours and hours of work) Not many couples can afford these cakes, therefore when one of these cakes comes around I'm really happy to create it.

This cake was created for a cute couple Lauren and Fred, and there is actually a funny story about our meeting.

Lauren met me at her hotel, and Fred joined us a few minutes later saying he was sorry for the delay, he had to say hi to a friend from Italy who is also getting married just a week after their wedding.
He said that his friend told him she choose an amazing cake decorator and she suggested that they'd meet with her, as well.

Two minutes after he said that, his friend camew over to say hello to Lauren. To my surprise, it was Carol, a bride that chose and ordered her wedding cake just 3 weeks before my meeting with Lauren and Fred.... Such a small world!

You can imagine I had the easiest time presenting to the couple.
And to make things even better! they chose a bursting bloom cake. They had a photo of a cake they saw in a magazine and asked me to create something similar, which I did.
Later I learned that the cake in the photo was created by Ron Ben Israel!

Another view of the wedding cake

Front view of the cake

Cake away guys


Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Ron Ben Israel styled wedding cake

A few months ago I posted about my exeperiance in Ron Ben Israel's master class for wedding cakes.
You can check it out here

I also told you how I've finished my mockup / fake wedding cake using his guidelines to create an amazing wedding cake.

At first I really didn't know what to do with it because my cake studio has no more space to keep extra mockup cakes.

So, when I told the guys at "touch food" (the boutique food chain, where I teach cake decorating) that I created a special cake and I kindda don't have a spot for it they begged me to bring it to the store....
I was total for it, and to show their gratitude, they even built a special shelf, just for the cake.

Gladly that cake is proudly presented and has many good effects-I get more cake orders and more classes. That cake does so much work for me!

(for all of you that do this for a living or just a part time, I truly recommend placing a fake cake at a local bakery or event hall, along with your contact information in order to boost orders!)

So here is my very own first version of a wedding cake with Ron Ben Israel's roses, actually I made all the flowers, but they were created based on Ron's excellent methods. in addition you can see I added a vareity of flowers, many of them based on Ron's methods as well.


sugar flowers: peony, sweet pea, jasmin, lisianthus

the orange sugar flower you can't see from this angel, is the Poppy

til' next time, cake away !


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