Saturday, January 30, 2016

A Look Back: Volume 1

My college sidekick, director Michael Randa, recently interviewed steel and wire artist Steve Lohman. Steve said, 

"I want to create a body of work that is going to inspire other artists, and I want it to last. I want to know that this piece is going to live longer than I do. A favorite piece I've created? I like to think the next one..."

One of the most difficult struggles I have had to overcome as a cake artist is spending hours upon hours on a project, only to have it be eaten and gone forever. Although I know it's inevitable, I am first and foremost and artist and have a hard time coming to terms with this! 
Steve's thoughts truly resonated with me. Now having made over 100 cakes, I often find myself finishing a cake, taking a step back, and saying ,"Wow. This might be my favorite." 

I'm going to take you through some of my most memorable cake moments throughout the last several years in a new blog series called "A Look Back."

Last May, my brother Biagio married his long-time love, Maria (Hi, sis!). Although there would be too much preparation leading up to the big day for me to make a wedding cake, I knew I wanted to make something really special for their shower. 

Maria's Matron of Honor Rachael planned a beautiful co-ed brunch shower. She chose gold, black and white as the color scheme. Pig & Prince restaurant in Montclair, NJ was the perfect venue for this modern and hip event. Being in charge of the flowers, I chose giant Japanese ranunculus to adorn the tables. I had never seen them before, but as soon as I did,  I was in love

The idea for this cake was inspired by Rachael's invitation design and reminded me of my favorite handbag designer, Kate Spade. I love Kate Spade's whimsical yet sleek designs that often have stripes and polka dots mixed with girly and glittery accents. I purchased a tutorial on and was ready to take on some new challenging techniques. 

After baking and icing my cakes, I was ready for challenge #1: the stripes. This tier would not be covered in an entire sheet of fondant; instead, it would actually be finished upside-down (EEK! I know!!). I rolled out the black fondant and inverted my cake, cutting a circle that fit perfectly on top of the cake. I then added the stripes from bottom to top. When it was done, I took a paint brush dipped in water and "painted" the whole cake so that it would be shiny. Be careful to paint the white stripes first; the dye from the black fondant will run!

                        Upside down...                                                            Right side up!

The top tier would be created using a few different techniques. I covered the entire tier in white fondant and "painted" it with a layer of piping gel. I then added quins (yes, sprinkles have special names) and sprayed the entire tier with PME gold spray. It took two entire cans to make this tier a solid gold color. It was messy, but well worth it!


After allowing the gold spray to dry for a few hours. I placed boba tea straws in my bottom tier for support and put the top tier in place. I added a large ranuncula that I made a few days earlier to tie it all together. Viola! 

Oreos & Cakepops, too!

The bride and groom!

More nostalgia coming soon!

Love, Melissa

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