Thursday, May 21, 2009

Time keeps flyin'

I can't believe it's already a week ago that I was in Pittsburgh. The Market District store was just amazing. Usually it's the country folk that are amazed by our lively New York city but my husband and I were totally amazed by this Mega store. Not only do they have amazing produce and prepared food, along with the cafe they also have dry cleaning and childcare AT THE super market. This is unheard of in NYC...just amazing. And they also had a beautiful kitchen in the round where many famous chefs have held demonstrations.

I had a great audience with lots of great questions and they didn't even boo me off the stage once my cake had some "melting" issues. I swear if something goes wrong with my cakes it is always during a demo (or live television!) Let this be a lesson to you...even if you stay up all night worrying that there is no mini-fridge in your hotel room AND that the cakes are getting too hot, you are probably right. So as you can imagine, my cakes were not cooperating but I think the audience got a lot out of my hour long demo (I hope so!) One of the things I always talk about is being organized when starting any project, here is a great article from the Pittsburgh-Tribune talking about that.

And the good news is that our topsy-turvy Bat-Mitzvah cake was delivered with no drama...always a good thing. About five years ago I started making a "styrofoam" base where the candles can fit, it's perfect for the candle lighting ceremony and keeps those long tapers away from the rest of the cake. Olivia's cake and Bat-Mitzvah theme were "Liv happy"...sounds good to me!

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Going to Pittsburgh

The last time I was in Pittsburgh I saw a lot of the city. Over 26.2 miles exactly ! This happened when my friend Ashley got it in her head that it would be a good idea for the two of US to run a marathon together. It was a great experience and it was fun both before and after the race to see some of the sights in the city.

This Saturday I will be giving a demo at Giant Eagle, Market District (South Hills) from 11-1pm. I will be showing how to create our Spring Mini cakes and signing books. The mini cakes are one of the many fun ideas from our second book, Confetti Cakes for Kids. They are perfect for spring but could be easily translated to anytime of year!

We are also busy this week with a Topsy-Turvy Bat-Mitzvah cake, sketching some new cakes for an upcoming magazine shoot in June and getting ready for the demo!

Saturday, May 9, 2009

Toronto Class

Me and Flour Confections owner, Lisa

What started off as a dramatic trip to Toronto ended up being so wonderful. The drama began when I left my passport at home (after already turning around once in the car to go get my driver's license which I didn't need because you NEED a PASSPORT to go to a different country!) so my most amazing assistant Candice had to run to my apartment, retrieve my passport and meet me at the airport before they closed me out of my flight (she made it in 8 minutes!) Then once I got to Canada apparently you need a VISA to teach there which no one knew! But all ended well when Lisa and Robyn picked me up at the Toronto airport.

My fabulous class of professional cake designers

I taught the two day class at Flour Confections. It is such a great teaching space and kitchen with a beautiful store that is filled with tons of cake decorating equipment. The class did an amazing job and I love all the variety in colors and patterns. It was so much fun and I think everyone learned a lot. Here is a posting about the class from the owner of Flour Confections, Lisa Bugeja, on her blog.

Did I mention I love to teach?!

Friday, May 8, 2009

I'm back!

One of our "bio" Bat-Mitzvah cakes
Once again I have let too much time pass between blog entries but I assure you it is not because I haven’t wanted to write nor has it been because I have just been hanging out!
Well, my brother tells me I put way too much thought into my blog entries and he is probably right (after all I am a perfectionist in all that I do) but it has also prevented me from updating the blog often enough.

As you can imagine the last Food Network Challenge took a lot out of me, emotionally and physically. But it’s really the stuff I do everyday, cakes and teaching that have kept me the busiest. I just returned from Toronto, Canada (and yes, you need a Passport to travel to Canada these days…let’s just say I had a little adventure at the NY airport) AND you need a VISA in order to teach there…yes, another adventure was had by myself once I arrived in Canada and was escorted to immigration! More on this class later.

The "Bald" cake before it is decorated (see above)
One of my favorite moments in cake design is when the “bald” cake is ready to be decorated. Bald, meaning a cake that is completely unadorned but has been baked from scratch, split, filled, covered in rolled fondant, even painted and is ready to be decorated with all of our wonderful sugar decorations. Here is one such cake, before and after decorating. Spring has brought us many Bat-Mitzvah cakes this year.

Yep, it's sugar!
So my next few postings will be fairly quick and will showcase some of our recent cakes and classes….not the cake we did for a celebrity because we had to sign legal papers that won’t allow us to talk about it!