Wednesday, December 26, 2012

Tea Kettle cake

A tea kettle cake for my lovely mother's birthday Dec 2012.  It was a delicate orange flavored cake with orange mousse filling. Mom was surprised when I asked her to stand in front of this for her birthday pictures, and was rather nonplussed when I handed her a knife to cut the kettle.......  She laughed so hard when she realized it is a cake-- bless her. 

It is interesting how coffee drinkers associate tea with being ill. We are tea drinkers. My family still has evening high tea every day. Mom always said tea warms us in winter and cools us on a summer day.  But I think she most enjoyed cutting a slice out of a tea kettle. 

A teapot can represent at the same time the comforts of solitude and the pleasures of company.  ~Author Unknown

Wednesday, December 5, 2012

Sitar cake

This cake was for my very talented brother who plays the sitar quite well. It was designed after his sitar which  our father bought about 50+ years ago when he started to learn to play.  This instrument went with us everywhere.  It did not travel well on the way to the US; the gourd was broken when we picked it up at JFK, but thanks to some crazy glue and the hard work of our cousin,  this antique is whole again and plays very well. 

The round gourd (kaddu) was a vanila cake with passion fruit mousse filling and the long section was a Grandma's chocolate cake with chocolate mousse filling.... Yum! now thats music to my ears. 

I made this painting of my brother playing the very sitar about a decade ago. He has a good ear for music and prefers to play by ear. 

Thursday, November 8, 2012

Pirate Ship cake

Yo ho Yo ho! behold a cake that looks like a pirate ship.

The era of piracy in the Caribbean began in the 16th century and died out in the 1830s after the navies of the nations of Western Europe and North America began combating pirates.  The Disney movies and theme park ride “Pirates of the Caribbean” has popularized the topic and Johnny Depp played a most adorable Jack Sparrow : “Me? I'm dishonest, and a dishonest man you can always trust to be dishonest. Honestly. It's the honest ones you want to watch out for, because you can never predict when they're going to do something incredibly... stupid”.
The Pirates of the Caribean theme park ride is one of my most favorite places to be on Earth. I must have been on that ride a dozen times and love it more every time!  This is my take on Pirates of the Caribbean although I did not use "the Black Pearl" as the inspiration. Instead it is a yellow cake with strawberry filling.
Enjoy matey-------- ARRRRR

Thursday, October 25, 2012

baby shower cake

This is one of the most fun cakes I have ever made; and so cute. The baby is made of fondant, and no we did not eat it. The carriage was a carrot cake with lots of nuts. 

Baby showers and other social events to celebrate the impending or recent birth are popular around the world. They are commonly "women-only" social gatherings. Traditionally, baby showers were given only for the family's first child, and only women were invited. The original intent was for women to share wisdom and lessons on the art of becoming a mother. Traditions for baby showers vary worldwide.
  • In Brazil, a party called "chá de bebê" (baby tea) is offered after birth and is often a "women-only" event.
  • In Chinese tradition, a baby shower, called manyue () is held one month after the baby is born. Due to the lack of advanced medical technology in ancient times, the high infant mortality rate prompted families and friends to celebrate if a baby survived more than one month after birth.
  • In Costa Rica, a baby shower party is called té de canastilla ("basket tea").
  • In northern India it is known as godbharaai in western India, especially Maharashtra, this celebration is known as dohaaljewan, and in West Bengal and Orissa it is called saadh. There is music played, and the expecting mother is decked in traditional attire with lots of flowers and garlands. It is a very affectionate and fun-filled event for most of the expecting mothers since they are on the threshold of motherhood and entering a new life.
  • In Islam adherents are required to perform aqiqah of newly born child. This involves sacrifice of sacrificial animals. The meat is then divided in three equal parts; one for the poor and needy, one for relatives and friends which can involve inviting them at home for a feast, and finally the last part is utilized by the household itself.
  • In South Africa, a baby shower is called a stork party, and takes place typically when the mother is about 6 months pregnant. Stork parties are usually not attended by men.
  • In the United Kingdom, this is called wetting the baby's head, and is a more common substitute to a baby shower. Wetting the baby's head is traditionally when the father celebrates the birth by having a few drinks with a group of friends.
  • In Nepal baby shower is called Pasni. In is often done to the boys in 6 month of their birth and it is done to the girls in 5 months of their birth. People give money and other gifts during the baby shower.

Thanx Wikipedia for the interesting info.

Sunday, October 14, 2012

Eye Hospital Fundraiser

This was for a fundraiser for an eye hospital, held in New York City. LRBT stands for Layton Rehmatullah Benevolent Trust which funds for several free hospitals in Pakistan.  The trust was founded in 1984 by two successful businessmen: the Late Graham Layton, an Englishman who become a Pakistani citizen and by the Late Zaka Rahmatulla. Upon his death, Graham Layton left his estate for the benefit of LRBT. The Spirit of LRBT was:
All treatment is totally free so that no man, woman or child becomes blind just because he/she cannot afford the treatment.- Treatment is appropriate, state-of-the-art. Charity should not mean second-rate treatment.- There is no discrimination due to gender, caste, ethnicity, language, religion or sect.- Patients are treated with compassion and dignity.

Today there is a nationwide network of 17 purpose-built hospitals, with state of the art equipment and 39 Community Eye-Health Centres/outreach clinics in all the 4 provinces of Pakistan. 

The cake was a chocolate cake with chocolate mousse filling. I wanted to make something representative of the event in NYC with a pretty reference to the eye--- Eye of Horus in this case. 

Saturday, September 22, 2012

Fish Cake

Behold a "fish cake" that tastes like an almond cake with almond mousse filling. The fins are made of marzipan.  This was my very first order for a pisces lady's birthday.  I tried to insert whimsy in the design without making it too "Disney".  

So who likes fishing? Personally, I can not imagine sitting around waiting for a fish to bite when one can easily purchase a cleaned up specimen at the supermarket. On the other hand, I guess it could be relaxing for the avid fishermen. I like to eat fish, not catch them. Plus I'd rather use the time baking a cake that looks like a fish. 

Mark Twain said "Whenever you find yourself on the side of the majority, it's time to pause and reflect". So in this day of uncertainty and turmoil do we believe everything presented to us or do we search for the truth and ponder? Only dead fish swim with the stream!. 
So to make life a bit more palatable I present my cakes. I am a small fish in this huge dessert industry, but I prefer that to the responsibility and loneliness of being on the top...... as long as I am not sleeping with the fish!!  Enjoy the creation that is pleasing to the eyes and palate -- plus my kitchen does not smell fishy!

Friday, September 7, 2012

Briefcase and purse Cakes

This cake was for a college reunion; a girls college alumnus association. Everything is edible on  this cake, including the shoe, the keys and the lipstick. The briefcase was a chocolate chiffon cake with chocolate mousse filling.... tres; magnafique! The purse was an almond chiffon cake with almond mousse filling... light as Helium! Perfect for the fashion conscious working woman.

Such hard case "briefcases" were more the thing of the 80s. Today those bulky files are stored in elegant little flash drives so no one carries these. Nevertheless I  hope my cakes inspire people to seek and enjoy all things good and beautiful...........

I am trying to change the world one cake at a time.....

Friday, August 31, 2012

Cake like a cup of tea

Nothing like a luscious cup of tea after a day of drudgery.........cake  is added bonus.  This cake IS a cup of tea. I made it for a Mad Hatter Tea Party. I just love love love the Mad Hatter from the Looking glass (or Alice in Wonderland).  Johnny Depp was just adorable as this character. “There is a place. Like no place on Earth. A land full of wonder, mystery, and danger! Some say to survive it: You need to be as mad as a hatter. Which luckily I am”.

Sometimes this world seems like a tea party, where we switch places on the table without reason, make short, personal remarks, ask unanswerable riddles and recite nonsensical poetry. Is there a rhyme and reason to anything or are we in this world like a storm in a teacup--- here one day, gone the other?

This stormy teacup is almond cake with almond mousse filling. Yummy with a cuppa --- Unless coffee is more your “cup of tea”….. this cake will taste well with that too. Enjoy!

Friday, August 24, 2012

Bookworm cake

Books were my best companion as I was growing up. I used to be quite the bookworm, devouring every book I could lay hands on and the local library was my favorite hangout. Maybe I was like this little bookworm with its jaunty green hat. I just loved climbing inside the book and loosing myself in another world. Now books are on kindle and Iphones and we seldom experience opening a book that felt so familiar in the hands. Nevertheless the vast treasure of knowledge contained in books will always be priceless and the experience of immersing oneself in a book is a nonpareil experience unbeaten by clicks of the mouse or shows on TV.

This cake salutes all those bookworms who like to read inspite of the many distractions clamoring for our attention. Consume your books like this bookworm would have this stack of red velvet cakes and enjoy the creamy icing of knowledge.

Friday, August 17, 2012

Yankee Stadium Cake

This Yankee Stadium was located in the South Bronx in New York City, New York. It was the home ballpark of the New York Yankees, one of the city's Major League Baseball franchises, from 1923 to 1973 and from 1976 to 2008 It hosted 6,581 Yankees regular season home games during its 85-year history. It closed following the 2008 baseball season, and was replaced by the new Yankee Stadium which opened in 2009.

I made this cake for an engagement party for a couple of Yankee Fans. He proposed at the stadium so this cake was symbolic of their mutual interest. It was a yellow chiffon cake with Bavarian cream filling.

Thursday, August 9, 2012

Chess cake

This chess cake was very easy to make. It is chocolate cake with chocolate mousse filling. The pieces are dark and white chocolate. The flavor was simple and one dimensional unlike the complex game with its special setup, complicated movement, daunting tactics and strategies all under a time control. It sounds so much like life where our moves and decisions have good or bad consequences and we face wins and losses. At times our best decisions can bring out negative outcomes; at times we must make sacrifices. We are like pieces that must keep moving though life and eventually end up in a box when time is up.

So in this board game of life let's hope to be the kings and queens of our domains….  meet that knight in shining armor… live in the castle of our dreams…….. all in chocolate.

Friday, August 3, 2012

Purse Cake

Louis Vuitton Malletie, is a French fashion house founded in 1854 by Louis Vuitton. The label is well known for its LV monogram. Louis Vuitton has been named the world's most valuable luxury brand.

The LV purse pictured above was a yummy chocolate cake with raspberry filing covered with chocolate fondant guaranteed to titillate the palates of the best fashionistas.

Behold delicious style!

Thursday, July 26, 2012

Car cake

This cake resembles “Lightning McQueen”, which is an anthropomorphic racecar in the animated Pixar films “Cars”. He was named after Pixar animator Glenn McQueen who died from skin cancer in 2002; and not after the actor and noted racing buff Steve McQueen. I am not really a Cars fan but I do remember that Lightening McQueen was   “a precision instrument of speed and aerodynamics”. This cake was not aerodynamically correct but resembles the cute roadster, with vanilla cake interior and raspberry icing in the tank; best mode to a culinary heaven.

Don’t forget to wear your seat belts; safety is the cheapest and most effective insurance policy.

Thursday, July 19, 2012

Building Cake

This cake was for someone moving to Dubai. It resembles a building in Dubai “Burj-Al Arab” which dominates the Dubai Skyline and was designed to resemble a billowing sail of a boat. This luxury hotel rises out of its own man-made island off the Jumeirah coast. It is the icon of Dubai, so this cake design was most appropriate for someone moving there.

The biggest challenge I had was giving it the narrow, height. The yellow chiffon cake with Bavarian cream filling made it very soft. The first time I built it, the whole cake fell with a plop!  Then I started over and this time I got a nice strong base and attached a dowel to it. Then I built the cake around the dowel and it held up.  The details were fun to research and make. I also made palm trees to finish the look, but forgot about them in my hurry to get it delivered on time.

Here are some more pictures of the cake. I drew the Palm Island on the base with icing!

Friday, July 13, 2012

Violin Cake

Happiness is a thing to be practiced, like the violin…….John Lubbock

I strongly believe that happiness comes from within and it’s all about the attitude.  Our reaction to the good and bad situations around us--- is a choice. We can choose to be angry or we can just proceed to remedy the situation and move on….nothing in the event itself makes it absolutely necessary for us to get angry or resentful. It is our choice. And since we do have a choice,  isent it better to choose to react in a positive rather than a negative way?

This is a yellow sponge cake with raspberry filling. I covered it with fondant and then spray painted to give it the woody look. This cake plays delicious tunes for the taste buds.

Monday, July 9, 2012

Lotion bottle cake

DDML (Dramatically Different Moisturizing Lotion) cake----The moisture "drink" developed by Clinique's dermatologists to maintain optimal moisture balance for very dry skins, or skins dry in the cheeks, comfortable to oily in the T-zone. Softens, smoothes, improves. 

No this is not a commercial for Clinique, but one for my cake that looks like this lotion bottle. It took me 2 hours to hand write the details on the reverse.

The “bottle” was a red velvet cake with cream cheese filling. The cap was almond chiffon cake with toasted almond mousse filling—yummy! The most fun part was cutting the yellow cake to reveal the red velvet interior…. Dramatically different!!!

The Knitting Basket Cake

I made this cake for my Mother's birthday. She used to knit a lot- and very fast. I remember once she gave me a surprise in the morning with a sweater she finished knitting for me overnight. Amazing lady can no longer knit since Father Time has slowed her down considerably. But this cake pays homage to her wonderful talent.