Saturday, November 22, 2014

Mushroom shaped

A mushroom shaped cake for my nephew. When he was little, mushrooms fascinated him for some reason.

Did you know that mushroom is the fleshy, spore-bearing fruiting body of a fungus? The word "mushroom" is mostly applied to those fungi that have a stem (stipe), a cap (pileus), and gills (lamellae) or pores on the underside of the cap. These pores or gills produce microscopic spores that help the fungus spread across the ground or its occupant surface. I actually heard of a scientist harvest fungi from his toes and grow them as mushrooms in the lab and then serve them for dinner. Ewww sounds gross, indeed, but such is the beauty of nature.

Mushrooms are a delicious low-calorie food; an excellent source B vitamins, minerals (selenium and copper) phosphorus and potassium. Many mushrooms have medicinal properties and have been called a miniature pharmaceutical factory.

So while the word “fungus” is mostly applied for a parasite, it can also be a huge source of benefit, like producing penicillin and these gorgeous mushrooms that are also delicious and nutritious. 

Sunday, September 7, 2014

Spiderman Cake

This was a cake for a 5 year old boy who is so obsessed with spiderman; his clothes, bed sheets, lunch box, toys---- everything is all of the spiderman theme. The subject of Spiderman has been so very over-used,  I feel like there is nothing very creative about this cake. Nevertheless, I spent a lot of time working on the city scape for the bottom layer; extending the buildings over the sides of the cake to give an extra dimension.  Spiderman on top of the cake was a toy which the birthday boy promptly removed from the cake to play with.  It took a little coaxing to let him keep it on the cake until after the cake is cut. 

Best quote from Spiderman:  "With great power comes great responsibility." Indeed, the challenge is to be kind when in a powerful position.  Unfortunately arrogance invariably takes over and kindness goes out the window when individuals or even nations are in power. 

The cake was yellow chiffon cake with strawberry filling. One layer had cannoli filling. 

Sunday, August 17, 2014

owl cake

A wise old owl lived in an oak
The more he saw the less he spoke
The less he spoke the more he heard.
Why can't we all be like that wise old bird?

The rhyme refers to the traditional image of owls as the symbol of wisdom, however in some cultures it is highly uncomplimentary to call someone an owl. Are owls the smartest birds? According to trainers many other birds like pigeons and parrots are a lot easier to train than owls.  They just look smart possibly due to their enormous eyes that seem focused and make it look like it is paying attention. Its eyes are also fixed in its head. In order for an owl to move its eyes, it must move the whole head. It gives an owl a intelligent gaze as it scans the surroundings.  I just think it is one of God's most gorgeous creations, and this cake was a hoot to make.  It was a red velvet with cream cheese filling. I only had about 30 hours to plan, bake and complete it, so I had to skip some fun details (like feet and claws).... maybe next time. 

Wednesday, July 23, 2014

Masjid cake

This masjid (mosque) cake was for a child fasting for the first time in the holy month of Ramadan. It was fun to construct the structure.  It was a plain yellow cake with buttercream icing.  I just hope it is not sacrilege to cut (and eat) an edible illustration of a religious place of worship. 

Honorable mention of my 7 year old great niece, Hana,  who was eager to help with decorating the cake.   She wanted to “help” with everything, even complicated tasks that her little hands could not handle; I felt bad about saying no to her so many times.  The poor kid scrubbed her hands 4 times just so I would include her, so I gave her the task of making the bushes. Good job Hana!  She loved the consistency of the fondant so I gave her some to play with.  “It’s better than playdough” she said carefully wrapping it in plastic to avoid drying.  

Monday, May 26, 2014

Doll cake

A doll cake for a darling little 3 year old girl. Little girls love dolls; their dollyhugging leading in future to the very natural mothering instinct.  The birthday girl who got this doll was not allowed to hug this doll, but she much enjoyed cutting the dress part. 

The cake was a vanilla cake which looked pink thanks to some food color. Filling was bavarian cream. 

Thursday, April 3, 2014

Peacock Theme Cake

The graceful peacocks are revered for their beauty and symbolize pride and dignity; although the poor bird is probably oblivious to the emotions of pride and vanity.  I like Jane Austen’s quote “Vanity and pride are different things, though the words are often used synonymously. A person may be proud without being vain. Pride relates more to our opinion of ourselves; vanity, to what we would have others think of us”.

 This is my rendition of a peacock theme cake.  Two tiers, the top one a plain yellow chiffon cake with raspberry filling and the lower a carrot cake with cream cheese filling.  Plumage made with gumpaste and the cake is pride and vanity free. Enjoy

"An example I often use to illustrate the reality of vanity, is this: look at the peacock; it's beautiful if you look at it from the front. But if you look at it from behind, you discover the truth... Whoever gives in to such self-absorbed vanity has huge misery hiding inside them"- Pope Francis

Sunday, March 16, 2014

"Hello Kitty" cake

Hello Kitty is quite the popular theme for little girl's birthday party. "Hello Kitty" is a character produced by the Japanese company "Sanrio". It is portrayed as a female white Japanese bobtail cat with a red bow which has become a huge marketing phenomenon popular among children and adults.

This cake was for a one year old little girl. I am not sure she appreciated the cake details, but she was happy to cut the elaborate pink cake. The cake was a yellow chiffon cake with strawberry filling. Enjoy.