I was invited to participate in the debut event for a new organization called Blessed with Breasts. Their mission is to "SHIFT the way our society views, talks about, and objectifies breasts." It was a beautiful event that included chocolate, photography, a fashion show, and sharing stories about healing, self-love and acceptance. It was held in San Francisco at the Red Victorian in the Haight district - what a beautiful and creative space! When I was first approached about the event to provide some sweets, I thought instantly of cake truffles, to look like little boobies! I thought of using varying shades of brown/beige. I thought of having different flavors of cake for each color, but because of time, I ended up using just one flavor. It worked out because I was able to say that even though they all look different, they're all the same inside - how symbolic!!!
I was also going to make some petit-fours which turned out to be an #epicfail! not so much the cake itself, but the coating, I still have yet to figure out how to get a good poured fondant! So I ended up taking the cake originally planned for the petit-fours, and made more cake truffles. And for those that wanted something besides chocolate, I made some lemon bars as well. The Chu On Cakes spread was joined by appetizers from KAY Catering, and some chocolate covered strawberries.
One thing about being able to create and design cakes, I get to be a special part of my friends' milestones. My friends Zan and Bernie had a baby girl in August. And in January, she was baptized, and I had the privilege of making their cake and cake pop favors for the baptism gathering after the ceremony!
I got to try out a new skill, quilting on fondant! AND figured out how to strap in my cake with a seatbelt, nice and snug.
Can I just say - if i haven't already, and I don't think I have - I LOVE MY NIECEY WIECEY! I mean, just wookit her widdle face, and her chubby wubby cheekies.. *ahem* ---- I really do love her to pieces!
Recently, she turned the big 100 days! And in Chinese culture, it's a big deal. These days, with medical advancements, and with social media being such a big part of lives, babies are introduced to the world sometimes minutes after their birth. But traditionally, it is when the baby is introduced to the community, and the new mother has had some time to heal, the family has had the chance to get into the groove of being a new parent, and the child is strong enough to be a part of the outside world.
So, true to Chinese tradition, we had a banquet with some of our friends and family. There was also a small bbq at the house during the weekend before for other family members who couldn't make the banquet. So of COURSE, I was going to do something!
The easiest to transport and share easily with least amount of mess was cake truffles. I ended up making lemon ginger sour cream cake. I baked fresh grated ginger into the cake instead of adding ground ginger to the truffle mixture. So the lemon cake was more lemony when it first came out of the oven, but faded as the ginger took over. Next time, I'd add a little more lemon juice, and include some lemon zest into the cake truffle mixture. The ginger became more prominent as time passed as it was able to marinate into the cake. That said, it still tasted fantastic!
I rolled the cake truffles into golden eggs, and then dipped them as i normally do into red candy coating, then topped with crystallized ginger, as requested by my sister. I went on a bit of a wild goose chase looking for crystallized ginger - I could have made my own, I'm sure, but.... I didn't want to - HAHA! Enjoy the photos!
some people may think that prep work is hard and kinduva chore. In most cases, I agree - but in this case, I had to try out a couple of different techniques and a recipe. My kind of prep.... :) and the result:
yay! fondant burlap, and wafer paper cut outs. it's like snowflakes! I absolutely adore the way this cake looked. I did NOT like the recipe for the cake however, and will NOT be using it. Otherwise, please enjoy looking at this totes cute 6" square cake! ^_^
This cake was fun and tedious all at the same time.
The first reason it was tedious was that I tried out a new cake recipe, and it was not good at all - i mean, it was good but it was hard as a rock after taking it out of the fridge, so I chucked it and I ended up making a sponge cake with chocolate buttercream filling. I think I over baked the sponges though, so next time I will have to not keep it in the oven for as long.
Second reason why it was so tedious was that the fondant figure is wearing a wetsuit! which means that I can't make "clothes" to cover up any mistakes or anything. I ended up cutting out a general shape, and then working it with my fingers. It was a modeling chocolate/fondant mix, so that was also a different thing I tried on this cake. I did make sure that the skewers were long enough and went through the whole cake, so the figure doesn't topple. Also was able to use a skewer to get the surfboard to stay up as well.
3rd reason it was so tedious were the waves, but it's also what makes this cake so awesome. I had just got these impression mats, and there was one that looked like waves, and another one that was just horizontal lines that I thought would add an additional dimension to the waves. I also ombre'd (is that a word?) some fondant, blue and sea green for even more depth. Each side of the cake is different, very cool :)
i used light brown sugar as sand, and took some white butter cream to make a wave border around it, like the froth that comes up against the sand. And then - I STEAMED IT! gave it an awesome sheen and helped stick everything together. finish with a twisty rope border and voila!
My friend who ordered the Mummy Boy Cookies, and the Friday the 13th Cake asked for some cookies to take with her to Comic Con in SD this year. She sent me these images, and I thought, how am I going to be able to get these images onto a cookie, especially with all the color and details, given the limited amount of time I have? Then i remembered wafer paper, and had the images printed. They turned out great! I iced the cookies with plain white royal icing, and then used a light spread of piping gel to get the images on to the cookie, then piped a red royal icing border to finish it off. I was wary of using wafer paper because the last time i used it on a cake, it wrinkled due to the moisture. (Now i know there's a difference between wafer paper, and icing sheets!)
My sister's pregnant! Well, it's not new news, but her baby shower was on Saturday. Janie, a good friend of hers, offered to help me plan it, and I took her up on the offer. She is a FANTASTIC event designer, so we decided to split the shower with her doing the set up, decor, and games, and I would take care of the food, and OF COURSE, the cake and desserts! It was at Big Leaf picnic area in Tilden Park in Berkeley. I will DEFINITELY use that space again. It had a HUGE grill, big picnic tables that were gorgeously laquered, and a grassy area that was used for quite the intense game of wiffle ball!
So, back to the sweet stuff! My sister loves my lemon bars, so I knew I was making that, no-brainer. And I decided the cake was going to be a yellow cake with lemon curd. I was anticipating about 50 people, so I was going to make a two tiered cake, but less people RSVP'd, and I opted for one tier, but a regular two layer cake didn't have the pop factor I wanted, so I ended up making a tall cake instead (which is a same sized two tiered cake). Since both of those were lemon-y, I made some chocolately red velvet cake truffles coated in yellow candy coating...
There were several techniques and things that I was trying out with this cake:
Hmm, until I typed that out, I didn't realize how many firsts there were on this cake and there were only a couple of snafu's, which makes me REALLY REALLY happy with this cake! the one BIG thing that I really messed up on, was not kneading the fondant before rolling it out to cover the cake. It ended up making the fondant really thick, and it tore really easily, and created air pockets between the fondant and the cake. Also, since it was such a tall cake, i didn't put it in a box, which, in hindsight, I probably should have. It would have been easier to keep the cake from slipping around on the car seat. So in holding on to the cake board (while trying not to flatten the ruffles), the cake shifted during the car ride so that it was off to one side, no longer centered on the board, which explains all the yellow Easter grass on the platter to hide the slippage!
Here are more photos from the shower, most of which are from other people. I wish I thought to take more pictures, and one of the grillllll... i was so proud of my bbq ribs, homemade bbq sauce, and gourmet condiment spread!!! This lil baker can do some cooking too!