Tuesday, June 25, 2013

Fraggle Rock Cake: The Process

Today I wanted to share the process of how a custom designed cake comes together.  There is a lot of planning involved in cake design, even to provide a price quote.  For many cakes, the structures have to be built in advance or petals for sugar flowers started a couple weeks earlier.

For this Fraggle Rock cake, the main design was provided to me.  I added in a bottom tier and some extra characters as the cake needed to feed over 100 people.
© Henson
I started the sugarpaste decorations a week in advance.  I made sure I had lots of photos of the characters to use as inspiration.  My client provided me with these helpful plastic 3D characters to use as models.
There were a lot of colors involved in making the characters and you really have to get into the zoone of figure modelling.  I leave extra time to re-do any characters and sometimes make an extra one of a fragile item.  I probably worked 3 late nights to finish all the characters and details.
The day before, I iced my cakes with vanilla swiss meringue buttercream.  The bottom tier was 14" and the top tier was 11".  Each cake was 5 layers of alternating vanilla bean cake and chocolate sour cream cake.  Marjory was all cake too, except for her sugarpaste hands.
Everything started to come together with the top tier, I was very happy with the character sizes.  The cake was pretty heavy so I kept the tiers separate until the delivery.  Hope you enjoyed these pictures and have a great week!

Tuesday, June 18, 2013

Fraggle Rock Cake

I was absolutely thrilled to be asked to create the Fraggle Rock 30th reunion cake.  The talented, creative and fun team came together a couple weeks ago to celebrate at The Spoke Club.  Some of you may have seen this cake posted on the Fraggle Rock FB page the other day. 
© Henson
Here is the original cake design by the creative genius Michael Frith.  I must say it was the MOST challenging cake I have ever had to create with all the detailed characters, colors and character expressions - but I loved every minute of it!  I was also determined to add a few extra surprise features to the cake.
© Henson
Here are some close-ups of the characters:  Marjory the Trash Heap, Boober, Mokey and Gobo.
 Red enjoying a little too much cake!
 Wembley decided which cake to eat.
 A couple of Doozers.
 A surprise appearance from Cantus.
Here are some more photos of the behind-the-scenes of the Fraggle Rock cake.  Hope you enjoyed the cake photos - Happy 30th Fraggle Rock!

Tuesday, June 11, 2013

Craftsy Review and Contest Giveaway!

Have you heard of Craftsy?  Some of you might be like me, as you may have signed up but haven't had a chance to take a course.  They have created this wonderful system where you can easily take online classes for cake decorating, sewing and so much more.

I am not trying to sell you anything - I'm actually going to tell you about 2 of their FREE cake decorating classes.  They are not paying me or giving me anything to do this review - they will actually give one of you a free Craftsy cake decorating class - so make sure you enter to win.

If you are a cake decorator, seamstress or crafter - you probably have lots of quiet time working some late hours.  Usually when I'm decorating or creating sugarpaste decorations, I have my iPad playing in the background with food network or some mindless reality show.

It only took me a few minutes to figure out the Craftsy system and the neat features. I realized that I could watch a course while I was in cake-mode and easily re-watch later.  I watched these 2 free classes.

1) Modern Buttercream with Joshua John Russell
  • Firstly, this class is free and jam-packed with a ton of information.  If you've seen Joshua on Food Network - he's pretty awesome and generously shares how he does things.  Whether you are a beginner or professional, there is a cool tip to try or just interesting to know how another caker does it.
  • I'm not sure the full length of the videos as it was in several parts, but it must've been a couple hours total.  I kept thinking that it would stop and you'd have to pay more to see how the cake turns out.  You really got to see the cake from start to finish - tons of tips along the way.
  • Joshua is quite a perfectionist like many cakers.  I really like how he said it was "simple".  But in actual fact, he is really passionate about making his cakes perfect and he provided "simple in the highest quality".  It allows the viewer to decide what degree they want to follow the techniques.  It also allows people to appreciate what goes into making a cake.
  • I would highly recommend this class and if all the other classes provide as many tips, viewpoints and ideas - that is awesome!

2) The Hand Painted Cake with Erin Schaefgen
  • Another free class that I watched during my late nights making sugarpaste decorations.  Erin shares some great color tips like "How do you make grey?" and I just had that problem the other week.  She also gave the best explanation about the use of a little pencil to outline designs on a cake.
  • She also re-affirmed my thoughts when I do free-hand painting on cakes.  A lot of this video was her painting in different techniques, which I probably couldn't sit there and watch.  But, it was actually nice to to have this in the background, glance up once in a while and listen to her talk.  I actually didn't feel so lonely in the wee hours caking :-)

I would definitely recommend that you at least watch the free classes.  Make sure you enter to win a free Craftsy cake decorating class:
  1. Jump over to Craftsy to enter your name.  One entry per person.
  2. Deadline for entry is Monday, June 17th, 2013 at 8pm EST.
  3. One winner will be randomly selected and notified in a week. 
Lastly, if you want additional free tips, you have to check out their blog and youtube channel.  A ton of helpful info for everyone!

Tuesday, June 4, 2013

Wedding Cake Tasting

The other week, I held a cake tasting for a few couples who were getting married this year.  Here is one of the photos I posted on Instagram of the cakes for the first couple. 
And look at the wonderful surprise inside... fun!  Have a great week and see you next week when I have a couple reviews of Craftsy Cake Decorating classes and a giveaway!