Monday, November 14, 2011

Happy 30th birthday SenaDD!!!

Ha ha ha happy birthday!
I am so proud of having the idea to spell his name SenaDD (on the cake) instead of Senad, I think is very clever and funny!
Decorations made with gum paste, writing and Cornelli lace made with white and black royal icing. Sponge cake filled with vanilla custard and chocolate pudding cream.
This was my first time making this kind of cake, it took me longer time than I anticipated but luckily I had all weekend at my disposal.

Saturday, November 5, 2011

Wonderful surprise

On Thursday, November 3rd, there was a big, unexpected and wonderful surprise for me at work. A very tasty lunch (from a mid-eastern cuisine restaurant), birthday cake and presents! All these were meant as a belated birthday acknowledgement and appreciation.... I was born in the month of August, 1965...
The presents were a stainless steel personalized coffee mug (yes, my name is written all over it!) and a very generous $120 gift certificate issued for my favorite cake supply store. I was so touched and moved by all this, I was crying..., it really touched my heart! I was caught by surprise, didn't expect any of this!, did not have my camera with me so I asked one of my colleagues to take pictures with her smart phone camera (thanks Irma!).
 Sorry I did not have the presence of spirit to photograph the cake before it was sliced... Tasty sponge cake with pistachios cream filling, decorated very nicely and tastefully.
A section image for you:
Here is an image with (almost) all my presents:
.....* Side note *....
You see, when my birthday came around this year I was visiting my older sister and her family who are living in Oradea, Romania. Here you can see from left to right: Constantin (my brother in law), Emil (my younger nephew - 20 years old, also known as "mormolocu' lui tusica"), me, and Costin (my older nephew - 23 years old, tzuca-l tusa!)
 And here is my beloved sister Dorina (in the far right) making faces for the camera... Don't be fooled though, she is a very smart woman, a primary school teacher ("institutoare" after graduating college), hard working lady with a Master's Degree under her belt!

I turned 46 years old this year (can hardly believe it myself!- as I don't feel older than 30-35); my sister, my brother in law and both my nephews made me feel like a queen on my birthday. Hey, who took my tiara??

With a tasty chocolate cake,

lots of flowers,

and a horse back riding session late in the afternoon...

because they remembered me telling them how much fun I had a few years ago when I had the chance to learn a little about horse back riding...
*back in time* - a younger version of me (at almost 40 years of age) having the first horse back riding lesson:
This is fun, not as scary as it may seem, I was really enjoying myself:
But time goes by, I'm not as young anymore (although I don't feel any older!) and not so willow-y as I used to be.... so back to the present time.... 2011 by the grace of God.

We all had fun on my birthday this year, changing the candles on my cake to make me look older than 46... Hey, don't I look damn good for 64??? ha ha ha ha

Better yet, how about 94??  ha ha ha ha ha ha

The cake was pretty tasty, see for yourselves:

I am truly blessed to have such a wonderful family in Romania and USA, great colleagues at my jobs (dental office and research & development lab), and loyal friends all over the world,  is so nice to feel loved and appreciated!
Excuse me for a minute please, tears of joy and gratefulness are choking me again...

Pallavi's birthday cake

Pallavi is one of the chemists I work with at the research and development lab. She turned 55 years old on November 1st and she was happy to share with all our colleagues the cake I made for her.
The cake was filled with peach custard cream and was covered in dark chocolate ganache. All the decorations (roses, carnations and leaves) were made with gum paste, and is true they do not like the whipped cream at all - the leaves put directly over lightly whipped ganache softened and started to slide off the cake... Nobody else besides me cared about the "falling leaves" (I was very upset), and Pallavi wanted me to take a picture of her and her birthday cake, she really liked it a lot, sincerely!
Initially I wanted to make a basket weave around the cake to make it look like a basket of flowers, but I was forced to change the design of the cake due to unforeseen circumstances...
The flowers turned out pretty well, I was pleased with them.

Never made carnations before but I think they look great for the first time! They are pretty easy to make, I followed this tutorial from YouTube:
Although I did not use any stamens, my 3-row-petals carnations are realistic (in my opinion).
And a tasty section image for all of you:

Monday, October 24, 2011

80th birthday cake

I made this cake for a man who turned 80 years old on Sunday.
 Actually it was a Boston Cream Pie (by request) with a twist - I made it as a 2 tier cake, covered it entirely with chocolate ganache (instead of leaving the sides open), and piped some whipped dark chocolate ganache.
 No chocolate roses this time because I did not want the birthday cake to be misunderstood and interpreted as a "go away, you've lived enough" message...

Friday, October 14, 2011

Boston Cream Pie for Lisa

Jim, my dental lab boss, asked me a while ago if I could make a "Boston cream pie" when his wife's birthday comes around because that's her favorite cake. Of course I obliged, Jim and Lissa are two of my favorite people I know. Although they are married for more than 25 years, Jim still refers to Lissa as "my lovely bride"... how sweet is that?
Traditionally called a pie because the layers were originally baked in pie plates, this is really a 2- layer cake (it may be made with sponge cake or plain butter cake). I made it with sponge cake, filled it with pastry cream, topped with dark chocolate ganache, and to make it look a bit more festive than a regular Boston cream pie I made a few candy clay roses (also made with dark chocolate).
A darker photo for you, I really have to learn how to properly use my camera! Sorry...
The miniature roses were made using this very simple technique I've found on YouTube:
 I have used this technique before on candy clay (see the roses on Nirali's birthday cake that I've made in Dec. 2010)
 My chocolate roses, waiting patiently on a plate, ready to be placed on the cake.
Same thing from a different angle...
 I decided to brush them with gold luster dust (edible, of course!).
 Also made a baby cake for myself... I had to taste the cake before delivery, right? ha ha ha
 Perhaps I should have let the ganache to cool (and thicken) more so it doesn't pool at the base of the cake... Oh well, one can never have too much chocolate....
 And a view from the top:

Sunday, October 9, 2011

"Desk cake" for Dr. Vahid's birthday

Inspired by Giovanna's desk cake (you can see it here:, I decided to make something similar for my boss' birthday. All the decorations are fully edible being made with gum paste (except the glasses - made with thin white wire, painted with food coloring). The cake was covered with sugar paste.
Here are some close-ups of the decorations for the desk top, some of them were still drying:
The red coffee mug has "Bosnia" written on it because Dr. Vahid was born and raised there. The white coffee mug and the two red file folders (or books?) have written on them T.P.I. (Troy Polymers ,Inc.)  and U.R. (Una River)  - these are two companies founded by Dr. Vahid and his wife Dr. Aisa (they both have the Ph.D. in chemistry).

Thursday, late at night, the figurine was still very soft, I had to support it with my hand next to the cake,

I was afraid it will not be dry by Friday morning when I took the cake to work...
All the decorations for the desk have a meaning, I did not make them at random! Dr. Vahid loves coffee so I made three coffee mugs not just one... He collects teddy bears and keeps one of them (nicknamed "grumpy grandpa") in his office, and I remembered that... A couple of months ago Dr. Vahid said he doesn't need a birthday cake, a car would suffice - so I made a tiny car for him... I hope he did not mean a real car!! ha ha ha

By Friday morning the gum paste figurine was not fully dry but was able to stand by itself next to the cake.
Dr. Vahid is the one seated next to the table, smiling large...

The decorations not being glued to the cake allowed for them to be arranged any way we wanted, we kept playing with them...

 My boss was so happy, he liked the cake so much that he decided to keep all the decorations in his office, they will be displayed on a dummy cake. See? They are all saved on the paper plate in the background...
The taste was not bad either, I made a blueberry cream filling.