Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Yummy Cookies!

Today I want to mention a great new addition to the Austin dessert scene - The Cookie Lounge. My friend (and former boss at the Driskill Hotel) Mark Chapman has opened a wonderful little cookie boutique where you can get a freshly baked, custom cookie. You pick your cookie dough and then your mix-ins. Your 10-15 minute wait is rewarded with a hot delicious cookie, oozing with your fillings.
The Cookie Lounge has a fun and modern lounge-like setting, with bright orange built in sofas and a large wall of windows. You can also peek into the bakery next door and watch the bakers at work. It's in West Campus, so parking on the street is tight. I discovered that the parking garage is only $2.00 for an hour, so save time and go for the garage.

Monday, October 13, 2008

Seasonal cakes - Autumn

We designed two fall-themed cakes this month, both using a 3-d leaf format. The first one was based on a previous cake I had designed with climbing branches. Instead of flowers, I applied hand-made fall sugar leaves. For the second cake, the bride showed me a picture she liked and asked me to incorporate a falling leaves design. Each leaf was painted with a copper luster dust to give it some shimmer as well as to coordinate with the linens.
Another thing I like about these cakes is that they show how wedding cakes don't need to follow the convention of the round stacked look. The tiers on the top one are rotated 45 degrees, and the second cake had a little riser under the top tier to give it extra height. Also, the second and bottom tier are intentionally shorter to give it height variation.
Later this month we'll be making two 3-d pumpkin cakes - one for a Halloween party and one for a little girl's birthday. I'll be sure to post some fun Halloween treats!

Wednesday, October 8, 2008

Fun Groom's Cakes

Although the bride's cake is usually the focal point of a wedding, I thought I would inaugurate my first blog post with a little chat about fun groom's cakes. I live in a southern state, so about 3/4 of the guys want a groom's cake of some sort, whether it's cookies and cupcakes or an elaborate sculpted cake.
In the past month I had opportunities to make some fun and challenging groom's cakes. (It's not really a worthwhile week without a design challenge!)

Yes, this armadillo was a red velvet cake. I might email the bride for some pics of the poor guy butchered. It was a challenge to finish, though, since I hadn't done one before. I ended up cutting out each scale individually in fondant. It was also the first time I had done a stadium, so I had fun (and frustration) figuring out how to make the different elements, especially the stands. It was a surprise for the groom - I can't wait to hear what his reaction was!