We recently did a fun cake for two of our best customers in our boutique in Orange Park. They came in and said they wanted to commission a birthday cake for a dear friend's 42nd birthday. The sad and surprising note was that this would be her VERY FIRST birthday cake! Can you imagine?!?
Needless to say, the pressure to create something EXTRA SPECIAL was on us! But we were VERY EXCITED, because this was the reason that we became pastry chefs: helping people to celebrate the special people and moments in their lives.
After some consultation we came up the idea of a shoe cake, specifically a JIMMY CHOO cake! Very sexy!
Given the subject and inspiration this became Judy's project. Naturally the cake would be the shoe box. She then would have to create handmade shoes out of sugar paste. The writing on the box and shoes were done using a food safe pen free hand. We colored the cake pink using an airbrush, channeling our INNER DUFF! (Ace of Cakes reference). The Happy Birthday Note would be the Receipt.
One the day of the pickup (we normally drop off cakes, i.e. wedding cakes are ONLY delivered by us) the couple came in and thought that we had been cheap skates and BOUGHT REAL SHOES! But after some discussion, they were very happy and pleased!
....a few weeks later.....
Our couple returned and had a great story! After showing the cake to the Birthday Girl, she was so happy and thought that the cake was too beautiful to eat....SHE WENT TO PUBLIX AND BOUGHT ANOTHER CAKE TO SERVE PEOPLE AT HER PARTY!!!!!
We don't recommend that course of action, but....we are proud of the look of our cakes!
In the end we were so happy with the circumstance, because when you work hard to create something for such a special event, you so desperately want your labor to result in making the clients smile in appreciation and happiness!
Alot of people have asked us what 'kind of cakes' do we do. So...here is the answer:
1. We do alot of work in fondant. The sugar paste covering that you see nearly ALL the cakes done in Food Network Challenges and bride magazines. Some people don't like fondant cakes because they 'heard' that it doesn't taste good. But we know how to work with fondant, especially after I interned at Ron Ben Israel Cakes, where ALL the cakes are in fondant. You have to roll the fondant thin, i.e. 1/8 inch thick and have the buttercream underneath be perfectly smooth, so the fondant is completely smooth.
2. Our cakes are NOT 'Mother of the Bride" cakes! What I mean is, we stay away from columns, confectionery icing, shortening/lard, and overly decorated cakes.
3. Our cakes are made from scratch using only the best ingredients. Our buttercream is a Swiss-Meringue Buttercream, NOT mixing confectionery sugar and butter...or worse shortening together. Our butter is imported from Vermont and is 83% fat. Our icing floats in your mouth, it's texture is so smooth, rather than having your mouth fill grains of 10x sugar.
4. Our palette of flavors is vast, using everything from actual vanilla beans, not extracts, to flavorings such as passion fruit, blood orange, valrhona chocolate, etc. etc. The list is as infinite as Nature herself!
5. Our inspiration comes first and foremost from the client. Someone who is appreciative of beautiful things executed by craftspeople who are dedicated and passionate about what we produce.
6. After our clients, you can see how inspirations from the pages of Vogue, Elle, Harper's Bazaar, the collections of Cartier, Tiffany, Christian Louboutin, etc. inform our cake designs in the photo above.
This is the first wedding cake that I was commissioned to do when I returned home from NYC after attending French Culinary Institute.
I covered the cake in ivory fondant with goose berry sculpted bands around the base (to cover the seams between cakes). I really like playing off of 2-D and 3-D elements, so taking the magnolia cutters and placing them flat on the cake and then taking a larger set of magnolia cutters to create the sugar paste flowers is a nice play, I think. My amazing partner, Judy, does a similar concept with great effect on Lily's Cake.
"It was the hit of the party!!!! It was delicious! Gave your cards out, everyone loved it! Thank you, will recommend to all. ;)"
- Stacey H.
Over the past weekend we did a cake for a client whose son was celebrating his 16th Birthday. Our inspiration was that that he was in a band, which lead us to sketch a preliminary concept, which was adjusted by photos provided by his mom, we rocked out this cake.
The 'Marshall' amp is an almond cake with wild strawberry buttercream.
The drum is a carrot cake with cream cheese pecan icing. We created the blue color effect by airbrushing. (Which can be slightly nerve racking....because if you mess up.....can't grab an eraser!)
The guitar picks are made out of white chocolate, colored with cocoa butter colors with "16" piped onto each one to be used as party favors.
The drum sticks were made out of sugar paste earlier in the week to let them completely dry out.
I'm very nervous and excited to be writing the blog for our confectionery house, "Etiquette of Chocolate."
I want to accomplish a few things with our blog:
1. Show off the beautiful cakes and chocolates that we make in our boutique. 2. Talk about the purpose and vision of our company. 3. Give our readers a sense of what it is like to start a small business.