September 26, 2010

What's next?

Well it's been a few days since my last post. I think we are all still coming down from the wedding festivities.  Well my daughter Mandy and her new husband Jon are now on their way to BC.  Yeah, they're moving there for a few years. My daughter, a nurse, got a position out there and thought it would be a great experience. Thank gawd for computer's, we are able to keep in touch and follow their blog on their road trip. Gives a little piece of mind to have some link to them even if they are far away. We're gonna miss them.
Well Mel's computer isn't working right now so she hasn't been able to post anything. I will be posting some pictures of birthday cakes we have up and coming in the these next couple of weeks.  I did one just after the wedding for my friend Marisa's grandson who turned 3. I'll have to download that picture and post it. Turned out cute. He only had one wish and that was that his 3 super hereos were on the cake, "Spiderman, Iron man and The Hulk".  Don't you just love kids!  Well, I'll down load what I came up with and post the pic asap. Ciao for now.

September 21, 2010

a memorable wedding

Well it's come and gone but what a wonderful event it was.  My baby girl, well my eldest, is now married to the man of her dreams. The perfect match! The event was held on Algonquin Island (one of the Toronto Islands) and the weather cooperated beautifully. 
The wedding cake or I should say wedding cakeS. as there was a selection of cakes, were made by myself and Mel. Here's a picture of the cake table with the beautifully crafted cake stands made by the groom's dad with help from the groom's mom. They were made from tree stumps and had a beautiful laquered finish applied to them. I know a lot of love went into these and they will be treasured for a long time to come.

The cakes consisted of (from left to right), a choc stout cake/choc ganache, a vanilla apricot cake, a pumpkin apple spice/carmel drizzle, a gluten free ultra orange cake/orange cream frosting, a choc zucchini cake and the main wedding cake (centre) bottom tier is the groom's favourite, carrot cake/cream cheese filling and the top tier was vegan choc cake/cappuccino cream filling, covered in white fondant.  A little of something for everyone.  The flowers of choice at the wedding were Dahlias which I stayed with the theme and made gum paste dahlias to adorn the wedding cake.  This was a tough one as I searched high and low on the web for a tutorial on gum paste dahlias and found nothing. So I printed pictures of real dahlias, there are a lot of different ones I soon found, and tried to copy from the pictures. My daughter was thrilled with them as were the guests.  Mel & I realize a job well done when most of the cakes were gone by the end of the evening and the compliments were well received and appreciated. Nothing makes us happier than knowing that the compliments on the looks of the cakes are accompanied by the compliments on the taste of cakes.

Here is a close up of the wedding cake and the gum paste dahlias;

Don't you just love the wedding cake topper. The cake topper was made by a local artist my daughter found and the artist depicted the couple well and even their cat was added at their feet.  Truly a work of art.
Aside from the cakes Mel & I made for the wedding, the real joy was that my husband & I along with our family were able to spend the weekend on the island and enjoyed the company of not only our family but our new extended family. Mel was standing by her sister along with the groom's sister and niece as witness as they took their vows and all the people we love were there to help us celebrate this wonderful union. Who could ask for anything more.
Mel & I were thrilled to have been able to contribute to the momentous event with the cakes which were truly a labour of love on our part. The wedding ceremony and reception were a huge success and it was definitely a good time shared by all.  All our love and best wishes for the happy couple on their new journey in life. We love you both!!!!

September 15, 2010

Mandy's shower

With the wedding only a few days away I thought I'd fill you in. Well it's this Sat and Mel and I are baking away.  The flowers are done, the cakes are baked, now we have to make all the fillings, frosting's etc all to be put together at the venue.  We did hold a shower for Mandy back in July.  Mel & I, of course, made her cake.  Ahhh the cake. Well Jon proposed to Mandy on a hot air balloon during a fabulous vacation overseas. So what better way to commemorate the event at her bridal shower than having a hot air balloon cake. Great idea right?  Well, I think I bit off a bit more than I could chew.  The hot air balloon was my project. It took me 4 tries before I decided to take the easy route.  I 1st thought I'd cover a real balloon with gum paste and when it dried pop the balloon and voila a gum paste balloon. NOT!!!  The gum paste shattered right along as the balloon popped. The I tried the same idea but let the air out slowly out of the balloon but wrong again. As the balloon deflated so did the gum paste. On to the next idea.....I tried the cereal treats but way too heavy, then just plain old fondant, yeah solid piece of fondant and that was way too heavy.  A couple of days to go to the shower and on my way home from work I stopped off at Michael's and picked up Styrofoam.  That's right......1 egg shape and 1 ball.  Cut a piece of the bottom of the ball to make it flat and same with 1 end of the egg. Glued them together to form a balloon!!!!!  Yeah, covered it in fondant and decorated it.  Only thing is next time (yeah right) I will have to ensure my support structure is firm. Here's the cake, turned out okay but now I know........

The bottom tier was a lemon cake with lemon filling, the top tier was choc vegan cake with cappuccino cream filling and the basket was made from lemon cake and frosted in the basket weave.  This is where I goofed. The basket should probably have been made out of Styrofoam as well with a dowel secured into it and then into the cake for better support.  But it held up long enough.
Now it's on to the wedding. Lot's going on there. I will definitely post pictures.  Here's a couple of pictures of the cookies we made and decorated for the shower as well.  Each guest received one and no 2 were alike.
Well gotta go.  Ciao for now!

September 11, 2010

cake disaster rescue team!

Well this will be my last post for a while. We will be busy getting cakes and stuff done for my eldest daughter Mandy's wedding this coming Saturday. So a lot of work ahead of us.  But I couldn't resist telling you about what happened a couple of weeks ago.  We get home from work on a Thursday and my husband said he wasn't feeling well. To make a long story short we ended up in emerg, yup that's right, all night & into the next morning.  But the good news is it was a false alarm and he is fine.  But with no sleep other than a couple of hours on Friday after returning from the hospital, I had been up since 5:30 Thurs morning.  My brave husband went golfing as planned on Friday.  And around 7:30 that evening as I was dozing in front of the TV I receive a frantic call.  My BFF, Marisa calls and says there is an emergency and asked if I could help.  Curious I asked what the emergency was.  Her neighbour and friend whom I also am acquainted with was asked a favour on Thursday.  The use of her fridge for safe keeping of a cake that was for Saturday night. It was for a 25th wedding anniversary party.  Needless to say a tragic thing happened and the cake got hurt beyond repair.  The custodian of this cake was beside herself and didn't know where to turn so they brought the cake over to my place and we put our heads together to figure out what to do next. 1st I suggested she contact the gal who dropped off the cake, who happened to be her daughter's BFF, and tell her what happened. Now remember this is Friday night and the party is the next evening. They tried contacting the original baker who was happened to be gone for the weekend. No luck there.
She got ahold of her daughter's BFF who originally got the cake and she was devastated, who can blame her! But we reassured her that she would have a cake for Saturday night.  She asked that we keep it as close to the original cake as possible.  The original cake had a gum paste orchid on it and some blue ribbon, which fortunately were untouched. So I was able to reuse these 2 items.  But the key part was an edible picture of the couple's wedding 25 years ago.  This unfortunately did not make it. We had to get an original photo which was not available until Sat afternoon.
Now approaching 9:00pm on Fri, I immediately start baking 2 12" round vanilla cakes. Thank goodness they turned out perfect and I had all the ingredients on hand. So as they are cooling I'm off to bed (now 1:00am) to try and get some sleep. Up early Sat morning to make my cream filling and check my inventory needed to complete this cake. Everything turned out well. The custodian of the cake was thrilled and relieved of embarrassment and the cake made it safely to the party;

The cake was simply decorated, I tried to stay very close to what it looked like originally but I added a little silver edible glitter to spruce it up a bit. Can't really tell by the picture.  Well Mary to the rescue, all is well that ends well, just hand me a cape LOL, except in my case it would be an apron.  But the story funny enough does not end there.  I go into work and the girls at work all ask how my husband was doing after the ordeal as I did not go in on that Friday. So I proceed to tell them my story about the cake. As I get into the story and haven't even mentioned that it was for a 25th wedding anniversary yet one of my colleagues at work pipes up and asks if it was for a 25th wedding anniversary that was held in Brampton.  Why may I ask, well she said she happened to be bar tending and the story was going around the room that the original cake was destroyed and this was a last minute cake.  Of course we had to laugh.  My colleague had no idea that I was responsible for saving this party. But she did have only good things to report.  Everyone at the party loved the cake and she confirmed that it tasted great! It's a small world after all. Hey, where's that cape???  LOL.

a special 15th birthday

So yesterday I told you about Aimee's lemon cake, well that all came about because Mel & I were asked to make her sister Katie's 15th birthday cake. Being a pool party theme we thought that flip flops were in order. Katie loving the idea gave her okay.  Her criteria was to incorporate her favouite colours, hot pink and turquoise and she loves vanilla cake. Since a few of her friends leaned more towards chocolate we suggested both since hey there are 2 flip flops. So with 1 birthday cake you get the best of both worlds. What more can you ask for.  Mel & I were determined to help make Katie's birthday a success.  Here's her cake;

Well my camera isn't the best so they actually show up as orange and green, funny uh.  Everything on this cake is edible except for a few crystals we added for a little sparkle.  The flowers, the straps and the sea shells are all made from gum paste. Flips are covered in fondant and a little golden brown sugar for sand. Katie was thrilled.  Actually her mom Sandra, a fantastic photographer, explained why my camera does show true colours. Too technical for me but Sandra has also posted photos on her blog;  Here's a few more shots of the cake;

For the same party Katie also wanted cupcakes to give to her friends, some with princess crowns. This was a challenge for us so we commissioned our gum paste to work wonders again and we made 9 crowns fit for princesses and the rest of the cupcakes, 16 in total, we kept with the theme and made miniature flip flops;

The weather on the day of the party was perfect for a pool party and we heard the party was a great success. Happy Birthday Katie!!!  There will be many more wonderful birthdays ahead for you!  Thank you for allowing Mel & I to be a part of it.

September 10, 2010

Lemonade anyone?

I have to share this cute story.  I was asked by a neighbour to make her daughter's 15th birthday cake which Mel and I were delighted to do. Well Katie, the soon to be 15 year old, has a little 7 year old sister Aimee. While her mom and I were discussing the upcoming birthday event Aimee approached me and asked if I could make a cake for her. Intrigued I asked what the occasion was, she told me she was having a lemonade party with a couple of friends.  Her mom explained that since Katie was going to be having a birthday party Aimee felt she needed to have a party as well.  With her mom's okay on this special cake I asked Aimee what she would like. With her creative mind at work she simply said "I would like a cake that looks like a lemon" she then added "but I don't want it to taste like a lemon just look like one".  She also thought it would be nice if I could make a couple of little lemons as decoration.  Well I've never made a cake to resemble a lemon before but there is a first for everything. Here's a picture of Aimee's lemon cake,
The cake is actually a vanilla cake with choc fudge butter cream filling and if it wasn't chocolatey enough I threw in some choc chips for good measure.  I started by make 2 oval cakes (6" x 2" oval pans), once the cake was filled I carved it to resemble the shape of a lemon. I commissioned a real lemon to be my model, LOL. Once I had the cake carved to my liking I dirty iced it but left it rather rough where normally you smooth the crumb coat to prepare for fondant.   After chilling I covered it with yellow tinted fondant. Thanks to my sister Lisa's creativity she suggested I use a small cheese grater to get the effect of the lemon skin texture and it worked beautifully. I finished it off with a little green petal dust here and there and a little brown petal dust at the ends.  Didn't forget to add a couple of small lemons as decorations as requested by my client.  The feedback from Sandra (Aimee's mom) was wonderful. They enjoyed the cake which is my main focus but the comments were that even the little ones thought that the cake looked like a real lemon.  Well Aimee I have enjoyed making your cake and thrilled that you approved.

cakes, cakes and more cakes

Here are some pictures of a few cakes we have made in the recent past.

Jackson's Christening

Me again, Mary.  This blogging can get addictive, hahaha. Well I thought I'd try to catch up by getting some the cakes Mel and I made on our blog.  Honestly we won't post ALL of them, we really don't want to bore you. We'll only post the ones we think you'll enjoy, which will be most, LOL.
Well there's a little guy who has absolutely stolen my heart and I can't seem to get enough of him.  My little grandson Jackson who happens to be Mel's son.  He was christened back in June and of course Mel and I made his cake to commemorate the event.
Is saw this cute little mold of a sleeping baby and of course I had to get it. It's pretty cool, I've already made a couple of babies out of gum paste and they look so real. The 1st was for Mel's sister-in-law's baby shower cake and the of course for Jackson's Christening cake.

Doesn't the baby look so real. I couldn't even believe it when I made it. I saw the mold on Yummy Arts website and couldn't resist, but I was not prepared for how easy it was to make.  When it comes out of the mold obviously there is no detail.  The detail was done with petal dust, cinnamon & baby pink.  The 2 tier cake was choc fudge with cookies and cream filling, YUM!!!! covered in white fondant and quilted with baby blue pearls at each point of the quilt. The cake was a huge success and the baby well it's a keep sake. Gum paste vertually lasts forever if you don't drop it.  Anyway until the next time, oh yeah here's a picture of the baby shower cake we did for Mel's sister-in-law back in May who is a big Scooby Doo fan.  She had a beautiful little boy Wyatt, a cousin for Jackson. 

Please do stop by again.  Ciao for now.

September 9, 2010

a birthday for 3 fellas

Well I promised to start putting some pictures on here so I think I'll start with one of our favourites. My dear friend Marisa called me one day and asked if I would be interested in making a cake for 3 fellas in her office that were going to celebrate birthdays all within a few days of each other. She said they usually buy store bought cakes to celebrate birthdays at the office but this time she wanted to put me and Mel to the task.
She asked if we could make a boob cake. We told her we were up for the challenge. Marisa requested it to be sexy but respectable for the office and the only other criteria was that it was to be black and hot pink. So here is what Mel & I came up with;

We started with a 12" x 18" vanilla /raspberry swirl sheet cake and shaped it. The boobs were also vanilla cake made from  3" 1/2 ball pans and we padded them well with a raspberry cream filling.  The bustier was choc fudge buttercream icing tinted black and we added some piping gel so that it appeared shiny and actually had a leather look to it. It's hard to tell from the picture.  The hot pink ruffle trim was vanilla buttercream tinted hot pink (again the colours aren't quite right in the picture, oh well you get the idea) and we added the pearls one by one with tweezers. We added the puffy heart necklace after my husband commented that her neck looked bare, LOL. We gave her a pearl necklace and puffy heart was made with pink gel frosting.  I think it gave it a rather nice touch of class, hehehe, leave it to a man to notice such things.  My friend and her collegues absolutely loved the cake and apparently no one wanted to cut the boobs. One of the birthday boys took them home to show his dad, too funny. They all had a good laugh and enjoyed the cake.
We had so much fun making this cake and even more fun hearing the comments they had.  Comments are always welcome. Thanks for looking. Ciao for now.

September 8, 2010

Blogging is new to me

Hi, Mary here.  Okay my daughter set us up on this blog and really I have no idea of what I am doing but here it goes.  I have 2 daughters and 1 of which is Mel the other part of MaryMel Cakes. I loved baking with my girls when they were little and when Mel was diagnosed with a severe nut allergy I started making all their birthday cakes, cupcakes, cookies etc since it was far easier than trying to find out what exactly was in everything. Way back when there wasn't as much info on purchased foods as there is today.  While my eldest loves baking but is into the much healthier type of baked goods Mel and I decided to start expanding our love of baking and decorating and started taking courses. We soon found out all the do's and don'ts of decorating with a wonderful teacher and the passion we share in taking part in someone's special celebration even if it's just a small part that in providing them with that special cake it will put an extra wide smile on their face. Ahhh, the sheer joy of seeing that.
So, please join us in this venture. Come visit and see what we've been up to.  Either Mel or myself will be keeping you intrigued with our special cakes for what ever the celebration may be.  We will be posting pictures so you can see our progress as we embark on this wonderful venture of ours. Who knows we may be the next "cake bosses of our town", LOL.  So stay tuned! Ciao for now.