Sunday, April 25, 2010

Retailer Review: Icing Inspirations

Hi fellow Cakers!  This week I thought I'd start a new feature - Retailer Review!  I am extremely limited in Montreal (surprising!) in terms of finding decorating supplies.  I mean the few retailers around here have wilton colors, tips, boards and boxes, but to find cutters, veiners, etc;, I need to shop online. 

The first retailer I'm going to review is Icing Inspirations.  Icing Inspirations is owned by a great woman named Chrissie, and is located in Ontario Canada.  They carry a wide range of products, icluding a large range of products from the UK.  The shipping and handling fees are very reasonable and quick.  Chrissie always has something on sale, and sometimes has deals on shipping.  This month, she is offering $5 shipping on orders over $50 for Canadian residents. 

Some of the products I love from Icing Inspirations are:
Pollen Dusts - these come in a variety of colours and give your stamens such a lifelike appearance
Rainbow Dusts - terrific glitter, shimmer and petal dusts in a huge range of colours
Petal Craft cutters and veiners

Icing Inspirations is more than an online store - they are a school as well and often feature "celebrity" cake designers including Carrie Biggers and Courtney Clark.  For more information or to place in order, visit them at

Until next time, Happy Caking!

Friday, April 16, 2010

DVD Review: Sheet Cake Secrets by Sharon Zambito

If you're anything like me, you do not have the opportunity to take alot of cake classes - they are far and few between even in a city as big as Montreal!  The way I have been learning has been to purchase DVDs online and watching them over and over.  I have started building an extensive library and decided I would start a new blog feature where I revies these discs to help my fellow cakers realize the wealth of knowledge available in DVDs and give them an idea of which DVDs are worth investing in.  The first dvd I'm going to review is Sharon Zambito's Sheet Cake Secrets:

This two-disc set covers everything you'll need to know for taking an ordinary sheet cake and turning it into something extraordinary!  Sharon walks you through various techniques for adding that WOW factor to your sheetcakes.  Most cake designers, myself included, would cringe at the fact that a client would ask for a sheetcake.  I mean honestly - other than an edible image, how sensational can a sheetcake really be?  Now, I find myself trying to talk customers into ordering a sheetcake instead!  Sharon teaches the following techniques for making your sheetcakes pop include:
  • run sugar
  • chocolate transfer
  • frozen buttercream transfer
On top of these key techniques, Sharon teaches how to enhance these designs with various trims from fondant ribbons and strings to fondant cutouts and flowers.  My favorite part of the DVD is the airbrushing techniques, especially using magnets to block bleeding through.  Everything Sharon teaches in this DVD set can basically be done with tools you probably already have in your arsenal.  If not, the tools Sharon uses in the DVD are also available at her website.

For more information or to order this DVD, click here.  At 35.95 (plus S&H), this DVD is worth every penny.  Sharon's customer service is some of the best out there.  She processes orders quickly and her shipping is just as quick!  If you are looking to invest in quality cake education at a reasonable price, this is the place to start!

Until next time, Happy Caking!!

C is for cookie......

I know, I seems like forever since my last post!  I cannot wait for the day where I can leave the office job behind and cake full time :)

Last week was a busy week!  A couple of customers needed 2 cakes for same person, but having 2 parties.  It started with Twilight.  I was asked to do a simple cake for a family dinner mid week celebrating a birthday for a 10 year old.  This is what I came up with:
It was an 8 inch round covered in buttercream.  I did a blood red ribbon border in bc trimmed using black bc and my open star tip.  The Parrot Tulip is gumpaste and is inspired by the flower from the cover of one of the books.  The plaque was printed on wafer paper using the twilight font and was mounted on a piece of fondant.  The birthday girl was jumping up and down with excitement and actually cried when she saw the cake.....that reaction reminded me how worth doing what we do is!

Her second cake was a sheet cake with an edible image for her party with her friends:

The greeting is cut using the cricut and twilight font.  I lightly dusted Edward with bright white luster dust to make him shimmer like he does in the books and movies.

Another 2-for was for my cousin and his girlfriend.  Their son was turning 1, and they wanted a Cookie monster theme:

It started with cookie monster cupcakes for daycare.  These were really fun to do and are covered in bc with real cookie crumbs and fondant eyes for decoration.

His party cake was a 2 tiered fondant covered cake.  Cookie is sculpted from modelling chocolate and all of the decorations are gumpaste.  The lettering was all cut using my cricut - I am really starting to looooove that machine now that I'm used to it! I spelled the birthday boy's name on the sesame street sign as I thought it would be cool:
I always do a free smoosh cake whenever I do a 1st birthday, of course it had to be a cookie monster head!

I also had another Super Mario cake based on the one in my last post - I made a couple of changes to the layout of the gumpaste decorations and made the pipes curved for a bit of extra dimension:

Easter weekend, I spent alot of time working on a 3D My Little Pony:

I'm not going into too much detail on this one, as I took some pics along the way and plan on turning it into a tutorial if you are all interested!  Post a comment and let me know!  I'd love to hear what you all think!

The last cake I'm going to post was done this week for delivery yesterday (I actually have a cake-free weekend this weekend and plan on taking advantage of it to reorganize my cake room, make some sugar flowers, and try some new recipes).  It is my 1st attempt using the chocolate transfer technique from Sharon Zambito's Sheet Cakes DVD which can be found here.  It is of Wolverine from the X-Men.  The lettering is gumpaste using (you guessed it) the Cricut.  I love the web - it allows us to find so many great things - including the same font used on Wolverine comics:

The cake itself is covered in bc, with the chocolate transfer on top.  The red x-men logos are gumpaste brushed with red luster dust.  The letters got a dusting of super blue luster as well!  I love Sharon Zambito's dvd's - they are really helpful, and have let me bring my skills to a new level!

My next post will be sooner than later - I plan on doing a feature where I review a cake decorating DVD.  I have a small collection of material to work with and plan on doing 1 a week.  If there are any requests for a particular sugar artist or dvd, let me know and if I have it, I will review it for you.

Until then, HAppy Caking!