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The Wonderful Edible Image…

When I first started caking, I thought that the concept of the edible image was amazing, versatile, and the bane of my existence.  To say I HATED edible images was just putting it lightly.  It wasn’t really about the edible image…it was more about getting used to handling the edible image, which can be quite a challenge in Cayman’s heat.  After tons of advice and practice, now the edible image is my friend and a total time saver!  It’s a great way to add something to a cake without making it look too “cartoon-ish” and of course and enables me to add personalized touches where appropriate.  They do cost a few extra dollars to get…but I think totally worth the end result!

Here are a few cakes where the edible image helps to set the cake off!

Edible Imageedible image 2edible image 3edible image 4edible image 5

Until next time…

Cayke

 

 

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Peach Wedding Cake

I few years ago I did a wedding for a lovely young couple.  The bride was so sweet, and knew exactly what she wanted in her cake.  Fast forward three years later and the mother of the bride is now the bride herself!  Again, an absolute sweetheart just like her daughter and she knew exactly what she wanted in her cake.  The apple doesn’t fall too far from the tree in this situation, but it was in the very best of ways. I was so honoured that the family thought to return to me when seeking a wedding cake!  The flavour of the wedding cake I did for the bride’s daughter was still fresh in everyone’s mind, which is probably why the same flavours were ordered!

I love when brides can clearly explain what their vision of their wedding cake is.  Unless you’re my close friend, I may not know what you like or dislike, so the more detail you can give me, the better! This bride’s vision was an ivory two tier wedding cake to serve 50-60, with a cluster of sugar flowers one tier, a cluster of sugar flowers on the opposite side of the bottom tier with petals and leaves falling very naturally to the cake board. She wanted her flowers to be various shades of peach and coral – some with dark centres growing out to light exteriors and vice versa.  She wanted a pearl border for her cake. Finally for the flavour she wanted carrot cake with almond buttercream filling and a rum and raisin cake with vanilla rum filling.  So asked for, so delivered!

I have to say, the most nerve wracking part of making this cake was the flowers.  My friend Lori-Ann from The Cake Studio is a sugar flower maker extraordinaire (seriously – she makes sugar flowers that would make real flowers wilt in shame – check her out on Facebook!). Me on the other hand, it’s just not my thing…can I do it? Yes. Do I like to do it? Not really. BUT…I’m always up for a challenge.  This was one of those, “face your cake challenge head on” kind of moments!

A week before the big day, I took a few hours and made the petals and blossoms…it was oddly relaxing, to make them with my hands and my cutters.  The end result really made me proud as well…it’s been well over a year since I made a flower other than a ribbon rose with fondant, so it’s nice to know I still have the “touch”.

Here’s a close up of the flowers on the top tier – two roses, three calla lilies, a rose bud and hydrangeas, all in various shades of peach and coral.

Top flowers

Here’s a close up of the flowers along the bottom tier – two roses, two rose buds, three calla lilies (one is tucked behind the rose) and a few hydrangea blossoms.

Bottom flowers
And finally – the cake!   Simple, beautiful, and peachy keen ;).

Peach Wedding Cake

Until next time,

Cayke

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Smell The Roses…

I was asked to do a square shaped birthday cake, that was strawberry/vanilla flavoured with pink and purple in the design.  Sometimes having the liberty to do anything I want is scary!  It’s hard especially when it’s for someone you don’t very well.  Sometimes though, it’s the perfect opportunity to recreate a design that you wanted to perfect or to try out a new technique or style that you’ve been excited to do…and this was one of those times.

I love the simplicity of buttercream flowers.  It’s so old-school, yet it can be so fresh and young.  The best part is that you can eat them without your teeth cracking!  After making a bunch of sugar paste roses for an upcoming wedding cake I did NOT feel like taking a couple of hours to make a bunch of sugar flowers.  Piping some buttercream flowers on the other hand was definitely a challenge I was up for.  Once I started piping away, I realized I wanted some more contrast so I added a nice aqua blue in the mix.  This was the design I ended up with.  I was happy with the result and was happy to find out the birthday girl was also pleased with her cake.

CD 6b

I tried my best to make each rose look a little unique. I piped them small and large, open and closed, some “wiggly” and wavy and others more crisp….you can see it in this close up of the flowers…

CD 6

Definitely a win-win situation – but then again, there are very few women who would not love a bunch of roses that are sweet enough to eat ;).

Until next time,

Cayke

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Shades of Blue

So this past weekend was the complete opposite from the weekend before in terms of colour schemes. I ended up doing 3 baby shower cakes – all for little boys! All three were simple but adorable designs that would be perfect for any baby boy-to-be!

The first one was a jungle themed 1/4 sheet cake with fondant accents.  This one was a hit with the shower celebrants – so much so, I’ve had two requests to recreate this same design!

 

The second one was a little price theme – this one was a single layer 10″ cake with a crown and polka dot accents.  I did little crown shaped sugar cookies with fondant icing to coordinate. Cookies are such a fun baby shower favour – who doesn’t enjoy an edible treat?!

CD 3

The last one was a single layer 12″ cake with fondant feet and polka dots. The pitter patter of tiny feet….

CD 5

I think it’s so funny the way certain themes or styles all tend to get ordered at the same time!  Let’s see what other trends are to come later this year!

With best wishes for a “sweet” day!

Cayke

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Let The Wild Rumpus Begin!!

I was so excited to do this first birthday cake for one of my friends. I’ve had the chance to do a few first birthday cakes for my friends this far and I have to say, I’m really enjoying doing all of the first birthday cakes for my little girl and her playmates!

This party had an awesome theme – based on the book “Where The Wild Things Are”. One of my personal favourites from my childhood for sure!

My friend knew exactly what kind of cake she wanted – something inspired by the cake she found on Pinterest from a blog on Hostess with the Mostest. It was simple yet a sweet nod to the essence of the wild forest in the book.

The original cake was a fondant cake but my twist on the original was to do it in buttercream with fondant accents.

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The highlight was watching the birthday boy dig into his smash cake! Now onto designing for next week’s birthday cake!

With best wishes for a “sweet” day!

Cayke

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As Cute As A Button…

A friend of mine always gets a cake from me for any occasion.  She is one of the people who appreciate the taste and flavor that you get from a scratch baked cake with homemade buttercream.  She also trusts my cake design judgments so she ALWAYS leaves the design up to me.  Sometimes it’s scary to have such freedom – because what if I pick a design that she doesn’t like??? Other times is super exciting because I can try my hand at a theme or technique that I’ve been anxious to try.

This was one of those exciting times!  She was attending a baby shower that was being hosted at her office for a fellow co-worker and signed up to bring the cake.  All she said was she needed a cake that was big enough to feed 20 people and it had a gender neutral design.

Ever since I picked up my Wilton fabric fondant/gumpaste mold I’ve been itching for an excuse to give it a go and this was the perfect opportunity!  I decided to go with “As Cute As A Button” for the theme of the cake.  I dyed my fondant various pastel shades to give it colour without being gender specific, used my funky letters to cut out the phrase and my molds to make the baby and the buttons….

baby close up

Then I baked a single layer third sheet (11″x15″) cake – a super moist vanilla cake with my house buttercream. Iced it white with a white shell border and added all of my cut outs.  To give it a little extra pizzazz I made a large “button” for the baby to sleep on.  Isn’t it cute??

cute as a button

This is such a fun theme – one I would love to do again soon!
With best wishes for a sweet day!

Cayke

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Pumpkin Cheesecake

In the US there are 4 lovely seasons – Spring, Summer, Fall, Winter.  Here in the Cayman Islands – we only have 2 seasons – hurricane season, and the rest of the year (or as some people say – dry season and wet season).  Unfortunately most of the locally grown bounty is ripe for the picking during the summer months, but this time of year, it’s the perfect time for ground provisions – such as pumpkin! It’s very fitting too, since world wide people are enjoying lots of lovely pumpkin-y and squash-y appetizers, main courses, side dishes and my favourite – desserts!

I was given a lovely local pumpkin from my Grand-Aunt’s garden and I used it to make all kinds of goodies – soup, pumpkin bread and this one – pumpkin cheesecake!  I had such a great time with all of the pumpkin recipes, I got a little bit carried away. My poor husband had to deal with pumpkin dishes all week long!   This time of year I always try to get my hands on a great piece of fresh, locally grown pumpkin.  This tutorial resulted as it just happened to be one of those times when I actually remembered to take pictures (albeit with my iPhone – so not as great as it could have been) as I went along!

Here’s my pumpkin cheesecake recipe:

Crust:

  • 1 package of Jamaican Ginger Biscuits (or graham crackers would work well too, I’m sure!)
  • 1/2 stick of butter, melted
  • 2 Tbsp brown sugar

Cheesecake:

  • 16 oz of cream cheese
  • 1 & 1/4 cup of brown sugar
  • 2 cups of pumpkin puree
  • 2 tsp pumpkin pie spice
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • 1 tsp nutmeg
  • 2 tsp vanilla
  • 2 eggs

 

1. Steam your pumpkin until it is fork tender – you should be able to make a nice smooth mash with just your fork, but you can use a blender or food processor if you like.

2. Once the pumpkin is mashed and cooled, assemble the rest of your ingredients.

3. Start making your crust.  You can always use store bought crumbs, or a food processor.  As you can see, I use a more old-fashioned method of getting those crumbs – a ziploc bag and a mallet!  You can always double bag your crackers if you’re worried about the bag exploding on you.

4.  Add your melted butter and sugar to the crumbs, mix well and pat it into the bottom of your springform pan.  I bake it in a preheated oven for 5-8 minutes to help it set.

5. In a medium sized mixing bowl, add your sugar to the softened cream cheese and start mixing away! Don’t overbeat it – you just want it to be smooth and combined.

 

It should look kind of like this:

6. Add the pumpkin, vanilla and spices and mix well.

7.  Beat in the eggs, one at a time.

8. Don’t forget to scrape down the sides, and give it a last quick mix to make sure everything is combined well.  Then pour the cheesecake mixture over your prepared ginger crust.

9. Bake it in a preheated 350 degree oven for 50 minutes. No more – no less. Add your favourite topping (I used sweetened cream and butterscotch caramel sauce) and chill for at least 4 hours – I try to do mine overnight.

10.  Then serve and enjoy!  (Excuse the dismal paper plate – it was leftover from my holiday celebrations last year and I thought it was the perfect way to enjoy this festive dessert without washing any dishes!)

Hope you enjoy this recipe – if you try it out – let me know what you think!!! I had fun tweaking this recipe until it was just right!

With best wishes for a “sweet” day ~ CaymanCake!

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Halloween Goodies Galore!

My friend Parsley Sage from Deep Dish Cayman  is a part of a baking club and their October challenge was to do Halloween themed cookies.  This proved to be a real challenge for her (although her Paranorman cookies looked great to me!)…thus enters – ME :).  She invited me over to do some Halloween themed cookies with her, and it turned into a really fun little tutorial! 

You can see her full post here: http://thedeepdishcayman.com/baking-club-halloween-cookies/#comment-5616

And the video tutorial here:  [youtube=http://youtu.be/XygebQix2Eo]

Parsley even tried her hand at decorating one of the gingerbread men cookies gone ghoulish, and made the most adorable mummy!  These are perfect for a home “cookie” to try – nothing too fancy – just simple and DELICIOUS! Parsley has some amazing blogs on her site – she’s definitely worth a visit! http://thedeepdishcayman.com

Then I started thinking about some other Halloween goodies I could do besides just cookies – so the next day, I went home and made some simple cake balls – these were a hit with my neighbours’ kids – so who knows what goodies await the trick-or-treaters this year!

 

What kinds of ghoulish goodies do you plan to whip up this Halloween?

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Cake Balls!

A lovely couple from the U.S. who were having their destination wedding here in Grand Cayman requested a “Cake Ball Wedding Cake” for their 10/11/12 wedding.  I’ve made cake balls before, but have always gotten frustrated with them simply because it’s difficult to make them in the heat and humidity in Cayman.  I was up to the challenge however, and decided to plunge forward with this very special wedding request! While I started working on everything, I thought, why not turn this into a tutorial for my blog?!  Soo…here you go!  Please excuse the quality of the images – I just snapped pictures with my phone as I went along…

So to make cake balls you want to start with a cake that has been baked and cooled.  Make sure your cake is very cool, not a hint of warmth from the oven or else you’re binding won’t work and they’ll fall apart! Just take a fork and start to crumble the cake into fine crumbles.  I just do everything in the cake pan because it’s one less thing for me to clean up after but you can certainly crumble it into a bowl if you wish! I used a devil’s food recipe for this particular set of cake balls as this was one of the flavours the bride and groom requested.

Once your cake has been thoroughly crumbled, add a few dollops of your favourite icing.  I used cream cheese icing as per the bride and groom’s request which tastes HEAVENLY with cake balls – however it is NOT good to use in the heat.  I was brave and really went out on a limb by using it, and thankfully my trick (which I share later on) worked!

Now you want to really work this icing into the cake crumbles very well.  Some people use liquid coffee creamer to bind the cake crumbles, I’ve never tried that method but will definitely give it a shot at some point.  I use between 1 – 1 & 1/2 cups of icing per batch of cake crumbles.  Start with less and then add more as needed.  You can even use your hands to get really in there and mix it up.  When you’re done it should look like a big cake and icing blob.  Kind of like this:

Now comes the fun part – making the balls!  You can use a melon baller, or any kind of “scoop” you have on hand.  Personally I just use a tablespoon and it works just fine for me as the balls all come out uniform in size and it’s something that I always have on hand.  Just take a spoonful of the cake and icing mixture and roll it into a ball.  Make sure that the cake and icing are binding together really well because you don’t want it to crumble on you!  When I use a tablespoon, I usually end up with somewhere between 30-40 cake balls per recipe.  It just depends on the type of cake recipe I use to make them.

Normally I use a lined cookie sheet, but given the amount of cake balls I was making, I just used a disposable cookie sheet.  Worked great and nothing to wash afterwards!  As you can see my cake balls are all nice and round – nothing falling apart and they are relatively uniform in size.  Now pop these into the fridge for a couple of hours (or into the freezer for about 15 minutes).  Make sure they are nice and chilled before you dip them into the candy coating.  Once you’re ready for them to come out of the fridge, start to melt your candy coating.  You can order some online, or pick up a pack from the store – whatever works best for you is fine.  Personally, I find that the Wilton brand doesn’t work so well here.  I’m not sure if it has to do with the way they are shipped – maybe they get too hot in the shipping container?  All I know is that I don’t find them to work so well…at least the white and coloured ones.  The chocolate ones seem to work okay – go figure! So here is some candy bark that I ordered and I have it melted it down ready to start dipping my cake balls away…

Now just start dipping away!  You can use a fork, a toothpick, a spoon – whatever is easy for you to manipulate – feel free to use.  If you want to add any sprinkles to the balls, then make sure you do it while they are still wet – not when the candy coating has set, or else they won’t stick! For these particular ones, I made sure to coat them a little thicker then I normally would – just in case the cream cheese icing that is binding them decided to give me some trouble!

This couple wanted a “cake ball cake” as I mentioned before.  I iced a cake dummy with fondant, and adhered each cake ball with some more melted candy coating and just worked my way up along the cake.  I added coloured fondant flowers to coordinate with the wedding colours and to differentiate between flavours.  There ended up being over 70 cake balls on this very small cake, which was a 4″ dummy on a 6″ dummy.

The perfect cake for an interactive wedding (or party experience!).  Hope you enjoyed this tutorial!  There will be more to come :).

Wishing you a very “sweet” day!

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First Birthday Cakes – Fun to Eat and Fun to Smash…

There is something special about a child’s first birthday – it’s a fun celebration of all of the little milestones that children make in that first year of life – they go from a tiny little miracle to a little person who smiles, coos, sits up, crawls, walks and even for many – talk! All in one single year!  While these little ones often don’t remember their first birthday – their parents and families do!  This is why I take special pride when creating a first birthday cake – and offer a free smash cupcake or cake with each first birthday cake order.  This birthday is all about making the memories for years to come.  Here are a few of the first birthday cakes, and moments I’ve been able to create over the past few months.

When looking for that special first birthday cake in Grand Cayman – look no further than Cayke!

All Star First Birthday With Smash Jumbo Cupcake Topper

Sweet Cupcake First Birthday

Cookie Monster First Birthday

Cookie Monster Smash Cake

Ladybug First Birthday

Ladybug Smash Cake

Baby Einstein’s Birthday Cake and Smash Cake

Rosette Cupcake First Birthday

Rosette Smash Cake

One Shaped Birthday Cake with Jumbo Smash Cupcake

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