About Me

fairfax, va, United States



Thursday, November 25, 2010

cherries for the golden girl...

one of my best friends...cynthia...has been on my case for years because i have yet to ever make her a birthday cake. i love her to death...but unfortunately her birthday usually falls right around...and this year...on thanksgiving. with all of the festivities going on with family and church...it's tough to set aside some time when the oven isn't already in use to make her a decent cake.

this year...she very politely...demanded that i make her a cake for her golden birthday. turning 25 on the 25th is very special! so for this very special occasion...i wanted to put together a cake that was different from all others i had made.

this is a red velvet cake filled with cream cheese frosting...wrapped in lady fingers drizzled with chocolate...topped with as many cherries as i could fit!
november 2010
november 2010

november 2010

this cake finished off my crazy marathon of 8 days...4 cakes...3 birthdays...and 1 wedding! 

Sunday, November 21, 2010

argyle it is...

i first met emily years ago during college through a mutual friend. over the years we kept in touch here and there by the magic that is facebook. i was thrilled to hear the news of her engagement...and was even more thrilled when she asked me to make her wedding cake.

as we started discussing the details of the cake...it became clear that this would be no ordinary cake. the exact words used by the blushing bride-to-be were "dummy cake". this cake was meant to be a display cake...but was also needed for the cake cutting ceremony at the reception. it took some planning...but all worked out in the end.

this cake is 95% styrofoam. 
there is a small wedge of real lemon cake in the bottom layer for the cake cutting. everything was covered in white fondant. the ribbon on the top and bottom tiers were actual fabric ribbon, whereas the argyle was made from peach fondant diamonds with navy blue royal icing piping. it was tricky getting the wedge of real cake in the layers of styrofoam...but it fit!
november 2010
inhar actually took these photos the same time as the castle ones. much love!!

every girl wants a castle...

i met christy and john many years ago and had a lot of fun times with their amazing two boys. a few years ago...they were blessed with a beautiful daughter claire...who turned 3 this past weekend. i ran into christy a couple months ago and was honored when she asked me to bake a cake for claire's birthday party.

they wanted a princess theme...and to switch things up a bit...i decided to go for a castle. of course keeping it super girly. i must say that this is a great improvement from the very first castle cake i made...sorry min =\ ...but there is def still room for improvement. i'm not sure if it was due to my sheer exhaustion...or my lack of piping skills...(probably both)...but the piping wasn't the greatest. i definitely need major practice!

although i wasn't able to stay for the party...it is my hope that claire loved having her very own castle...even if only for a little while! =]

the cake is a vanilla cake filled with fresh strawberries and a vanilla butter cream. it is covered in fondant and decorated with fondant and butter cream. the princess' dress is all edible as well. the towers contain the only inedible elements.
november 2010
i was so thankful for inhar who came over to take some pictures of the cake before it went out for delivery.

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

sixty and one...

this cake is for the man who has been taking care of me all my life since before i was born...my father. i cannot begin to describe the amazing person he is. yes it is true...we haven't always seen eye to eye...but as i grow older...i am realizing that we are more alike than i had ever imagined.

today my dad turns 61 years old...and in celebration of my traditional father...i have stepped away from what's modern...and gone back to something a little more traditional.

this cake is a new blend i'd like to call 
"strawberry lemonade"
it is a lemon cake with big chunks of fresh strawberries with some vanilla buttercream. now as for decor...i forgot how unforgiving buttercream is. i def need to get back to practicing my piping because my hand was the furthest thing from steady. 
november 2010

november 2010
unfortunately i wasn't able to get professional pictures from inhar this time...but hoping i will get some with the next few.

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

ribbons & tiaras...

madelynn is such a cutie! i know that jason and amanda are so proud to have such a bright and beautiful daughter. together with family and friends on a sunday evening...we celebrated maddy's first birthday.  it was filled with the traditional korean first birthday rituals. stuffing the guests with food...lots of mochi...and making baby maddy sit infront of a few items that would help determine her future.  thanks to uncle thomas...maddy is gonna be a big shopper running up daddy's credit card debt!

cake was a simple vanilla with vanilla buttercream.  decked out in fondant.  tried out some new designs and even fumbled around with a bow.
september 2010

got a great shot again...thanks to inhar.

a little birdie is turning one...

elyse is a sweet little girl who got the nickname "birdie" because of a face she makes with her lips. she is the daughter of a friend...of a friend who was about to celebrate her very first birthday. i was honored that inhar was gracious enough to refer me to her friend.

i gladly accepted the job...but had great hesitation because i had yet to make a full out fondant decor cake. the task at hand was a challenge...but i tried to break it down to simple things i knew i'd be able to accomplish.

since inhar was the photographer at the party...she got some great shots of the cake. you should def check her out inhar photography.

the cake itself was just vanilla with vanilla buttercream...but this was more for display than edibility. 
august 2010
it took some time to get used to the fondant. i definitely enjoyed using my brand new fondant tools. the bird was a tad difficult...since i'm not sculptor...but thankfully this one turned out cute.

i promise to love you...

jayne and chris have got to be two of my favorite people! they have always been such great friends who have been so supportive of my baking experiments. they are two people who love life and really love each other. when they got engaged...the last thing i expected was for them to ask me to bake their wedding cake.

at first i was certain they were joking...but months later...surely enough...gmail said i had 1 message in the inbox from jayne.  she officially asked to hire me for the job. when i said yes...i asked her if she knew what she was asking for...she asked if i knew what i was signing up for.  either way...we both knew that this was an extremely important day.

we met face to face at bonchon and sat for hours catching up...and of course getting down to business.  we talked in detail about the cake she wanted...and i probed to see if i could picture what she was picturing in her head.  after a MANY emails, texts, and phone conversations...we finally nailed down the details and made it happen.

after 13.5 hours of baking...their cake was ready.  the ceremony and reception was set to be outside...and when the big day came...it was 101 degrees outside.  but we adjusted and made it work!

four alternating tiers chocolate oreo and strawberry shortcake covered in vanilla buttercream with a decorative touch of lavender and baby's breath.
july 2010

the wedding was absolutely beautiful!  congrats to the happy couple! =]


my younger brother binnari was turning 21...and this was not a birthday i wanted to pass him by.  i am proud to be the sister of a future professional golfer =] so for this very special birthday...i wanted to make him a very special cake.  along for the task were two friends...esther and grace.

i'd been seeing a lot of "covered cupcake" cakes recently and had wanted to try one. however...instead of slopping a massive amount of frosting...i decided to use fondant.  the cupcakes were chocolate and vanilla...arranged to create a tricky hole of golf.  
june 2010

nothing about the proportions is correct.  the oversized ball and tee...the tiny replica of my brother...the fact that the green is comparable in size to the fairway.  not to mention the random hearts floating in the water. all in all...i think it was a success. and more importantly...he loved it!

the very first birthday...

your first birthday is a big one...but sadly you're never the one to remember it.  sophia is the daughter of a friend's cousin and is a very special girl!  for her first birthday...her parents planned out an big party for her at a restaurant all decorated in lavender, silver, white, and pink.  the perfect combination of colors for a darling girl.  the order was for 80 regular cupcakes and 1 giant cupcake just for the birthday girl.

a mixture of chocolate and vanilla cupcakes...topped with a vanilla buttercream frosting tinted to fit the party theme...with a little touch of fondant hearts and stars.  
june 2010

june 2010
sadly the picture i took of the giant cupcake got lost on my phone.  however...it was much improved on the first giant cupcake.  it was decorated to mimic the smaller purple cupcake.  i covered the bottom in fondant and painted it with edible silver glitter.  then covered the top in purple vanilla buttercream.  with a sprinkling of edible heart shaped sequins.

just before "i do"...

a friend of mine was getting married in a couple months...and she had asked me to be a bridesmaid. i was honored and excited for her. in the midst of the preparations....i took this as an opportunity to bake. most of the cake was eaten during the paradise themed bridal shower...and was later fully consumed by the groom-to-be and a couple of the groomsmen.

the cake was a traditional white cake with two layers of strawberry and vanilla whipped cream.  the whipped cream was a nice filler...but didn't have a great consistency or texture as frosting.  came back to working with chocolate...but forgot how fragile it was.  a few hearts broken...but only on the cake =] 
march 2010

every girl is a princess at heart...

one of my dear friends' daughter was turning 3. bethany is one of the smartest little girls i know! among her many favorites are disney princesses, the color yellow, cherries, and word world...all of which are found on this cake.

this was my first chocolate cake from scratch! all the frosting was from scratch too. the only "store bought" items were the fondant and top half of the princess.

the bottom base is filled and frosted with vanilla buttercream...then covered with green vine-imprinted fondant.  the princess' dress is completely edible...covered in vanilla cream cheese frosting.  the top part of the dress is fondant...which took a while to match the color with the frosting.  
march 2010
the letters CAKE mimic a tv show that is a family favorite where all things are created by the spelling of its name.  the cherries were by request of the birthday girl...and were immediately eaten the second she blew the candles out!

happiness...bite size...

when my family gets together for thanksgiving...its a gathering for sure! from grandparents to newborns we have a full extended family right here in va of about 50 people. have you ever tried to cut a pumpkin pie...or any dessert for that matter...into 50 pieces? instead of that mess...i decided to make fruit tarts this year.  these minis pop right into your mouth for a bite of happiness =]

puff pastry...cream cheese...sugar...fruit...
what's not to love?!?
november 2008

the "box" set...

the following cakes mark the beginning of my cake adventures. these were all made from box cake mix...hence the name...also topped with tub frosting. at this point in time...i just wanted celebrate some friends' birthdays and play around with some decorating.

this was the very first one...

a birthday cake for one of my best friends rachel. played around a little with line design and piping. 
october 2004

  another birthday cake for my best friend sarang. still working with line design and piping. note to self: frosting layer must be thicker.
january 2005

this was for one of my college roommates alice. wanted to try working with tiered cakes. didn't turn out the way i imagined it in my head...but i was able to make it work.  
may 2005

may 2005

this cake is the first in the "chocolate wall" & "fruit" series...both to be continued later.

happy birthday sarang...again!! =]  the timing in melting the chocolate so it doesn't burn...then putting the chocolate in the fridge to cool before it isn't too hard took much trial and error. though...i was happy to say that it all worked out. the cake was red velvet filled with my oreo and topped with delish fruits. the bow helped make it a beautiful present.  
january 2008

my friend min loves pink...and thinks she is a princess =] so for her 23rd birthday...i attempted to make her a castle cake. things didn't turn out the way i had planned...but everyone understood what i was aiming for. min loved it...which is all that really matters anyway!
february 2008

this next cake marks the continuation of the "fruit" series...  

for my friend danny's birthday...i added in some fresh fruit and even started working with some chocolate. to be completely honest...this wasn't the first with fruit and chocolate...but some pictures seem to have gotten lost over the years. the major issue that i found while working this cake was the "flooding" of the fresh strawberry juices. and as you'll see in the next few...it is a problem that i keep trying to resolve.
may 2008

it's that time again...to celebrate rachel's next birthday. for this one i wanted massive amounts of fruit with lots of color. i also worked in a variation of the checkerboard cake. tried to drain out as much of the fruit juices as possible...and used some apple jelly to give it a nice hold and shine...but still had some minor strawberry flooding. this was also...i believe the third cake with my red velvet cake with oreo filling...quite a popular one.
october 2008

october 2008

the next cake marks the continuation of the "chocolate wall" series...

one of my co-workers was celebrating her 30th birthday...so i decided to make her a really bright cake. this is actually also the third of the series...but the second cake picture is lost and only remains as a memory. this cake required careful timing in regards to the chocolate fence setting slightly in the fridge before wrapping it around the cake. a few pieces did break off in the molding...but the overall design came out. the strawberries are still giving me some stress.
april 2009

the next cake goes to my older brother dahari. he had been complaining for a while that i hadn't made him a cake...so i did my best to make him one he'd love. i ran into some trouble making the walls because i burned half of the chocolate. without any extra time to run to the store...i used some semi-sweet morsels i had left over from baking cookies. this was not a good idea. the morsels wouldn't hold shape no matter how long i set them in the fridge...or freezer. thus...i ended up with two sides of walls that were stiff...and two sides of walls that were soft and curled over. thankfully i got in a picture where the damage wasn't too bad.  he loved the cake! =]

may 2009

may 2009

happy birthday to sarang...again. this time with the walls i mixed two different colors of chocolate. i attempted this with my brother's cake...but the mxing was so subtle...this time i went a bit more drastic. it turned out nicely. the walls actually were my favorite part. the timing of the chocolate setting in the fridge was the best i've had yet. the final touch were 3 peach roses in the center...but i didn't get a picture of that.
january 2010

to finish off the "box" set...this next cake wasn't anything fancy or special on my part. it was just a really cool cake mold i found at the time. i guess with the sudden craze for cupcakes...some genius decided to make a giant one!
june 2009

i hope you enjoyed the set. i will update soon with all the cakes i started making from scratch. they aren't all cakes...but i hope you enjoy them anyway! =]

Monday, October 25, 2010

and so it begins...

i'm not even really sure how all this started...
in college i was just baking from the box for friends' birthdays when it slowly turned into a little some thing on the side...

hope you enjoy the journey...because i sure am!