About Me

fairfax, va, United States



Saturday, August 20, 2011

i do domo...

i met clara and anand in harrisonburg during our jmu days. after meeting them i remember thinking that they were two of the genuinely nicest people i had ever met. years later back in nova...when i had heard that they were engaged to be married...i couldn't have been happier for them.

a couple months ago clara and anand were ironing out details for their wedding and though they had set on cupcakes instead of a traditional wedding cake...they were still looking for a top tier for the cake cutting ceremony. jangeun, one of clara's bridesmaids, is a dear friend of mine. she is probably my biggest supporter...having been the first person to hire me for a cake job. did i mention it was for her wedding? (this can be found in a previous entry)  

anyways...jangeun suggested clara ask me...and ask she did. they were looking for a simple cake to top off their cupcake tower. the cake was requested to be a color that wouldn't get caught in the teeth...as to not make for some embarrassing pictures! the best part of the cake is definitely the domo bride and domo groom. these have to be the cutest wedding cake toppers i have ever seen!

strawberry shortcake covered in vanilla buttercream and fondant decorated with pink pearls
august 2011
as clara and i emailed about details for the cake shown above, she mentioned wanting to surprise anand with a groom's cake. since he loves to break dance she sent me a picture of his favorite shoes and asked if i could make a cake to resemble the shoes. i have been making a few cakes to match invitations recently...but nothing this realistic. this cake took a lot of planning and detailed work...but i was extremely happy with the way the shoes turned out.

the shoebox is strawberry shortcake with vanilla buttercream...the shoes are rice krispy treats with royal icing...all covered and decorated in fondant
august 2011

august 2011

boys just wanna have FUNfetti...

for the past couple years my older brother's friend has been requesting a special birthday cake resembling that which he loves most...a cookie ice cream sandwich. bobby has been asking year after year only to be disappointed when i didn't deliver. this year my brother asked me to make a birthday cake for bobby and of course his request is what immediately came to mind. sadly, my brother informed me that ice cream wouldn't survive the drive into dc where they were eating dinner. so i decided to make a slight alteration to the cake substituting ice cream for bobby's favorite kind of cake...FUNFETTI!

funfetti cake (made from scratch) with a cookies & cream filling covered in vanilla buttercream sandwiched between two 14" cookies.
august 2011
i was pleasantly surprised with how well the homemade cookie cakes turned out!

Saturday, June 25, 2011

apple for the teacher...

though i have yet to meet marian in person i already know that she is an amazing person. marian has been teaching esol english and fast math for many years and is now retiring to take some time off for herself. not only has she dedicated so much of her time investing students, but she has also raised a daughter who has become a teacher herself. alissa is a co-worker of mine who asked me to make a cake for her mother's retirement party. marian is going to leave the east coast and enjoy sometime on the west coast!

the cake is a strawberry shortcake covered in buttercream frosting. it is covered in fondant and decorated to honor this teacher who has dedicated so much of herself.
june 2011
the apple isn't quite as realistic as i'd hoped...i will definitely need to practice my sculpting.

hats off to the graduate...

i met ellen a couple months ago at a mutual friend's bridal shower and then again at the wedding. when she found out that i had made the wedding cake, ellen was shocked and then proceeded to ask if i had made any graduation cakes. her son was going to graduate from high school so she just threw the idea out there. about a month ago i received an email from ellen requesting this graduation cake. when she told me that her son was graduating from fairfax high school, my high school, i was excited.

the cake was a chocolate oreo cake covered in vanilla buttercream frosting. then covered in fondant and decorated to honor the graduate's years of studying and hard work resulting in his high school graduation.
june 2011
hoped to make the books more realistic looking but had a bit of difficulty working with the rectangular cakes.

Saturday, June 4, 2011

the bride...and bridesmaids wore white...

my co-worker michelle said that for the past two years she has been looking for an excuse to ask me to bake her a cake. well...she finally found one! one of her dear friends is getting married, so michelle asked me to bake a cake for her bridal shower. i have never met the bride, but from what i've heard she sounds like an awesome girl! unlike other brides who curse anyone who dares wear white to her wedding, this bride is actually going to dress her bridesmaids in white alongside her. her dress will of course out shine her friends, but i can definitely see how this makes for great photos! men in black...women in white...simple and gorgeous!

the cake is a strawberry shortcake covered in vanilla buttercream frosting.  this was covered in fondant and decorated to honor the bride's fashion sense and her three bridesmaids who are hard at work planning!
june 2011

june 2011

june 2011

Sunday, April 10, 2011

babies, blessings, and bath time...

nicollete ava is an incredibly special girl. she was born premie and is still at the hospital getting the best care so that she can be strong and healthy. i cannot wait for her to finally come home to all of the people who love her so much. all of her loved ones threw a baby shower in her honor today.

after hearing about the situation...i wanted more than anything to make this cake as spectacular as possible. i used the invitation as inspiration for the cake. the invitation is yellow with subtle white dots and of course a bath tub filled with various animals. i got a bit of assistance on the animal sculptures from my momma.

the cake was chocolate oreo covered in vanilla buttercream and fondant.  i incorporated some decoration techniques i've used before but made them slightly different.  and of course steamed it at the end.  everything is edible aside from structural cake boards, columns, toothpicks, and the straw.  
april 2011

april 2011

april 2011

april 2011
many thanks to inhar for getting me the job and taking the pictures for me!

Saturday, March 26, 2011

slow and steady wins the race...

a couple months ago i had met michelle at a mutual friend's bridal shower where i had made some cupcakes for dessert. saw her again at the wedding where i had made the cake. soon after i received an email from her asking if i'd be interested in making a birthday cake for her nephew rylan. rylan's mom requested a simple cake with strawberries.  michelle then sent me a copy of the invitation that was sent to guests to use as inspiration.

this cake is 2 tiers of strawberry shortcake covered in vanilla buttercream. the cake was covered in fondant and decorated according to the color theme of the invitation. the turtle prince on top is fully edible. the only inedible part of the cake is the printed sign reading "happy 1st birthday rylan"
march 2011

march 2011

Thursday, March 10, 2011

these are the hands...

that is the phrase i remember hearing the most as the reverend spoke of what would join quynh and chanh in marriage. quynh and i went to high school and college together...so not only was i thrilled that she was getting married to the man she loved, but also honored that she asked me to make her wedding cake. she wanted a cake that was simple but beautiful. her only request was that it was white based with cascading flowers...oh and that the cake was mocha flavored...because vietnamese people like that! =]

the guest list called for 300 servings of cake. this was my biggest order thus far...but was definitely up for it...especially after jayne & chris' wedding last year for 200 guests. after a few sketches, meetings, texts, and emails with quynh...i was ready to start.

the baking of this cake was much smoother than previous cakes...i think this means i'm slowly getting better at this...or at least that's what i hope it means! the only hiccup that i had along the way was my brother's dog pebbles. as the tiers of cake were cooling outside after filling in the frosting...pebbles decided to sit and lick much of the frosting from between the layers...just before taking a bite of cake. when i brought in the cake...i had to cut 1/4 of the entire tier off to ensure that the remaining cake that would be served was 100% pebbles-free. i had to quickly regroup, run to the store to buy some ingredients, and perform baking surgery on the ruined cake.  of course...pebbles just HAD to dig into the biggest tier.  after a couple hours...the cake was fixed and i was back on track.

this was the first time i attempted to make realistic flowers out of gum paste. i was having fun experimenting with the size and shape of the calla lilies. learned some do's and don'ts of gum paste!

after a total of 20 hours working over a 2 day period...i rushed into the shower to wash off any cake residue and get ready for the wedding. transportation then became the only issue. thankfully my brother willingly carried the fully constructed cake to the car...held it as i drove ever so slowly...and delivered it to the cake table inside the reception hall. i think of it as his making up for his dog's misadventures!

5 tiers of mocha cake filled and covered in vanilla buttercream. each tier was then covered in white fondant, wrapped with a purple fondant ribbon, and then topped with a cascading array of calla lilies and leaves. the tiers were offset to allow for more room for the flowers to sit, but ended up being a unique touch.
march 2011

march 2011

march 2011

the wedding was absolutely wonderful. it was truly a family celebration of the start of quynh and chanh's life together. 

Sunday, January 9, 2011

the happiest place on earth...

a couple weeks ago, jackie asked me if i had ever made a cake for a retirement party.  my response was "no, but i'd love to try!" i was very enthusiastic because jackie's daughter is the sweet little girl birdie...who i made the birdcage cake for. since she had been the one to jump start my fondant cakes...i felt i had to put the best i could into this one...no matter what she wanted.

the cake is for a co-worker of jackie who is retiring.  the theme is "vintage travel" and the woman happens to LOVE walt disney world.  she apparently travels there twice a year!  jackie gave me creative freedom...but hoped i would incorporate disney world.

the cake was just for display so the inside was styrofoam.
i decided to go with vintage suitcases and hat box in pale shades to go with the theme. then i wanted to add some disney accents. the ticket is an actual copy of the disney world tickets from the 80's.
january 2011

january 2011
i was happy with the overall look of the cake...but still trying to work out little things...like how to get rid of the powdered sugar residue...=[

basket full of wishes...

i had always been wanting to make a cake that looked like a basket but had never gotten around to it. a friend, who i have known for a very long time, asked me to make a cake for his girlfriend's birthday. he informed me that she loved tangerines and strawberries. i thought it'd be a little odd to just have those two colors...but i tried to make it work.

this is a vanilla cake filled and covered with vanilla buttercream frosting.  yes it looks like chocolate, but that was merely food coloring. the cake was filled and topped with strawberries, with some mandarine oranges.
january 2011

january 2011
overall i am happy with the way my basket turned out.  next time i'd like to try working in some hard chocolate and possibly a handle.