dani’s cake portfolio



Filed under: birthday,flowers, plants — dani @ 12:00 pm

This cake was made for Nirvika’s 1st birthday party on January 17, 2009 in Fremont, CA.

Design Well, it’s hard to know what a 1 year old would like for their birthday cake.  It’s not like they can really tell you.  In the end, it’s the parent’s decision.  After a go-around between Nirvika’s favorite things including the 3 blind mice nursery rhyme, macaroni and cheese and nesting russian dolls, we decided to go with the  party theme at the last minute.  Nirvika’s mom sent me a link to the “Garden Girl” plates and napkins which I used for inspiration.

I initially wanted to make a topsy turvy cake, but two things prevented me from doing this.  One hindrance was time since the party was on Saturday which only left me half of Friday and Saturday morning to work on the cake.  A topsy turvey cake needs to be frozen before hand so that it can be easily carved, but freezing the cakes takes at least 6 hours so there was no way I had that much time.  Also, the strawberry cake ended up being extremely moist and light in texture and I did not think it was strong or firm enough to be carved without the risk of falling apart.  Oh well, next time !

Cake To my surprise, the parents said anything but chocolate and finally chose strawberry cake.  What a relief to try something new!!  The only problem was that I didn’t have time to make a test cake.  So, after researching several recipes, I finally decided on one that sounded tasty.  It turned out a bit sweeter than I normally prefer due to the addition of strawberry jello for added color and flavor.  However, I also used strawberry puree from The Perfect Puree in Napa Valley.  Previously you could only order their wholesome products online with a minimum (3) 30-oz jar purchase, which was expensive and usually more than I needed.  I was so excited when I got an email a few weeks before this cake saying that they were now available at select high-end markets like Whole Foods in a 30-oz AND a smaller 15-oz size.  The best thing about The Perfect Puree is that you can get hard to come by pure fruit purees when that particular fruit is typically out of season such as strawberries in January, for example.  They also have passion fruit, blood orange, etc…  Check ’em out !!

Filling A yummy cream cheese filling and frosting actually helped cut the sweetness of the strawberry cake.

Decoration Cookie cutters were used to cut out fondant flowers into several shapes and sizes. which were applied to the base fondant using a paint brush and a little water.  According to Blake, I applied the large pink and yellow flowers in too much of a “wallpaper” pattern.  So, Blake applied the smaller pink flowers by weighting them to the bottom of each tier and grouped to allow for some negative space and a more random appearance.  The bugs on top were made by pressing two stickers back-to-back onto thick gauge wires.

Thanks As always, I am forever grateful to Blake.  He made the bugs on wires, cut the dowel supports and helped me to color the fondant, apply the fondant and decorate the cakes.  He was also our transport/delivery person and photographer.  After not seeing him all week due to work, it was nice to spend the time doing something creative together.