This cake was made for Jessi's 1st birthday party on May 5, 2007 in San Jose, CA. She is the daughter of my friend, colleague and mentor, Julian Halkett and his wife Ann.

Since they didn't give me a design, I just picked one that seemed appropriate. Although, not having much experience with babies, I had to ask my collegue, Janet, for some tips (see 2005 Janet's Bday). For instance, "Does a 1 year old still wear a bib?", or "Does a 1 year old play with blocks?". I figured that teddy bears were a good choice for new borns all the way to teenagers and for some even into adulthood. Who doesn't like teddy bears anyways?

This cake is a yummy butter cake recipe by Margaret Braun. Everyone always loves her chocolate blackout cake so much, that I haven't had a chance to try any of her other recipies. Another colleague of mine, Priya Raman, had tried this recipe and just raved about it. So this cake allowed me the opportunity to try it as well. I know Blake liked it because he kept nibbling on the scrap cake left-overs.

Whipped ganache (bittersweet chocolate and cream). I was experimenting and tried two different variations to see which I liked better.

Decorator's buttercream with almond extract and white chocolate fondant.

For the bear I simply used a 3-D bear pan and a "grass" piping tip to make the fur out of buttercream. (One person at the party thought that it was a real teddy bear.) The baby blanket was made from rolled fondant cut into a square and scored with a fabric scoring wheel to make the stitched look. I used candy molds to make the milk chocolate letters, numbers and teddy bears for the blocks on the sides of the cake. The bow is real and so are the blocks that spell out "Jessi". I simply ran out of time to make my own fondant blocks. It's a shame because the colors don't quite match.