Wednesday, 5 December 2012

Sea Themed Cakes in a Nutshell by Chef Sam

I thought I would post a few sea themed cakes today. Some of them are old, but they are just so fun, I couldn't resist.
The first cake... The Nemo/Sebastian/Tintin cake was a real mix up of characters. I really struggled to get all the requested characters onto the cake, but in the end, they all came together nicely.
Take a look at some of the detailed shots of this cake.

The Nemo/ Sebastian/ Tintin cake

Then we have the tiny Little Mermaid cake.
The cake was 15cm diam. and the figurine was 8cm tall.

A 2D Finding Nemo cake

And finally some whale cupcakes

I hope you have a Whale of a time today! And remember... 'Just keep swimming, just keep swimming...'


Tuesday, 27 November 2012

Follow that Caker: Lana Joubert of Couture Cupcakes

Hello everyone! Welcome to the very first 'Follow that Caker' interview!
Today we are taking a peek into the life of creative caker, Lana Joubert of Couture Cupcakes, KwaZulu-Natal.

Mini Chocolate Coffee and Vanilla Cakelet Tower by Couture Cupcakes.
Lana Joubert's favourite 'cake' to date.

To begin her cake journey, Lana did a basic “Decorating Cake with fondant” class and got hooked from there. She absolutely loves being creative and creating gorgeous things so this was the perfect opportunity to keep her corporate job while still being able to do something fun and true to herself.
Like many of us cakers, Lana enjoys asking Uncle Google for inspiration. She loves to find cakes that really stand out and then she changes the design to add her own little twist.
Every different cake picture that Lana comes across adds to her inspiration in one way or another.
Lana's very first cake was a cake she lovingly made for her mother's birthday.
This cake was made the same day that her first class was held.

Lana's very first client order was for a Barney the dinosaur birthday cake.
When she took the order, she had no experience making figurines. Needless to say, Lana was extremely nervous but still confident that if she put her mind to it, she could make it happen.

Lana says: "Suddenly everything becomes a hundred times more important when you have someone paying for a cake – it has to be perfect!"

Lana got the hang of covering cakes quite quickly, but for her, making 3D decorations was another thing altogether! With the weather being at odds against her, the figurines got very sweaty and started to collapse with the heat and humidity.
Absolutely hysterical, Lana kept moving them around to get the right spot for the figurines to set. She put them in the oven with the fan on, and even put them in her car with the air con on. Not much helped! Lana says: "I was wonderfully stressed!"
Eventually, after what felt like an eternity, the evening came and everything got cooler and less humid. Tucked away in a cupboard, Lana's little dino’s hardened up and stopped sweating. Lana now believes firmly in owning a home Air conditioner in Durban!
The one thing that she learnt whilst creating this cake was to butter cream the cake the day before covering it with fondant – that way the butter cream will dry/ harden and will prevent the fondant from sagging – which is never very pretty.

A cake Lana made for her Dad's 50th.
Lana enjoys putting a lot of love into cakes made for her own family, but she uses these occasions to test new techniques and designs. Although the cakes are always lovely, the end result is not always as it was planned.

This cake was made for the Heritage Cake Boss Competition for Ingane Yami Children's village
When asked "how long is the longest time you’ve spent on a cake?", Lana's husband answers "Too long!"
Lana spent every evening for 2 weeks working on the Ingane Yami cake. She decided to do a replica of the actual children's village, using schematics of the land and buildings. This cake was a real product of perseverance and love.
Lana always gives her best when making cakes for clients – at the end of the day they are paying a lot of money to have something different and amazing and that’s what she aims to give them.

For a special family cupcake recipe from Lana, please visit Fudge's Favourite Foods.

Details for Cupcake Couture:
Facebook: Cupcake Couture
Telephone: 071 997 1266
Cupcake Couture supplies to any area in Durban and surrounding areas, including North, South and Highway Area's (KZN).

Friday, 2 November 2012

Quick video tutorial: How to make a Christmas tree.

I hope everyone enjoys this short little video tutorial! I've used "Rockin' around the Christmas tree" by Brenda Lee as background music.

Getting ready for Christmas!!

Monday, 8 October 2012

2D Cake Decor

You may know by now that I specialise in figurines. It's a real passion that I have to try to get the character looking as close to the real thing as possible.
I will be featuring a few "how to's" for modelling figurines in the future. (Please kindly comment if you would be interested in something like this!)
Another type of cake that I do is a 2D decor cake. I actually find these more difficult and time consuming than the figurines. (Don't get me wrong, the figurines are not necessarily a breeze...)

Baby Bop 3D Figurine
2D Diego
  Although it takes long to make the figurines, (and I really can spend up to an hour on a face alone); the 2D cutouts are far more complex for me.
Some advise for when you are working on 2D decor:
Use your fondant veining tool for indentations and decorative lines. These tend to give a more realistic finish, rather than using a knife.
When looking at your picture, figure out shapes from what you are looking at, for instance, Diego's boots above are hearts cutout with a regular heart cutter and then just trimmed with a circle cutter to give the open edge of his boots.
Some of your shapes will need to be free hand, such as diego's t-shirt above. But try to use different shaped cutters as far as you can.

In this basic layout of Mickey Mouse, I've tried to explain briefly what I mean by 'using shape cutters'.

Remember to always round/ smooth the edges with your fingertips, to make the character more believable. When there are snags and fluffy bits around your edges, it reminds us that it is just made up of shapes. Smoothing your lines will bring it all together nicely.

In the photos below, I have shown broken up dimensions for these 2 characters, to make up the final character.

Its simple when the character is viewed in sections.

Sometimes it works out better if portions of your character are modelled partially 3D, as I suggested with Mickey Mouse's mouth.
Goofy's hands, mouth, eyes and hat were 3D modelled.

Donald's hat, beak, hands, bowtie and legs were partially 3D modelled

Have a look at a few of the other 2D cakes/ biscuits I've done:


Giraffe biscuits, neck and head made with the end of a large music note cutter

Noddy made up of a series of different sized circles and ovals and a bit of 3D modelling.

The heads are just cut out with an oval cutter and the bodies are many dots cut with a piping nozzle.

These were mostly just freehand cutting.

Again mostly freehand cutting, but you can see the different pieces that have been used to make the character.

Mostly 3D modelled.

The completed SpongeBob cake.

I know this is only a short 'how-to' and there are a few holes in the explanations, but next time I make a 2D decorated cake, I will try to take step-by-step photos that could explain it a bit better.
Please comment on this post, I'd like to know if this came across as helpful or not.

Thursday, 4 October 2012

Cake Central Magazine: Fashion Inspiration 2012 Cakes

Recently I was invited to enter a cake design to possibly be featured in Cake Central's Fashion Edition of their magazine.
I was sent a picture of a runway model wearing an outfit and I had to draw inspiration from this.
The Betsy Johnson design I had to work from.
This was the overall guide: "Use any techniques, elements, shape, size! (You are not limited to black and white)  Feel free to incorporate additional colours.
Your interpretation of the inspiration does not necessarily need to be a direct translation, be as creative as you like!"

When I heard that I had even been considered as an entry, I was already ecstatic! I had plans of building this beautiful cake, with stunning fashion figurines. Something amazing, something WOW!

Unfortunately, 2 weeks later, many of you may already know, I somehow got Chicken Pox...
OH.MY.WORD!!! Wow, I had heard that it's bad in adults, but man oh man, it was brutal! I had those things everywhere! in my throat and mouth, from my head, all the way down to my knees! For the 1st week I couldn't get out of bed.
Simply put: It SUCKED!
I was in 'quarantine' for 2 and a half weeks, sleeping in the study on a sleeper couch, trying desperately not to let my kids get it over their birthday party! (which they did, so we ended up postponing twice!)
When I had to work on cake orders, I wore a doctor's mask! But really, it was NO joke!

So, the Cake Central cake was due in the 2nd week of my pox. I was so tired and I just wanted to make something so that they would still consider me for next time. Not for 1 minute did I think that this cake would actually make it into the magazine!

Anyway, I put my own spin on it, using my favourite colour: Rainbow...

The whole cake is fake (Styrofoam dummies), covered in real icing

I still cannot believe they even used it in their mag! I look at the other cakes featured and they are just mind blowingly beautiful! I'm really honoured to have been featured among the very many cake art geniuses!Thank you, Cake Central! :) xx

Stunning photos by Jessica Commaille of Erindipity Photography.

Wednesday, 3 October 2012

Plants vs Zombies Cake

Happy Halloween Month, everyone!!!
I had a lot of fun making this cake, and I really like the way the figurines turned out! I like the scruffiness of the zombies, mixed with the bright, happy-go-lucky attitude of the plants!
I haven't actually played the game, but it looks pretty cool!

The game: Plants vs Zombies

Full view of the cake and close up of standing Zombie with broken teeth

This zombie lost his shoe while collapsing after being hit by one of the plants!
Side view of the cake, the back of the zombies. The legs of the fallen zombie are held in the cake with cocktail skewers.

Angry Chilli in amongst flying bullets (peas?)

Happy flowers!

Pea-shooting plant


Baby pea shooters!!

Cool snail!

Fallen zombie side view

Fallen zombie front view, grasping for one last chance to get hold of a plant.

Fallen zombie grasping hands.

Dangling zombie arms!

The 2 zombies, looking dashing in their suits!
Plants vs Zombies cake, full view.
Have a frightfully good Halloween everyone! xxx