Thursday, December 9, 2010

Next Great Baker - Episode 1

Since I love The Cake Boss, I had to at least give Next Great Baker a shot.

I think I'll watch the whole season just to give it a full go and it sounds like I may learn a thing or two.  I am a little disappointed so far.  It's not that it's a bad concept or anything, it just sounds so forced.  Maybe it's because Buddy has a script?  I don't know, but it doesn't flow and it feels awkward.  The other thing is that Buddy is the only one talking most of the show and I think it would appear a little more natural if say the guest judges give a summary or two.

As far as this episode is concerned, I loved the little intros to the competitors.  I noted that most have gone to a school and have some form of a technical training.  There are a few who just bake on the side and while some are really talented, I do think that they may be the first to go.  You got a small preview of the competitors, but not enough to fall in love just yet.

Joe Glasser won the Baker's challenge which was the first part of the show where competitors had 2 hours to make any dessert to wow the judges.  Joe blew the judges away with his Rosemary flavored cake, but later banked on the immunity that he had won.  His cake for the Elimination challenge, with the theme of "Celebration", was the worst cake by far and the judges (Mauro and Mary) even wondered about revoking the immunity since it would only be fair to the other competitors.  However, even when Joe admitted that he deserved to go home, he wanted to stay, so Buddy kept his word and Joe will be back to bake next week.

Another character that was easy to hate right away was Pamela Ahn.  She had also done really well with her Taro cake in the Baker's challenge, but her Chinese New Year cake for the elimination challenge was horrible.  Not to mention this, she had left cakes in the oven overnight and could have burnt the bakery down.  She lied about her knowledge of it and seemed insincere as to the effects it could have caused.  I wanted her to leave so badly.

Kendra Jordan left first and it was anticlimactic.  I think she wanted to leave, so she did.  She left on the box truck, which was hilarious and they should have done more focus on that!  I loved Danny's little cameo!

I have a feeling that the crowd favorite with be Gregory "Greggy" Soriano, who is self-titled "The Lady Gaga of Cakes."  He is a sweet and flamboyant character that has fun lingo that is "fab" and makes everyone "jel."  Initially, my favorite is Corina Elgart who is house wife turned baker and seems to have a lot of talent.  I will root for her, but that can always change especially seeing the different clips for the upcoming episodes.  I'm excited to see where the show takes me and perhaps teaches me.

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

The Cake Boss

I recently went to New York and I just had to go across the river to Hoboken.  Anyone who knows me, knows that I am a huge fan of The Cake Boss.  I do like other cake shows as well, but I think Carlo's Bakery is one of the best.  They do so much by hand and so quickly!  I'm amazing with what they do with buttercream and what they can do blindfolded.  They don't have engineers like Ace of Cakes, they don't cheat.  It's almost all cake and they work hard to achieve those results.
I was just so excited to be at Carlo's Bakery and see everything.
I was lucky enough to see Mauro, Mary, Madeline, and Danny.  I was thrilled and had the time of my life, even though it was an 1 hour and a half wait!
  And oh my goodness are those cannoli's are good!

Tuesday, November 23, 2010


A coworker was having a birthday and I asked for some help with ideas.  I asked for his different favorites.  He said his favorite animal was Giraffe, so I thought I'd try it.

The cake itself is chocolate with raspberry filling and vanilla buttercream.  For the Giraffe, he is made of cereal treats, wrapped in fondant.  Around the cake is chocolate!
I had a lot of fun working with the cereal treats trying to figure out how to get them to work with me and how to assemble the pieces together.

He sure isn't perfect, but I had a lot of fun with this one and he was so delicious!

Monday, November 22, 2010

Halloween, Boo!

I saw so many creations and inspirations from Wilton, that I had to make a Halloween cake.  Inside, I made the Halloween themed funfetti and outside is vanilla buttercream.

I started with the mini-cake and decorated a web.  I bought a Wilton icing for this, since it's hard to get a true black.  The icing would be crazy from time to time, but overall, it got the job done.

Then after frosting my cupcakes, I worked on what I thought was color flow.  I guess I didn't pay that much attention on tv when I saw Cake Girls do this trick.  I thought they just used Royal Icing.  I think what they actually used was Color Flow.  Either way, about half of my tombstones came out alright, so I was proud to use them.
I was so excited about the tombstones, you have no idea.  Then, I finished up the remaining cupcakes and moved on to the challenge:  the spider.  I made the spider completely out of fondant.  I just modeled him how I wanted and layed him on the cake.  I couldn't be more proud of how he turned out.
Overall I loved everything about this cake / cupcake creation.  I think it's my best so far.

Sunday, November 21, 2010

Finding Inspiration

I'm now that person at the office that makes all of the birthday cakes.  I wanted to make something that my boss would enjoy, but since he is blind certain creations I would make wouldn't mean anything to him.  So, I searched for inspiration of something I could do that he could enjoy.
There is a sculpture in our lobby that a client and friend made for my boss.  It's blown glass and each piece is different and unique.  You are suppose to be able to touch each objection and "see" all the differences in each piece.
I decided to use this for my inspiration for the cake, so that no matter what piece of cake my boss got, he could enjoy it.  In starting the cake, my lily-like creations weren't dry in time so I was unable to use them.
The cake is as chocolatey as you can get, since that is his favorite.  All of the decorations are made out of fondant.
I love this cake because it is so different and there is so much to look at.

Saturday, November 20, 2010

Teacher Appreciation

Our primary had a Teacher Appreciation dinner and I offered to make cake.  I tried to make a tiered cake.  I will still need to work on it, but it worked out alright.

The cake was chocolate and vanilla for one and vanilla and vanilla for another.  My husband helped a lot with this since the cakes seemed to not want to work with me.  Overall I think they turned out alright.

I loved the little apple out of fondant with a chocolate candy for the stem.

Friday, November 19, 2010

Train Wreck

We had family coming over and I decided last minute to make a Thomas train cake.  I thought, it's probably easy enough.  Boy was I wrong.

The cake was another Coca-Cola cake called the Chocolate Coca Cola cake and the key ingredient here was cinnamon.  The cake went very well, which was good since I had to hurry to do the rest.

I rolled green fondant semi-successfully over the cake.  It was better than my very first try, but not that great either.  Then, I molded trains out of cake that I carved and wrapped them in fondant.

At this point, I should have realized that this cake wasn't turning out how I wanted, but for some reason I kept going.  The black Wilton frosting I had bought to draw the train track exploded and would not cooperate.  There was black everywhere and no where were I wanted it.

I also dug a whole out of the cake, thinking it would give the illusion that the train was going into the cake.  Instead, it looked as those someone ate part of the cake.
All in all, this was a train wreck.  Nothing looked right and the train characters were barely recognizable.  However, the kid I made the cake for knew what I was attempted for, and for that, it was successful.

Thursday, November 18, 2010

Store Bought

For the final of Cake Decorating Basics, I had to decorate a cake using ribbon roses.  I HATE ribbon roses.  I don't like anything about them.  I did pass the class, but when I went home I did classic Wilton roses.

The cake is simple as far as the decorating.  I wanted it to look store bought or good enough to buy in a store.

The cake itself is the Coca-Cola Cake.  For this cake you need Coca-Cola and marshmallows.
Inside I had cherry filling, to make it a Cherry Coke cake.  It was interesting.  I think I need more practice in cooking with the marshmallows since I didn't know how to work with them.  Overall, it was a good cake.