Tuesday, December 18, 2012

Jenn & Jermaine : Nashville Wedding

Happy Tuesday!  I usually blog on Sundays, but I just got the pics for Jenn and Jermaine's wedding from Five by Five Photography and I couldn't wait to share their event!

Jenn and Jermaine are an amazing couple and I feel so blessed to have been part of their special day!  Their wedding was simple, rustic, and romantic.

The wedding and reception were set at Camp Marymount, about 45 minutes outside of Nashville.  The location was wooded but elegant, and the unusually warm December day made it even more perfect.

The bride created all of the decorations for the ceremony and reception.  Her attention to detail was incredible...

Instead of traditional tiered wedding cake, Jenn choose a family recipe for her cake.  I am always honored to make a family's special recipe, but it makes me a little nervous too!  Nothing like baking a cake for the bride's grandmother who created the recipe!

Photo courtesy of Five by Five Photography
 The recipe was a traditional Viennese torte.  It was layers of orange sponge cake filled with  a chocolate maple frosting.  The flavors melded together perfectly into a rich but delicate dessert.  I actually used the sponge cake (minus the orange) for my yule log cake last week.

Jenn and Jermaine both have a passion for music so they choose a fun musical-themed groom's cake.  I absolutely LOVED the green hard shell suitcase Jenn picked for the "cake stand."
Photo courtesy of Five by Five Photography
The cake was Dutch chocolate cake with milk chocolate ganache filling and chocolate buttercream....mmmmm...chocolate....

The piano keys were also made out of a chocolate (imagaine that!).  I used semi-sweet modeling chocolate for the black keys and a combination of white modeling chocolate and semisweet modeling chocolate for the "white" keys.  The snoopy face is cut out of white modeling chocolate and painted with dark brown food coloring.

The catering was provided by Kitchen by House Blend.  I actually met Jeremy and Holly at a recent bridal show and got to taste a few of their dishes (two words: butternut squash bruschetta.  Okay so that was three words, but it was delish!)  Their food is flavorful, fresh, and unique...not your typical catered meal.

Photo courtesy of Five by Five Photography
Laura Stewert with Top Shelf Bartending and Staffing provided all the beverage service for the evening and she was awesome!

Flashtastic Photo Booth provided the ever-popular photo was hoppin' all night long. All of the guests (including me) had a great time!

All the rentals were provided by Southern Events Party Rentals.

Many blessings to Jenn and Jermaine on their new life together!

Sunday, December 9, 2012

Bulldog Cake - Nashville Birthday Cake

Happy Sunday!  And happy holidays to all my readers!

I got to make my first yule log cake this week!  The kitchen looked so festive as I was decorating it.  I got a little crazy with the edible glitter, so it looked like it had snowed all over the floor too......oops. 

The yule log was made with a delicate vanilla sponge cake, filled with a fresh raspberry mousse, and frosted with dark chocolate ganache.  I had to...ahem..."taste test" one of the ends I cut off and it was delicious!  The berries, holly leaves, and pine boughs were handmade out of white modeling chocolate, and the white buttercream was dusted with edible glitter so it sparkled like real snow!

"What does all that have to do with a bulldog cake?" you are probably asking yourself...well nothing really.  I just love the Christmas holiday and wanted to share a little of my Christmas joy with you!!

So, now back to the regularly scheduled programming.  As the blog title would suggest, this week's actual featured cake is not the yule log, but a sports cake featuring an awesome bulldog!

One of my favorite parts of creating cakes is working with the client to design the cakes....and this cake was no different.  Debbie wanted a football themed cake that was a real guy's cake.....a growling bulldog, a football and helmet, and sports logos from all the teams for which "Mr. All-American" had played.  

The football, helmet, and bulldog started out as blobs (very technical terms here) of rice crispie treats which I carved into the basic shapes, and then covered with a thin layer of white modeling chocolate to make them smooth.  I covered them with a second layer of colored modeling chocolate and then added all the each piece is 100% edible!  

The football and helmet were fairly straightforward, but the bulldog took hours to get right.  I keep tweaking a little bit here and there, adding some here, carving away some there, but finally he looked just the way I wanted: mean and fierce.  The teeth and spiked collar were the finishing touches!

The field is the actual cake part, frosted with green buttercream to look like grass.  The "grass tip" is one of my favorite cake decorating tools.  It is very versatile and adds a great texture.

On the sides of the cake were logos from several local and professional teams.

Happy Birthday to "Mr. All-American"!  I hope it was great!

I also delivered my last wedding cake of the year yesterday.  Creative Crumbs has grown so much in the last year, I can't wait to see what more 2013 will hold!  I'll be putting the finishing touches on my new kitchen space over the next few weeks and then the grand opening will be in January!

Sunday, November 18, 2012

What's new at Creative Crumbs!

Happy Sunday! 

It has been an amazing...but incredibly busy...few weeks at Creative Crumbs!  I'm looking forward taking a day off this week for Thanksgiving and some time with family.

Instead of my typical "cake feature today, I thought I'd share several exciting things all at once!

New Location!
Drum roll please.......I am so excited to announce that Creative Crumbs will soon have a permanent home in historic East Nashville!  I finally found a kitchen/retail space that will accommodate my growing number of orders!  Be on the lookout for the GRAND OPENING announcement coming in January!  The new space will feature a small cake showroom and tasting area, as well as my baking and decorating kitchen.

Bridal Show
I had to the opportunity to participate in my first ever bridal show a couple of weeks ago.  The Here Comes the Brides Bridal Show hit the Factory at Franklin with about 50 vendors and over 200 brides and their friends/sisters/moms/grooms.  The event was so much fun! This show features "bridal wars" as well as a chance to meet and talk with lots of amazing vendors, so it was very entertaining.  I'm so looking forward to meeting with several of these brides in the coming weeks and designing some beautiful wedding and groom's cakes.

Small Business Saturday
This coming Saturday, November 24th is Small Business Saturday, a day to celebrate and support the local small businesses that boost the economy and invigorate neighborhoods across the country.  I'm looking forward to taking part in Small Business Saturday, and am encouraging everyone to "Shop Small" all around town.  Plus, I'm having a special Small Business Saturday offer! Since the shop isn't officially open yet, you'll have to call or email your orders, but place an order on Saturday and receive 10% off!

Holiday Orders
I can't believe Thanksgiving is this week...then Christmas is just around the corner!  Make your holiday season less stressful by getting some sweet treats from Creative Crumbs this year.  Whether you need cookies for a cookie swap, cupcakes to take to an office Christmas potluck, or a cake for a family get together, I can provide delicious baked goods for whatever you need.

Whew, I've got a full week coming up with lots of fun's a sneak peak of what you'll see on the blog the next few weeks!

Happy Thanksgiving!

Sunday, October 14, 2012

Nashville Wedding ~ Bart & Caitlin

Happy Sunday!  This week's blog features my dear friends', Bart and Caitlin, June wedding....yes I'm a little behind on blogging! :)

Their wedding ceremony was at the beautiful and historic Church of the Assumption in Germantown, followed by a amazing reception at the Hutton Hotel.  The view from the ballroom was was the food!  Very rarely am I impressed with the food at receptions, but the chefs at the Hutton prepared a fantastic meal!  I absolutely cleaned my plate!

Bart's rather unique groom's cake was inspired by several popular superheros: Superman, Batman, and Spiderman.  The old-school unicorn on top was NOT the Porsche logo as many guests thought - it was based off the House Brax of Hornvale (not that I really know what that is!). 

The cake flavor was, of course, red velvet!  Its Bart's all-time favorite.

I started by layering the cakes with vanilla buttercream.

Even though the cakes are technically already square, I still trim the edges to make the corners much sharper and more defined.  Then the cake gets its "crumb coat" of buttercream to seal in the crumbs before covering it with fondant.

Next, I covered the cake with white fondant, then added the colored fondant to the sides and placed the superhero logos on.

Courtesy of Courtney Davidson Photography
Courtney Davidson took some great shots of the cakes....and the rest of wedding too!  She truly captured Bart and Caitlin's personalities and how much fun all the guests had at the reception.

These up-close pictures show off each superhero's logo...
Courtesy of Courtney Davidson Photography
Courtesy of Courtney Davidson Photography
 And Superman:
Courtesy of Courtney Davidson Photography
Check back next week for the feature on Caitlin's wedding cake plus a fabulous tablescape designed by Knestrick by Design.

Happy Baking!  

Sunday, September 23, 2012

Very Hungry Caterpillar Birthday Cake

Happy Sunday!  It’s a beautiful fall day here is Nashville!  I’m so excited about some new things happening here at Creative Crumbs…it’s truly amazing to see my dreams grow and blossom almost every day!  

I’m really looking forward to checking out some new kitchen spaces this week as I’m rapidly outgrowing my current one!  I’ll definitely keep you updated with stories and pictures along the way…. 

This week’s featured cake was a fun, nostalgic one for me.  I loved The Very Hungry Caterpillar when I was little…actually I loved all of Eric Carle’s books!

It’s so much fun to do kid’s cake as an adult….it’s almost like getting to play with finger paints all over again!

This cake was for a 1-year-old’s birthday.  I drew out two ideas based off the book, and mom picked the first one.

I started by coloring all my fondant….I mixed up a base color (like blue), then added some other colors (a little bit of light blue, purple, and green for exanple) and swirled them together without mixing them in completely.  You can see the mottled color of the dots here:

And then all my dots:

I made Mr. Caterpillar out of the same colored fondant and placed him top of the cake with a number 1.

So cute!  One of my friends even said she wanted a cake like this for her birthday!  Ha!

Happy baking!

Sunday, September 9, 2012

Vintage Lace Cake

Happy Sunday!  Hope everyone is enjoying this beautiful day as much as I am!  

This week's "cake" is one I made to display at an wedding event this weekend.  I put "cake" in quotation marks, because there actually isn't any cake present here:)

Display cakes are a great way to show off designs, techniques or just sizes in 3D, instead of simply in pictures.  The decorating process is the same as with a real cake - I still use fondant, buttercream, royal icing, gumpaste, and food coloring to make all the decorations - I'm just covering up styrofoam bases instead of cake.

Display cakes are also fun because I get to come up with the ideas for them!  I always have input on the designs of the cakes I make, but for display cakes, I get to pick the inspirations not just execute them.  I had an idea this week that I wanted to make something with lace and brooches, but I didn't want it to look too old-fashioned...and here's the result!

All the brooches are handmade out of fondant and royal icing.  The rose lace is piped using a special technique I discovered a couple of years ago.  Its one of my favorite lace designs.

I'm going to be working on some additional display cakes this week to take to an event next weekend too.  For those of you in Nashville, come out to Centennial Park next Saturday, September 15 from 10:00 - 6:00 for Made in Nashville!  Its going to be an awesome event featuring all things local and benefiting the TN Literacy Coalition.

Happy Baking (or decorating!)

Sunday, August 26, 2012

Woodland Cupcakes ~ Part 3

Happy Sunday! This week's post is the last of the Woodland Cupcakes series!  In addition to the owl cupcakes and the robin's egg cupcakes, I also made some toadstool cupcakes.  I think these were my favorite!  They were just so cute!

The colors for the baby shower were brown, green, blue, and ivory.  So, I decided to make blue and brown 'shrooms sitting in green "grass" (icing).

I started by shaping the stems and caps of the toadstools out of colored fondant.

Once those had set up a little bit, I put them together with a little bit of royal icing and added the spots.

Aren't they great?  It looked a little like some Mario video game had descended upon my kitchen with all the toadstools sitting on the table!

Once the cupcakes were done, I piped a swirl of green icing in top and put a couple of toadstools in each one.

Too cute!

And here's the whole set...

Happy baking!

Sunday, August 19, 2012

Woodland Cupcakes ~ Part 2!

Happy Sunday!  I hope you're all enjoying this beautiful day as much as I am!  We've had some wonderful weather in Nashville the last few I'm sitting outside enjoying a delicious homemade lunch of arugula salad with crispy artichoke hearts, hard boiled eggs, and toasted pine nuts, drizzled with a lemon vinegrette....oh and french press coffee...oh so tasty!  

The week's blog features part two of the woodland cupcakes from last week.  The second style they wanted was a bird's nest with pastel blue eggs.

I looked at several websites to find candy eggs, but I wasn't happy with any of them, so I decided to make them myself!

I started with fondant that I colored robin's egg blue, then hand-rolled about 50 tiny eggs.  It took a little bit of practice to get them to look like eggs and not albino blueberries.  The shape isn't as easy as it looks!

Once the eggs had dried overnight, I used a paintbrush dipped in brown food coloring to "splatter" paint the eggs so they looked speckled.  Of course, this speckled my table as well....thank goodness for mr. clean magic erasers!

I had seen several different ideas for making the nest....toasted coconut, piped icing, chow mein noodle haystacks, etc...but my favorite one used shaved looked rustic yet elegant at the same time - perfect for this baby shower.

Since I had to chop some chocolate for the cupcakes too, I decided to go ahead and chop all my chocolate:

It took about an hour, but now all 14 lbs are chopped and ready for any recipe....which has me thinking about what I can make with bittersweet chocolate...hmmm.....maybe that recipe for flourless chocolate cookies I saw on Pinterest...anyway, back to cupcakes!

I piped a swirl of buttercream on each cupcakes, topped them with chocolate shavings, and then nestled a few eggs on each one...

And another shot... 

Stay tuned for some exciting news over the next few weeks!

And follow me on Facebook for a chance to win free cupcakes!  Once I hit 100 followers on Facebook, I'll randomly pick one lucky follower to receive 1 dozen cupcakes.  You can pick the flavor too...caramel macchiato, margartita, strawberry lemonade, or you can be creative and come up with your own specialty!

Happy baking....and eating!  

Sunday, August 12, 2012

Woodland Cupcakes Part 1

Happy Sunday!  Like I mentioned last week, this is apparently the season for baby showers.  But, this week, its cupcakes!  I think these are seriously the cutest cupcakes I’ve ever made!

They were for a woodland themed baby shower.  The client sent me a link to their Pinterest board so I could get some ideas.  There were lots of owl designs, some acorns, burlap, twigs, toadstools, etc.  It was the perfect mix of cute and rustic.  But I didn’t want to just copy one of the cupcakes design they had picked for inspiration, so I sketched a few ideas that I thought captured their theme too.

They ended up picking all three!  So they had a variety of designs which looked fantastic the way they presented them.

The first ones I made were the owl cupcakes.  I used a technique called “flooding.”  Flooding is traditionally used to decorate sugar cookies, but I used it to make two-dimensional designs that would stand up in the icing of the cupcakes.

With the flooding technique, you start by piping a border around your design with royal icing – like the little guy in the middle here:

Then you use a thinner icing to “flood” the design – like all the other owls above.  

Since the second icing is thinner, it flows into the edges of the design and leaves a perfectly smooth finish.  This initial layer of icing needs to dry for at least 12 hours before you add any of the details.  

So, once the brown icing had cured, I added the white for the eyes using the same process: pipe the border, flood the middle.

After the white icing had dried for several hours, I added the green for the owls’ belly.  

But for this part, I didn’t let the green icing dry before adding the blue “feathers” - you can see the blue on the top row.  By piping the blue on top of the green while it was still soft, the blue sinks into the icing and makes it smooth.

Lastly, once everything was set, I added the finishing touches: black dots on the eyes, and the yellow beak and wings. 

Whew!  It took three days to finish the whole process.  

The last step was to add them to cupcakes….these were butter cupcakes with vanilla frosting.

Aren't they just adorable? :)

Next week, I'll show you the robin's egg nest design.  I'm saving the toadstools till last 'cause they're my favorite!

Happy baking!

Sunday, August 5, 2012

Baby Shower Cakes

Happy Sunday!  There must be something in the water around here!  I’ve suddenly gotten several requests for baby shower cakes!

This week’s feature was for a small baby shower hosted by one of my former brides.  She wanted something cute and girly, and the colors were purple and green (which happen to by my favorite colors too!)  So I sketched a few designs: flowers, stripes, or polka dots with a little baby rattle and bow on top.

Like with all buttercream cakes, I started with the "crumb coat".  This first layer of icing is  usually pretty thin - you can even see some of the cake showing through in my picture:

The crumb coat seals in all the crumbs and evens out the sides of the cake so that the final coat of buttercream is perfectly smooth and white:

Now the cake was ready for decorating.  I made some green and purple fondant in a couple of different shades and cut out lots of dots, big and small.  Here's all my leftovers!

Finally I carefully placed all the dots on the cake and laid the rattle and bow on top.

The rattle and bow are handmade out of fondant too...the bow looks almost real, doesn't it :)   

Happy baking!