Sacramento County Fair 2012

Well I am back again for another try at the Sacramento County Fair. This year I am entering two cakes in the decorated cakes competition, and one in the tasted cakes competition. I was thinking that maybe if there was more than one cake in the competition the judge might be nicer, but then again, I don't think last year's judge is back again this year. Last year I entered this cake (which was recently featured on Cake Wrecks: Sunday Sweets), and even though there were no other entries, I was awarded second place. I really hope that does not happen again.

So here they are:

I learned how to do brush embroidery a few years ago, but I haven't had much of a chance to use it. To tell the truth, this is the first time I have done it using royal icing (I have always done it in buttercream). I read a tip that if you add piping gel to the royal icing it doesn't dry as fast and makes brush embroidery easier. It worked great and I really love how it came out!  

My second cake was mostly fondant work:

Most of the fondant pieces were hand cut since I didn't have a cutter for many of the shapes. All the dots are piped using royal icing.  I love these colors and the little tiny dots everywhere really made the design come to life. 

My last cake is not much to look at, but it is my entry in the tasted cakes competition for multi-layer, from scratch cakes:

This is my very own creation, a Caramel Apple Pie Cake! It is a spice cake brushed with caramel and filled with homemade apple pie filling and then iced in a caramel icing. I think this is one of the best cakes I have ever made. I make lots of desserts and I think I am a pretty good pastry chef (I think my family and friends would agree), so my husband is used to me making pretty good tasting stuff. However when I shoved a sample bite into his mouth, his eyes actually rolled back into his head and he wobbled a bit. Yeah. It was that good. I have high hopes for this cake.

I couldn't resist making a little fondant apple to go on top. I hope the judges appreciate it!

So there they are, my trio of cakes for the fair this year.  Now I just have to wait for the results. Waiting is always the hardest part! Which is your favorite?

Cub Scouts - The End of Another Year!

Last year my son started in Cub Scouts. It has been an amazing adventure for both of us and it is hard to believe that the first year is over and he is graduating to the next level! As we were planning the end of the year event, the Cubmaster for Pack 402 asked me if I would make a cake for the barbeque celebration. I asked him if there was a theme or if he had any ideas, and he said no, but maybe something with the ranks or something we did this year, or whatever... and by the way it needs to feed 200.

Ok, go it, go big.  So I took all of his ideas and threw them onto one cake, and added a few ideas of my own! 

So, starting from the top:
The Cub Scout logo, and our Pack's catch phrase and logo.
All the rank badges were hand-made on gum paste squares.  I used edible markers to draw the logos and pedal dusts for the colors. I piped the Fleur-de-lis and gold borders in royal icing. 
At the bottom I included some of the highlights of the year. I am pretty partial to the rock climbing guy on the right.

I had to include a box of popcorn since our Pack sold an incredible amount of popcorn at the beginning of the year (something like $36,000!).  All the popcorns were made out of marshmallows and chocolate fondant. I think that was my favorite part.

In the end, the bottom two tiers were just shy of 8" tall each, and the whole thing was just over 2 feet tall! Each tier was actually two cakes stacked on top of each other, and if I had separated them more distinctly it would be a 6 tier cake, which would be the biggest I have done yet I think.

Everyone had a great time and I am so very proud of all of the boys that worked so hard this year and received their rank badges! Congratulations to everyone!

I'm on Cake Wrecks!

I never thought I would say that and it would be a good thing, but just yesterday one of my cakes was featured on their Sunday Sweets edition!  If you are not familiar with Cake Wrecks, well, where have you been? You have to check them out, the wrecks are amazing and completely hilarious.  But while many professional cake decorators would cringe to find that their cake has been featured during the week, there is an exclusive part of Cake Wrecks to which many decorators aspire: Sunday Sweets. This edition of Cake Wrecks is put out once a week and features non-wreck, completely amazing, work-of-art kind of cakes.

This past weekend they featured cakes that exhibited Vintage Elegance and the cake I made for the CCCSAS show last year was included!  To be honest, when I first found out I screamed for a bit, and then I think I babbled incoherently for awhile. It was the most amazing feeling! Then I noticed that just four cakes down from mine was a cake by Ron Ben-Israel! and then Art and Appetite!  I can only dream of being as great as those guys, but to be on the same page as them is an incredible honor and I will savor it for a long time to come.

I also feel quite vindicated as this cake received second place in a competition with no other entries, so Pppfffttt! to the judge of that competition!

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Sacramento, California, United States
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