Posts filed under 'Whimsical'
Laptop Cupcakes – cupcakes topped with edible miniature laptops. Price available upon request.
geeks love cupcakes, too!
I had everything ready. Three dozens of New York-style blueberry cheesecakelettes, boxed and ready to be picked up by a client. And then came the rain that wreaked havoc on Metro Manila and submerged parts of it in knee-deep to neck-deep floods. There wasn’t even a typhoon, just monsoon rains gone wild. Long story short: client did not pick up the cheesecakelettes as scheduled and didn’t even bother to call for cancellation which would have been fine by me. I thought maybe her area got flooded. Or something grim happened because she wasn’t answering her phone—I just hope not. Or maybe … oh well. At least my family’s tummies were sated!
What further lifted me out of the doldrums was this order from A._ who asked me if I can make a cake and cupcakes for her boyfriend’s birthday. I remembered that around the same time last year, A._ ordered Ebony and Ivory cupcakes (version 1 and version 2) for this boyfriend. Hmm, that’s one lucky chap!
A._ didn’t have a theme yet and my design suggestions included a star, moustache, chocolate curls and sports-related toppers. A._ told me the boyfriend is on the “geeky” side so perhaps a laptop or tablet design is apt? She also sent me a caricature of the birthday boy. After some research, I decided to make edible laptop toppers for the cupcakes and the caricature for the cake.
Of course the edible miniature laptop must be a Macbook! I have been a Mac addict since I started working for a business newspaper after college—the newsroom only used Macs. When I moved to another job, I was fortunate to have a Mac as my work computer. Naturally, I bought my first computer from Apple.
These toppers gave me a hard time but being a glutton for punishment *wink* *wink*, I carried on. I used chocolate modelling “clay” (from Rose Levy Beranbaum’s recipe) as I am averse to fondant. I was tempted to use marzipan but A._ was on a tight budget. The chocolate worked so well and after several laptop toppers later, I got the hang of making them. Do I put the logo or not? I thought about it hard but in the end, I could not resist, so there.
And the cake looked like this:
I was worried that the laptops might become “unhinged” while in transit. Fortunately, everything was in good condition come party time, as A._ said.
I thoroughly enjoyed this challenging project and I was truly overjoyed when A._ later reported that everyone loved the treats—sweet! Thanks, A._ for not forgetting.
September 6th, 2012
Mickey Mouse in Steamboat Willie Cake and Cupcake Project – cake decorated with the iconic image taken from the animated movie “Mickey Mouse in Steamboat Willie”. Accompanied by cupcakes with Mickey and Friends toppers made of chocolate. Price available upon request.
I have had lots of inquiries about a Mickey Mouse-themed cake but sadly those would-be projects never pushed through. I bought a Mickey and friends chocolate mold so I will be ready in case someone inquires. And then R._ came along.
Her baby was about to turn one and the party’s theme was the vintage “Mickey Mouse in Steamboat Willie.” Finally! Out came the chocolate molds from our cabinet, yipee! R._’s one request: can the cake be banana or carrot so her son can eat it? Hmm, this baby surely knows what he wants!
As with my usual method, I made the cake topper with chocolate. R._ wasn’t too particular whether the topper is standing or not. I thought it would be better if it was a lay-on because the finished image was fragile. I added a white chocolate background frame to make the image pop. It did more than that—it gave it a rather 3D look.
Making the letters using the Disney fonts was challenging. Several letters broke before I got the hang of making them. Come decoration day, more got shattered! I started over again and changed the color from red to yellow which really worked well.
R._ was kind enough to share photos from the happy celebration. She later told me that everyone loved the banana cake and cupcakes. In her exact words: “The cake and cupcakes got so much raves, impressed sila (guests were impressed)! And so yummy pa!”
Thanks, R._ for letting Sublime Sweets be part of your special event. Thanks also to my cousin J._ who was our common connection. As shown in one of the photos below, there is a vintage Mickey Mouse figurine beside the cake. J._painted it!
July 17th, 2012
Despicable Me Cake Project – cake decorated with edible minions from the movie “Despicable Me.” Price available upon request.
of minions and men
My good friend and former classmate L._ commissioned me to do a cake and cupcakes for her daughter’s birthday with “The Hunger Games” as theme. I began crafting a mockingjay out of marzipan as cupcake topper but L._’s daughter changed her mind and decided to just serve pizzas to her friends on her birthday. Instead, L._ asked me to do a cake for her son who was graduating from high school. The theme this time was “Despicable Me.” Her son wanted the minions as decorations. Hmm, methinks this family is movie crazy; and I mean that in a good way!
I have spare marzipan from a project gone kaput so I was happy that this will be put to good use. Since the cake was a graduation gift, L._ suggested that the minion be garbed in graduation toga and cap while holding a diploma. I said yes to the cap and diploma, no to the toga because it will hide the minion’s distinct costume. L._ agreed.
L._ was with her entire brood when I met up with her as I delivered the cake. There was D. _, the man of the hour, looking all grown up. I once made his birthday cake when he was not yet a teenager and now he is heading to college! Harry Potter was new back then so naturally the cake I made for him had Harry riding his Nimbus 2000 and chasing the golden snitch. How time flies. Or as English poet and essayist Henry Austin Dobson said, “Alas, time stays, we go.” How true.
This was a fun and challenging project. Even my niece and nephews gave their stamp of approval upon seeing the finished cake. Congratulations D._ and good luck as you embark on this exciting chapter of your life!
And now on queue: a cake for L._’s daughter who is graduating from middle school this June. Her theme? A 9GAG meme. Challenge accepted!
April 18th, 2012
Ladybug Cupcakes – red velvet cupcakes decorated as whimsical ladybugs, with cream cheese frosting tinted red and dark chocolate ganache. Price available upon request.
I just succumbed to the latest cupcake trend that is red velvet. I found a recipe that I liked, baked it and got positive feedback from those who tasted the cupcakes.
After I posted the photo of my Red Velvet cupcakes in my Facebook page, one of my classmates in elementary contacted me. My batch was having a post-Christmas party and the themes were red and black and ladybugs. M._ asked if I can decorate my red velvet cupcakes as ladybugs. Sure, I said, no problem. I was happy to oblige.
I tinted the cream cheese red. The “black” head was dark chocolate ganache. The spots, as well as the eyes were chocolate chips. The smiley mouth was also made of chocolate. I thought about putting antennae but M._ and I agreed that the ladybugs were fine sans the appendages.
The cupcakes were to be giveaways and the most cost effective packaging available were the dome-shaped plastic packaging. Lined up atop a table, the ladybug cupcakes looked like an army of little aliens wearing space helmets, waiting to be sucked inside their mother ship!
Unfortunately, I wasn’t able to stay and join in the festivities. Word was that everyone enjoyed their dessert. Some of my classmates told me even their children enjoyed the whimsical treats. Thanks M._ for lobbying for my cupcakes!
March 16th, 2012
Movie Night Cake and Cupcake Project – edible film reel cake, complete with clapperboard and mini popcorn bucket while accompanying cupcakes have an assortment of movie-themed toppers: movie ticket, star and popcorn. Price available upon request
a night in hollywood
I admit—I am a certified movie buff. But the weird thing is I now seldom go to the cinemas. Most of the movies I have seen were the ones I watched from the comfort of our home and in this age of modern technology, the internet.
When I was a young child, my parents used to bring me and my siblings to the movie theater. They are big fans of Dolphy. We also watched big Hollywood productions like King Kong and MacArthur but the movies that certainly made an impact on my young mind were these two classics: Ganito Kami Noon, Paano Kayo Ngayon by Eddie Romero (though I was too young to understand its social relevance, I was mesmerized by the film’s setting and the ensemble of fine actors of Philippine cinema—Leopoldo Salcedo, Eddie Garcia, Gloria Diaz, a youngish Christopher de Leon and a much-younger Dranreb) and The Omen starring Gregory Peck (because the frightening images are still embedded in my mind until now. Really).
I could go on discussing my favorite movies but this isn’t a blog on movies. So on to the cake and cupcake project! More on movies later!
When E._ sent me photos of cakes with old Hollywood as theme, I immediately wanted to make a film reel cake. The first challenge for me was how to make an edible film strip. I thought of using edible wafer paper but having the film strip printed by a third party wasn’t cost effective. Chocolate to the rescue! I used the chocolate method as described in one of the books I own, The Whimsical Bakehouse: Fun-to-Make Cakes That Taste as Good as They Look.
It was a tedious project that I fully embraced. Masochist, I am. Tell me a baker who isn’t!
I had to work quickly because the chocolate film strip would harden quickly as soon as it came in contact with the cold ganache coating of the cake. If it hardened while still not in its proper position, I have to remove it and recoat the cake. Fortunately no mishaps like that happened, thank goodness.
Next challenge was the clapperboard. It was still made of chocolate but to reinforce it I sandwiched a cracker biscuit in between the chocolate. Writing the text sure wasn’t a cakewalk and to my consternation our microwave oven broke down! I melt my chocolates in the microwave because it is faster than the double boiler method. But with the setback, I had no choice but to bring out the double boiler. Doing the clapperboard became a long, arduous process. I was able to get things right on my second attempt. A delicious reward: I ended up eating the failed clapperboard.
Good thing I was able to make the cupcake toppers before the microwave conked out. The chocolate stars were brushed with edible gold dust and the silver balls are dragees. The movie ticket was made of chocolate of course. The popcorn were marshmallows, pinched and cut and painted with yellow food color.
The cake was devil’s food chocolate filled and covered with dark chocolate ganache. The cupcakes were of the same flavor and frosting.
Just a few hours before pick up, I took the cake out for some photos. Horror of horrors, the perfectly made clapperboard cracked, with a massive fissure right in the center! I only had an hour to fix the situation and start anew but with the microwave not working, I thought I would not be able to finish the new clapperboard on time. So, was I able to pull it off?
YES! I completed it in the nick of time. And the best thing was the text message I got from E._ after their celebration: “Thank you so much for the wonderful cake and cupcakes, you did great! We really love them. Two thumbs up!”
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the movie(s) in my mind
I really love watching the classics that’s why I love the MGM channel. My all-time favorite is Some Like it Hot with Marilyn Monroe, Jack Lemmon and Tony Curtis. I’ve become a Jack Lemmon fan since and I was delighted to catch three more of his earlier movies: The Apartment, Irma la Douce, and Avanti. When I saw the t-shirt below being sold in SM, I grabbed it (after jumping for joy). It is now one of my wardrobe staples.
As I wrote earlier, I was scared out of my wits by The Omen when I watched it and I wasn’t even 10 years old at that time. However, there are several frightening movies that I was able to survive as I got older. After watching The Thing (starring Kurt Russell), I could not touch our dog for a week. I still remember the face peeling scene in The Poltergeist. I watched the original Japanese version of Ju-on: The Grudge and even if the movie was so scary, I was transfixed. Once when I was going up the stairs from my sister’s dark basement, I suddenly remembered a scene from that movie where the corporeal form of the ghost of the murdered wife was crawling down the stairs. I laughed a little because I thought that if that ghost were to follow me at that moment, she would have to do so in reverse! That thought sure eased my fear!
There are three horror movies that I so love because they are not hair-rising scary: (1) the original version of Let the Right One In, a story of friendship between two children who are social outcasts, one a vampire and the other a bullied boy; (2) Shaun of the Dead, about a zombie outbreak in London, and (3) The Lost Boys, a hip vampire flick starring Kiefer Sutherland, Jason Patric and the late Corey Haim. Memorable line: “Death by stereo!”
Just a warning, if you click on the links above, you will be taken to clips of the scenes I described. If you are one of the faint-hearted, you better ignore those link. But then again … *evil laugh*
On the local front, my favorites that I’ve watched are Lino Brocka’s Kapit sa Patalim and Maynila; Mike de Leon’s Kisapmata, Manny Reyes’s Dreaming Filipinos and Doy del Mundo’s Pepot Artista. I know I should watch more Pinoy films but as far as I’m concerned, they don’t make movies like they used to. *sigh*
March 11th, 2012