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Monday, January 14, 2013

The Wedluxe Wedding Show 2013



After all the waiting it finally happened! The long awaited Wedluxe 2013 Wedding show at  
The Fairmont Royal York Toronto 

First wanted to say Thanks for all the planning and hard work by the wedluxe Team. The show was an overwhelming huge success. So much talent and beauty in one space. We were honored to be part of the event and look forward to 2014! 

Here are some shots of our booth. Enjoy! 










All Carpentry and Photos by Alex Castellani (thanks for all your help)

We loosely based our design for the cakes and feel of the booth on the great Marie Antionette and the palace of Versailles. Although the Marie Antionette theme has been done with cake and sweet tables countless times we thought we would take a shot at it, and what better place to try then it the great ballroom at the Royal York Hotel


I was so happy to see half chandeliers hanging on the walls of the ballroom. It matched perfectly with out half cakes in frames on the display. Sarah asked me 4 years ago if we could figure out a way to hang cakes as art. We did it!
We were so happy with the way everything turned out as well as how many sweet couples we got to chat with.

Here are some images we used for our Inspiriation.







Monday, September 3, 2012

Buttercream Cakes Have made a Comeback!!

I am so happy to see buttercream cakes finally making a comeback! 

When I apprenticed at Dufflets many years ago. All of the wedding cakes were buttercream finishes. No Fondant in sight. I feel so lucky to have learned the buttercream basics right from the get go. 

I am hearing more and more couples tell me in consults that many bakeries have warned them against getting a buttercream cake, usually saying they won't hold up as well as fondant cakes. This only holds true for outdoor weddings. A buttercream cake kept on display in an air conditioned room will hold up just as well as a fondant covered cake. The only draw back I see working with buttercream finishes is that your limited to some of the design elements, especially when you want a really colourful cake. 

Buttercream cakes are some of my favourite ones to work on.. They look beautiful, they are yummy, rustic and relaxed. 

Here are a few of my favourite buttercream cakes from this season. 

Enjoy! 








Tuesday, March 6, 2012

What makes a good Cupcake?






I kind of consider myself a bit of a cupcake connoisseur, Having said that, now I can dissect the humble and ever so popular little cake we know as The Cupcake.

Cupcakes generally consist of 3 parts, The cake, the icing and the garnish. For Cupcake wars fans we all know that cupcakes can also consist of a fourth part... a filling. Cupcakes with fillings are not classic cupcakes so we will leave that topic for another day.

The cake portion of a cupcake is no different then the batter in regular cakes. Any cake batter can be scooped into individual paper liners and baked to create a cupcake. Granted some batters lend themselves better to cakes over cupcakes but it is really a matter of taste. I am personally a fan of a buttermilk or a creamed butter batter for vanilla based cupcakes and I prefer a buttermilk or devils food chocolate batter for my chocolate cupcakes. I find that chocolate batters that begin with creaming your butter and sugar don't usually end up being very dark and rich in chocolate flavour, and there is nothing worse than biting into a cupcake that looks like chocolate but tastes like chalk.

Once your batter of choice is in the oven baking be very careful to not OVER BAKE. Cupcakes usually bake for 18 to 25 minutes depending on the batter and your oven of course. Having a cupcake in the oven for over 30 minutes is usually not OK. One exception may be when you cake batter includes fresh or frozen fruit inside. They tend to need a bit more time to bake.

Now that your cupcakes are perfectly baked and cooled. Its time to ice. Classically a cupcake has some kind of frosting on it. In the past few years years as the cupcake has gained popularity so has the variations to what we choose to ice them with. Now a days cupcake can be topped with frosting, buttercreams (either American, Italian or Swiss) Ganaches, meringue, cream cheese based icings, flavoured whip cream, etc. Whatever you choose, keep it all natural and please for the love of god, butter only folks.

Now for the fun and final part.. the garnish. I hear many heated things about sprinkles at the shop, generally kids can't get enough and adults don't mind if you leave them off. Personally I love them. I think cupcakes would be boring without them but I most certainly understand why some people would rather not have them adorne their cupcakes. Some purists don't want anything getting in the way of the smooth creamy texture of the cupcake and on the same note some people like the contrast in texture that sprinkles bring to the table. Again, personal taste.

Lastly, a cupcake should be eaten with your hands, but I understand the need for a fork sometimes. So I don't judge on this point.

P.S. Men are regular buyers of cupcakes at our shop. At times they are just picking them up for a party or for us girls, but occasionally they are buying them to enjoy with a cup of coffee and a fork. Don't Judge.



Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Red Velvet 101

One of the questions I hear the most at the shoppe is what is Red Velvet? What flavour is it and why is it red?

Red Velvet is a type of cake with southern origins from the 20's, ranging in colour from bright red to brownish red. The reddish-brown color of the cake originally was from a reaction of the cocoa powder with an acidic ingredient usually buttermilk, While cocoa powder contains anthocyanins (red vegetable pigments) they are only red in the presence of acids.

If you have ever made red velvet without colour you will understand that this natural process does not produce a very appetizing colour. Hence red food coloring is often added now in the form of a paste for a more dramatic effect. I believe that the red food dye also contributes to the distinct flavour of the cake.

Red Velvet is usually always paired with some version of a cream cheese icing or frosting. But I once read about an illusive tail that back in the 30's it was actually layered and iced with a icing made of flour named Ermine. After doing more research I have learned that Ermine frosting is basically a boiled milk icing, sometimes referred to as “Butter Roux”, although that is not technically correct, since it is not based on a roux. Ermine frosting is simply a different method of making a Butter Cream using the gluten in flour and casein in milk to create a suspension, instead of the albumen in egg whites like Swiss and Italian Butter Cream or an emulsion like the egg yolks in a French Butter Cream… This is all a little technical but I feel its important to understand the roots of the very popular cake. I have yet to try making this type of icing. I understand it does not require refrigeration and has a very smooth, soft and creamy texture.

I'm not sure how we got from this icing to the now loved cream cheese icing that is usually paired with red velvet but my suspicions are that the tang in cream cheese is perfectly paired with this acidic somewhat bland cake. I feel that red velvet cake is just the white sandwhich bread for peanut butter sandwiches. Pair red velvet with a plain vanilla icing or butter Creme and you will understand its just not the same without the cream cheese icing or frosting.


Important dates for Red Velvet Cake
1989: Steel Magnolias grey armadillo groom’s cake with a deep blood red center
2002: Official Wedding Cake of Jessica Simpson and Nick Lachey’s lavish wedding
2007: The Wedding Cake Shoppe adds Red Velvet to their wedding cake and cupcake menu
2010: Red Velvet becomes as popular as Vanilla cake, the most traditional flavour to date*

*Vanilla will always be the yummiest flavour ever discovered to me.

The last thing I wanted to include here is the alternative to adding red food colour to the batter to intensify the red colour of the cocoa powder. Most people have asked me if you can get the same results with beet juice. The answer to this is, no. Adding beet juice will make the cake a darker purplish colour and will make the cake taste a little like, beets. Adding beet puree seems like the best way to add the most intense amount of colour, but you may as well call it beet velvet. Don't get me wrong, I love beets. I'm just a purist. So keep it simple-no colour or colour but save the veggies for carrot cake.

Saturday, August 20, 2011

Harbourfront Fantasy Strawberry Shortcake Competition

We were so excited when we were asked by Harbourfront Center to participate in a live cake decorating competition during there strawberry festival over Canada Day long weekend. The theme was simple. Strawberries. Inside and out. We decided to go with a retro design on the outside and a very traditional vanilla bean cake with a decadent vanilla bean buttercream and tons of fresh sliced strawberries on the inside. So Yummy.

The rules were, you could bring your cake masked and covered due to time constraints. We pre-made half of our sugar hand sculpted strawberries and did the rest live in front of the audience and cameras. Are opponent was Ayoma of Ayoma cake masterpieces.

After an exciting few hours of cake decorating and answering questions from the audience and judges it was finally time to do the tasting and judging portion of the competition. We patiently wait for the winner to be announced and its us!!!.

Thanks so much to everyone at RedPath Sugar for sponsoring the competition and giving us lot of sugar to make our cakes with. We had tons of fun!








Saturday, May 21, 2011

Zoom!

Happy Long Weekend!

Here's a pic of a airplane cupcake we made yesterday.
It's always a fun day when we get to make something special for a client.

Enjoy!

Thursday, May 19, 2011

Our Favourite Floral Cakes

Spring is finally here! Flowers are blooming which means it's the start of wedding season. Here are a few of our favourite floral cakes.