Wednesday, 18 December 2013

My very own cakey fairytale

Once upon a time...
Back in June 2010, my daughter turned 2, her favourite character at the time was Peppa Pig. I decided to make her a special cake. In hindsight it was quite simply a pompous idea. I had never decorated a cake in my life, but I thought 'what the hell' and started. Not understanding you could actually carve a cake flat, and no clue about butter-creaming or ganaching a cake before applying fondant, the horror of my fist cake was done. Here is living proof that my cake was shockingly bad:
Yet through it all, I actually enjoyed myself and set about buying books, researching and practicing. In November 2010 I decided to purchase my domain name in the hopes of being able to make a career from cake making one day.... a girl could dream... right?
Yes, you can have a little laugh at the cake, I know I do, but it was must first one, the one that spiked my curiosity to delve into the world of caking.
Month after month I beavered away trying to improve on my previous cakes and sugar modelling attempts. Many mistakes were made, new materials found and money spent on trying to better myself. I entered my first cake competition 'Cake International' in April 2013 winning a Bronze award for My dragon.
Soon enough life began to spiral away before me eyes, with orders pouring in and the clients becoming more adventurous in their edible choices, my work became bigger, more technical and a lot more fun! Before I knew it my work was being picked up by some amazing people...

Within three years of making and decorating my very first cake I was commissioned to make a Cake for The Walt Disney company. I never in a million years would have thought that I would have the opportunity in working with such a huge entity. I myself believe dreams really can come true if we have the courage to pursue them. On the 9th December 2013 I got to take my cake to The Walt Disney Company, Hammersmith.

This cake for Disney measured 4ft tall and 3ft wide, and in addition to this, the team were so pleased with the cake that Disney UK even Tweeted and Facebooked about it!

Tuesday, 30 April 2013

Learning, dissecting and creating...

Over the past few months I have been taking on a variety of projects, but my main goal has been to learn more about flowers, to in-turn, create more realistic sugar (aka gumpaste) flowers.
First step was the local florist, where I purchased a beautiful mix of fresh flowers. I picked up a fabulous bunch of Ranunculi's', now vastly becoming one of my favourite flowers, Roses, Lisianthus' and hydrangea. First step was dissecting some of these beautiful blooms, studying the petal formation, veins and colour hues. I then proceeded to make some veiners, using two-part silicone! - It is such a fab product. Found the whole process really enlightening.

After making these I then started with a Ranunculus, using oatmeal, shade with edible dust to add texture to the centre formation. I had quickly learned that the Ranunculus petals are much smaller than you would expect so I ended up using a 12mm rose petal cutter for every petal (note: I did not use a larger cutter for the outer petals).

The veiner impressions are ever so slight on the Ranunculus, the hardest part of making these flowers is getting the first few rows of petals to form around the center. Due to even the small petals being larger than the center these are quite easy to get frustrated with. - Persist; persistence and patience is key!
After about an hour, here are the finished flowers -

The next flower I wanted to create was a long term love, the Gardenia. I started this as you would with a rose, a coned center. The petals again are made using various single rose petal cutters and arranged in a different formation. I have notice many sugar artists Gardenia's are verging on a camellia/magnolia/gardenia type hybrids, and I really wanted to tidy it up, and make it bloom and look as a real Gardenia does, so... here is the finished article..

I am in the midst of playing with Hibiscus, Orchid's Frangipani, and Anemones', but these are currently taking a back seat due to the Alice themed wedding cake... due for this weekend :-)
Hand-drawn design - Copyright of Laura Miller (Sweet As Sugar Cakes)

 And a teeny... tiny... sneak peak of the work in progress...


Tuesday, 26 February 2013

I have been exceptionally busy over the past month! - New office premises to run our classes out of and I have had the privilege of teaching 92 students over the past 4 weeks in the new space.
Here are a few of the classes we have been teaching -

And here are the results of some of our students hard work!