Wedding | Sara & Cale in Saratoga

| Weddings


This is an incredibly belated post, so let’s call this a #FlashbackFriday remembrance of a beautiful Labor Day Weekend wedding at Villa Montalvo at the Montalvo Arts Center in Saratoga, CA. The bride’s aunt made the wedding cake, so the special request here was for an ombre macaron tower to match the black and white theme for the wedding.

From top down, we have vanilla bean, black sesame, Earl Grey ganache, and cookies & cream macarons. I’m thrilled to share these beautiful photos from Jessica Miriam Photography. What an honor for the macaron tower to get its very own dining room feature!

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Happy 2017!

| For Friends & Family

After a brief hiatus from blogging, we’ll be catching up on a busy event season at the end of 2016, and featuring an upcoming flurry of events this month. Thanks for standing by, and can’t wait to share some highlights with you all!

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Birthday | Five Little Monkeys

| Birthdays


It seems like just yesterday we were baking for Roxana and Al’s baby shower. Now the baby is celebrating its first birthday! Oh, how time flies.

The birthday party theme was based on the Five Little Monkeys Jumping on a Bed nursery rhyme. While I didn’t grow up with that song, there are plenty of cute videos on Youtube and lots of photos online of cakes based on that theme. It was a fun to imagine and create my own version. I don’t typically make fondant decorated cakes, but I enjoyed the challenge!

For this cake, I made a buttermilk vanilla cake, with lemon curd and vanilla buttercream filling. All of the decor was made with fondant, with tiny amounts of royal icing where needed to glue items together. I switched to the higher quality Carma Massa Ticino Tropic fondant for most of my work on this cake, using Les Chocolats Roxy & Rich Fondust (amazing stuff if you haven’t tried it before) to color the dark brown and orange. Carma fondant is much more malleable and moist than, say, Satin Ice fondant, making it more forgiving and less prone to elephant skin, and thus providing a longer time window to work with. In retrospect, I probably would use Satin Ice or something stiffer for the monkeys so that they hold shape better (without any sag), but I made the monkeys a few days in advance and was able to have them dry enough for assembly.


The flooring is a fondant covered cake board, scored to give detail to individual wood planks and wood grain. I then painted them with black, brown and gray petal dust (mixed with Everclear). The natural pooling and wetness of the paint helped create the wood grain colors, and made the flooring a lot easier to accomplish than I originally imagined. The headboard for the bed was the same idea.


With stiffer fondant, I might have attempted a monkey doing a headstand, but with the Carma fondant, I settled for 4 sitting monkeys and 1 standing (which required overnight drying before assembly of parts).



One of my favorite details on this cake is the underside of the quilted comforter, which was a windowpane design painted onto white fondant.


Et voilà!


For the baby’s smash cake, I made a banana cake, using honey instead of sugar, and frosted with honey-sweetened Greek yogurt. With a monkey face of course 🙂


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