Sugar: My Final Culinary School Project

I can hardly believe that my time at Le Cordon Bleu has come and gone.  Our final project in class was our sugar piece.  With the freedom we were given in class, I desided to do less of an abstract piece and make a more cohesive design.  For some reason I really wanted to make a bird with a beautiful tail of feathers.  I wasn't really sure how to accomplish this and Chef Smith herself said that she had never made a bird out of sugar before so I was pretty much on my own.  Sugar is tricky because of the temperature at which it must be kept in order to manipulate and form it into the shapes you want.  After three days of experimenting with the materials I finally managed to pull of my design--completing my last project at school.

Blue Bird Sugar Piece

Closer Look at the Faux Flowers

Closer Look at the Feathers

It's on to bigger and better things now.  For the next six weeks I'll be working for The Los Angeles Times food editorial.  Keep posted...


Another Wedding?

Well, not quite.  I haven't stopped baking, friends.  We've been flower making and arranging.

Our Assignment: Create a three-tier fondant wedding cake including at least three wired gum paste flowers.

Winter Wedding Cake

Winter Wedding Cake 2

Winter Wedding Cake 3

Taking a Look Back

Let me take you back to September of this year.  Remember my sister's wedding cake?  Five-tier.  Chocolate Spice Cake.  Buttercream.  Hand designed fondant appliques with intricate royal icing piping to mimic the lace of Penelope's gown.  It was a beautiful cake, but I have to confess--I spent countless hours teaching myself how to do the things I had never done before.  So, needless to say, I was utterly thrilled to be making another wedding cake, only this time, under the direction of a chef instructor.

Ivory and Gold Floral Lace Wedding Cake
24 September 2010

I can get lost for hours creating a design for a wedding cake.  Originally I wanted to do something completely off the wall--a Chinese-themed cake using deep reds and striking oriental flowers.  I would have gone through with it had we been given a bucket of red fondant.  The thought of spending hours dying the pounds of white fondant we were given horrified me, so I decided to stick to the white as my base color.  Desiring a different feel for my fourth wedding cake I decided to use an icy silver and aquamarine combination to complement my base and create a stunning wintery wedding cake.  I made a rough sketch and started on the flowers and filler--white poinsettias, hydrangeas, sweet peas, jasmine, dogwood, rose buds, frosted berries, dusty miller leaves, mini-cattails, and icy twigs.  Now, you're probably thinking--I thought the assignment called for three flowers.  Well, it's true; but I was determined to do it all after taking a trip to Michael's Craft Store and playing around in the silk flower section for who knows how long.

The Flowers

The flowers are no where finished, but I thought I'd snap a handful of pictures to keep you all posted on the progress.  Kudos to those who can recognize all of the flowers.