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Everything posted by joshalow

  1. I haven't posted in a while. I moved down to So. Florida to be the full time cake designer for a high end events/catering company in Miami. The pastry chef was making $85,000. at this company. The baker was making $60,000. My salary was between theirs. We were all full time, salaried employees. Despite the salary, I left the company- many reasons, one being the working conditions, and many unfulfilled promises to provide good working conditions, etc. The pastry chef moved across the country- the only one left is the baker. The turnover is very high at this company despite the salaries. I am much happier now even if I make much less than I was there.
  2. Thank you for your response. I really appreciated it. I got a Bronze medal for my wedding cake]My entry I expected the judges to cut into my cake to taste it, but they didn't although the one judge stated that I should have cut out a slice, or have another cake to the side with slices cut out for them to taste. I took it for granted they would do the cutting themselves Overall, I enjoyed the experience.
  3. I've signed up to compete in the cake competition (only the cake competition) at the ACF's convention coming up in Orlando next week. It is my first time competing at this specific event. I have been looking, without much success, for info on the net about it, ie. others' experiences, so I can have an idea of what to expect. Any advice, or information about what to expect would be greatly appreciated. TIA
  4. The article I mentioned from the American Cake Decorating magazine, suggest using Ulano TZ/CL emulsion because it is food safe.
  5. Thanks Lloyd for sharing these tips. This is something that I've been interested in for a long time, and had been searching for information on how to make the transfer sheets using a silk screen. A friend sent me copies of an article that appeared in the May/June 2003 issue of the American Cake Decorating magazine that has step by step pictures and instructions for making your own silk screen transfer sheets. Unfortunately, I haven't had the time to start playing around with it, but would love to work on this someday.
  6. I like her mousseline buttercream recipe as well. I use it all the time, mixed with fruit fillings for the fillings for my cakes. It makes such a light filling! I also use her ganache recipe. Like others, I like the banana cake with the sour cream ganache.
  7. No problem DiH No offense taken- Hopefully I can get the problem fixed with the website soon.
  8. I've seen that site before somewhere. I remember it cuz none of the pictures enlarge for me when I click on the thumbnails. It must be using some pretty fancy schmancy coding that's written for the minority rather than the majority of computer users. All this to say that if it doesn't work for some of you, it's nothing that you're doing wrong. Di ← It's my website- and unfortunately, since I am not a web designer, it still has some quirks that need working on. I find if I click on the cakes from the top left corner and go "in order" from left to right, top to bottom, the pictures open up. I used javascript on that effect, but have no idea why that is happening. If anyone knows how to fix that problem, I'd greatly appreciate any suggestions. I e-mailed a contact who designs websites for help and never got any response, so now I have to find someone else who might be willing to work on getting the quirks out of my site, that is if I can't fix it myself. Here's my old site with pictures that open up easily if you want to see examples of the writing done with the cutters. There is actually an example of writing on the side of a cake, done with larger cutters.
  9. Thanks for the suggestion Kris- I'll have to add it to the FAQ page.
  10. Another, real easy way to do writing on the side of the cake is by using alphabet cutters and gumpaste or a 50/50 gumpaste/fondant. There are some nice cutters avaiable. Hereare some examples of some cakes (blue baby cake and anniversary cake beside it) with writing done using the cutters (although the examples are not on the sides )
  11. My thoughts as to how it's done, is that a bottom piece of fondant/chocolate clay has been placed on the bottom, to create the bottom flap. That piece, along with the other 3 sides have been cut into a V shape, probably before draping the fondant over the cake, so that you don't have the excess fondant folded underneath it, as you would when wrapping a present. HTH LEt us know how it goes, and what you did.
  12. In a way, I do have to agree with the others- you may want to reconsider making your own cake. I made my own wedding cake (along with my dress, invitations, favors, etc- everything except for the food, which I left to real chefs, and the flower bouquets.) I already had experience making wedding cakes, and gumpaste flowers, so that was not an issue. My regret with making my wedding cake is that it took away from precious time that I could have spent with family and friends who came days before the wedding, or doing the things that many brides do before a wedding. I had to make sure my wedding cake was done on the Friday night and delivered to the reception hall since we had an early, semi-formal wedding on the Sat. Although at times I think I might have someone else do my wedding cake, if I had to do it over again, I do still think I'd probably would end up doing it myself anyways, simply because I like doing those kinds of things. Everyone has given you some great suggestions- the cupcakes are so popular and so easy. Purchasing gumpaste flowers instead of having to learn how to make them is much easier as well, although learning how to make the gumpaste flowers is a lot of fun! There are even kits being sold to make "replicas" of designer cakes- there was a recent thread about this. Steve's suggestions about rustic, out of the box looking cakes is a good one. Here are a couple of suggestions for some, easy out of the box cakes: This one is simply made with edible wafer paper, cut in triangles and attached to the cake with royal icing. If you like chocolate, there are chocolate cigarettes, available already made, which make for an interesting, easy to decorate cake. Here are some example of some cakes done with the chocolate cigarettes. You may want to consider making the cakes ahead of time and freezing them- gives you more time than making them last minute. You may also want to consider having 2-3 separate cakes (on their own stands, etc.) instead of having the cakes stacked, so that you don't have to deal with stacking and the support issue. If you do decide to make your own cake, doing some practice runs with it before hand, having everything you need, and more- available when putting it together, may help you get through it easier. Best wishes for your upcoming marriage!
  13. Thank you so much for posting all these beautiful cakes! I've really enjoyed looking at them all. Wow! There are sooo many I like!!! Are these cakes going to be featured in Brides magazine? !
  14. The Mousseline Buttercream recipe in The Cake Bible says it can be left at room temp for 2 days. I use that a lot, mixed with different fruit fillings, and it's very nice. The regular ganache recipe (in the Cake Bible) also can be left at room temp for 3 days.
  15. I lived in Spain for a year, so I had things there I had never had before, nor after. One was pig's brains, also pig's lungs, and pig's cheeks. I was offered iguana, but I grew up in Puerto Rico, where iguanas ran in our backyard, so I couldn't bring myself to eat it. I saw people, in Spain, eating chicken's feet, bull's testicles, baby eels, and garden snails- I couldn't bring myself to eat any of those. I also have had tripe and emu.
  16. Ooooh! I wish I was closer so I could go see all the incredible cakes! Have a great time and take lots of pictures (at least 50 ) Looking forward to seeing the pictures!
  17. I too make my fondant, and add the colors right into the liquid mixture before mixing it into the sugar- no kneeding it in as bkeith said. That's a great idea, though bkeith, of using the airbrush color in place of the water- I'll have to give that one a try. Thanks for sharing that tip. I do like the Americolor gels that Deborah mentioned. Their black and their red are incredible. If using another food color/paste, I will use a bit of other colors, such as brown, purple and blue along with the black so that I don't have to use soo much of the black.
  18. If I remember correctly, Gail has actually been offering those kits for quite some time now- and she has had several cakes featured, in bridal magazines- which makes me wonder why she needs to offer the kits, except for the fact that she probably got lots of inquiries about purchasing just the flowers, and saw it as another buisness opportunity. I don't know, if it works for her, more power to her. I do wonder really how many of these kits she has sold- especially after hearing the price of the kits. Also considering the fact that people can easily purchase ready made gumpaste flowers, for considerably less, from other sources.. When most brides opt to make their own cake, it's usually because they want to save the money it would cost them to get a cake made by a professional (and because the majority think that it is quite simple to make a wedding cake ). I do believe that there are talented people out there, that simply are "good" at whatever they try to do, and even if they are not professionally trained, or experienced at making a wedding cake, are able to pull off a wedding cake that is suitable for them. "Suitable" is the difference here- some people are happy with varying degrees of work in cakes, and have no clue or somehow are not able to discern the difference between high quality workmanship and one of a lesser degree of workmanship. For some people, unfortunately, a cake is simply a cake, and not a piece of art, as many of us may look at them- and so they are usually very happy with the wedding cake they have made- even if it may not meet our standards. As someone has said already, I do wonder why she would want her name associated with a cake that may not truly reflect the beauty of her cake creations. But, we all do things differently, and for different reasons, whether we agree or not. I have people contacting me for my gumpaste flowers, figurines, and even the blown sugar bubbles, but I don't sell any of them separately from my cakes- but that's just me. I wonder if she has a disclaimer with the kit stating that she can not be held responsible if the cake does not resemble the one in the picture/kit? I did make my own wedding cake 11 years ago, and although I was pleased with it, now that I know many more talented cake artists/chefs, if I had to do it all over again, I probably would choose to enjoy the week before my wedding, and call on one of them to make my cake for me (But, then on the other hand, it was a "challenge" of sorts for me, to make my own wedding cake, along with all the other things I made for my wedding- but then I did already have experience at making wedding cakes, gumpaste flowers, etc.)
  19. It's adorable Tepee! Wonderful work!
  20. Beautiful cakes everyone!! Tepee, the teapot is just adorable- well the whole setting is too. Wonderful work as always! Wendy, the shoes are just incredible! Wow! What a site it must have been to see all those beautifully created chocolate shoes! Incredible to think someone would take a bite from one! JSkilling, both of your cakes are just lovely! Your daughter must have been thrilled with the castle and the present cake, and flowers are simply elegant! BKeith- beautiful cake as always, and it sounds delicious!
  21. Thanks Wendy - I do agree with you as well. I don't have any problems with other decorators or brides who want to print off pictures or save them to their files, and use the cakes as a resource. I enjoy looking at tha amazing work that is out there on websites, etc. This case was a "wedding coordintaor" who had a "Cake store" on her website, and had posted 22 of my pictures in her cake store, without waiting for my consent, and without even giving any indication as to who had made these cakes. She used other cakes from other people as well, without their permission either. Although she promised and promised, she didn't remove the pictures. If she had given a link, and given credit to the decorators, making it more of a resource for her potential clients, I wouldn't have had an issue with it. I had placed a watermark on some of my pictures before, and even that didn't stop her from using one of the pictures on a website that offers a cake gallery for decorators, under her name (although it had my name across the bottom of the picture ). I like to expect the best from others as well, unfortunately, it seems there are some people out there who don't live by the same rules. I agree with Curly Sue and BrownSugar as to the influence of the website for business. I get the majority of my clients through the internet, many of them are from out of town, etc. A lot of the brides do their shopping at lunch time, late at night, or while at work. It is really an amazing advertising medium- and it much cheaper than having to place ads, etc.
  22. Thank you everyone for visiting my website and for your kind words!. You're all so kind! The thing with my website now is to take the time and get larger pictures in it. (Maybe I should also do something so that nobody can "steal" another 22 pictures like what just happened with my old site ). Also have to figure out why some visitors to the site can't open up the thumbnails- unfortunately I don't know enough about it.) I've tried asking some on FP message boards, but can't seem to get a reason for it happening other than some may not have java turned on. Anyways, Thanks again everyone. Achevres, I am in Ontario, Canada.
  23. Thanks everyone. Thanks for visiting my site and for the input as to the larger pictures. I'm not the best at designing webpages- first one, and probably the last (I won't consider yet a 3rd career move here ) but I appreciate your input. I had noticed some of the pictures aren't as clear as they could be, considering they are digital- I think I got the size wrong for the space they are opening up into, so I'll be going back, slowly, and fixing up the problem. Hopefully then I can have them open up into a larger picture.
  24. I haven't posted in a while- have been busy with family , and designing a new website. After years of not having my own domain, I figured it was time to get one and update my website. I finished it this week and published it a few days ago. To visit it's at: Sharon's Cake Art There's a wedding cake gallery, birthday and special occasion cakes, cookies, and a gallery on some of my gumpaste figurines, flowers, blown sugar bubbles and pastillage castles. TIA
  25. I make the majority of my cakes from scratch. But, recently I have tried 2-3 doctored cake mix recipes- one is a Strawberry cake and they are good. I'll use a cake mix for cupcakes unless I want chocolate cupcakes- then I just use my regular scratch chocolate cake recipe because it is soo easy and soo good.
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