Sunday, August 21, 2011

jimmy cakes is on hold

Dear Friends, Followers, and Potential Customers,
I regret to inform you that jimmy cakes will be taking a break for a while as my wife and I prepare for the birth of our first son. Things have gotten pretty hectic around here and it is difficult to try to fit any cakes in. I appreciate your patronage and interest in jimmy cakes. I hope to one day in the near future begin taking orders again!

Thank you all!

Sunday, April 10, 2011

Wine, Art and Weddings!

I really enjoyed getting to do this wedding cake. The reception was held at Lynchburg's Academy of Fine Arts downtown, and it was amazing. The decorations and tables were set beautifully and I was excited that jimmy cakes could be a part of this event. In the foyer, there was an artisan show with various pottery creations mixed right in with the hors d'oeuvres - so cool!

The cake flavors were chocolate raspberry and marble alternating tiers with buttercream icing. The chocolate raspberry tiers also had a vanilla mousse filling. I enjoyed doing this cake and wanted to stay for the reception, as a local jazz band was getting set up for the reception!

Little Boy Blue...

A few weeks ago, I was able to do this cake for a friend's baby shower. The event planner told me that she had purchased some toille fabric which was a light blue for the tablecloth, and they were hoping to incorporate nursery rhymes into the event. I wanted something simple that would transport well (2 hours away) but that would still feed 35 people. I settled on this 12 inch round cake. This is a yellow cake with buttercream icing and filling.

Around the bottom, I wrote out the names of different nursery rhymes to give it a unique touch. I tried to find some that were boy-ish, and tried to space them out correctly (worked pretty well!). This was especially helpful because this cake was definitely tall (I made the layers pretty thick).

On top, I drew out some simple pictures of popular nursery rhymes such as Jack and Jill, Humpty Dumpty, and Hey Diddle Diddle. In the center I piped a monogrammed V for their last name! This cake was fun to do, although I did have to google some nursery rhymes (I couldn't think of enough to go around the bottom!).

Wednesday, March 30, 2011

That's a lot of cupcakes!

This was the largest cake order I have done in my jimmy cakes career, and it was a lot of fun! Hours of measuring, mixing, baking, and decorating produced over 25 dozen cupcakes for this March wedding!

There were four gourmet cupcake flavors - Cookies and Cream, Chocolate Raspberry, Coconut Cream, and Strawberry Cheesecake. These flavors were pretty much created for this particular wedding, as the bride sent me a list of flavors she would like to try. Basically, the bride said that she wanted guests to be able to look at the cupcakes and know what they were picking up.

Above we have a cookies and cream cupcake, which is a vanilla cake with finely crushed Oreos in the batter itself. Topped with plain white icing, some crushed Oreos and a 1/4 Oreo.

Above is a chocolate raspberry cupcake, which is a chocolate cake batter with real raspberry fruit in the batter, topped with buttercream icing and a fresh raspberry.

Above is a coconut cream cupcake, which is a coconut cake with finely chopped coconut flakes in the batter, topped with coconut buttercream icing and freshly toasted coconut flakes.

Above is a strawberry cheesecake cupcake which is actually a cheesecake cupcake with freshly chopped strawberry pieces in the batter, topped with strawberry buttercream and a sliced strawberry.

Saturday, February 26, 2011

Snakes and Snails, and Puppy-Dog Tails - It's A Boy!

Had a lot of fun doing these cupcakes for a baby shower today! These organic vanilla cupcakes were delicious (had to alter my normal recipe slightly to make them organic - which if you know me, changing recipes can be a small 'challenge'). The customer provided me with an invitation to show the colors and design they wanted me to match, and this is what I came up with.

I custom made all the decorations for the toppers out of card stock and scrap-booking supplies I had at my house. This was a cheaper option than making them all edible, and I was able to do more with them because they weren't made out of chocolate or gum-paste... I was really happy with how they turned out.

Valentine's Day = Chocolate!

My office had a staff Valentine's Party last week (post Valentine's Day) and I whipped up these non-cake treats everyone to enjoy. These marshmallow pops are covered in milk chocolate and non-pareils. I had no idea they would taste so deliciously yummy! I was so happy with how they turned out! For those of you health conscious/crunchy folks, you can use organic chocolate chips, and can get all natural marshmallows (I got mine from Whole Foods).

The process was more difficult than I imagined, but not overly complicated - just time consuming. I put the popsicle sticks in the marshmallows, then dipped them in a bowl of melted chocolate chips. Since these were not the normal 'chocolate' wafers you would use for candy, the chocolate was thicker and I had to use a spoon to cover the entire marshmallow. Afterwards, I used the back of the spoon to smooth out the chocolate then put on the red non-pareils right away before the chocolate started to harden. I put them on a wire rack to harden then stuck them in the freezer for a few minutes, but the chocolate hardened around the wires and it was difficult to get off... I think next time I will let them harden on a cookie sheet with parchment paper.

Monday, February 14, 2011

Vroom, Vroom!

I had the opportunity to let my imagination run wild (and it felt like a V-8) for this Cars cake. Combination of portion controlled cupcakes as well as an 8 inch cake made this the perfect combination for a birthday party! I knew I wanted to do something tall, but it had to transport well, as the family was traveling to NoVa for the party. So I wanted most of the cake to be on the base, and make it easy to stack.

I cut out the Cars Logo, the flags and the road sign from gum paste (made the tires that the flags are sticking in from gum paste too), then hand painted the sign and flags with food coloring.

Overall, this cake was SO much fun! I loved doing it and including little details like the traffic cones, and the trophy cupcake. I really had a blast making this cake!

Friday, February 11, 2011

Tut, Tut, Looks like a Shower Cake

This cake was such an experience! Almost a disaster, twice, but it came through! This home-made marble cake with buttercream icing featured hand-piped chocolate figures you can see throughout the photos. I imagined this cake a month ago, and had it all worked out, but it didn't work out quite the way I planned. In the end, it came together, but was probably the second most stressful experience so far!

The tree topper was made from three 6 inch cakes that I shaped and then decorated to look like a tree. I put dowel rods in the tower shape, but disaster #1 happened when the entire thing fell and hit the counter. I had to scrape off the icing and re-decorate it. Then after I fixed it, I brought it out to take pictures, as you see here. Right after I took pictures, I was removing the tree topper to put in a box and the cake slid off and hit the table again. Hence disaster #2. The customer was standing right there when it happened and busted out laughing - which helped alleviate my stress!!!

Since I had to cut out part of the cake, I had to ice cupcakes to make up for some of the missing servings. These cupcakes were a last minute resort, but a cute addition to the cake.

Saturday, January 29, 2011

80 Years Young

My Grandfather turned 80 years young this past weekend, and we had family from all over the country fly in to Richmond, VA to celebrate. While it was wonderful to all gather in Richmond, I forgot how bad the roads on 64 are, and needless to say traveling over 2 hours with a cake in the trunk - amounted to a very stressful ride :) I was afraid to look at the cake when we arrived, but it made it! We had family come from California, Wisconsin, Minnesota and all over Virginia to celebrate this special patriarch!

For the cake itself, I chose Orange Dreamsicle for the top tier, and Choclate Raspberry for the bottom tier - white icing on the outside. The '80' on top were hand piped chocolate that I then sprayed with edible food coloring to make them silver, and I used wire and a thick dowel rod to make the swirly things. The theme of the cake centered around my Grandfather's life. All the symbols were pictures that represented parts of his life. On the front I included an Air Force symbol - as my Grandfather served in the Korean War, and the symbol for the Mason's which my Grandfather has been an active part of for many decades.

On the top right you can see the shape of Wisconsin, which is where he was born and raised and where most of his family now resides. Below you see a motorhome trekking across the country, which he and my Grandmother did a few years ago.

Towards the back of the cake I drew a wrench - as my Grandfather was a mechanic for majority of his career, and a shamrock for his Irish roots - McDonough after all is undeniably Irish!

Lastly, I included a block of cheese - as he is a avid Green Bay Packer's fan, a fish to represent one of his favorite pass-times, and Virginia which is where he has spent the second half of his life and where he resides.
This cake was so much fun to do, and I had many more ideas of pictures to put on the cake which I forgot when I was actually decorating it. The cake was a huge hit and SO delicious!

Anticipation and Beyond

Laurie Flower of Anticipation and Beyond hired me to create customized treats for some potential customers. These carrot-cake cupcakes were made from scratch, as all jimmy cakes' cakes are, and were topped with buttercream icing. I piped out white chocolate squares by hand, then once they hardened, I flipped them over and piped her logo out onto each one. Voila! - a customized marketing 'favor' for potential businesses and customers (and these are tastier than paperweights or letter openers!).