Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Stiletto Shoe cakes, classes and fresh starts

So I've spent my evening going through Google Reader and unsubscribing from any and all blogs that haven't been updated in over 6 months. I'm finicky about icons on my phone, and can't stand when those little numbers sit there taunting me and telling me I have 19 emails to read, 2 texts to check, 3 apps to update, or - worse - OVER 1000 blog updates to read. So I decided it was time for a cleanup.

UNFORTUNATELY - one of the blogs on the list was mine! (Yes, I follow my own blog to make sure everything's laid out correctly when I share it, I promise I don't count myself when celebrating my reader success!) So having now successfully cleaned up and categorized my Google Reader (nerd, I know) it seems like it is now well and truly time to get the Stiletto Studio Cakes blog back on its photo sharing feet. Starting right now, just over a year since the Mr Men cake I shared last October, and now with a full-time business, successful cake decorating classes, two expos, and an engagement under my belt, I have lots to share!

But then, that's a LOT to take in in one single blog entry. So let's start somewhere simpler.

As a result of my stall at the Womens Lifestyle Expo in August this year, I (finally) have an explanation for my business name! 

For those of you who don't know me personally, I'm a shoe fanatic, and I'm regularly asked - why "Stiletto Studio"? (Why not, I say? but anyway). 
Hard to explain without going into specific shoe-obsession details, but NOW, I can just say 


 That's why.

Based very loosely on this gorgeous cake originally by Elite Cake Designs (I think - I've actually seen it various places, so do let me know if it was originally by someone else!) this was easily one of the most stressful and finicky experiences of my life

I like to think I have a pretty high tolerance and patience threshold when it comes to the finer joys of cake decorating - individually striping 300 sugar bees - no problem! wrist-achingly piping 4 tiers of buttercream roses on a wedding cake (before awkwardly sticking my knee into it trying to manoeuvre it from trolley to stand at the Wellington Wedding Show) no problem!
But WAITING - waiting is not a gift of mine, and this gorgeous specimen of a shoe required me to sufficiently stuff it with paper towels and cotton balls and wads of glad wrap, shape it how I wanted it, and WALK AWAY, hoping for the best

Needless to say, I did not wait anywhere NEAR long enough for the shoe to actually support those lovely loops of red sparkly sugar, and the whole thing collapsed on me a number of times during construction. But that aside (and who's looking that closely anyway, right?) I was pretty excited with how it turned out - and so were the 100's of Wellington Women who asked me to make them one!

Since then, I have started teaching a Stiletto Shoe cake and cakebox class - with a simpler and less stressful shoe! - and sugar shoes are quickly becoming my new favourite thing. Since this one, I've done LOTS of different heels (including a hand painted leopard print one that just about made my year) and lots of women have been through my class and taken away their own sugary heeled masterpieces.

Like this amazing shoe and shoebox made by a COMPLETE beginner!

June it was such a pleasure to have you and your Mum along, and I STILL get comments about your gorgeous cake! Can't wait to have you along again soon.

Well, I feel like that is enough of an update for now - it's been a year, best not totally slam your caking senses after so long. If you'd like to learn how to make your OWN gorgeous sugar shoe, visit the Stiletto Studio Facebook page or website, and keep your eyes peeled for Christmas classes coming VERY soon! 

Next post - gum paste people modelling, and a Sailor Moon cake to take you back a decade or so...

B xx

Monday, October 3, 2011

Mr Men themed Wedding Cake

I think the most fun part about making and designing cakes (aside from, obviously, the eating), is that every single cake is different - special, unique, and entirely specific to the person who orders it.

This cake was DEFINITELY no exception.

A good friend of mine - known as Miss Ammie - was lucky enough to marry a wonderful guy on the weekend - Mr Shane - and they ordered what has become my absolute favourite cake so far. I'll let the photos tell the (fairy)tale...


This is a cake with a story (as really, all good cakes should be)


This one is the story about how Mr Shane and Miss Ammie met, fell in love, and ended up cutting this very cake on their beautiful wedding day!


They're two pretty cool people, Mr Shane and Miss Ammie. Even their motorbikes can't be apart from each other!


Then one day, Mr Shane took Miss Ammie on a treasure hunt (geocaching)...


And surprised her with a BEAUTIFUL diamond!


And she of course said yes :)


They bought a house, and started a little family!


And now, will live happily ever after :)


To two very deserving people - CONGRATULATIONS! And thank you so much for letting me share in your special day xx


- B xx

Thursday, September 1, 2011

Cookie dough!

Happiness is sometimes as simple as a fresh bowl of cookie dough <3

Friday, August 12, 2011

Sneak Peak - Wine Bottle cake!

Here is a sneak preview of the Wine Bottle cake I made today for a very special birthday! Vintage 1929 <3

- B xx

Tuesday, August 9, 2011

Madagascar cake!

I was recently lucky enough to make the CUTEST cake for a very special gorgeous 1 year old! And since then - have become lucky enough to start working with her grandmother in a kitchen and cake shop! Funny how these things work out.

I think despite how simple the overall design is, this is easily one of my most fiddly cakes yet. I LOVE fondant characters, so cute and edible, but gees they take some time and attention. I just love how these ones turned out! with their own little personalities.

The photos speak for themselves in this one - enjoy! <3




Love the giraffes quirky smile! Should have given him a bandaid like Melman in the movie.



The penguin was definitely my favourite - and actually an afterthought! Had a little space left on top of the cake, and what better to fill extra space with than a penguin...?





My favourite shot - animal bums all lined up in the jungle! Too cute.

Love that I have a hobby and job where I get to make these kinds of things - does anyone else have a job they just couldn't love more?

My happiest birthday wishes to Arabella!

- B xx

Sunday, August 7, 2011

Cupcake class!

It's now coming up on a year since I made my very first cake - though it seems like much longer! Now I'm facing a huge cakes-and-catering project for a wedding, some fun new cake orders, the possibility of travelling for some real caking study, and some classes of my own!

A lot of people say the best way to learn about cakes and decorating is trial and error, and I can certainly vouch that that's true! but there's no overlooking how much FUN it is to take classes, and get caught up in conversation with like-minded people about fondant and plungers and holographic edible dust. As only cake nerds can!

Over the last few weeks I've had the pleasure of attending cupcake classes by Tamara at Tempt Cupcakes, and cake basics classes by a Wilton teacher brought in by Trends. Both started with things I already knew, but it's still always really good to see how someone else does things! Some photos of the final results from the Tempt class are below.



We learnt how to use silicone moulds - something I've always overlooked because they're so expensive, but are so easy and effective. (I have of course now gone out and bought lots :P such is the life of a cake decorator!)



We also made chocolate details - something else that's really very easy, and so effective on cupcakes, but certainly takes a bit of practice! I took my flat mate along on the last night, and we came home with a whole container of broken chocolate decorations! No point putting these things to waste... we took one for the team.


All the details on these cupcakes were handmade over the three weeks, and many of them are still around! I took my cupcakes up to the parentals place as we were flying out to Melbourne the following morning, and they still have flower paste shoes and flowers and letters on the kitchen bench that they couldn't bear to throw away!



This one was my particular favourite - too cute what a simple bow can do on a cupcake!

On which note, the trip to Melbourne was for my 25th birthday, and we discovered The Cupcake Bakery - is anyone else out there the kind of person who just HAPPENS to stumble on all the cake and cupcake and sweets shops wherever they go!


Look at that glorious window! how could we possibly have walked past


And this little wall display was inside - Cupcakes, Cupcake cakes, butterflies and ribbons - I should really have one of these on MY wall!


My flatmate and I enjoyed a Rockyroad Cupcake and a Peanut Butter cupcake - but I can assure you they were not the last for our trip! I'm tempted to go back and open a shop of my own...

Has anyone else done any cake or cupcake classes they recommend? I'd love to head over to Sydney and do one of the Planet Cake courses! Divine <3

For this week though - a cake that looks like a wine bottle! Wish me luck...!!

- B xx

Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Happy Blogaversary!

So I missed my very own one year Blogaversary. It's like missing your own birthday, or your pets birthday, or an anniversary on a really obvious day. Tragic.


I am now halfway between the anniversary of this blog, and the one year anniversary of officially launching Stiletto Studio as a business, so in a very busy and ridiculous month of madness, I'm letting myself off the hook :)

So - HAPPY ANNIVERSARY TO ME! And what better way to celebrate than with cake? (On EVERY occasion, let's be honest) But before I get onto the details of that, here's a quick recap of the year that was!


- This time last year I was blogging about my first ever party! A Sex & the City 2 party organised with one of my besties, who has since moved away to Scotland. I miss doing parties - and I miss her more!


- Stiletto Studio started as a blog to showcase my cake-pop explorations a-la-Bakerella (as I've said before) but has since developed into parties, and then cupcakes, and now cakes. I haven't made a cake pop since April, and my 1st Wedding cake is in October!


- In the last year I have made 37 cakes, and (approximately) 600 cupcakes. That's about 300 bags of icing sugar! 80 blocks of butter, 85 blocks of chocolate, and at least a zillion hours spent bending over the kitchen bench squinting and thoroughly failing at multi-tasking.


- I have now moved into a flat with a whole room to hold all the cake stands, cupcake wrappers, tools, tissue paper, cupcake boxes, bags of fondant and cake tins I am now the proud owner of. One day soon, I will need a whole house.


So there you go! A year that was not at all what I expected, but perfectly summed up by a quote from one of the most fabulous and inspirational women of our time;

"I believe everything happens for a reason. People change so that you learn to let go. Thing's go wrong so that you learn to appreciate them when they are right. You believe less so eventually you trust no one but yourself. And sometimes, good things fall apart so better things can fall together"
- Marilyn Monroe (thank you to Jess of JB Photography for sharing)


Back to the cake - which I'm sure is what you've been waiting for. This was a 5 tier cake for one of my closest friends birthdays - 3 layers of Caramel mud cake, 2 layers of Banana cake, torted and covered in a rich milk chocolate ganache.

It was truly a towering goddess of sugary goodness.

On which note, I should perhaps go and whip up a cake to eat in celebration of finally putting this post up!

Still to come in the near future: an adorable Madagascar themed cake, Prince Williams' Chocolate Biscuit cake, and a Marshmallow slice recipe that needs to be eaten a tray at a time. YUM

- B xx