Somewhere Over The Rainbow

Coxie’s Cakes is a small homeMichelle's Labyrinth run business based in North of the River, Perth. Last year when I left work and had some time I was surfing Facebook and checking out all the amazing cake decorators out there. Somehow I stumbled upon Coxie’s Cakes (I believe it had something to do with her Alice in Wonderland cake) (https://www.facebook.com/Coxies.cakes) and have been following her ever since. Considering how big the world is, it is pretty cool how I found another cake lover living so close to me. She officially became a business on 27 September 2012, so she has been going strong for nearly a year. She even won Australian Cake Decorating Network’s Decorator of the Year 2013 for her Me To You Teddy Bear.

Michelle's Labyrinth  Michelle's Labyrinth

I often share Coxie’s Cakes on my Michelle’s Labyrinth Facebook page (https://www.facebook.com/michelleslabyrinth) and my friend’s daughter saw the unicorn cake above in June and requested it for her birthday. So I have had a couple of months to think about this cake. I wanted to make it a bit special, so I thought of making it a rainbow cake! Rainbow cakes are also a favourite of Coxie’s Cakes so I have seen them often and have wanted the opportunity to make one!

A rainbow cake means making the actual cake the colours of the rainbow. It has been a while since I thought of the order of colours of a rainbow, so I checked Wikipedia for what the colours are: red, orange, yellow, green, blue, indigo and violet! I swear we had a rhyme of the acronym for rainbow colours, but I cannot recall it. Can anyone remember? Michelle's Labyrinth

Since I had to buttercream between each of the 7 layers I thought I may as well colour the buttercream icing the same colour. I also wanted to make it a little different from the other rainbow cakes I have seen. I was quite happy with the result :)

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So here is my Rainbow Unicorn cake with ‘Uni’ the Unicorn on top :)Michelle's Labyrinth Michelle's Labyrinth

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And here is a close up of “Uni”, who had to be hidden from a Great-Uncle and a Grandpa who threatened they were going to eat her! Michelle's Labyrinth

Now I had to include a photo of the birthday girl. She is very hard to capture on film! Although her brother is definitely not camera-shy :)Michelle's Labyrinth

Michelle's Labyrinth   Michelle's Labyrinth

I was chatting to my youngest sister about this cake and she said “Don’t forget to put a fae star in it so the lucky child that finds it can see faeries for a time”, so as usual the cogs of my mind started turning. I had an idea that the birthday girl may like to keep her unicorn for a while, but I know that kids love to have a bit of fondant to nibble on while the cake is being cut, or with their slice of cake. I have had a couple of children cry over my cakes because they wanted a fairy, or they needed a piece of rainbow, or they had to have one of Buzz Lightyear’s buttons! So now I try to find out how many children are going to ensure they have their piece of fondant! This year there was going to be approximately 5 children at this birthday gathering, so I thought I would make them a rainbow each – I was on a theme! Since the birthday girl turned 8 I figured I may as well make 8 rainbows – with a fae star on the end so they could see fairies for a time!

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I received a SMS at 8:30pm saying the kids were on a sugar rush. “So hyper!” But maybe it was the fairies and pixies stirring them up! And hey, who let them have 2 rainbows each because there were only 4 kids! :)

Now it was a toss-up whether to leave you with the words from “Somewhere Over The Rainbow” (which I sang a few times during the wee hours of the morning while making the layers of this cake) or with the other thing my sister sent me when she heard I was making a Rainbow Unicorn cake… so here you go – both at the same time :)

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Somewhere over the rainbow
Way up high,
There’s a land that I heard of
Once in a lullaby.

Somewhere over the rainbow
Skies are blue,
And the dreams that you dare to dream
Really do come true.

Someday I’ll wish upon a star
And wake up where the clouds are far
Behind me.
Where troubles melt like lemon drops
Away above the chimney tops
That’s where you’ll find me.

Somewhere over the rainbow
Bluebirds fly.
Birds fly over the rainbow.
Why then, oh why can’t I?

If happy little bluebirds fly
Beyond the rainbow
Why, oh why can’t I?

Source: http://www.stlyrics.com/lyrics/thewizardofoz/somewhereovertherainbow.htm

 

 

 

 

Cake Decorating 101 – Cupcakes

A couple of months ago I did a short training session on how to make a fondant penguin (see post http://michelleslabyrinth.com.au/wordpress/how-to-make-a-penguin/ ) for a TAFE course I’m doing called ‘Training and Assessment’ [Certificate IV]. The next assignment for the course was to do two consecutive group training sessions and I asked for some volunteers at the end of my penguin blog post. Six lovely people volunteered and I held the two training sessions a couple of weeks ago.

Like all beginnings, whether it’s what cake to make, or what theme to write a story about, the hardest part is deciding what to do! I booked time out in my calendar, arranged for an assessor to come around and then that was it. Every now and then I would try to think about what to do the training on, but nothing came to mind. The training sessions had to be consecutive, between 40-60 minutes each and of course something that I could do! But all I could think of was blank, blank, blank!

I’m always checking out cakes, felting projects, fantasy dolls on Facebook. Sometimes I share things that resonate with me on my Michelle’s Labyrinth Facebook page – there are a lot of brilliant artists out there! One day I was scrolling through the Facebook pages I follow and I saw some cupcakes and l had a light-bulb moment  – I could make them and train my volunteers on how to make them! Here is the photo I saw from Facebook page Creative Cake Academy ( https://www.facebook.com/CreativeCakeAcademy ).

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In preparation I Googled how to made grass out of fondant, I did some shopping, I designed my session plans and the night before my training session I made some cupcakes. Six dozen of them! For two dozen of them I made red velvet ones because I hadn’t made them before and wanted to try them. They do come out quite red and I thought there was a little bit of a spice to them. The cake mix also looked a little too much like blood! Just thought I would share that if anyone needed some nice tasting blood! LOL!

Michelle's Labyrinth   Michelle's Labyrinth

Six dozen cupcakes is the most I have made in one go. It was fun!

Michelle's Labyrinth  Michelle's Labyrinth The first training session was how to colour fondant and cover cupcakes with fondant. These three cupcakes were my “Grab Attention” part of the introduction.

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The second session was creating cupcake decorations and manipulating fondant into shapes and animals. These were my “previously prepared” cupcakes!

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I had a lot of fun teaching these cupcakes, and was so happy it all seemed to fall into place. My learners let me take photos of their cupcakes and I was extremely impressed with the results. So here are the cupcakes everyone made!

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I have two more assignments on delivery (as opposed to design and assessment) for this TAFE course but I do not think I can do them on cake decorating. I think I am going to have to rely on my excel (or even all of Microsoft office) and accounting skills.

However I am continually trying to learn new things and today I did a chocolate modeling course and these were the outcome! I quite like my little chocolate guys :)

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Michelle's Labyrinth Michelle's Labyrinth     Michelle's Labyrinth

So thank you so much for my assessor and the learners who came to my Cake Decorating training session. I do hope you enjoyed it as much as I did :)

 

 

 

I Love Paris in the Springtime

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I love Paris in the springtime.
I love Paris in the fall.
I love Paris in the winter when it drizzles,
I love Paris in the summer when it sizzles.

I love the song I Love Paris by Cole Porter, whether sung by Ella Fitzgerald or Frank Sinatra. Whenever I think of Paris I sing this song, so you can imagine that I sang it a bit over the past couple of weeks as I made two Paris themed cakes!

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A couple of months ago I was reminded it was one of my friends 40th this year. She said she wasn’t going to do anything special, so I planned to make her a cake and take it to craft. Her birthday would be 2 days before my sister’s, who was turning 30, so I thought I could make them sister cakes, cakes of a similar feminine theme.

Of course the next problem was what theme to make these two cakes. My youngest sister is easy to make cakes for, but what about my friend. I had made some frangipanis in cake decorating class, so I wanted to incorporate them, so that was my starting point. Another friend asked what she liked, and I know she likes similar music to me and travelling (the word “travel” is even in her email address!). She has been saying how she wanted to go to Paris next, and my sister loves France, so that was it, a Paris cake!!!

I can’t believe my baby sister is 30! She seemed to like my cake and I was pretty happy with my frangipanis. Yay I heave learnt something at cake decorating class! I also included a J’aime le Chocolat piece because my sister and I love chocolate! While I made my sister’s cake I watched Chocolat, I love the movie (Johnny Depp!!!) and the book is amazing too.Michelle's Labyrinth

I was finally a good girl and prepared the frangipanis, Eiffel Towers and Arc De Triomphe a couple of weeks before the cakes, so the couple of days before all I needed to do was colour them, make the cake and cover them. It doesn’t mean I still didn’t stay up late the night before the birthday celebrations to finish them.

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I made my sister a fruit cake and it was one of my best. I made a few interesting cake errors recently and I was very happy this one turned out so well. I forgot to put milk in my niece’s birthday cake, forgot eggs in the vanilla cupcakes I made for my training and then my friend’s 40th cake was either cooked too long or not enough. I guess half a bottle of brandy and lots of cherries helps :)Michelle's Labyrinth

I had left over cupcakes from my cupcake training (still need to do a blog post on that, I’m already in trouble with a friend who came because I haven’t blogged about it yet!!), so I also took them to my sister’s birthday for those that didn’t like fruit cake. They seemed to go down perfectly, and the photo reminded me of looking down Champ de Mars (the gardens between Avenue Anatol-France and Av. Pierre Loti) towards the La Tour Eiffel.Michelle's Labyrinth

My friend’s 40th birthday was on the Wednesday and I was making her cake for Saturday. On her birthday I sent her a birthday message and she said she was on a complete high – her husband had bought her tickets to…. PARIS! Can you believe it? I am so happy for her! And I certainly cannot believe that I had a Paris cake planned!Michelle's Labyrinth

Since I wasn’t happy with the taste of the off-cuts of the vanilla cake I made, I bought cream on the way to my friend’s. They were all very nice and said that it tasted good, and I did think it tasted okay with the cream! Thankfully!

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I did take advantage of the news that my friend was going to Paris and bought her this case. I thought the cake and case complimented each other well. I was also impressed how different the two cakes looked with the different coloured frangipanis. Michelle's Labyrinth

My husband and I were lucky to have visited Paris in 2001. It is such a beautiful city. I love the different architecture, and the gold statues and roofs around. I like that the buildings were not too tall and you can see the Eiffel Tower for miles away and use it as a point of direction as we walked around and explored Paris. But more about that another time in a travel blog. I hope my friend has the most amazing time in Paris!Michelle's Labyrinth

I really wish I could have watched French Kiss again while making one of these cakes, but I saw only a few weeks ago. I love the movie and how Meg Ryan keeps missing seeing the Eiffel Tower. And I love the part where she is in the plane singing “I hate Paris…” but that was just because she hated flying. So I will leave you with the whole I Love Paris song… Until next time :)

Every time I look down on this timeless town Michelle's Labyrinth
Whether blue or grey be her skies.
Whether loud be her cheers or soft be her tears,
More and more do I realize:

I love Paris in the springtime.
I love Paris in the fall.
I love Paris in the winter when it drizzles,
I love Paris in the summer when it sizzles.

I love Paris every moment,
Every moment of the year.
I love Paris,
Why, oh why do I love Paris?
Because my love is near.

 

 

 

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