I believe there are still many people out there who are unaware of the differences between cake artists, bakers and pastry chefs. And there are pastry artists, too, in my own opinion, who belong somewhere in the midst.
All being tradesmen, cake artists devote 101% of their time whipping up the fanciest (and craziest) of all cake designs. Bakers, in the true sense of the word, are our bread artisans - they are our best friends most especially in the early hours of the day. Pastry chefs, on the other hand, belong mostly to the world of hotels and restaurants busy formulating dessert recipes. And then we also have pastry artists who are caught somewhere in a limbo. They may have added skills such as sugar pulling and chocolate tempering. Yes, there are so many nuances in the pastry world.
The reason why I am bringing this up is because after spending about 3 days to create a bouquet of hand-made flowers and adornments I have absolutely appreciated better the many cake artists out there. They have one very important ingredient: PATIENCE. Loads of it!
Cake decorating is a very important skill I learned since my high school days and all I knew then of chefs was piping icing on a cake. Over time, I got pulled away from hands-on work (boulangerie, patisserie, chocolaterie, etc.) as managing manpower, time, budgets and yourself has become increasingly more important. I rely on my staffs to make my ideas become a reality - well, in my own defense, I do find time to be at the helm of very important projects.
This recent gum paste project had my heart racing for a few days until the celebration lights went off. I enjoyed every bit of the planning until the delivery stage. While I molded each flower I had this insatiable desire to create more variety. In the end, I was able to put together a very vibrant bouquet of sugar flowers.
To be able to buy more time, I used Wilton's Gumpaste Mix. It was the first time I used it and it satisfied my needs very well. I also used a pre-mixed fondant to cover my cake. Halfway through the project, I couldn't have realized better how important it is to have veiners, petal cutters and molds. They are huge time-savers. I rushed to a crafts store to purchase some leaf cutters (although I wasn't very happy with my purchase as I preferred a more customizable design).
The pot is made of layers of butter sponge cake made with boiled fresh orange to add an "oomph" of freshness! I love the flavor of citrus fruits in my cakes - they do add "zest"!
The cupcakes are flavored with pistachio paste and topped with vanilla Italian buttercream.
Cake recipes will be published on my Recipes Page soon.
Have fun with a few more images of my cake below: