Thursday, April 24, 2008

How We Got Here

Sharon with teddy bear cake

When I was young, my mother was a good, but not particularly adventurous cook. One area in which she was willing to stretch a bit was birthday cakes for my brother and me. We had a well-loved copy of Baker's Cut-Up Cake Party Book (1973), and each year we chose a different design to make with Mom. I suspect she gave us our heads on this partly to mute pleas for bakery cakes, which, she said, were expensive and didn't taste very good (as with so many things, she was right). She did set some limits; she had a good eye for which designs were just pretty pictures, not really meant to be made at home. Three dimensional house - no. Fifteen different kinds of candy - no. Colored coconut on every available surface - no.

Charlie with butterfly cake

Now that I'm a grownup, I still love "shaped" cakes, but my tastes have matured (a bit) . When the designs in the Baker's book no longer spoke to me, I induced Matt to design new cakes for me. Finally it dawned on me that I was capable of design, too, and we've teamed up on a number of projects.

This blog is for everyone else looking for new cut-up cake designs, or wanting to create their own, but not quite sure how to proceed. I plan to share some of our designs and recipes, and lots of ideas on techniques and ingredients. We are not experts, by any means, but we love to experiment, and I'll share both the successes and the disasters.

And I hope to hear from you. What cake have you been yearning for and unable to find? How do you pick a cake recipe to go with a design? What design problems have you run into and how have you solved them? If you're not designing, how can we help you get started? And how on earth do you make blue frosting without using food coloring?