Andrea, my client, contacted me about a simple cake for a family gathering to celebrate her son Matthew's 2nd birthday. She said he was obsessed with his Curious George soft toy, so she wanted to incorporate the famed monkey, but she added that she was tired of the usual greasy frosting and dry box-mix cakes and wanted to cake to be delicious, above all. In other words, looks were important, but taste was way more so. I told her, she was speaking my language!
She decided on my Dalmatian cake (white cake with chunks of dark chocolate throughout the batter, filled with truffle cream) frosted with vanilla Italian meringue buttercream tinted a friendly, but muted, shade of yellow. I added red stars and a birthday message for Matthew, along with a removable plaque of Curious George (Andrea feared that Matthew might get upset if we cut through George's face -- my solution was to make it from gumpaste so that it'd come right off, to be admired for as long as George remained interesting in Matthew's life!).
The order also included a little four-inch smash cake for Matthew, which was chocolate sponge with raspberry jam filling and meringue buttercream frosting.