18 in Paris

Chelsea's mom, Tamara, called me a few days ago about making a cake for her 18th birthday today, and it sounded like so much fun that I jumped at the chance, even at such short notice. The colors were hot pink, black, and silver, and she loves baking, the city of Paris, cupcakes, and anything that sparkles. Well, we could have fun with that!

The cake had to make the two-hour trip back to their house, over the mountains, so I made sure the stacking was plenty sturdy. I was glad to get a call when they arrived to say that the cake made it just fine; the only casualty was the poor Eiffel tower topper, which broke. It would've been daft for sure to suggest that they drive the cake home with a skinny gumpaste form already inserted into the cake, so I packed it separately. BUT, handcut bits of sugar dough, especially when they've had time to dry, are so darn fragile. If I'd had more time, I would've made a spare! (A cake designer's Rule Number One: if you can, make extra...) Anyway, Tamara was so cool about it, and simply called me for advice on putting it back together with about five hours to spare before the party started. I suggested a supportive backing of foil, using melted chocolate as the glue, and a wooden skewer as the stand to hold it all up. I heard since that it did the trick, and the tower stayed proudly on top of the cake all evening!

The top two tiers (7" round on a 5" round riser) are Rice Krispie treats covered with fondant. The black petal-shaped tier is Lemon Pucker (white cake layered with homemade lemon curd and cream cheese frosting), the pink quilted base tier is Caramel Toffee Fudge (chocolate cake, caramel sauce, truffle ganache, and English toffee crunch). Sounds weird, but on the recommendation of another cake designer, I added raspberry Jello powder to my marshmallow fondant recipe to get the hot pink color. It worked a treat, and was much more efficient than kneading in several jars of pink gel color.

I just got a call (a couple hours into the party) that made my day. I'm still chuckling about it, it was that awesome. Tamara got everyone at the party (I imagine a jovial crowd of teenagers and family members) to yell "Thank you, Carla" over the phone!  She added that it was a fantastic cake, delicious and beautiful, and that Chelsea loved it.  That was the best Cake Thank-You I've ever received!  Happy Birthday to Chelsea, and thanks to her mom and dad for ordering the cake and making my job SO tremendously rewarding!

And just for fun, I thought you might like to see what's inside my Caramel Toffee Fudge cake, before I add the final layer of sponge and frost the whole thing. Just delicious!