Guam: Where America’s Day Begins

Cake Masters Magazine bestowed upon me the honor of being included in the Around The World In 40 Cakes project.  40 cake artists each highlighting a destination using the medium of sugar.

I was thrilled to not only be included with a stellar list of artists from around the world but to also get my pick for the assignment; the island of Guam.  What made this especially meaningful to me, was the fact that this is the 70th anniversary of Guam’s liberation by US troops from the Japanese occupation of Guam during WWII. Many islanders were slaughtered during the Japanese occupation and I considered this cake a way for me to pay tribute to those who lost their lives on the island.

Fondant Flinger Guam Cake for Cake Masters Magazine - Photography by Lee Lopez

Fondant Flinger Guam Cake for Cake Masters Magazine – Photography by Lee Lopez

Guam cake inspired by the culture, tradition, art, and beauty of the island. Bottom tier is inspired by the undersea beauty of Guam’s coral reefs done in cocoa butter painting.  Adorning each tier is a “lei” of plumeria. Guam is an incredibly welcoming island and guests arriving are given plumeria leis as a symbol of hospitality. 

Fondant Flinger Wood Carving Detail - Photography by Lee Lopez

Fondant Flinger Wood Carving Detail – Photography by Lee Lopez

The middle tier was done to imitate Guam’s ifit (tree on Guam) wood carvings on storyboards. This one in particular tells the story of Two Lover’s Point, a story of two lovers forbidden to marry that tied their hair together and jumped from a cliff so they could spend eternity together. The original carving was completed by master carver Robert Taitano, a local artist. This tier was carved into the fondant with a needle and painted over with cocoa powder and cocoa butter to achieve the wood effect.

Fondant Flinger Latte Stone Hut Detail - Photography by Lee Lopez

Fondant Flinger Latte Stone Hut Detail – Photography by Lee Lopez

 The top piece is a replica of the traditional huts on Guam used by the natives. Set high atop carved stones (called Latte Stones) these woven palm huts were homes to the natives back before the Spanish arrived on Guam. The thatch roof is made from wafer paper colored with cocoa butter and food gel.

Fondant Flinger Guam Cake Close Up - Photography by Lee Lopez

Fondant Flinger Guam Cake Close Up – Photography by Lee Lopez

The top tier was inspired by the water color paintings/ and island shirts seen depicting the beautiful flora and fauna of the island. Torch ginger, bamboo and bird of paradise paintings done in cocoa butter.

 

Guam will always hold a special place in my heart since I had the privilege of calling it home for almost a decade throughout my life and it is also the place where I met my wonderful husband (ladies, seriously….you need a good man?  Head to Guam!  The men there are handsome AND they can all BBQ like no one’s business).    :) Guam is an incredibly unique destination and I hope that I did her beauty justice.

 

 

For Jessica

*sigh* Love and romance are in the air and my newsfeed is bursting with gorgeous bouquets, detailed gowns, and shimmering linens.  Its wedding season for sure!  I adore weddings.  If I could get married every weekend (to my same handsome groom of these past 12 years) I would!  Its just such an enchanting event and I cannot get enough of them.  My love of weddings is one of the reason I decorate cakes.  If I can’t get married every weekend, then at least I get to participate in the wedding by designing THE wedding cake for these lovely couples.  I love hearing all the plans and details that the bride and groom have chosen and then taking the different design elements of her dress, the invitations, the venue and trying to create something uniquely them.

Jessica contacted me around the time I had completed my Gold Sequins Cake for a collaboration with Sarah’s Stands (you can read the post by Sarah here) in which I used Erin Gardner of Wild Orchid Baking Co‘s gold confetti techniques from her new Craftsy class.  Jessica had loved the gold sequined tiers and asked if I could create a cake for her incorporating those sequins.


FondantFlingerJessica3

 

I was thrilled at the opportunity and ultimately came up with this design for Jessica’s big day.   Using a pattern like the one from her invitations, I added the cascading metallic shattered chevrons to the tiers surrounding the shorter sequin covered tier.  My hope was that they would appear to be almost bursting out of the gold sequin covered tier.  I then used a diagonal line to separate the top tier into two portions; one left white and one covered with the gold sequins that I knew Jessica loved.

FondantFlingerJessica

Jessica had sent over some photos of the flower arrangements that she had chosen which included pink and peach roses.  I had been playing with making gum paste roses but had never been happy with their final look.  I knew I had to pull off some seriously gorgeous flowers for this cake so I turned to my expert and friend, Kara Andretta of Kara’s Couture Cakes.  Thankfully, Kara had created an amazing tutorial for making these more natural looking roses.  I spent hours pouring over her Youtube tutorial (found here) and even more time harassing her via FB messages until I was content with the look of my roses.  I used a variety of filler flowers including buds, carnations (learned those from the fabulous Miso Bakes in her post on The Cake Blog, and those cute little finger flowers that I learned from Jacqueline Butler of Petalsweet Cakes.


FondantFlingerJessica5I was nothing short of ecstatic to see the outcome of this cake.  It came out exactly as I had pictured in my mind and the bride loved it!  It was delivered to the lovely Palmettos on the Bayou in Slidell, Louisiana and looked gorgeous with the backdrop of oaks and palmettos scattered along the bayou.  Oh the charm of the bayou with the moss covered trees dripping into the bayou waters….so scenic…makes me wish I could get married again….

 

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Gold Sequins Cake

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The perfect wedding cake design?  Essential.  The perfect wedding cake stand?  Crucial.  Every cake designer knows that the perfect cake, if not presented properly feels lacking.  My preference?  The cake pedestal.  There is just something so appealing about a cake on its pedestal.  Now, finding the perfect pedestal is no longer an issue.  Sarah’s Cake […]

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Flowers with Friends

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This past weekend I had the opportunity to fly out to California and spend some time with some dear cake friends.  We laughed, we ate amazing food, we relaxed and we created sugar flowers.   Our delightful and inspiring hostess invited us into her home for the weekend, though to simply use the word “home” […]

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Eyelet Cake with Bouquet

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For Becca

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This cake was designed especially for a friend of mine so I knew that it had to be perfect.  Fondant tinted to the perfect shade of sea foam was indented on the first tier with a small quatrefoil cutter from Not Just Cakes By Annie.  The sugar pearls were tinted gold as well with a […]

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For Tom and Heidi

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  Grey, white and yellow buttercream covered cake with chevron and polka dots, fondant rose petals and topped with a wafer paper rose for Tom and Heidi’s wedding!  I was so excited when this destination wedding couple asked me to recreate this design first made by the talented One Sweet Slice. Generally, I don’t agree to […]

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Buttercream Effects with the Leaf Tip

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Ah, the leaf tip. Its just such a versatile piping tip and one I’ve been using quite a bit these past months.  Most recently, I used it on this cake as part of a large dessert table for a church event. I’ve used this technique on a few of my cakes so far and it […]

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