Friday, August 15, 2014

The colorful Robin Williams

Photo from Parade

It's not like we were friends, it's not like we met regularly for coffee. 
He didn't even know I existed. 

But I certainly knew Robin Williams; through his films. 

Death is never easy. 

And when it's a person who's familiar - even if it's remotely, through a movie screen - the sadness feels a little more personal.

Robin Williams struggled with many inner demons, but he single-handedly brought SO much joy and laughter to so many people who encountered him, on and off-screen.

I just caught Patch Adams again on the movie channel last night, and it definitely did justice bringing the real life Williams to reel life. 

In celebration of this wonderful man's colorful personality, today's post is about a rainbow balloon cake. 

Particularly since the tear-jerker Pixar animation UP, balloons have come to represent hope and positivity.

The skyful of balloons air-lifting Carl's house in search of Paradise Falls... forever etched in our minds as we futilely fought back tears for his missing Ellie...

There's a certain freedom in balloons as they flit and float over everyone and everything, going where no one else goes. 

Their haphazard abandonment carries such carefreeness, just what we're wishing for the iconic comedienne especially now. 

These little fondant figures with their gold shimmer, hold the key to a blue open sky filled with innumerate round bubbles of dreams, as colorful as Williams himself.

Surrounded with fluffy white clouds of royal icing and white fondant cut-outs, the future is always open - for you, for me, for cakes and desserts, for dear Mr Robin Williams. 

More summer colors:

Thursday, July 24, 2014

A summer carousel

The thing about being so near the equator is that we're perpetually in the sun's path, getting the full-scale blazing love. 

Which is why we don't fully appreciate, or even comprehend summer.

We're too busy trying to stay cool and not inflict tropical humidity wetness to the next person to even think about the summer concept.
> How do you stay cool?
> Best uses of beer

Summer fun? 
More like eternal furnace.

But with all the crazy extreme weather happening around the world, I am very grateful for this somewhat normal summer here in Singapore/Hong Kong. 

So dressed in my best summer singlet and breeziest summer shorts, I'd like to invite you to celebrate the summer sun with a dappy day out to the summer fair carousel, with the happiest little birthday girl!

More summer colors:
> Color me happy!
> A very hungry caterpillar
> A purple green birthday
> Poppin' dots cake pops
> Yellow and green, colors of world cup

Don't believe Wilton products that say 'easy to use' in the instruction manual. You usually need an engineer's degree to assemble their showpieces, after which you'll need to spend considerable time decorating them.

This carousel top took several hours to put together, starting with orange and purple fondant panels.

Red, green, blue, pink and yellow accents are hand-piped with stiff royal icing, make sure you have enough time for everything to dry so that it's all nice and sturdy when you put it on the cake. 

A cheery pop of yellow crowning the cake's top tier, 
as the ponies get a-galloping after their royal icing dries off.

20 little fingers eagerly inching closer to the cake, as the finishing touches go up.

Rainbow cake (recipe here): A perennial favorite with kids, and perfect for the summer carousel party!

I love theme parties, the crazy OCD in me just gets such a kick out of 
matching colors and patterns. The birthday girl's mom did a fantastic 
job getting these cute little buckets for giveaways, every 
child was a SUPER happy child by the end of the party.

Happy birthday, beautiful Ellie!

More happy birthdays:
> A busy day at the construction site
> Dinosaur roarrrr
> Rabbity cake pops

Saturday, June 14, 2014

The softer side of the World Cup

Sports is amazing.

Team loyalties are crazy fierce, fans go to the ends of the earth to support, defend and rally their players.

And as far as beautiful games are concerned, football is king.
Awesome ways to use the football beverage - beer!
> What to do when things get hot (under the collar)!
> Get through the late nights, with chocolate

Sports can divide, sports can unite.
As certain as politics and religion can.

In this World Cup season, I want to celebrate the joys of sports, and the happiness it brings.

Presenting... The green, blues and yellows of.. Henry Hugglemonster!
> Who's Henry Hugglemonster?

> More yellow desserts
Busy day at the construction site
Minions at work
- A Rilakkuma birthday

Right: The real Henry
Left: My version!

I know it's not what you'd associate with football. But besides the colors of Brazil, Henry also does his part rallying little kids in the challenges of life, teaching extermination, diversity and drive.

Just like sports and football do.
You see the similarities I'm sure :)

Happy splash of colors paying World Cup homage 

The starting point: Base cake layers decked with surprise fillings (crushed oreos, chocolate
chips, mango), and chocolate and vanilla buttercream. These get stacked and covered with
blue fondant, before a smaller 2nd tier goes on top.

With a fairly flat top tier, you can try and cover the entire cake with a single piece of fondant
like I did here. If your top tier is high, you should cover the 2 tiers separately and stack them.

Recipe for the cake base:
> Martha Stewart's delectable Chocolate Torte
> Bakerella's amazing Chocolate Cake

Handpainting takes a steady hand, and good spelling.
Practice, practice, practice till you get good at it, like sports!

Final touch: Cake pops for a poppin' backdrop, they add such a wonderful cheer!

Ole World Cup!