Thursday, December 31, 2009

Memories of 2009

As we enter a new year & new decade, I wanted to take a moment and remember all that has happened this past year. In 2009 Flour Confections met many new clients, some amazingly talented artists, and saw many changes - read below as we share a few :

In 2009 Flour Confections got a whole new look with the launch of our new website
In February, I started off the 2009 wedding season by creating a stunning vintage glamour 4 tier wedding cake for a wonderful couple Leslie & Mike - who have now had a baby boy! Congrats to you both and all the best in the years to come! (photo courtesy of Xero Digital)

In March we graced the pages of the April issue BRIDES Magazine & website

(photo courtesy of BRIDES magazine)

Our biggest change in 2009 came in April - on April Fool's Day actually, as we opened our doors to our brand new location - a specialty cake supply store, custom cake shop & edible arts school! And in May we launched our online store offering specialty cake supplies to everyone across Canada, the USA and abroad!
Just before our grand opening, I took a few moments to myself and whisked down to Savannah, Georgia to attend the most amazing sugar art class - A Master Class of Sugarpaste Flowers with Ron Ben-Israel at Minette Rushings' studio
April was a busy month with all the new changes, but I managed to find time to create a few entries for the CSSA Sugar Art Show held at Markville Mall. My wedding cake entry took 3rd place and my baby cake entry took 1st.
Heading into May, we hosted a fabulous class with the talented Elisa Strauss of Confetti Cakes
Students spent 2 days with Elisa learning her amazing techniques while creating her open gift box cake & safari animals.
Some wonderful cakes were also created in May for some great clients - including this ode to a police officer - a giant Tim Horton's cup, police badge & mega chocolate chip cookies!

June was filled with some wonderful weddings & events, here are a couple of highlights: a Poker themed 40th birthday, and I worked with Cindy Johnson of Platinum Events Group to create this sophisticated wedding cake for a stylish wedding at Trinity College.
(photo courtesy of Andrew Adams Photography)

In July, the Lifestyles with Rita Nave crew visited our shop to film a segment on cookie & cupcake decorating, it aired on Chex Durham. This was my first TV segment...with more to come later in the year.....
August was a very busy month! I traveled to the ICES convention in Chicago with my colleague Karey to see all the latest and greatest tools & techniques in the world of cake! We had a fabulous time learning & laughing, making new friends and hanging out with fellow cake chics!
Coming back from Chicago, I went into full gear creating a 5 tier hot pink, black & silver anniversary cake & cupcakes for the 20th anniversary of the Pink Pages Directory.

Later that month our store was graced with 2 very talented celebrity guests, Bronwen Weber & Francois Long of Frosted Art Bakery. Bronwen taught 2 classes and also donated her time & talent to our free night of sharing where we raised over 200lbs of food for a local food bank.
The first class was an entire day of airbrush skills - the amount of information gained that day was incredible - my airbrush is now my friend in the kitchen! All our new skills culminated in a 2D carved fish, brought to life using an airbrush.

On day 2, students learned how to create a free standing cake using a support structure created by Bronwen & Francois called "Cake Bones". In class we created a 3D clown, but the skills learned that day could be applied to anything that stands on two feet - wait until the November update to see how I applied my new found skills.....
Just after Bronwen left, I took my airbrush in hand and created a really fun cupcake tower for a fabulous couple with a sense of humour! Tom & Tammy (aka TNT) had a fun idea for their introduction as a married couple - they were going to walk into the hall while TNT by AC/DC played! This sparked my idea - I was going to create a barrel of TNT for their top tier cutting cake complete with a cake sparkler, and each cupcake would be adorned with a sugar dynamite stick! They loved the idea and we ran with it, resulting in one of my favourite cupcake towers.

The Fall is always busy season for weddings, and this year was no exception. Here are a few highlights from our fall weddings:
(photo courtesy of Angela Cook Photography)

October began with my annual trek to Tulsa Oklahoma to participate in the OSSAS show, again with my driving partner & colleague Karey by my side. This year I entered again in both the Grand Wedding Cake Competition as well as the Sugar Art Show. The judging was tough this year, but I was pleased to have my wedding cake entitled "Tying the Knot" place in the Silver ranking, while my divisional entries all placed as well. I was awarded first for my cookies, first for my baby entry, and second for my special techniques entry. And now the work begins for my 2010 entries.....

After creating some beautiful fall wedding cakes, I joined my family for our annual vacation to Disney World in Orlando.

Highlights in November were birthday cakes & classes & press. My husband celebrated his 36th birthday, and what birthday is not complete without a cake?? And when you are married to a cake artist, you don't just get any old cake, you get art! Expanding on the skills I learned with Bronwen, I modified the Cake Bones system to create a standing Taz cake - entirely edible made from lots of modeling chocolate and lots of cake!

Continuing with birthdays, I then created a cake for another family member, my father, who celebrated his 65th in 2009. Again my classes with Bronwen did not go to waste - taking my airbrush in hand, I created this full sized rainbow trout cake for this avid fisherman. After covering the cake with white fondant and creating a blank canvas, the colour and details were achieved via the airbrush.

We taught some great classes in November including Cookie Couture, Cupcake Couture & Airbrushing Basics.

And we were featured in Canada's leading trade magazine for the baking industry, Bakers Journal

December went by in a flash! Besides the regular hectic nature of the season, I was asked to do a live segment on Canada AM for their Holiday Treats & Sweets week. We featured the sugar cookie and filled the studio with tantalizing treats!

Right after the segment, we hosted our first annual Holiday Open House & Product Play Day at the store - we opened our kitchen to anyone who wanted to try out some of our favourite products including the airbrush, silicone moulds & tappits. We also gave away some amazing prizes to some very happy customers! Thank you to everyone who came out!

So that brings us to the end of 2009, but boy those are some amazing highlights!

Now we've come to a new year, a new decade and some exciting times at Flour Confections! This year we will be hosting some more fabulous classes including ones with Mike McCarey, James Rosselle, Lorraine McKay and Bronwen Weber!

Here's to a sweet 2010!

Thursday, December 17, 2009

Canada AM - Thursday December 17th

If you are not a morning person like me (wow 6am is EARLY!), you may have missed our spot on Canada AM this morning featuring the sugar cookie!

So if you did miss it, here is direct link to our spot - enjoy!

Monday, December 14, 2009

Holiday Sweets & Treats Week - Canada AM

All week on Canada AM - Holiday Sweets & Treats! Today was shortbread....tomorrow is gingerbread....wonder what will be next? If you love to bake, tune in every morning!

Friday, December 11, 2009

Do your holiday shopping online!

We have been busy busy busy reorganizing the store to make room for so many new products - just in time for the holidays!

First off - GIFT CARDS ARE HERE! If you are looking for the perfect gift or stocking stuffer - why not buy them something they REALLY want?? A shopping spree for cake toys!!! Get them in store now!

New products:
We have a huge selection of coloured cupcake liners in both standard and mini sizes - perfect to jazz up any party or event!

New patchwork cutters:
Lots of fabulous holiday and Christmas designs are now available - check out what we have in store! ... ts_id=1501

New sugarpaste cutters:
Including musical notes and an adorable reindeer! ... ts_id=1490 ... ts_id=1489

THE most ADORABLE Princess Pig & Prince Frog cookie cutters! Get em while they are HOT! ... ts_id=1480 ... ts_id=1479

Fabulous metal ball tools for sugarpaste work - one of my favourite tools! ... ts_id=1461

The ENTIRE line of Americolor Soft Gel & Amerimist colours in 4.5 oz bottles!

Many new Designer Stencils including the latest design featured in the most recent Martha Stewart Weddings ... ts_id=1476

The list goes on and one - you'll just have to stop by the store or shop online to see all that we have to offer!


Monday, December 7, 2009

2010 Classes at Flour Confections!

We have recently updated our website to show our 2010 Winter/Spring class schedule including the ever requested certificate courses.

We now have the following new courses available:

Baking for Profit or Pleasure - 4 day course or 1 day only options

January 11th-14th or February 8th-11th

Creative Canvas - Cake Design Basics - 4 day course or 1 day only options

January 18th-21st or February 1st-4th

The Art of Sugarpaste Flowers -3 day course learning a wide variety of sugarpaste flowers

January 25th-27th or February 22nd-24th


We also have rescheduled the Wilton courses - all 4 courses will be running again from January to April

Wilton Course 1 Discover Cake Decorating

Wilton Course 2 Flowers & Borders

Wilton Course 3 Fondant & Tiered Cakes

Wilton Course 4 Fondant & Gumpaste


And of course we have rescheduled our workshops:

Airbrushing Basics Thursday March 18th HANDS ON workshop no supplies required

Basic Sugar Animals Sunday February 28th HANDS ON workshop no supplies required

Cookie Couture Sunday April 18th HANDS ON workshop no supplies required

Cupcake Couture Sunday February 21st HANDS ON workshop no supplies required

Flour Power - Baking Basics Wed April 21st & Thurs April 22nd HANDS ON workshop

Fondant FUN-damentals Sunday March 14th HANDS ON workshop including lunch

Roses Roses Roses Thurs March 11th HANDS ON workshop no supplies required

Sugarpaste Flower Basics Sunday March 7th HANDS ON workshop including lunch

The Royal Treatment - Piping Skills Thurs March 4th HANDS ON workshop

Friday, December 4, 2009

Holiday Open House December 17th 10-7:30pm

Join us for a day of sharing

On Thursday December 17th we would like to invite you all to join us for a day of sharing during our Holiday Open House! From 10am until 7:30pm we will be enjoying a "Product Play Day" where you can come and try out some of our favourite products and learn a few new skills. Light snacks & refreshments will be provided as well as prizes.
We look forward to seeing you all in store!

Monday, November 30, 2009

Cake - The Essentials

For those of you who love baking, you really should have a copy of The Cake Bible by Rose Levy Beranbaum. And if you already have it, then a great addition is her new book Rose's Heavenly Cakes.
A great article about cake was recently written by Rose for the New York Times. To read this article, follow the link below:

Cake: The Essentials
By Rose Levy Beranbaum
Published: Monday, November 30, 2009

Friday, November 27, 2009

December Newsletter now available

To view our December newsletter - please follow this link

Don't forget our Cyber Monday Free Shipping Promotion taking place Monday November 30th for orders within Canada and the US! See the newsletter for more details.

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

No Joke!

Flour Confections was recently interviewed by the Baker's Journal - a trade magazine which "highlights the successes, the trends and the people of Canada's baking industry."

To read our feature article please visit the Baker's Journal website.

And if you don't already subscribe to the journal, be sure to sign up for a subscription as it is a wonderful source for people in the baking industry.

Monday, November 9, 2009

Death of a cake = Birth of a smile!

People often ask me "Doesn't it kill you to cut into this??" or "How could you dare cut this?" - my answer is always the same "But eating it is part of the experience!"

How could you NOT eat the cake?? Why wouldn't you?

All that hard work was done for 2 reasons:

1) to create an amazing centerpiece for your special event - one that will make your event memorable

2) to create an amazing dessert for your special event - one that will make your event memorable

Did you notice that the reasons are: Centerpiece & Dessert??
It doesn't matter how gorgeous or amazing that cake is, I expect you to eat it because bottom line - it's a CAKE! What good is it if you don't eat it?? My job as a cake artist is to make amazing custom cake centerpieces that taste as good as they look - if you don't eat it, you won't know if I'm doing my job!
So to all of you that have been fortunate enough to have a Flour Confections centerpiece at your event, I hope that you had the strength to cut into it - as eating it is all part of the experience!

Friday, November 6, 2009

Happy Birthday Scott!

Today is my husband Scott's of course I need to make him a cake!

Instead of some ho hum cake that will be "fine" for a family dinner....I had to do something FUN!
The minute he left the shop yesterday - I got to work on his SURPRISE!

He's a big fan of Warner Bros, and so I thought this would be my challenge - how to turn some frozen chocolate cake tops, some frozen chocolate ganache and some time into a masterpiece!!!

The internal structure is the Cake Bones System by Cake Study - we got this fabulous set in Bronwens' class hosted here this past August! I converted it a bit and got to work on Taz!

His legs and arms are A LOT of modeling chocolate, the body is all cake, covered in chocolate fondant and lots and lots of love!

Now off to show my hubby his present!

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Oprah - Tune in Thursday October 29th!

If you love cake (and I know you do!) then be sure to tune into Oprah on Thursday to see cake stars Marina Sousa of Just Cake, James Rosselle of Elle Cakes (yes THE James coming to teach classes at Flour Confections in May 2010) Duff Goldman of Charm City Cakes & The Cake Girls Mary & Brenda Maher for Oprah's Cake Off!!!

And can someone PVR it for me? LOL!

Thursday, October 8, 2009

To Tulsa and Back

Another amazing Oklahoma Sugar Art Show (OSSAS) has come and gone and I'm already excited to start my cake for next year!

My co-worker Karey and I set out on October 1st for our 20hr long adventure to Tulsa Oklahoma. The drive was long and tiring, but our excitement kept us going and thankfully the drive was "stress free".

This year, I didn't manage to finish all my divisional entries, but the few I did accomplish, I managed to place with all of them! My masters baby cake & cookies both placed 1st and my masters special techniques not on a cake placed 2nd!

I also entered in the Grand National Wedding Cake Competition - this year's theme was Of Sea & Shore. So many gorgeous cakes were created this year, the competition was tough! My goal this year was to be as clean and precise as possible - and to score as well if not better than last year. My cake placed as a Silver Finalist! For those of you that do not know how the scoring works, the entries each earn a score out of 100 - there are ranges for those scores for Bronze, Silver & Gold finalists - with Grand being the top prize, and 1st runner, 2nd runner, 3rd runner, 4th runner and 5th runner rounding out the top 6. I was so pleased to have been recognized for my work this year.

My cake, entitled Tying The Knot was inspired by my grandparents who were both in the British Royal Navy and were married during WWII. Everything on the cake is edible and painstakingly done by hand. The sweet peas on the table were also made from sugarpaste and were my grandmothers favourite flower.

Now off to plan my entries for next year!!!

Monday, September 14, 2009

Tips & Tricks from the Pros!

Satin Ice fondant has created some wonderful HOW TO videos with some of the biggest names in the cake industry such as: Elisa Strauss, Ron Ben-Israel, Anne Heap, Colette Peters, Buddy Valastro & Jorge Amsler.

To view these great videos, visit the Satin Ice website.

To purchase Satin Ice fondant in Canada, visit our online store!

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Evening of Sharing with Bronwen Weber

In the spirit of sharing & caring, Flour Confections offered a free Evening of Sharing with Bronwen Weber this past Monday. Bronwen loves to be able to share her artistry with others and she graciously offered her time for this free demonstration. In return, we asked that participants bring non-perishable food donations for our local food bank.

Within 2hrs of announcing this unique evening, we filled all 40 spaces! Thank you everyone for your enthusiastic response and for such generous donations! We easily collected over 200 lbs of food!

Bronwen demonstrated her unique style of cake sculpting by creating the cutest sculpted dog named "Lucky". Within less than an hour, she had a completed dog from merely 3 1/2 sheets of cake, buttercream, fondant & an airbrush! It was amazing to watch the transformation!

We are very thankful to Bronwen & Francois for donating their time and skills to such an amazing event and worthwhile cause. Thank you everyone who made our event such a success! We hope to bring you more events such as this one in the future!

Airbrushing Skills & 2D Carved Fish with Bronwen Weber

Wow - the last few days at Flour Confections have been utterly AMAZING!

We have just finished hosting celebrity cake artists Bronwen Weber & Francois Long for 2 days of fabulous classes!

Word about our amazing celebrity cake classes has spread and on Monday we had a full house of enthusiastic cake decorators ready to learn the essentials to airbrushing on cakes.

As always, students were greeted with fresh coffee, tea, juice and snacks - no supplies were necessary - just an apron & a smile :)

The first half of the day we learned about the parts of an airbrush, the choices of guns and compressors, colour theory and the basics including lines, writing & blending colours. These basic skills continued on with us creating images on boards and buttercream.

After we all enjoyed our catered lunch and our signature triple chocolate cookies, we then learned the basics in carving a 2D cake.

Starting with a simple 1/4 sheet cake, we turned that into a fabulous fish! After carving and icing, we covered it in fondant and Bronwen taught us her style of fondant sculpting to add definition and character to the fish. Once defined, out came the airbrush to add life.

Everyone created such fabulous cakes and received so much valuable information - I know I no longer fear my airbrush - and I'm sure everyone else in the class felt the same way.