Wednesday, September 1, 2010

Well that just takes the cake...

As of September 16th, this will be my new home.

I was offered a position at the bakery and I guess you could say that I was more than elated. I was fanfreakingtastically excited about it. By no means does this make me some kind of master cake decorator, but it's a foot in the right direction and at this point it's what matters.

I had a co-worker today say to me "I'm glad that you got a job doing something you love. It took me til I was 30 to get to that point and you get the advantage of starting out in the right direction a bit earlier."

That right there was gold. It's true. To many it may seem like a silly job at a bakery but for me it's a wide open door to a plethora of possibilities. Baking and decorating is something that makes me feel fulfilled and having a job where I get to be around that every day is just what I need at this point.

I'm sure once I start working there I'll have more to say but at this point, I'm just happily speechless.

Have your cake and eat it too. Really.

Sunday, July 11, 2010

Love Bird Cupcakes

These are my good friends Gabe and Rachael and they are getting married on August 8th.
They recently had a joint wedding shower/engagement party to celebrate their upcoming wedding. When Rachael's mom called me and asked if I could bake some treats for the party of course I was excited to help!

Rachael, though she considers me very creative, is very creative herself and I've been quite impressed with how she's planned and designed her wedding. I have a feeling it will be a very beautiful wedding! Even her engagement photos with Lisa Hessel were adorably cute and well thought out. (Check them out here.) Her wedding has a vintage picnic theme and I thought I would incorporate that into the treats I made for the shower. She had the fantastic idea of having the guests sit on picnic blankets at the wedding with little birds hand stitched on the corners of each blanket. See?
You can see more of her wonderful ideas over on her blog, Bride on a Budget.

I'm a huge huge cupcake fan. As much as I love designing cakes, I really love the versatility you can have with cupcakes and how you can use each cupcake as an individual canvas or you can spread it out and use a whole tray of cupcakes as one large canvas. 

In sticking with the bird theme I was getting from Rachael's design aesthetic I decided to use a whole bunch of cupcakes as one large canvas for a beautiful design of two birds on branches facing each other with a heart in between, much like the design on the picnic blankets. Here are some of my photos from the project that day.

I think the cupcakes were a hit because before I could get one after eating lunch, they were all gone! This was definitely a fun project and I'd love to have more like these because who doesn't love cupcakes! 

I think my next project might be a treat for the bachelorette party! 

Zumba Baby Shower Cake

This is Kathryn.

She's my totally awesome Zumba Instructor. I've been taking Zumba since about April of 2009 with my mom at the Lodge in Des Peres. Kathryn and her husband are expecting their first baby in late August/early September and they will be welcoming a baby girl into the world.

Kathryn has been a fantastic instructor and really just reminds a lot of us to have fun in life. Zumba has been a major factor in the boost in my self confidence over the past few years and I'm really glad I got involved. I thought that it would be great to return the favor to Kathryn for all of her hard work and dedication to us if we (her zumba students) threw her a surprise baby shower.

It was quite tricky organizing it all around her without her finding out. I wanted to invite people from all of her classes so I had some help in getting the word out and they did a fantastic job keeping it a secret. I had the help of my friend Jennifer, another fellow Zumbie and a Zumba instructor herself. She was key in getting Kathryn to the Lodge for the shower without her finding out. The surprise was successful and I really think Kathryn had a great time.

Now what about the cake? Well of course, I made it!

It was actually pretty funny because a couple of weeks ago at dinner with the Zumba gals, Kathryn had said that she wished there were a way she could have one of my cakes and suggested that maybe someone should throw her a surprise shower. Little did she know at the time.

I took the day off from work because I knew I wanted to take my time on the cake and really make it look beautiful and I wasn't really wanting to be up until 4 am like my last project. Sleep is key to my sanity. I packed up in a hurry to head out to my parents to bake the cake and forgot to bring my SLR camera. So the only pictures I have were from my iPhone.

This was my favorite cake I've made so far because it turned out looking so professional and adorable. I had a lot of compliments on it and was really proud of my work. The top layer was a yellow cake made with butter instead of oil so it gave the cake a sweet and salty flavor and it was very moist, almost too moist for the structure of the cake, but it worked. The bottom layer was a dark chocolate cake and all over was cream cheese frosting and my homemade marshmallow fondant.

Here's the finished product!

I really enjoy doing cakes for events where I don't know most of the people. This shower was a great way to sort of market what I can do and I already seem to have some people interested in future projects for me. Now I just need to get some business cards printed!

In the meantime I'm searching out potential job opportunities at local bakeries. What I want more than anything right now is to get my foot in the door professionally at a bakery to gather some more experience so I can refine my skills.

Can't wait for the next project!

Sunday, April 4, 2010

I survived Easter.

I'm very proud of myself because I made it through easter without inhaling too much of the sugary confections that go along with the holiday.

All in all I consumed:
Jelly Beans: 5
Mini Reeses Eggs: 3
Peeps: 1
Mini Laffy Taffy: 2
Nerds: a very small handful

And walla. I will say most of the candy I consumed was because my adorable little nephew Jeffrey was kind enough to share some of his Easter Basket candy with me. He was very excited about the prospect of us eating the same exact candy at the same exact time.

It was fun watching his eyes light up with every little easter egg he opened to see what was inside. He wanted to consume the majority of it with each egg that was opened and soon he had the type of energy I can only dream of having again someday. He was running up and down the block, riding his tricycle, wanting to tickle me, and playing hide and go seek. It's always a good time with Little Man. The most memorable part of it all was this moment.

It's time for Jeffrey to eat dinner and we asked him what he wanted to eat a few times and got random responses like Chicken Bread (?) and Chicken Soap...someone like's chicken. He soon forgot about the task at hand about deciding on dinner and ran off to play again. I grabbed his attention and said, "Jeffrey, what would you like for dinner?" and he excitedly responded "How about sugaaaaaaaar?!"

Laughing...dying laughing...and dead.

What a kid thing to say. After consuming candy all day long he wants sugar for dinner.

Ahhh. Well since my body won't allow for the copious amounts of candy handed out on Easter it was fun to live vicariously through Jeffrey. Actually, I'm sure my body could handle the candy, but my jeans sure won't be liking my big butt later.

I'm proud of myself though, I managed to walk away from Easter pretty unscathed. I hope you all had a wonderful day!! Happy Easter...

Tuesday, March 30, 2010


I was honored to bake a very fun cake for Kristen and her daughter Jadyn who turned 3 in the month of March. I met Kristen through the great wedding season of 08 when she photographed our friend's wedding and we discovered she was good friends with our wedding photographer Lisa. What a small world! Jadyn is a big Dora and Diego fan and when Kristen asked me to bake a cake with Jadyn's favorite characters on there I was really excited about the challenge. It was my first two tiered fondant cake and it came with it's challenges and lessons and I will definitely make changes the next time, but I was impressed at the outcome. And glad to have it off of my hands because that little cake caused me a lot of stress. Wink ;) You can't believe how many times I woke up in the middle of the night to check on that cake. With a few minor issues, the cake survived and I hope that Kristen and Jadyn enjoyed it!!

One of the great perks about baking over at my parents is using my mom's kitchen aid mixer. I find that if you let it go for a bit the cake comes out nice and fluffy. I might just have to invest in one of these.

I'm still so happy with this marshmallow fondant recipe. Over time it's been so easy to work with and so accommodating. (And such a money!)

I still need to perfect the perfect consistency of cake thickness and balance so that the top tier isn't too heavy. The bottom tier sank a little and I need to also work on carving the cake some because I want the fondant to sit smoother on the cake. Still lots to learn but I have to start somewhere!

The finished product!!

Saturday, March 13, 2010

Sweet Springtime

Alright, go head, I'm holding out my wrist. You can slap me now. I know, I've been a baaaaad blogger. Over a month since my last post?! How could I?

Well, now that my wrist stings, I'm just going to fix this little problem that we have. Springtime is finally approaching and I've had my first tastes of that warmer air where I don't even need a jacket and I can drive around with the windows down and Ray LaMontagne up, thus I'm feeling better. Winter always does a number on me, but who doesn't fall into that category? Unless you live in the tropics. Jerks.

My feet aren't dragging at a molasses' pace anymore and the thought of extra hours of light in the day gets me all ready to try new things. In these colder, gloomier days I've been perusing various baking websites to gather up ideas for my spring overhaul. I have an up and coming project in the last weekend of March that I'm really excited about. I was asked to make a cake for a 3rd birthday party for an adorable little girl who wants Dora and Diego to grace her cake. You got it little lady. (Stay tuned for pictures and updates on that awesome cake!)

Spring is also the downfall of me. Why? Because of these:
Oh cadbury mini eggs. How you will be the death of me this spring. You always are. I am determined to find a way to incorporate these into a baking project for Easter. Just wait.

Speaking of incorporating yummyness into a baking project, take a look at what the folks over on CakeSpy recently posted. Yes my friends, a Girl Scout cookie cupcake. Say it with me, HEAVEN.

A coconut cupcake with Samoa crumbles on top. If I had a box of Samoas in my house I would be making these, stat. But alas, the universe is against me and my weightloss strategy wins again so that cannot happen. Instead, I will just oogle over their deliciousness.

And lastly, other baking cuteness I've come across in recent days.

I'm always a huge fan of Hello Naomi and her adorable cupcakes.

Then of course there's my friend, Bakerella, with these adorable as always St. Patty's day cake balls.
And who says you always have to eat the cuteness? Why not wear it? I love this Natalie Dee Cupcake Shirt.

Until next time,

Saturday, February 6, 2010

Happy Birthday Cakes

Forgive me if this post is a jumbled mess. I'm running on about 5 hours of sleep in the past 36 hours. Why? Because I spent the whole night baking 3 wonderful birthday cakes for 3 adorable little girls. The girls, who are sisters, share a birthday very close to each other so they got to celebrate together today with a joint party. Each of them of course has their own personality and so they had their own theme for each girl. Elmo, Disney Princess and Pokemon. This was quite the challenge for my first official cake decorating endeavor but staying up all night was worth it! I really hope that the family enjoyed their cakes and I hope they were a hit at the party. So, take a look at my creations.

The mess ensues.

Mmm. Funfetti cake.

The early stages.

Jessie was my little buddy into the wee hours of the morning.

Wanna try and guess what time it is? Yeah it was late. Or early.

Somehow I managed to make a Pikachu out of fondant at 6:45 in the morning.

Elmo cake!

This is Annie. She's my parents dog. Or rather my brother's dog that my parents take care of. She's cute.

The princess cake.

Hee hee hee. That tickles.

Tuesday, February 2, 2010

Baking Fail

For any of us that have tried to bake, we've all had one. Whether it was a cake recipe where you accidentally added a 1/4 Tablespoon of salt instead of a 1/4 Teaspoon of salt, or simply forgot about the brownies baking in the oven and had charred chocolate for dessert.

When Josh and I got married I wanted to start out as Super Wife. Our apartment was our first place on our own apart from our parents and the week before we got married and I was living there by myself I cleaned up after every little mess and had so much fun just cooking meals left and right. That phase has long since passed. Trust me.

One night I had a craving for some good ole Nestle Toll House chocolate chip cookies with a cold glass of milk. I wasn't quite ambitious enough at the time to make up my own batch so I drove to Walgreens and got the prepackaged kind in the squares that you just place on a cookie sheet and bake. The only instructions you really have to follow on this one is setting the oven to the right temperature and setting a timer. Easy enough.

The smell started to fill the apartment and I knew we were in for a good treat. After all the slaving in the kitchen over ripping open the packaging, these cookies better be good. I went about my business as the cookies baked and when the timer went off I skipped to the oven excited to see the golden brown cookies with their melted chocolate chips bubbling ever so slightly at the top. What I found was more like this:

I was devastated. How could I ruin the easiest cookies in the world? I'm going to suck at this Domestic Goddess crap. I frantically dug the wrapper out of the trash to make sure I did everything right, temperature: 375 (check) time:9-11 minutes (I did it for 10, check). What the what?! The burned cookies incident would be a mystery until a day or two later when we made a frozen pizza and discovered that to be burned too. What we finally realized is that our oven bakes 20-25 degrees hotter than what the actual temperature is set at. All I could think when we discovered that was, "I AM NOT A FAILURE!"

Since then, most of my baking endeavors have been successful. Most.

Monday, February 1, 2010

Sweet Monday

Though most of us "normal" people in the world have little appreciation for Mondays, I figure it would be a good idea to have a regular post on Mondays just to make people smile. Whether it's a cute baking idea I've found, maybe a little cartoon, or a funny story, I hope it makes everyone's Monday just a little bit sweeter.

I was browsing over at CakeSpy (btw: I want every single piece of merchandise with those cute watercolor cupcakes!) and found this post about 50 Ways To Kill a Twinkie. I think my favorite sequence is where they make croutons out of the fried twinkie and then proceed to serve them on a salad. When you're expecting croutons, friend twinkies must taste so gross! I wonder how a fried twinkie tastes anyway...(note to self:pretty much anything fried tastes good!)

And now for something completely different:

Hello Naomi was my inspiration for the Robot Cupcakes and I wanted to share another adorable set of cupcakes that she made. Seeing what she comes up with really gets my brain cranking on great ideas for cupcakes. Take a look:

I hope you have a Sweet Monday!

Sunday, January 31, 2010

That's Sweet!

I'm really happy with the way things are taking off for me with the baking business. I guess you could call it a business since I managed to work out my first paying job yesterday! My friend Leah, who has an awesome website, met up with me yesterday to talk about this new part of my life. We had a great discussion about finding something in life that you're really passionate about, finding something that you love to do and watching it flourish in no time. It was really great to talk about what I've been doing lately and share my interests with a friend.

Leah has 3 daughters who share birthdays super close to each other and she's having a joint birthday party coming up this weekend for the girls. She asked if I would be interested in making 3 cakes for their birthday party, each with their own theme. So I will be making a Pokemon Cake, an Elmo Cake and a Disney Princess cake. This should be a lot of fun because each of these designs are so different that I'll really get some good experience making each one. I already have some ideas put together and they are going to be so cute!

Since things are moving at a good pace I thought I should maybe think of a creative name for my "business". So if you look up at the top of my blog, you'll see that the name changed to Le Petit Treat. I like it, I think it's catchy and it works with what my focus is, small, cute desserts. Of course, if people want me to do other things like cakes and pies, I'll gladly try my hand at it! I'm currently in touch with someone who will hopefully be making a cute logo for me and so you'll be seeing some blog changes in the near future here.

Thanks for following my journey and definitely let friends know that I'm here. The more people that know, the more I get to bake, the more I get to bake, the more people get to enjoy the happiness of baked goods. :) And who wouldn't want that?

I'll leave with a cute cartoon I found online:Photo credit

Thursday, January 28, 2010

Falling in love with baking...

My love for baking began when I discovered these from Bakerella. I never considered myself much of a baker. I love cooking because with cooking you can add a hint of this and a dash of that and just experiment. There always seems to be a way to fix a mistake if you are cooking. If you are baking, not so much. It's so meticulous, everything must be measured out to the exact teaspoon and if you add not enough or too much of any given ingredient, your cake may end up like a giant hockey puck. Ahem...**you know who you are**. My extension of baking went as far as the Toll House cookies that you take out of the package and stick in the oven, even then I messed those up once.

I decided to pursue something outside of my limits one day. My mom's birthday was coming up, which is two days after Valentine's day. She loves chocolates and she loves cake. So why not put the two together? Well, Bakerella did and I tried my own hand at her design.

I was quite impressed with my handiwork seeing that just a few short months ago I couldn't even bake those Toll House cookies without burning them. Yikes! But this was the beginning of my baking infatuation. Over time I began to try newer designs, all inspired by my role model, Bakerella of course. Soon the truffles became a big hit and I was finding a demand for my goodies. I started taking them to work and then getting asked if I could take special orders for occasions like Mother's Day, Baby Showers, Wedding Showers and the like. Who wouldn't want to make some money off of a hobby that they love doing?

Baking is therapeutic for me. I've always been very creative and I never quite found my niche, but once I began this adventure in baked goods I realized how much I loved using my creativity to make edible art.

Tomorrow is a big day for me. I have a meeting with an acquaintance (new friend) that is a chef at a very nice Tapas Restaurant here in downtown St. Louis. He saw some of my stuff just by seeing the few pictures I had on my iPhone and said he was interested in meeting with me to talk about putting my truffles on their dessert menu. He said that they were looking for some fun new desserts that had some personality to them and that he really liked what I could do and said he'd love to pay me to make some weekly for the restaurant. You have to imagine the shock when I realized he was completely serious about this and now I have a meeting with him tomorrow.

I spent the night trying to perfect my truffles and come up with a trendy design that would kind of have some sort of coherence with the feeling of the restaurant. I'm pretty pleased with my work and looking forward to hearing what they have to say. Either way, no matter the outcome, I'm going to continue my baking endeavors and see where it takes me. I'm feeling quite positive about this path in my life.