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I was going through my external hard drive and realized I had a few more cake treats up my sleeve!   When I was working for Ron he was commissioned to do how-to stories for Pastry & Baking Magazine. So I am going to share a few more with you.

Summer is right around the corner and we have many reasons to celebrate!  Here is an adorable cake that is great for any occasion. Also – don’t forget to visit my favorite baker, Ron Ben-Israel at his Facebook page he has lots of fun things happening right now and you should check them out!

(This story was photographed by Rebecca Woodman Taylor for Ron Ben-Israel Cakes and Pastry & Baking Magazine.)

Here is your equipment list: Satin Ice Fondant, Satin Ice Sugar Paste, Pizza cutter/pastry wheel, Smooth rolling pin, Textured rolling pins, Metal ruler, Paintbrush(s), Pencil, drinking straws, wooden spoon etc…Drying foam, Piping tips and Water.

 A Fun Celebration Cake

Begin with a two-tier cake covered with Satin Ice Fondant.  Measure the circumference of each tier.

Begin with a two-tier cake covered with Satin Ice Fondant. Measure the circumference of each tier.

Roll out bright colored Satin Ice gum paste using a plastic rolling pin.

Roll out bright colored Satin Ice gum paste using a plastic rolling pin.

Using a textured rolling pin and even pressure, carefully roll out a raised design.

Using a textured rolling pin and even pressure, carefully roll out a raised design.

Cut strips to desired width.

Cut strips to desired width.

Apply bands to cake using water to moisten.  Play with colors, textures and angles to achieve the effect of festive streamers.

Apply bands to cake using water to moisten. Play with colors, textures and angles to achieve the effect of festive streamers.

To make curly-cues, cut bright strips of colored paste in varying widths and lengths.  Wrap around any round objects, such as: pencils, drinking straws, wooden spoon handles, or paint brushes.

To make curly-cues, cut bright strips of colored paste in varying widths and lengths. Wrap around any round objects, such as: pencils, drinking straws, wooden spoon handles, or paint brushes.

Tip:  Allow to dry a few minutes before removing strips and arranging them in half-moon shapes.  Let dry completely for a few hours.

To make confetti, roll out sugar paste and cut out circles using piping tips.  Allow to dry.

To make confetti, roll out sugar paste and cut out circles using piping tips. Allow to dry.

Attach curly-cues and confetti to cake with a dab of water.

Attach curly-cues and confetti to cake with a dab of water.

Beauty shot!

Beauty shot!

 

I posted this a few years back, but since it’s wedding season, I thought it might be fun to repost again.

Today’s posting is how to decorate a sweet, romantic cake.  This “how to” was featured in Pastry & Baking North America. (If interested in a subscription, click here: http://www.pastryna.com/pastryna_subscribe.htm) Ron came up with the concept and my former co-worker Sarah worked out the steps and I photographed the story.

Have fun and enjoy!  If any of you out there do make this cake, please send us your photos, we would love to see your versions.

 

 

1. Stack three round cake tiers, iced in butter cream and a thin layer of Ivory Satin Ice fondant. (We used 10” + 7” + 5” cakes on a 13” board.)

2. Roll thin strips of Ivory Satin Ice fondant on a textured board to achieve quilted pattern. (Ron uses a Lucite florescent lighting cover.)

3. Measure the circumference of the top and bottom tiers, and trim strips along the diagonal line.

4. Lightly brush the back of each fondant strip with water and apply to the bottom and top tiers.

5. Line up the diagonal seams to meet each other.

6. Roll out white Satin Ice Gum Paste and cut out flowers using a small blossom cutter.

7. Cup flowers with a ball tool against a piece of soft foam. Set flowers aside to dry.

8. Roll small balls of Blue Satin Ice fondant and attach to the center of each flowers with a bit of water.

9. Using the quilted pattern as a guide, apply the blossoms in a Swiss dot pattern.

10. Roll Blue Satin Ice fondant and cut into strips. Moisten the edges with water, place a wire or a skewer, fold the ends and fasten while cinching into a loop. Let loops dry sideways.

11. Prepare two tails & a small strip for the knot. Those will be applied to the cake while still flexible.

12. Apply a band of Satin Ice Blue fondant around the middle tier. Then attach bows, tails and the knot by inserting wires and moistening backs of the decorations to secure.

13.Mix powdered shimmer colors with clear alcohol and paint all decorations to a satiny finish.

14. A sweet and romantic blue and ivory cake!

Well this is exciting…Ron just told me that he was teaching a 3 day sugar flowers class in New York City at the amazing kitchens of the International Culinary Center (founded as the French Culinary Institute).    There are still spots available to participate in this class by my amazing friend and baker Ron.

Students will learn and practice Ron’s systems of producing Hyacinth, Freesia, Anemone, Sweet-pea, & Candy tulip, as well as decorating a small display cake with their own flowers. (Making the flowers as well as learning how to apply them to the cake from Ron himself???? Yeah….you should signup for his class….)

As a BONUS (and this is a bonus!) each student will be able to take home all of the specialized cutters and silicone molds that were made exclusively for this class.

Click the link to sign up:

 http://www.internationalculinarycenter.com/courses/sugar-paste-flowers-ron-ben-israel/

 

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Ron is a great teacher, you will learn a lot from him. Take his class!!!!

Jason Schreiber, my previous co-worker at Ron Ben-Israel Cakes is offering Sugar Classes in New York City…did I mention that Martha Stewart Weddings just rated him as one of the top 63 pastry pros in America? Yeah….I am proud of him. He’s a great teacher and you will learn a lot from him in his 2-day class.

Here is Jason when we both worked at Ron Ben-Israel Cakes tying sugar flowers.

Here is Jason when we both worked at Ron Ben-Israel Cakes tying sugar flowers.

Space is limited to only 12 students so sign up now!!!

Saturday & Sunday June 21-21, 2014

10am – 4:30pm each day

$600 for both days including materials for class and a light lunch.

Jason class photo

You will be learning how to shape, form, assemble and color: Open Peonies, Parrot Tulips, Ranunculus, Oncidium (Cherry Baby) Orchids, Hypericum Berries and Assorted Leaves.

This class is appropriate for Intermediate students, no need for expert training, but familiarity with sugar paste and some basic techniques are encouraged.

photo

So if you live in NYC or want to visit in June and learn from a really great teacher click here to register!

NYC Design Girl:

I thought I would revisit a funny Friday I had with Ron Ben-Israel a few years ago and who he changed the toner for the printer…

Originally posted on NYC Cake Girl:

He doesn’t just bake folks….he changes printer toner too.  Just another day in the “office” for Ron Ben-Israel.  Ron likes to keep it “real” and do menial everyday office tasks. (He knows I am writing this by the way, he even said it was ok for me to take pictures of this whole thing…not that he had a choice really.)

OK so this is what really happened… Ron wanted me to change the toner in the printer because he forgot “how” to do it.  Now mind you, this is a printer he had WAY before I had even started working for him over 4 years ago.  So I told him “no” and he had to change it himself….then hilarity ensues…..

Ron is getting ready to change the toner in the printer. He looks happy now....

I really don't know why he looks so afraid...

Seriously....it's just toner. You would think there was a large furry spider in that box.

It's just cardboard, he didn't break the toner cartridge. Although by the look on his face...

This does come with directions by the way, which were folded up neatly on Ron's desk. :)

I hate to see how Ron cleans his refrigerator...

A job well done sir, that wasn't so bad now was it?

I would like to thank Ron Ben-Israel for having such a great sense of humor…

View original

Most of us have a 9-5 job, and we get busy with said job, we keep our heads down and work hard. I am lucky enough to be in a “social” industry (so most of the time it seems like were are doing social things!), we work very long hours, and sometimes we don’t get time off for a while because of our “season”.   There are a lot of industry events that happen throughout the year and it’s a nice “break” so to speak.  We can learn about the new happenings and catch up with our friends and colleagues.

Last night was one of those “breaks”.  It’s even better when an “industry” dinner turns out to be a little something more.  I had the pleasure of sitting at a wonderful dinner table last night. Beautifully set with a gorgeous table linen (thank you BBJ), orchids the color of a sunset artfully arranged in a long, lush arrangement the length of the table (well done Floralia Decorators) and some pretty spectacular company – a few old friends and now some new.

Beautiful linen, table ware and flowers make any dinner special...

Beautiful linen, table ware and flowers make any dinner special…checkout BBJ Linen, they have a gorgeous selection and their customer service is top notch.  For amazing flowers visit  Floralia Decorators.

The chitchat waved back and forth from celebrity gossip to work related tasks then to funny work related stories. It was a real treat to sit with great company in a cozy setting, enjoying AMAZING food and remembering why I wanted to be in this business. We create remarkable events and we are a slave to creating amazing memories for our clients. Well, I had such a dinner last night. Thank you to our wonderful hosts John Wyatt of Sonnier & Castle and Leslie Palme of BBJ Linen.  And an extra thank you to John and his staff at Sonnier & Castle for the exquisite dinner, they get top marks for it all.  On a chilly, wintery night in New York City, this was definitely a memorable event.

Dinner was delicious!  All of the plates were beautiful presented and the waiters and their table service was elegant and accommodating. (And well dressed!)

Dinner was delicious! All of the plates were beautifully presented, the waiters and their table service was elegant and accommodating.  Sonnier & Castle is not your ordinary “catering” company.  There is thought and passion behind everything they put in front of you.  This is not just food but an experience, I highly recommend them for any event.

A fun surprise of the night was finally getting to chat with Lauri Ditunno the fabulous and talented baker who owns Cake Alchemy here in NYC.

We even got to take our own little cake home! A fun surprise of the night was finally getting to chat with Lauri Ditunno, the fabulous and talented baker who owns Cake Alchemy here in NYC.  (And who made the tasty treats for us!)

One of the things I love about my blog is knowing that I have readers all over the world.  It’s exciting for me to share with you my shenanigans in the events industry here in New York City.  What excites me more is when I hear from my readers.  A few days ago, I received an email from Sugar Artist Mila Iquise and today I am featuring her beautiful work.

Mila is not necessarily a baker; she is more of a sugar artist.  Her flowers are life like and dare I say on par with Ron Ben-Israel.  She has her own style and they areBEAUTIFUL.  She answered a few questions and sent lots of pictures of her work.

Before her endeavors as a sugar artist, Mila was a fashion designer selling her mini collections at Globus, a high-class department store in Zurich.  During and after a rather hard pregnancy, she had to stop working as a fashion designer.  For Mila, staying at home and not be active in creating projects was torturous.   She was trying to find a project that did not demand too much time.  One day, by chance, she started making sugar flowers.  Mila wanted to take the sugar flower to the next step and not to repeat the nature’s creation (the botanical flower), but a more artistic approach. Through this technique, not only do the flowers look botanically correct, they look like they leaped off the canvas of a painting.  All of her flowers are executed with precision and the coloring of each piece has depth and movement.

MIla is in the red scarf instructing students in sugar flower art.

MIla is in the red scarf instructing students in sugar flower art.

 

Pansy

Pansy

When did you start your business?  Four years ago, I didn’t know cake decorating existed. By accident I saw an image of a cake with magnificent sugar flowers on it.  I took a closer look and in that very tiny little part of a second, I knew I wanted to make sugar flowers. The cake that I saw was by Scott Clark Woolley.

Lisianthus

Lisianthus

Cherry blossom

Cherry blossom

What has been your greatest challenge?  Is that delicate balance of family and work.

 What is your favorite cake decorating technique? I like very much “ bas relief “ technique.

In order to get better at anything we do requires study.  Mila does this with each of the flowers she creates.

In order to get better at anything we do requires study. Mila does this with each of the flowers she creates.  Here she is working on the camellia.

 

Garden roses

Garden roses

Who are your inspirations in the cake and pastry world?  There are many out there, but mostly I admire the virtuosity from real to stylized when working on flowers.  Ron Ben Israel is one of my favorites; I like his color palette combinations.  The style of Maggie Austin, another virtuoso, her talent to turn details into art and art into sugar amazes me. The clean and pure spirit of Jacqueline Butler’s sugar work as well and the Australian style of “caking” by Faye Cahill.

Poppy

Poppy

Peonies

Peonies

To see more of Mila’s work, visit her Facebook page or contact her directly at contact@mila-iquise.ch.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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