Something’s Baking….

carolina web 6-2

The home of “Caro’s Confections” is now live! The original blog ‘There’s Always Time to eat (the in-between of a busy artist life)’ will now live here. Post will be up soon, along with more add ons for our ‘Boutique’ section!  Thank you for stopping by!

Cheers, Prost, Zalute

Caro

Caro’s Confections, does Etsy.

Blonde2Brunette Bloggers

Who doesn’t love Etsy? A place where you can type anything into the search engine and find items available for purchase that you never thought was available. I love finding vintage clothing pieces, eclectic jewelry and of course, Wizard Of Oz, themed items (I have a thing for Judy Garland, why hasn’t anyone asked me to do a WIZARD OF OZ CAKE YET?).

For some time I have been going onto this site to find decorative pieces for my home, and “one of kind” gifts for my family and friends. Having the crafty itch I’ve always wanted to sell but so many ideas came to mind, and never did I find the time. Similar approached to how I came about caking, it’s the same about crafting. I get inspired and I normally just go for it.

So a little over two years ago my love for floral crowns came about, and I could never find the ones I liked. I searched online, checkout out crafters that I follow and very few had what I liked, so instead I started to make my own. This was way before this spring’s “flower crown boom” came along and it was easy to find floral crowns at every boutique, big chain stores like Urban Outfitters and other online shops. At least in the state of Florida , because clearly NYC and LA and all the other big cities up the coast were ahead of the game.

The only other person ahead of the game in, Miami, was shop owner, Nicole, from (click there for more info –>) ‘Nikki’s Beach House‘. She also lived in California… she knows her stuff. I have to be honest, she was the FIRST among the rest of the shops in, South Florida, to carry crowns, she’s had them for the last few years, and well people caught on to the trend here. ;) This awesome boutique has two locations in the heart of South Miami, and Coconut Grove Shops. It’s not just a shop of bikini’s, but great apparel for women, jewelry, and shoes. All designer and local brands that we know and love, plus new up coming designers that South Florida with rarely see.

So as an avid follower and shopper there, I happen to fall into a beautiful accident with the owner, Nicole. She saw some handmade floral crowns, and asked me if I was available. She needed crowns A.S.A.P. and well with my random schedule- IT WORKED OUT!

Next thing you know, I made a bundle for the late summer/early fall collection, and then came back again for this spring/summer collection. It does help that FLorida has the grand ‘ Winter Music Festivals’ and ‘Ultra Music Festival’. I was even able to ship out my crowns for people to Cali for this year’s, Coachella. I personally would just go to, Coachella, to dress up in funky bohemian fashion.

Caro’s Confections, has turned into a brand of  all things feminine and sweet. It’s my creative outlet, I LOVE TO CREATE, and just a really great way to save up for my future. I’ve got big plans for my performance career, so any little help along the way is simply, great. I think the biggest gratification though is people having fun with what they wear. I guess playing “dress up” really never gets old.

So this is something that kept me busy this passed year and I hope you take a peak at my little shop, click here –> https://www.etsy.com/shop/CarosConfections

About the Products:
-It’s a mix of floral crowns and cake decor.
-I do take custom orders.
-I am not limited to only what you see on my shop.
-More variations Do exist on my InstaGram: @carosconfections, click here –> LINK
-Not only do I sell the crowns, but I also rent them at a very affordable price (South Florida Area Only). They are great for bridal showers, baby showers, and of course my favorite, PHOTO-SHOOTS! lol. What a fun prop to use!
-Crowns for ALL AGES.
-More products coming soon for the home, apparel, and more.

Interested? Feel free to email me at carosconfections@hotmail.com or through my Facebook Page, click here –> www.facebook.com/carosconfections

Pinkies Up,

Caro

 

The Blogger Is Back.

 

Emily-Liz-Caro
Avid followers of Liz Dikinson

We are half way through 2014 and blogging hasn’t been happening as frequently as I hoped. Blogging hasn’t happened period.

I promise you I still eat macarons at least once a month, I constantly am finding new places locally and abroad to share with you, and still baking away for clients if time permits in between my acting gigs.

So I’ve been busy- now it’s time to catch you all up to speed on some projects I’ve worked on.

Let’s start with publications this year. There have been a few and all thanks to a special lady…

I was fortunate enough to have some of my work circulate throughout the web during the duration of a year. Last spring I joined forces with (click there >) LIZ DIKINSON PHOTOGRAPHY, to do a’ Vintage Chic Pink Grey’ styled shoot.  I provided a fun modern style cake that was adorned with beautiful dusty pink roses. I got to meet some great local Miami, Fl vendors.

Fast forward several months and we find ourselves regrouping for a ‘Country Chic Wedding’ styled shoot. Where again I was able to supply a rustic cake. I finally got to do a “naked” cake and cover it with fresh real blooms.

The brain behind these shoots go to the go getter, Liz. If you are looking for the ultimate wedding/ family package, she delivers. Her work is beautifully captured and you just have to check out her site to believe it. Tell her what you are looking for and she makes it happen with her creative team! Liz is able to organize your thoughts, help you plan, and deliver a finish product. I love working and collaborating her and cannot wait for the next one.

To the most recent publication comes to an Ad campaign for TOBACCO FREE FLORIDA. The week of April, 21st 2014, marked the ‘6th Annual Tobacco Free Week’, and for that whole week they featured a cake that I was commissioned for. I’ll be posting the published images as soon as I get them, but I can tell you it was a different feeling making this cake for such a serious message. They asked for a wedding cake, with the cake topper having a patient and their doctor over coming the cancerous effects on smoking. The end goal was to inspire both the patient and the doctor to over come the addiction on smoking and to educate and prevent an inevitable death from such an easily accessed source.

I’ll be posting some pictures below, but for total access of all the pictures please visit the following links:

A complete list of press and publications from the Liz Dikinson Photography Team:

http://www.lizdikinsonphotography.com/praise-press/

The Vintage Chic Pink & Grey Wedding:

http://www.lizdikinsonphotography.com/blog/2013/12/2/pink-grey-wedding-inspiration-bridal-editorial

The Country Chic Wedding:

http://www.lizdikinsonphotography.com/blog/2014/1/31/rustic-country-chic-bridal-inspiration

Pinkies Up,

Caro

P.S. Still to come: Current and Past Projects, Cake Tutorials, and did you know I’m now selling my handmade items through the web and boutiques???  More on that to come, but for now check out my ETSY shop:

 

DIY: Dessert Table (THE C.C.’S TEAM PROCESS)

       
  Dessert Tables Can Be Stress Free.
              In my early years I’ve had my fair share of creating dessert tables for the family for the holidays, my favorite is Halloween. I love Halloween, and wish it was a week celebration! Lol! There’s something about the colors orange and black and the amazing tulle and glitter decorations I get to play with. As the years have past my mother picked up on the whole “treats” station early on, before it became the trendy thing to do. With that, my sister and I, have picked up some helpful tips along the way and have been able to collaborate on some amazing dessert tables with some recent events, and for me a more successful outcome for my clients!
   I don’t care how many parties you have planned or decorated ect. In any production, it takes planing and timing for it to be an ENJOYABLE experience. We’ve all been there, life gets in the way and schedules conflict leaving you pressed for time. Here is a little cheat sheet timeline for your “DIY: DESSERT TABLE”
PRE-EVENT QUESTIONS:
  1. What type of celebration/event is this?
  2. Location of event, BOOK ASAP (3 MONTHS PRIOR)?
  3. Theme of celebration/event, does it work with the season?
  4. How many people will be attending, important for amount of sweets?
  5. Whats my budget and time frame until the celebration/ event?
Once you have all those questions decided, it’s time to peruse your local shops, craft stores, online stores, and of course inspirational websites– COUGH COUGH PINTEREST ! lol.
    I personally, if time permits, start planning an event THREE months prior. It avoids impulsive shopping and less of a time crunch when it comes to decor. With my chosen theme in mind, I first do a little inspirational searching on the web from a variety of blogs to craft handmade vendors. Then I take it to the crafts store, like Michaels Craft Store, Joanne Fabrics, Anna’s Linens- to the home stores like, Home Goods, Target, Marshalls, Pier One, T.J. Max, Sur La tab. I will go to all of these stores, and look around before I buy anything. Sometimes there are those items, that you know wont be coming back, on clearance, or even on sale. If you are feeling confident or it may be possible to return those items just incase. BUY IT!!!

   Are there certain items, that you see at stores, that you say “How on earth  does it cost so much?” “I could make that”. If you don’t mind getting your hands dirty, or have kids that love to do just that, give them the glue and paint. It will be a nice family activity.Just be sure to repay them in a delicious meal. I mean that’s what I would want from my parents- FOOD or CAKE! Hahaha… There are probably plenty of tutorials of what you want to do via the web. It’s insane how many people have posted about their crafts. Thank goodness for that!  I have saved so much money making or painting our own things. It is hard though, when you may not have time on your hands. Thats why I recommend THREE Months of planning. It will help you mold what to buy around your budget.  Within the FIRST out of the THREE, be sure to have answered all pending questions and the perusing has begun, by the SECOND month out of the THREE be finalizing all purchased decor and supplies for handmade decor.  As you get to the end of being TWO months out, be sure to be at least  halfway done with your handmade decor.   So lets recap…

RECAP OF DECOR THREE TO TWO MONTHS PRIOR TO CELEBRATION/ EVENT:
  • (3 Months Out) Peruse home stores, craft stores, websites.
  • (3 Months Out) Begin purchasing decor (the sooner for ONLINE PURCHASES, to avoid rush orders and spending more money).
  • (2 Months Out) Finalize Purchases.
  • (2 Months Out) Be as close to finish with any handmade decor.
Here comes the tricky part, on top of decor, you need to finalize SWEETS!!!
        Again 3 months is helpful. Planning and execution, can be done on a shorter time frame, yes- but we are going for STRESS FREE SMOOTH COASTING! So again, THREE Months prior, peruse your favorite local shops and vendors, website for inspiration and figure out what showcases this celebration/ event. Desserts are the hardest dishes on the menu, it’s no different for your dessert table. Ask yourself, will I be making the desserts? Do I want to make all, or showcase one or two of my favorite  dessert dishes to my guests- OR IS IT TOO STRESSFUL AND LEAVE IT UP TO MY VENDORS? Thats a tough one. There is something sweet and personal when you have showcased your DIY: ANYTHING. It’s a chance for your guest to see your creative side and charm. Just keep in mind, who will be setting up the desserts table? Will I have help? Will I get a chance to breathe?  I’m fortunate to have my mom and sister on the, CARO’S CONFECTIONS, team. It does make it easier knowing that the people i’m working with have experience, appreciation, and an eye for aesthetics.  I’m sure all of you have a family member or friend that shares these qualities. :) … Back to planning sweets. My sister is great about printing photos of what we plan on ordering or making. This is also great for the decor as well. I’m a hands-on kind of gal, and I cant stand looking at my smart phone or computer all day long. So PRINT if you can, organize it in a stylish folder and look like a professional party planner ;) lol. Why not?
      BEFORE ORDERING:
     Lets talk about people attending and location, some think if you have 50 guest, that you should have 50 of everything. Thats a pretty intense  amount of sweets. I tend to take off of each amount of items, lets say if I have 50 guests, then I will have 5 types of sweet and quantity of 30/35 [ enter sweet here].  That’s a 150/175 sweets on a table. I personally think thats enough for people to leave home with sweets ;).  Next, ask yourself, at the location, what area in the location, and what tables will be provided. Will you display all of the sweets or refill bowls, baskets, trays as the event progresses. Sometimes you don’t need to put it out all on the table, and you and your go to helper can put out more later on. Plus this is great for when space is limited!
     You are ready to order? Well start calling and book those orders, some independent vendors and local shops will have different requirements when placing orders, time frame, deposits, ect. It’s best to wheel your orders out as soon as you know what you are going to have.
      Are you baking? Well congrats to you on this extra tedious and timely manner- Know what, and when certain baked goods are perishable. Sometimes you even have to make them the week, a few days, or worse- 24 hours before the party. Know what works for your schedule! PLAN PLAN PLAN!
Also, are you picking up, or having things delivered? What do they charge? How early can you pick up your items?
Depending on your vendors, do try by a month before the celebration/event, to have all your orders in!

RECAP ON SWEETS THREE TO TWO MONTHS PRIOR TO CELEBRATION/ EVENT

  • Print out images, with flavor profiles your ideal sweets.
  • Decide on vendors, and/ home baking.
  • Place your orders.Plan pick-up/delivery orders accordingly.
  • If you are baking, plan it out on your calendar.
  • Pick up or be available for Delivery orders.

NOW COMES THE RUSH

You know what I’m talking about, the “Oh my goodness the party is just weeks away!” The next thing you know you are recreating the same hand and facial gestures as the infamous “The Scream” painting, a la Van Gogh, or maybe you are like me and are overdosing in Starbucks coffee’s and cafecito’s . I would I.V. it, if I could.
DON’T FRET. If you are following the time line this next month can be useful to tie any loose ends. Something I like to do is make a ‘Mock Table’. It’s very helpful and will help you see and give you a chance to fill any blank questions.

I like to have height in mine, different fun levels to give the table some depth. Figure out what trays,bowl, crates ect. for the sweets to go in. Different cake stands and decorations of different heights, including flowers and candles. As I set the table up, I evaluate each placement, take a photo and switch things around and repeat. Then take that moment to step away and look over the photos. What do you and don’t you like. Is it clean, messy, an organized hodgepodge of items? Should I add or take away anything?

The key is to do all of this as early as possible, so you can tweak it to your hearts content, and as you receive decor orders and any other last minute decor add ons, along with sweets orders you can add them in.  Once again, keep in mind the location you are having your celebration/event in, the size of table and whats available surface wise. TAKE CLEAR PICTURES  of your ‘mock table’ so you have a guide for the day of the instillation. Be sure to request (if possible) a 2 to 3 hours for set up- IN ADVANCED. Not all venue’s allow this, but it doesn’t hurt to ask. Be sure to make a check list of everything you intend to bring, make sure you mark or write down what you own.

EMERGENCY TOOL KIT: Be sure to have tape, scissors string, hot glue gun, safety pins, and any other pressing tools… THIS WILL SAVE YOU!!! Anyone helping you that day? Be sure they are on the same schedule as you! Provide them with coffee, hugs, and kisses- 4 shots of expresso iced latte and I’m one happy camper!

The day has come, and the hours are flying….. are you ready? On your mark get set— GO!

Whip out that check list, have the pictures ready, load up that car(s), pack your emergency tool kit— AND BREAK A LEG!!!

Number one thing on my list post celebration/event, a glass of bold red wine with my feet propped up. I hope this little timeline “cheat sheet” will help you plan your future dessert table. <3

Cheers, Post, Zalute,

Caro

P.S. Below are pictures of the most recent Desserts Table my team (mother, sister, and honorary member, Lynda) and I created for the baby shower of my nephew, Michael (who’s due date is Oct. 8th!). If you have any questions, feel free to message me, thanks.

Barley & Swine
Welcoming Staple
                       
Cakes, Chocolates, Cookies, and more.

Hand Painted for ‘Rustic’ feel.
Wooden Letters were covered with yarn and accent button were attached.
Vintage Teddy Bear Center Pieces.
Even decor for the rustic bar.
Close up.

 

Celebrating Year Round with Caro’s confections

CELEBRATING AT A GLANCE!

You know I never realized how rewarding it is to supply celebratory staples for families, friends and their loved ones. Year round celebrations of all types are happening, and with recommendations from the gift of word of mouth, Facebook, or my clients guest at their parties- It always still surprises me and thrills me when I get to do a new confection project for someone. You got to see some of my cakes and confections, from last Fall. Halloween weekend marked the beginning of rehearsals for musicals and filming for a few indie shorts I worked. Finding time to book clients wasn’t easy, but was able to take on as many projects as I could. So here is a recap of some 2013 confections thus far.

JANUARY

  • “Captain America Suit” cake. I mostly enjoyed carving the abdominal area. Some even asked” If you are, what you eat- then can I eat those abs?” hahaha.
  • “Bow-tastic” cake. Lots of curly ribbon, glittered confetti and of course a giant bow.
  • Macarons of all kinds.

FEBRUARY

  • “Fireman Graduate” cake. Was honored to make this cake for our hero’s of today.
  • More macarons, and even some lovely heart shaped shells for Valentine’s Day.
  • “Valentine’s Cakes for Two”. My first bulk order of cakes. This was a monster project for me. Had over 25 orders. I learned a lot in this process. Thanks to my mother and sister. I survived!
  • “Hunger Games” cake. This was just fun. I’m really into any type of fantasy cake, it really is the most fun for me. This golden bird was done by hand, and felt really proud considering iI had no idea where to start with it.
  • My mom helped finish off the flames as I built the golden topper.
  • “Vintage Tea Party Birthday” cake. This was for my sisters 30th surprise birthday cake. That bottom tier took the longest, but fondant frilled like that, looks so lovely.

MARCH

  • Macarons, yet again. Playing with the shamrock shape.
  • “Golf Lover” cake. Simple, but still had enough detail. Loved the glittered flags.
  • “Circus Tent” cake. This was for an amazing charity called “Birthday Fairies”, a friend of mine, Casey, created a branch here in South Florida, it’s such a sweet story on how this amazing organization came about. For more info please click HERE.
  • Here is a simple buttercream cake, adorned with mauve florals. I love florals with black centers, here we have , anemone’s, and since this birthday lady is very chic, it was my go to color and flower!
  • “Safari Jungle” cake. This mother planned the sweetest first birthday for her son. She wanted buttercream for her guest and whatever fondant pieces for decor- so with that I went to town. I’m obsessed with these giraffes.
  • “Red Rose Flamenco” cake. This cake was for my dear friend’s mother. The love of flamenco is vibrant in that house, and she wanted to make it extra special and personal.



APRIL

  • “Christening” cake. I just got SugarVeil, and my client loves simplicity in a very classic way. She wanted all buttercream, white with just a hint of baby blue. To keep that delicate nature, I used the SugarVeil lightly and it had a very nice effect on the cake.
  • “Lace Crown” cake. This cake was for my niece’s first birthday, it fell in the middle of the week and her actual party wasn’t until the weekend. Though things were crazy, with all the last minute ‘to do’s’ I was able to whip up a mini- cake for her and the parents. It’s only tradition for a cake and candle on anyones birthday.
  • “Circus Elephant” cake. So many types of circus animals to do, and even with an elephant I couldn’t decide what to do. Sometimes, you just have to trust yourself and see what comes out! All I know, is I wanted big floppy ears, and this lil girl had em.
  • “Circus Cupcakes”. We did ‘popcorn’,’sundae’, milkshakes, and randoms.
  • “Taurus Brownie” cake. I don’t get this, explain to me the person (in this case a guy) that prefers vanilla on vanilla cake, BUT loves CHOCOLATE? lol. Gotta love ‘em. Brownie cakes have become popular orders for me since then!
  • “PINK-GREY” Wedding Cake. This simply yet floral time consuming cake, was used for a ” PINK GREY VINTAGE CHIC” wedding photo shoot, that I was very happy to be a part of  by, Liz Dikinson Photography. It was later published in several bloodspots and magazine articles (more on that later).



























MAY

  • “Burlesque” cake. This bachelorette party had a spicy theme for their ladies night out, and I was all game. I prefer this kind of cake versus the raunchy, well- you know…
  • Lots of desserts for treats tables, cupcakes, tea cakes of all flavors. have you seen my menu? Click HERE
  • “Betty Boop Kisses” cake. This client had their very own Betty Boop topper, and wanted a complimenting cake for it. Check out these sweet kisses.
  • “Lady Bug” cake. The most important and hardest decision for me, was her face. She is indeed a, lady.
  • “Vintage Tea Bridal Shower” cake. the setting once again compliments the cake. I really enjoy this life sized dollhouse. For more info on Veronica’s Dollhouse, click HERE.




JUNE

  • Could not book clients due to back to back ‘LOCAL & OUT OF TOWN’ show runs until mid August.
   AUGUST
  • “Superman” cake. This adorable 4 year old the coolest invites!!!
  • “Dad” cake. I call these the “Dad” simply because it was for my father, and he loves a classic vanilla bean cake with chocolate add ons anywhere. So before I headed off to rehearsal, I whipped up a ‘Judy Garland’ cake with on add on of chocolate morsels and milk chocolate ganache. With a simple banner and candles, it was there waiting for him. Don’t worry there was a piece waiting for me when I got home. ;)



























SEPTEMBER
  • ” Rustic Baby Shower” cakes. Oh, yeah by the way my sister is expecting! This time a baby boy. So many events happen before fall, that it’s crazy to think you will every get anything done!  Somehow, some way between my sisters work, m

Hope you all enjoyed some of my confections from this past year. Looking forward to many, many more. Stay tuned for post on my recent dessert tables and treats provided for my clients, also tips on how to prepare and decorate dessert tables, until then…

Pinkies Up,

Caro

 

Sugar Craft Making Vol.1

SUGAR CRAFT MAKING, VOL.1

MY WORK STATION AT HOME
FIRST OFF — HAPPY NEW YEAR!!!

I can’t believe the month of March has already started, and I’ve only been able to post the first blog post, this month! Crazy, but blessed because I have been non stop since my last post, and when I found breaks, I took them! Something my family and friends constantly tell me to do. It’s a “New Year Resolution” of mine, and I’m trying to keep it!

I have so many post to explore with you all (more will be fired out soon). I’ve had the opportunity to do a dessert table for a wedding, more birthday orders, “just because” orders (my favorite), currently in the process of working on a store front window display, and I even took on the challenge of doing a “Valentines Cakes for Two” orders, let me tell you–WHAT A CHALLENGE THAT WAS! One thing is doing a cake for an event, the other is making a bundle, to be due in a two day period! I couldn’t have done it without my mother and sister. I learned a lot for future bulk orders, and plan on shedding some light on that crazy experience.

NOW ONTO SUGAR CRAFTING…

For now, I wanted to tell you about my sugar craft making! I still have only been able to make it out physically to one local class! ONE, but the great thing is that they do happen to pop up more frequently than ever! So hopefully I can expand my sugar craft making and more hands on training with professionals!

Early Roses.
Early Sugar Flowers.

My first class was on, SUGAR ROSES. To me, if you can perfect that flower, your cakes really go up a notch. Being the flower obsessed Virgo, I’m always looking to improve my sugar flowers, and really obsessed with cakes covered in them (it’s kind of ridiculous).

So many kinds of roses to make, but before I could explore the many different versions of roses, I wanted to understand the make-up of the rose in a hands on class. After playing with enough gum paste and attempts on making the sugar rose, I felt they weren’t delicate enough. They had a sweet whimsical feel, but I wanted to capture that life like touch. Although YouTube and books helped, I felt that I needed that classroom environment.

Before you take a class or tutorial you will need the following supplies:

Petal Pad, Paint Brush (gluing/also help curl in petal edges), Ball Modeling Tool, Small Rolling Pin
Petal/Leaf Silicone Veiner, Plastic Cones (for the base), Floral Wire, Plastic Spoons (for forming the petals), Petal cutters, Gum Paste Storage Board (to keep pre-cut petals from drying out), Cutting Mat Board/Surface (available at your local craft stores, i like mine with measurements on them.)

So I did my research, and some of my favorite cake supply stores in Miami, happen to have “in class”, tutorials. One even had a teacher who host airbrush classes and when I saw the cakes he did, I recognized my brother in law’s groom cake! So I was sold at ,CAKE ART MIAMI, located in the greater part of Miami, DORAL,Fl, and just recently opened a KENDAL, Fl store. This “Sugar Rose” class was a two day course, a total of 6 hours of rose making. Check their calendars on their site frequently, for there are always a variety of sugar flower classes offered and many other useful classes for caking!

At CAKE ART MIAMI, all of the teachers have a variety of training and are very passionate in what they do. My teacher Cristina, Owner of LA MENINA SWEETS just so happen to have graduated from my alma mater, F.I.U. THEATRE, and then later on continued her schooling at, LE CORDON BLEU MIAMI, followed by an internship at one of my favorite sugar craft artist’s studio, RON BEN-ISRAEL CAKES. Learning that when I came to class, you could only imagine how eager I was to learn the tricks of the trade from her that was passed down from the “Sweet Genius” himself!

I would love to share with you step by step process photos of what I learned, but one– That would be wrong (this is a business after all!)  and two, I highly recommend going in a taking a class like this one. There is something about the hands on experience that is needed. Not only do you learn from your teacher, but you also learn from your classmates on what they experience as the hours pass. It was a great experience overall. I’m looking forward to the next sugar flower making class!

Adding petals…
First steps…
(curling in the edges)
(forming the wired petals)
End Result From Class!!!

WORKING AT HOME
           Not in Miami, or don’t have a sugar rose class available? Well,you do have a computer! Please tell me you have heard about CRAFTSY?!?!?!? It’s a craft lovers best friend! Imagine the best Designers/Teachers/Artisans of all aspects at your fingertips! The cake decorating section is superb and yes they have a sugar rose tutorial! NICHOLAS LODGE, teachers the class and although I have not purchased “The Ultimate Sugar Rose” course, currently on sale for 29.99, I did purchase his “Classic Sugar Flowers: Anemone, Peony, Tulip” and he’s just amazing with his tutorials online, so i can only imagine how great his rose tutorial is! You get a course syllabus on all the items you need, you get to interact with students who are also taking the course, and he even responds to your questions! Best part is, it’s yours for life. You can reference back to it as often as you like! Thanks to my odd work hours– this is ideal!

Are you on a budget?!? Well, here are some images/links to some of my favorite “FREE SUGAR ROSE TUTORIALS” on PINTEREST.  I’m always updating my boards with tutorials and cake inspirations, so feel free to FOLLOW ME and get them on a regular basis…

Tutorial From: Glinki.net

Tutorial From: Windsor Cake Craft
Tutorial From: The Cake Blog
I hope this was helpful for anyone interested in making a sugar rose.
With having taken a class it allowed me to confidently try a variety of
flowers on my own (peonies, anemones, carnations, hydrangea, gerbeya
daisies, fantasy blooms, ect.). I hope to post more as I continue on learning
with the resources I have. I cant wait to post more of my sugar craft making!
Thank you for stopping by, and if you have any questions, feel free to
comment here or message me on my FACEBOOK PAGE!

SUGAR ROSES, ROSE BUDS, SWEET PEA CAKE TOPPER

 

Full Time Performer, Part Time Baker. Vol.2

 

Photography By: Blast Em Photography
…AND WE’RE BACK!
  So I wanted to show you all some of the celebration cakes I’ve made. Most of them were recently made for birthdays, and my niece’s baptism! Along with that my birthday cake my sister, Sylvia, made and since the holidays will be coming fast I thought I show you some of the treats I’ve made to inspire you to make your own!
  If there is something you like and would like to inquire on pricing or a tutorial, please message/or comment, enjoy!
  So, the top right is the baptismal cake I made for my niece, the most recent cake I made this October! (Below is a little bit of my process with the cake.) Funny story, I had signed up for a class on making baptismal cakes, just a week before and it got canceled. I was so nervous about attempting it, but really took my time on this yummy cake! I looked up images on interest and google, asked my sister what she wanted and then went for it. It probably totaled from baking to decorating just about 10 hours. I felt really good about not having taken any classes yet and still accomplishing such a cake!
   Next is my older brothers super hero themed cake, that was a lot of fun to make! On the bottom left is my dads Birthday cake decorated with a cascade of balloons flying away. The mushroom man cake was inspired by friend, Ashley who wanted something different and funny to give to her buddy, she also joined in the fun and learned to decorate with fondant. The cake on the bottom right was a wedding cake topper made for my friend, Christy’s, sister.
This is the birthday cake my sister made for me! I guess the bigger the age the bigger the cake! Cant wait to see what happens on my 25th. So at first glance you think “Whoa its probably the most decadent cake ever”! This cake is an oreo cheesecake, with chocolate cake layers, handmade oreo truffles, and drizzled ganache. It’s surprisingly light and fluffy from the layered cakes to the cheese cake! It was heaven on a plate! My sis has some yummy skills! Sylv, if you are reading this– i’m hungry.
   Here we have some fall themed treats, last Thanksgiving I had made a chocolate almond buttercream cake, along with pumpkin spiced macarons with fillings of   pumpkin cinnamon buttercream, chestnut buttercream w/chocolate ganache, vanilla buttercream, and nutella. I will be sure to do those again (they flew!), it also is great for my gluten free family members! 
     On the Right top corner, I made a desserts table for my friends, Greg and Claudia, celebrating their engagement during Christmas time! Here we have cake topper, cupcakes, buttercream cake with macarons shells, macarons in hazelnut, vanilla bean, raspberry, dark chocolate ganache.Their family and friends enjoyed the desserts so much I will be doing another arrangement for their wedding this coming december!  
     The gingerbread house, I made for my family, along with some holiday themed macarons beautifully packaged, presentation is KEY! Next lined up are some of the valentine themed sweets I made for my loved ones. I really loved my “Just the Two of Us” simply cake. Obviously I’m the glittered heart ;)
     Can I just say– I HATE MAKING CAKE-POPS!!! They are adorable and can be as fun and child like as you want to or frou frou for some posh looking dessert tables ( I made a baby shower themed kind)! There are two ways of making cake-pops, mixing the baked cake with icing and forming balls, or getting cake ball mold, or machines ( I have the babycake brand machine! AWESOME!) I prefer the second way, I don’t really like this “meatball” way. To each his own. Also some petit fours (gotta practice making them). Cant go wrong with key lime pie’s for summer time and for Miami, it’s acceptable all year round! I love pearling anything, and glittering all things! My favorite things to glittered are MARCARONS! Shocking–riiiggghhhhhttttt? No– but really? I don’t know anyone else that does, so when I bought an array of edible glitter I thought, why not? It worked out beautifully.
  Sugar flowers can be tricky, I have been practicing more and more just recently acquired a 6 hour class on rose making at “Cake Art Miami“, with some of the free time I had (pics coming soon). Books and Youtube can be great resources, but there is nothing like a little hands on experience to get the proper kinks out of making sugar flowers. I recommend this place for supplies and classes, if you are local.
Always looking like a mad woman!
  So now you have seen some of the eclectic confections I have made with all my love and passion. Below is a little bit of the process of the baptismal cake I made for my niece, and how I created the christening gown!
Did you catch the PBC pipe from home depot? Why spend $20+ on a rolling pin, when you can get the same thing for under three dollars? My sister really liked the idea of bringing the pink together from the flowers to the cake.
    After draping the white fondant and making pleats and folds, I quickly added some wooden/plastic and foam bendable rods to allow the bottom portion of the dress to set. The “fabric” effect I did on the gown, is commonly used for any cake that may have a clothing/fabric piece laid. This cake was done with Satin Ice Fondant, it’s one of the better tasting fondants in my opinion!

Next, came the detail.This is where you take your cake from looking one dimensional to life like.  That really sets any cake apart from the rest. I did a variety of highlighting to some layering of sorts, using lace from cut outs I used and highlighter pigments/ pearling dust to prevent the fabric from looking flat. I then “sewed” in a ribbon and attached beaded flowers for some extra flair.

   I hope you enjoyed my process photos. I have some on the Superman cake, as well, if interested.  I’ll try and make more going forward when it comes to the more intricate detailing. Well, I have more cakes to bake and design in the coming months. Be sure to keep a look out!

-CARO

P.S.
I think when it comes to life’s celebrations….. “You can have your cake and eat it too!”

Photography By: Natalie Melissa Photography (The cakes in the background I made (-; ).
With Actress/Model, Jordan Sasaki

 

Full Time Performer, Part Time Baker. Vol.1

FULL TIME PERFORMER, PART TIME BAKER. VOL.1

                                                     Cake…Cake…I LOVE CAKE!

Check Out “Blast Em Photography”

Whenever there is a celebration, the one item that should always be present is, CAKE! I have always felt that it’s an important to have at any celebration, from birthdays to bridal/baby showers, graduations to weddings. You can always theme it based on your celebration or keep it elegant and simple. So many choices, endless possibilities!

The majority of my baking skills come from my mother and my sister. Since I was little, I always enjoyed hanging out in the kitchen watching my mother whip something up and soon to follow my sister (being five years older than me it was like having another mother when it came to teaching me home activities). Over the years, us three have been bouncing off each other with ideas for decorating parties we host, and recipes for dishes and desserts. It’s never a dull moment in the house to say the least. The three of us have incredible talent and resources, and for some time, wonderful ideas have been brewing. Having some knowledge from my brothers, who run restaurants, help too ;). Hopefully in the near future, we can make them come to life!

In the last couple of years I have had more time to explore and expand my skills in the culinary world, aside from the film and theatre industry. I would like to think I had a strong background from home and school. During the four years I spent in college obtaining my B.F.A., I was consumed in the theatre department. Ask anyone from that school and they would think I lived there! Not only did I enjoy the performance classes along with being apart of many shows, I loved the technical classes. I was obsessed! Still am ;). The smell of sawdust, and the sound of rock n’ roll blazing over the speakers with undertones of screw guns and the table saw ripping lumber–ugh– always was a comfort to me.

Through out the scene shop, even the infamous cherry blossoms.. (I still have a box).

When I wasn’t in the scene shop, I was coming up with make-up design for stage make-up class. My classmates and I loved it so much we pushed for an advance class, where we learned to make our own prosthesis– and loved it! Building sets, painting flats, texturizing them, hanging/rigging lighting instruments, playing with make-up, building molds, creating props–ALWAYS USING MY HANDS AND IMAGINATION. A great foundation that led me to believe I could take my culinary skills to the next level and also prep my house for hurricane season!!!

Some of my make-up design…need to find more pix!

So what did I do? Like any student would, I went to the bookstore and began to teach myself (I’ll list some of the books that helped me soon). Youtube has also become a convenient source. I’m the weirdo in a casting watching piping technique’s before I slate myself on camera. Since then I haven’t taken a class in cake decorating or baking.  Not that I don’t want to, but because I haven’t had time. Now that I closed an extended show run last month, and audition season is slowing down, I’ve been doing research and getting a group of classes I want to take. Putting them on my to do list. I’m not just taking these classes to improve my skills, but to learn the tricks on the common mishaps that can happen, i.e. easier way to get smooth coverage with sharp edges when using buttercream, or how to prevent cracking with fondant, ect. ect.

If I could split myself in half, I would send part of me to, The French Culinary Institute, in NYC, and obtain a certification in baking and patisserie! That would be a dream– BUT NO TIME! So I’m finding any opportunity to find classes that wont take up too much time on career priority number one, performing. I hope to post my progress in cake decorating/designing in the coming months.

Also while acquiring these skills my sis and I barter and teach each other on our cakes and desserts! My sis is great with rustic style cakes, and seasonal treats. She also makes the best brownies and rice crispy treats– HANDS DOWN! Of course our creativity was broaden from none other than our, mother. Who to me is like the “Cuban Martha Stewart”.  She always has let us play, and still does! From traditional rustic cakes, to the poshly decorated ones. I’d say I’m in good hands.

So below I will present some of my cakes…. Enjoy ;)

Fun With Buttercream and Ganache
Fun With Piping!
I’ll post more cakes soon(fondant cakes and sugar flowers to come!), to be continued…

 

Caro’s Library: Macarons

 

CARO’S LIBRARY: MACARONS

BEFORE

So my dear viewers, have you caught MACARON FEVER, yet? It’s hard to come off from that, I’m still severely consumed by it.  Have you come to a point where you want to make your own macarons yet? Maybe this weekend? If you are in the Miami area, I would recommend MILES CAKES, CANDY, AND BAKER SUPPLY STORE. They finally started carrying almond flower (by the pound and wholesale price!). They also carry almond flower at whole foods, and select Publix (check green wise section!).

AFTER

Wouldn’t you love to show up to a get together, with a box of home made macarons? It’s impressive and your loved ones will adore your new found culinary art skills. I don’t know about you all, but my  ladies and I love to do pot lucks, and brunches. You can’t go wrong with food and good conversation! Home made goodies are also top choice for the holiday season as well, and we are at the point where they are going to come fast! AND I MEAN FAST!

For me, the holidays start in late August! I celebrate many back to back birthdays throughout my family and friends! Before I know it, it’s the new year, and I always try to improvise when I’m on a budget! I’m cuban! I HAVE A LOT OF FAMILY MEMBERS (I’ll post some of the baked goods  soon in the past months!)!

So today I merely am going to recommend you some of my favorite books, to enlighten and inspire you! I will be posting some of my own macarons, soon, that I have made. I’ve been playing with a lot of flavors and have been coming up with “collections”, I guess you can say?! I’ll be posting “Macarons and a spot of tea Vol. 3″ on my homemade macarons soon! I would love to get your feedback since in the future I will be putting these collections to good use ;) (cough cough, Sylv!). The beauty about macarons, is that one you learn how to make the basic shell, the fun really begins! So many pairings you can do, and colors to choose from.

At first it may seem tedious, but I promise you, once you get the hand of them (sooner than you think) you will enjoy making them, but most importantly EATING them!

So, for the first installation of “Caro’s Library” featuring: Macarons, here are my recommended books on this treat! Best wishes everyone… If you do take the plunge on making these delightful confections, I would love to know what flavors/colors/ and books helped you!

This is the recipe book from NYC’s, Macaron Cafe! In this book you will find an easy to follow break down of how to bake the Macaron cookie. With picture’s clear as day! Along with flavoring the shell and variety of fillings.

Here we have two books, great for inspirational flavors and presentation of the macarons! They also have sweet introductions on the history of macarons!
The top is “Macarons, Chic & Delicious French Treats” and bottom is “Les Petit Macarons, Colorful French Confections to Make”.

Are you a fan of the actress, Sandra Bullock? I am, Practical Magic and the Glass House are my favorite! Now you can be a fan of her sister, Genine Bullock-Prado, this is her cook book(below) for all things sugar! She really has a great BLOG to follow too, there you can find a video on how she makes her macarons, along with great tips in what to look for in forming the batter! Eggs can be tricky, she talks about how you can tell when your egg whites are ready to be mixed with the almond flower and confectioner’s sugar. The common mistake is making the meringue stiff peeks, but she explains the stage in which they will be holding a bec d’oiseau, or “bird’s beak”.  Also she helps you keep in mind when making the shell/ cookie part of the macaron, you want smooth round shell, enough crisp on the outside, but chewy full centers, with well formed pieds, or “feet”,

      Last but not least is Laduree’s, Sucre recipe book! Fans worldwide have been asking for their recipe or some insight on their amazing pastries and now you can take home some of their secrets! I have never been able to find the Sucre, sweet, recipe book at any of Miami’s local bookstores, Though there are plenty of Laduree’s,Savory Recipe book available (I have that one too, I couldn’t resist!). It wasn’t until I was in Ontario, Canada that I actually saw it available in a book store, not surprised, by then I had already ordered it and had it waiting for me at home! Once again the presentation sets this book apart, it’s as if it was a box of macarons itself. Gorgeous! Every time I go to open it I handle it with such care, fearing i will tear the purple tissue paper it came in. BBUUHHAaaahaHahahaha I’m ridiculous! I know!
  So soon I will post some of my “collections” I have been creating for gifts, and selling to local bakeries/cafe’s/store’s. I hope these books will inspire you to treat your loved ones! There is nothing more rewarding than to see the joy people have from eating this sophisticated cookie, that you created from your hands!
ADORABLE, NO?!
        Take the challenge, Au Revoir!
                  CARO
P.S. Just incase some snobby person wants to correct you, here’s a common misconception of the, MACARON!
PHOTO CREDIT TOO ANGES DE SUCRE

 

“Le Macaron Miami” Opens!

“LE MACARON MIAMI” OPENS!

It’s official, Le Macaron, Miami, is opened! 


  I just made my way back to the east coast, this passed Tuesday, and little did I know their store had opened that very next day! I guess they knew I had caught that macaron fever and was ready to open! Thanks to my sister, Sylvia for the great news, I was able to make it out there today! 

   I figured I might as well share the great news sooner, rather than later! When I first heard about this place, I thought it was the brand from Le Boudoir, although the same name– it’s not! So forgive me if I confused you all from the previous post, I’ve already corrected it! 

Beautiful assortment of their macarons.


   Lets get right down to the nitty gritty!

   They have a great assortment of flavors! The moment I walked in I was intrigued by the, Basil White Chocolate Ganache! Amazing. I saw collaborations of flavors like this in New York. I mean Paris Laduree shops takes risk in their flavors, just like this place! 


   I  got talkin’ with Agnes and Quentin Garrigou, a very sweet and personable married couple from France, and they told me how they don’t use any extracts! They in corporate all their flavors from crushing and grinding! That is tedious, time consuming, but makes a world of difference in flavor! They even told me about their catering side, and brought a beautiful tier of macarons!

Sightsee next the the Eiffel Tower ;)
MMmm MMmm GOOD!
Gorgeous vibrant color!

    Not only do they have macarons, but delectable chocolates by “Norman Love” (12 flavors) and to top it off, you can get gelato (12 flavors)! I tried pistachio, creamy heavenly goodness! I’m curious to try their pink champagne flavor. 

   



   I’m pretty sure I’m going to be one of their regulars! Be sure to visit them in South Miami, 5811 Sunset Drive.

Congrats and Happy Opening, Le Macaron, Miami !

     -Caro