Tuesday, July 19, 2011

The question of colour

There have been a couple of occassions now where we have made colourful cupcakes for kids functions and found that parents just won't let their kids eat our product!

The first time was at a Baby Bazaar back in 2008. We were invited to set up a stall amongst mothers who were selling buckets loads of clothes and toys their kids had grown out of. The idea was to promote our product in the hope of landing private orders. We made brightly coloured cupcakes to attrack the kids, but when it came time to purchase, the parents inevitably chose plain vanilla.

It happened again a couple of weeks back when we made cupcakes to donate to our son's daycare fundraiser. The cupcakes pictured looked like a technicolour dream next to most other things on the table. But again, the parents were avoiding them in favour of the plain brown offerings.

I have to admit, when I give my son a cupcake I pick the icing off and just let him have the cake. But this isn't because of the colour - it's more to do with the sugar and the fact that we haven't let him have a whole load of it to date. I think parents are naturally concerned about the use of colour in foods, yet the only one that should be of real concern is red. It's been known to send kids off their tree. Just ask any school teacher! I never recommend red velvet cake for anyone who will serve it to kids - it needs so much red food colouring to get that intense red colour.

What I can say is, having recently made that glorious Colour Cake, the effect of having those colours reflecting on us for five hours was positive. If anything, I think colour cheers people. I'm not going to hold back on colour - I think I shall use it even more!

Monday, July 04, 2011

Big cake update

We've have the great pleasure lately to produce some big cakes for customers that have pushed our skills to new limits, and I wanted to share them with you because they're just so delicious to look at!

The first was a Dora cake for a little girl turning three. Inside was a vanilla buttercake layered with white chocolate ganache. We spent quite a lot of time working up the colour density in the fondant to give this cake the vibrant theme that Dora is famous for. We thought it was all about the colours! But when our young customer laid eyes on it, the first thing she said was "Where's the monkey?". Turns out Dora doesn't go anywhere without Boots the monkey! Next time we'll have to work out how to incorporate him into the cake.

Last weekend we made a cake for a new t-shirt company called Yellow & Co. Yellow's philosophy is quite simple - different colours represent different frequencies and you choose your colours based on the frequency you want to project. Cool, right? When we started this cake last Friday night, it was after a really tough day at work. I was feeling particularly low when I started working up all the different coloured fondants for The Colour Cake. For five hours I had these vibrant colours mere inches from my face. By the time the cake was finished my mood had completely changed and I could hardly get to sleep, I felt so re-energised.

On the inside of The Colour Cake we served a quadruple tower of chocolate cake sandwiched together with chocolate ganache. It was terrifying putting white fondant over the dark chocolate tower. I'm pleased to say there was not one smear of chocolate on the white. Phew!