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Han Solo in Carbonite Inspired Cake!

Posted by on Oct 20, 2014 in A Piece of Cake- Blog | 0 comments

^^^ That sound you hear in the video is my industrial refrigerator! I kept the noise since it reminded me of Darth Vader’s breathing!   There’s nothing more awesome than nerdy cakes! They require a ridiculous amount of time to make, but the final outcome is nothing short of phenomenal. This cake was particularly challenging, from the beginning to the very end of delivery (I blame the Los Angeles heat for that one… the front panel of my cake fell forward during delivery. Luckily it didn’t break, but it refused to stay stuck to the cake!! It was luckily a mild cake disaster and my customer was awesome about it). Anyway,  my customer wanted her husband frozen in carbonite and I mashed his features with Han Solo’s. Here is a work in progress shot:   And now the detail shots of the cake:         I think the best part was the official Star Wars instagram account liking my work!...

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David Tutera Features Shakar Bakery

Posted by on Oct 7, 2014 in A Piece of Cake- Blog | 2 comments

  Earlier this year, around March, I missed a phone call. The events that happened next were either destined, or showed how determined I can be when using my detective skills. The voicemail said something along the lines of “hi, this is so-and-so, I work with celebrity event planner David Tutera. We wanted to let you know that we came across your website and would love for you to work with us on one of the upcoming television shows! If you’re interested please call us back. We also sent you an e-mail.” After hanging up, I rushed to check my email since the lady didn’t leave a name in the voicemail, nor a call back number, and the phone number listed in my missed call was a generic work line. There wasn’t an e-mail anywhere to be found… I put my detective skills to use and started hunting down all David Tutera phone numbers until finally I reached someone who knew who called me! This is where all the fun started… First and foremost, can I say how AWESOME it is that David Tutera’s team found my website and loved my work? I do all of my marketing myself so it was definitely a “pat yourself on your shoulder” moment for me. At first they asked me to do a wedding cake in June, but about 2 weeks before Amy Weber’s event, they called and asked if I would instead do a birthday party for a set of twins celebrating with a Chronicle of Narnia theme. I am a HUGE fan of that book set so I immediately said yes. They gave me full creative control and only ask that I send them sketches of my idea. If you work with me, you know I’m super self-conscious about my sketching skills (or lack of haha). I tried researching my customer, Amy Weber on the internet so that I could get a better feel for her style. She is definitely a multi-faceted person with many professional hats! On top of that, her children are RIDICULOUSLY adorable!!! It took a little while to come up with two different cake designs that would be both girly and boyish. I decided to make Madison’s more of a story and thought it would be cool to put images from chapters of the book on one tier, keep the top tier simple with her monogram, and create a winter design on the top. I REALLY love the first moment Lucy steps into Narnia in the books so I wanted to show case that! For Levi’s cake, I was in a bind. I wanted it to be more boyish and I also wanted to really stretch my artistic capabilities. That’s when I came across this book art and decided to re-create it in cake form! The artwork is by Justin Rowe, here is the link: http://daysfalllikeleaves.blogspot.com/2013/11/meeting-mr-tumnus-narnia-book-sculpture.html Isn’t it amazing?!?! I fell in love with it immediately! Now that I had my designs, it was time to get to work, and boy did I need a lot of time for these cakes! I clocked in 20 hours on Levi’s cake, and about 15 for Madison’s! I custom made the borders of the frames on her cake out of silicone molds, and it took a long time to...

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How To Make Popcorn Cupcakes

Posted by on Sep 11, 2014 in A Piece of Cake- Blog, Recipes | 0 comments

Making popcorn using mini marshmallows is the easiest thing in the world! All you need is: – mini marshmallows (white or pale yellow… or both) – scissors – chocolate brown and lemon yellow americolor food coloring -standard cupcakes – popcorn liners For your convenience I have attached a link to download the popcorn liners that were created by my sister, owner of Paper & Fondant! Check out her other awesome printables you can purchase off her Etsy shop! Watch my Youtube tutorial: Download the liner here POPCORN-CUPCAKE WRAPPER-design...

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Tips for a Home Made Cake

Posted by on Mar 16, 2014 in A Piece of Cake- Blog | 0 comments

There have been many times where mom’s approach me for a cake quote and after hearing the price of the cake decide they want to try to tackle the cake themselves. Although this isn’t great for my business, I actually think it’s a great idea for people to make a cake at least ONCE in their lives. I think this for many reasons- 1. it immerses you into your child’s celebration 2.you’ll appreciate how much work goes into baking and designing a cake 3. next time you’ll order from me 🙂 just kidding…well, maybe 😉 I decided to write a blog post with some tips for those of you starting new! To start, you can purchase many cake supplies from craft stores like Michael’s, Jo-Anns, actual cake supply stores and Amazon! Items you will need: – a non-stick roller to roll out fondant – cookie cutters or shape cutters to decorate your cake – fondant – food coloring to color your fondant -cake board -fondant smoothers I have put together all essential items for purchase through Amazon here Store bought fondant is definitely pricey. I will tell you from now that the Wilton brand fondant is very difficult to work with because of it’s poor elasticity. Be prepared to pay anywhere from $10-$25 for 2-5lb of fondant. You can always make your own by googling fondant recipes, particularly marshmallow based fondant. I make my in house all the time so it’s not that difficult. Here’s a tip: add your desired color to the melted recipe instead of blending in the color after the fondant is made. Next, bake your cake, fill it with your desired frosting and then frost the outside of the cake with buttercream. Make sure the buttercream recipe you use is 100% butter and not shortening based. Once you have a nice thick layer of buttercream, and it’s smooth, place the cake in the refrigerator and allow the butter to harden. This will make it easier to place the fondant on the cake. Here is a great free class from Craftsy on buttercream!  Add the fondant to the cake. Here is my tutorial. The quality of the video isn’t the best since it was one of my first tutorials, but many people have found it helpful: Once you cover the cake with fondant,  go ahead and cut out the shapes you desire to decorate the cake. You can find inspiration from Pinterest, magazines, the internet, or your child’s favorite cartoons! Please note that once you cover the cake with fondant and decoration, your refrigerator might have too much condensation and will make the fondant sweat and wilt. Place the cake in a box and cover the box with wrap so the condensation builds on the box instead of the cake. In case you want to learn how to sculpt, here are other videos I have made! Subscribe to my YouTube channel for more...

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Slash 3D Cake

Posted by on Feb 4, 2014 in Uncategorized | 0 comments

Every cake has a story, and my favorite stories are always my sister’s milestone birthdays! She might get upset if I give away her age, so I’m going to call her milestone birthdays X and Y 🙂 When she turned X years old, she was pretty bummed to enter this new stage in life. To cheer her up, I made her the most childish Wall-E cake ever…it was that cake that spawned Shakar Bakery. When her Y birthday rolled around, she again started to feel down about it and I REALLY wanted to cheer her up and remind her that age was just a number. After thinking of a million design ideas, it hit me: SLASH!!!!!!!!! When my sister was 13, she had a ridiculous crush on Slash from Guns N’ Roses. I’ll never forget the stars in her eyes when we went to their concert in 1992 (it was a pretty awesome concert, and I’ll admit that Slash is definitely eye candy when he performs on stage). I wanted to bring back the stars in her eyes and make her feel like a teenager again. So now that I had the idea, how was I going to build him? I am a horrible sculptor when it comes to human faces! I avoid it like a plague because I seriously struggle to with facial proportions. But, as Barney Stinson likes to say (from How I Met Your Mother), “CHALLENGE ACCEPTED!!!!!!!!!” It took me about 20 hours, but I did it! I used this picture as a reference:   Here are my pictures (with me posing in one of them):   My sister’s reaction was priceless and she did indeed have stars in her eyes again...

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Star Wars Death Star Cake

Posted by on Jan 2, 2014 in Designer Cakes | 0 comments

I had the pleasure of making the Death Star cake for the second time! Since I don’t like to repeat designs, I opted to make this cake more metallic and machine like and added a light for good measure!   Here is the YouTube video of the cake in...

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A Year In Perspective: 2013

Posted by on Dec 19, 2013 in A Piece of Cake- Blog | 0 comments

Happy 4 year anniversary to my business! This year has been one heck of a roller coaster ride with extreme highs and lows. Highlights included: – Quitting the Engineering industry to do the bakery business full time (prepared or not, this was the scariest decision of my life) – Focusing on the wedding industry – Participating in bridal shows – Designing and executing my first animatronic cake (Daft Punk Cake follow link here to my blog) – WINNING AN INDUSTRIAL REFRIGERATOR!!! thank you Intuit!!! – Pushing the envelope on my designs – Getting published on Cake Central, top engineering websites, and many wedding blog sites including Style Me Pretty!! I learned so much this year! At times I found myself overwhelmed with different emotions- my experiences have made me laugh, smile, cry, and want to shove my face into a pillow and scream 🙂 I enjoyed all of my growing pains and look forward to 2014!! The 5th year is going to be THE year of pushing the envelope. BRING IT!!!! The best two cakes I created in 2012 are the following: Now let’s look at some of the 2013 highlights:      ...

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Bridal and Food Shows- Tips for (Cake) Vendors

Posted by on Dec 14, 2013 in A Piece of Cake- Blog | 9 comments

This year I dabbled into the world of food and bridal shows and it was a whirl wind of an experience. I made a lot of mistakes and thought I’d share some of the insight I gained from my experiences! After participating in five different shows, I am ready to take a break!! Things you should do: 1. Do your research on the event. Have they had a show before? If yes, try to find pictures from previous shows. This allows you to see two things: a) the demographics (this is important if you have a target audience for your products) b) you can see how other vendors have set up their booths! I’ll tell you one thing: I NEVER got the latter right! The first bridal show I attended the vendors went ALL out- they had curtains, chandeliers, fancy floors and diamonds everywhere… whereas my booth looked like this: Granted, I had a lot of future brides approach my booth as if it was a breath of fresh air since I wasn’t decked out, but I still felt like a peasant amongst kings.  The next couple of shows I attended didn’t really give me the opportunity to dress up my space, up until the one I did recently. I decided to rent drapes, cocktail tables and pretty linens… I was the ONLY one who was decked out! haha! I never got it right.  This time I was the Queen and the rest were the peasants 😉 If you decide to deck out your space, expect to spend $200+ for the rentals! If you’re in Los Angeles, I’d recommend renting from White Night Design! Great products and incredible service! 2. Choose your events carefully and ask yourself this: what do I want to gain from this event? Is it exposure? Is it clients? Is it new vendor relations? Depending on your answer, an event might not be the right fit for you. I realized that food shows are not a right fit for my goals. Instead of people focusing on my business, they were focused on gulping down my cake samples! It wasn’t until I was all out of samples that people started noticing my display cakes! 3. How many cake samples you want to prepare is completely your choice! I made 200 for my bridal show and I barely got through 100. I made 800 for the food show and they were gone within an hour. I prepared my samples the following way: I cut 1″ squares, placed them in plastic souffle cups, added a swirl of frosting and then added a logo sticker on each container. This made it easier for me to transport and I thought it would be cool to give guests a “to go” sample in case they didn’t want to consume sweets right there and then. In hindsight, I realize that this isn’t the most cost effective thing to do. Most guests eat the sample and toss the container without evening looking at the label. If I decide to do another show, I now plan on taking sheet cakes to the event to cut and serve on site. 4. The loading dock will become your enemy. Not only will other vendors take up prime location, most loading docks are far from the hall...

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Strawberry Panna Cotta

Posted by on Dec 3, 2013 in Recipes | 0 comments

While traveling in South America I decided to make strawberry panna cotta for the first time. I made a large batch (as pictured) so I will explain how to scale down the recipe. Ingredients: 750 mL of heavy whipping cream 1 cup granulated sugar (you can add more or less, depending on your sweet tooth) 2 lbs strawberries 1/4 cup granulated sugar 3 packets of unflavored gelatin (approximately 21g) 8 tablespoons of cold water *to scale down divide everything by 2 Directions: In a large bowl add the 8 tablespoons of cold water and sprinkle the gelatin on top. Allow to sit until the gelatin dissolves into a large blob. Finely chop 1lb of strawberries and place into a sauce pan. Add the 1 cup of granulated sugar and mix well. Turn on the stove on high heat and allow the sugar and strawberries to come together for 2-3 minutes. You want the sugar to draw out the sweetness of the strawberries. Add the heavy cream to the compote and allow to come to a mild boil while stirring continuously. You want the mixture to be warm enough to melt the sugar, and later the gelatin. Once the mixture is nice and hot (but not at a full boil), remove from heat. Using a handheld mixer, blend the mix to remove big chunks of strawberries. Pour this mixture onto the gelatin and mix until gelatin is dissolved. Pour the panna cotta into your desired bowl- it’s easiest to pour into small dessert bowls or champagne glasses (presentation is very important). Try to make a clean pour so the sides of your glass/bowl don’t get stained with the panna cotta (again, presentation is important). Place in refrigerator for 3-4 hours. note: when you remove from the refrigerator condensation will form along the glass flutes or the bowl. Using a paper towel to carefully remove the condensation drops! 🙂 Compote topping: Vertically slice the remaining strawberries and place into a bowl. Add the sugar and uniformly mix into the strawberries. Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and allow the sugar to draw out the juices from the strawberries- about 1 hour. Garnish your panna cotta with the compote for a beautiful presentation and voila! Bon...

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MakerStage Features Shakar Bakery

Posted by on Sep 27, 2013 in Press | 0 comments

http://makerstage.com/arduino-projects/a-cake-running-on-an-arduino/#comment-130   It was a great honor to have my Daft Punk cake featured on such a fantastic website!!

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