When we got engaged, I became like most women. I started looking at bridal magazines. I bought a bridal book/organizer. I tuned in to those wedding related shows you can now find on tv. What shows? My Fair Wedding, Say Yes To The Dress, Platinum Weddings and Amazing Wedding Cakes. This meant I started tuning in to channels I’d never watched before. I drove hubby crazy.
Then one day I found Cake Boss. This show wasn’t strictly about wedding cakes. It was about all sorts of cakes and an Italian family who owned a bakery. The star is a guy named Buddy. Why am I telling you all this? Because while I was watching an episode, my guy happened to pop his head into the room. He became just as enthralled as I was. How could he not, when Buddy’s catch phrase is “I’m Buddy, and I’m the boss!”…which allows any guy to change the name and claim the role…LOL! Coming from an Italian family, he could relate…and the cakes were cool! It became a regular part of our dvr list. We watched it together.
I didn’t think much of it until after our wedding. I guess hubby had been so interested that he’d started going online and looking up cake decorating. He found out that Michaels, the craft store, taught cake decorating classes for a reasonable price! It was usually a 4-5 week course for a couple hours a week. He asked me if I’d like to sign up for classes together. I thought it was kind of romantic! I mean, seriously… It was a guaranteed date night…and fun! So we signed up. As it turned out, he had talent! Check out his cakes from our first set of cake decorating classes.
This was his first cake. They call it the rainbow cake. You learn how to make buttercream icing, to color your icing, and to use your basic cake tips…specifically, the star tip.
Next is the “clown cake” where you learn how to create 3d characters with buttercream icing…and how to do shell designs.
Graduation cake was the where we made the “Wilton Rose”. Wilton is the name of the company who teaches the cake classes held at Michaels. This was the only class where hubby was a little frustrated. It turned out that THIS was the one part I did better than him. I had a better hand/eye for the roses…. The above is his cake. The below is mine. Feel free to weigh in if you like…;-)
After graduating from Wilton’s first class, we found out they had a “Wilton Cakes 2” class. This was where you learned how to make more complicated cakes and to make “Royal” icing & gumpaste flowers. This is the stuff they use to make the harder edible flowers, etc for those cakes that you see at the grocery store. For these cakes I worked more as his assistant instead of making my own cakes. At this point there was no question who was more talented with the decorating. Him.
For this one, most of the classes were spent creating all the flowers and decor you see on this cake. The actual basketweave cake was done on the last day of class…along with placement of everything we made. Everything on this cake was edible.
Wilton 3 & 4 brought us to fondant, gumpaste and tiered cakes. Let me show you what he created…
I thought this cake was awesome…and he did a pretty great job with the draping around the cake. In case you didn’t know…it’s not an easy thing to do.
Check out this fondant Christmas present cake. He even quilted it around the edges and added candied pearls for effect. 🙂
Between all these cakes, we also took a one day only “castle cake class”. It happened to fall around Halloween…so we did a Haunted Castle Cake…complete with cobblestone walk up made of snickers bars, dirt along the sides with worms crawling out…
That one was fun… By the way, the turrets? Made with Ice cream cones. 🙂 We had so much fun doing these classes together. What kinds of things outside of the home do you enjoy doing with your significant other? Do you have any shared hobbies? Do you feel that it’s strengthened your relationship?
Anyway, those classes were years ago…but somehow word got out with our family about his talent. So, when our nephew, his godson, was getting ready to turn three, Uncle got a call. We were going to be heading back home to Chicago for a visit and to help celebrate his birthday…(he shares it with hubby’s sister, then a couple weeks later is hubby and mother-in-law’s birthday). Apparently, our adorable nephew was having a themed birthday…and he loved Thomas The Train. He wanted his uncle to make his birthday cake. Hubby was nervous because he didn’t want to wreck a 3 year old’s birthday, but I could’ve told him he had nothing to worry about. Here’s nephew admiring Uncle’s finished product…
He was enthralled! There is no question who the favorite uncle is. LOL! By the way, if you have young children who are Thomas fans, this one isn’t very hard or very expensive if you’ve ever done anything cake related.
Since then, hubby’s gotten into all sorts of things…he’s made his own barbecue sauces from scratch, he’s made a cherry chipotle marinade for chicken…and lately he’s been experimenting with a pressure cooker. But I still think he makes kickass desserts. Take a look at some of these!
Chocolate pecan pie…Yum! It’s a new family favorite, requested on holidays like Christmas and Thanksgiving.
Pumpkin swirl cheesecake…with Ghiardelli chocolate.
His first couple cupcake attempts…chocolate mint on the left, peach on the right (and they’re filled…one with chocolate ganache, the other with peach cream)
And last, but certainly not least…these three. The back right is key lime, the front is chocolate peanut butter, the third is chocolate malt ball…and yes, they’re all filled.
So, what started out as a fun little wedding interest turned into a passion for him. Thank goodness he doesn’t only do sweets or I’d be a house…LOL! The reality is, though, by indulging me in my wedding show watching, he found a passion for himself. And I help… Just call me his sous chef. At least when I’m holed up writing in my “cave” (really it’s an office), I know I won’t starve… He’ll make sure of it. How does your significant other take care of you?
One day, I’ll be able to repay him for enabling me to pursue my dreams by being able to support him while he chases his…maybe all the way to culinary school.