Thursday, July 31, 2008 Interview

I was recently interviewed by Roxanne Weber of for her article "Wedding Cake Tips, Get The Most For Your Money". View the full article at If you're not familiar with you should definitely check it out. It's chock-a-block full of recipes, boards, stories and blogs about my favorite subjects- food and drink.

Tuesday, July 29, 2008

Signature Chefs Art Project

We made these cute sugar cookies for a very fun event recently. In preparation for the March of Dimes Signature Chefs fundraiser in October, the event's chefs were invited to create an original work of art alongside young children who are graduates of our Harris Hospital Neonatal ICU. Fellow Fort Worth chefs Tim Love, John Bonnell, Donatella Trotti, Brian Olenjack and myself got creative with our "sous chef" assistants. Using brushes, hands, and feet!! we worked with the children to create a one-of-a-kind painting that will be auctioned off at the fundraiser on October 12 at the Fort Worth Botanic Gardens. Sublime Bakery was asked to make cookies for all to snack on after our hard work was done. Like I said, this was a very fun event. And the best kind of fun too... fun with purpose!

Sunday, July 27, 2008

Topsy Turvy Committment Cake

I have a new All-Time Favorite Cake! We made this Topsy Turvy cake this weekend to celebrate a Committment Ceremony. An elegant twist on the "Mad Hatter" look, this cake was gorgeous with it's Chocolate Brown, Raspberry Red, Tiffany Blue and Gold palette. We cut the angles rather severly to create more drama and tapered each tier from top to base by two inches to increase the "oh my gosh will it fall over?" tension. Inside is our Black and White Torte flavor combination: Alternating layers of Chocolate Cake and Brown Sugar Vanilla Cake with Fresh Raspberries and White Chocolate Mousse.

Cupcake Birthday Cake

We made this adorable Cupcake Cake this weekend for a 2-year old's Birthday party. Everything is edible including the "streamers", "confeti", "pearls", and "cherry". This is actually a 2-tier cake, the top tier is our White Chocolate Cake filled with Fresh Strawberries and Buttercream, the bottom tier is Chocolate Cake with Chocolate Buttercream. Yum!
My client asked that we make the matching cupcakes below for her to give her guests as favors.

Thursday, July 24, 2008

Quilted Pink Cake

We made this pretty little pink quilted cake today for a birthday party. Inside is our Brown Sugar Vanilla Cake with Double Chocolate Ganache Filling.

Wednesday, July 23, 2008

Sublime Sugar

At Sublime Bakery we use the finest ingredients available to us. Our buttercream is made with European-style Plugra butter, not shortening. Our chocolate is Swiss Callebaut and our vanilla is the real deal, not imitation. You won't find one single grain of processed white sugar in our kitchen. Instead we use organic cane sugar made by Wholesome Sweeteners in all of our bakery items. I sing the praises of this product every chance I get. It is absolutely brilliant! Made from evaporated cane juice, it contains no chemicals, no pesticides, and it has not been bleached. Did you know that white sugar is actually BLEACHED?? Ugh!
Our sugar is organic, kosher, and it's not filtered through animal by-products so it's ideal for vegan, vegetarian and plant based diets. Obviously this type of sugar tastes better and is better for your body than traditional white sugar but Wholesome Sweeteners sugar is actually good for humanity and for the planet. Check out this info straight from the bag:
"The Fair Trade label guarantees the consumer a fair price is paid directly to the farmer for the sugar cane they grow. Returning real value to the primary agricultural producers means they can compete with factory farms whilst protecting sustainable farming practices. It also means they can enjoy higher living standards and develop thriving communities. Our Organic Sugar is produced from certified organic sugar cane grown on a co-operative of sustainable family farms in Paraguay. The Sugar Mill is energy self-sufficient- we use the crushed cane stalks, called bagasse, as fuel for the boilers which generates the electricity for the mill, so we do not need to use any fossil fuels. We "green cut" the cane- which means that we do not burn or spray the fields and the sugar is cut by hand. The leaves and tops of the cane plant are left in the field as a nutrient source for the soil and as a natural form of weed control."
OK, so I'm done preaching. Go out and buy this sugar!!

Monday, July 21, 2008

Sweetheart Cake with Rhinestones

We did this lovely "Sweethearts" cake for a birthday party this past weekend. It features a pearl luster finish over the entire cake, heart appliques, and rhinestones.

Sunday, July 20, 2008

Thirteenth Birthday Cake

We did this sweet little cake for a thirteenth birthday party last week. Pink, black and white color theme, with stripes and dots, bursting balls topper and name banner.

Tuesday, July 15, 2008

These Are a Few of My Favorite Things

Like most Pastry Chefs and Cake Designers, I have loads of cool tools and gadgets in my bakery kitchen. Some are used for very specific tasks or techniques and are used rarely. Others are absolutely indispensable on a daily basis. Below are a few that I can't live without.

Bench Scraper:
This is my Favorite of favorite tools in my kitchen. I use it to gather and portion doughs including scones and pate sucree. It's the preferred "knife" for cutting our gooey S'Mores Bars and dense Sublime Bars. And it is the ultimate buttercream smoother when icing cakes. There are many bench scrapers on the market and I've tried most of them. This is the best. It has a solid wood handle that fits well in the hand, a strong stainless steel blade, and most importantly, a sharp 90 degree angle at the outer edge. If I had to run my bakery on the proverbial desert island, this is the one tool I'd take with me :-)

Syruping Bottle:I trained under a Pastry Chef with a classical French background so I use many techniques in my kitchen that are tres Francaise. I always syrup my cake layers before torting. I can't tell you how many pastry brush "hairs" I had to pick off of cakes before I discovered this beautiful tool. It's a syruping bottle and it has tiny little holes in the rubber top and volume measurements on the side you can squeeze out just the right amount of syrup "rain" onto your cake. I LOVE this tool!
Propane Torch:

I've used kitchen torches for years. You know the fancy little ones from the kitchen shop catalogues? I always had to have one of those. Well, this propane torch from the hardware store kicks butt over those other torches. In addition to browning meringues and brulee-ing your creme, this thing is awesome for helping cakes release from their pans (turn the pan over and torch the bottom to heat it up, the cake will slip right out) and glossing ganache. The propane tank on this thing is HUGE, I've used it every day at Sublime for 3 months and I haven't changed the tank yet. And the best part? It costs under $20!!

Monday, July 14, 2008

Where it All Began

People often ask me how I learned to bake. Did I have a gourmet mother who set a daily example of culinary excellence? Or a grandmother who taught me all her secret recipes and old-school techniques? No. And no. Mom was the "cake-from-a-box" and "dinner-in-a-casserole-dish" type. And both grandmas lived several hundred miles away. So I taught myself from books and I started early on experimenting with recipes.
When I was about 9 I received my first cookbook, Betty Crocker's Cookbook for Boys and Girls. I made only one recipe from the book, "Favorite Brownies". I made it over and over and over. This one page is yellowed with age, creased and smudged, with a dog-eared corner. The rest of the pages are still pristine and white, having rarely seen the light of day. After a while I started to make changes and additions to this basic brownie recipe, learning through trial and error how to be creative with baking. Eventually I settled on my signature recipe. I made it for friends and family, boyfriends and teachers. I even made it for my priest.
Over the years I have tried many brownie recipes but I always come back to my reliable variation on the basic Betty Crocker. At Sublime Bakery we make an amped-up version of the basic, adding espresso and cinnamon to my original signature recipe.
I still have my first cookbook, it has traveled far and wide with me and now lives on the bookshelf of my office at Sublime Bakery.

Saturday, July 12, 2008


Guess who...

We created a 3-Dimensional bust of the STAR WARS character Yoda for a surprise 40th birthday party this weekend. Inside is our popular Peanut Butter and Jelly flavor combination. My client tells me that her husband, the birthday "boy", is a huge STAR WARS fan, and I have to admit, I am too. I grew up watching the classic trilogy. Han Solo was my favorite character (I'm a sucker for a tall, dark and handsome rebel!) but Yoda was always a close second.

May the force be with you!!

Friday, July 11, 2008

Truman's Safari

We did this fun Safari-themed birthday cake for a client whose son turned 2 this weekend.

Wednesday, July 9, 2008

Naughty or Nice?

We have two new items in our pastry case this week:
"Naughty" Chocolate Mousse with Whipped Cream and a Gilded Macadamia Nut,
and a "Nice" Organic Yogurt, Fresh Fruit and Granola Parfait.
Which will you choose?

Tuesday, July 8, 2008

Seashell Cake

We did this lovely seashells and pearls cake for a client today. The Brown Sugar Vanilla Cake is filled with Apricot Preserves and Buttercream, and covered in White Chocolate Wrap. We piped Cornelli Lace over the surface to mimic coral, spooned brown sugar "sand" around the sides and topped it off with hand-modeled shells, pearls, sand dollars and starfish.

Sunday, July 6, 2008

Giving Back

I am often asked to be involved with fundraising efforts to support local non-profit organizations. I regret that it's not possible to accept every request. These are some of the groups I do work with. Check them out and consider how you might help too:
The March of Dimes (Signature Chefs)
Lena Pope Home
The WARM Place
American Heart Association
Women Who Care Share (YWCA)
Streams and Valleys
Texas Ballet Theatre School
American Cancer Society (Cowtown Ball)
The Fort Worth Zoo (Zoo Ball)
Cook Children's Hospital (Jewel Charity)

Saturday, July 5, 2008

Cade's Pokemon Cake

It seems that Pokemon never goes out of style. This birthday cake features Pikachu, the most widely known Pokemon, as well as Bonsly and Buizel.

Thursday, July 3, 2008


This is Karen, my morning baker.
It's funny, I've been planning all week to post her photo today and rave about her hard work and her fabulous positive attitude. Well, it just so happens that I have something else to write about Karen today. Let me start by saying that everyone is alright and we are actually laughing about this already. And, Karen has agreed to let me go public with this in good humor.
Karen had a "little" accident this morning on the way to work. You know those moments when you put the car in drive when you meant to go in reverse, or you step on the gas instead of the brake, but you correct yourself before anything goes horrible wrong?? Well, Karen had one of those moments this morning...without the correction. This is the result:

Yes, Karen drove thru the bakery. And yes, that is a yellow "POLICE LINE DO NOT CROSS" tape in front. It was quite a dramatic scene. As I said before, Karen is unhurt (except for her pride). The ocean of glass has been removed, the door salvaged and rehung, and the windows on either side temporarily boarded up. We will reopen on Monday July 7th. And yes, Karen still has her job!

Wednesday, July 2, 2008

Toe Shoe Cookies

We recently created these toe shoe sugar cookies for the Texas Ballet Theatre School's annual benefit.

Eiffel Tower Bakery Cake

For some of our customers, a full-on custom cake is more than they want or need for their occasion. Our 6", 8", and 10" layered bakery cakes are perfect for smaller parties. They are available on short notice with limited customization. The cake shown above is one of my favorite recent bakery cakes. Lemon cake with lemon curd filling, this cake is personalized with a fondant Eiffel Tower, "Caris" (the birthday girl's name) and fondant dots around the side.