Kyra is a beautiful and vibrant one-year old who was about to turn two. In addition to her obsession over her new kitchen set, Kyra really likes Caillou, a character from a Canadian children’s television show based on the books by author Christine L’Heureux and illustrator Hélène Desputeaux. To make her birthday a really special day, Kyra’s parents contacted me to make her a cake with Caillou.
Being almost a total none TV watching person, I knew nothing about any of the latest popular characters. I turned to the internet and Kyra’s parents to help me narrow down to more specifics. Kyra’s father mentioned a Caillou episode where Caillou went to a park with his grandfather to play with toy sailboat. I watched the short clip. In the episode, Caillou imagined himself on the sea in a sailboat while racing the toy sailboat. So I decided to apply my imagination to give the theme a bit of a twist. So here was the idea: Caillou in a white sailboat loaded with present boxes sitting on top of the cake. Then on the side of the cake there would be scenes of sea life under water.
My first attempt at making Caillou did not turn out as well as I wished. I used gum paste, but I started finding many small cracks on the character the next day probably from the high heat of the radiator. So I decided to start all over again with modeling chocolate as an alternative which was a success. Caillou was complete with all the little details of his shirt collar, buttons, and shoes.
The sail was made with gum paste. Instead of writing “Happy Birthday Kyra” on the cake, I added the script to the sail and named the boat “Kyra” to make it more fun. As nautical themes can be more boy like, I added more girly details such as small red flowers in Kyra’s name on the boat and red, pink and lavender colored present boxes.
At the front and side of the cake, different sea animals along with colorful corals and seaweed adorned the cake, making it more fun and appealing to children.
For the cake itself, I made a chocolate chip pound cake filled with chocolate ganache and covered with blue colored meringue buttercream. All the decorations, with the exception of the sail, were made with chocolate or modeling chocolate, making them all pleasantly edible.
Reflecting on the business of cake decorating, it is a business of making people happy as many businesses do. However, being in the cake decorating business allows one to be included in the celebration of those very special occasions. There was nothing more satisfying than seeing the happy excitement and anticipation on Kyra’s parents’ faces and knowing that I was given the opportunity of blessing and celebrating Kyra’s life on her very special day. Happy Birthday, Kyra and God bless you!