This cake was done for a Chinese restaurateur’s 70 birthday. In keeping with the Asian theme, the inside of this cake was a green tea butter cake with green tea meringue buttercream.
Birthday Afternoon Tea with Green Tea Cake
The afternoon tea party was prepared for a great friend. Knowing that these are my friends, I felt a bit more free to experiment with a number of new things on the menu.
For scones, in addition to the Lemon Blueberry Scones that I make often, I also made candy ginger scones. The true ginger lovers were the ones who liked them.
For the tarts, in addition to the typical Vanilla Pastry Cream Tart topped with fruit, I decided to experiment with Rose Water flavored Pastry Cream. It turned out fabulous.
The best part about this birthday afternoon tea was the reaction of the birthday girl when she saw the cake. She was so excited that she was jumping up and down while clapping her hands. I think we all got a kick out of it. This cake was highly experimental, using all Asian flavors. Being a fan of green tea and red bean, I decided to combine the two flavors. The cake was a green tea sponge cake. For the filling, I layered green tea pastry cream on top of red bean paste. For the outside coating, I made a green tea white chocolate ganache. Then topping the cake with a few pink dogwood flowers along with a bow on the side, the pink and green color combination was just beautiful.
As for the cake, while all liked it, I think I will make some modifications in the future as both the green tea white chocolate ganache and the red bean paste were very sweet. I look forward to experimenting with this green tea cake again.
Little Charlotte’s mom wanted to celebrate Charlotte’s baptism with a quilted cake. Initially I was finding it difficult to come up with a unique design. Then a picture of Charlotte with a cute headband was what inspired me finally. I hope her mom does not mind me cropping the photo to show the headband here.
Here are the photos of the finished product. The inside is a chocolate cake with orange zest meringue buttercream. I thought the cake was so cute and sweet!
Magnolia Teapot Cake for Mother’s Day Afternoon Tea
This cake was made for a Mother’s Day afternoon tea party to celebrate Mother’s Day and to remember a very special mother who had gone home to be the Lord two years ago on the date of this year’s Mother’s Day. Mrs. Mulan L. Z., the second daughter of an older couple, was born around the time of the Sino-Japanese War. Her father, being without any sons and beyond the age of military service , named her after Mulan Hua, the female Chinese warrior from the Ballad of Mulan* who had taken her father’s place in answering the call to fight for her country. (Yes, you guessed it right – Mulan Hua is the same Mulan from the Disney cartoon, except that the original story did not have the dragon, nor the gods, nor the story of Mulan rescuing the emperor.) Although Mrs. Mulan L. Z. was far from being a warrior in the physical sense in her lifetime, she was remembered by her family and friends as a woman who, through the strength God gave her, overcame many fears in her own life, on the behalf of her family, and encouraged many in her quiet manners. One of her friends fondly referred to her as “the quiet warrior.” I am reminded of the Word of God from 2 Corinthians 12:9, “My grace is sufficient for thee: for my strength is made perfect in weakness…”
As a way to remember Mulan, her daughter, Flora, wanted me to make a Mulan, which is actually the name of a flower in Chinese. While not certain how the flower really looked like, I did some research and was very surprised to find how befitting that Mulan, without knowing, had named her two daughters “Lily” and “Flora” – as it turned out, Mulan is a type of Magnolia, namely, Magnolia Lillyflora… Happy Mother’s Day.
*You may find the original Ballad of Mulan in English at http://en.wikisource.org/wiki/Ballad_of_Mulan. For Chinese, you may find it at http://home.pacific.net.hk/~shung/favorites/mulan.html.
Bella’s Tea Party Cake
Bella is a vibrant and sweet girl who was about to turn 11-years-old. After looking through my portfolio of cakes, she decided that she wanted an afternoon tea cake. Since I wanted to make this cake special for Bella, I incorporated her favorite color – lavender. In addition, I wanted to make this cake especially cute for this little princess. Here is the final product. I hope you like it! I know Bella did as she saves all the little decorative pieces for her Barbie doll!
The cake is only 6″ in diameter. All the decorative pieces are hand made.
Bible with Rose of Sharon Cake
This cake was made for a friend who has been blessed by God to be an encouragement for many, especially during the past year. The Word of God has been her source of strength as of late, as she related to her friends. So her best friend suggested a Bible cake on a plate with utensils, to capture the importance of taking in the Word of God daily, similar to us needing our food daily.
This is a passage from the gospel of John about the Word of God: “In the beginning as the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. He was with God in the beginning. Through him all things were made; without him nothing was made that has been made. In him was life, and that life was the light of all mankind. The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness has not overcome it.” Praise God!
So here’s to eating the Word of God!
Apparently the Rose of Sharon is not a rose at all, but a type of tulip that can grow in rocky areas and even on the beach!
Bible Cake with Lily of the Valleys
Cherry Blossom Teacup Cake
This teacup is not made in the shape of a typical teacup because it is for a Chinese lady who grew up with a famous river in her city named “Cherry Blossom River”. The river banks are full of cherry trees. As they bloom in the spring, the beauty is indescribable. This cake is made for her birthday to bring her a small bit of home.