Valentine’s Day is fast approaching and we couldn’t help but feature a wedding that has all the charm of this saints’ day. One of the most adorable weddings this year had to be Liz and John. The talented Chelsea Brown took some incredible pictures of the day. We loved getting to make a two tiered ruffle buttercream cake in light pink, lots of mini cupcakes, precious french macarons in hues of gold and pink and gorgeous decorated sugar cookies. Liz took an awesome DIY approach and it sure paid off. She made an amazing back drop of glimmer-y circles, gold hearts and pompoms; set it all against a barn back drop decorated with big blush peonies and you get one charming wedding.
No, this is not goodbye. I am simply pursuing my own culinary ambitions as well as helping the Sweet Heather Anne ladies do some baking in the back ( so expect some new flavors and delicious cookies.) I have truly loved working with all our wedding couples and clients. I want to introduce Kim, the new business manager. She is amazing, comes with a wealth of knowledge, a great sense of humor and a true love of cake. I sat down to ask her a few questions so you could get to know her better. (photo by Melanie Reyes Photography)
What is your favorite thing to bake or cook? Despite having been a professional baker, I really prefer cooking. I love to make soup-it’s warming, communal, and is fun to tweak as flavors develop, besides being a damn fine way to clean out the fridge without looking like you’re trying to pass off your fridge garbage. I also like making things that I’ve never made before–my family’s joke is that if the recipe starts with “day one,” it’s a Kim recipe. And anytime I can coax a lot of flavor out of a less expensive cut of meat through long slow cooking, I consider it a personal victory.
If you could travel to one place tomorrow? Hmm, because we’re saying “tomorrow” and it’s currently mid-January in Michigan, I’d say that right this minute I pick Hawaii–only because I imagine it’s the Hawaii of the 60’s where Don Draper went and it’s bright and kitchy and warm. Otherwise, lame as it is, my favorite spot in the world is at my parent’s cabin in Northern Michigan, in a lawn chair with a drink, watching the ducks on the lake. I sound roughly 89 years old saying that, but there it is.
Weird question, what is your favorite smell? My favorite smell is a mystery flower that comes out in the spring, right after everything is all thawed and you’re starting to have hope that it’s not going to be grey forever. They bloomed somewhere near my first apartment and I would smell them on the way to my car, and it’s all mixed up with feeling independent and excited and just right, and every once in a while, I catch that smell again and I feel the same way.
What’s your favorite hang out? I don’t have a regular hang out, really–a friend and I have a culinary adventure club where we hit somewhere we’ve never been every other week–but if I had to pick a go-to grab a beer spot I’d have to pick the Old Town. I like that it’s pretty low key, has big booths and weird old portraits on the wall and a fine club sandwich. That, plus the fact that I usually run into someone I know, makes it my default when I have to pick a place because no one can decide.
Three words to describe your work style/ethic? Do the words organized efficient perfectionist paint a bad picture? It sounds kind of stuffy, but I just like everything to be in it’s place and working like a well-oiled machine. Maybe everyone is like that, there can’t be too many people that like things to go wrong. So there’s your three words, plus a bucket of extra ones.
We are excited to announce our new class line up for Winter 2014. Why not learn a new skill this year! Come join us as we teach you to get your cakes looking professional. No more sitting at home watching cake boss, come do it!
CAKE 101 SERIES: $250
Wednesdays Jan 22-Feb 5th (starts at 5:30pm)
Cakes 101 will be composed of Buttercream Basics, Mastering Piping Techniques, and Fondant Fundamentals: Creative Toppers for Cupcakes. By the end you will leave with a great understanding of cake construction and decorating. Special tools required.
Wednesday January 22th: 5:30-8:30pm $100
Come join us as we show you the ins and outs of buttercream and cake construction. We will teach an array of Sweet Heather Anne’s buttercream techniques, and then you get to practice your favorite on your very own six-inch cake. You will leave with a beautifully decorated cake to share as well as the recipes and know-how to do at home.
(photo courtesy of JLB photography.)
MASTERING PIPING TECHNIQUES:
Wednesday January 29th: 5:30-8:30 $100
Become piping proficient and take your skills to new heights. Learn to roll and cover a cake in fondant and execute a variety of our favorite piping techniques. You will practice the techniques in class and leave with a beautifully decorated dummy cake with gorgeous piped details of your choosing. Some tools required.
Creative Toppers for Cupcakes
Wednesday February 5th 5:30-8:30 $100
Looking to add some pizzazz to your cake creations? Learn how to work with fondant to make custom fondant toppers perfect for cakes and cupcakes. We’ll share some of our favorite fondant tricks of the trade and you will take home one dozen cupcakes topped with your creations as well as recipes to make them on your own. Some tools required.
(photo courtesy of Nicole Haley)
Tuesday February 18th 5:30-9pm
Wednesday, February 19th: 5:30-9pm $250
Enjoy this highly personalized class during which Heather will teach you how to cover and stack cakes and practice a variety of decorating techniques including gilded painting, pieced fondant details, piping and sugar paste flowers. You will decorate a dummy cake inspired by the cake shown, and leave with the knowledge to continue your sugar work confection on your own. This two part class is perfect follow up to the Cake101 Series.
Special Tools Required.
(photo courtesy of Bradley James Photography)
To sign up, email email@example.com or call.
Bring a friend and get 15% off the second class.
So long, bride and groom. These typical toppers that graced the cakes have been replaced with unique thoughtful ways of addressing this space on the cake. The sentiment of union and love are still there, just reinterpreted.
Sometimes this means gorgeous flowers cascading down the top. Other times little talismans ( like a recent wedding, where the groom so shaky and excited placed very meaningful beautiful stones a top the cake surrounded by hearts. SWOON!) Sometimes it takes the form of adorable animals representing the couple ( one of our wedding’s this year had a polar bear and a panda bear, with some amazing spectacles, holding hands.)
But other times it means very lovely custom logo toppers. Some of my favorite this year has been when the couple has a logo/seal that is then translated into a stunning topper that we have proudly made.
Brianne and Andrew had an amazing wedding ( many credits to the talented Alison at Viva La Diva.) Brianne is also quite the decorator ( as we found out in a cookie class – she kinda blew everyone away!) Alisa Bobzien was commissioned to make this incredible coat of arms to represent their union. It was quite magnificent. What was even better was that we got to replicate it for the top of the cake.
Pictures by Jess + Nate Studios.
Annette and Jordan had a stunning out door wedding. And just so happens, they are talented graphic designers and so much fun to work with. They created their own custom logo, that was simple, unique and oh yeah ADORABLE. We got to transform this one into a topper as well.
Pictures by JLB Photography
I have to admit the Michigan football thing is contagious. Moving here from San Francisco, at first I was confused. The traffic was bothersome, the college kids rowdier and things seem to stop when Michigan gets on the field. But slowly my dislike has turned into pride. I ask for scores, watch games (um…sometimes) and oh yeah… decorate cookies. Imagine a chilly fall evening decorating cookies amongst friends.
Our Michigan football cookie class is one of my favorites. I love the adorable helmets, the mini footballs and those deliciously attractive block M’s. Plus, you get to take home enough cookies to share on game day. I also find the royal icing techniques taught and practiced in the class can only make your cookies the envy of others. And come on, what’s better than that! You take away practical experience and tricks to make your cookies look professional bakery quality. Plus, you get my favorite brown sugar cookie recipe. I have been known to eat so much of the dough.
Come join us for the first class of the fall/winter 2013 line up. We would love to see you there.
Coming soon: Thursday November 7th at 5:30 -8:00pm
Bring a friend and get 15% off the second class!
Contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org to sign up.
For more information, please visit our website.
Photo by the talented Abby Rose Photo.
Coming off a big win last week felt good. Actually it felt great. But we still have a lot more season ahead. And that means a lot more tailgates, parties and eating some delicious Sweet Heather Anne maize and blue treats. At our dessert counter during a Michigan home game, we will offer some of our favorite treats to celebrate maize and blue. But you can also pre-order a variety of sweets: decorated cookies, cupcakes, football helmet cakes, maize and blue macarons. Contact us for more information at: email@example.com.
And don’t forget: you can learn how to make Michigan M cookies at our November 7th cookie class!
And take a quick look at this week’s offerings photographed by Melanie Reyes Photography:
Sometimes clients think that rustic buttercream means well RUSTIC. We use to make a joke in my old kitchen that anything less than perfect was called Rustica (Italian for Rustic). But it just so happens we were an Italian restaurant and well it happened to be that everything was RUSTICA. Not always ideal for that perfect looking panna cotta but definitely an ideal when it comes to how we present food. The thought behind this is that it wasn’t fussed over and looked still very natural and minimally handled. On the other hand, to obtain this true rustic look, here at Sweet Heather Anne, it might seem “easy” or “laissez faire” but in fact it takes a careful eye to get these very natural looking swirls and waves. I think as far as rustic goes, we get it right. Stunningly simple, textured and very appetizing.
Monica and Brian choose the rustic buttercream finish for their cake and in their space, it feels elegant, still very natural and most importantly true to their style. I loved the details: gorgeous peonies, engraved Mr and Mrs forks, burlap and wood. What a beautiful wedding and a great couple. All photos by the talented JR Magat Photography.
Check out more photos of their wedding on JR Magat’s blog.
Sweet Heather Anne would like to introduce you to a new beautiful simple buttercream cake called the SIGNATURE. Gorgeous horizontal lines organically pattern this buttercream cake. And they come in many sizes and even stacked and tiered. Hello Signature! You are a new classic and dare I say Sweet Heather Anne’s signature cake.
Macarons are a true French delicacy and our taking us by storm. Not to be confused with macaroons (coconut), these are meringue based with almond meal folded in sandwich between flavored buttercream. They are dainty, playful and make for inspired canvases of interesting flavors and shades not yet categorized by Pantone. They are also very challenging and take a skilled hand and patience to create the perfect texture and “pied” (the foot that elevates the shells.) Thanks to the likes of Laudree and Piere Herme, we have plenty of inspiration.
At Sweet Heather Anne, we keep experimenting with these cuties. One of my favorite flavors is chai ( with cinnamon, cloves, cardamom, ginger and black pepper.) And then there’s pistachio and citrus praline and oh the list goes on. We are hoping to make a lavender macaron with lavender that Claudia grew. But we also love playing with their presentation. Whether boxed up and tied with ribbon, our infamous ombre macaron tower, apothecary jars and vintage cake stands, macarons deserve special treatment. We always have in rotation two flavors of macarons at the dessert counter, so passer-byes can come in and sample these delectable confections. We love making them, maybe just as much as we love eating them!
REMINDER: we still have a few spots left for our July 2nd Cookies Decorating Class ( Independence Day themed.) Please contact us to reserve a spot. We would love to decorate with you.