Metro Detroit Bride – Our Signature Cake

We love being featured in this month’s Metro Detroit Bride. What an adorable cake set amongst gorgeous farm to table arrangements. It’s our lovely signature cake with our gold heart topper. All thanks to Sheila and Greg for their beautiful wedding.

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Monica and Brian: RUSTIC buttercream

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.

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Macaron

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!

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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.

peonies

Both Renoir and brides consider this flower, the ephemeral illustrious bud, their muse. Tight spherical blossoms open up in layers of big pedals with flashes of yellow coated pollen in their center.  These flowers undoubtedly have a presence and some say quite the feminine mystique. They seem like the perfect flower for marriage. In Feng Shui tradition, peonies are supposed to be good luck for a couple. During the spring time, these flowers are in full bloom, but the season is short lived. But with meticulous hands, sugar paste flowers can take their place and be a lovely interpretation of the real thing. Throughout this post, our some of our favorite romantic peonies that we got to use or make.

This wedding used real peonies with piped buttercream details. Oh so very English garden.

Passionflower showed us how lovely peonies are paired with green blueberries.

Hand painted peonies look like a cool graphic wall paper. Simply the outline of these flowers remain,  yet, a lasting impression.

Who said you can have too many peonies? These gorgeous flowers (hand sculpted sugar paste) will cascade down this cake in true magnificence.

Sweet!

As a warning, there are studio nudes in this post. While they are quite different from other types of nudes, this post may not be safe for work.

Besides working my booty off with Heather at the studio, I also work in the evenings slinging drinks at the Old Town Tavern in Ann Arbor. While my mother may worry about me, this non-traditional work schedule affords me the flexibility to do really cool things like take college painting courses on Tuesday and Thursday mornings. (I got an A on my first oil painting ever, thank you, thank you) For Painting I this semester have this super cool professor (Maybe I’m sucking up, but the semester’s not over, after all), and he recommended I check out the work of Will Cotton. The stuff is so cool that I have to share it with you all. I chose a few examples that were especially cake related.

I have to say, as a student of traditional piping techniques, and I almost shed a tear when I saw his sculptures. I had a harder time lifting those images from his website, so you need to go there to see them. It will be totally worth it.

The next woman is wearing a croquembouche hat. For those of you not familiar, it’s a (ridiculously fabulous) French wedding pastry tower. Yes, rather than wedding cakes, the French choose to construct giant towers of puff pastry, chocolate, caramel, macarons, spun sugar, almonds, ribbon, or whatever else they choose. In that light, it’s not a huge leap to put the thing on a beautiful woman’s head. I understand, Will Cotton, I understand.

While I’m on the fine art tilt, I’d like to give a shout out to one of our favorite (cake) artists, Kate Sullivan of Cake Power. Last summer, she created this beautiful cake installation to mimic Wayne Thiebaud’s iconic Cakes. We love her.

Food Imitating Art

Besides being a great teacher, I recently found out my professor makes really cool art. Through November 26, you can see his paintings in the U of M Residential College gallery. It’s totally free (date night?). While the intensity of the pieces may not totally translate on the computer screen, because 1) many were constructed from computer-generated images in the first place and 2) they are really big, here are a couple of examples anyway. I took them from his blog.