Cake and Pastry Artist Lesi Johnson

XDream Cakes and Pastries in Calgary

I would like you to meet a few people that have inspired me

Two of my absolute favorite things are travel and caking.  I can’t really pick a top favorite of the two so combining them is the perfect solution.  I also am very social so meeting people, especially cake artists, gets to be added to the list.  How nice that it all fits together so perfectly.

I have been blessed to be able to get in some awesome travel time, and accumulated hours of notable cake time with some of my favorite people.  Here I would like to introduce to you to a few of them.

 

Nicolas Lodge

There is so much to say about Nicolas Lodge, that I would have a hard time to fit it all on this page.  He holds the ranking as one of the best instructors I have had the pleasure of  working  with.  He has a pretty impressive clientele list as well.  He was commissioned to do work for England’s Royal Family and other celebrities. This included one of the official wedding cakes for wedding of Lady Diana and Prince Charles.  He reproduced this Royal wedding cake for the visit of the Prince and Princes of Wales, during their official visit to Tokyo,  Japan.  He was also commissioned to create a cake for the Queen Mother’s 80th birthday and the Christening cake for Prince Harry. He is the owner of the International School of Sugar and Confectionery Arts.   In his own words,  “Teaching is the most rewarding area of my life. Being able to educate and pass on techniques and methods to my students fills me with the same passion today as it did when I started my career.”

You can visit his site at  www.thattakesthecake.org

 

James Roselle

You may have seen James on the Food Network’s Challenge Series. He has competed in several cake challenges.  Sweet 16, Surprise Engagement Cakes, and Extreme Holiday Cakes.  He impressively won all three challenges.   James has the most wonderful flowering technique but I especially love his edible gem work.  Strings of edible diamonds to enhance any elegant cake that  you would like bling out.  He travels and teaches these techniques to students around the world and passing on the obvious love of his craft.  You can check out his website at www.ellecakes.com.

 

Becky Rink

Becky owns and operates,  About the Cake.  Her wedding cakes are impressive but her artistic and whimsical approach to sculpted and themed cakes is what drew me to her.  Becky has competed on three nationally televised programs.   You may have seen her on:  We TV’s Wedding Cake Wars,  TLC’s Ultimate Cake Off,  or the Food Network’s Halloween.  She currently is the only baker in Cleveland to be on all three major networks!  As well, she is the author of “The Top Shelf Baker – Sweet Treats From a Well Stocked Bar”.    You can visit her website at www.aboutthecake.com

 

Lourdes Reyes

Have you ever been to Mexico and seen those half-sphere jello molds that appear to have a three dimensional flower trapped inside of them and wondered “How did they do that?”   This technique is what Lourdes has found her passion in.  She travels and teaches in Mexico and in the United States passing on this bit of culinary wisdom.  It is a fascinating art form and delicious as well.  If you are even remotely curious,  check out her site at:

www.gelartfloral.com

Norm Davis

I love Norm.  He’s cheeky, witty and so much fun to work with and learn from.  He is the owner of The Sweet Life,  a custom design cakery in Virginia.  He is also an award winning chocolatier and is infamous for his White Chocolate Curl Cake and his three-dimensional chocolate figurines.  He has competed in ten Food Network Challenge’s.  He has co-authored the books  ” Wedding Cake Ensembles” and “Cakes for All Seasons”.  Much to his credit, he was commissioned by the Washington Post to create a cake for President Clinton.  If you’ve  seen his work,  none of the aforementioned is a surprise at all.   You can visit his site at:  www.thesweetlife.com

 

Ruth Rickey

Ruth owned and operated “Ruth’s Sweet Justice”  for nearly 12 years. There she  created wedding cakes for the likes of  Toby Keith’s daughters as well as for governors Mary Fallin,  Frank Keating  and David Walters.  When it became too difficult to keep up with the workings of a full time bakery, she decided to close it’s doors.  She now is pursuing her passion for teaching. She appeared on TV shows and competitions such as the Food Network’s “Wedding Cake Wars.”    She’s now a highly sought-after teacher and I wish her all the best with her newly sought after passion, teaching.  She does it well!

You can visit her site at:  www.ruthrickey.com

 

Lucinda Larson

Lucinda is one of my absolute favorite people.  She has a charm that is rare.  Such a dear to work with.  She is renowned for her beautiful gumpaste flowers and very pleasing use of color. She is fondly nicknamed the Buttercream Queen and The Icing Diva. In addition to her 30 years of teaching at numerous prestigious culinary colleges and expos across North America,  she has received many awards and “best of shows” for her work. She has been featured in national and international magazines, TV, and on the cover of American Cake Magazine. Lucinda’s spunky personality and passion for cake decorating makes working with and learning from her,  simple and fun.

Here is a link to see  her videos:  http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PT_aKBtRK7I

 

There you have it,  just a few of my favorites.  I’m going to continue to travel and learn, ever expanding my list.

 

Happy Caking!

 

Lesi

Chocolate Pumpkin Cake (or cuppies)

Chocolate Pumpkin Cake (or cuppies)

You all know that I am all about making any job easier, So I was all over a homemade cake mix.  Especially one that is versatile.  Here recipe is the recipe for you to try and once you have it,   I’m going to jazz it for ya!

Basic Cake Mix

  • 8 c. flour
  • 1/4 c. baking powder
  • 2 c. unsalted butter (or shortening,  I choose butter everytime!)
  • 5 c. sugar
  • 1 tbsp. salt

 

Cut ingredients together using a pastry cutting tool.  This will make a course-grained mix.   Divide into 5 equal portions of 3 1/3 cup each. Will store 6 weeks or will freeze for 6 months.

***If you add  2 cups of powdered milk to your basic mix,  you can use water when adding wet ingredients.

 

 

Now that we have that out of the way,  it time to fancy it up.

 

Start with 3 1/3 cup of cake mix and add:

 

  • 1 (15 ounce) can pumpkin
  • 1/3 c. cocoa
  • 2 eggs, beaten
  • 1 tsp. vanilla

 

Use milk to thin this mixture until you reach desire thickness.  Batter should still be thick but  thinned  enough to pour easily.

 

 

For cake bake at 350? for  35 – 40  minutes or until top springs back on touch

 

For cupcakes bake at 375? for  15 – 20 minutes or until top springs back on touch

 

 

And there you have it.   Chocolate pumpkin cake batter, for layer cake or cuppies.  Excellent served naked (the cake that is) with whipped cream,  or with creamed cheese icing.

 

Yum yum

Valentine’s Day Cakes and Cuppies

Now is the time to order your Valentine’s Day treats for loves of all variety! Chocolate Cream filled cuppies for the kids. Heart shaped Caramel Torte for your sweetheart! Cookies, cookies, cookies!

Don’t delay, Order today!Course 1, January 2010 (62)