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Let me preface this by saying I love my mom. I really do. I love her, and she is awesome and extremely generous. She paid for my college, gave me a big chunk of money for my wedding without any demands or restrictions, helped me buy my first apartment, and always insists on treating when we go out for dinner. That said, she can be incredibly–how to put this–frugal. Growing up, paper towels were mainly for show (“Use a sponge!”). Only the most extreme liquid scenarios warranted the use of a paper towel, and even then only one sheet per use. Ziplock bags were washed, rinsed, dried, and reused. And when, after being used over and over and over again despite their single-use design, they split along the seam, they were taped with masking tape and used again. One time, my mom returned a cantaloupe she had purchased in February to the store because it hadn’t ripened. It was May. And still today it is common to find, upon opening her fridge, a paper thin slice of avocado, clinging lifelessly to the pit and brown on both sides, saved for consumption at a later time. Like I said, my mom is awesome.
Now, I inherited the cheap gene, so when I received a private message from Jackie over at Cake Central with “Interested in getting some free cake decorating supplies?” as the subject line, I knew, without reading any further, that my answer would be an enthusiastic “Yes! Yes! Yes!”
The requirements were simple: They send a new product for me to use and keep. I create a cake using the materials and photograph it. Done deal.
The products I received are called onlays and are by Marvelous Molds. They are somewhere between a cutter and an impression mat, but very different. We conceptualized a design, executed it, hated it, scrapped it, and came up with this. Designing a white-on-white cake was on my list of 2013 design goals, so it worked out perfectly.
I really like the clean look of the squares, but wanted to soften it a little. We added hydrangea pomander balls made of sugar flowers to give the cake a more feminine look.
Here are my answers to interview questions that I submitted along with my photos:
1. What was your initial reaction to the products you were sent?
I was really excited about the onlays. After watching the video, I played around with all of the onlays to get a feel for them and get started thinking about their uses. This is a completely new and different kind of product: it’s neither a mold nor an impression mat, yet serves the function of both.
2. How did you decide on the elements you ended up using?
Of the five onlays, three were chevron. I absolutely love chevron—and the chevron onlays will definitely get a lot of use—but I wanted to challenge myself a bit. Our initial concept used the squares onlay but had random painted scribbles in a pastel palette in some of the squares. Unfortunately, it just didn’t work aesthetically. We ultimately decided to go with a classic yet contemporary white-on-white design.
3. Did you use any specific tools in your final design? In addition to the onlay, we made a hydrangea pomander ball that we created by adhering gumpaste hydrangea petals to a fondant-covered styrofoam ball.
4. What is your favorite thing about this cake (cookie/cupcake)? I love the clean, geometric look of the squares juxtaposed against the feminine, organic flower. I also like that it pushed me creatively, and allowed me to cross “Make white-on-white cake” off my list of 2013 design goals!
5. Any other notes? Thank you for including me on this fun challenge.
And thank you for stopping by.