Thursday, October 18, 2012

My Controversial Cake

 Never knew a cake could create such a controversy! 

Ever since I published the photo of my "Autumn Baskets" cake it has been the topic of controversy. It has been stolen and posted on other baker's websites. I've been told that I was "inspired by Susan Carberry" (whom, at the time, I had never heard of nor had I ever seen her amazing cakes) and that I needed to give her credit. Others have copied and posted this image to their facebook claiming that they created it and It's been the topic of mile long threads on facebook cake groups. Things like this have been happening for two years now. Never in my wildest dreams did I ever think that my cake would cause such a stir.

I'm floored and at the same time flattered! 

So there you have it...

My controversial cake!

I designed this cake for an autumn pig roast my family was invited to in Pumpkin Town, South Carolina. My good friend, Sandy Stutes helped me put some of it together.

So just for the record, this is an original cake designed by me, Veronica Arthur of
 With Love & Confection. 


Wednesday, October 17, 2012

White Chocolate Pumpkins Tutorial by With Love & Confection

Would you like to learn how to make my mini white chocolate pumpkins to decorate your cupcakes?

Here is how it's done!

First you will need to prepare your modeling chocolate and let it cool and stiffen at room temperature. Here's the recipe:

Veronica's White Modeling Chocolate

20 oz of white chocolate coating
1/2 cup light corn syrup

1. Place white chocolate coating in a microwave proof glass bowl. Make sure the bowl is completely dry. Any trace of water will cause your chocolate to seize up and it will be ruined.
2. Heat chocolate until completely melted. (approx 1-2 minutes)
3. Add the corn syrup and fold it into the chocolate with a dry rubber spatula until thoroughly mixed.
4. Scrape out the mixture onto a large piece of plastic wrap.
5. Let it cool slowly as you knead it every 1-2 minutes.

Helpful Hint:
Be careful not to let the separated fat cool completely without periodically kneading it back into the chocolate otherwise you will have chunks of solid fat throughout your modeling chocolate. If this happens you can try reheating it in the microwave.
The white chocolate that has always worked for me is Palmer's Candies Vanilla Almond Bark. It is sold at Ingle's grocery stores in SC. I haven't been able to find where to purchase it online. If you are reading this and know an online store that carries it, please share the link in the comments. Thanks!

You will also need:
1. Green gumpaste for the stems.
2. Basic gumpaste tools
3. X-acto knife or paring knife.
4. Paint brushes
5. Petal/luster dusts and silver highlighter.
These are the colors I used.
Bronze- Cake Supplies 4 U
Georgia Peach- CK Products
Silver Highlighter- Cakes by Design
Silver Foliage- CK Products

Maybe you know a website who carries all of these colors but I decided to provide the links of the sites where I found my colors. You may also choose to use gold instead of silver. The choice is up to you. This is just what I used.

Here's what the colors look like.

Start with a 1" ball of modeling chocolate.

Using your ball tool, press the center of your chocolate ball till it resembles the shape of a pumpkin.

Using the straight edge of one of your tools, lightly score the sections of your pumpkin. Set it aside.

For the stem, take a pea sized ball of green gumpaste.

Roll it between your fingers to form a skinny, elongated tear drop or tadpole shape.

Like this.

At the biggest part, press between your fingers to form sort of a golf tee shape.

Now pinch around the edges in 5 sections to form a star shape.

Now that you have the star shape, flatten it by pressing in the opposite direction.

Lay the stem down on your work surface and using your knife, score it all the way around to look like a natural vine.

Now twirl the vine into the desired shape and petal dust. I used the bronze and silver foliage as a base color then sprinkled a little silver highlighter.
Lightly wet the indentation of your pumpkin and nestle the stem  on top.
Last, lightly brush the lines in the pumpkin sections with georgia peach.

Now use these adorable pumpkins to decorate your cupcakes!

Please come back and leave a comment on how your pumpkins turn out and post a link to your creations! I would love to see them!

Thank you for stopping by my blog!

With Love & Confection,

Thursday, October 11, 2012

This is My Story

Good morning everyone! Just wanted to let y'all know that I started a personal artist page on facebook and here is the biography I shared. I wanted to share it here as well. I would like to invite you to visit my artist page and like it here: 
Veronica Arthur (With Love & Confection)

This is My Story

My beautiful mother and I

My name is Veronica and I was born in San Antonio,Texas. I'm the oldest of four siblings- three sisters and a brother. During my grade school years my family and I lived in Denver, Colorado. While living 

in Denver my parents, my (middle) sister and I became Christians. When the Lord called my dad to preach in 1982 he decided to study at Bob Jones University. We moved to Greenville, South Carolina and have been here ever since.


My first gingerbread house at age 19

When I was 17 years old I became interested in cake decorating and started teaching myself using Wilton books and magazines. In 1985, cake decorating wasn't main stream like it is today. There were no Youtube tutorials or extreme cake decorating shows on Food Network so when a person wanted to teach themselves they had to learn the hard way! (For petal dust we used non toxic chalk. Can you imagine?)During that time I also taught myself to design and create gingerbread houses and in 1987 I entered my first Gingerbread House Competition in the Good Housekeeping Magazine. Our old oven went out before I could finish baking all the pieces but that didn't stop me! I just fired up the stove burners, placed my gingerbread pieces on a giant 2" deep sheet cake pan up-side down, placed it over the burners and covered it with another giant sheet pan. It worked! I was able to bake the rest of my gingerbread that way! Necessity is indeed the mother of invention! My pink Victorian gingerbread house was awarded runner-up! Not too bad for my very first gingerbread house. ;)

Giant Sugar Cookie and
gumpaste roses and bow

Word got around quickly about my gingerbread structures and decorated cakes and it wasn't long until everybody at our church was placing orders for my cakes. My father even talked his boss into ordering cakes for all the employee's birthdays. Eventually I was recommended to the brides at Bob Jones University and before I knew it, I had cake orders every week! I'll never forget the first Kitchen Aid mixer that my parents bought me when I turned 20. (I still have it, btw! Needless to say, I burned it out years ago!) My brother bought me my first (Wilton) gumpaste flower cutter kit on that 20th birthday as well. (Still have it AND use it!) My family has always been very supportive and encouraging and I love them for it!

Teapot Gingerbread Cottage

By the early 90's I wasn't doing quite as many cakes. In 2000 I decided to enter the Good Housekeeping Contest again. This time I made a teapot shaped cottage. I received runner-up again. It was a little disappointing. That same year I won a cookie decorating contest and was awarded the grand prize which was a trip to Wilton school in Chicago. I completed the Master Class and received my certificate. I also entered the Grove Park Inn Gingerbread House competition with my mushroom shaped gingerbread cottage but didn't place.

Enchanted Mushroom Cottage

Our wedding day

In August 2000 I met the love of my life and we got married in February 2001. We 

now have two beautiful children. We have a daughter (11) and a son (9). I had the honor of leading them each to Christ at very young ages. They both show artistic abilities and my daughter is becoming a very good baker! I've been teaching her since she was a toddler. She has entered 3 pieces in The National Gingerbread House Competition at the Grove Park Inn in Ashville, NC. At 3 years old she placed 1st. At 9 she placed 2nd and at 10 she placed 3rd.

My daughter and her award winning gingerbread house

Presently, I'm taking a few cake orders and teaching scratch baking and cake

decorating classes in my home. Recently, I have had the honor of having two of
my cakes featured in the international Cake Central Magazine. The cakes featured
two of the techniques I developed--The stone look and the weathered wood with
peeling paint technique. On one of the cake designs I incorporated gingerbread
which has been a dream of mine. There are lots of designs and ideas floating
around inside my head! There's just never enough time to execute them! 

With one of my cake class students and her
first wedding cake

Teaching others the art of cake & confectionery design makes me happy. I love to

see the faces of my students light up when they finally see their cake coming
together and they are so thrilled that they actually decorated a cake from start to
finish in just a few hours! I've made many life long friends through teaching my
art and that also makes me happy. I thank the Lord every day for blessing me with
that privilege. 

With lots of Love & Confection,
Veronica Arthur ♥

PS- Although I do LOVE cake and confectionery art, my number one loves are being a wife and mother!

Thank you for stopping by!