Saturday, January 18, 2014

The Modern Rustic Winter Cake.

Winter wedding cakes do not always have to be white, blue, or covered in snowflakes-- it's possible to add a touch of pastel. On the same note, vintage or rustic wedding cakes do not always have to be composed of muted color tones, damask patterns, lace, or burlap-- it's okay to add a bit of clean lines. Fusing concepts and themes is unique and gorgeous.

What truly matters is how the design elements of the cake and props tie in together. For example, for a modern and rustic fusion wedding, instead of a traditional cake stand, this cake can be placed on a dark wine crate (similar in color to the table) on top of a black dresser. The cake can be surrounded by a mix of milk glass vases and clear vintage bud vases of different heights, shapes, and widths filled with a blossom or two or a few bare branches. Hanging rustic frames or mirrors can be used as the backdrop for the cake table. Anybody else envisioning what I am envisioning?

For a winter wedding, the cake can be placed on a white cakestand with a silver satin bow tied to the middle of the pedestal to complement the edible sugarpaste bow on the cake covered in silver leaf. Or on second thought, I think the cake would also look nice on a silver or shimmery light grey cake stand. Add some square white vases filled with white blossoms and accents of black privet berries and all is complete.

All in all, what I am trying to get at is the fact that weddings, wedding colors, and cake do not have to be a duplicate of what was seen on Pinterest. Though I love Pinterest and all things wedding-relevant on there, I want to challenge brides to think outside of Pinterest and assure them that it is okay to create something different and refreshing. After all, most people are far more creative than they think. :)

Photography: Miso
Cake Stand: Sarah's Stands A Cake Stand Company 

Monday, December 23, 2013

Happy Holidays + Thank You's!

What a year 2013 has been.
I still cannot believe it is almost over. Didn't the year start like... yesterday?

My heart is happy and at peace as I reflect back on this year's journey.
2013 was a magnificent year and I feel honored to be able to say it.
Though there were some stumbles here and there, I have been able to stay optimistic throughout it all-- thanks to the supportive people I am surrounded with.

I am lucky. I have been blessed with the most fabulous group of friends, mentors, supporters, peers, co-workers, etc. They encourage me, inspire me, challenge me, keep me accountable, bless me with opportunities, give me honest (sometimes very honest) feedback, support me, assist me, and just simply, deal with me. Trust me, Miso can be a little difficult and stubborn at times. :)

As I say most every year, thank you for journeying with me this year. Yet again, there were many firsts this year, but of them, the most valuable was teaching in Spain. I want to take the time again and thank the hosts at Sweet Kala Talleres (and Hotel Arce) in Baiona and Dulces Ilusiones in Valdemoro, and all my students who participated in my classes. Thank you so much for trusting me, for driving hours to take my classes, for being so welcoming and friendly, for making me laugh, for being so patient and understanding. I could go on and on about how much their presence meant to me, but I don't want to overdo my thank you's. As they say, less is more. But really, I will never forget my first teaching experience and the students I met. The firsts in life can never be replaced.

Last but not least, a big hug and thank you to my supporters. Thank you for your messages and emails and for sharing stories of your journey. It means a lot to me.

May this holiday season fill your heart with happiness and peace.
Thank you for a year full of opportunities where I not only grew as Miso and Miso Bakes, but as a person. Here's to another year of cakes and yet another year of twenty-somethings.

Photographed by: Sylvia G Photography

Thursday, December 12, 2013

The Deer Cake.

I was never an animal person. I actually still am not. However, quite oddly, I have been wanting to create a deer-themed cake the past few winters, but never got around to it. A few weeks ago, I finally glued my bottom to a chair and got down to business. I would have loved to create a 3D carved cake, but truth be told, I don't see a deer in a cube of cake. To me, a cube of cake is simply just a cube of cake. I am extremely artistically challenged in this aspect! But, I did manage to give it 3D antlers.

For days I researched and studied deer head paintings, etchings, and decals. I am not a great painter either, so I needed to look at something for reference. I finally settled and decided to use this decal as my painting inspiration.

Here are a few pictures. I hope you enjoy!

Happy  Holidays!

Monday, December 2, 2013

Being Miso.

I was trying to catch my breath.

I had raced across the Dallas/Forth Worth Airport to catch my connecting flight to Madrid, Spain with only 20 minutes to spare because the flight I was on taxied for 15 minutes and people were taking a painstakingly long time getting off the aircraft. A million thoughts crossed my mind. 

Beep, beep! Please walk faster!
Why in the world is this airport so huge? 
I really want donut holes.
What if I miss this flight? 
It's really cold here in Texas.
Hm, is it going to be cold in Spain?
How do I layer clothes? I was born and raise in Southern California. We don't layer here.
Seriously, why is this airport so huge? WHY?

I finally made it. I buckled my seat belt and then it all suddenly felt so real, that I was on my way to Spain to teach. My eyes grew wide as we took off. Ready or not, it was happening, and there was no turning back. Gulp. 

It had been well over a year since Elisa of Sweet Kala Talleres contacted me asking if I was interested in coming to Vigo, Spain, as well as Dulces Ilusiones in Madrid (Valdemoro), to teach.  Since September 2012 we have sent each other many, many emails regarding cake designs, syllabus, buttercream, ganache, etc. After a long 14 months, I was finally sitting on the plane headed to Spain with wobbly knees and butterflies in my stomach. I was hoping and praying all would go well.

Aside from teaching, one of my biggest fears was how Miso would be received. I am an introvert, very private and for the most part, quiet. To this day, I get embarrassed when people talk about my cakes. Not to mention, since the beginning of Miso Bakes, I firmly believed, and still do somewhat believe, art (cakes in this instance), should speak for itself. I wanted my cakes to have all the spotlight and be the face of my brand, not me. Why did it matter who created it? Therefore, I hid behind a veil called Miso and was strict about keeping my real identity on the down low. If Beyonce could have an alter ego named Sasha Fierce, then I could have an alter ego named Miso. Honestly, I had hidden myself so well behind this veil and this branding technique, that I was scared to face my fellow cake designers; to have me completely exposed and put on a pedestal. During the 8 days of teaching, all eyes were going to be on me. Oh. my. gosh.

I survived. I probably have some photos of me floating around on the internet where my eyes are shut, mouth half open, and nostrils flared, but I survived. Yes, I did! Towards the end of my teaching journey, I realized, it was something I had to get used to. With more blogs and publications asking for my professional profile picture (I have zero) along with a biography, I had to break out of my shell. Aside from my fear, on the flipside, it was an honor that people wanted to know more about the designer behind the cakes. They wanted to know more about Miso, and it was something I never imagined.

I never knew a day would come where I would stand in front of my fellow cake peers and teach my designs and share my knowledge. During these years, there were countless moments where I doubted my career choice and decisions. I was turned down features or collaborations because I was not good enough or known enough. Funny thing is, sometimes, I was approached by the vendor, blog, or magazine first only to be told later that they have found someone else to feature or work with, or to never hear from them again!

The 'Likes' on my Facebook account were escalating but my hesitance and doubts could not be hushed. I didn't think I was creative enough. I didn't think I was talented enough. I was growing tired of people using my cake designs without crediting me or asking me for permission. I was tired of the assumptions that I would bring cake to the birthday parties I was attending. Please, I would like to enjoy an evening out without working, but most nights, I was appointed to cut cake and serve everyone. Or, if I did not bring a cake, I was tired of hearing those smartypants comments like, "We have a baker here and we're eating store bought cake?" Um, do I know you? I was tired of family and acquaintances emailing me out of the blue asking to do them a favor and create them a cake. Did they not realize this was a career and not a hobby? So, you're saying you want what other designers will charge $300 for free? Rude.

But with time, I have learned to laugh it off, roll my eyes, snort, yell at my computer screen, and say no. And if you're dealing with this right now, I must share that going through all this is like a rite-of-passage. It's a growing process in this industry and the creative industry in general. Ultimately, you get annoyed enough times that you form a callous and said instances no longer make your eyebrows twitch, ears burn, or steam come off the top of your head. You start to put a firm foot down, and once you do, the craft becomes far more enjoyable.

I squeezed out a tiny "Hola" on the first day of class, which was received with giggles. I cleared my throat a few times and gripped tightly onto my class outline. I smiled nervously as I made eye contact with everyone surrounding my work station. I was welcomed with so much warmth and kindness. I began to ease up and loosened my grip. I could do this. I had trained a handful of pastry cooks in the past. This was more or less going to be like that.

Throughout my classes and my journey, I was told several times that I was not expected to be so young. Upon hearing this for the first time, I was a bit scared because I thought my age would hinder some of my students from trusting me and allowing me to teach them a thing or two. However, when I shared my thoughts with one of the hosts, she looked and me and smiled. "One of the students said this was one of the most informative class she has taken" she said. I don't think I have ever felt such sense of satisfaction before.

For the first time in a long while, I told myself that I must be doing something right. 

Monday, September 9, 2013


The Wood Cake.

Monday, August 26, 2013

For Daisy.

This one is for Gatsby's Daisy Buchanan. 

Friday, June 28, 2013

Cake Central Magazine.

Back in March, Cake Central Magazine contacted me and asked to create a cake inspired by these images...

I wanted to design a white-on-white cake that captured the clean and pristine designs of the bouquet and dress.

I can confidently say that this was one of my harder cakes to make because it was extremely simple.

Photographed by: Sylvia G Photography