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What inspires you?

I am a visual person and get inspired easily. My kitchen is bulging at the seams with recipes that I swear I am going to get to. Then, bam, a new recipe comes along and bumps one down the list. Now, add Pintrest and other food bloggers I follow to the mix and wow – my plate overfloweth.

And inspiration doesn’t just come by way of recipes. Take this birthday cake I made recently for my three-year-old grandson, Rowan. He loves cars. He eats, sleeps and breathes cars (well, and baseball). I saw these little chocolate cars on Pintrest and knew instantly I had to put them on Rowan’s cake.

Then I started thinking, I didn’t just want to have a flat cake with roads. And then I thought of my sister, a landscape architect in Charlottesville, VA. She and her partner designed this really cool keystone stone bridge, Saunders Bridge, that is the entryway to Monticello. I decided I wanted to recreate that bridge as part of Rowan’s cake. It is a bridge and underpass all in one.

I baked a regular 9x13” cake and frosted it. I also baked a dome cake (I used a dome pan (see photo of unfrosted cake) to make the bridge. If you don’t have a dome cake pan you can bake the batter in a Pyrex bowl (you will need about 6 cups of cake batter either way).

I hollowed out the tunnel part of the bridge, frosted it and then applied the chocolate rock candy to replicate the stones on the bridge. I wanted to use crushed chocolate wafer cookies for the roads but couldn’t find them so I used crushed graham crackers instead. And I think it worked out for the best because it was easier to see the little Snicker bar cars.

Does it look like it came from a professional baker? Heck no. Did my grandson love it? Yes! Winner, winner chicken dinner!

Where will your inspiration come from next?


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