Simi Cakes & Confections   


Hello everyone,

It’s been a fun summer so far!  We have been home this month working around Florida and enjoying Tropical Storm Debby that just won’t make up her mind!  LOL!   The humidity factor is doing great things for my isomalt structures and my hair-I won’t be posting any pictures of myself!  But it’s been great fun getting geared up for the fall season.  We are looking forward to one more month here and then hit the road until Thanksgiving.  We are excited to get out to our second ICES convention in Reno, NV from Aug 2-5.  If you haven’t ever been before it’s amazing.  Make sure you bring your wallet because you have never seen so many cake supplies in one place!  There are tools you never even knew you needed, but suddenly can’t live without.  Last year I brought home the Agbay Cake Leveler (http://www.agbayproducts.com/).  It is now my favorite tool I could never be without.  I can’t wait to see what is new and exciting this year.  I’ll be texting pictures to Facebook and Twitter so you can see everything going on if you aren’t able to make it to the west coast this year.  But don’t worry because it will be on the east coast next year in Lexington, KY.  Here’s my tip of the week:  Wear comfortable shoes because it’s a lot of walking!  Check them out and hope to see you there:  http://ices12.org/Welcome.html

    Upcoming Classes

July 1 Sunday-Cakes Etc, West Palm Beach-Beginning Isomalt Class Series http://cakes-etc.com/ 

July 10-Tuesday-CakeFu Online Free Webinar Master Training  http://www.cakefu.com/how-to-create-even-vertical-stripes/ 
1:30 EST-      
Isomalt and Gumpaste Water Lily

July 15  Sunday-Palm Bay at Simi Cakes Advanced Isomalt info@simicakes.com  
9:30-11:30-   Multi-Colored Hand Pulled Ribbons and Bows
Stained Glass Sugar
Blown Sugar Dolphins, Swans, and Hummingbirds

July 21 Saturday-Closed Booked with Private Class

Aug 4 Saturday-Reno, NV-ICES Convention www.ices.org   
  Blown Sugar Dolphins, Swans, and Humming Birds & Demos at Icing Images, Sugar Arts Institute, and Get Sassie! Vendor Booths                

Aug 18&19-Sat & Sun-Bedford, PA-Cove Country Cake Show-2 Day Isomalt Class Series

Aug 23 Thursday-Panama City, FL Cake-a-Tiers  info@simicakes.com

4:30-5:30-     Bonus Class-Gumpaste Water Lilies
Fondant Animal Figures

Aug 25&26-Gulfport, MS-2 Day Isomalt Class Series info@simicakes.com

Sept 9-11-Houston, TX-All Things Baking-http://allthingsbaking.org/ 
Isomalt Demos at the Icing Images Booth

Sept 17-Lancaster, PA-Isomalt 1 & 2 with Julie Bashore-Sugar Arts Institute http://sugarartsinstitute.org/ 

Sept 21 & 22-Southbury, CT- Ladybug Cake and Candy Supply- http://ladybugcakeandcandy.com/
Advanced Isomalt Classes schedule coming soon

Sept 23 Sunday-Colonia, NJ Sweet Treats Cake Competition http://thejerseyitgirl.com/cake_competition_FORMS.html 
Blown Sugar Bubbles & Pulled Sugar Roses

Nov 9-11-Birmingham, England-Cake International at the NEC- http://www.ichf.co.uk/
Isomalt Demos at Sugar Arts Institute Vendor Booth

Tip of the Week

With Guest Sugar Artist

Edna De la Cruz

This week my Guest Sugar Artist for Tip of the Week is Edna De la Cruz, owner of Design Me a Cake in Orlando, Fl.  She is a talented cake designer, teacher, competition judge, winner of Food Network Challenge, and one of the kindest people I have ever met.  I get to see Edna quite a few times a year, but it seems it’s usually not in Florida even though she lives only an hour away!  She was sweet enough to offer this wonderful tip for anyone who ever wondered what to do with flower wires on your cake.

Edna’s Tip:

When you are working with flowers and placing them on cakes you can cover the wires or the stems with either coffee stirrers, straws or melted chocolate. 
Make sure that if you use melted chocolate, to cut the wire and bend it before dipping it. That way the chocolate won’t crack exposing the wire.

Edna’s cakes and flowers have amazing detail and she has a full line of DVD’s and cake tools on her website.  You can check her out here: http://designmeacake.com/index.html

Until next time…Keep Life Sweet,







Hello everyone!

I uploaded another new You Tube Video Tutorial this week on making isomalt beads with Icing Images.  The color is amazing when you suspend the edible icing sheets in isomalt.  Check it out, share, and let me know what you think!


Coming up this weekend is the Festival of Chocolate at the UCF Arena in Tampa http://festivalofchocolate.com/ and the Florida ICES Day of Sharing in Ft. Lauderdale http://www.flices.org/ .  Great classes, demos, and cakes!  I know everything happens all in one weekend, but it’s worth it to go to both!  Friday night at the Festival of Chocolate they will have a Cocoa Couture Fashion show and all weekend Paul Joachim will be carving his magic with cake and ganache.  He is amazing to watch!  There is a great lineup of demos at the Day of Sharing.  We will be teaching Icing Images in Isomalt.  So we hope to see you this weekend!

Next week we will be at the Great American Cake Show in Westminster, MD http://greatamericancakeshow.com/  and then visiting Icing Images in Winchester, VA http://icingimages.com/.  We can’t wait to see our northern cake friends.  The show’s themes are Cinco de Mayo, Hats, and Birthday Months.   Saturday evening will be Demos and Desserts with Kathy Scott and Ashley Vicos.  Stop by our booth in the Vendor Hall and say “Hi”!

Please check our website for upcoming classes and events!

Keep Life Sweet!




Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/pages/Simi-Cakes-Confections/121435164568456

Twitter: @Simicakes




It’s been an exciting year so far!  The first of the year my Undersea Sugar Bubble cake was featured in the ICES Magazine and I was accepted to teach a demo at the ICES convention in Reno this August on blown sugar dolphins, swans, and hummingbirds.  Can’t wait to get out west!  We had a wonderful time at the Florida ICES Mini Classes in Orlando.  There were 3 days of classes with spectacular sugar teachers from all over the country.  One of the highlights of the event for me was getting to teach Norm Davis to make a sugar bubble!  It was great to see all of our cake friends and family and we roomed with our great friends!  Next we headed over to the Festival of Chocolate at the MOSI Tampa to teach a few classes in tempering, blown sugar, and chocolate garnishes.  While we were there we checked out the Cocoa Couture Fashion Show dresses.  They were actually made out of chocolate candy wrappers and real chocolate.  And from Food Network fame, Paul Joachim was creating a life size cake sculpture of a beautiful woman.  He created his structure out of PVC, cake, then a ganache icing that in the end looked like bronze.  He left the back open so everyone knew it was cake and not metal!  He even invented techniques to create her legs.  It was a beautiful piece of art!  The next Festival of Chocolate will be at the UCF Arena April 27-29.  Check them out at www.festivalofchocolate.com


Is everyone getting ready for the Florida ICED Cake Competition in Ocala?  The theme this year is Masquerade Ball!  There are incredible prizes, gallery, classes, demos, vendors, live challenge, kid’s corner and so much more.  Get your registrations in as there are only 175 spots open for competition.  Register here at www.floridaiced.com  


And the Florida ICED is in need of Volunteers!!!! They need volunteers to help with ICED and would appreciate your amazing time to make it a great show. They will not be successful without volunteers! They would need you both days and part of a day or full. The first 30 volunteers will get free shirts, masks, beads, & bags of small goodies sent to us from our show sponsors! Free admission to the show all weekend. This does not include demo classes. So please let them know by contacting KNast7@gmail.com or MaureeWoodsFL@aol.com or RLMenz@yahoo.com with any questions about helping out.


We enjoy teaching for Josie and Jerry Jennings at Icing on the Cake in Ocala.  They have a brand new website and will be holding great classes and opening their online supply store.  Check them out at: 



We are excited to announce that Tami Utley, from Yummy Arts, will be back at Simi Cakes to teach again this November!  And Lisa Menz, Florida ICED Chairwoman, will be teaching her beautiful Sugar Veil Shoe this summer with us.  Keep checking the website for updates and class announcements.  As soon as we have the date it will be posted. 


Here is our spring schedule.  We will be adding classes soon so check back often.  If you have an event you would like added, or would like to sign up for a class and get more information, please email us at info@simicakes.com


Feb 5-Sunday-Ocala at Icing on the Cake with Sidney Galpern www.simicakes.com
10-11:30am-  Airbrushing 101-learn the basics to airbrushing, shading, stenciling, care and cleaning and more
12-3pm-        Advanced Airbrush-creating your own plastic stencils and carving and airbrushing a dragon head
3:15-5:15-     Elegant Chocolate Garnishes-Fancy fans, curls, and carnations with a sweep of your hand-fun with a pallet knife and tempering

Feb 10 Friday-Palm Bay at Simi Cakes www.simicakes.com 
1-3pm-         Homeschool Cake Class-Fondant Dogs

Feb 17 Friday-Pensacola-Patrice Drinkard teaching at the Panhandle Cake CRUMBS Competition www.patricespieces.org
All Day Class- Gumpaste Celebration Masks

Feb 18 Saturday-Palm Bay at Simi Cakes www.simicakes.com
10-12pm-Fondant Model Dogs
12:30-5:30pm-Carved Dog Cake- Carve, stack, and decorate a 2 foot 3-D dog cake

March 4-Sunday-Ocala at Icing on the Cake with Sidney Galpern www.simicakes.com
10-12pm-      Henna Cakes-Learn Henna Techniques to decorate ornate cakes
12:30-5:30-   Topsy Turvy Cakes-Build a 3 Tier Topsy Turvy Cake with a Cherry Blossom Theme-5 hours

March 9 Friday-Palm Bay at Simi Cakes www.simicakes.com 
1-3pm-         Homeschool Cake Class-Fondant Dragons

March 31 Ocala-Florida ICED Cake Competition-Simi Cakes & Confections  www.floridaiced.com
9-11am-        Carved Pillow Cakes-Michelle Galpern
3-4:30pm-     Undersea Cake with Blown Sugar Dolphin-Sidney Galpern

April 1 Ocala-Florida ICED Cake Competition www.floridaiced.com
10:45-11:45-  Mold Making-Michelle Galpern
1-3pm-          Gumpaste Tropical Flowers-Sidney Galpern

April 13 Friday-Palm Bay at Simi Cakes www.simicakes.com
1-3pm-         Homeschool Cake Class-Edible Origami

April 14 Saturday-Palm Bay at Simi Cakes www.simicakes.com
10-12pm-      Airbrushing 101 learn the basics to airbrushing, shading, stenciling, care and cleaning and more –
2:15-2:15-     Henna Cakes- Learn Henna Techniques to decorate ornate cakes
2:30-4:30-     Elegant Chocolate Garnishes-Fans, Curls, Carnations.  Fun with a Pallet Knife and tempering

April 27-29-Orlando-Festival of Chocolate with Sidney Galpern www.festivalofchocolate.com
Class schedule TBA

May 6 Sunday-Ocala-Icing on the Cake with Sidney Galpern www.simicakes.com
10-1pm-        Blown Sugar Animals:  Create Beautiful Dolphin, Swans, and Humming Birds-Advanced Sugar Class
1:30-6:30-     3 Tiered Pillow Cake-Carve, decorate, and assemble a beautiful 3 tier pillow cake

May 11 Friday-Palm Bay at Simi Cakes www.simicakes.com
1-3pm-         Homeschool Cake Class-Mother’s Day, Memorial Day, and Graduation

May 19 Saturday-Palm Bay at Simi Cakes www.simicakes.com
10-12pm-      Model Dragons
12:30-5:30-   3 Tiered Pillow Cake-Carve, Decorate, and assemble a beautiful 3 tier pillow cake

June 3 Sunday-Ocala-Icing on the Cake with Sidney Galpern www.simicakes.com
10-12pm-      Dog Modeling Class-Create several fondant model dogs
12:30-5:30-   Carved Dog Cake-Carve, stack, and decorate a 2 foot 3-D dog cake

June 9 Saturday-Palm Bay at Simi Cakes www.simicakes.com
10-12pm-      Edible Origami and Gelatin Bows

12:30-5:30-   Topsy Turvy 3 Tiered Cake with a Cherry Blossom Theme

Summer TBA-Palm Bay at Simi Cakes with Lisa Menz www.simicakes.com

Aug 4 Saturday-Reno, NV-ICES Convention www.ices.org
12:30-1:30-   Blown Sugar Dolphins, Swans, and Humming Birds by Sidney Galpern

 Nov TBA-Palm Bay-Tami Utely returns to Simi Cakes!  www.simicakes.com

                   Watch for updates!

More Summer and Fall Classes being announced soon for Ocala, West Palm Beach, Palm Bay, Alabama, and Greensboro, NC. 

Dates TBA:

Advanced Airbrush-creating your own stencils and carving and airbrushing a dragon head

Beer Bottle/Wine Glass Molding Class

Cake Skeletons-How to build PVC Structures for Incredible Carved Cakes

Edible Origami and Gelatin Bows

Blown Sugar Animals

Sugar Showpieces

Chocolate Showpieces

Basic Blown, Cast, and Pulled Sugar Classes returning

And watch for dates for Simi Cakes Kid’s Camp this summer!

Cake Tip:  We use a small stick on bubble level, found in the RV section of any Wal-Mart, attached to a very straight ruler to make sure all our cakes are completely level.  Because they are so inexpensive, we put several around the bakery so we always have one close at hand. 

Keep Life Sweet!

Sidney and Michelle



Here’s wishing everyone a Joyous Holiday and a Prosperous New Year!


Sidney, Michelle, and Mike

Events in 2012

1/13-15 Orlando, FL-Florida ICES Mini Classes-www.flices.org
9-5pm-Vendor Hall-Isomalt and Molding Demos at the Simi Booth

1/16 Tampa, Fl-Festival of Chocolate-Sidney Galpern- http://www.festivalofchocolate.com
12:00- Back to Basics-Tempering
1:00- Designing a Final Touch with Flair-Fancy & Artistic Dessert Garnishes
3:00- Blown Sugar Centerpieces and Ganache Filled Cupcakes

1/20 Palm Bay,FL-Homeschool Cake Dec Class-Sidney Galpern info@simicakes.com
1:00-3:00 Lifelike Edible Seashells, Coral, and Seahorses

2/5 Ocala, Fl-Sidney Galpern at Icing on the Cake info@simicakes.com
Airbrush 101
Blown Sugar Animals-Dolphin, Swan, and Hummingbird
Chocolate Curls, Carnations, and Fans-Fun with a Pallet Knife

TBA Palm Bay, FL Sidney Galpern- info@simicakes.com

Airbrush 101

Blown Sugar Animals-Dolphin, Swan, and Hummingbird

Chocolate Curls, Carnations, and Fans-Fun with a Pallet Knife

3/31 Ocala, Fl-Florida ICED Cake Competition-Simi Cakes & Confections
9-11am-Carved Pillow Cakes-Michelle Galpern
3-4:30pm-Undersea Cake with Blown Sugar Dolphin-Sidney Galpern

4/1 Ocala, Fl-Florida ICES Mini Classes-Simi Cakes & Confections
10:45-11:45am-Mold Making-Michelle Galpern
1-3pm-Gumpaste Tropical Flowers-Sidney Galpern

4/27-29 Festival of Chocolate, Orlando, Fl http://www.festivalofchocolate

8/2-5 ICES Convention, Reno, NV http://www.ices.org

Tip of the day:

Simple and Decadent Chocolate Ganache:

12 oz of your favorite dark chocolate-chopped small

6 oz of heavy cream

Place chopped chocolate in a bowl. Make sure you have a lid or plate to cover the bowl. In a small sauce pan bring the heavy cream to a boil and immediately pour the cream over the chocolate. Cover and let sit for 5 minutes. Whisk together when time is up. It is ready to pour over a cake or cool in the fridge to firm to use as a filling. Enjoy!


Festival Of Chocolate Experience

I was recently invited to The Festival of Chocolate in Palm Beach to teach and demonstrate because I am the youngest certified professional chocolatier in the country, and they were hoping I would inspire other young adults to enter the pastry and chocolate world.  Edgar and Aileen, festival producers, asked me to build a chocolate car for their raffle because the local Fiat dealership was one of their main sponsors.  Not so hard right?  Then they told me they wanted it 3 feet long and for me to carve and decorate it in the 5 hours the festival was open the first day, and in the middle of the vendor hall.  Now that sounded a little more challenging… But it sounded like fun and a good experience so I told them no problem!  We started preparing a few weeks before the festival by making all the sheets of rice cereal treats to form the car base (about 90 pounds in all).  They wanted me to start with a big chocolate block that I carve throughout the day, so we covered it in chocolate fondant.  We are very thankful to Satin Ice Fine Foods for donating all of the fondant we needed to cover the car and for my class the next day, it worked beautifully!  Once the festival started we got to work carving the body of the car.  Our table was right in front of the real ‘chocolate’ colored Fiat, so that helped us a lot with the shapes that needed to be formed!  It took us until about 1:00 o’clock.  I also worked on the detailed parts that needed to be dry (Mirrors, tires, etc.).  All day we had people come up to fill out a ticket to win our chocolate Fiat, everyone was very excited! Also throughout the day many of the people involved in the festival came over to see the car and introduced themselves.  We met many of the vendors, culinary students that were volunteering, a few of the contestants in the chocolate and cake showpiece challenges, and even Ewald Notter, one of the icons of the sugar world came over.  When I asked about his classes he gave me the best compliment I could ask for, that I was too advanced to take his classes.

Meanwhile across the vendor hall from us they had the chocolate showpiece competition.  They had only 2 hours to complete a ‘fall” themed showpiece completely out of chocolate.  There were four contestants and each was allowed one assistant.  I only got to go see them at the end with being busy with the car but the winning piece had fall leaves, hand made pinecones, swirls, and a beautiful face all attached to a tall pillar.  Congratulations to all the contestants for such beautiful work!

The vendor hall consisted of over 25 vendors selling delicious chocolates and confections on both days.  They also had a ‘Chocolate Museum’ with 6’+ tall chocolates sculptures with chocolate facts on them.  There were stages in the front and back of the hall hosting Brownie Bingo, ice cream eating and cookie stacking contests, and even a chocolate game show (one of my favorite events they hosted).   There was tons too do for kids including over 5 stations to make chocolate jewelry, play dough, and lip balm.  Although we didn’t have too much time the first day to walk through the vendor hall we did take small breaks to check it all out!

At about 1:30 pm the car was ready to be iced and covered in fondant.  Most of the details that could be done ahead of time were finished and drying.  It took 65 lbs of fondant to completely cover the car.  Once the final coat of fondant was on it really started to take form.  Now all we had to do was put all of the accents on.  We added the fondant windshield and windows, tires, door handles, edible logos and license plate, isomalt head/tail lights, and last but not least the silver isomalt mirrors and TA DA! It was a car!  With some help from our good friend Chef Stephanie Steliga, family, and even the producers’ daughter, Sophie, we finished at just about closing time.  Once it was completely finished, the winning name was pulled out of the entry box and the winner of our chocolate car was called.  Sadly the winner had left the festival, and they arranged to pick it up at the Fiat dealership, so we didn’t get to meet them, but I heard that the name drawn was an 11 year old boy and he was VERY excited to hear the chocolate and rice cereal car was now his! By the end of the day we were all tired but very happy with our work and looking forward to the next day!

On Sunday morning we got to the festival at 10:00 am to go check on our car and bring all our equipment in for my demonstration and class that day.  We had a few minutes to walk around and see all the vendors before my demo at 12 so we went around and tried all the samples and bought presents for our friends back home and of course ourselves.  Everyone’s chocolates were very yummy and equally attractive.  After what seemed like a very short time in the vendor hall it was time for my demo.  I demonstrated chocolate ganache filled cupcakes to decorate a blown and pulled sugar centerpiece.  My room was packed and I had tons of fun! After my demo and a little more time in the vendor hall I had to run over to my class.  I taught how to make lifelike chocolate fondant seashells using molds that you create yourself.  All of my students walked out with beautiful seashells and sand dollars and I think everyone really enjoyed it, I know I did!  A thank you to Dominic at Make Your Own Molds for providing the mold putty for us!  After my last class we met up with the Palm Beach Cake Club and had a great time walking around and seeing all of the wonderful cakes in the wedding cake competition they had that day.  Just like the chocolate showpiece competition the day before they only had two hours to complete their cakes, also with a fall theme.  They all came out great, except one was on the verge of falling over.  We felt so bad for the decorator!

We had time to visit two demos that day, Pumpkin truffles by Erika Davis from ‘Top Chef’ and Mexican Hot Chocolate by Bernie Schaked.   They were both very well done and had the most delicious samples!

All in All the Festival of Chocolate was a successful event to showcase independent chocolate and pastry shops.  I am so glad I got to be a part of it! We are counting down the days until the next Festival of Chocolate in Tampa in January!  http://festivalofchocolate.com/

Keep Life Sweet!