Thursday, April 30, 2009

Noah's Ark

April 30th, 2009
A coworker of my sister is having a baby boy, so Kensley asked me to make the shower cake. I think Noah's Ark is a really cute baby theme for a shower or a nursery, but it can become quite involved when it's a cake theme. I saw tons of cakes that were made into an ark with sculpted animals. I would love to make one sometime, but I knew this was not it. This is cake number three for the week and I still have to teach full time. Also if I made a fondant ark, I would have to charge more for the cake because of the amount of time it would require. In this instance, I felt that simplicity was more important. I loved this design because it looked like an embroidered quilt instead of a flat edible sticker.

In reality the cake didn't take a large amount of time. It is a 14-inch strawberry cake, so it does require a longer baking time. I had to make 2 1/2 batches of buttercream icing to cover and decorate the cake. Once I had all of my icing colored everything else fell into place. The one thing I did learn from this experience is that you can NEVER have enough decorating tips. I was using mainly round tips and I had to switch 2 or 3 tips between 7 bags.
Just for fun, I'll make an OCD confession: When piping the rainbow, I made sure I followed ROY G. BIV. I know, It's a sickness!

Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Hello Kitty Capers!

April 29,2009Today is my cousin Gabriela's 7th birthday. She decided she wanted a Hello Kitty party. I thought Hello Kitty was fairly popular until I went to find cake pans and cake decorating accessories. Since I couldn't find anything, I had to go out "on my own" with the cake design. What I ended up with was a large royal icing Hello Kitty face on the top of a pink buttercream cake with pink royal icing ribbons around the sides.

While making the cake, I ran into several little snafus. First off, I dropped the 1st Hello Kitty face on the floor after I had just flooded it with royal icing. It smeared on my hardwood floor and I had to redo it. So then with my 2nd Hello Kitty face, I was "testing" it to see if it was dry enough to place on the cake and it broke into pieces. Finally poor Hello Kitty made it to the cake after the 3rd try.

I had planned some more elaborate designs for this cake, but I like the way it turned out. It's 100% girlie, just like Gabriela!

To be 16 again??? Nah!

April 28, 2009

Lynda's grandson, Colby, turned 16 today. He has asked his grandmother for a "car", so that's what she got him. Of course, the car she bought was strawberry flavored and covered in marshmallow fondant. This was my first car cake. I had wanted to put a spoiler on it for him, but I couldn't get it to work. When I delivered it at school, I had to take "cake shavings" as well to keep the natives from becoming restless and cutting into the car.

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Blossom Basket

April 22, 2009

The springtime is always a stressful time for educators. It is at this point in the year when we start "hunkering down" for End of Grade testing. Our school counselor, Angela, decided it would be a good idea to celebrate spring with a cake at the counselors' meeting.

Friday, April 10, 2009

Pulling Double Duty

Cutesy Cupcakes

My friend May See's daughter, Lilly, has a birthday today. So she wanted to send cupcakes to school. Well, one of her other daughters, Penny, her birthday is in June. So she doesn't ever get to take cupcakes to school. So May See decided to send her some today too, kinda as an "unbirthday" celebration. I showed the girls my copy of Hello Cupcake!, and they picked out what they wanted. Lilly wanted owls and Penny wanted butterflies.

Lilly's Owls

The owls are made of out oreos, junior mints, a banana runt and chocolate butter cream. The book recommended not placing the eyes the same way so they would have "character", and they did turn out really cute because they were different. I loved using my leaf tip to create feathers.Since their horns and eyes hung off of the sides of the cupcakes I did have some trouble getting them all to fit in the cake box. I actually had to put the extras in another container. Although they were all standard sized cupcakes, I feel some of them would have been cuter had I used the mini oreos.

Penny's Butterflies

I loved the 3-D butterflies. The pattern used antennas but I knew they would never fit together in a box if they had them. I loved the color combination of teal, lavender, and lime. It's springy, but not necessarily too "girlie". As simple as it was, I think the sprinkle edgings adding another level of detail to the cupcakes. I used both the candy coating pieces from Michael's as well as the candy coating blocks available at the grocery store. Don't ask me why, but they individual candy pieces worked better with the chocolate flooding. They did not harden as fast on the wax paper so I could manipulate the design if I needed to. The candy from the block seemed to harden almost immediately and I was unable to use any sprinkles on the butterfly wings. I used Skittles under the wings to help them maintain their angles. My my criticism was I couldn't take a picture of the butterflies without getting the candy in the picture. But there's always room for improvement. More than anything, I just hope the girls are happy with their cupcakes, and they made them feel special!

If I had to pick a "favorite" of the two, I think it would be the owls. I just think they are not your normal "birthday cupcake". They have their own unique personality.

Thursday, April 9, 2009

Seeing Spots...No wait, I mean Paisley!

Cristan's Bridal Shower Cake

There are times when I am given "free reign" over the design of the cake. In this instance my only parameters were: 1. butter cream icing 2. wedding colors are chocolate and muted lime. This left open a world of possibilities, and I LOVE the chocolate and lime combination. When I heard of the colors, I automatically thought...PAISLEY!!

So I went surfing the net and found a wedding invitation that had lime, chocolate and teal paisley. Of course, a paisley cake just would do if it wasn't shaped like paisley. Now, I finally had an excuse to buy the paisley cake pans.

I used the middle sized cake and double stacked it. I had to do a little carving to make the layers match up in the back. I am very happy how smooth the icing turned out. Overall, this is one of my favorite cakes!

Friday, April 3, 2009

Spring Book Fair

April 3, 2009

Hooray For Hollywood!

The theme book fair theme was "Lights...Camera...Book Fair", so everything was Hollywood. I was really concerned when I first started designing the cake. I felt like I could never get the "vibe", but with a little help from some co-workers the design finally revealed itself. I used print outs of Silver screen stars and ribbon to create a film effect. I also decorated the cake with marshmallow fondant stars, movie cameras, and film reels. I was really pleased with how well the 3D film reels turned out. I even piped buttercream onto the black marshmallow fondant to look like the individual film frames.

Chocolate Basket Weave

Once a month our staff takes turns bringing in food for everyone to enjoy. This month was my month, so I thought I would make an Easter basket cake. But since I had the Hollywood cake due on the same day, I scaled the basket cake down. My favorite part of the cake was the flavor. It was chocolate cake with peanut butter cream cheese filling and covered with chocolate butter cream. I set the cake out at 8:00AM, but 8:30 the only thing left was the cardboard base.