Monday, July 27, 2009

First "serious" cake

This was my first real paid job, a real wedding, a real serious celebration. And I was a nervous wreck. I didn't think I'd be able to pull it off. I waited until the last minute...because, well, because that's what I do. So, the Friday before she was scheduled to pick it up, I'm feverishly baking cakes and making fondant. I finally get the layers stacked top tier collapses helplessly into a pile of crumbs. It's now 10:30pm and I'm out of eggs. I send my poor, dutiful husband out into the wild world, forbidding him re-entry without said eggs. He returned fairly quickly. Turns out the 7-11 carries eggs. Who knew? So, at 11:00pm, I am baking up a storm, making another cake. Fortunately, all three kids stayed asleep and I was able to finish. I waited until morning to put the fondant on and then decorate. The ribbon is real and the flowers are artificial, so the decorating was simple. Thankfully. I wasn't sure how to attach the ribbon to the cake. I tried water, but ended up dissolving a bit of gumpaste in water, to make a glue. That seeemed to work well. It showed through the ribbon in a few places, but it must have dried without marks.

My fondant was pitted in places, which I think was due to powdered sugar lumps and dents in my mat. Next time I think I will use the counter, sans mat, and see if I can get it smoother. All in all, I was pretty happy with the way it turned out. And thanfully, so was the bride.

The cake was french vanilla, with a cream cheese frosting filling and vanilla buttercream beneath the fondant. I went with the buttercream, because I was a bit unsure of how the fondant would be over the cream cheese in the summer heat. I had horrifying visions of slipping and sliding, so I decided to play it safe.

Threadcakes entry "The Drummer"

"I had a hard time picking a design, there are so many amazing and funny ones. But not only did the raccoon make me laugh, it took me back to my childhood when we'd feed raccoons on our deck. And while I never actually saw them drumming(or strumming, for that matter), I suspect, that deep down, they all wanted to be rock stars.

I started with the raccoon, sculpting him out of fondant. I gave him pink eyes, like the illustration, but then my two year old daughter wanted to know why he had ladybugs in his eyes. So, perhaps I should have stuck with a more common mammal eye color, but anyway, I digress...I then baked a pound cake in a loaf pan, then used a plastic cup to cut out the trash can shapes. They are also fondant, as are the lids and painted with luster dust. I liked the idea of edible trash cans, so I had to add some tasty trash. The crumpled up paper, banana peel, apple core...all the trash is also fondant, then painted with vodka and food coloring. (And that's the only reason I had the vodka out. Really.) The dirt is oreo crumbs, the pink "Boom" and other shapes are fondant, on wire (which is the only non-edible item on the cake.) And at one point, there was a mouse scavenging through the garbage. But my son ate him.

As for time, I'm not not really sure how long this took. I have three children who "helped". So, it probably took about three times as long as it would have. As it was, it took the better part of a day, with many, many, many, many, many interuptions, to finish. It was so much fun to make, though, and I really don't want to eat it. My kids have been asking, so it won't be long. I'm just going to make someone else cut it. "

First threadcakes entry. Since I love raccoons, I had to do this one. I want this shirt.

Threadcakes entry

"If only I'd worn shoes and a shirt, I'd be dining at the Quadrilateral Parallelogram Bar and Grill. Pity...I hear they make a mean margarita.

Get it? Huh, huh??'s the thinker? And he's thinking outside the quadrilateral parallelogram? Get it? Huh, huh? "I like to think outside the quadrilateral parallelogram." See?

What do you mean it's not that funny? It's hilarious.

This is my second entry and will be my last. I've grown too intimidated by the amazing entries that have been submitted so far and I hereby surrender my fondant. But in my last entry, I had a spelling error, so obviously, I had to make another cake so I could regain my dignity.

This one was a ton of fun to make. Once again, I had three small people "helping" and all flaws will be blamed on them. Working over the course of several days, I started with a vanilla cake, cut it in three equal parts and filled and iced it with vanilla buttercream, then stacked them to make the restaurant. The masonry work is done is fondant, as is the thinker, who I'm sad to say is not as svelte and sleek as Rodin's. Mine is a bit more...shall we say...robust? More like a sumo thinker, perhaps? All the other little details, signs, flowers, etc. are also made out of fondant. The leaves on the trees are royal icing. (And that small interlude with the royal icing may lead to a life long love affair.) Hmmm...what else? Not much. I think that about covers it.

However, once it was finished it was quite obvious that my proportions were a bit off. Even if the sumo thinker had been wearing appropriate attire, he still wouldn't have fit through the front door. Perhaps there is a back entrance?

Perhaps that's what he's pondering..."

That was one of my threadcakes entries. I know that I don't have a chance in hecksville of winning. Have you seen some of those entries?? Oh. My. God. Enough to give me a severe inferiority complex. But I entered anyway, figuring a little practice wouldn't kill me. And it didn't. And I had fun in the process. I'm anxious to see who wins this contest. Amazing, amazing cakes!

The cow jumped over the moon!

This the Birthday cake I made for my son's first birthday. The cow jumped over the moon...hey diddle, diddle and all that stuff. I figured since he's only one, this will probably be the last year he doesn't have any kind of request, so I decided to do a cake I'd wanted to try for awhile. And it was quite fun! It's a simple white cake, with lemon pudding filling. It's so easy and tastes so, so good. I made two 13x9 cakes, and one half of the Wilton sports ball pan (isn't that a great pan?!) for the moon. All is covered with marshmallow fondant. The figures are sculpted from fondant as well. Using powdered food coloring and some cheap vodka, I painted the sky, the sun and the grass.

One hint when using pudding as a filling; DON'T forget to put it in the fridge. Like I did. Yech.


I've been decorating for a few months and a few insane (but lovely) folks have actually given me money to make their cakes! Crazy, I know. I'm still waiting to wake up. But until then, I have this blog to keep note of the things I've done and learned. A place to keep track of how not to do things and maybe even a few triumphs. (Here's hoping, anyway!)