Friday, August 22, 2008

New Techniques

I was super busy this week-3 Cakes, 2 dozen Cupcakes and 4 dozen cookies. At some point I need to realize that there is only one of me! I did a couple of things that I haven't done before-edible image plaques and chocolate transfers.
Cindy contacted me all the way back in April, wanting a girly dinosaur cake. This sounded so much like my own daughter-someone who loves dinosaurs which are typically "boyish" things but, she is still girly. Cindy basically wanted her cake to have the dinos on it, but look like a girlish sweet cake. Sometime combining things like that can be tough, but this time it all came together perfectly.
At first I had wanted to make the dinosaurs out of chocolate using chocolate transfers. I got about 4 good ones, but the lines just weren't clear enough due to how complex these particular drawings actually are. I looked around and found an article on Cake Central about edible image plaques. You can print out photographs from a food dedicated printed filled with food colorings onto edible paper. You then cut out the images and attach them to gumpaste with some piping gel. Well...looks pretty cute!Cindy and her husband loved the cake, and thought it was perfect! They also ordered 2 dozen pink and green dinosaur cookies.
Next was this Pony cake that was originally designed by Cakes By Ashley, who is no longer making cakes. Kristen was a former client of hers, and wanted me to recreate one of her designs.
The horse on top was done with the same technique as the dinosaurs above. This is such a cute technique, and I am so glad I found it! The top tier is meant to look like denim, with a little pocket and piped stitching on the front. The bottom tier is piped with the bandanna print using royal icing. There is a fondant rope around the bottom of each tier. The animals are fondant. Kristen also ordered 2 dozen cookies, but I forgot to take a photograph! I really like getting to do new variations on cakes, and even though I've done several barnyard cakes, this one is different and sooo cute!
I also made these Scooby Doo cupcakes. They were iced in lime green and dark blue, and then topped with chocolate transfers made in the shapes of dog prints and doggy bones. If you would like to have more information on how to make chocolate transfers, the Whimsical Bakehouse has some wonderful instructions!
For the last part of this entry, I wanted to tell you all about the SPS system. Since I share all of my wonderful cakes, it's only fair to share the struggles and mistakes I have made as well.The SPS system stands for Single Plate System, and is one of the sturdiest was to support tiered cakes. It consists of four legs that fit very snugly onto a plate where the tier will rest on. What happens is that all the weight from the top tier is put onto the legs, and not onto the cake. Wooden dowels are not quite as reliable, case in point:
I have been using wooden dowels for the majority of my cakes, but in the past several months have had 2 issues with my cakes because of doweling within them. This morning, I took a peek at the Pony Cake, and saw that the top tier was leaning forward. When I went to investigate and correct the problem, the fondant on the bottom tier cracked open pretty severely, and even separated from the sides of the cake. I disassembled the cake, took a look at it, and realized that the wooden dowels inside had shifted from the weight of the top tier. After several hard hours of hard work, the cake was reassembled, but this time with the SPS in place. The fact is that wooden dowels have a propensity for slipping, and it just isn't worth the risk! As I said, I was incredibly busy this week, and having to completely re decorate a cake was not something I was up for. The SPS system is inexpensive (not to be confused the SFS, which costs hundreds of dollars), and pretty much ensures that your cake will be delivered in flawless condition.
Off the soap box now-have a great weekend!


Janice V said...

I LOVE the boas around the cakes. Wow!

Piece of Cake said...

I just found your site. WOW! You are soooo talented. I love your style. I just started doing cakes a few months ago so I love learning techniques. I love how you give so much information about your cakes instead of just putting a picture and letting the rest of try to figure it out ourselves. You're a source of inspiration, that's for sure. BTW, I've been looking into getting a printer so I can do the edible image thing. I never thought about putting them on gumpaste so thanks for that tid bit. Anyway, what kind of printer do you have? Do you get your paper from Kopykake?

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