Wednesday, December 17, 2008

It's Been Awhile!

Being so busy around the holidays means not having too much time to post stuff in my blog.

A couple of weeks ago, a woman hired me to make 7 dozen cookies for her holiday party. She was having a trio of musicians come to her house, and wanted a musical theme, along with some Christmas themed cookies. Here are some of my favorite-the Christmas Trees and Snow Men!
I decorate my cookies by first making a dam with thick royal icing, and then flooding in the outline with thinner icing. Once the filling is set, I decorated the tops with more stiff icing. A trick that I have started doing is using plastic piping bags and cutting a very small hole at the end to decorate with. This eliminates having to deal with cleaning the metal tips, and as you can see, it works great!

This past weekend, I had two pretty interesting cakes. This first one I love, because it is girly, soft, and feminine, is pink and lavender. The client gave me free reign with the design, and this is what I came up with. Lots of flowers, inverted stripes on the bottom tier, and of course, one of my signature bows.
For the number, I have been enjoying experimenting making the numbers more whimsical. Lately I have been making ropes of gumpaste and twisting them into the right shapes. I attach a lollipop stick to the back with egg whites to stick into the cake. I like how they have been turning out!
The next cake is probably one of the most difficult ones I have done to date. It was for a groom's cake, and the groom wanted the cake in the shape of the Houston Astros emblem. They wanted it hollowed out, just like a real star.
I think a lot of people who don't make cakes don't understand how difficult these things are, and I had to think a LOT about how to accomplish this.
Thank goodness for Cakecentral! Those of you who are on Cakecentral probably know or know of Doug. He is awesome. He came up with a diagram from me, along with pictures for me to cut the cake and piece it together. From there, my husband blew the diagram up for me on his printer, and helped me piece the papers together for the right shape.

I baked two full sized sheet cakes, and filled and frosted, etc. I then stuck it in the freezer to firm it up to make it easier to cut the pieces out. I then laid the pieces of paper on top of the cake, and got to cutting! I arranged them on the cake board, and attached each piece to the other pieces with thick frosting. When I had figured out the puzzle, what I had was a HUGE star.

Covering it in fondant was hard. I'll leave it at that-lots of trial and error.

The cake board, of all things, was also very tricky. The ones at Cake Carousel that would fit this size cake were over $20 (whatEVER), so I headed out to Home Depot, and found a nice, sturdy piece of precut wood. I liked this idea for several reasons-the main being that the wood is incredibly strong and can support the weight of the cake. This would reduce any cracking or shifting that might happen with a cake board. But...what would I cover it in? It needed to be something that I could easily clean and wipe off, since the decorating had to be on the surface of the board.
I could not figure this out. I didn't want fondant, because I worried it would get dirty. I thought about a plastic table cloth, but that would look terrible! I wasn't sure how to do a board covering in royal icing, either. I walked up and down the aisles of many, many stores trying to figure this out, when I came across metal wrapping paper for Christmas. It looked just like the stuff they use on the cake drums, and was about 75% less expensive than the stuff Wilton sells. It worked like a charm! To make to cake board look better, I trimmed the top of the board with black and white ribbon. I wish I had a better photo of this thing, because really, it was pretty cool. But, am I glad I am done with it! ;)
I have also recently made this cute Minnie Mouse Cake for a friend. It's all fondant, and a big step up from the buttercream Mickey Mouse one I did about a year ago.


Anonymous said...

LOVE the pink and purple one!

Jamie said...

I've covered boards with very opaque gift wrap paper and covered that with clear contact paper in a pinch.

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