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!

Friday, August 15, 2008

Lots of Girly Cakes

The cake to your left is super cute. And teeny tiny! I am just so in love with it I can hardly stand it. It's my favorite cake of the week!
A repeat client, who I made the original Butterfly Cake for, is turning 30 this weekend. Her sister in law, who is also a client (Graduation Cake) gave me a call and requested an adorable cake from the Pink Cake Box. Yes!!! Of course I will make anything inspired by that bakery!
The cake is three tiers, but Stacy wanted it as small as possible. So, the tiers are 4, 6 and 8 inch rounds. It's a miniature version of a gigantic cake, and it is adorable. I actually think its smallness greatly increases its appeal to me-dainty and petite and gorgeous.

Next up is another girly cake for another repeat client, who had ordered the Circus Cake a while back. This is for her daughter's 2nd birthday.
She had sent me the invite, which was of a pink and green lady bug with orange antennas. She wanted it to just be a cute, girly cake, and that's what she got!
Even though it is only two tiers, is actually feeds more people than the 3-tiered cake above.
The bows and number 2 are gumpaste, and the hand sculpted lady bugs are made out of fondant. For the large pink bow in the center, as well as on some of the loopy bows and stripes on the cake, I used a special wavy cutter to make it look like ric rac ribbon. This cake is covered in whimsical fondant flowers and the cake board is set off with a feather boa.
In great contrast to the dainty cake is this gigantic zebra cake. It was for a 1st birthday and was requested by a local photographer who loved my topsy turvy zebra cake I did a few weeks ago. After lots and lots of deliberation, we tweaked the design and went with something that I had seen another decorator do. I also added the wired decorations.
The cake board is decorated with a black and white tulle tutu that I made myself. Let me tell you that I did not charge enough for this, as I spent about two hours putting it together this morning! There was also a smash cake with a light-able fondant candle that I made to go along with the whole ensemble.

Monday, August 11, 2008

People's Cakes from Every State

Take a look at this site which displays cakes from all 50 states! This green one here is the one chosen to represent Texas, and was made by Romano's Bakery in Dallas.
I am surprised that of all the gorgeous intricate cakes out there that something so simple was chosen, but hey, it's still a pretty cake.
The site can be found here, and is fun to look through!,,20041107_1,00.html

Friday, August 8, 2008

Baby Shower Week

So this week, I am back making cakes! It feels so good to be in the kitchen again, with bright food coloring-stained hands.
My first cake was for a woman that was at the shower where I made Sophie's Cake. Another one of their friends is having a baby, and they wanted a lovely cake.
Pink and brown is so fashionable right now, and she wanted one tier brown with pink scrolls, and the other pink, with brown polka dots. I experimented a bit with the scroll work-I wanted something that was whimsical and elegant at the same time. I did some research and found this pattern that I liked in ACD on another cake, and replicated it. The piping is done in royal icing over Satin Ice Dark Chocolate Fondant.
I ended up piping a border on the chocolate bows because I needed them to stand out. The one on the bottom tier was blending in too much, so I just added tiny little dots of pink royal icing along the borders. This was my first time to do this, and I was really happy with it!
The inside of the cake is a very decadent White Chocolate Cake with Raspberry Curd and Italian Meringue Buttercream.
The other cake is one that I have been dying to make for about a year. I am a huge fan of Sugar Creations, and this is one of their designs.
This is for a baby shower for a baby boy. Apparently, the parents to be are huge soccer fans, because the invitation said that they were expecting a new team mate! How cute! When they started talking about wanting a soccer cake, I sent them a photo of the original version of this one, and they were thrilled with the idea of doing something so whimsical, cute and soccer oriented.
For the soccer ball, I decided to make it out of Styrofoam covered in fondant. It turns out that soccer balls are a little tricky to master, since they are made from perfect geometric shapes (hexagons and pentagons). At first I thought about cutting all the pieces out and putting them together like a puzzle. That actually turned out too complicated, so I cut out the black pentagons and then etched in the lines for the hexagons with a knife.
The inside of this cake is Chocolate Butter and Fluffy Vanilla frosting. The two of them together tastes like a giant Oreo cookie.
What a fun cake week.

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