Friday, April 24, 2009

Sugar Wonders Cake Show

Exactly two years ago was when I made my first serious decorated cake, and it was for the same cake show that I entered again this weekend.   The cake I made that time was the Rose and Hydrangea Cake on my website, and I love looking between the two to see how much I have progressed.

This cake was an absolute monster for me to make!  I estimate that it took me about 30 hours, which honestly seems a bit excessive and ridiculous to admit, but all I know is that I had 8 hour days Monday through Thursday, and even spent more time on it on Friday and even last week some, too.  Yikes!

When I first sketched this cake on paper, I was planning on only using black, pink and a little white.  But it looked and seemed a little blah.  I love color, and in the end decided that a great pop of color would be to use turquoise ribbon, and I am so glad I did, because it really helps with the color scheme.

So, I will start at the top.  I made the same type of bow that I made for my gift box cake last weekend (good practice!) and it is absolutely drenched in White Sparkle Dust.  I used the grosgrain roller again, and of course added the pretty little pearls.  I also lined all the ribbons on the cake with the pearls as well.  That took a ton of time!

For the box top, I wanted eyelet lace.  I purchased some eyelet cutters online, and then rolled out gumpaste at a number 2 on my pasta machine.  Once the panels were rolled out, I used a scalloped cutter for the edges and then used the eyelet cutters.  The next step was to very carefully wrap the panel around the outside edge of the cake.  The holes were then overpiped with white royal icing. 
The black filgree was done with my Stephen Benison cutters.  Also, the top of the box is gumpaste, and then edged with teeny tiny little pearls, that I hand painted with vodka and luster dust.

The middle tier was hand quilted with a stitching tool.  At the junctions I used ribbon roses, and hand painted sugar pearls.  I also did a quilted black gumpaste top and panels for the lid, and lined them in white pearls.  
The bottom tier is black stripes with a Swiss Dot design, also in black.  The box top to this one is also gumpaste eyelet, and also overpiped in royal icing.  I also added more gumpaste pearls where the box top and lace meet.
After completing the three tiers, I changed my design a tiny bit.  At first I had planned on making this into a topsy turvy cake, by placing each tier on slanted styrofoam wedges, a la Collette Peters.  Instead, though, I decided to fill the bottom space of each tier with a lush amount of ribbon roses, liberally dusted with luster dust, again.

The cake board was covered in black fondant and then, loving the turquoise color, using my filigree cutter to decorate it.  It is finished off in a pretty pink beaded trim.

I am happy to say that I received 2nd place in my division-not too shabby.  :)

Also this week, I took on a cake for a client that I really like, Ashley.  (We both have sons named Nathaniel who are approx. the same age.).  She wanted my Cupcake Cake, and I changed it just a little.  It looks beautiful in person! 

The inside is White Chocolate Cake with White Chocolate Macadamia Nut Frosting.

Happy First Birthday Ruby!!!

Friday, April 17, 2009

Gift Boxes and Giraffes

I know I have been slackin' on the blog lately, but I am back!  For the past couple of weeks I took off for Spring Break, and then just took some more time off.

SO, this week, I made two really lovely cakes.  I'll start with my favorite, which is this beautiful box cake.   I have been wanting to expand my techniques lately, and when I was hired to make a gift box cake for a bridal shower, I desperately wanted to do something more intricate than I usually do.  
I am a big fan of Sharon Zambito, with Sugar Ed Productions (SugarShack to those of us in the cake world) and she produces a series of wonderful instructional DVDs.  She just came out with one entitled Boxes and Bows, so I quickly snatched it up.  I think the techniques are difficult, and I fudged with them a little bit, but I love the gumpaste tops to these boxes.   They are dusted with a mix of Cosmos Luster Dust and Super Pearl.  The bow on the top took me forEVER, but it is so beautiful in person!  SugarShack used a fondant roller with a silk pattern on it.  I don't have that, but I did have a grosgrain pattern one, and used that for an extra detail.  If you look closely, you can see that the loops are lined with teeny tiny pearls that I used a bead maker to make.  And then, I'll admit that I splurged on some Stephen Benison gumpaste cutters for the pretty scrolls on the front.   I really, really like the technique, and hope that I can perfect it.  Also, I stamped the cake board with "love" and "forever", just like SugarShack did.  :) 

Not too long ago, I made a cake for a client, Neatherly.  She ordered a 3 tiered blue cake that had a modern twist, and she was happy enough to place a second order with me for a baby shower!
Neatherly has an invitation business, and so I designed the cake around her invitations.  The stripes are in various widths, and then I attached gumpaste giraffes to the side, which are replicas of the cartoon giraffes on the invites.  For the Baby Boy on the bottom, I use a grosgrain roller, and then cutout circles.  Next I used some letter cutters to cut out the letters, and it looks really great.  
I hope they both enjoy their cakes!
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