Sunday, August 31, 2008

Baked Potato, Corn on the Cob

These two lovely creations were made for the care group cook out we had at our house this weekend! We had a baked potato bar and roasted corn on the cob so I thought these two desserts would be fun to go along with the meal!

The baked potato is white cake baked in an egg shaped pan, covered in vanilla buttercream (colored brown). The "potato" part coming out of the top is extra cake, crumbled up. The cheese and the butter are both fondant, the pepper is crushed up chocolate sprinkles and the salt is sanding sugar!

This cake was super fun and VERY easy to make! I did it all in about 3 hours!

The cob-cupcakes are white cake with popcorn flavored jelly beans placed on top. I tinted the icing yellow before I placed the jelly beans on so that it would look a little more realistic. The butter is fondant and of course, the pepper is is crushed up chocolate sprinkles. I added the corn on the cob skewers as a fun twist! These have been done before by many, this is just my version!

Friday, August 22, 2008

Lott Anniversary Cake

Here's to hoping no one who is attending the party checks this blog before 7 tonight!

(lots of angle pictures on this post friends!)

I suppose I could have waited but I was pretty happy with this one when I was FINALLY finished with it and wanted to get it up right away!

This cake is for Rodney's boss (and her husband) in celebration of their 25th wedding anniversary. The Lott's are throwing a big party for all of their family and friends (us included, woo!) to celebrate with them at The Dallas Arboretum.

Lola choose this design after I sent her a few ideas - her favorite color is yellow and her favorite flavor is lemon. I'm pretty sure I did both of those things justice with this cake!

Each tier (10,8,6) is white cake with lemon zest baked in and a whipped lemon curd filling, coated in vanilla buttercream. The filling is the focal point of this cake. It's probably the best filling I have ever created. I took a lemon curd and whipped it into a bit of plain buttercream. I added a bit of lemon essence and real lemon juice to punch it up a bit. I wanted a whipped filling that still had the same effect that a lemon pie filling has without the jello like quality. It really came out well. Rodney eve said he loved it and he DESPISES anything with lemon in it.

The filling:

This cake brought some new challenges to us. I've never covered a board in fondant before and for some reason I decided now would be a good time to try. I'm very pleased with the way that it turned out so I am glad we did it but I think I need to find a new way of adhering the ribbon to the board. We used corn syrup and I definitely don't think we'll do that again. Here's a good view of the board when I finished it the other day.

This is probably the largest cake we have done so far. Stacking it was a little difficult. We thought we'd doweled it properly and supported it enough but it seems there were a few cracks in the icing here and there once we were finished getting it all together. Luckily, almost the entire cake is covered in fondant circles!

Also the first time I have done a floral topper! Lots of firsts for me on this one! Thankfully the florist I worked with was more than willing to advise me on how many roses to order and how to get it all put together. It turned out to be a lot easier than I thought it would be. I learned that the piece that holds the flowers in (and the water) is called an "igloo." I learned how to handle said igloo and the best way arrange the roses.

I'm overall happy with the way this turned out. Of course, there are things here and there that are noticeable and annoying to me but I doubt many others will take notice of those things.

The one thing I am a bit worried about is making it to the destination in one piece! We will be traveling in rush hour traffice (in hot and HUMID Texas) with a buttercream cake! Please pray that we make it with the cake in one piece!

Thursday, August 14, 2008

End of the cake class & trial cookies

This Monday marked the last day of the cake decorating series that I taught here in my home (we will have a makeup class, date TBD).

What a great experience it was for me! I had a lot of fun sharing and helping others do things that most had not tried before. We covered mostly the basics of cake decorating and I tried to incorporate tricks and hints that I have learned over the last few years. All of the girls were great and such a pleasure to work with, I hope you all took something away from the class!

I definitely learned a lot in regards to how much work doing something like this is and I know there will be some things that I take out/add for any future classes.

Anyway, this was a lot of fun for me -- showing someone else how to do something is a great way of perfecting techniques and slowing things down a bit.

I've had a few people ask me about future classes and I definitely want to do a few more. I would love to do a more advanced class for those who don't want/need the basic stuff. (or for those who just really enjoy working with fondant/royal icing). I know that I'm definitely going to do two cookies classes when the holidays roll around. If anyone is interested in more classes or starting a new class, please let me know!

Even though this series was primarily for cake, the last week was all about cookies. I decided to throw cookies in because they are fun and it's something I really enjoy doing.

While the girls were VERY QUIETLY working on their cookies (that's not a joke, it was so quiet in here you could hear a pin drop), I worked on a few of my own. A friend of mine (whose daughter was in my class) has decided to do a cherry blossom theme for her upcoming birthday. Anyone out there that knows me, knows that I just LOVE this idea. Cherry blossoms are a favorite of mine. Anyway, I decided to make these cookies (I saw a similar design somewhere) because cherry blossoms were fresh on my mind that day.

I love the way they turned out! I'm thinking of stealing this theme and using it for Rylee's birthday if only for the cookies! I planned on doing a silhouette cookie favor already (I always give out two packaged cookies as favors for her birthdays) and I think this cookie will pair nicely. I love the sky blue and pink, love it!

*Next week brings a cake that I am very excited about. I think it's going to turn out beautifully (just so happens that I will be attending the soiree along with the hubster - which I'm sure will have me on edge the entire time up until they cut the cake, hooray for mixed drinks) and I'm very excited to get started on it!

Thursday, August 7, 2008

Starbucks and Spaghetti Cakes

This Starbucks cake was made for the director of our MDO program. It was actually made for both the director and the assistant director, but the AD is currently out of town. ( in appreciation of all their hard work during the summer )

Both are big time lovers of all things Starbucks and can almost always be seen with a cup of coffee in their hands.

This cake is 5, 6 inch round chocolate cakes (baked with coffee grounds) slightly carved to resemble a cup. It's covered in fondant with buttercream piped on top to look like whipped cream. The logo, the paper holder, napkin, stirrer and sugars are all fondant.

Close-up of the logo:

I piped the "lady" in the middle of the logo freehanded (I also piped the letters around the logo). It's not totally perfect, but you can certainly tell what it is - I guess that's all that matters!

The Napkin:

I'm pretty pleased with the outcome of this piece! I googled a Starbucks napkin image and then tried to replicate it as best I could. I cut a piece of brown fondant out and then, with my small santuku knife, I lightly tapped on the fondant. First vertically and then horizontally. I cut in two lines on the left side and upper part of the fondant piece to give it a more realistic effect. I painted the leaves on the left corner using a small amount of green coloring (avocado) and a little bit of vodka.

I wrote the words on with a fondant marker.

I really, really love how the napkin turned out. Literally every person who saw the cake today thought it was real!

The sugar packets were made with fondant and buttercream. They were perfect but someone accidently sat a bowl on top of them, causing them to smear. I tried my best to get them back to looking decent but I know they are not as good as they were!

One last picture!

I painted the lines on the holder!

Such a fun cake and everyone got a big kick out of it! Rodney and I had a lot of fun on this one ( he covered the main cake in fondant for me)!

Spaghetti Cake

This cake was made tonight for the August birthdays up at Charlie Tango! I thought it would be fun to do something kind of silly this month - I decided to choose between making the spaghetti cake or doing a pot of beans cake and the spaghetti cake won.

This cake is 2 layers. The bottom layer is chocolate topped with vanilla buttercream/ fresh strawberries. The top layer is vanilla cake.

The meatballs are chocolate Rice Krispy Treats that I made and formed into balls. The marinara is strawberry preserves and the cheese is grated up white chocolate!

My hands were THROBBING from piping so much tonight!

Here is the completed cake, with the "garlic bread." (toasted angel food cake, painted with a little bit of watered down, yellow food coloring)

This cake really neat to put together, I had a lot of fun and I really got into it! Hopefully it tricks some people tomorrow!

Monday, August 4, 2008

William's skateboard

This cake was made for the birthday party William had with his family (my friend Tricia's son)!

It's 2 1/4 red velvet sheets carved out to resemble the shape. The cakes are covered in marshmallow fondant and the trucks/wheels are real. We were going to make the parts for the board ourselves but somehow time escaped us and we ended up having to go and purchase a board to take the parts off of. I guess the added bonus is that William got a new skateboard out of it!

Rodney had to do a lot of work on this cake because ... I AM SICK. What's the deal with that? I went to the doctor on Friday and was diagnosed with an upper respiratory/sinus infection. It doesn't seem to be getting any better either. I even had to cancel my cake class tonight --- which totally upset me.

We had to cover this board with foil because the only cake foil I have right now has flowers embossed in it and I didn't think that was very appropriate for this cake. I hate covering cake boards in foil, I feel like it makes everything look cheap!

I tried writing the "happy birthday" message by mimicking some graffiti style letters (found on google images) but they didn't turn out so great. Guess I need to brush up on my graffiti.

Back sleep for me but what a fun cake!