I occasionally create wedding cakes. I don’t mind making them but I do find it to be a stressful experience unless I’m very diligent about my time management. This time I was successful and I was quite proud of the roses. All were home-made from gumpaste and were made several days in advance. I started with a tan base and allowed the roses to completely dry. I then used an airbrush to get the gold finish. Overall, I thought the flowers turned out quite well.
Strangely enough, what’s been giving me the most trouble lately has been fondant. I was initially a Satin Ice fan but my last few cakes have been nightmares. The fondant acted like “elephant skin” – it got dry and wrinkly or stretched and puddled at the base of the cake. For this cake, I decided to make my own fondant. Again, keeping time management in mind, I made it a few weeks in advance. So the night of the icing and assembling of each tier, I pulled out the fondant and found it to be very stiff. I worked in shortening and managed to use it. The result was a nice finish but a was major workout on my arms. I still had some issues with large air bubbles forming but this time I managed to get them settled without causing damage to the finish.
I still say to myself “No more wedding cakes – I can’t take it” but each time I look at the finished work and can’t believe I did it. I think I need psychiatric help!
My day job, the work I do so I can do cake work, is being a system administrator. In fact, today my brain was really put through the ringer as I scoured our identity management databases to match a long list of email addresses with account names. I still have a head ache from the mental work out.
But I do so love my job. It’s a good living in a time when so many struggle to make ends meet. But tonight the cake work was a labor of love. I made a cake for System Administrator’s Day on Friday. No, there is no pattern to the design. It’s just random “1’s” and “0’s” – but I love how it came out – including the big “IT” on top.
After all, we make things work!
One of the trends today in cakes is to reveal the gender of the baby in a fun and organized way. In this case, the reveal was not done with the cake. That was done with balloons, if I understand correctly (that sounds like fun, too). Some day I do hope to make a true gender reveal cake. The cake itself is either pink or blue with a nice design. When the cake is cut, that’s how everyone knows if it’s a boy or a girl!
This was a quick cake that was a lot of fun. I loved the little owl and I really like how his eyes turned out.
I was a bad sys admin. I created this site but did not have backups running. So of course, the hard drive in my previous server just up and died. I’ve finally got the site back up and running thanks to a backup from months ago but it’s an old one and my images are broken.
I hope to get back to the way it was but for now, I’m just glad this thing is accessible again!
I like to challenge myself when it comes to making cakes “just for me”. For this cake, I was attempting two new techniques:
* working with a tall cake
* attaching a pattern on the side of the cake
I had good success covering the cake in fondant to the point that I was surprised by the results. My issues were with the cake construction. I should have put supports in the lower part of the cake with a central dowel. Lesson learned.
The other challenge of attaching a pattern did work, too, but I made a rookie mistake in not using enough shortening on the wax paper holding the pattern in place. I liked the results but it was a bit messy to cut. If you want to learn more about these techniques, check out Jessicakes blog!
This cake was for my husband who likes to keep things simple with a vanilla cake with vanilla frosting. I always have trouble making something elaborate for him because his birthday is in September. Specifically, the end of September when I happen to be knee-deep working on a competition cake for the NC State Fair (more on that later).
I do like how this turned out even though Mark isn’t a poker player. I figured since he likes to watch the World Series of Poker that he might get a kick out of this cake. Some day I will make that absolutely awesome camera cake for him.
This was a cake for a colleague. He and his wife are expecting their first baby and I made this cake because she teaches ballet. I found some templates online for making ballet slippers and used that as a cake topper. The baby footprints I did freehand and I used a Wilton mold for the buttons.
One of my favorite details is the little flower border. I recently had to send my son off to college in New York City and it was tough to say goodbye. We exited his building and we literally went in opposite directions. I had planned to visit N.Y Cake in advance but ended up going there in a very sad state of mind. This meant I spent more money there than I would have liked. 🙂 But the little flower mold was precious and it worked out beautifully on this cake.
This was a chocolate cake with marshmallow buttercream icing (which is really great stuff – it has toasted marshmallows in it). The cake itself was a bit of a challenge in that it needed to serve more than 20 people. I used my largest oval cake pan and designed an outline of the “Hello Kitty” famous feline. I ended up using some of the cake I carved to make the ears. In the end, I thought it was a faithful representation.
These are blueberry pie cupcakes. The frosting is cream cheese with blueberry purée mixed in for color and flavor.
It’s been over two weeks since I’ve baked at all. I was involved in some intense training for my day job for one of those weeks and was off on a wonderful cruise for the second week. It was great to get back in the kitchen.
These cupcakes are really moist and I kicked up the blueberry flavor by mixing in some Ikea blueberry preserves. Otherwise, the flavors can be overwhelmed by the cake itself. I’ll post the recipe which I modified a bit.
I believe these are also called “mortor boards”. I love how these little caps turned out. They are green for the school colors and are pretty easy to make. They just need to be done in stages. I’m learning that the key to successful cake and cupcake decorating is planning ahead. A lot of the decorating cannot be done “the day of”.
- Roll the fondant as thin as possible.
- To make the base of the cap, use a pizza or pastry cutter and slice the fondant into squares 2″ x 1/2″ in size (in hind sight, 3/4 to 1″ would make the caps stand taller on the cupcake).
- Pick up each rectangle and join the 1/2 sides together to form a ring – set these on wax or parchment paper to dry completely. TIP: a little corn starch on the paper helps reduce the chance of the cap base sticking.
- To make the top, use a pizza or pastry cutter and slice the fondant into squares 1 1/2″ inch squares.
- Set each mortor board top on wax or parchment paper that has been dusted with corn starch to dry completely.
- After the pieces have dried, brush the top of the base with edible glue or water and attach it to the mortor board. Dry completely.
- Use an extruder with yellow-tinted fondant to make strings 1 1/2″ inches long.
- Attach the string to the top of the cap using edible glue or water and gently mark the end of the tassel with “ribs” (I use the shell tool in my Wilton fondant kit).
- Roll up a small bit of fondant in a ball and press in the center of the mortor board over the string. Dry completely.
The end result is a sturdy cap. That said, I packed the hats carefully to avoid breaking the yellow tassel which is the most fragile part of these toppers.