Sunday, January 30, 2011

Lions, Tigers, and.....Monsters?

In this Sunday’s post, I'm featuring a birthday cake I made for a little girl who asked for a Monster’s Inc cake.  She was very adamant that it had to include both Mike and Sulley and it had to be chocolate!  So, I decided to go with something cute and cartoony.

One of my friends was over while I was making the cake, so I have some great pictures of the whole process. 

After the cakes are baked and cooled, each one first gets what’s called a “crumb coat.”  Whether the cake is going to be covered in fondant or buttercream, this seals in any crumbs so that the final cake will be smooth and crumb-free.

After the crumb coat sets up briefly, the cake is ready for (in this case) fondant.  I make a homemade marshmallow fondant that is much tastier than most commercially available fondant.  The fondant is laid over the cake then buffed with a fondant smoother (pictured here) until the fondant adheres to the buttercream and is perfectly smooth.

For this cake, I cut out the decorations separately, and then laid them on.  It was almost like putting a puzzle together trying to remember how each piece fit together!

Then, I hand painted the remaining details.

I added polka dots on the board for some extra pizzazz and the cake was ready for a party!

Sunday, January 23, 2011

Grammy Cake

Happy Sunday!  In this week’s post, I want to share with you one of my favorite cakes from last year.  I had the honor of making a cake for Grammy award-winning artist, Jason Crabb.  The client asked for something classy, with somewhat of a musical theme, and not too feminine, so we came up with the following design:

Every part of the cake was edible and made out of sugar.  Building the gramophone was probably the hardest part!  Even though gumpaste is very durable, it was pretty hard to come up with a design that would be hollow and stand up on its own!  Here, all the parts are ready to be assembled and painted:

The top tier of the cake was a fondant-covered styrofoam tier since they didn’t need all the cake servings.  The music notes are free-handed…no patterns.  Here it is waiting to go on top of the cake….

And now for the finished cake!

The party was at the Hermitage Hotel in downtown Nashville.  A beautiful location for a beautiful cake!

Sunday, January 16, 2011

Indiana Jones Birthday Cake

Welcome to my first blog post!  I look forward to sharing my cake creations, favorite recipes, and cooking tips over the coming year!

My latest cake endeavor was an Indiana Jones themed cake for a friend's son.   She wanted the cake to look like Indiana Jones' hat, and she was going to provide the whip herself.  Having never seen any of the Indiana Jones movies myself, I had to do quite a bit of research just to figure out what the significance of all that was!  So in case some of you aren't familiar with the famous fedore eithert, here's what we were going for...

The cake was chocolate cake with chocolate buttercream, covered in modeling chocolate instead of fondant.  Modeling chocolate (also called chocolate plastic sometimes) is a mixture of melted chocolate (can be either dark, milk, or white chocolate) and corn syrup. 

Once the mixture cools, it is basically like chocolate play dough.  You can use it to cover cakes, make figures, flowers, almost anything!

The cake finished cake was nestled in sugar "sand" and decorated with “rocks” made of colored modeling chocolate. 

I also made 2 dozen chocolate cupcakes each topped with small fedora hat made of modeling chocolate as well.  Hopefully pics of those to come!

 Stay tuned for some of my favorite cakes from 2010 too!