Sunday, October 30, 2011

Blue Polka Dot Birthday Cake

Happy Sunday!  This week, I worked on a cute cake for my boyfriend’s niece.  She just turned 13!  She loves blue so the only request was “make it blue”…..everything else was up to me :)

I love polka dots, so I decided to do blue dots in several shades of blue.   The birthday girl loves chocolate (I mean really, what girl doesn’t?), so I had to make it a chocolate cake.  And wow, is that chocolate cake good.  It’s such a simple recipe, but so moist and chocolately!  I couldn’t stop snacking on the cake trimmings!

Even though I would have loved to do chocolate frosting or even ganache (yum!), I wanted the blue to really pop so I settled for vanilla buttercream so it would be white.

After frosting the cake, I cut out a bunch of circles in four shades of blue.  A little tip: you can use a #10 piping tip to cut out circles too.  The small piping end makes really great small circles and the larger end can be used to make slightly larger circles too.  No need to buy more small cutters!

After I laid on all the dots, I mixed up some blue buttercream to write on the cake.

And ta-da!  The finished product!

 The birthday girl absolutely loved the cake!  Happy Birthday, Emma!

Sunday, October 23, 2011

Search Cross Groom's Cake

Happy Sunday!   It definitely felt like fall this week!  I catered another wedding yesterday (pictures to come next week), and it was another gorgeous fall wedding! 

This week, I’m showcasing the “Groom’s cake” that went with last week’s wedding cake.  Brian and Merrill are both very involved with Search, a Catholic youth retreat program, and they used the Search Cross on their invitations, so we decided to integrate that into the cake design as well.

The second cake was just a two tier version of their wedding cake, but without the flowers.

To make the Search Cross, I rolled out dark brown modeling chocolate and cut out the intricate cross pattern.

To make it look bronzed, I gently brushed the chocolate with something called “gold highlighter”.  Gold highlighter is on the really cool cake decorating products out there.  It is an edible dust actually made from 24k gold!  You can dust it on a design, like I did here.  Or you can mix it with alchol or lemon juice and paint it on for a brilliant gold look.  I used that technique on the Grammy Cake to make the Grammy award shiny gold.

Then I added a ribbon just like the wedding cake, and attached the Search Cross with a little bit of icing.  You can also see the dowel rods in the cake that will hold up the next layer.

I stacked this cake on site as well.  It was much quicker to assemble than the lasger four-tiered wedding cake though!

Thanks for reading!  I love sharing my cakes and creations with you.  If you enjoy reading my blog, please follow me…and tell your friends!


Sunday, October 16, 2011

Merrill Moore Wedding Cake

Happy Sunday!  Wow, October is a big month for weddings!  I’m getting ready for another big event next weekend.  This week’s featured cake, from the first of October, was for my friends Brian Lennon and Merrill Moore.

The reception was located on a farm in Franklin and was the most beautiful fall wedding I have ever seen!  The whole theme was country chic - classy and elegant, yet simple and natural.  The food was great southern BBQ.  And the flowers from Phillipe Chadwick were absolutely stunning….circus roses, mums, daliahs, and daisies in reds, oranges, yellows, and greens.  And of course the cake was great! Merrill wanted a simple buttercream cake with fresh flowers to fit with the rest of her d├ęcor. 

This cake was the largest wedding cake I have made so far.  It feed 250 people! 

All in all the cake and frosting took:
4 dozen eggs
7 lbs butter
16 cups of sour cream
12 lbs powdered sugar
18 lbs flour
That’s a lot of ingredients!

Since the bottom layer of the cake was so large (16 inches across), I tried a new technique to help it bake more evenly and more quickly.   I used Wilton flower nails, which are supposed to be used to pipe buttercream roses on to, but I put them in the middle of the cake to conduct the heat into the core of the cake.  

It worked perfectly!  The cakes were much flatter and baked in 10-15 minutes less time than without the flower nails!  I still had to trim the cakes to make them perfectly flat, but not as much as I usually do.

I had to make 6 mixer bowls full of icing to cover all the cakes…which in case you are wondering, is a ton of icing!  I felt like I was frosting cake for hours!  

Sometimes I stack the cakes before I transport them to the reception site, but since this one was going about an hour away and I didn’t have anyone to help me lift that cake, I decided to take all the cakes separately and assemble them on site. 

So, once I got to the reception and unloaded all the cakes, I stacked them together and added the fresh flowers.  Since the flowers weren’t pesticide-free, I wrap all the stems so that they don’t come in contact with the cake itself.  Here my brother is wrapping flowers for me.

Once all the flowers were on the cake, the finished product was absolutely beautiful!  It looked so perfect against the barn and red gate on the farm.

Since I had to cut so many slices of cake…250, remember?...I recruited a couple of friends to help me serve.  We cut 200 slices in less than 10 minutes!  Now, that’s a record!

Congratulations to Brian and Merrill!