Saturday, May 19, 2012

Pirate Mermaid Party - Treasure Chest Cake

 I made this cake for my niece's 1st birthday party. It was a Pirate Mermaid theme. I stacked 4 cakes to make the chest. And stacked 2 cakes and carved them to make the rounded lid. The lid is sitting on a cake board and is propped up by wooden dowels and the treasure. Not very stable actually--- but I really wasn't sure how to do it, so I winged it.
I used an edible aerosol gold for all the gold accessories, purchased on Amazon. I also used metallic airbrush paint to make some of the jewels. I just dabbed it on with a paint brush and they came out really nice. The sand is crushed graham crackers. The rocks are chocolate rocks. The rest of the booty is premade candies. I liked putting the cake on a cutting board. I thought the wood added a nice element.

Speaking of wood: the create the paneling, I rolled and cut white fondant. I put the pieces on the cake. After they were in place, I etched the details into the fondant. Finally I took some brown food coloring, watered it down, and brushed it on, allowing the water to fill in the details, making them stand out. Next time I will try to figure out how to make it look darker, but for now, I am really happy with the results.

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Dinosaur Volcano Cake

 This was a super fun cake to make! It is nice to make a theme cake that has no right or wrong to it. It doesn't have to be precise like a wedding cake and have a pattern that has to line up just right. It's total free expression. This was for a Girl's 18th Birthday Party. (I know right? She's so cool) I had her come over with a friend to help decorate. And I also enlisted my family to help. Many hands make light work.
My husband dyed the green mount and brown volcano while I was dirty icing. That saved me about an hour's time right there. The birthday girl, Larissa, made the Pteradactyl, nest, waterfall, and Brachiosaurus tail. Her friend, Sam, made the pink Stegasuarus, the triceratops, and the palm tree.
I made the volcano, Brachiosaurus head, eggs, and grass.
My 3 year old and 9 year old placed all the chocolate rocks around the water. My 7 year old helped knead the fondant and the palm tree.
A real group effort!

Sunday, January 1, 2012

My Husband Bought Me a Cookbook for Christmas

I know right? What is that supposed to mean?
"Here Honey, I got you this cookbook so you can learn to cook! Not that you can't cook. I just thought you would want to cook something edible. "
"Here Honey, I am sooooo tired of everything you make, can you learn some new recipes? Merry Christmas!"

Actually, it's one of the most thoughtful gifts my husband has ever gotten me.
Let me tell you why.
It's "Baking With The Cake Boss"
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It's the fault of the Cake Boss that I make cakes at all. When my husband was in China for a year, my stepmom and I would stay up late and watch The Cake Boss after the kids went to bed. One day we just looked at each other and said, "I wonder if we can do that." So we did. We made a babyshower cake for my niece Rachel. And I was hooked.

But here's the thing. By jumping with 2 feet into a fondant cake-- I skipped alot of important steps to being a competent baker and cake designer. For example-- I can't actually write anything on a cake. I can sculpt a 3 dimensional Elmo on a 2 tiered fondant star cake, but heaven forbid someone ask me to write Happy Birthday on it! So I've been mentioning-- ok maybe whining-- that I really want to go back and learn the things I should have learned first.

And now we come back to the book. Buddy Valastro here promised to take me step by step from combining the dough to make a batch of cookies, to piping roses, to filigree, to fondant. Really- I should just sign up for some classes-- but in typical Melinda fashion-- I've decided against doing the sensible thing. And instead I am going to go through this book, chapter by chapter, an apprentice to the Cake Boss himself.

And I am going to take you on that journey with me. So in between my cake designs and cupcake orders, I will be journalling my progress through the book.
My goal:
To Master Buttercream