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