Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Tree Stump cake

Well another stump cake already! The location for the reception was the Chattanooga Nature Center. I got to see a baby bunny and a chipmunk in the short time I was there. I just love animals! Anyway about the cake, I am finding these pretty easy to do which is nice for a change. This bride wanted the limbs coming out of the trunk so I used rice krispie treats and put a couple wooden skewers in each. The roots are also krispie treats. I used a 12"/11"/10" and 3 9" rounds. There was a cake board under the 3 9" so I could dowel under it. I use a french buttercream and when I add chocolate you can't get too much or it will become runny so it's necessary to airbrush to get the darker bark color. I used black and brown (last time I used yellow also, but like it better this way) After it was moved a couple of times it made a "crack" where the top 3 layers met the bottom 3 layers. I hate that! It's easy enough to fix except when you have airbrushed. I was able to totally repair it but because I was worried it would happen again in transport, I brought my entire airbrush set up just in case I had to fix it again. For the top, I airbrushed the circles and then went back with my icing spatula and smoothed it again. It made them not as harsh. The fern leafs were gumpaste, leave were fondant. Oh, the heart was fondant that I carved deeply so that when I pushed it in the dark brown icing behind it came through a little. I pushed it in so that it was flush with the icing. It would have looked bad to just sit on top of the icing. Wouldn't have looked realistic at all. The bride was happy and the Nature Center said they were going to use it in the wedding brochure. GO ME!

Piggy Farm Cake

Oh a cake to lift my spirits! I made such a happy little cake and it just oozed cute (well, I thought so anyway). The sweet birthday girl asked for a chicken for her birthday (that is precious) and the party was on a farm, hence the design. I love this mom because she gives me general guidelines and I get to go from there. In fact, she has triplets and this is just one from the weekend. I made a barn for the front and back of the cake, several animals just cut out with my cookie cutters and painted with food markers, and hand molded a few chickens and a muddy pig. I dry painted the sun with petal dust. I made the grass with buttercream (not as easy as it looks to be precise). The fence posts where made ahead out of gumpaste so they would go on nice a straight. I would have loved to do so much more but at some point you know you have to step away from the cake or you will be losing money. I wish I could do all I wanted to every cake. That is my biggest frustration most weeks. I guess being on a time limit is a good thing otherwise we my never stop! Now put your hands above your head and say "over decorating". I am called out that way at least twice a week!

Sunday, June 28, 2009

TV cake-not as easy as it looks!

Well, it was bound to happen, I had a cake tragedy. I am trying to look at it as a lesson but I'm so tore up that I did not deliver a product that wasn't what I promised. Here is the set up. A mother of the groom (MOG for short) called me with 10 days notice because her other baker decided she could not handle the cake they wanted. The MOG met us at the Dalton Bridal show in January. They didn't use us because they were told, not by us but lots of others, that no baker would make the bridal cake they wanted because it had live goldfish in between the tiers. Anyway, the request was for a 3-D flat screen TV cake with ESPN on the screen and any prop items we had time to make. We made a box out of 1" x 4" wood and 1/4" hard board in the back. We drilled a hold in the bottom and a piece of PVC with threads went all the way up. My brother made me a great stand that was heavy with a metal thing in the middle for the threaded rod to screw into it. I just saw them do this sort of thing on "Amazing Wedding Cakes". The cake girls made a great box of sweet tarts. Those shows make it look SO FREAKING EASY and it's not. We spent hours on this cake, 7 decorating. We set it up and it looked great. THEN the fondant screen starting sliding. It tore at a weak point that should not have been, I don't understand why it did what it did. We sat there for 50 minutes and watched it slide and total of about 1/3". I used black royal icing to caulk the boo boo, it looked fine. We left, went shopping at Wal-Mart and the ladies at Trevitt Hall called and told us it was buckling. We went back and it was about 15 minutes to show time. The screen had slipped another 1/4" inch. I did the same caulking job and it was still OK. 85% of people would not have noticed it. I had to leave and hope for the best. About 11:30pm the venue called and told me that as someone was walking by, the cake PVC rod broke and fell. Luckily the person caught it and nothing hit the floor or anything. They laid the screen down on the table and cut it as a sheet cake. Everyone got cake and it didn't break until after everyone sat down for dinner. I guess that's the good news? I don't know how upset the MOG is, but my heart is broken. What I learned....I should have insisted on a pound cake. I should have used a metal threaded rod (I don't know for sure that the PVC snapped until I pick up the stand). I should have stacked the cake in small layers, as opposed to the big sheets of cake that filled up the box. I should have put it vertical the day before decorating it so it could settle all that it wanted before I put the fondant on. I think I'm going to do the cake again and see how it goes with all my newly gained knowledge. Tomorrow is another day.

Sunday, June 21, 2009

Buttercream Diamond Wedding cake

This wedding cake was a elegant design and a little challenging. The Diamond design is created by heating my metal spatula and melting the icing into the design. It's tricky because you can't melt it too deep. The fondant oval is lined with pearls that are then painted with luster dust. The scroll work took about 3 hours, but it came out pretty good! We delivered this wedding cake to Trevitt Hall in Dalton, GA. I think that catering hall is more beautiful every time I go there. They just out do themselves!

Fondant calla wedding cake

This 3 tier cake was for one of my favorite brides every! Do you ever meet someone and just enjoy ever dealing you have with them? Well, that's Karen. We delivered her wedding and groom's cake to the Chattanooga Nature Center on a very hot morning. She was very smart to move her time up so it was early. In fact it was the earliest I have ever delivered a wedding cake, 10am! Of all things the topper gave me a fit! Even fondant cake is not per stable enough. If someone bumped the table, that crystal cake topper was coming down! Since it was see through, it was impossible to put skewers or anything in or around it. I ended up putting a couple of silver wires and royal icing around it just until the event started. Another benefit, I saw a chipmunk and baby bunny on the way out! Yeah nature!

Snakes on a Cake!

Where have I been! I have been so crazy making cakes, talking about cakes, and planning cakes that there has been no time to blog about cakes! Luckily, I have a few minutes now!

This is a grooms cake I did from 11pm Saturday until 5am Saturday morning! The groom goes on safari and likes all things reptilian, so we got to "Snakes on a Cake"!

I enjoyed making the three different patterns, especially the giraffe because I haven't done that before. Also, I am now sold on "white" food coloring. I'll be buying a case next week. It's been such a stinker that you have a really good butter icing but the trade off is an off white color. Not anymore! I used a new lizard mold and turtle mold and they looked real! But even with all the work and effort, my favorite thing about the whole cake is the cute green snake with it's tongue sticking out! He was a last minute addition and only took about ten minutes.

Blog again soon!

Tuesday, June 9, 2009

Wedgewood Cake

This Wedgewood wedding cake was a first for me. I think I'm now ready to talk about this cake. The bride is very educated in the exact style and there was a lot of pressure to get it just right. Finding molds was a challenge in itself! I worked myself to death, about 19 hours of decorating only to walk away being aggravated. The bride wanted the top three ovals to be separated by the two candlesticks in the picture next to the cake. I tried, boy did I, but it was unstable and rocky. It was a decision that I thought, "better on the table than on the floor". I hope she wasn't broken hearted. It was still a very pretty cake, but there were so many obstacles that I was very glad to be done with it. That color was not easy to make! Chad mixed the entire 30lb tub of fondant over two evenings and his arms were sore for days. I'm sure I'll like the cake better after I get over all of the headaches. argh! We delivered it to the Fairyland Club on Lookout Mountain.


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