Friday, September 30, 2011
Unfortunately, I charged a lot less for it, but I definitely appreciated the sentiment.
Of course, this cake was for a groom and his favorite thing was Ultimate Fighting. While it was no UFC fight, this cake presented a few challenges.
I started with a square cake and used a paper template to cut it into an octagon. The cake was covered in blue fondant and then modeling chocolate panels around the sides made things nice and clean. Chad broke out the Cricut and cut some UFC logos. But what about the posts. We sat down and did some brainstorming on that little bit.
We finally decided on extruding the posts from modeling chocolate. We could skewer through the middle of the post and all the way to the base of the cake. I used gelatin sheets and an edible black marker to make the fencing and cut slits in the sides of the modeling chocolate. These slits would hold the edges of the gelatin panels. We were certainly in untested waters, and luckily for us, it turned out great and held up just fine.
As always, thanks for stopping by! I appreciate your comments, your readership, and especially your friendship. Have a great weekend!
Tuesday, September 27, 2011
This cake was super fun to make, and is a great example of how little it takes to take a plain square (OK, rectangle) cake and make something special out of it.
This groom's cake was for a concert promoter. His life revolves around flyers and cash boxes. But our groom is also a diabetic, so we had some dietary concerns as well.
We made the cake a cash box by simply cutting a lid line into the rectangular cake and then fashioning a lid and a latch out of modeling chocolate. Some bills printed out on edible image paper completed the look. And the stack of flyers (which the bride provided advertising their own wedding - how cool is that?) is actually a separate, sugar-free cake just for the groom.
I make one heckuva cake, but when you start taking out gluten, or sugar, or other key ingredients, I lose my way quickly. That's when I turn to mixes. I noticed a few months ago that Duncan Hines now has a sugar free chocolate cake mix and I used it on this cake. I must say that I was quite impressed with the flavor and texture.
Friday, September 23, 2011
Fast forward a few months and I meet with a bride that wants that exact cake, only in her colors. Good thing I had taken a picture, I guess!
There's nothing technically difficult about this cake, but it did turn out very elegantly. A couple of years ago I was taking a class with Mike McCarey and we were asking him about all the crazy cakes he did and how we wished we could get out clientele to not only ask for such crazy cakes, but to be willing to pay for them as well. He thought for a few minutes and replied "Don't get me wrong, I do some crazy cakes, but swiss dots are my bread and butter. Swiss dots are what pay the bills."
I think it's a good point - I would love to feature outrageous cakes here every week, but I just don't get those kinds of orders, or have that level of clientele (just yet). But a cake doesn't have to be completely unique or super difficult to be beautiful!
Have a great weekend!!
Tuesday, September 20, 2011
Well, you just never know what the conditions will be like once you get the cake to the venue. Sometimes, the DJs are still setting up the lighting. Sometimes the house lights aren't on and the place is just too dark for good pictures. Sometimes the cake gets put right in front of a huge window facing the sun and taking a good picture is impossible (especially for inexperienced amateur photographers).
But when we took this cake to Walnut Hill Farm, conditions were fairly optimal. We had to used our external flash, but the picture here at the venue turned out really well. The florist had left me some flowers, and I was able to use them to accent the cake.
You just never know where you're going to get your next great picture!
Have a great week! See ya back on Friday!
Friday, September 16, 2011
This was one of those groom's cakes where I was given free reign on the design of the cake. My only guideline was the color scheme. Green was the bride's splash color. So I started thinking of something other than strawberries that I could use to garnish this cake. As my picture has already given away the surprise, I finally settled on grapes and kiwi fruit.
Now at some point someone bought me one of those fruit garnish kits, you know, like they use to make the edible arrangements? Well I got out my "V"-shaped knife and used it to cut the kiwis. I really liked the pattern and texture it brought to the cake.
The monogram was a backup I had originally made for the bridal cake, but since both arrived safe and sound, I decided to add it to the groom's cake at the reception hall. I think it turned out pretty nice. I bet you're green with envy, right?
Tuesday, September 13, 2011
I started with a buttercream cake and used an impression mat to mark my spacers and then piped buttercream dots over the entire cake. I then used lavender ribbon as a border on each tier.
Those fantasy flowers? I made them by cutting circles from gumpaste and then using my ball tool to ruffle the edges on some of the layers. Glued the layers together with royal icing and let them dry in a flower former cup. Each center was finished with an edible pearl center.
Even though we had a busy delivery schedule that day, we took 15 minutes to bring the cake outside on the beautiful sunny day to snap a few photographs.
Friday, September 9, 2011
How do I cascade chocolate dipped strawberries down the side of the cake while securing their placement? This one wasn't terribly hard. I used long (sandwich style) toothpicks placed in the strawberries so that I could anchor them into the cake. This allowed to pile them nice and high without worrying that they might later fall, taking parts of the cake with it.
How do I minimize the variance in my icing color? OK, I have to admit that this is probably a problem that's unique to me. My chocolate icing tastes great, but when I refrigerate a layer and then put more icing on it, the "new" icing goes on in a little different color than the layer below. If I keep working on it, I can eventually work it out, but it has always bugged me. This week I had a little extra time and tried a new technique that worked well. I got out my trusty blowtorch and used it to gently (can you do anything "gently" with a blowtorch?) heat the outside layer of the icing. To my surprise, the colors began to come together and normalize. The effect was really nice, it gave the cake a sort of leathery look.
Have a great weekend!!
Tuesday, September 6, 2011
On this cake, most of the decoration comes in the form of the wide piped border of all but one of the tiers.The design reminded me a lot of a fleur de lis. The brooch and ribbon were made from gumpaste.
And today's backdrop experiment? I actually took the curtains from my office and pinned them to my photo station wall! LOL!!
Have a great week!
Friday, September 2, 2011
But this bride specifically asked for this texture on her cake.
I spoke a little last week about trying to prop my cake photos a little more and since this cake was on the simple side, I thought it would be a good candidate for some background opportunities.
I started the propping by putting up a piece of burlap fabric. I thought the rough fabric of the burlap would compliment that rough buttercream. I wondered outside and grabbed a couple of branches off my crepe myrtle tree and placed them in a vase in the background. I think it adds some visual interest without interfering with the cake itself.
Have a great weekend!