Tuesday, February 26, 2013

Baby Shower Reveal Cake

I blogged about Matt and Nikki's awesome Converse cake a little over a year ago.  They are such an awesome couple!  When they called me about making a "baby reveal" cake, it broke my heart to say "we only make wedding cakes".  Matt was super sweet and willing to bend over backwards to get any cake from me so I had to do something.  He agreed to a 9" cake with NO decoration, but this is the cake he got.  It's not awesome, but I had a little extra time and felt like doing a little something for such special people. 
I REALLY like Jonathan Adler's designs and pottery.  I have a wish list a mile long on that website (hint, hint..) so when I found this stencil (and a few others) on DesignerStencils.com.  it had to be mine!  Something about me wants it to go the other direction, but I'll get over it.  Do you see it or does it look right to you?  I used a hounds tooth impression mat for the bands and border.   I love to mix patterns, but it does often look messy to me.  I added piped the borders because I had extra yellow icing.  At least I'm honest :)  It probably would have looked better without the piping.  The cake was lime cake with lime French buttercream filling and rum French buttercream outside.  It's kind of a mojito cake!  By the way, it was blue on the inside!

Tuesday, February 19, 2013

Valentine's Day Chocolate Bake Off

A few weeks ago I was called about a Valentine's Day Bake off that Hamilton Medical Center (the local hospital) was hosting for their associates.  The employees could enter their best chocolate dessert to see who would be crowned as "Hamilton's Chocolate Champ!"  All the employees would get to sample the goodies too, so they were making a little party out of it.  I thought it sounded like a really cool idea, and so I offered to donate a cake.  I didn't spill the beans at the time, but I have been really chomping at the bit to make this Eiffel Tower cake for a while (since my Mike McCarey Big Bird class - WOW!).  The cake is actually pretty small, I would say it would feed 6-8 people, but I had fun making it!

But they also asked if I would be one of their chef judges too and I was more than happy to help them out.  I really expected that their might be only 20-30 entries, but I was surprised t hear that 80 people entered their various cake, cookie, brownie, and pie recipes.  There were so many entries they decided to get a second set of judges (one set for each category!!)  It took me an hour to sample 40 cookies, brownies, and pies!!

Here is the Eiffel Tower Template I purchased from Mike McCarey. As you can see, it is very simple, but the effect is incredible. It's just 2 cutting guides and an impression mat, but man, are they effective! I think they give you an instuction sheet when you buy these templetes, but they were out and I have failed to follow up.  So, I winged it!  Make sure you use a dense cake as the only support is the master dowel going through the center.  Box cake will not hold up, so don't even waste your time.  Use cake drums or foam core so you have something to stab your master dowel into for support.  Lastly, use modeling chocolate for the outside coverings.  You know I love the stuff and it did not let me down here!  It made the tiny bit of cake much more sturdy and I was able to carve more lines and details after I let the cake chill up.  We also found a cute blog where the author gave some great information and pictures.  Take a look at it if you decide to make this cake.  http://www.sweetdreamscakeapp.com/2011/05/21/amazing-classes-with-mike-mccarey-day-1/
 I have said it before and I'll say it again -- If you ever get a chance to take a class with Mike, jump on it!  The man is a genius!

Tuesday, February 12, 2013

Blue Damask Wedding with Bows

I'm so tickled that we made a wedding cake with lots of color!  I love an all-white cake, but sometimes a bride wants to make a big color statement.  The location for this reception was at a very rustic and HOT barn.  We have decided to MAKE customers use fondant for outdoor events when the temperature will be more than 75.  I know this isn't some crazy awesome cake, so let's just cover some tips and tricks.

A few hints for this type of cake.  First we did use our buttercream for the stencil instead of royal icing.  Due to condensation and general humidity, the very heavily colored stencil may have the color run.  There is no way to really fix this since it will stain everything it runs onto. 

Second, keep your hardened bows out of the fridge until the day of the event.  If you put them on sooner, they will become soft and lose their shape.  If you put them on right before you leave with the cake (the bows never made it into the fridge in this scenario) the bows will be matte and the other fondant will be shiny looking.  It does look really bad.

Third, to keep all condensation off your cake cover it with a brand new garbage bag.  Cakes going in and out of the cooler in short bursts of time won't get condensation.  Stack your cake and chill it for a while so all the piping, stenciling, etc are hard.  I use really large clear bags from Sam's.  Open the bag and put the cake on top of the bag and bring it up to the top.  Use a long pipe cleaner to secure your bag closed.  When you take it out of the fridge for delivery, give the cake about 10 minutes to acclimate to the kitchen temperature before removing the bag.  You may get some damage to your cake, so be super careful and only use this tecnique if you have a sturdy design.  Some cakes you just can't let sticky for different reasons so use this trick when it will really make a difference.

I'd love to know if any of these tricks have worked for you or if you have some that work even better.  Thank you all for your comments and participation in my little blog.

Tuesday, February 5, 2013

Super Bowl Cake Strategies

So most of my regular readers know I'm not here to talk about the Super Bowl, but since football has been all over the news lately so I thought it was worth discussing.  Lots of grooms are into football, and as much as I like making sculpted helmets, a lot of times our clients are looking for something more economical.  A football field cake can show the groom's love of his team while not breaking the bank.  Here are some tips I have learned through trial and error that I thought I would pass along.

It's pretty easy to figure out that you can print team logos using edible images or even using cricut cut outs, but getting the field just right can be a difficult task.  I have struggled with the field lines and in the end I have found that using small strips of edible paper.  They lay very flat and stick well to the fondant underneath.  The yard markers can be hard to get just right.  In this case, the cake was large enough that I was able to use my small number cutters and they looked good.  If this cake was any smaller though, the letters would have been too large.  What to do then?

Well, it was a problem SO many times that I finally found myself a high quality image of a field with all the lines and numbers.  That's what I used to make the cake above.  If I'm not mistaken, I had to use 2 pages and piece them together, but it makes for a good look.  With minimal skills on the computer, you should be able to print this to match whatever size cake your making.

And since this isn't the Super Bowl and we can all be winners here I wanted to provide all my friends here with my football field image to use however you see fit.  You can download the image here.

Hope you guys have a great week!


Related Posts with Thumbnails