Tuesday, May 27, 2014

Going on a Bender Cake

Photo courtesy of our friend Jim Pankey
Very recently I helped a very good friend of ours with his wedding day. I even spent a couple of days acting as bridal planner, coordinator, and decorator. It certainly gave me a new found respect for those people, but that's another post.

This post is about this crazy groom's cake! Our friend Chris has a million interests; he's a lawyer, into martial arts, electric guitars, South Park, Simpsons, Family Guy, Futurama - he's into a little bit of everything. So when we met with him we had no idea what might come out of his head when it came down to the groom's cake. I was delighted when he said "You guys know me and what I like, just work your magic." We had already been kicking around the idea of a Bender cake, so that sealed the deal.

In my mind, this seemed like such an easy cake; he seems like such a basic shape. The execution proved to be much more difficult. Here are some notes on exactly how we straightened out Bender!

We based this cake on a 6-inch base. I looked at my domed pans and I had a six and an eight inch domes. 8 inches was going to be WAY too big. We printed out some large images to us as templates and used those to determine where the visor would be located. I made a custom cardboard cake board for that section so the visor would have something to rest upon. I also carved out the mouth area and covered the whole thing in fondant.

Our only in-progress shot of the cake!
Now for the visor, man that thing was tough! I started by making a rice crispy treat puck that fit against the side to the cake, but still came straight out. Think about how a scuba mask is made. That puck rested on the extended cake board and I used royal icing to glue it to the side of the cake.

I then took modeling chocolate and made a band that was wrapped around the puck and the board it rested on. It stuck out more than the puck, but not a lot, just enough to allow for the eyes, which we used candy melts to make. As I type this, it makes it sound easy since this is what worked, but there were several attempts that didn't.

Tuesday, May 20, 2014

Do you get bored?

I'm tired and maybe a little grumpy, so you get a grumpy blogger. :) Too many weddings, graduations and parties happening at the same time! We are in the height of the event season. We have made a version of this cake so often that I don't think I can say another thing about it! I'm getting bored with this design. I've made it in every combination, color and shape! But brides keeping asking for it as a whole or in parts! They all think it's an "original" idea. I've removed it from my inspiration scrapbook that brides look at as well as my Pinterest page. I don't think decorators should talk brides out of designs they have their hearts set on, BUT we don't want to copy another decorators work and we want to make something we like. That doesn't really matter does it?

I've been making cakes for over eight years and I still don't feel like my cakes show my taste and vision. They show good workmanship but are often not my original idea. Some brides have to see a cake in a photograph, often in their own colors. I really envy companies like the Caketress and Cotton & Crumbs. They have a distinct style that was perfected by them and is now being copied all over the world. Maybe they get bored with those designs too!

Tuesday, May 13, 2014

Bottlecap Groom's Cake

We made a repeat cake last week, so there isn't a ton to say about the design.  We did so a little better job on carving the sides by making the indentations a little closer together.  I also chose not to airbrush the sides because I didn't think it needed it.  It is so much easier making a cake design for the second time!

The "big" story on this cake is the flavors!  It was an "Irish Car Bomb" cake.  The chocolate cake is made with lots of Guinness stout.  The filling was chocolate ganache flavored with Jameson whiskey.  The buttercream was flavored with Baileys Irish Cream.  Yum!  It takes a lot of these alcohols, so if you sell cakes, you should know that it is an "expensive ingredient cake".

I'm sharing the recipe I used for this cake as well as for all the cakes I carve (that need to be chocolate).   The cake tastes like a brownie and cake got married and had a yummy little baby!   I can't throw away the scraps that I carve out because it's so yummy!  We found the recipe in a King Arthur Flour catalog.  They have such awesome ingredients, gadgets and even mixes.  I've tried so many of their recipes and they always seem to be great!   I hope you try the recipe and love it like we do!

Try the recipe here:

Tuesday, May 6, 2014

Gotcha! Groom's Cake

I have said it before, and I'll say it again, I really love it when a client gives me some artistic leeway with a cake.  This couple really liked this topper and the term "Gotcha!"  It reflected their playful personalities.  We kept the design simple, which is what they wanted.  We just cut the letters using the Cricut Cake.

I have talked about how much we use our Cricut Cake because we have a program (no longer available) that allows us to cut any image or font we want.  I have been very worried lately as to what I would ever do if/when my Cricut Cakes decides to die.  As luck would have it, Cake Central user JackiSto mentioned in a thread that she is using a Cricut Explore with Cricut's new design software to do the same thing.  It was a great relief that I now have an option if something were to ever happen to my precious Cricut Cake.

Wilton's "Now I Have You" Cake Topper

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