Monday, January 18, 2010

Happy Birthday Rachel!

This was a super fun, last minute cake!! One of my sweet sweet friends wanted to make a cake for her daughter's birthday party tonight and she was struggling what to make her! Her daughter wanted a basketball! :) I've actually been wanting to make one of those, as well as try a few other techniques I've been thinking about, so I told her I could make one for her! I had all the cake, fondant and frosting ready to go because I was working on a "secret project" this past week and could "throw" a cake together for her!! :) So, last minute, today, I did!
Of course whenever there are NEW things and especially when you are on a TIGHT time frame, some go good and some go bad!! The good first...I wanted to use my pasta maker's fettuccine setting to make thin stripes that I stick together to create a band of colors. Since Rachel is NOT a girlie girl, I had to do something to tie in a basketball being on a girl's cake...so, I used some bright fun colors of modeling chocolate I had left over. I ran it threw my pasta maker, then again through the fettuccine setting and whallllah! - perfect noodles! :) - and stripes!! I loved how it turned out!
The second thing was the basketball! Funny story here...I was going to buy a jumbo sized gobstopper at the store to wrap fondant around to make a small basketball, and my 4 year old daughter says, "Mom, why don't you just make a ball from orange modeling chocolate?" LOL!! I was thinking, wow, she's really been listening and HEY that's a great idea!! :) So, that's what the basketball is made of...then I took a small piping tip and pressed little circles all over it! Then clay gunned a tiny black rope and pressed it into lines I indented on it...worked great!
The third thing I tried literally 1 minute before my friend's brother in law stopped by to pick up the cake, and that was a vodka/corn syrup lacquer. It's supposed to dry to a semi-gloss/satin finish, but I wouldn't know! :) Right now it just looks like tar in the picture!! By the way, the cake is black because that is one of her favorite colors and that's the only fondant I had left in the house that was fresh!! :) Now that being said, I'm beginning to hate Satin Ice Fondant!! Whenever I use it I get cracking up at the top corner of the cakes and tearing!!! URGH! It happened again and I kneaded it for extra long this time...I don't know what it is, but I see it on all the cake shows too...cracking and tearing! So, I think from now on, I'm sticking with MMF because I never get that!! I'll just have to start making big batches of black and red so it's on hand. I am tooo picky I guess...I just didn't like how the fondant looked on this cake!!
The other thing that was new was the "basketball popping out of the cake thing" - but to me it looked like a ball squishing/sitting on a spider!!!!! LOL!! There is definitely a trick to getting that to work out and I learned a ton...will do differently next time! I waited to long to cut the fondant and peel it back, and I wanted to do a different color on the back side so it was two-toned, giving it some contrast, but there just wasn't time. Also, I would cut the bottom off the ball a bit more so it wasn't sticking out so much. Oh well...it's not a spider! :)
All in all it was fun! I'm super excited about my stripes and can't wait to do it again!!! Thanks for looking!!

Saturday, January 2, 2010

Tall Cupcakes

I saw some adorable cupcakes on this website (Sugarbloom Cupcakes) and now if you go to flickr and type in "tall cupcakes" there are several people making these. I tried making one to see how long it would take, and even though they take some time I think there are SO many options!! It's funny because the smaller the cake, the harder it is to do - weird I know...but in cakes, opposite world applies! :)
Anyhoo...you can just decorate them plain with fondant/modeling chocolate, or you can wrap them with some fun papers and ribbon to coordinate with a wedding or shower - they could be the party favors or individual cakes served at a reception. They feed about two people because you use three cupcakes, so they are decent sized. I might have to go to the store and look up some fun ideas for wrapping!! For small mini cakes like this, the wrapping/decoration would be key! I think putting them in little clear bags tied up with a ribbon would be sooo sweet!! It gets me thinking!! I have SO little papers/ribbons around here, so I just used what I had...but I just love the size and shape! The possiblities are endless!!