Monday, January 23, 2012

It's Easy...

I just posted the Little Purse Tutorial yesterday based on a cake demo I did at a women's retreat last weekend (read this post). My cousin Jamie was there and apparently took some video of me. I guess I kept saying, "See it's easy!" after I would do something simple and would hear the "Ooooh's and Ahhhh's" in the crowd. She just saw my post and sent this video to me and told me I HAD to put it on my blog for all to see! - silly girl!

So, I thought I'd share it so you can see me in action...if only for a few seconds! - 26 seconds to be exact! :) I was putting on the flap of the purse in this video.


Now, after seeing the tutorial from yesterday's IS easy, right?! :)

Sunday, January 22, 2012

Little Cake Purse Tutorial - How to make a purse cake

A few months ago I received a phone call from my mother-in-law's sweet friend Karin. She was organizing a women's retreat and wanted to know if I'd come down and do a cake demo after lunch and talk about my journey into the world of cakes. The theme of the retreat was Faith: A journey from mediocrity to maturity. So, it tied into the theme of the day and would give the ladies something half-time entertainment! :) I was flattered she thought of me and was excited to do it...although, a bit hesitant because I had never done anything like it before! She had been so impressed that I've chosen to use my talent as a blessing to others instead of trying to turn it into a business for profit. So, that's what I talked about. How I started off thinking I'd make this into a business, but how the Lord has really worked on my heart that this talent, for this season of life, is meant to bless others! - and that's it! He has definitely blessed me for being obedient and I have SO enjoyed helping others with their cake journey and have SOOOOO enjoyed blessing those I love with fun, beautiful cakes!! He is gracious and always blesses us for choosing to follow His ways...even though the world is constantly trying to tell us otherwise! :)

So, last Saturday, a cake buddy and sweet friend of mine (Deborah) and I, headed south to Reedsport (about 3.5 hours away on the Oregon Coast) for the retreat. I was going to show how to make a little purse cake. As I was prepping for the retreat, I took some pictures and decided I would do a tutorial for all of you on my blog!! :) Yeah! :) The SUPER unfortunate thing was I didn't get a final picture of my cake!!! I took one, but it was no where to be found when I got home to go through the pictures! :( It was incredibly cute!!! So, I re-created it Friday evening (before all the craziness with my daughter began) and have a final picture for you! - didn't turn out as cute as the original! :) Oh well!!

So, here's what I'm going to show you how to make:
This little cake is made out of 3 thin 6" round cakes, stacked with two layers of filling in between. You could make this any size you'd like following these basic steps.

Step 1:
Stack and fill your cake - mine was approx. 3" thick/tall. Put it in the fridge/freezer until it firms up so you can carve it. The little swirl on top there is a simple syrup.

Step 2:
Cut off the bottom edge as straight as possible. Cut off a top edge as straight as possible. The top edge should be slightly smaller than the bottom. The right side of this pic is my top edge...see it's a bit smaller than the bottom.

Step 3:
Stand it up on it's bottom and check for straightness.
Check the side as well as the front. Continue to trim to make sure it stands nice and straight.

Step 4:
Start trimming down the front and back so it looks the purse is closed.
Make sure both sides are the same! :)

Step 5:
Begin carving the sides in to create the gap of fabric when the purse would be closed. Create a little "V" shape on the sides of the purse with a small knife.

Step 6:
Add a crumb coat of ganache or buttercream. Get it nice and smooth. Then put it in the fridge to firm up over night or a few hours.

Step 7:
Trim your board. Prep the ganache covered cake for covering in fondant by spritzing it with water or water mixed with a little corn syrup.

Step 8:
Roll out your fondant 1/8" - 3/8" thick. Drape over your cake (I have mine sitting up on a little tin so I can get a clean cut on the bottom edge) and start smoothing. Gather the excess fondant on each corner and pinch it (see pic below).

Step 9:
Use a pair of small sharp scissors to trim off the excess fondant as close to the cake as possible without cutting into the cake! :) With warm fingers massage those seams together to make sure they are closed and smooth. You can even use a tiny bit of crisco on your finger tips to help smooth it down. Trim off a little more fondant if it's not laying flat on the cake like the pic below. Don't worry about your seams because you'll be putting on piping later that will hide them. Just make sure you're cutting right on the corners so when you put your piping on it will be hidden! :)
Grab your fondant smoothers and go to town getting the fondant nice and smooth. Use a VERY slightly dampened paper towel or smooth towel to wipe off any excess cornstarch, or rub a very light coating of crisco on the cake to make it a bit more satin-like and to get the cornstarch off.

Step 10:
Use a piece of blank 4x6 photo paper (or a 4x6 piece of card stock) and round the edge off on one side to create a template for the flap. Roll out some fondant and put the photo paper on it, then cut around it. Spritz the back of the fondant with the water/corn syrup solution and lay over your cake making sure it's nice and centered. Use the Wilton fondant embosser wheel for that (click here). Just run it around the edges of your flap and voila!
Front view (above)
Back view (below)
Step 11:
Add the piping in whatever color you'd like. You can either roll fondant ropes by hand or use an clay/fondant extruder. I use this one (click here - I got mine at Michael's) because I can hold it in one hand and position the extruded rope right on my cake with the other hand. If you use a bigger kind, extrude the rope on your counter then apply it on your cake. Cover all seams with your piping and you'll have a really clean looking little purse! :)
Time to decorate it! Use my bow tutorial to create a sweet little bow or create a flower for the front like on this cake.
For the handle, I rolled a rope out and wrapped it around a glass to make it nice and round. I cut the bottom off so it would be square and let it dry over night. I then added just a smidgen of melted chocolate to the bottom of the handle and set it on the cake. I also used melted chocolate to attach the bow.
The little sparrow bird on the bottom is hand painted. I use a picture I found on line for inspiration. I grabbed my black Wilton gel color and mixed a little vodka with it to thin it down. I then used a tiny paint brush and painted away like it was canvas. You could also use your embosser tool to create a quilted look, or paint zebra stripes, giraffe print, etc etc etc! Be creative and go wild!!!

I hope you enjoyed the tutorial and will be inspired to make your own! :)


A BEAUTIFUL Fantasy Flower Tutorial

How amazing is this?!!!!????!!! I LOVED it the moment I saw it! :)

My sweet friend Deborah created this fantasy flower with frosting/icing sheets. You can pick these sheets up now at Michael's or online. I'm amazed at the time she spent putting together a tutorial for it, so I had to share with all of you!!

Click HERE to link to her blog and read how you can make your own fantasy flower!!


Saturday, January 21, 2012

A NEW winner announced!

I'm sorry but this morning I was a zombie on 3 hours of sleep! I wanted to get a person named for my little followers giveaway, but wasn't thinking straight. My sweet baby girl had a febrile seizure at 11pm last night. We found her in bed seizing with a high temp and called 911. The paramedics showed up and couldn't get her to stop right away, so I got to ride to the hospital with her. She didn't stop until we were 7 min. from the hospital and then was out of it! I was in the ER with her until 3:30 this morning! It's crazy how sometimes our perspective changes in an instant! It was the scariest thing my husband and I have been through. But, knowing the Lord had totally protected her...had allowed us to still be awake...had surrounded us with grace...had held her in His mighty hands, we have come out of it with just a memory now. She's completely great now! - has a double ear infection (hence the high fever), but is on meds and doing great! Anyhoooooo, that was the reason I wasn't careful this morning and need to pick a new winner. So sorry!!

The person I had selected as a winner this morning (by the number generator) was not a follower of this blog and I really wanted this to bless one of my followers for blessing me with your presence on here. SO, I did a new random number generator and made sure that person is a follower and went by the rules! :)

The winner of the $25 Amazon Gift Card is:

Congratulations Vinae! I'll email you so we can get you your Amazon Gift Card!

Blessings to all!! Thanks again for supporting this blog and for all the great ideas for future posts/info! :)

Sunday, January 15, 2012

Bow Tutorial

I love this little bow! It's SO simple to make and simple in its style. All you need is a little template and a little modeling chocolate and you can make your own!!

Here's what you need:
When using a small amount of modeling chocolate, I like to roll it out on wax paper. It keeps me from having to use crisco or cornstarch.

And you're done! I love how little it is!

Have fun playing with the size. Copy that template and size it for whatever cake you need. Just use a little melted chocolate on the back of the bow to attach it to a cake.


A prize for my followers


That's how I feel about all of you faithful followers!!! Despite my few months of being absent, we crossed over the 500 follower mark!!! WOW! I am so blessed by all of you and your sweet emails of encouragement and excitement whenever I post something new. Thank you for sharing the cakes you've made, your successes and failures and tips that have been helpful to me! I LOVE it! God has blessed me beyond what I could have asked for or imagined three years ago when I made my first fondant cake!! Who would have thunk it!?? :)

So, to thank you all, I'm doing a giveaway!!!! On Saturday I'm going to give one of my followers a $25 Amazon Gift Card. Here's what you have to do to enter:

1. Be a follower of this blog (not just a "follow by email" follower)
2. Post a comment below about something you'd love to see on this blog in the future
3. Post a link back to this blog on your facebook page or blog or website and make sure you put the link in your comments so I can see it too! :)

The chance to participate ends Friday, January 20th, 2012 at midnight. I'll do a random number generator on Saturday and post the winner!!