Archive for the ‘In the Beginning’ Category

Fondant Here I Come

January 22, 2010

After making cakes for the kids birthdays for several years, I decided I wanted a more polished look. Welcome, Fondant.

For Gavyn’s 9th birthday he wanted a skateboard cake. At this point I had been watching Ace of Cakes (Duff is my hero) and I wanted to make an even awesomer cake than I ever had.

Fondant isn’t inexpensive, plus I didn’t really know what I was doing. So, the internet, my trusty research companion, found me a homemade fondant recipe – . Mmmmmm, marshmallow fondant. For all intents and purposes, it was an okay material to use. I have since learned that purchased fondant is much easier to work with.

With the help of my trusty artistic sidekick, Dooley, we sketched out a design for the skateboard cake. We wanted it to be really cool and to incorporate Tony Hawk style into it. Because he is the coolest skateboarder ever! (Sorry Jason Lee). Thanks to my trusty sidekick, we had a very cool customized stencil design with Gavyn’s name and a Tony Hawk bird – which is kinda creepy, but I suppose that is why boys like it. *shrug* I used this silly aerosol food coloring you can buy at Michael’s or a grocery store. I was skeptical that it would work, especially on black fondant.

Speaking of fondant……

I made my own courtesy of the recipe which I linked to above. And when it says to be careful because it is hot… um… they aren’t kidding. Hot marshmallow and powdered sugar from the microwave – scalding! After it cools, it’s just fine to play with… and fun. It’s all sticky and gooey  all over your hands and my kids were looking at me like I lost my mind (which, unbeknownst to them, I never had one – joke’s on them). Instead of food coloring, I went to Michael’s to try to find something else to color my fondant with… because I chose a really hard color – black. What was I thinking?!?! But I couldn’t very well have a pink or lemon yellow skateboard. And EUREKA! Wilton Color Gels came into my life! I kneaded my heart out to turn my homemade fondant a cool, calculating shade of black. Then I stopped when I realized that the best I was going to get was a black and gray marbled look. Oh well. First time is always experimental. Somehow I rolled out the fondant and my sidekick helped me put it over the cake which had been sculpted and frosted, with styrofoam blocks inserted in just the right place to later attach the trucks. Fondant on cake – check! Customized “airbrush” design – check! Trucks attached – check! Finished off with green frosting with a little green sugar atop and brown frosting with crushed faux oreos atop for grass and dirt, respectively.

Although the cake was a smashing success, my favorite part was probably the sparkler “candle” in the shape of a 9. Every year I put a number candle on my kids’ cakes instead of the individual ones adding up. I’m not sure why. Just a tradition I like… and I save them. But I told myself that birthday 10 is the last time I would do it because I don’t want them to feel like I’m treating them like little kids. But if they ask for it I will secretly jump up and down when they aren’t looking 🙂

If it wasn’t for my children, I may never have found out how much I enjoy making cakes. If it wasn’t for my incessant need for perfection, I may enjoy it more in the wee hours of the morning when I’m tweaking my design at the last minute… lol. But in the end, I’m proud of what I accomplished and putting smiles on people’s faces.

Till next time cakers!

Shannon

Advertisements

I’m here to eat cake

January 22, 2010

I’ve been making cakes for about 7 years. Mind you, they didn’t start out as awesome as I am now… lol. My first one was for Gavyn’s 3rd birthday (he’s almost 11 now). He, like most kiddos his age, really like Bob the Builder. I decided I was going to make an awesome cake, better than the grocery store cakes I usually purchased for this kind of event. I was a stay-at-home mom at the time and I had some time on my hands… and no friends… so I took on the task.

I made a regular rectangular cake and covered it in green frosting, which I colored myself with good old fashioned food coloring. I printed out pictures of buildings from bob the builder (on photo paper so it was sturdier – I’m always one step ahead…lol) and taped toothpicks to them and inserted into the top of the cake. But then, I needed some kind of path… gravel path… dirt path… to denote a “construction” area, because, after all, this was Bob the Builder. We wanted to see him in action. I crushed up graham crackers and oreos for that and spread it in a path-like fashion. And of course, Gavyn had all the little toys so I had Bob and Scoop and Dizzy helping us round out the picture of “We Can Do It!”. And as I stared at my awesome artistry, I felt something was missing.

A brick wall!!

I decided to make bricks out of jello and build a jello brick wall around the cake. In several different colors. And I did just that. I made jigglers, cut them into tiny rectangular bricks and built a wall all the way around that 9×11 cake. It was back breaking work…. mainly because I did the work at the coffee table and not at the kitchen table. Well, I couldn’t miss an episode of Frontier House on PBS, now could I.

Maybe one day I earth up a picture of that cake. Until then, you will just have to use your imagination.

Much love,

Shannon