Sunday, December 30, 2007

Snow Flake Cake

This is the cake I've been excited about making. I found the inspiration on
Two weeks ago I started to make the royal icing snowflakes. My friend Leigh came over to help. I quickly discovered that I don't know anything about royal icing and thus had many broken snowflakes. I made the wilton recipe as precisely as possible, even pulling out my electronic scale to weigh ingredient on my second batch because I swore I did something wrong the first time. The first batch came out like a glob of cement. I added more water then was written but then I worried that that would weaken the snowflakes. The second batch turned out exactly like the first, a big glob... So, in the future I'm going to have to guess at the consistency and add water until I think it's right. I don't like doing that, I have to do the same with the buttercream and it makes me feel like I'm going to mess it up...
I guessed at the snow flake pattern. I drew a circle and then divided it into using 4 lines. I then added little wings to each of the lines. Overall, I was happy with my design, it looked really close to the picture I was using.
I used tip number 3 initially to make the snowflakes but felt they were too delicate and would break so I switched to tip number 5. I was happy with the way they turned out. It was fun piping with Leigh. She did a great job for her first attempt at piping.
After I was finished piping about 50 snowflakes over the course of three days...
I then went on cakecentral to see if I could learn anything more about making RI snowflakes. As usual I found a plethora of information, more then I could ever want to know... I found out that the snowflake patter was from the wilton 2003 yearbook. I was able to download the pattern (a little late but now I know to do more research BEFORE I make the cake). I also made two e-mail friends through cakecentral. I sent them both questions about RI and snowflakes. They got back to me within a day, which was cool. They want to see pictures of the final cake, which is nice.
To assemble this cake I packed up the snowflakes and transported the cake to my aunt's house. I assembled it there. I broke about 1/2 the snowflakes I made. Tip 5 were the only ones that survived. I would have spaced the snowflakes on the cake differently had I put some thought into were I was going to put them all on the cake, but I didn't. My original thought was to insert them all into the side but then I had some left over so I layed then down in between the snowflakes I inserted. It was even around the outside, which is what bothered me, but I think that has something to do with my obsessive nature :)
So, overall- I'm not sure how I feel about royal icing. I like how it hardens and you can just lay the design right on the cake. I don't feel I've mastered the recipe and will attempt a different once next time. If it's too hard, its hard to pipe, if its too runny you can't really make any nice designs like flowers, which I don't like. So we will see. I'll give it another try once I find a cake I want to make.

Monday, December 24, 2007

A Christmas Present

This is my first attempt at making a fondant bow. I'm happy with the way it turned out. I'm still learning a lot but I'm happy with my progress. The difficulty I found with the bow was figuring out how I would "join" the bow halves together. I made the swirls of ribbon using the ends of spatula's. It was really easy to do. My butter cream icing wasn't as smooth as I would have liked. I read a "how to" article on CakeCentral today. I'm going to try the Viva paper towel method next time. Very exciting stuff...
I made small red balls with the intention of making holly leaves on the cake instead of snowflakes but I couldn't find a holly cookie cutter so I made snowflakes...
Jen was happy with the cake and so was her mom. She called me the night Jen took it home, which was very sweet. I could tell in her voice that she was excited about the cake. I felt proud of my make, which is a good feeling.

Sunday, December 16, 2007

Cake Extravaganza

This blog is out of order. My intention was to blog about the cakes I made during my Wilton Class and then subsequent cakes. But I didn't get a chance to blog about them yet, and I spent the day making cakes and want to post... So, it's out of order. Oh well. I do have a slight version of OCD or some other obsessively organized disease but I'm getting over it. I'm just running out of time to care about some details... A good life lesson to learn, I think. Pick your battles...
So, Today was a day dedicated to my cakes. I worked hard on Saturday to be able to spend Sunday working hard at my cakes. I stated the morning off by making 4- 6" cakes and 2- 9" cakes and 36 cupcakes. In between cake making I managed to fit in two loads of wash and made soup for lunch... My friend Jen came over to help around noon (that's jen in the pic). It was nice to have company and someone to share my cake knowledge with... Jen made her first crumb layer as well as worked with fondant for the first time... I think she is getting the "cake bug".

After making 4 batches of BC icing and thinning out a batch of RI I sat down to try to figure out what cakes I would be attempting today. My goal was to make a cake for the food service staff at three of the schools I work with. I also wanted to make a cake for the office party on Tuesday. So the goal was 4 cakes in one day... Yikes.

Jen helped me with the Snowman Mug Cake. It turned out really cute, just took a while for the many steps.
1. Crumb Layer in BC white
2. Coloring the BC and then icing the cake
3. Make fondant Snowman- Cut with circle cookie cutters
4. Color fondant for nose and scarf (Jen loves to accessorize :)
5. Color black BC Icing for eyes and Buttons
6. Color "hot Chocolate" fondant and roll out
7. Go to the store to buy Marshmallow (who has them on hand???)
8. 5 hours later attach the snowman to the sides with BC as well as the marshmallow and the dollop of "whipped cream" which is BC Icing.

Of course all four cakes were done throughout the day. For ease of blogging I'll summarize each separately.

The next cake was the
Cupcake Wreath

1. Build base our of cardboard box and covered with tin foil (very classy)
2. Arrange Cupcakes in wreath shape
3. Color BC Icing Green
4. Use grass tip and cover cupcakes with random layering of icing.
5. Go to store to buy a round shaped red candy (only think I could find was Atomic Bomb's)
6. Add a bow- you will notice my cake doesn't have a bow. I tried but Rite Aid was closed and I didn't have any luck anywhere else. Oh well, you get the point, I think it looks like a wreath...

Snow Flake Cake
By this point, I'm tired of making cakes and wanted to take any shortcut I could find. I had a vision of this cake being covered in RI poinsettia's... but that didn't happen. I instead borrowed three RI snowflakes I made on Friday for a different cake, added a round boarder and that's it... It turned out nice, but I definitely lost steam.

So after 11 hours of making and decorating cakes I feel like a rock star... I mean A CAKESTAR!!!

Tuesday, December 4, 2007

Turkey Cake

The thanksgiving cake. Was my first attempt at modeling fondant. Found the cake design on cakecentral, the best website on the planet. Iced cake with BC and then colored all the fondant pieces and modeled the turkey. My favorite part of the picture of the cake on the table is Lilly's Turkey centerpiece to the right of the cake. Priceless!

Monday, December 3, 2007


This is my first cake from the Wilton Level One class, which I took at JoAnne's Fabrics in Springfield. The technique used was "tracing" a pattern and filling it in with Star Tip #16. I didn't like any of the pictures in the book so I brought a circle cookie cutter from home and used it to make an imprint on the cake. After the imprint, used icing thinned with Writing gel to outline. The gel really did make it easier to outline. The star was really easy to do, just need to keep even pressure. The hardest part was figuring out what consistency my white icing was. To start the cake, I made a crumb layer of icing, waited about 30 minutes and then icing my base layer of the cake. Waited an hour and then used parchment paper to smooth the creases as best my unskilled hand could do. I'm hoping I can perfect the perfectly smooth bottom layer some day...

Overall, not bad for my first cake.