Thursday, April 29, 2010

Collections Vol. II - Fondant

This second collection is of the fondant cakes I have done. Some 2 tiers, some single tiered, some I didnt like the result of, some I loved!

I skipped the Wilton Fondant classes and decided to teach myself... mostly because the AC Moore closed down by my house, at the time, and also because i like the challenge! haha...

This was my first Fondant cake... it was for a friend celebrating her new beginning to life after a divorce! She wanted simple and fun... black and white... and very abstract!! hahah

I believe next was for my best friends wedding... a grooms cake for her future husband... the yankee fan!! It was two tiers, 3 if you count the baseball on top... the baseball was made out of rice crispies treats smashed together and formed and then covered in fondant... I loved the cake at the time, except for the pin stripes and the yankee logo... I know if I could have a re-do on this cake it could come out a lot better!!! He loved it, so thats all that matters!

The rest are in no specific order... Here are fondant roses I made for a topsy turvy cake... the cake as a whole I wasnt all too pleased with, but i loved the flowers, and the client was happy!!

Here are more fondant flowers... these were on my grandmother's 80th birthday cake.

She liked light blue... so there they are... here is the whole cake... the blue down the side represents a blue blanket... we call her blankie so it was only natural.  I wasnt pleased with the "80" on top... The original one I made didnt set on time, so i had to improvise with wire underneath the fondant... a learning experience... plan those details WAY in advance!!!

This next one was for a body building friend of mine... the black part is a 45lb weight plate... he's been a Tigger fan since he was a little guy, so i made him out of fondant and colored him in with food coloring.... there is a small 20lb weight ball next to him!

This is a race track cake for a client I had... her little guy was having a race car themed birthday... she supplied the cars (at the party) and the kids apparently played on the cake for 15 minutes before they allowed anyone to cut into it... luckily there is buttercream under the fondant, so you could just pull the fondant away and not eat it!!! haha

This cake was for my mom... she had seen something similiar, so I "copied"... she's a knitter, so what better than sheep... it had started my love for making farm animals out of fondant!

This next one is a cowboy boot for a country fan friend of mine... It matches her boots that she wears.  I made a sheet cake and cut out the boot from that!
This next one was for a clients friends 30th birthday... she asked for the specific colors... which just so happens to be my favorite colors so I was excited... she wanted a box look to the tiers... and the 30 was actually made out of sugar cookies covered in fondant!!

This cake was for my Uncle's birthday... He's a big Mets fan, so I found a replica of this on the web (i would give credit, but I dont remember where I found it) I drew the Mets logo on fondant and cut it out so that and the hat are entirely made of fondant.
The next one is a definite favorite of mine... a friend of mine wanted a special cake for her father... he is a big beach guy and loves to just lay out in the sun... this cake is half fondant, half buttercream. The sand is crumbled graham crackers and the wave is entirely built up with fondant... it was tough to keep it from falling over, but i somehow made it work. The little guy and star fish on the side were also made of fondant... the only thing not edible was the umbrella!!

A couple years ago I made Mummy cupcakes for halloween... I saw them in a magazine and just had to make them... the strips of gauze are made from strips of fondant.  When a friend asked for a halloween cake, I figured why not make a bigger version of the cupcake!!! and it came out great... the spiders are also made of fondant.

The same client has a thing for Humpback whales, and was wondering if I could think of something to do with that for her birthday party.... I came up with... why not just a whale itself!!!  Here it is... I made a big sheet cake, cut out the cake in the shape of the whale... covered it in fondant, then used food coloring for the shading... and small fondant balls for water bubbles... she LOVED it!

And last but not least, another favorite... The Incredibles.  Its basic and simple, and sadly the characters are plastic, but the emblem in the center I made by hand.  I took the logo and cut it onto a piece of fondant and then colored it in with food coloring... it came out GREAT!!  I was so happy with it.. Red fondant is notorious for tearing (i had no idea why) but there was a crack on the side, so I covered it with a fondant "rope" to make it look like the characters climbed up that way!! crisis averted!!!

I hope you enjoyed this post of all my fondant creations... I might have more, I feel like I am forgetting, so i will look in the depths of my computer files!! :-)

Stay tuned for more!!!

Sunday, April 25, 2010

Lila's Farm

I was given the opportunity to create a farm scene for little Lila's second birthday.  She doesnt have a favorite animal, she likes them all.  Lila's mom really liked a cake that she saw here on Sandra's Cakes, so I did my best to accommodate.

The flavor was decided to be chocolate cake with Cookies and Cream buttercream, which I was really excited about... it basically tasted like a mashed up Oreo, which is exactly what I was going for.
It was originally going to be a 2 layer, but I knew it wasn't going to be enough height, so I threw in an additional layer and easily applied a crumb coating... I am getting better at that every time.

The scene was going to be sky and grass so I had to add the blue fondant layer first. Luckily I didnt have to worry about creases on the bottom since the grass would cover it.
I didnt take a picture of the grass layer but you will see it from the other pictures.  The best part are the animals anyway.  The cake was divided into fours basically... so I put four picket fences, with four sets of cow, pig, and sheep heads.  Four trees and four sets of tall grass with flowers.
The top of the cake had a cow print cloud for the little girl and baby animals to sit on... I somehow became psychic and put the little girl in a red dress... When I arrived to drop off the cake, little Lila had a red dress on! I was most pleased with how the hair came out!!  I added a little rubber ducky which Lila fell in love with when she saw it.  I wasnt sure if it was appropriate to add the utters to the cow, but I couldnt resist! It made it more authentic!
I dont think I have ever been more pleased with how a cake turned out!  We had discussed a banner, but it was going to be too difficult to have it stay up, so I went with another approach.
Thought it added a nice finished touch, and Lila's mom loved it!  Delivery was rough as it went to the Upper West Side in Manhattan.  I made John drived, which added for a few nice tense moments when the directions got crazy, but once ironed out turned into a nice drive with each other.

A big thanks to his sister for getting me the new client, who may have gotten me some more clients as she passed out all the business cards I gave her.. WOOHOO!!!

Happy Birthday Lila!

Sunday, April 11, 2010

Collections Vol. I - Buttercream

I am going to be blogging some past cakes that I have done to keep things interesting around here and somewhat current... I have my cakes on my Facebook, but its a private account, so here is a place I can showcase some of my favorite works for all to see!! I technically create web pages for a living... do you really think i want to "pay" for one when blogger is free? haha

This first collection will be of the buttercream cakes I have done.  To the first one that I did for my Wilton class, to the first commissioned cake I have ever done!

The Wilton Cake... it was a great class, learned some fun tips, and came out with an EXCELLENT recipe from the teacher... its all done in buttercream, even the flowers! The flowers were definitely the best part of that class!
After making this, I pretty much demanded to make my mom's birthday cake... I had the perfect idea in mind... I wanted to try basketweave and she loves baskets... She was turning 53 that year and so I made her 53 flowers.. 50 of the little pink ones, and 3 yellow roses (my dad has been getting her yellow roses for years, so I thought it fiting)
Here is the detail on the basketweave.
It came out ok... I was pleased, and if memory serves so was she.

Next came my first commissioned cake.  A workout buddy found out that I did cakes and he and his fiance needed a cake for their engagement party.  They needed a large sheet cake and were looking for a beach theme as their party and everything about them was very beachy.  I did the cake in half vanilla and half chocolate with pudding centers... the icing was all vanilla buttercream. The sand was made from graham cracker crumbs and the shells were molded of peanut butter chips and white chocolate.
Soon after my friends were spreading the word and I was being asked to make numerous kinds of cakes.  I did my first fondant cake shortly after the beach cake (fondant will be the next series), and I think I have improved more and more with each cake.

Here are some of the other sheet cakes of buttercream I have done.  The santa face was made from a sheet cake that i cut into the shape you see it in.  That cake had pounds and pounds of buttercream... it was a diabetic nightmare, but sooo yummy (from what my client told me).  The Elmo was a first birthday party.  I drew elmo on the cake and then colored him in with buttercream in whispy strokes to make him look furry!  The football field was requested by the same friend that asked for the beach cake.  He was going to superbowl party and the host was a Cardinals fan.  The footballs were made from a chocolate mold and I made the cardinal head from a piece of fondant that i put out, and painted with food coloring... all freehand.

I hope that you enjoyed this installment of Collections.  Next up will be Fondant cakes!

Saturday, April 10, 2010

Canolli's, Cream Puffs, and Catastrophes!

Woops... sorry it took so long... Canolli's and Cream Puffs it is... These were for a client... every Easter he orders a pastry to bring to the in-laws.  This year when he asked for Canollis I was nervous... making canolli shells is not something I have a longing desire to make... so I bought them! hahahh... My canolli cream is pretty decent if I do say so myself. And my cream puffs have always received raved reviews... Those I make totally from scratch.  Those this client prefers a whipped cream center as opposed to a custard, which is fine by me!!  Here are the finished results.
This week you are getting two posts in one!!!  I was having a melt down on Wednesday night... mostly just cranky for no other reason than I was cranky! hahaha... it happens sometimes... the poor boyfriend is still getting used to it, but I try not to take it out on him... in order to get over it, I needed cupcakes.. this is a standard for me... cupcakes make everything better... I figured why not make those red velvet ones I wanted to try... As I previously posted, I make my cupcakes low cal using diet soda or seltzer... I had it in my mind to make red velvet cake with diet dr. pepper...
Thats some vibrant looking batter... well if there is one thing I have always believed about baking, its that it is a science.  There are no variations without some major thinking, planning, and testing.  Everything looked right, followed the normal instructions for the low-cal cupcakes... but something went terribly wrong and I know what it was... I made them when I was pissed off and grumpy... If you bake a fruit pie and you are in a sour mood, I can guarentee your pie will be sour!!!   So as I was becoming totally unglued... so were my cupcakes...

I almost lost it when they werent coming out of the pan properly, just crumbling away... the tops stayed to shape, but the bottoms just fell right off!! Totally unglued!  A light bulb went off... your creations feel you... i gave in to the disaster... peeled off pieces, dipped them in fat free cool whip and was done!! hahaha... they still tasted ok, they just were a little out of it... much like I was...

So remember.... never bake angry, upset, or frazzled... unless thats the type of result you want!! ;-)

Saturday, April 3, 2010

Sugar Cookies Galore!

I made these for co-workers this week... I really wanted to just give them a try, see if I could decorate cookies as well.... but I've got to be honest, I wasn't too pleased with how they looked.  But, I also didn't spend a lot of time trying to get them just right, so here they are... kind of boring, but they tasted all right.  The other thing I should mention... I am not a big fan of cookie as a rule.  Oreo's are about the only ones that I am defenseless against... and maybe a really good peanut butter one, but otherwise I can pass! Sooo... they tasted just ok to me too, but my co-workers LOVED them, and ate the whole plate!  I was impressed, however, with the fact that they stayed soft and didn't harden up to be bricks.  The icing was sweet, but its supposed to be, and that actually hardened perfectly. All in all, in terms of a cookie I was pleased, although I really just needed to spend more time decorating them.

Tomorrow is my beautiful niece Gwen's 8th birthday (well actually today as I write this after 12)... I can not believe she is going to be eight.  She wanted to make her cake with her grandma which I think is the cutest thing ever... but I did offer to bring cookies to have as well.  SO here they started.. I used the same molds that I used last time, but was determined to make it work better!  You can see the detail in the bunny, all i would have to do was follow the lines basically with the icing.  I could make it and put it in bags and pipe it.  That seemed the best option.
And it was!!! I am soooo much happier with how these turned out and the time that I put into them was worth it... I love the bunnies, and the detail in the Happy Easter.  The eggs are cute, but honestly the designs got monotonous and boring, so I improvised and made a few eggs however I wanted!!!

Here are a bunch that I made just as eggs...

A special cookie for the birthday girl!

One for her sister Mere!

And one for little man Jake!

All in all I say we have success!!! Maybe I can do cookies!!
Tomorrow, Cream Puffs and Canolli's!!!