Saturday, January 29, 2011

Underwater Musical First Birthday

This is my first cake for a total stranger. Sure they know a friend of mine, but basically they were going on Barbara's suggestion that I could make a nice cake for them. The mom said it was a First Birthday for her daughter and they were having it at KinderMusik and she wanted an Underwater theme with musical notes. Hmm.....

So I googled it. And found that there were a TON of Underwater theme'd cakes, but none with musical notes - so we decided to go with Underwater and add musical notes - easy enough.

Oh - and there were 2 cakes needed. One for tearing apart by the little one and one for eating. My thought was a 1 year old might have trouble ripping apart a fondant cake - but at the same time giving a 1 year old a cake iced in blue buttercream might stain what was likely a really cute birthday outfit. Being a non-messy mom I thought fondant was the lesser of the two evils.

After laying the fondant I popped on some underwater friends. All of them were made from fondant and set to dry for a day before placing on the cake.

Walrus, some sea coral, anemones, bubbles - do these look like bubbles? Maybe more like pearls?

Oh and there are some of the musical notes - and the things that look like clouds when up close looked more like waves when further away. And in the back there is a stingray - he was my personal favorite.

Some shark fins along the sides with a few more musical notes and a sea plant or two. And down on the table you can see my handy dandy edible marker - LOVE those things!!

Then there was the babies cake - it was very cute - much smaller so it couldn't hold as many sea creatures.

Although I failed to take a picture of it - I also made a one dimensional sign that said ONE in letters - different colors with bubbles and fish on it. I was hoping to receive a pic of it placed on the cake - it went in the space right behind the Octopus and next to the Stingray.

Sadly when I delivered the mom wasn't there - only my friend was there setting up for the party - although I was happy to see her. My understanding is that the cakes were a hit and the mom loved them - she emailed me later.

These cakes were White Cake with a Vanilla Buttercream icing and Vanilla Fondant cover with fondant figures.

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Electric Guitar & Forged Signatures

I guess when I posted this on the Ipsy Bipsy Facebook Page I totally forgot that I had not yet posted it here. Tah Dah!! An Electric Guitar!! Honestly Honestly I never ever would have thought last fall when I started crying over fallen fondant that I could do this!!

Are there imperfections on this? Well yeah - what piece of art is perfect? But the problem isn't fondant on the corners with this cake!! And that is what I am carrying forward after completing the electric guitar cake. My edges - no matter how weirdly curved - are not split and cracked!!
Is the tweater thing maybe too short? Sure - well, errr, I don't really know a dang thing about electric guitars, so maybe not - could be? When it comes down to it though - are there things I will do different the next time I do a guitar - YES - but I am pleased as punch with this cake - DANG STRAIGHT!!

This cake was made for a friend - who is also kinda Ben's teacher. So that might add to why I was feeling a bit anxious about the outcome. Jenny said "whatever, but Griffin's guitar is red so if it can be red".........then the day before, "well if you could ........" and then, "well now my husband is saying could you sign Les Paul on it" then I felt even more like I was trying to do the best for the teacher - and I started to really research guitars and what a Les Paul is and where you write Gibson and all this other stuff. My thought was "I have to get the signature Les Paul close to dead on - but is that legal to sign a fondant cake? If I post it on my blog will the Gibson company come for me?" Yet I had to make Jenny happy because if I failed Ben might totally get a D in something. Nah - not really - Jenny is too great to hold my failure against him. Plus - I am sure Gibson has bigger strings to pluck then mine.
And in the end I did kinda fail..........

You may recall that the Magic Hat cake was done the same day as this hat (hmmmm....notice a color match?). Well Jenny must have told me what time her party was starting - but in my muddled sinus infection overwhelmed head her party started at 2pm. And if I didn't deliver the cake until Noon I was good. Only that wasn't the reality of the world. So I am getting the cakes done and Dawson's party prepped and I get a text and Jenny says, "Are you lost" I texted back, "ahhhhhh no I am just leaving"......because I was so obviously wrong about the time!! The cake was officially loaded though. Having to still finish D's cake I sent Dave on delivery. Dave so does not like to be the center of attention. Well........he says when he pulled up to deliver he realized the party was already going and as he stepped in the house it was like a Cake Boss episode and everyone starts shouting, "THE CAKE IS HERE!!" and he gets surrounded and Jenny starts getting all excited. Which I TOTALLY would have loved - but a shy guy like Dave just wanted to turn and run home.
Jenny sent texts later saying how cool the cake was and how she LOVED it - so I guess my tardy to class was forgiven.
How cute right? Dave is such a trooper. Too bad Andersen can't carry a cake and drive a car - she would love to deliver!
This was Chocolate Chocolate Chip for the body and Banana for the arm. Vanilla buttercream covered in Vanilla Fondant.
Rock On!!

Saturday, January 22, 2011

Magical Gluten Free Vegan Cupcakes.....really

These little gems accompanied Dawson's Bunny Top Hat birthday cake. They are an example of HOW MUCH FUN I am having using the edible markers!! But I didn't make them only because I wanted to use some markers. My friend, Marji, has a son (the youngest of 4) who is allergic to almost everything edible. As he gets older foods are added - but right now at the ripe old age of 4 he goes to Birthday parties and other Celebrations and when they are passing out cake his wonderful mom whips out a Ziploc bag with a treat he can eat.

What would that be? Well it would be a Gluten Free, Egg Free, Milk Free and the list goes on Free baked good. So what is this? Well this is a variation of the cupcake I made for the teacher who was Gluten Free. This is a Gluten Free Vegan Chocolate cupcake. Seriously.

Since Fondant is dairy free - just sugar and water with a little gelatin - he is totally kosher to eat fondant. And since I can use fun edible markers on fondant............I was able to make something cool for Nathan.

At one point in the party he started hugging my leg. I looked down and he said, "Thank you". Not realizing what he was thanking me for I told Marji about it. She said he had just looked at the Magic Hat Cake and said, "I don't get to eat that do I?" and she picked the plate of fun cupcakes up and said, "No, but Patti made all these just for you." and then he ran over to hug me.

Later I asked Marji if he liked them.........and she said, "After he finishes the 3rd one I will ask him." and smiled at me. Mission Accomplished.

These cupcake are as I said earlier - Gluten Free Vegan Chocolate Cupcakes. The flour used was a blend of Rice flour, Potato flour and Tapioca flour. There is no base icing to avoid allergies, but a straight Vanilla Fondant icing is used.

Thursday, January 20, 2011

Magic Hat Cake

This cake was done the same day that I did the Electric Guitar cake AND we were throwing a birthday party for Dawson.............and I might have also been dealing with a sinus I am not surprised I forgot that I took any pictures of this cake!! Yet today I ran across them. And I have to say that even though I felt I wasn't giving it my 100% on this due to focus problems - it was really cute.

I completely didn't take any "construction" photos until the end - and there were a few flaws on this - although the Bunny was so darn cute I don't think people realized that my Top Hat has NO BRIM!! In original measurements the brim of the hat would sit over 1" of the 8" round cake. Then after adding about 1/2" of icing on either side of the hat the brim disappeared - POOF!! - Like Magic!! Ironic right?

Now I have learned a thing - or twelve - about fondant through the past few months - and I learned that you do not wait until the last minute to make figures that hold weight in them. Like the Bunny - and even like the Daisy. I did all the figures about 4 days prior to the event - and honestly - the head could have used a few more days. Cheeks - Bunny Feet - Nose - all that was good, but the main portion of the head was dry enough that it didn't morph shape when you touched it - however, the center was not dry enough that when I tucked the ears in the weight of the ears pressed the inside dough around a bit.

So we waited until right before the party to pop the ears on. The Magician Scarf was done the day of - just draped some red fondant over the edge to look like a scarf. I believe that it was the scarf and the Daisy that throw the eyes off from noticing there is no brim. The base of the cake was done just super plain so that all the attention goes to the Top Hat.

Once the ears were on the Bunny it was perfect. You might notice that one ear has a bend - that was intentional and dried to do that. The ears still probably could have used another day themselves to dry too though. But they were super sturdy.

The kids LOVED the cake!! And the adults wanted to know what I made the hat out of and seemed genuinely tickled that the hat was also cake and everything was edible........and yes - the Birthday Boy got a Bunny Ear!

This cake was 2 flavors - the Top Hat was Chocolate Chocolate Chip with Vanilla Buttercream (2 layers) - the base cake was Pumpkin Spice cake with Vanilla Buttercream icing. Vanilla Fondant was used for decorating.

Monday, January 17, 2011

Cody's BlackHawks Jersey

This cake was for our friends - who are a SUPER FREAK hockey family. Well they LOVE many different sports, but hockey seems to be a Big Time favorite of theirs. Cody is my sons Bestest Ever friend. They have been in class together all but one year so far. And it was Cody's birthday - AND he is a fabulous hockey players - so guess what this cake will turn into...........

As you saw above - step one was to take a square cake and shape it to look a bit like a shirt - the next step was to figure out the fondant layering so that I could create the look of a neck - and that is this........
Next layer of fondant covered most of the body of the cake - see what we are going for now? A hockey jersey.

Then I covered the lower half with white fondant - then I did stripes of black - and now it looks like a Black Hawks jersey!! Right?

Add a number. Now cutting this number out free handed was not quite as simple as I thought, but not terrible - still I can now see the merit in having a fondant cutter like a Cricuit to cut out the numbers electronically. Will I run out and get one? No, but I will consider it when I am rolling in dough..........get it? Rolling In Dough? Come on that was funny - admit it.
Next were the sleeves. Way easier then the last jersey sleeve I did a few months back - because I have gotten smarter - roll thicker and move sooner - tah dah!!

Then the logo. This one I thought would be more of a challenge then it was. I used cookie cutters and then molded the shapes to be what the logo looked like. Placed it on a black fondant background and cut around that........

and it turned out really cool! I let it sit a little while (20 min maybe) so that the sugar was more set in the fondant and would stay together better. Then I transferred it to the sleeve shoulder.

What surprised me was that the logo was actually bigger then the shoulder area. Sure if I had measured I would likely have seen that it would be too big, but who does smart stuff like that? Not me obviously!! So I chopped the part of the logo off that didn't fit and ironically it gave it a much more realistic look. Or so I told myself. ;0)

Then I piped the name of the Hockey Birthday Boy onto the cake.........with buttercream - because after hand cutting the BIG numbers the thought of hand cutting TINY letters was daunting - plus the family said I could just letter with icing. For that size though I am going to look for some block letter cookie cutters - they would work perfect.

The whole cake turned out super. And honestly.......I think the parents were WAY more excited then the birthday boy. It was so cute - during the whole process of finishing the cake Sheri would call and say "text me the next picture" - to the point that after a bit I texted her and said, "shhhhh I am working - be quiet"........course we were teasing each other - I loved that she wanted to see each step probably as much as she loved seeing them. She is one of my biggest Cheerleaders!!

This cake was Marble - Chocolate and White - with a Vanilla buttercream and a Vanilla Fondant top. Go Black Hawks!!

Sunday, January 16, 2011

How Sweet It Is!!

I thought it was Very Very Sweet that my friend, Sheri, signed up immediately to follwo my blog. She is one of the Bestest........but I didn't think much about "followers" - that is until I noticed that there are now 2 FOLLOWERS!!

Thank You Kathy, who is my wonderful Brother-in-Laws Sister-in-Law - so does that make you my Sister-in-Law to the 2nd Power?

Either way - apparently Followers were a bigger deal in my Subconscious then I even knew - how fun!!

Friday, January 14, 2011

Pink Bow Gumpaste

Oops - forgot these Sweet Girlie Cupcakes. These went with the Zebra Stripe cake. They were little pink bows with a Zebra Stripe cupcake paper.

Completely cute picture right? All these little cupcakes with their cute pink bows - which by the way are not fondant, but instead I was trying out Gumpaste. At first the gumpaste was not my friend. I have gotten used to the tempermental feel of fondant - gumpaste is a bit sturdier and harder to manage because it is more resistant - or at least it was more resistant to what I was used to doing with fondant - which is be gentle and it works. Gumpaste you can be a little less careful with, but it wants you to work a little faster or it will dry on you - or only me maybe. Either way - I admit in the end it was a bit nicer to work with because it was sturdier - I just need to adjust the way I do things to work with it again.

Now here is the cool thing - the person I made these for runs a photography business and she took a few pics of the cupcakes (and the Zebra Cake) and gave them back to me. Her pics are AMAZING!!

These cupcakes were Chocolate Chocolate Chip with a Vanilla buttercream icing and a Vanilla buttercream Gumpaste Bow. Tah Dah!!

Monday, January 10, 2011

Future Teacher Cupcakes

These were fun. A friend of mine is a Professor at IWU here in Bloomington. She wanted to treat her students to something fun and asked me to make cupcakes that were in a Teacher Theme. And I didn't realize she had a favorite cupcake so it was fun to learn......the Wannabe is her favorite. I like making that cake too.

All that said - these pictures are just awful - again this was holiday season and I was a bit stretched for brain I took 1 picture of each not thinking or bothering to take more as "just in case" pics.

In real life though - they were very colorful and super cute. I made a variation of 4 - an Apple for the Teacher - a Graded A+ Paper - a Chalkboard - and finally an Alphabet Book. They were each fun and pretty easy to make (if you are thinking of trying it)

Although this looks like a pretty straight forward order there were 2 new elements I added into this. I started using an Edible Ink Pen - they are SOOOOOOOOOO cool!! You just Write on the Fondant with them!! Who Knew right?? Okay so a lot of people know.......but it was way easier to make the lines on the little sheets of paper with the Edible Pen then it was to do with icing tint and a paintbrush!!
The second new element was baking Gluten Free. I thought that would be more of a challenge, but if you follow the guidelines it was much easier then originally thought. Like nut free stuff you clean every surface (or I do) - then you make certain to bake the Gluten Free items first so that there is no Gluten in the air from the regular flour. Or the other option is to bake the Gluten Free about 24 hours after the regular flour ones. I went with the first option so that the cupcakes all baked the same day. They were really surprisingly tasty too. Slight texture difference as the Gluten Free flour I used (King Arthur's) was a mix of Tapioca, Potato and Rice flours. However, they were a deeper chocolate and pretty tasty.
So these cupcakes were Wannabes - Regular and Gluten Free - with a Cream Cheese Marshmallow center - Chocolate Ganache icing - Vanilla buttercream fondant decorations. Very tasty!!

Friday, January 7, 2011

Spidey & Green Goblin..........ewwww

Ben says I have had too many GIRLY cakes on Ipsy Bipsy lately. So I thought I would toss in something I see as Agressively BOYLY. Now at our house we tend to have Birthday Weeks. Maybe this isn't normal, but generally there is the Birthday DAY - which gets a cake - then the Birthday SCHOOL celebration - which gets cupcakes - and then a Birthday PARTY - which gets a cake - and if we are lucky a Birthday GRANDPARENTS day - which gets a cake.

This cake was for the Birthday GRANDPARENTS celebration that Dawson got when Nanny came to town with 2 of his cousins. He had begged for days for a Green Goblin cake. Now you Boyly's may scoff at this - but I had no clue what the Green Goblin looks like - and it has been enough time since Spider Man 1 that there is little out there in his image.

But I did find this poster of him. So I went with that. Baked a square - topped it with black fondant for a background that I could wipe icing off of easily since I expected to mess up not "feeling" the Goblin's image well enough in my head. Does that sound dorky?
With all the craziness of the week - Andersen was in a local musical and it was final show prep and performances - people coming to town to see it - school ending - Christmas coming - I didn't actual ice this cake until Midnight.........nice right? While Dave and Nanny talked about heavy life stuff even. So I think it turned out pretty Spot On!!
This cake was a Spice Cake - Vanilla buttercream fondant - Vanilla buttercream icing