Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles Birthday Cake

Phew, that's a mouthful. "TMNT" as they are now called are back and revamped. I wasn't too familiar with the characters, but they still live in a sewer and eat a lot of pizza I am told. So I designed this cake for a special 5 year old birthday. I made the first tier of the cake square to resemble a pizza box. I covered it in white fondant and added red fondant letters to the side plus writing with edible markers and piped frosting. The second tier was the part of the sewer that the turtles were crawling out of. I covered the round tier in gray fondant and added marks to look like a manhole cover, then added the yellow caution tape as a border at the bottom. I created a fondant logo that made the birthday boy's name look like the current "TMNT" logo and placed it in the front. For the top, I molded the turtles' heads out of green fondant and added their eyes, masks and hands with more fondant. Then I used a 6" circle of cardboard covered with more gray fondant to make a manhole cover to sit on top of their heads. The fun detail for this cake was the slice of pepperoni pizza that I created out of fondant to sit on top of the pizza box. I cut a "slice" of beige fondant and hand-molded a crust. Then I covered the crust in red cream cheese icing like sauce. I topped the sauce with fondant stretched out like cheese and circles of fondant pepperoni, pressing in white non-pareils for detail. Then I dusted the crust with a little cocoa powder and added pools of "grease" in the cheese with an edible orange marker. It looked so real that my daughter was actually turned off! This was the first cake she didn't like because I "put pizza on cake...yuck!" But the birthday boy liked it, and that's what mattered.

Halloween Birthday Bat Cake

I can't take credit for this design since a friend of mine sent me a page out of a magazine that spelled out how to make this cute cake, but as always I took some liberties. While the magazine used "snowball" cupcakes from the market for the eyes, I used Oreos dipped in white chocolate. I also added some Oreo ears. I used a dab of icing to stick the cupcakes to the board in hopes that they made it to the party in tact. The cake was vanilla with my chocolate butter cream frosting. I thought it was a cute idea. **A note to any do-it-yourselfers out there: 2 quarter sheet cakes placed side by side will not fit in a standard fridge, so plan accordingly!**

Pink Flowery Cupcakes

So I thought I'd just post these cupcakes because they were so pretty and pink. I did different shades of pink icing and added frosting roses and fondant flowers. The cupcakes were carrot cake with cream cheese icing and all together on the cupcake stand, I bet they looked fabulous. Just a reminder that I can do simple designs too. They still taste fantastic.

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Louis Vuitton Purse Cake #3

So after outlet shopping recently with my girlfriends and making 3 Louis Vuitton purse cakes, I'm beginning to think that my husband has really been lucky that I have cheaper habits! You LV fans out there may recognize the "Alma" bag in "Monogram Multicolore" (yes, I do research for every cake!) I sculpted layers of my chocolate chocolate chip cake and sealed it with a layer of vanilla butter cream. Then I covered the cake with white fondant making patterns with wax paper. Once the base fondant is on, it's time to decorate. So I tinted beige fondant to resemble the leather details, and added strips around the bottom, near the handles and on one side for the side zipper. I added the stitching detail with a little wheel tool. Then I formed the purse handles around pipe cleaner and let them dry overnight. I make the zipper by pressing an actual zipper into a strip of fondant, then I cut around it, paint it with gold highlighter, and attach it to the fondant. The zipper pulls and gold rings on the handles were hand formed and painted gold. Then I added gold dragees to simulate the little studs around the purse. The final step was hand-painting all the LV logos on the fondant with various colors of luster dust paint. It turned out so cute that I may need a new bag!

This was a special cake for my sister-in-law's birthday, which my brother ordered (ahead of time!) and decided on the design (way to go, bro!) He said she was in "awe" when she saw it (although according to Facebook, that could have been the vodka shots with pinot noir chaser!) Even my dad was impressed. He told my mom that he knew I was good, but not "that good". And when dad appreciates a purse, that's a feat in itself. Hope it was a happy birthday E! And for Pete's sake, EAT IT already! I know it's pretty, but it's still CAKE! xoxo

Spy Themed Birthday Cake

This cake was the bomb...literally. For this spy-themed party, I created a 2 tiered cake. The top layer was a chocolate cake baked in Wilton's 3D ball pan. I stuck the 2 halves together with frosting, iced the whole cake in vanilla buttercream and covered it with black fondant. The bottom layer was also a chocolate cake which I decorated with black and red triangles to mimic a super spy's tux. I added the writing with an edible marker, and since our birthday boy was turning 8, we replaced agent "007" with "008", and I added a fondant gun to create the Bond logo. I added a fondant fuse, which hid the support dowel that I pushed through both cakes. (I couldn't have the top tier rolling off the bottom in transit!) I'm just lucky I didn't have to deliver this cake to the airport...although who still uses this Wile E Coyote type device anymore? Still makes a cute cake. Besides, a cake with a brick of C4, a blue wire and a red wire attached to a wristwatch was way harder. I think I've been watching too many action movies... (Great, now Homeland Security is watching my blog!)

Sunday, October 10, 2010

Antique Jeweled Wedding Cake

I have to say that this was a really fun MacGyver project and I was so happy with the end result. This cake was the culmination of months of shopping, experimenting, and playing with designs. And since the couple getting married was so stylish and fun, it made it fun for me. My mission was to design a 2 tier square wedding cake and incorporate antique jewelry to reflect the bride's antique brooch that she would wear in her hair. The bride brought me magazine pictures and jewelry for inspiration. So I gathered some of my own jewelry, plus some old brooches that belonged to each of my grandmothers, and I pressed them into a special molding clay. (See bottom photo). Once I had impressions of the pieces that I wanted to use, I baked the clay molds in the oven, which turned them into a thick (latex-like) flexible mold. Then I pressed white fondant into the molds and trimmed them to look like jewelry pieces. Once the pieced dried, I painted them with an antique silver ("moonstone") luster dust paint, leaving white spaces where I wanted my gemstones. To make the gems, I used isomalt sticks (way easier than making my own) and melted them down to a sugar syrup. I poured the clear sugar into gemstone molds to create diamond-like sugar gems. Once the gems cooled, I attached them to the silver fondant jewelry pieces to create my own brooches.

Once the jewelry was done, it was on to the cake. The bride and groom were chocolate lovers (my kind of peeps) so we did layers of chocolate chocolate chip cake, chocolate malt cake, cookies & cream cake and vanilla cake with fillings of chocolate butter cream and chocolate custard. Both tiers of cake got a base coat of chocolate butter cream covering the whole cake, which helped the antique white fondant stick to the cake. Once the fondant was smooth and the cakes were stacked, I piped on some simple details with vanilla butter cream in the same shade of white. The designs were inspired by a dress detail from a magazine photo that the bride liked, and I kept it clean and simple with designs just in the middle of each side of the cake.

Finally, I added my edible jewelry to the piped designs and accented the designs with silver dragees and sugar pearls. Only the front of the cake got the antique sugar brooches; the other sides were studded with sugar gemstones but no silver. The overall look was dramatic and classy, if I do say so myself. I love it when a cake turns out great, and I get a couple new techniques under my belt at the same time. It was secretly special to me since the main features reflected a little of my family as well (thanks Grandmas!) The bride was over the moon and I'm so glad! Congratulations Molly and Ryan!

Bridal Shower Monogram Cake

For this bridal shower cake, the bride's sister wanted to incorporate the wedding colors and the initials of the bride and groom. She described the blue color as "indigo blue", and I wasn't too sure about the shade (I used "navy blue" food color and "sapphire blue" luster dust!) I figured it was a dark blue, almost to a purple, and I was so relieved when the hostess said that the color was perfect! Phew. The blue bow, ribbon and logo were all made from fondant. The logo was actually inspired by the "Ethan Allen" logo, which happen to be the couple's initials (another suggestion from the hostess). I carved the initials into blue fondant with sculpting tools, then let the piece dry so that it would stand on top of the cake (with the help of a popsicle stick). The cake was white cake with Bavarian cream and raspberry filling, covered in white butter cream. Hope the shower was a big success!

Saturday, October 9, 2010

More Toy Story Cupcakes

These cupcakes were for a Toy Story fanatic who was turning 3. I created all the characters out of fondant this time, a variation from the last batch of Toy Story cupcakes I made that were more 3D and had chocolate details. These were a little more artsy since I drew all the faces by hand with edible markers. I was happy with the end result...still recognizable and I got to try the human-type faces of Buzz, Woody and Jessy. Along with the cupcakes, I made a 4" personal size cake for the birthday boy. In her infinite wisdom, Mom decided to put all the characters on the birthday boy's cake (could you imagine if his friends got Rex and Hamm and he didn't? Good thinking, Mom) The cupcakes were chocolate chocolate chip, lemon and pumpkin spice. What a fun project! No wonder these guys are so popular!

Twilight Cupcakes

I admit that I have not yet read the Twilight series. My sister-in-law loaned me the books over a year ago, and somehow I don't have time to read. ;) So how about making book-themed cupcakes instead? These were for a birthday celebration / bunco party with a Twilight theme. I made a dozen (what else) red velvet cupcakes with cream cheese icing, then topped them with lips molded in red chocolate. I then piped on fangs in butter cream. The other dozen vanilla cupcakes I made into red apples by rolling the tops in red sugar and adding a Tootsie Roll stem. I finished them off by piping a reflection in white butter cream icing. Makes me want to read...or eat a cupcake.