Tuesday, July 24, 2012

Tospy Turvy Redo

My wedding was wonderful! The day really special, the memories fun, the cake....  not what I originally had in mind.  Tasted great but looks alone, just not right.  When I ordered the cake I had described it as  a green cake that was topsy turvy with lots of flowers and white ribbon.  

It looks great in the picture but the topsy turvy wasn't there, the cake wasn't green and the ribbon wasn't white. Did it ruin the day.. of course not, but I thought I'd try my hand at making more of what I had in mind 2 years ago!

 I started with a lot of cake! Red velvet, white cake and banana cake,
 our three wedding flavors
Stacked and filled with cream cheese, white frosting and mocha ganache for the banana layer.

I rolled out green fondant, and covered each of the three layers.
There was a 10", 8" and 6" layer

I had trouble with the ganache leaking through the fondant. 
I fixed it with a little white frosting tinted green to plug up the tear. The addition of white ribbon secured it for good.
 Next came the supports. Since the cake was three tiers of three layers each, I knew it would be heavy.  I used some straws and wooden dowels cut level with the cake to support each layer.  To get the placement exact I traced the 8" and 6" layer onto a piece of  parchment paper. I put the most support right where the side of each layer would be resting it weight on the layer below. On the other side of the layer I had dowels cut  so they would stick out of the cake about 1/2", giving the topsy turvy effect. 
  Each layer had a cardboard base to support the tilting.  
 The cake sat on top of the carboard with a little frosting to secure it.  Once all the layers were assembled I drove a couple wooden dowels through all three tiers to really hold it together.  As I quickly learned, make sure your cardboard bases also have holes in them so the dowels go through all the tiers!

  Next I filled the spaces with gumpaste flowers.   Since this was my first topsy turvy cake, I ended up stacking and restacking the cakes multiple times to get the angles right and the dowels lined up. The fondant at this point was a little 'handled' looking.  My husband had the idea of a pattern of sorts to cover up some "oops" spots and tie the wedding theme in.
 The top came out great... so I kept going...
 and  there you go, tospy turvy wedding redo! Now who's going to eat all this cake!

Monday, July 9, 2012

Happy Birthday & conGRADulations!

Thailand might not have a chance in the Euro Cup... mostly because they're not in Europe..but anyways my Thai friend Thip is a huge fan!  He recently had a birthday, his first in America, so my husband and I wanted to give him a special cake for the occasion.
The second project was to celebrate the recent high school graduates at West Shore ChurchMy husband heads up the youth group at West Shore and had a special morning planned at church for recognition of the graduates and of course cupcakes! 

First the birthday cake.  The soccer ball was clearly the center of the birthday cake.  I wanted to try to make it look as accurate as possible.  My biggest challenge with that was attempting to mimic the very precise and symetrical pattern of the ball.

I don't know the exact numbers but the general idea is a ball with black pentagon shapes surrounded by slightly smaller white hexagons. The actual ball came together really nice and round with some cake-ball molding. Then it was just a matter of trying to secure fondant shapes to the ball as uniformly and exactly as possible. The best thing about creating  a round ball was I could pick the prettiest side and use that as the "right"side.

After that the cake was quick.  The top of the cake was in true Thai colors.  I covered just the top with a layer of fondant. Then I tried to use edible markers to color in the flag colors but it wasn't working right so I ended up using some icing gel and a small brush to paint it on.
 Happy Birthday Thip!

ConGRADulations! Get it?! ... it's for the graduates!! My husband said everyone would think I couldn't spell but I was willing to risk it! I made six dozen cupcakes total, Red Velvet and simple Yellow Cake cupcakes.

I love Red Velvet cake.  I like it becuase it's tasty and delicious.  I love it because it's stunning and dramatic. I use a lot of icing gel to color everyting from cakes to fondant so I assumed I could use it in my red velvet recipe.

I very quickly found out good old liquid food color was a much better option.  The gel didn't get the brilliant deep hue of red velvet and once baked tasted really off.  Once I used liquid food color, the cupcakes were a breeze.  

For a few I tried only putting color in half the batter and swirling the two together. 

I cut out fondant letters and a simple swirl frosting in the grads colors finished off the cakes. The picture isn't quite clear but I think everyone got the conGRADulation message!