Sunday, December 27, 2009

I Made Cookies

I made cookies, and yet posted about them on my other blog. Doh!

Click here to see that post.

I also decided to make cookies for our pal, Niki. Remind me to NOT attempt starting a task like this at 8:30 at night.

I hope she likes them. :)

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Companion Cube Cake

This was made in like 3 hours, using horrible boxed cake. Horrible because boxed cakes are way too soft/moist to hold up to sculpting, etc.

My son was turning 16. We took him to a fun dinner and he had a large birthday cupcake there, but when I asked him if he wanted a cake the next evening, he said yes. Thinking about it for a bit, I settled on a companion cube from the video game "Portal."

Again, BOXED cake and 3 hours. I wasn't putting forth a huge effort, as you can tell by its asymmetrical corners, etc.

And yet, he loved it. :)

Friday, December 4, 2009

Happy Birthday

Happy Birthday to my letterboxing pal, Dawn. Yesterday we stopped by to see her new home, wish her a happy birthday and present her with this.

Monday, November 30, 2009

Thanksgiving Table Cake

I hope everyone had a Happy Thanksgiving!

We visited family and had a fun time. More on my other blog, but as far as cakes go, here is the cake that I made with the help of my daughter, age 5, and my nieces, ages 9, 5 & 4.

HOT kitchen from the oven, the stove, the people = STICKY fondant. I was worried for a bit.

The girls helped color the MMF and the gum paste. We made a table cloth, plates, silverware, bread, peas in a bowl, cranberries in a bowl, and I had made earlier, the turkey and the candelabras. Here is the FUN-tastic cake.

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Hello Kitty Quick Cake

Isabel loves Hello Kitty. She also adores Nightmare Before Christmas, but that's another post.

She has been bugging me for a Hello Kitty cake for some time. So, one night watching TV, I decided to break out the gum paste, gel color and assorted tools, and sculpt a Hello Kitty figure and some flowers.

Click the pics to see them bigger.

I made a box cake and used canned icing. WOW, do I dislike canned icing with a passion! I just used it because this was a quick thing for us here at home, but man, after making my own, canned stuff is runny and gross.

I had enough batter to also make cupcakes.

When I called her away from "The Nightmare Before Christmas" dvd to see the cake, ....

....this super-happy face made my day.

"It's a Hello Kitty Cake!" she squealed, followed immediately by "Can I eat her arm?!?!"

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Happy Mole Day this Friday!

Happy Mole Day! (10/23)

What do you mean, you don't know what Mole Day is?!?! Don't worry. Until 2 days ago, I had no idea what it was either.

What is a Mole? Thanks to, a Mole is:

the amount of pure substance containing the same number of chemical units as
there are atoms in exactly 12 grams of carbon-12 (i.e., 6.023 X 10 to the 23rd Power [I can't get the superscript to work on this post]). This involves the acceptance of two dictates -- the scale of atomic masses and the magnitude of the gram. Both have been established by international agreement. Formerly, the connotation of "mole" was "gram molecular weight." Current usage tends to apply the term "mole" to an amount containing Avogadro's number of whatever units are being considered. Thus, it is possible to have a mole of atoms, ions, radicals, electrons, or quanta. This usage makes unnecessary such terms as "gram-atom," "gram-formula weight," etc.

Since it is 10 to the 23rd power, 10^ 23, chemistry students celebrate "Mole Day" on October 23rd.

Jake asked if I could help him make a "Mole" cake for class on Thursday (as on Friday the 23rd, schools in our county are closed). Sure, why not. Sounds like a hoot!

Jake colors the gum paste grey.

The mole gets put on top of the hill.

Jake rolls out the leaves in the background while I cover the mole's opening with "dirt." (crushed Oreo's)

Jake works on piping some numbers in the cake and adds the leaves he cut to it as well.

Ta Da!!

Happy Mole Day!

Saturday, October 17, 2009

Mice in a Pumpkin

I decided to try a cake from one of my Debbie Brown instructional books. This one was a pair of mice inside a pumpkin.

I made my round ball cakes and scored them to get them to look like the grooves in the pumpkin.

I also made a small 8" cake with extra batter I had. I ices both the pumpkin cake and the 8" cake and then proceeded to color my Marshmallow Fondant.

The MMF was not cooperating. It was too sticky. I am not sure if I added too much water the day before when I made it, or if the kitchen was too hot. All I know is that the MMF was sticking to every surface and would not smooth out. UGH, talk about frustrating!!

The end job was cute enough and my co-workers enjoyed it.

Saturday, October 10, 2009

Into the Oven

No, I don't mean the website I shop at (which is a great place to shop for cake supplies). I mean, a turkey into the oven.

I wanted to practice some cakes for Thanksgiving. I want to make one for that day, so I decided to try one out. Over at Cake Central, do a search for "oven" and you'll see all the ones I based this cake on.

On the first night, I worked on the small items that I wanted inside the oven. I created a turkey, a roasting pan, potatoes, carrots and a sack of potatoes out of gum paste and left them out overnight to harden.


The next night, I baked four 8x8 square cakes. Two chocolate and two almond butter. I also made cream cheese icing. I stored them overnight, so they would be completely cool before I carved and iced them.

I carved out a space for the interior of the oven. Difficult and messy.

I iced each later with the cream cheese icing, and re-stacked them. I then covered them with white fondant and began the hard task of getting the opening to look like an oven opening. It was a pain and I'm not 100% satisfied with what I did. (I know. When am I ever?)

My burners are wonky. :) But I do like my towel and oven mitt.

Here is the cake. The back board is just that; cardboard. Others who made this cake used Rice Krispee (sp?) Treats (also known as RKT in cake-people jargon) molded to look like the backdrop and covered with fondant. RKT is light and pliable enough to make many things, but not having puffed rice, or wanting to go to the store, I settled for cardboard. :)

I love my turkey though, and Isabel insisted on the bunny slippers. A couple of pictures on Cake Central included cook books on the oven and bunny slippers on the side. She saw them and was adamant I make them, so there they be. :)

Sunday, October 4, 2009

Frozen Buttercream Transfer

My teacher mentioned a process called Frozen Buttercream Transfer, where you take any picture you like, create it in buttercream on wax paper, freeze it, and then transfer it onto your cake. It's great when re-creating logos, popular cartoon characters, etc.

The trick to it, though, is to paint it in layers, with the "front" layer painted first and the background colors painted over those. Here's my first attempt.

I will warn you, it stunk. :) But practice makes perfect.

Find a picture you like and print it.

Place your picture under a bit of wax paper. Create the outline in black. with icing using a #1 or # 2 tip. Notice I also colored the bats in the moon as well.

Start filling in the smaller things, like the sun, the yellow windows and the purple detail on the roof.

I didn't get a picture of the next thing, which was, color in the main color, the black of the house. It does not matter if you get into any of the yellow, because the yellow is down on the paper first, up front. If back gets behind it, you won't see it, because the yellow is the front layer.

Once you're done, you can also add a smear of the icing that's on your cake. I figured later that this really was not needed, but every instructional I read said to.

Place your buttercream transfer in the freezer. Prepare your cake, making sure that the buttercream on the cake is firm and set. (mine was not).

After at least 15 minutes in the freezer (can make these days and days ahead of time), place the buttercream side of the wax paper down on your cake. Gently peel off the wax paper, rubbing it down if you need to loosen some of the buttercream off the wax paper.

Voila. Buttercream transfer. It's kind-of goopy, but I'm getting the idea.

Sunday, September 27, 2009

Practicing the Basket Weave

It was my birthday on the 24th. I did not make my own cake, thank you very much. David got me a cake from Wal-Fart.

My dad and step-mom were coming over Saturday, and I wanted to make them some cake, since mine was almost gone (and had enough red food dye to stain fingers and teeth for days).

The two stacked cakes were kind-of lopsided.

It wasn't TOO bad.

I couldn't decide what to do on top. I was going to try and make some roses, but the icing was way to soft to attempt it. So, I just wrote Happy Birthday on it and added some little flowers with bows.

Mmmm. Almond Butter Cake with homemade strawberry filling and buttercream icing.

Sunday, September 13, 2009

Twilight Revisted

I made a "Twilight" cake earlier this year, just to see if I could. This time, I decided to make it a one-tier (4 layer) cake, and give it as a gift to my boss and his family.

My boss' wife loves to cook. She loves new recipes and trying them out is a treat for her. At least once a week, sometimes more, I am treated to fantastic lunches, courtesy of plates made for me for lunch, sent over by his wife.

I decided to make a "Thank you" cake for her. She recently devoured the "Twilight" series of books (my boss' words.) They also have a 15 year old daughter who has read some.

Vanilla butter cake, with homemade raspberry filling, butter cream icing, covered in homemade marshmallow fondant.

The marshmallow fondant and cakes were made yesterday. I torted, filled, iced and refrigerated them.

Creating a dam of icing, so the filling does not ooze out the sides.


This morning, I took the iced cake from the fridge and got to work.

Marshmallow Fondant.

I had one heck of a time getting the chess squares down the side. It was not pretty. Good thing I could hide the bottom edge wreckage with the red ribbon.

Here is the final product. I made the chess pieces, flower and ribbon out of fondant and gum paste I colored with gel food coloring. The wonky apple is real. It was the only one I had in the fridge and it's all lopsided. I will be shopping this afternoon for groceries, so I'll pick up a nicer one.

This will be taken to work tomorrow, so my boss can take it home.

Tuesday, September 8, 2009

Escape Da Cakes

Just cause it's so dumb, it's funny. :)

Friday, September 4, 2009

Hey Uniqua, You're Really Brave and Strong!

If you are a parent of young children, toddler age, mostly, you will know who Uniqua is. All others, meet The Backyardigans.

Backyardigans Pictures, Images and Photos

It's really a fantastic show with music and stories galore. Isabel adores it. Her favorite is Uniqua (Not Urbanesca, Mo), the pink one who is...well, we're not quite sure what she is. She's a 'uniqua.' A Unique animal. Isabel calls her a bug.

Isabel: Make me a Uniqua cake. Are you making me a Uniqua cake? When are you making me a Uniqua cake.

Alright already, I GIVE.

The cakes were huge. I was attempting a new recipe and it made 12 cups of batter. That's a lot of cake people. Here they are, iced and in the fridge for a bit so the icing can get hard a bit.

I overdid it on the icing. I really did. This above icing was tinted pink.

After I iced the cake, I colored, rolled and cut the darker pink spots for Uniqua's face.

One happy gal. Seriously, look at how TALL that cake is?

Here she is. I was going to make her antennas out of fondant, but I did not have the patience to tint the white fondant the light pink color, so I made them out of pink metal wire.
The cake is tall. Isabel loved it.

Now, if only I can hire a staff to clean up after me.