Saturday, August 27, 2016

Flattened Carnation Cake - Stephanie's Wedding Shower

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Okay, Flattened Carnation Cake doesn't sound very attractive, but that is what the flowers on this cake are.

I was making a wedding shower cake for my niece's best friend, and since my nice didn't care what the cake looked like, I got to do what I wanted.  I found a cake design by Sweet Bites Cake in New Zealand that I simply adored,  It was very clean, simple, and modern (just like the bride to be).  Here is a link to the original on Pinterest.  I couldn't find the exact match to the cookie cutter used for the flowers, so I used another Pinterest idea for the flat carnations.

The cutter is from PME and is called, surprise, surprise, Carnation Cutter.

In the final flowers I used three different shades of the same dusty rose colored fondant.  I just flattened out the center.

And then used a tooth pick to flatten the edges.

I stacked two of each size cutter for six layers all together.  Then I painted some of the food color gel directly on the enter of the flower and then glued some yellow and green candy sprinkles to the center. Very easy to make.

The cake itself was also a learning experience.  I tried a double barrel cake for the first time. The bottom layer is made from two 9" cakes stacked on top of each other, and then ganached and covered in fondant as one.  Putting the two cakes together was actually easy, but taking them apart to serve was a PITA.  I couldn't get the top barrel cake to separate from the bottom barrel so I had to cut it into thirds to pull it off.  Next time I'm going to put some parchment paper between the top of the lower cake and the cardboard round of the upper cake to keep them from sticking together. 

The very top tier of the cake was chocolate.  Here it is getting its shell of ganache.  I have been using acrylic rounds to get the perfectly straight sides, flat top, and sharp edges.  You put one acrylic round on the bottom and another on the top.  You make sure they are perfectly aligned, then you filled with icing beyond the edge of the rounds and then scrape off the excess.  The process works really well, but you do use A LOT of ganache to fill to the edge of the rounds.

Here is the finished cake going into the Cake Porter for the trip to the party.  I love this porter.  It is a little expensive, but it protects the cake, keeps it cool, and now I don't have to worry about stuff falling on the cake when they are transported. 

And finally the Bride-to-Be and my niece the Bride's Maid.  And of course the CAKE.  What would a party be without CAKE.

Happy Decorating,


Monday, August 8, 2016

The Pissed-Off Leaf Beetle Cake

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OMG - That cake is gross!!!

That is one pissed-off looking bug!

I'm not eating that!

So how should I respond when family members reacted this way to my latest cake?  My sweet, innocent little Iridescent Leaf Beetle cake?

My nephew wanted a bug cake for his girl friend's 29th birthday party.  That may seem like a strange request, but Kristen is big into bugs.  And not cute, cuddly bugs.  She likes her bugs, big, bad, and lethal.  She is going to school to be a vet, but she should be an Entomologist instead.

Here is the cake that got such horrified reactions....

Kind of creepy looking isn't it???

The real-life beetle actually has all those stripes of bright, neon colors, and strangely it is kind of pretty.  They even make earrings out of the iridescent shells.  So where did my cake go wrong??  (Please no cake wreak jokes.)   Maybe I added too many black accents?  Or is it the mouth?  The mouth is a little wide.  This was my first attempt at painting a cake, so it didn't come out exactly like I envisioned.  Sadly, none of my cakes ever come out like I envision. 

But in the end even the squeamish, bug-haters ate the cake. Chocolate on chocolate with chocolate sprinkles - what isn't there to love?

So how did it come together?  The carving of the cake was pretty painless.  I used 4 - 9" round cakes.  I had to piece some of the sections together, so I used lots and lots of chocolate icing to keep everything together.

Fondant went on next.  Via Roma Bakery fondant I think.  I also made little pin prick over the entire body because that is what the "real" bug looked like.

And then I started painting... and painting... and painting...  I used the AmeriColor Electric Color Set, and believe me those colors were electric.

The legs of the beetle were my favorite part of the cake.  They came out pretty nice if I do say so myself.   I made them out of Wilton gum paste, and they were surprisingly easy to form.  It only took about 2 hours to finish all 8 pieces.  I really felt bad when I threw them away.

So in the end it was a successful cake.  I may not have gotten the reaction I had hoped, but at least everyone loved the taste.

Happy Decorating,