Friday, December 30, 2011

Black Bow Wedding with Brooch

2012 will be here in just a few short days, and some of you may be planning on wearing a simple bow tie or a gem encrusted brooch as you make your way to parties on New Year's Eve.

This little buttercream beauty could ride right along with you.  This was made for a wedding, but it's so elegant it could show up at any upscale New Year's Eve party and fit right in!

What do you do on New Year's Eve?  Do you get out and ring in the New Year while partying?  Do you watch Dick Clark and the ball drop from the comfort and safety of your own home?  Or will you just go to bed and catch up with 2012 the next morning when you wake up?

Chaddy and I usually spend the night at home with a fancy meal and stay up until midnight.  Sometimes we watch the TV specials, but sometimes we'll just cuddle up with a good movie.

Until next year, keep on baking!

Tuesday, December 27, 2011

World of Warcraft Stein Cake

We made this cake a couple of weekends ago and this was the first cake where I applied the techniques I learned in Mike McCarey's cake structure class.

 This was a fairly large cake, coming in at almost 2 feet tall, so it was going to need some support.  Once the structure was completed (you'll get to see it at the end!) I started stacking cakes up around the center support.  Once the cakes were all stacked, the stein got a nice coat of butter cream and I then wrapped the whole thing in a thin later of modeling chocolate.  The top (gold) pieces of the stein were made from modeling chocolate as was the handle.  I made all the handle pieces in half and then connected them around the copper structure underneath.  The great thing about modeling chocolate is that it really will fuse back together and with just a little work will look very seamless.

The graphics around the stein was taken from an image sent to us by the groom.  We thought just printing it out on edible image paper an wrapping it around the cake would be SO easy. It wasn't THAT easy.  For starters, the make the image large enough, we had to print it across 6 pieces of paper and then piece it together.  That went pretty good, but things in the back didn't come together so great at first.  The graphics just didn't match up well at all.  We printed another sheet physically big enough to fill in the gap and then I channeled my best Bob Ross and painted in a cave and some trees to bring the scene together.  It looked good, especially for the "back" of the cake.

OK, so here's a picture of the structure we used on this cake.  It's just a center wooden dowel rod with a length of copper tubing to act as a support for the handle.  We just drilled a hole through the dowel and fed the copper tubing through it.  Easy peasy, right?

I can say that when we started this cake we took a photo of the stein and blew it up to our dimensions.  And yes, I looked a little crazy at our local Home Depot with my HUGE stein picture.  But an employee named Neil (who is a big Cake Boss fan) spotted me and we had a great time figuring out some options for the structure.  We could just lay the picture down on a counter and lay everything out.  It worked out very nicely.

And if this post weren't long enough already I got the sweetest e-mail from the bride on Christmas day.  It read:

"Both of the cakes you made were AMAZING!!! We got sooooo many compliments on both and are even sending in photos of the groom's cake to World of Warcraft to put in their gallery. We had done so much searching to find a cake like what Clay wanted, but could never really find one that met up to what we wanted. Well you totally blew that out of the water and then some LOL. Some of the guests thought it was a sculpture at first and were in shock to find out it was a cake :D You truly did an over the top job. And then on top of the cakes being so beautiful and intricate, they tasted even better. We took some of the wedding cake with us on the honeymoon and even the Disney people were impressed by how amazing it looked and tasted. You made our dreams come to life in the most wonderful way. We can not thank you enough."

I couldn't have asked for a better gift on Christmas day!  Be sure to stop back in on Friday for more adventures!!

UPDATE:  As well as being featured on WOW Insider, This cake has been entered into InkEdibles February 2012 monthly edible image contest.  Since you're already here I would certainly appreciate your vote.  Simply click here and the click the "Like" button next to my cake.  It uses Facebook so there's no signup or registration - Easy Peasy! 

Friday, December 23, 2011

Happy Holly Days

Well here we sit on Christmas Eve-Eve, and while Santa is just beginning to pack up his sleigh, things are winding down here at the bakery as we take a few days off to celebrate.

We already know we're on Santa's "NICE" list, I mean, with cake like this one how could we NOT be on the nice list!!

We made this wedding cake last weekend for a very sweet couple.  We delivered it to the Dent House in Chattanooga, TN.  The Dent House is a very nice venue, especially considering it's been around since 1854!  They don't make them like that any more!!

As festive as this cake is, it was an easy cake to make, technique-wise.  Rough-iced, to give it lots of texture, and bordered with gumpaste holly leaves and berries.  The holly leaves got a smattering of gold luster dust,  and I rolled the holly berries in red glitter disco dust.  You know I HAVE to glam it up somehow, right?!!!

I hope you all have a very Merry Christmas and happy and prosperous 2012!  We'll be back next week with more cakey goodness so be sure to stop back in!

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Christmas Ornament Cupcakes

Christmas is almost upon us, and even though cakes have been light this month, I ave still been busy making tons of coconut macaroons for some of my seasonal corporate customers.

It's also allowed me some extra time to make home holiday goodies for friends and family.  In fact, when one of my regular customers called last minute just knowing I couldn't make Christmas cupcakes for her I was able to surprise her by saying "I can make them no problem!"  She left the design totally up to me, which is always nice.  I decided I wanted to make some rounded ornament cakes, because I love the look of the rounded fondant toppers on cupcakes, but as usual, I didn't want to use fondant.

So I started playing with mounding buttercream and smoothing it out and honestly, it went easier and quicker than I expected.  I did make the ornament stems from fondant, but those can be picked off easily enough.

When I finished I was so happy that I took a couple of the extras into the house for a mini photo shoot in front of our Christmas tree.  I just love the look of the Christmas lights all blurred out in the background.

Have a great week; I hope Santa is packing up something nice for each and every one of you!

Friday, December 16, 2011

Cupcake Themed 1st Birthday Cake

I stay so booked up with wedding cakes that it's a rare occasion that I get to do a birthday cake anymore.  There are times when I'm under booked, or I owe a favor to one of the many wedding vendors that help me from time to time and I get to do one.

I had fun making this little birthday cake for one year old Wynn!  I iced the cake nice and smooth with pink buttercream and then went to town with the fondant accents.  I cut out the cupcake shapes and the polka dots, and even made a gumpaste plaque and #1 for the second tier / smash cake!

And it was the first time in a while I have had the chance to make "doomies" for the cake.  That's the fondant balls on the wire for those of you new to my blog.  I;m sure they have a real life bakery term, but we've just always called them "doomies".  I don't know why!

Have a great weekend!  I hope you have all your Christmas / Holiday shopping done by now!

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Christmas Present Cake

Christmas is getting so CLOSE I can hardly stand it!  And when I get to make Christmas themed present cakes like the one above it really gets my Christmas spirit flowing!

I did a couple of new things with the cake above.  First of all, this was the first time I added an extruded gumpaste rope to the edges of my ribbon.  It really made for a finished and realistic looking fabric bow feel.  I will definitely use that again on future cakes!  And a few weeks back I saw some molds on clearance.  On the website, they looked spherical and they were so cheap on clearance that I thought I could use them as flower formers.  When they finally get in I realized they were indeed ball molds.  I'll still use them to form my gumpaste flowers, but they'll also serve double duty for making these cute Christmas ornaments.  A real multitasker - Alton Brown would be SO proud!!

OK, so back to Christmas... do you like surprises for Christmas or not?  While I do like to be surprised, I feel like I'm dying inside to know what's in that package for me!!  Chad used to wrap and store all my presents in his trunk so I couldn't peek!  I'm much better than that now, but I still want to know what I'm getting.  Chaddy would wrap his own presents blindfolded if it meant he was surprised on Christmas morning.

Speaking of... he told me that he bought me a present from one of my "cake blog friends".  I don't know exactly what that means. Did he buy something from someone who reads my blog, or someone's blog I read, or maybe he got something from someone I have met through Food Blog Forum?  You see, I drive myself crazy wanting to know what it is!!

Well, all will be revealed in 12 days, so I guess I can wait impatiently - or I can go shake all the presents again!  Have a great week!

Friday, December 9, 2011

Wedding at Barnsley Gardens

We delivered this cake to Barnsley Gardens recently, and even though I'm not a huge fan of the turned stack square cakes, but this was was really pretty.

The standouts on this cake are the swirly border on the bottom and the gathered "fabric" fondant band around the top tier.

I have been to Cake Wrecks enough to know that any cake that contains decorations with a head and a trailing tail could be confused as something... unseemly and certainly un-wedding like.

So as soon as Chad arrived home from work I asked him to look in the cooler at this cake and tell me what he thought.  He looked at it and said it looked great.  He said my borders didn't look like little swimmers at all.  Whew!  Thank goodness!

Do you ever find yourself working on a cake and thinking about some of the Cake Wrecks style pitfalls you should avoid?

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

Glitter Monogram Wedding

This is one of those cakes where I curse at my lack of photography skills.  This cake was SO pretty and elegant, but the picture just don't do it justice.  Let's start with the bottom tier!

I have had lots of requests lately for pleated fabric look swags, and I am finally getting the hang of them.  The bow and brooch matched the bride's dress.  I really like it when I can incorporate elements from the dress into the cake.

The next tier up looks plain in the picture, but if you click and get a bigger look, you might be able to tell that the whole tier was done in a tone-on-tone hounds tooth pattern.  The bride was a big Alabama fan and we thought this would be a great way to present that element elegantly on her cake.  I used a stencil on the cake and the effect was really nice, but not so much in the pictures!

The next tier up is just fondant stripes.  Not much to see here ;-)

The top tier I was the most proud of.  The bride wanted a glitter monogram.  I again used a buttercream stencil to make the initial monogram and then with the stencil still on, I sprinkled on the glitter dust.  If you can tell in the close-up picture, the glitter did run a little, but the effect was really awesome.

Much more awesome than this picture would lead you to believe  huff! :(

Friday, December 2, 2011

XBOX 360 Groom's Cake

This isn't the first XBOX 360 groom's cake I have done, and I was pretty happy with it, except for those darn air vents on top.  I have always struggled with the best way to reproduce this "vented" look on a cake I am trying to recreate.  Using small fondant circles doesn't look right because they are raised of the cake.  Even the big circular cupcake sprinkles don't look right and they are very thin!  On this attempt I used a small cutter to cut through the fondant and then fill in each hole with black icing.  Yes. it was time consuming and I can't believe it looks as good as it did.  I have to do another XBOX cake before the end of the year and I am brainstorming my options now.

So... have any of you decorators out there made a cake with these type of vent holes before?  If so, what worked best for you?  Let me know in the comments section!!

Have a great weekend!


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