Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Summer Times...

Hey there, I really really wanted to publish a post on a celebrity wedding cake I did last week, but summer flu had me and I was spending my time not thinking about any type of food...

So I will tell you all about it in the next few days, but right now here is my latest creation- a cute bucket and rake cake, made yesterday for his kindergarten end of the year party.

I haven't really told the teacher what I do for a living, thus elegently avoiding special requests all throught the year...even his birthday cake was very simple, I only used edible paper -pooh drawing, because the next day he had a cute birthday cake for his party at home.

Well, the teacher, oblivient to my primary love (yaha, after my hubby and kids of course..) asked us to bring to the party a vegtable platter and 3 soft drink bottles
I love vegetables and was quite content with the request, but I didn't count on my baby boy (3.5 yrs) expectations-
"mommy, I want you to make a cake for the party!".
"Honey, I can't your teacher asked for vegetables and drinks!"
"I want a cake!!!!" ( he wasn't screaming, he's a very sweet kid he hardly raises his voice)
"well, let me see if that's possible"
"If I can make a cake, what shall it be?"
"I want a sand bucket and a spoon, with lots of sand and seashells!"

Well, he knows what he wants, you have to give him that..
I arranged a switch with one of the moms and peace returned to our home.

So, how was this cake created?
Since I started working on the cake around noon, I didn't have the time to create a tutorial, but I will walk you through the steps:

The sand is actually edible sand and very easy to make.
The cake is created from 4 layers of cake about 7" / 18 cm diameter.

I added ganache between the layers and on the top.

Then I placed on top of the cake a circle I cut from paper, it was 5" / 13cm diameter. It was my guide to cut the top 2 levels diagonally, all around, to create a sand bucket look.
once it looked like an upside down bucket I ganached the sides of all 4 layers.

I then rolled out pink sugarpaste and coverd the cake.
When covering a cake as tall as this, and especially when the cake is wider at the bottom, you will encounter some difficulty with access sugarpaste.
There are a few ways to manage this-
1. cut a slit in the paste once it is placed on the cake and set aside the access sugarpaste.
2. keep on opening the paste when it wrinkles and smooth it out as much as possible.
The second option was what I did. (it leaves less of an impression on the final cake.

I let the cake set for about 20 minutes and then flipped it over with a wide pizza spatula, directly on to the board, on a dab of royal icing. The cake was placed at its final location.
I then added cmc to some of the pink sugarpaste and let it stand for 15minutes. Then I rolled it out and cut a long strip , which I attached to the side of the bucket, at the top.
I paced the strip about 1/4" / 1cm higher from the cake sides, thus creating a border, where I could later add the edible sand and avoid any spillage.

Then I created the sand bucket handle from a white strip of gumpaste I attached with royal icing to the cake and added two toothpicks, one on each side. on top of each toothpick I placed a piece of pink sugarpaste.

While waiting for the cakes to bake, I created the spoon and the rake:
the spoon was really easy because it is just a handle with a hole at the end. I rolled out green sugarpaste with cmc and created a long skinny sausage. I then inserted a skewer almost all the way to top. For my step before last I flattened the sugarpaste using a cake smoother.
I used a small cutter to cut out a hole at the end of the handle and placed it on baking paper to dry.

For the rake I created the handle just like I did for the spoon. The more difficult part was the teeth. So I took a photo from the web of a real plastic rake that seemed as a good model and followed the look, first I cut it out flat, to create a similar look, and then I used a tool created for clay work. I find that you can never have too many types of tools while decorating cakes. When I see a tool that seems it will come in handy one day, I will usually buy it.  Sure, I have my share of unused tools, but once in a while I'm grateful, I have the unique tools that will help me out in that tight spot.

Keeping my  sugarpaste flat, I used the clay tool to create the teeth.
Then I bended them, stuck in each tooth a short flower wire, used a skewer to create a canal for the skewer to be added later, and let it dry against a flat surface, just to make sure the teeth are all aligned.
Final step using some royal icing as glue, I attached the rake body to the handle and let dry for a few hours.

The rake actually worked!

I created the seashells using 2 different chocolate molds. Although the shells were also sugarpaste with cmc.

Assembling the cake:
I spread edible sand on the board and in the sand bucket. Then I placed the spoon handle and the rake, actually using it to create markings in the sand!
Finally I added the seashells and was rather happy of the outcome. (my son was thrilled!|)
But it felt like something was missing...


It says in hebrew, have a nice vacation!

Have a great summer everyone!

Til next time,
Cake away

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Didn't hold up to my promise...

I really don't like admitting to this one (bad, bad wife..)
But with the wedding season and all, I really really couldn't stand up to my promise.
A few posts ago I told you my husband has a birthday and I was planning on creating a special Bday cake for him. He really loves the sea, diving etc' so I planned a very special coral reef cake.

However, as I already said I didn't have a minute to spare.
So sadly I had to skip on my big plans and go minimal.

That weekend we had friends that came over to celebrate the beginning of summer.
I ain't a big summer fan myself, other than the wedding cakes, that I totaly love! I can't stand the heat, humidity, mosquitos, jelly fish, etc'.
Well, we live in a complex with a pool and every year there's a big party with inflatables and music, the kids have lots and lots of fun, so I thought that that was the best time to have a mini celebration of our own.

I did what I could, for me it meant baking Banana cupcakes, they had to be spaeical, so I used 3 types of sillicon pans, turning these banana cupcakes into unique tiny-pop in your mouth cupcakes.

The recipe was new to me, I found it on the back package of cupcake baking cups.
It was so good It will definiatly star in our kitchan and will also be offered to my brides for wedding cupcake towers.
Here it is:
Banana Cupcakes:
2 cups all purpose flour
3/4 cup granulated sugar
1/4 cup unsweetend cocoa powder
3/4 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 cup sour cream
1/2 cup muashed ripe banana
1/4 cup milk
1/3 cup vegetable oil
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
3 large egg whites.

preheat oven to 350 F / 180 C
in a large bowl, mix flour, 1/4 cup sugar, cocoa, baking soda, baking powder and salt.
in a medium bowl beat egg whites until foamy, gradually add remaining 1/2 cup of sugar, beat well untill stiff peaks form.
Stir sour cream mixture into flour mixture until moistend.
fold in 1/3 egg white mixture, fold gently remaining egg white mixture.
fill cupcake pan 3/4 full with batter.
bake 20-25 minutes, the cupcakes are ready when a wooden pick inserted in center comes out clean.

let cool and watch out, you won't be able to resist them...

Til' next time,
Cake away

Tuesday, July 5, 2011

A puzzling cake

I did debat with my self (again?!) if the topic name had lost it's charm..
But nah, I decided to go with it anyway, (I like it).

On my last post I covered the proccess of creating the puzzle pieces for the puzzle cake.

Here's the cake, finallized, at the wedding hall as promised.
What do you think? does it feel like the pieces are falling out of the puzzle box?

Puzzle wedding cake

Do you like my cake design?

View of the open box with the falling puzzle pieces
Til' next time!

Cake away


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