Archive | April, 2010

A New Mother’s Day Tradition

22 Apr

I had seen so many nice handbags that I wanted to try a few. So for Mother’s Day 2009 I made 3. One for my Mother in-law, one for my Aunty in-law and one for myself. I enjoyed making them so much that I’ve decided to do that again this year.

These were made with vanilla butter cake with vanilla butter cream icing then covered in RTR icing.

What did I learn?

I loved making them.

I needed to practice the harder shapes. My mother in-laws cake didn’t quite turn out how I envisioned.

I needed to buy a special tool for the zipper and quilting. I used the end of a pair of tweezers but it would have been quicker with the correct tools.

I need to try some other kinds of cake. Butter cake is nice but I need something more dense and longer lasting for the harder cakes.

I can’t wait for Mother’s Day 2010 to try my hand at some different styled handbags.

Black is hard to make from white icing. Since then I’ve learned that it’s best to start with chocolate RTR icing.

Home-made Marshmallow Fondant and Sleeping Beauty Cake

19 Apr

I made my own marshmallows and turned it into fondant. To do this you melt the marshmallows slowly in the microwave and then add enough pure icing sugar to turn it into a dough. Better instructions can be found on YouTube, where you can actually watch someone make it. This icing tastes really sweet and seems to set rock hard. I used the left over icing to make star lollies by rolling it out and cutting out stars using a star cutter and letting it dry. This would be a great addition to a birthday party. This cake was just made for fun, I wanted to do a three-tiered cake, try my hand at marshmallow fondant and make a figure. I made my own brick pattern by using cardboard and pressing it gently onto the cake before the icing set.

What I learned?

Marshmallow fondant is not as easy to use as RTR icing.

Marshmallow fondant is yummy and sets really hard (well mine does).

Bender Cake

19 Apr

I saw a photo of a cake like this on the Great White Snark Blog and just had to make it for my son. This is the kind of cake that gets the imagination juices flowing. I had made my own marshmallow fondant icing but it dried too quickly and kept cracking as I tried to cover the cake. I ended up going up to the shop and buying a couple of packets of their RTR icing and using that. The arms and legs are made out of what Americans call Rice Crispy Treats, in Australia LCM’s. I think for a first sculpted ┬áthis turned out pretty good.

What I learned?

Cakes will keep me awake at night. The planning and the order in which it goes together. I would spend hours awake in the middle of the night just thinking about it.

It’s good to have a supply of RTR icing on hand in case mistakes happen.

I need to practice using home-made marshmallow icing on a cake that’s not so important. I think our RTR icing tastes different to Americans anyway as I think it tastes fine as it is and even better with ganache underneath.

Rice Crispy Treats made with only home-made marshmallows aren’t so great (forgot the caramels).

I LOVE doing these kind of cakes (I must have more kids so I can ­čÖé ).

Dressing up cupcakes

19 Apr

As a child I grew up calling them ‘patty cakes’ but it seems that’s unheard of these days so I will bend to whim of popular opinion and call them cupcakes (as it’s likely nobody will understand me anyway). I had some left over icing and wanted to try my hand at decorating cupcakes, I don’t do it often. I don’t know but it seems like a lot of work for such a little snack. It was also a good excuse to practice writing with icing.

What did I learn?

Piping icing uses a LOT of icing (so much sugar isn’t good for you ­čÖé ).

Wet butter cream icing softens hard sugar paste decorations.

I’m not too bad at writing with a piping bag.

Cupcakes are eaten in seconds and everyone wants more (I knew this already. I just thought I’d add it here).

More Practice and a Baby Shower Cake

12 Apr

As I mentioned previously I like making figures and flowers so I was practicing making a baby for my sister-in-laws baby shower. In the end I was really sick the week before the baby shower so I didn’t get to do exactly what I wanted but I still think it turned out okay. The cake is Vanilla butter cake with pink butter cream icing and fondant flowers and baby. Some of the flowers I had made previously with all my practice but most I made the morning of the baby shower. I’d even tried my hand at making the modelling paste. It turned out fine but probably a little opaque. It didn’t have quite the same consistency as bought stuff. Everyone loved the fact that the baby on the cake had little butt cheeks under its blanket. To me, this cake looked like a little bit of Spring.

What did I learn?

I need to practice faces. The practice baby looks a little bug-eyed.

Butter cream icing with fondant decorations looks really nice.

I can make modelling paste if I need to, but I like using the store-bought stuff.

Something different (for me)

12 Apr

Now I’d tried my hand at fondant, and LOVED it, but there are so many other cakes out there that look great and aren’t fondant. Like CHOCOLATE!!!! Yummy. So for my Father – in-laws birthday 2009 I went big and chocolate.

What did I learn?

I need to focus on making my tiers even and straight.

Certain brands of chocolate need tempering otherwise they are too soft for panels.

I hate the funky letters, they were really hard to get out of the cutters.

I need to work at getting rid of all the corn flour from around the letters so it looks better.

Practice, Practice, Practice….

8 Apr

Some photo’s of my ┬ápracticing between my birthday and my Father in-laws.

What did I learn?

Not to leave the cake near a knife, for little kids to cut before I decorate it.

How to roll tiny little ribbon roses (so cute).

I hate the taste of chocolate fondant.