Wednesday, November 17, 2010

The Leaves Are Changing

Well, not so much here in Florida. But with fall in full swing, it always make me think of leaves. I used to live in Pennsylvania, you know, where they have all four seasons. Fall was always my favorite, the cool air blowing the multi-colored leaves on the ground, so later my siblings and I could make them into a big pile to jump in, then watch as they would fly all around, floating back down on you. They're kind of like the "snowflakes" of Autumn. Not to mention the sound, the crunching as you stroll down the sidewalk. Some kids loved puddles, for me it was leaves. It makes me a little sad that my girls don't really get the same privilege, but they do still like to collect leaves.

When I made a cake for the hub's work last year, I was definitely keeping leaves in mind! I made some out of marble-colored gumpaste. Then I used petal and luster dust to liven them up even more. At the time I didn't own a veiner, so I made my own by using a dresden tool.

I loved how they came out! So colorful! I accompanied them with some caramel and fondant acorns. I iced my cake with a (very stubborn) cream cheese frosting, then added a ribbon. Not too bad, right?

Hope you all are enjoying this season as much as I am!

Thursday, November 11, 2010

Spanish Tiles

A friend of a friend was getting married soon! The bride-to-be's shower was to be held at an elegant Spanish restaurant, Mi Tomatina. Looking online, I found very little inspiration or help for the perfect cake. In the end I went with the Spanish theme and planned to match the invitation's design, but with brighter colors.

I decided on a square cake with handpainted tiles and gumpaste flowers. I started by picking carnations, as they are one of Spain's most famous flowers. I made red, orange and yellow carnations, following this video from Elaine MacGregor. I didn't, however, have the carnation cutter, so I just used a plain round one and cut little slits around the whole circle, just like Elaine did in the video. I was much happier with how these came out, compared to the only other ones I've made (for a Wilton class almost 2 years ago).

I then made the tiles out of a fondant and gumpaste mixture. I ended up with 23 of the larger tiles and 46 of the smaller tiles. After letting them dry for a couple days, it was time to "paint"! I handpainted each one, the tiles on the front matching the invitation. After working for about 2 hours on those five tiles, I decided to make the rest of the tiles using a less intricate design. After my flowers dried, the color faded quite a bit, so I painted them as well, which turned out much more vibrant. I liked the finished look, especially since the tiles and flowers matched better this way. What do you think?

I was just finishing up as my friend came over to pick up the cake, and the bride-to-be, Emily, was with her. She was so appreciative and loved the cake! Mission accomplished! This was probably the most time consuming cake I've done so far, and even though every detail didn't come out exactly as planned (which never happens anyway!), the result was worth it!

Congratulations Emily and Jeffrey!

Can't wait to see the wedding pictures!

Monday, November 8, 2010

The Cherpumple

I just saw this and had to share. For anyone that has not seen this yet, be prepared to be amused! If you can't view the video or it has problems, you can check out the video here.

Pretty neat concept, huh?! Not sure if I would ever really try this one...I am not a fan of pie. But many of my family members are, so maybe this would be a hit. Still, I love when someone creates something new. If I did this, I might only start with one cake to begin with and see how that goes.

Now, if this video has inspired you and you make a cherpumple, please send me a pic and a review...after you send it to Charles, of course!
Happy Baking!

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Wrapped In Chocolate

I knew I wanted the cake to be special, since this was the first birthday cake I would make for my mom since I've been decorating cakes. But I really had no idea where to start. When I am in this dilemma, I usually begin by looking at all the favorite cake pictures I have saved. A short time ago, I had seen an amazing cake on Cake Central (suprising, right?) made by member misterc for Cake Central Magazine, of which, I currently don't subscribe (insert sad face here). But lucky for me, he had posted it on for my viewing pleasure! When I saw this cake, I just thought it'd be perfect, with my own twist, of course!

I started out making a devil's food cake with a chocolate mousse filling, icing it with a sage buttercream (mom's fave color is green), then wrapping that in chocolate, topped off with a chocolate "S" (for Shirley)and a rose (for her middle name, Rose).

What do you think? I really liked how it came out, minus a few broken pieces. I was pretty happy with my rose too, which was the first one I've made since taking Nic Lodge's class earlier this year (yes, I am a slacker)!

I had made chocolate tiles/shards before, but never a chocolate wrap, especially one like this. But I had fun making it and it looked okay, even with some missing/cracked pieces. Plus it still tastes delicious! If you want to try your own chocolate wrap, here's some instructions! You're welcome. Now, for this kind of wrap, you don't have to spread the chocolate, just drizzle it over the paper. Very simple techniques, but people will be impressed!

Glad we could make it down, Mom. Hope you had a great birthday!