Sunday, March 31, 2013

Happy Easter!

I can't believe I have been decorating cakes now for two years. Easter is one of my favorite times of year for cake decorating. I have been making Easter cakes for family get-togethers, and this is my third one. I love Easter so much because it's my time to brush up on my technique with making royal icing flowers. Last year I did an assortment; lilies, violets, apple blossoms, daffodils. This year I decided to keep it simple. Easter lilies, this time made with a bigger lily tip so the size is much truer, and some pink apple blossoms. And while I was at it, I made lots more apple blossoms for some cupcakes for the following weekend (but that's another story). The cake itself is a yummy carrot cake - it's a spice cake recipe, but not overly spiced and so wonderfully moist. The cake I used for this was actually frozen on St. Patrick's Day. I filled and frosted it with cream cheese frosting, added a basketweave design (can't have Easter without a basket!) added my flowers and a message, and - voila!

I hope everyone had a Blessed Easter!

Sunday, March 24, 2013

Star Wars, and Legos!

I love repeat customers. They are proof that I must be doing something right! This time, my friend Ratna, for whom I made the topsy-turvy lion cake, wanted a cake for her nephew's birthday. He was coming to Wisconsin from California with his family, and Ratna wanted to surprise him. I'm so glad I was part of the surprise!

The first thing Ratna told me is that her nephew loved Star Wars. Well, that opened up a whole world of possibilites. Classic Star Wars, Angry Birds Star Wars, Lego Star Wars.... and then there were all the characters! She told me that he loved Lego Star Wars, and after poring over some ideas, we found one that would work well. I would put some figurines on top of the cake, and decorate around them with fondant accents. I was going to get some star wars lego figurines, but they were a bit out of Ratna's price range, and she didn't know which ones he already had, so we went with a couple playskool star wars figurines. They are a bit young for the birthday boy, who is 9 years old, but perhaps he can pass them down to a little brother. The best part - the figures are posable, so when I couldn't shut the lid to the cake box, I just bent Darth Vader and the Storm Trooper over at their waists and down went the lid. It looked really funny, these two figures crouched over under neath the cake box lid. I would have taken a picture too, if the batteries on my camera hadn't died.

The cake itself is chocolate with oreo buttercream filling. I made the same combo for Ratna's son and she loved it so much she had to have it again. Then I added a fondant star wars logo with the birthday boy's name on top, with some fondant lightsabers and stars, fondant legos around the base of the cake, and a message on the cake board using  a lego font I found online. So it might not be Lego Star Wars, but it is legos and star wars. Very original, very fun! I hope the birthday boy liked it!

Happy Birthday Aazil!

Bawk! It's Angry... Evan!

Well, I hope he's not angry. It's his first birthday after all.

So what am I talking about, you ask? None other than the game that has become a widespread phenomenon, Angry Birds! If you haven't heard of it, check it out, but be forewarned, it is addicting!

Anyhow, this cake was sooo much fun to make. Even my kids had a hand in the design, since they are such experts on the game itself. Of course, if it had been up to them, the scene on the cake would have been completely functional, but seeing as it was for a one year old, I had to keep it simple. The cake itself (and the smash cake) are both yellow cake with vanilla buttercream filling and frosting, decorated with fondant clouds (and stars on the smash cake). The birds and piggies, and frying pan are all marshmallow fondant, and the slingshot and logs are chocolate fondant reinforced with toothpicks. The only snag I hit was the border on the bottom of the cake. I pulled out my favorite tip for making that grass border I love so much, and in the process of cleaning and prepping my work station, it vanished. I still have no idea where it is. It was late at night, all the stores were closed, and I wouldn't have time to get a new tip the next morning before I needed to deliver the cake - but did I give up? Nope! I improvised - using my small star tip, I made long, drawn out strands around the base of the cake. Not exactly like the effect from my grass tip, but I think it looks pretty good!

So here's the cake and smash cake, ready to go.

Happy Birthday Evan! Hope you had an awesome day!