Archive for January, 2011
I made this cake for Mari and Jeff’s 3 year old son Antonio. As you can see, the theme was the Disney’s Cars movie. Jeff and Mari did a great job designing the cake.
6 inch and 10 inch tiers
White Almond Sour Cream Cake
Buttercream Frosting (double batch using 4lb of powdered sugar)
14 inch cake drum
2 lbs black fondant
1/4 lb of red fondant
small amount of yellow fondant
small amount of white fondant
brown, copper, green and blue food coloring
1 lollipop stick
black ribbon (1/2 inch width) to edge the cake drum
Wilton Square Cut-Outs
Makin’s Clay Extruder
Piping gel or water
Small paint brushes
Piping tips 32 and 233
FMM Funky Alphabet Tappit Cutters
Number Chocolate Mold
Red and yellow candy melts
Template for Cactus and Sign
Roll out a thin round of black fondant to cover the 14 inch cake drum. Apply piping gel or water to the drum, and place the black fondant on top. Trim the fondant to the edge. Let this dry for a couple of days. Do not store in an airtight container or it will not dry.
Next make the chocolate 3. Melt the red and yellow chocolate melts in separate containers. Remember to always melt chocolate at 1/2 power to avoid scorching. To get the multiple colors, mix a small amount of yellow and red chocolate together. Fill the bottom of the mold with red, then the middle with orange and then the yellow. Using a toothpick mix the edges where the colors meet to create a smoother transition. Tap the mold to remove any air bubbles and let set. Once the chocolate is complete set it should easily pop out of the mold. Depending on the temp between 30 minutes to an hour.
Frost with white frosting and smooth. Place a dab of frosting on the black cake drum, and place the bottom tier centered on the drum. Roll out the black fondant to about an 1/8 inch
Using the medium square cutter, cut out several squares. Avoid cutting too many in advance or they will get too dry.
Attach squares using buttercream. To evenly space the squares, place the square cutter gently next to the black square on the cake and apply the next square. While the cutter was still in place, place the next black square above the cutter to create the checkerboard pattern. Next, roll out about 1 lb of black fondant to 1/8 of inch. Using a 10 inch cake circle as a guide, trim the fondant so that you have a 10 black circle. Lightly dampen the back of the black fondant circle and place it on the 10 inch cake. Knead in a generous amount of shortening into a small amount of red fondant. Using the medium round disk, extrude a red rope long enough to go around the 10 inch cake. If you do not have an extruder, you can roll a simple rope.
Using a thin paint brush, paint water or piping gel along the top edge of the black squares. Apply the red rope around the top ledge of the squares. Roll out a small amount of yellow fondant and cut into thin strips. A Ribbon Cutter is great for this but if you don’t have one, just use a pizza cutter. Cut the strips into short pieces (just under an inch in my case). Attach the yellow pieces along the board and the top of the 10 inch tier to create the stripes in the road. For the name, I used the FMM Funky Alphabet Tappit Cutters . On a surface dusted with cornstarch, roll out red fondant pretty thin. Then place a piece of saran wrap over the fondant and pressed the letter cutters into the fondant. This is a great way to keep the letters from sticking. Paint the back of each letter with a very small amount of water and attach to the squares.
Fill the 6 inch cake (on its own cake board) with white frosting and cover tightly until ready to use. Tint 4 cups of frosting blue. I intentionally did not mix all of the color into the frosting so that it had streaks of white throughout it for clouds. Frost the 6 inch cake in the blue frosting. Smooth and set aside. Roll out a small piece of white fondant for the Route 66 sign (see template under Supplies). Cut out the route sign and let this sit for an hour or so to stiffen up. Knead in a generous amount of Crisco into a small amount of black fondant and place it in a clean clay extruder. Using the medium circle disk, extrude a snake that will be the sign pole. Place this somewhere to dry straight. Switch the disc in the extruder to the smallest circle and extrude another snake. Apply water around the edge of the Route sign and attach the thin black snake to create the outline. Use another thin snake to make the two sixes. Let the sixes dry before attaching them to the sign. Attach using a small amount of water.
While the sign is drying, cut the lollipop stick in 1/2 to be the base of the flags.
Cut 2 pieces of white fondant and attach to the lollipop sticks. Be sure the flags are facing opposite directions. Using a pizza cutter or ribbon cutter, cut strips of black fondant. Using the same width, cut the strips into squares. Apply the squares with water to the white flags to make the checkered patter. Let dry.
To create the desert rock formations, mix copper and brown food coloring into white fondant. Knead the color in until you get the desired effect. Roll this out very thin. Then just tear it into pieces of various shapes and sizes.
Using the paper templates and toothpicks, mark the front of your cake where the Route 66 sign will go. Then mark where you would like each cactus to be placed. Between each cactus, attach a desert rock formation using buttercream.
For the cactus, I added kelly green and juniper green food coloring to the left over blue frosting. Fill a piping bag with green frosting and cap with tip 32. Start at the top of each cactus and pipe down. Then add the arms to each cactus. Once done, place the 6 inch cake in the freezer for 10 to 15 minutes. This will make it easier to place on top of the bottom tier. While the top cake is chilling, assemble your support system. In my case, I use the single plate system (SPS). Insert your support system into the bottom tier. Once the top tier is chilled, remove it from the freezer and place it on the plate (or dowels if that’s your support structure). Attach the Route 66 sign and pole to the 6 inch cake using frosting or piping gel. Apply the flags to the top of the cake. Using a glue gun, attach the black ribbon along the base of the cake drum to cover up the rest of the silver foil.
The toy cars and number 3 were added on site.
This year my mom decorated her house in Red and White for Christmas so I created a cake to cordinate with her decor.The bottom tier is an 8 inch egg nog flavored cake. I made a traditional White Almond Sour Cream Cake(WASC) recipe and substituted egg nog for the liquid and added 1 teaspoon cinnamon and 1/4 teaspoon nutmeg. The buttercream used Parisian Almond Cream coffee creamer for the liquid. You can use the powdered creamer, just heat the water and add equal parts dry creamer to water. That’s a tip I learned from Sharon at her Sugar Shack blog.
The top tier is a 6 inch chocolate cake with a cherry cranberry filling and ganache coating under the fondant.
Buttercream to ice the bottom tier
2 1/2 lbs Red Fondant
1/2 lb White Fondant
1/4 lb White Gumpaste (or fondant with gum-tex or tylose added)
2 jars of sparkling sugar (I combined the fine sanding sugar and chunky sparkling sugar because it’s what I had on hand)
1 jar small white pearls (Wilton)
2 6 inch cake boards
2 8 inch cake boards
1 large plastic cake board( larger than your largest cake)
1 cake drum (10 inches or larger)
A 1/2 sheet cake pan to catch sugar sprinkles
Texture mat or rolling pin (optional)
Large and small snowflake cutters
Diamond Cutters (Medium and tiny) Atteco Diamond Cutter has ALL sizes in one set
Long Wooden Skewers
Paint brushes for caking
3 cups Bakers Semisweet chocolate
1 1/2 cups heavy cream
I made the chocolate ganache for the top tier the day before because it needs to set. Since I was using the ganache under fondant, you want the ganache to be setting consistency (not pouring consistency). To do this use 2 parts chocolate (I used Baker’s Semisweet Chocolate squares) to 1 part heavy whipping cream. Chop the chocolate into small pieces and place in a bowl. Heat the cream to just before boiling and pour over chocolate. Let the mixture sit for 5 minutes and then stir to melt the chocolate and combine the cream until mixture is smooth. Cover tightly and let sit on the counter for several hours or overnight to cool.
In addition to making the chocolate ganache the day before, you should make the gumpaste snowflakes for the toppers in advance so they have time to dry. You can do straight gumpaste, 50/50 gumpaste and fondant or fondant mixed with gum-tex or tylose. I used straight gumpaste because I had it on hand. Roll the gumpaste thin but not too thin because they will need to be able to hold themselves up once they dry. I cut out 3 large snowflakes. 2 for the front and 1 for the back (I like the back of my cakes to look pretty too). I then cut out 3 small snowflakes as well. I let them all dry overnight. You should make 1 or 2 extras in case of breakage.
After the cakes are baked and cooled. Tape the 2 6 inch cake boards together and tape the 2 8 inch cake boards together. I cover my boards in press and seal. If you’re not going to cover the boards, only use tape between the boards. Fill and stack the cakes on each board as you normally would.
Place the 6 inch cake on a larger plastic board (I buy mine at Hobby Lobby and they’re washable so you rarely have to replace them). The ganache should be peanut butter consistency. If it’s not, put a portion of it in a smaller bowl and microwave on medium power in 30 second increments until it’s just spreadable consistency. Ice the cake so that it’s smooth and set it aside so the chocolate can set up. I am always worried about dust getting on my cakes until I found these awesome food tents. They’re 14 inches and plenty tall. I use them to keep my cakes covered between steps.
Next, place the 8 inch cake on the larger plastic cake board. The larger board makes it much easier to handle the cakes. Frost the bottom tier in buttercream. Line the bottom of your sheet pan with wax paper. Place your cake in the pan. Grab a handful of sparkling sugar and place it directly on the cake, gently but firmly press it into the sides of the cake. Work your way all around the cake. The extra sugar will fall into the pan. Be sure and reuse the sugar that is dropped. Don’t forget to sugar the top of your cake as well. The cake should be very sparkly.
With the left over sugar in the pan, take the small snowflakes from the day before and paint piping gel on the front side of the each snowflake. Cover in the sparkling sugar. With the larger snowflakes, paint piping gel just along the edge of the snowflake. Be careful not to break them. I laid them (one at a time) directly in the pan with the sugar and just shook the pan until the sugar coated the edges. Set all the snowflakes aside to dry. Keep the sugar and pan handy,you may need it later.
Next you will want to roll out a small portion of the red fondant for the diamonds that go around the base tier. I used the Ateco 8 Piece Stainless Steel Diamond Shaped Cutter Set. I love this set, I may have to stock up on all the other shapes soon:) Roll the fondant about 1/8 inch thick. Too thin and they will be hard to place onto the cake, too thick and they look funny. Take an impression mat or a textured rolling pin and roll over the fondant with good pressure. I used an impression mat that had swirls on it. Cut out the diamonds and let them set up for a few minutes. To apply them to the cake, paint a thin layer of piping gel or frosting to the back of the diamonds. Be sure and get the tips or they will not stick to the sugar. Place the first diamond on the front of the cake. Place a few to the left and then go back to the front and place a few to the right. Continue this process until you get to the back. The diamonds rarely line up perfectly, that’s why they call it the back.
Roll out a small portion of white fondant and cut out the tiny diamonds that will cover the intersections of the red diamonds. Paint one side of the small diamonds with water or piping gel and place them in the sugar pan, shake gently until well coated. Attach the small diamonds to the intersection of the larger red diamonds. Place a dot of piping gel in the middle of each white diamond and place a pearl in the middle. While you’re still waiting on the ganache to set up you can decorate your snowflakes. Attach each of the small sugared snowflakes to the middle of the larger snowflakes using piping gel. Attach pearls in different patterns to each snowflake. I used piping gel but it didn’t hold as well as I had hoped on the dry gumpaste. Next time I will use frosting.
By now the ganache should be reasonably set. You will need to roll out the red fondant. To cover a 6 inch cake, typically you roll out 2 lbs of fondant and that gives you plenty of overlap to work with. If you’re careful you can save the scraps and use them later. Once the fondant is rolled out, apply the impress mat to the fondant. Apply piping gel or simple syrup to the ganache so that the fondant has something to adhere to. I use a paint brush and just paint it on.
Gently roll the fondant onto your rolling pin (trying hard not to squish the impressions) and apply it to the cake. Gently smooth the fondant down around the cake and trim off the excess. Again trying not to squish the impression out of the fondant.
Then roll out a 1/2 lb of white fondant.Trim the edge to look like snow fall. Use the bottom of a 6 inch cake pan to determine the size and shape you want. Apply piping gel to the top of the red tier and place the white fondant on top of it. Use your ball tool to adjust the shape if necessary. Once the white layer of fondant is applied. Using a paint brush, paint piping gel just along the edge of the white layer. Place the left over sparkling sugar in a zip lock bag or piping bag and snip the end off so that the sugar comes out easier but not crazy fast. Go around the edge of the cake with the sugar and it should stick to the piping gel but not the rest of the cake. I cut out a few more small snowflakes and attached them to the top tier.
I use the SPS (single plate system) as my support so at this point, I put the 6inch plate and pillars into the 8 inch cake and then placed my 6 inch cake on top of it. Other people prefer using dowels but I find SPS to be very easy to use. I then took a piping bag with a large round tip and piped “snow” around the top tier and around the bottom tier and of course added more sparkling sugar to the borders.
The last thing I needed to do was to attach the skewers to the snowflake toppers. I measured the height of the top tier and added a couple of inches to attach to the snowflakes and cut the skewers to size. Next I gently laid the snowflakes face down and laid the skewer over the snowflake. Then I took some fresh white gumpaste and using piping gel applied it to the back to completely attach the skewer to the snowflake. I did this for 2 of the snowflakes. I left the last one without a skewer because I wanted to lean it against the other two in the back. I let them dry for several hours.
I applied the snowflake topper after I arrived on-site and added a little more frosting to the base of the topper to finish the cake.