Sunday, June 27, 2010

Piano Recital Cake

This next cake was a blast to make! I made it for the piano recital I had on Sat. for me and my students and a friend and her students.
Anyway, I wanted to try making a wire cake topper for this cake and so I did. I think it turned out pretty well, though I'm still working out the details for how to make one sit on top of the cake with out tilting over. I'm sure it has to do with balance or something, but whatever the case, I really had to jam it in the cake to keep it from falling off.
Wire cake toppers are super easy to make (okay, I'll admit: I do work fairly often with metal when I make jewelry). So I already had the materials but I did buy the red star wire for only a dollar.
The rest of the cake was fairly easy to make. I used the technique I posted previously to get a deep black. Mostly just cutting and pasting.

Friday, June 25, 2010

Easy Black Fondant

As you may know, it is difficult get your fondant to be a solid black or red-they often come out as gray or pink. Well, I've discovered an easy and effective way to get a deep, dark black.

You have to make your own fondant to begin with. A single batch calls for 1 cup of marshmallows and 1 TBSP of water. Instead of water, I used liquid black food coloring (not the gel paste) in place of the water (1 TBSP). I then proceeded as normal for the reminder of the recipe. I did add a few globs of gel paste just to make sure it would be black, and man was it black! Black as pitch. And it only took me as long as it took to make white fondant. So easy.

I will try this technique with red someday. For this next cake ( which I will post in a day or so), I used HALF my container of red gel paste and I only got semi-red.

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Pharmacy Cake

Here it is! My latest cake. My friend's husband graduated from Pharmacy school, and she requested a cake. The vial on the top was made from gumpaste, and so were the University logo and "prescription" on the bottom tier. The rest was made from fondant, including the little pills. The top tier is rice krispy treats; that's why it looks lumpy. Yeah, I'm still working on having non-lumpy rice krispy layers. The bottom layer is chocolate cake with chocolate frosting. I enjoyed making this cake, especially the vial and writings. I love working with fondant and gumpaste! They are so versatile; I feel like I can do anything with them!

The white pills are anti-depressants. The brown pills resemble ADD pills. The orange pills are...well, lets just say, good luck and congratulations pills :).

The label reads:
90 Fluoxetine 20 mg Capsule (Prozac) PRN Refills

My husband (who was a Pharmacy tech for several years) wrote it. I wouldn't have known how to!

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Chocolate Frosting Recipe + Secret Ingredient!

Okay, obviously not that secret if I'm posting it!

I'm waiting on the pics of my latest cake (the batteries in my camera died before I could finish taking all angles of the cake and I didn't have any extra...grrr!). If I don't get them in the next few days, I'll just post what I have in a later post...which unfortunately isn't much.

While I'm waiting on those, I thought I'd share a delicious chocolate frosting recipe with a special ingredient: Chocolate syrup! (the type of syrup you'd use as an ice cream topper)

I added this ingredient on a whim, and I'm still experimenting with the amount of chocolate syrup (I think I'm going to make more next time) but this batch of frosting turned out wonderful.

FYI, this chocolate frosting recipe isn't the so-rich-it's-nauseating frosting (and I happen to really like that sort). It's flavor is mellow, delicate, and delectable. It pairs well with an extra rich, moist cake.

Here is the recipe for one batch:

3 cups powdered sugar
1/3 cup butter (NOT margarine...ewww...gross!)
2 teaspoons vanilla (I use real vanilla)
1/3 cup baking cocoa (whatever brand you like)
4 tablespoons milk
1/4 cup chocolate syrup (I think it adds more flavor and makes it creamier)

I would definitely double it for a two layer cake to make sure you have enough. Also, I like to whip it up real good so it's nice and airy and fluffy since I'm not decorating with it. Yum!

Friday, June 11, 2010

Cake Painting

A friend of mine requested a cake for her husband's graduation from pharmacy school. I'm still in the process of figuring out everything, but at the very least I thought it appropriate to include the school's logo on the cake:
Originally I planned on using color flow to make the logo, but the more I thought about it, the more appearent it became that an intricate design like that would be impossible to do with color flow, at least for the size I needed.
So I sort of improvised and tried my hand at painting right on the surface of some gumpaste. It wasn't as tedious as I thought it would be and I think it turned out fairly well for my first try. Definitely not perfect but not a complete disaster either.
FYI, I didn't use actual paint (that would be nasty!) I used a simple mixture of gel paste and vanilla extract (I'm sure any type of alcohol based liquid would work, such as booze).

MWU logo. 3" diameter. I let it dry on a cake pan so it will (hopefully) fit snug on the cake.

Cake painting is a fun technique they don't teach you in the Wilton courses. I am excited to work more with it. Check out this cake that incorporates cake painting:

So pretty! Don't know whose cake it is, but it's not mine.