Wednesday, September 21, 2016

"Life is Like a Box of Chocolates" Cake

I was asked by the La Puente Board, the overseers of the homeless and disadvantaged programs, to make a cake for their fundraiser ball to support the Adalente program.  This program helps people get back on their feet by helping secure jobs, housing, food, schooling, and much more.  It is a very worthy cause so I said I would donate a cake.

The invitation to the ball was in Zebra print so that is the bottom cake.  The second tier is a gift box all glammed up.  The third tier is a gourmet box of chocolates.  

What I did first was to make different flavored chocolate truffles.  I made coffee/mocha, mint, cherries, almond, and chocolate.  I bought a candy mold and candy melts at Wal Mart and jumped into practicing.  I always look for You Tube tutorials and found several that show how to make filled candy chocolates.  This took me all day to do because my mold was small and it takes lots of patience. 

I made sure to taste! I didn't want to taste too much so that I would get sick of the candy.  As each batch was done I labeled them on a cookie sheet.  Then I glued nuts, coffee means, and painted edible dust to indicate what each one was.  The mint ones I swirled a mint green in the mold and then put the chocolate candy coating in and the affect was stunning.
I made the flowers out of gum paste and painted them with petal dust.  I glued stamens and pollen pods in the center to make them look more real.
The tiers of cake were made of decadent chocolate cake with chocolate ganache in the center.  One layer had raspberry filling.  I used chocolate ganache and chocolate butter cream frosting to crumb coat the cakes.  Yes, the box on top is chocolate cake with coffee/mocha chocolate ganache filling.  
This cake was expensive to make and took several weeks to complete.  I think it is a beautiful cake and it raised $800.00 for the Adalente program.  Those that bought the cake took it to the homeless shelter and shared it with the guests.  How often to they get fancy cake?  I thank God for making it all work out just right.  I also thank my husband, Don, for making the cake structure, moral support, and official taste tester!

Wednesday, July 13, 2016

Winema's Topsy Turvy Birthday Cake

My dear friend, Winema, had her 40th birthday last week.  It was a wonderful party with lots of family and friends.  Her mother gave me a call several months ago and got on my calendar to make an elegant cake with chocolate throughout.  She said I could do whatever I wanted so I chose a Topsy Turvy cake in black and white. I had the chance to practice on a single tier cake which I put in a previous post.  This cake, however, was more of a challenge. I used fondant from Walmart.  Usually I don't have problems but it kept tearing when I tried to put it on.  I really got frustrated.  I used the molds to help me cover some of the defects and it turned out pretty well.  
The other issue was structure.  Because the cake is supposed to look "wonky"  it was hard to know if I had it level to put on each tier.  I have decided to get a small level just for cakes like this.  Don helped me with the structure and found some hardware that had a flat circle on top and screwed over my dowels.  This helped the dowels to not poke into the cake board and sink.  I used a center structure that you can add to.  It was made of plastic and came in several sizes to fit the sizes of each tier.  Got those at Walmart too.  I believe they are from Wilton so you can order those on line.
I had difficulty finding tiered cake structures for this cake.  Then it hit me that it is wedding season and so everyone was looking for them.  I should have planned better and ordered on line more in advance.  Don is a great help with structure and fixed me up very nicely and the cake was very stable.
They loved the cake, so with all the grief it gave me it was a success.

Happy Birthday beautiful lady.  So proud of you!

Wednesday, June 22, 2016

Retro Birthday Cake (70's)

My friend, Kelsey, had a birthday a couple of weeks ago but she was out of town for a bit.  When she returned I had her over for dinner and a special birthday cake along with a few of her friends.  It's a basic chocolate cake covered with fondant and decorated in her favorite color, purple, which I didn't know when I made it.  So fun!  Happy Birthday Kelsey! 

Wednesday, May 18, 2016

Sunshine Cake for Sunshine School

My Granddaughter is graduating from Kindergarten and the school asked me to make a cake for their class of 2016.  The name of the school is Sunshine Christian School so of course I had to make a big sun. 
There are five students so I sculpted all of them.  I also made a tree, sun flowers, and fluffy clouds.  The sun is lemon cake with lemon buttercream filling.  The middle is marble cake with chocolate filling, and the bottom is chocolate cake with chocolate filling.
I have made a sunshine school cake before for my Grandson.  It was a flat sheet cake with the sun, school, and all the kids names written in the sky. 

This is my Granddaughter Cate.

Wednesday, May 4, 2016

Cinderella Cake for Lizzy's 2nd Birthday

Lizzy, my youngest granddaughter, was two on May 3.  She stays with me during the day while her siblings go to school. After lunch we sit on the couch and watch Pete's Pond or a cartoon before going down for a nap.  Casey, my daughter, gave her a choice of movies to watch on her cell phone.  She always picks Cinderella.  So of course I had to make her cake as Cinderella.

I enjoy doing this for the kids because I always add a toy of some kind to the cake and they have something to play with when all the cake is gone.

This Cinderella is a combination of the old traditional one and the newer one that Disney put out not to long ago.  Of course it went over super well!  All the kids, even the boys, were impressed! 
I used 8 inch round cake pans and made three round cakes.  I used a triple chocolate boxed cake mix. I baked one of the cake mixes in a Pyrex round mixing bowl that fit the bases.  After taking the cakes out of the oven I used a small cutter that I tried over the doll hips to make sure I was cutting the hole big enough but not to big.  I wanted it to be snug.  Then I wrapped the cake layers and put them in the freezer overnight.

I had some left over fondant from a previous cake order.  I bought it from Walmart as well as the doll. I live in a small town so it's either drive two hours to the city or order on line, but I found their fondant to be workable.  I colored it the right blue and kept some white for the ruffles and roses.  I looked up You Tube tutorials on how to make fondant ruffles. 

I wanted her shoe to show but the weight of the fondant almost covered it up.  Next time I will do it higher and lighter weight.

My crumb coat was butter cream frosting. The filling was chocolate ganache.
 As you can see my sweet Lizzy was enamored with the cake.  She loved it!  

Thursday, March 17, 2016

Star Wars Birthday Party

Three of my grandchildren have their birthdays in the first week of March.  This is the year for all the new Star Wars stuff coming out.  I tried to avoid making one of these cakes but in the end I relented.  I chose to do an Ewok tree.  As usual the grand-kids loved it!  
I found boxed chocolate cake and white cake for sale at a great price and couldn't turn that down so I made chocolate sheet cakes for the bottom layer and covered them with chocolate butter cream frosting.  That is also between the layers.

The top is made out of white cake with butter cream filling.  I used a wedding cake column and covered it with fondant to make the tree.  Don helped me put a flat surface on the top and screw both top and bottom into place.  It was really stable.  We had to take it in the car to the party location and it traveled well.

I used a small mixing bowl to form the hut roof with fondant, scored it with a blade, and painted it with petal dust.  I carved the top of the cake round so the roof fit nice and wouldn't slip off.

Wilton has some pretty cool grass sprinkles in two different colors.  I used that to make the cake look like a forrest floor.

Princess Leia and Yoda are made from fondant.  I made Luke Sky Walker holding a light saber but he fell of the cake and got ruined.  Need to watch my structure when placing figures on a cake!

Olaf Birthday for Teacher Casey

My daughter, Casey, loves the song "In Summer" from the Disney movie Frozen.  She is also a school teacher for K through 2. This year I asked her if she would like an Olaf cake and she about jumped for joy.

I made a coconut cake for the top layer and chocolate cake for the bottom layer with chocolate butter cream frosting. It was pretty tasty.  Just click on the links for the recipes

I made Olaf out of fondant.  I was going to buy a toy topper but they were all too big.  I think he turned out really cute.

What I really like is that Wilton has put out some cool party cake decorations that worked perfectly for the bottom layer.  I put enough on because I knew all her students would want some. I used coconut flakes for snow.

 Casey invited all her nieces and nephews to the party along with some of her students and little church friends. Instead of singing Happy Birthday they sang "In Summer"!  It was loads of fun and the kids including Casey really enjoyed the party.