Tuesday, August 31, 2010

flip flops

There is something to be learned from every project. These flip flops were a challenge! They were made for a little girl named Riley who was celebrating her 8th birthday. Riley had seen a cake in the form of flips flops featured on the cover of a magazine and just knew she had to have this for her birthday party. When her mom contacted me to see if I could make this for her I said "yes, I can" without hesitation. We talked about the details and I developed a plan on how to accomplish this. It was to be a vanilla cake, but not a full size cake, with vanilla butter cream. Riley's mom wanted individual cakes, with polka dots, a little chocolate, a little sparkle. So I decided to make the polka dots out of milk chocolate and white chocolate which would be dyed pink and green. Oh, if only I knew...
I thought that if I warmed milk chocolate chips, they would melt enough so they would flatten into perfectly round discs. But, NO, they would not change their shape at all. Sooo, I thought, I know, I'll melt them all together and pipe the dots, didn't work! I ended up using chocolate candy melts that I piped into the dots, not very ideal either, but I made it work. Why, oh why, oh why did I not just use chocolate butter cream??? I thought of this when it was too late
The sandal straps: I initially planned on using rainbow licorice. Since the flip flops were only 2 1/2" long, I knew I would have to cut the licorice in half lengthwise and trim them. I played with this and played with this. I could not get the licorice to hold a shape and I was not going to put them on the cakes if they wouldn't stand up. Plan B; fondant dyed to match the white chocolate chips, which had been dyed to match the rainbow licorice (which I did not use). The fondant held up, although a few pieces broke and I freaked out a bit, but I got it to work. (big sigh of relief)
Theses little cakes ended up looking really awesome and Riley loved them, which was the most important thing!

Monday, August 16, 2010

Rainbow Cake for Samantha

I have wanted to make this cake ever since I saw it on the Martha Stewart Show. I filed it away for a special occasion. My daughter, Samantha saw this same cake on a cake blog and indicated that she wanted one. Ah, the perfect occasion presented itself in the form of Samantha's 21st birthday.
The original recipe called for swiss meringue butter cream. Since I have never made that(I vow to try it soon), I decided to make seven minute frosting. I also used slightly different colors in the cake. In addition, I wanted to try using fondant circle cutouts to decorate the cake with. Surely you have seen many cakes done in this fashion. The first one I saw like this was on Ace of Cakes, but that cake was completely covered in fondant.
So, I made the cake, filled the layers with a good amount of frosting and covered thoroughly with frosting. It looked beautiful in it's shiny white simplicity! I added the fondant circles and the "Happy Birthday Samantha", also made of fondant. After covering the cake, I went to bed. The next morning I noticed the circles were losing their shape a little, the fondant was going soft! was it the humidity? Had I not let them dry long enough? what was happening? I am so glad i didn't make this for a customer. There was another surprise when we cut the cake. I expected that the white frosting would stand out against the different colored layers, making them really pop. Where was the frosting??? It disappeared!! It still looked pretty but I was disappointed. It tasted great, nice and moist, so I think the cake absorbed the frosting. Now that I think of it, I did make another cake with seven minute frosting and when cut, it too had vanished. Any ideas as to why this happens?


I like simplicity and I love these cookies! I truly enjoy piping the icing onto them in spirals, I love the rhythm of it. To me, they look like pastel colored pearls, and they just melt in your mouth. It is hard to eat just one!