Friday, August 17, 2012

Potluck Practice cake

So, yesterday I was trying to decide what to bring to a potluck for our new homeschool group, of course I thought, "Cake is my thing. I can definitely do cake." This is their pot-lucky day.

Well, it's nothing fancy. It's a 3-layer chocolate cake. It started out being 2 layers, but it looked a little puny and I remembered another single layer of chocolate cake sitting in my freezer that was the exact same size. So. Voila.  

Making a cake wasn't the only thing I had to do today, so I didn't have time for something super-creative.  Had some leftover icing from my last cake.  Been practicing with fondant for an upcoming wedding project and had a few fondant flowers lying around.  Just placed the fondant daisies in a ring, icing and sugar pearls in the center of each one, blue sugar sparkles between them all.  And last but not least, plain and simple buttercream shell borders. 

Nothing special, but oh, it tasted fantastic!  Wish I could say that I saved you a piece...

Thursday, August 2, 2012

Rock Climbing Bride & Groom

I've known about this project for months, and I've been so excited for it to finally be here.  My friend's eldest son was eloping out of state, and she was throwing a reception for them here.  She said that the bride and groom were very laid-back about the whole thing, and she wanted to make this reception less formal and more fun for them.  They are both avid rock climbers and would love something with that theme. Nothing too wedding-ish.

I found a few ideas on Pinterest, but when my friend said that they didn't want the cakes to be covered in fondant, I had to re-think a few of the design elements.  So, I decided to make the buttercream a rough, rocky texture and just put hand-holds all over with a bride & groom sitting on the ledge.  

I had a photo of the bride & groom, so I tried to make the figures look similar.  I have a LOT to learn about making sculptures with fondant; most of all I need to learn NOT to just "wing it." I at least need to practice, or even better, make the figures ahead of time.  OH... if only that ended up being my biggest challenge with this cake project!!

Well, I baked the cake, stacked the cake, put dowels in the bottom two layers for support, and put a center dowel through all three layers for stability.  Just like always.  I iced the cake and decorated the cake and put the finishing touches on it. Just like always.  I put it in a box and put it in the Tahoe to deliver it to the reception, about 45 minutes away.

One thing I did do differently was put it on one side of the vehicle, rather than in the center of the back cargo area.  I wanted my daughter to be able to keep an eye on it right beside her.  It was a hot, humid Atlanta afternoon, and we hadn't gotten more than 2 miles from home when my daughter started getting worried that the cake was sliding.  I told her not to worry about it because I knew that it was properly supported.

Well, let's just say I was WAY WRONG!!  When we got to the reception hall, I took the cake straight to the kitchen and tried my best to fix it (with some extra supplies that I always bring along in case of emergency). But it was SO lopsided that the ropes had fallen, the bride and groom's arms were all broken, and their bodies were sliding down the rock!

It was truly one of my worst nightmares.  I was terribly upset, almost in tears.  My friend was SO graciously nice about it, though. The only thing that made me feel better about it was knowing that they were so easy-going, and also the fact that we were going to take the cake apart momentarily and cut it up to eat it anyway.

Honestly, it all worked out just fine.  The groom was impressed at how much the figure looked like him (even though I hadn't ever met him before).  I even had several people tell me that they loved the cake, and - get this - ask how in the world did I make it look so asymmetrical?! Because, as you know, even God himself didn't create any symmetrical rocks.

So yeah, I totally meant to do that.