Tuesday, November 10, 2009

I got my camera back!

It's been about 2 weeks now since I got my camera back. So I decided to post a slideshow from my Ovi Share album since I have not made anything recently. The pictures are more clear now compared to the one's in Flickr. I hope you enjoy watching.

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

My First Baby Shower Cake

On my last blog entry, I mentioned that I will be on a cake hiatus. At least that was what I thought. Honestly, as much as enjoy making cakes I also get burned out after making one so it always comes to a point almost all the time I would say to myself " I need to take a break from this...".

I did have a break from my cake hobby for 2 months then I get a call from a dear friend. She is in her third trimester and I knew that a baby shower is being planned for her. About 3 weeks before her party she said she would want me to make a cake for her. I couldn't say no to her so I agreed to make her shower cake.

Weeks prior to the party I received my friend's shower invitation and it became the inspiration to her cake. It was a very cute card with a "Pea in a Pod" theme. I was happy because when I make cakes, it does take me a lot of time to research on what to make. I just followed some of the details that I found pretty much on the card. I wanted it to be simple but I wanted to make sure that anyone that saw the invitation will know where I got my inspiration from. And so I made a topper with a baby on a pea. I really had fun with this topper and to avoid any disaster I just used my favorite medium, pure MMF. But it has to be made ahead to let it stiffen.

Petit Fours
My friend said that she didn't want a tiered cake so I asked her if she wanted a round or square cake so I can decide if I make cupcakes or petit fours. She wanted a square one, I decided on the petit fours. This was my first time to make this. And it was really nerve wracking, but in spite of all that I finished at 11pm the night before her party and I was so happy.

Somehow the petit fours didn't turn out the way I wanted them to but they still looked dainty and the guests enjoyed them. For my petit four base, I used vanilla cake recipe and made another variant with dark chocolate to have a marbled effect. I also used dark chocolate ganache for filling on the plain vanilla cakes.

The glazing part was the most trickiest part of all and I didn't enjoy it at all. I know that the small cakes should be fully covered but I realized that the petit four icing was overwhelming sweet since it was made of powdered sugar and light corn syrup. So I went went just dripping some of the icing and just made sure that the tops were fully covered.

Tools and Techniques
For this cake, I purchased the following to ease with the decoration:

~its a really good tool to have, it did cut the decorating time.

Wilton Pearl Dust

Leaf Green

~ to highlight the flower cuts and the large pea pod

Ruby Red

~ to add color to the cheeks on the baby topper

This was a new experience to me and just like any of my creations I enjoyed making this cake most especially that it was made for a very dear friend.

*Sorry for the quality of the pictures, I will post more pics when I have my camera. I left it at my friends house :)

Thursday, June 11, 2009

Where's the Topper?

Its been a year now since I started with my cake decorating hobby. I have learn a lot since I started but every cake experience is very enjoyable for me. I have always been into trying new things to entertain myself in form of arts and crafts but by far this is the best thing I have tried. I love how it incorporates my two favorite things, art and food.

On my previous blog entry, I mentioned that my next cake project is going to be my son's cake for his third birthday - a Star Wars themed cake like his dad's. I was again challenged because I wanted a more kid-friendly Star Wars theme compared to what I did previously. My mind was already set on what to do for the cake but I was unprepared for what was going to happen during the cake making process.

The weekend before the big day, we had visitors and I was quite busy in the kitchen prepping for our meals. I was as ever ambitious that I would be able to make everything in 24hours. But for this cake I needed an emergency back-up plan which would involve a new medium.

When I decorate cakes, I always use purely MMF aka Marshmallow Fondant to cover them and even for decorating. I have been so comfortable with the medium that I am able to mold them into figures. But my experience is quite limited and I have not really tested how far it would go. I have never used gumpaste before nor added tylose in my MMF to make it more stiffer. So when I make figures I allow it to stand for at least 12hours depending on the size.

The Topper?
As for son's cake, my planned topper was the Young Anakin Skywalker. But I thought in order to pull this off in 24hours I was determined that I use gumpaste. I chose a Wilton gumpaste powder mix for my planned topper. I did follow the instructions religiously but everything turned out to be a complete disaster. I was so disappointed that I decided to disregard the topper. Honestly I was unprepared to use gumpaste, I was just assuming the things that I would be anticipating. And there were things that I noted and learned from my first gumpaste experience:

~ Gumpaste harden in a few minutes (keep it in a tight container)
~ Gumpaste is also heavy, the bigger your figures the heavier they get ( this is what happened to mine )
~ Always test the medium (my biggest mistake), see how it works for you
~ Research about your medium

The Cake and Cupcakes
My base is Carrot and Pineapple Cake, frosted and filled with buttercream. Fortunately, it was very good and our guests loved it. But this cake is the smallest round cake I have ever made, its only 6" x 3.5" and I made the extra batter into cupcakes. I also frosted them with buttercream and used a round biscuit cutter to cut fondant for the tops.

Techniques and Extras
I experimented with Wilton color mist™ food color spray, I cheated and did not tint the fondant blue to cover the cake but sprayed it. I also used the color mist for my cupcakes, I researched for Star Wars Jedi Logo and made stencil patterns. My accent mediums are Wilton Pearl Dust in Sapphire and White. They were added to my cake, cupcake, candles - Roman Numerals and the Clone Trooper Cup Cake Toppers.

At this point, I am unsure when or what will be my next cake project but I can say it was a good year. I have made a few cakes but learned a lot from it. I am looking forward to making more after my ? - month hiatus especially couture cupcakes. Probably by then my dream designs will be realized.

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Happy 2000


Another reason for me to smile today is that my "cake box" video reached 2,018 views already. I love this cake so much. And I hope that in the future I will be able to make something that has a similar theme to this cake. Anniversary and wedding cakes always gets my attention. These kinds of cakes sparked my interest with cake decorating in the first place.

Monday, May 18, 2009

Cake for a star

This is the first time that I ever made a fondant cake for my husband. At first he was a little bit confused why I would make a cake for him. I figured he was not big on cakes but I wanted to make him a cake since I make cakes for other people as well.

The cake was a little bit of a challenge even if it was only a single tier since the topper needed so much detail in it. My hubby is a "big kid", meaning he loves playing game consoles and other stuff a kid would normally enjoy too. And since he is a big fan of Star Wars, I knew it would be the best theme for his cake.

The Design
But this cake was a replica of a Star Wars cake on Flickr , it seemed perfect for me since Obi Wan Kenobi was my husband's favorite character. Although I decided to copy the design, I made some alterations. The position of the topper was altered since I wanted to Obi Wan to flaunt his light saber ( sword ). I also omitted the stars since it will take me a lot of work. I wanted the design to be simple, I had to be practical with my time since I had to do a lot of things aside from making this cake. I got my cake topper how-to's from Debbie Brown's Book, her book really helped me with my last two cakes - figure making wise.

The Cake
There's two recipe that I have been dying to try out in my cakes for sometime now, its a chocolate cake recipe and chocolate ganache. For me, making a chocolate cake from scratch always seemed like a lot of work. But I was corrected when I made this cake -my first chocolate cake ( from scratch ). One thing that I know my husband love is chocolate, and he's more chocoholic than I am. So I thought chocolate cake frosted in butter cream and ganache would be a perfect base for his cake. Ganache is a very nice frosting and it is true that you cannot help but sample it once you're making it, Kate Sullivan wrote that on her book. I am not a real big fan of chocolate but for me ganache is simply heaven. It is a very good medium to crumb coat your cake, frosting cake with it leaves a very nice shiny finish. And if you let it stand and allow it to thicken it creates a sturdy base for fondant which is perfect. And even without the fondant, your cake will look and taste good. I just had to cover mine since we would be travelling and the fondant will keep my cake in place until we reach our destination for hubby's party.

My Discoveries
One challenge that I always have with MMF aka Marshmallow fondant is coloring it. But for tinting the MMF blue for this cake I added generous amounts of the coloring to the melted marshmallow until I got my desired hue prior to adding the powdered sugar. Mix the color fast by using wooden toothpicks.And viola! I have blue MMF. I figured that the white powdered sugar will just blend in.To add more depth with your color once you've covered your cake, just rub small amounts shortening on your cake. Tinting fondant is such a pain for me, finally a solution!

Another Cake Project?
That will be for my son's 3rd birthday, and guess what he decided for the theme? Star Wars! I would say he is a big fan of his dad but not purely Star Wars so he likes what his dad likes. No choice...I will have to make another one, but perhaps another design or character.I really had fun making my husband's cake, I was once again challenged.

Monday, May 4, 2009

Most Ambitious

My 6th cake was a success, if I must say. It was the most challenging cake I've ever done in my cake decorating experience. It took me 4 days to get it all done and I still feel that my preparation wasn't enough. I assembled the cake at the venue since I didn't want to risk having a cake disaster. During the assembly of the cake I felt I was in a Food Network Cake Challenge since I had audience. I was not very early so some of the guest were already there. But it felt very good to get all those compliments from those people since I slaved myself for the cake for days.

Here are things that I learned from this new cake creation experience:

Lesson#1 Be Resourceful
When I started with this hobby I always believed that I can do a lot of things or create things without the help of fancy cake decorating tools. I am a very practical person and right now I don't have a real plan yet of making this hobby into a career. So I felt that there's no need for me to invest on things that I don't intend to use all the time. For this cake I made the tiny flowers (on the girl's dress) by hand using a paring knife, but they do have tools for this. Another thing is I painted the details (eyebrows,eyes and lips) on the girls face using a x-acto knife,toothpick,gel icing colors and clear vanilla instead of an edible marker pen. I have these kinds of pen but I didn't have the right colors.

Lesson#2 Have a Plan
This is important, very important when you make cakes. I've read it from Kate Sullivan's Book (Fancy Cake Decorating: Tips and Techniques for Decorating Unique Cakes for Any Occasion by Kate Sullivan) that it surprises her that she still need to work until wee hours in the morning just to finish her cakes, come to think of it she's already an experienced cake decorator herself. Make a plan of the things that you need for the cake - from ingredients to cake parts. For a 3-tiered cake I think 4 days wasn't enough so it probably should have been 5 or more just to be safe.

Lesson#3 Study your Cake
I did watch a lot of YouTube tutorials for my cake since I used a new medium - Royal Icing for the some of the details in my cake. I also researched on some ideas how I can put it all together. For my cake, I was informed months before the event so I had sufficient time to study on my desired cake structure.

Lessons#4 Don't be afraid to experiment
Since my cake was given as a gift for my friend's daughter, I was not very afraid to mess it up. But of course I wouldn't want to mess it up as well. I tried 2 new things for this cake - Royal Icing and Pearl Dust. And I was not disappointed with the result. Hopefully, in the future I will be using them again.

I'm very happy with how the cake turned out. Through this cake I was able learn a lot of things and its satisfying to know that I was able to make something this huge. It challenged my cake making abilities. And by far, its the most complicated cake I've made. But inspite of all this, I know I still have a lot to learn about this craft and a long way to go.

Click here for a closer look at the pictures:

Monday, April 27, 2009

First MMF Girl Figure

This figure is somewhat sneak peek of what I will be making in the next few days. Its "purely" MMF a.k.a. Marshmallow Fondant, I am a bit comfortable with the medium so I gave it a try. During the creating process of this figure I was nostalgic about those childhood memories I have of molding clays, it made me smile. I am not 100% satisfied with the result but I am happy that I am able to construct something that is recognizable - a girl. My husband thinks she looks like one of the stepsisters from Cinderella (: The skirt is actually cupcake covered in MMF too. My inspiration came from one of Debbie Brown's books - Enchanted Cakes for Children. This book is perfect for cake enthusiasts, its awe-inspiring.

In the next few days I will start my latest cake project, the most challenging one yet. Since I am usually uneasy before a cake project, the creation of this figure helped me in dealing with the tension. It made me realize that I will be making this for real, so no more second thoughts.

This video cannot be in my YouTube Channel ,being skeptical if its YT worthy its posted in private. So I made a poll, I will decide once my latest cake creation video is available if it should be in YT. Feel free to vote, I would really appreciate it. Enjoy!

Monday, March 30, 2009

This made me smile

I know I have not made a lot of cakes yet but I was pleased that the first video cake collection I posted reached 1,053 views already in my YouTube Channel since it was posted 2 months ago. Even though its going to be year since I made my first cake I still feel I'm still new to this whole thing. But still I have not lost interest in creating cakes ever since I started but there are just so many things that I need to do right now. 

But anyway, I have a project coming up this May and hopefully I will be able to post another video soon in my channel.

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

How it all started

Cakes...hmmm...let me see..probably my fascination of cakes started when I was a little girl and one beautiful birthday cake memory. This cake was buttercream,one sheet cake with a doll in a gown as a cake topper. Sad to say this birthday was one of my undocumented birthdays, so no pictures. But the I remember this certain cake that will i guess be forever be my first definition of what a beautiful cake should be. And that time being faced with a beautiful sweet piece of confection was simply overwhelming. 

In my previous cake encounters, I was not very exposed to many beautiful cakes in the past prior to my cousin's wedding. It was the most beautiful,classy and elegant cake that my eyes had laid on. Since then my picture perfect standard for a cake changed.