Tuesday, December 20, 2011

60th Birthday

A friend of mine wanted a cake and cupcakes for her dad's 60th birthday. She wanted a simple cake and cupcakes decorated with all his favourite things.

The cake is a coffee cake which I first covered with a dark chocolate ganache. Then I covered it in white fondant and added some gold ribbon round the bottom of the cake. The number 60 was made a week earlier from gumpaste. I was worried that gumpaste alone would not be strong enough to withstand the transportation process, so I used wire as well. I made gumpaste ropes and pushed wire into them. Then I bent the wired gumpaste ropes into the figures 6 and 0. I let them harden for a while, then dry dusted them with gold luster powder. It was quite messy, and I ended up with gold fingers!! :)

The cupcakes were Red Velvet cupcakes with cream cheese frosting. The cream cheese frosting recipe which I use has a high water content, (because I use cream) so the fondant decorations which I placed on top of the cream cheese frosting swirls started to melt!! 

I was horrified when my fondant discs started to melt and droop over the cupcakes!! But luckily they did not disintegrate totally and were still kind of acceptable, as long as I switched off my OCD mode!! lol!

Note to self: fondant on cream cheese frosting is a no no!

So my friend gave me a whole list of stuff  (fondant decor) I could put on the cupcakes. These included his children and grandchildren, and other things like cars and pets. I loaned her my cupcake stand, so the cake went on top and the cupcakes at the bottom. I do not have a photo of the final assembled display, but here are the pics I did take;

Saturday, December 17, 2011

Precious moments

Google Precious Moments and you will find these pretty, innocent, sweet characters.

A friend of mine loves Precious Moments characters, so she ordered a Precious Moments cake from me for her own birthday! :)

I started early on the little girl figurine, just in case there were any disasters, I would have time to redo!

My class with Lorraine McKay helped a lot when it came time to do the figurine. It was very time consuming, but the results were good. Since the little girl was so cute, I didn't want to make the cake too 'busy' with too many decorations. The focus would be on the figurine.

Simple cakes with few adornments are harder to make, because that means you must cover your cake flawlessly, as you cannot hide blemishes with decorations. So, I made sure I ganached the cake well, as that is the basis of all neat, flawless, fondant-covered cakes.

My cake turned out quite well, and although it was one of my best coverings, it was still far from perfect! :) I need plenty of ganaching practice if I ever hope to achieve that elusive, perfect, smooth finish!

Saturday, December 10, 2011

Cupcakes galore

Here are some cupcakes I made for various potlucks! These are simple, fondant-free cupcakes!

These are mini chocolate cupcakes with chocolate ganache frosting topped with coloured confetti. This is tthe first time I used the large circle tip, so the frosting doesn't look too great! In fact, they look like mounds of chocolate poop!! Hahahaha...

But they do taste delicious, trust me...  ;)

They were for Annie's first Holy Communion potluck.

These are Red Velvet cupcakes frosted with large 1M swirls of cream cheese frosting and topped with single jumbo heart sprinkles. They were made for the kids' year-end school parties.

I am in love with Red Velvet cupcakes at the moment, have I mentioned that?? :)

Though I find that some batches are nicer than others, and I think it's because of the baking time. Over-baking really makes the cakes drier and tougher, so I have to remember to watch out for that! I still need practice to get consistent results.

Simply gorgeous!

Thomas the Tank Engine

Next up was the Thomas train birthday cake I made for little Tyler who was turning 2. His mummy wanted a two tier cake with Thomas on top.

So the cakes were made of chocolate cake and frosted with chocolate ganache. The bottom tier was made from two 8" square cakes and the top from two 6" round cakes. It was a lot of cake and the whole creation turned out surprisingly heavy!

For the bottom tier, I made a gift box with ribbon design. For the top tier, I created a drippy icing effect round the top of the cake.

Thomas took the most time to complete. He was made from gumpaste and I started work on him a few days ahead of the birthday party. It was quite detailed and I'm happy with the result. It is fully gumpaste and totally edible.

Next time, I might consider using styrofoam as a frame on the inside of Thomas. That would give a better shape and stronger and sharper edges. Though the novelty of it being edible would be gone.... Hmmm... should I?

 Anyway, I don't do many boys' cakes, as most of my kids and sisters' kids are girls!! So it was nice to work with bold colours like dark blue and red for a change instead of the usual pinks and purples! :)

November is missing!

Oh gosh! I let the whole month of November go by without  a single post! I'm so sorry, but life has been a non-stop whirlwind of action for me! (Which is just the way I like it!)

So what have I been up to? Well here are some of the projects I completed:

Here's an army of Buttercups!! :) They're chocolate cupcakes with chocolate ganache frosting and decorated with fondant.

Only when I looked back at the photos, did I realise that I forgot the little white dots for the reflection in the eyes. It may only be a miniscule dot, but it makes a huge difference. It brings the eyes to life.

My friend also wanted another batch of simple cupcakes and an Angry Bird cake to go with the Power Puff Girl cupcakes. These were chocolate cupcakes with a light cream cheese frosting.

Well, for the Angry Bird cake, I kinda cheated!! :)

Look closely, and you'll see that the figurines are plastic, store-bought ones!! Heh... I didn't have enough time to complete such a large order, so my friend agreed that plastic was fine! Thank goodness!

Anyway, the cake was a yummy red velvet cake and the frosting is the same light cream cheese frosting I used for the chocolate cupcakes. I must say, using plastic figurines saved me an immense amount of time!! I'll be keeping my eyes out for nice plastic figurines to keep at hand in case of last minute emergencies!!
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