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Eat Your Heart Out

16 Jan

Whew! Everyone make it into 2011 okay? We didn’t leave anyone behind, did we? Woo-eee, what a ride! Have you been wondering where I am, if I’m okay, if I gave it all up to become Diddy’s personal assistant? Naw. I’ve been around. I’ve been hanging. With my peeps. Little peeps, big peeps, annoying peeps, and Little Bo Peeps. Or doing endless college assignments, picking up after those-who-are-old-enough-to-clean-up-after-themselves-dangit! and baking, baking, baking! Whatev.

I feel like I should have written posts for a year before publishing the first one. The thing is, you get them hot off the presses and right outta my kitchen. That makes it kinda tough to make a post about a holiday cake when the holiday has just passed. After all, I make my stuff as close to the day as possible. Which means, by the time the kiddos head back to the Ivy League, the holiday is but a distant memory except for the mess they left behind. Luckily for me, I have an ace up my sleeve. Okay, a heart, but still- I’m ready ahead of time for the next holiday.

This time, let’s do something for the less experienced among us. That right, rank amateurs, step on up! If your idea of making a birthday cake involves sticking candles in a cake covered with canned frosting and still in the pan you baked it in, holla! This one’s for you!

Swanky Heart Cake

I actually wrote this a few years back for a friend. I was just beginning my cake journey. Everybody say, “Awww!”

Okay, let’s get to it.

 Bake one 8 inch round cake AND one 8 inch square cake. Let cool for a bit and then remove from pans.

(Chocolate or Cherry Chip would go well.)

Make 2 batches buttercream pure white icing. Set aside approximately 1 ½ c. and tint it pink. The pink should be the consistency for piping. (This assumes your recipe takes 1 lb. of powdered sugar.)

Leave the remaining buttercream white at a consistency for frosting the cake with the exception of approximately 1 ½ c. for piping (make the 1 ½ c. the consistency for piping).

 Place the square cake on cake board, making sure one corner of the cake points to the bottom middle of the cake board and attaching with a dab of icing underneath to keep it in place.

Cut  the round cake exactly in half. 

Frost the cut edges of the round cake and 2 adjoining sides of the square cake. Place one cut side of round cake to one frosted edge of the square cake. Press together until it holds. Repeat with other half of round cake and other side of square cake.

So I’m not that great at fussing with shapes using a computer. *shrug* Close enough.

Using a heart shaped cardboard template covered in plastic wrap, place it in the center of the cake, making sure the point of the template matches the point of the heart cake. Go ahead and mark this space by white creating shells around it or just leave it in place to remind you not to frost there.

Crumb coat the rest of the cake white, let the icing crust and then smooth with your preferred method. If the round and square cake do not match exactly in size, fill it out with extra frosting to make it even and look almost seamless. The finish coat will finish the job of hiding the seams.

Finishing icing the cake with white, let crust, and smooth with your preferred method. You can use an icing comb on the sides of the cake at this time if you like. However, remember you must have a thick coat of icing to use the comb.

Thin a little of the pink frosting to spreading consistency and spread it in the middle-following the heart template. Smooth the pink as best you can. You do the pink last because it’s a little tough to cover pink with white, but not white with pink. Keep checking that it is lining up with the point and curves of the top edge of the cake- you don’t want an off-center heart in the middle.

Using a star tip (a bigger one works fine for the borders but use a little smaller one for the heart center) and white frosting, pipe shells to outline the top of the cake and the middle heart shape.

Again using a star tip, pipe the bottom border with shells and pink frosting.

Cut one Hershey bar into smallish chunks and place around bottom border and on top of center heart shape.

Fill in between the top white shell border and the inner shells outlining the center heart with cherry pie filling. Use a large eating spoon (AKA soup spoon) and be gentle so you don’t glop it where you don’t want it.

Melt another Hershey bar and put it in a squeeze bottle or disposable piping bag. Drizzle melted chocolate on the board in whatever way you like. Alternatively, you can do this with a spoon but your drizzles won’t be as small or as exact as you would like.

Finis! Cut, Enjoy, and Give away the leftovers!

Blech! I now officially hate shaped pans!

6 Mar

Hello all, Frosting chick here.  As you may or may not have gathered by now, I’m not a big user or fan of shaped pans.  I guess they kind of come in handy, as far as a decorating guide, especially when making trade marked characters, but over all, I’m a carving kind of girl.  That got reaffirmed recently, when I had an order for a doll cake.  You know the ones, the cake part is shaped like a ball gown, and folks usually use some cheap/chintzy doll picks for the rest of the babe.  Well, first of all, I hate the picks.  I like using the full bodied doll.  Now, with my extensive (read: ONE doll cake) experience, I thought I should give the shaped pan a try.  I’ve had it for almost a year now, and finally got an order for a doll cake, so what the heck?  If I had to choose one word for the experience, it would be (#)@&*#$(*&%)#(*(*@!!!!! screamed loudly at this miserable failure.  I’m not denying that there  could be some operator error here, but damn, it shouldn’t be this bad!

Now, this is after an HOUR of baking.  Yes, an hour.  Used my trusty cake tester, it came out clean.  How could I have misread a thin metal wire that gets stuck into cake? “Impossible!” I say, but apparently not.  I sat the cake out to cool, walked by about 20 minutes later, and the above is what I found.  CRAP!  what to do!?!?!  I did what any resourceful young lady would do, I slapped that sucker back in the oven.  Alas, ’twas all in vain.  Thought I could at least salvage the cone part, but that’s where all the unbaked batter had sunk to.  It’s currently back in the oven, if nothing else, I can feed the fam some failure cake.  And that was not meant to be either.  I mean, I love my family, couldn’t possibly let them near it, no matter how much the hubby clapped in delight at the thought of cake in the house…

I mean, it’s not like I haven’t done a doll cake before…..

but it was 4 round cakes and carved.  I really REALLY wanted this pan to work.  I hate having something around, especially something cake related, that I’m not using.

Side note:  Fondant chick is at this very moment reading this, grasping at her string of pearls and fanning herself at the blasphemy I’m spewing.  She loves her some shaped pans and has quite the collection.  She could open her own “Shaped Cake Pan” museum (and cakery) with just what she has tucked away in her cake closet (and I’m not sure that the “man of the house” is even aware of her addiction).  She’s got a mean “shaped pan radar”, the likes of which I’ve never seen.  We went yard sale-ing last spring and that girl was on it!  We had pans out the ying-yang.  I frequently receive e-mails (while I’m stuck in my cubicle furiously pounding away on the computer for the man) of her latest pan acquisitions, it’s crazy!

Alright, onward and upward.  I’ve baked new cakes, have them carved, covered, and ready to go. 

Thanks to the powers that be that invented adjustable shelves in a ‘fridge!  Much better than that stupid, ignorant, icky shaped pan.  Which, by the way, while I REALLY wanted to take a hammer to that sucker out in my driveway, I have found it a nice home, with another home baker.  I warned her how much I hate it & the problems I had with it, and she’s graciously accepted it anyway.  Kind of reminds me of the old joke “EW, this is horrible, taste this!”, but instead was more like “Hey, I have this doll pan, and I hate it, want it?” she – “Sure, how much do you want for it?” me – “Just take the damn thing.  It sucks and I don’t like it.”  I guess one cakers hate is another cakers treasure.

So, how about you?  Got any cake horror stories you’d like to share?

PS: Fondant chick and I are heading to the home show tomorrow, will hopefully get to meet Mary Alice and Geof Manthorne from “Ace of Cakes”.  Wish us luck!

Twitter Gone Haywire

29 Nov

Birdhouses are so cute, aren’t they? Little homes for little critters. Someone’s mamma thought so, too, so he asked me to make one in cake-complete with critter. Armed with wild ideas and a Wilton house pan, I set forth to create mamma’s passion in cake-despite the horrible heat and humidity and a great lack of central air. The last part’s gonna be important. Remember it and be kind, k?

You can find the pan here:

http://www.wilton.com/store/site/product.cfm?id=3E3191DF-475A-BAC0-53BA3BD42B6F8C98&killnav=1

I made 4 houses and skewered them mightily to a double layered covered foam core board base. Yes, 4 houses. I wanted it to be square shaped and that takes 4 houses. Now you know why they were skewered mightily. So great did I skewer that the delivery sheet included a diagram for removal.

Everywhere there’s an arrow, there’s a skewer and they were all inserted at an angle and had to be pounded into the board below, with the exception of the one in the birdhouse door. Don’t put the birdhouse door skewer in just yet, though. We’ll do that later. Each house was torted and filled with cream cheese icing, and then the houses were glued together with more cream cheese icing. The whole shebang was then iced in cream cheese icing. Do you get the feeling cream cheese icing is important to the tale? That’s ‘cause it is.  Back to the cake:  I think that’s all you need to know before we get started on the décor. If not, holla’.

Once the cake is upright and sturdy, find a round object the size that you want the “hole” to be and press it into the cake to mark the area. Dig it out as much as needed.

From here, we start with the fondant. You will need white, teal, yellow, orange, and lilac fondant.  I made a mistake which I often make when adding gum-tex to fondant. I added it when the fondant was in the liquid stage instead of kneading it in once all the powdered sugar is added. This creates clumps. I dunno why, but is shore do. However, no problemo for this cake. It just adds to the authenticity of the wood look I’m creating. If you don’t like that look, add the gum-tex at the proper time.

Roll out the white fondant. Cut a circle the approximate size of the hole you created and stick it in there. It will get messed up, but do it anyway. I hate to muck up something alone. When that’s ready, compare your pan to the actual cake to check for size and then cut out 2 pieces of white fondant for the front and back using the pan as a guide. Mark the top and bottom edge of your pieces for even lines. Using a straight edged something that’s food safe, press board lines into the fondant. Now it’s ready to be applied to the cake. Expect the fondant to stretch. Just get it onto the cake the best you can and trim as needed. Press the fondant into the bird hole and smooth ‘til pretty.

Measure the sides of the cake from the bottom edge of the roof line down, cut 2 pieces of fondant, make the board lines again, and stick those onto the sides. Once those are on snugly, go ahead and put in the birdhouse door skewer.

I know you’re asking, “Why is the frosting so lumpy?” No air conditioning and cream cheese icing, that’s why.  Try not to obsess about it. Not a thing I can do about it but hope it doesn’t show thru the fondant so let’s move on to the fencing, huh? Cut out 4 more rectangles- each the width of the side where you will be placing the fence. The height is up to you. Cut these rectangles into boards- each the same width. Now you have sticks and they need turned into fence boards. To do this, cut the tops of each one at an angle like so:

The boards need joined, so cut rectangular strips to go across them once they are on the cake, measuring the circumference of the cake so you know how much you will need. You will need this amount twice. Apply the boards and then the joins to the cake like so:

As you can see, my fencing stops at the door. It was a height thing. Your results may vary.

Front, back, sides, fencing: it must be time for the roof. Wad up the rest of the white fondant, and seal it in a baggie to keep it fresh and soft. Roll out the teal fondant and cut circles- approximately a crap ton.

These will be applied similar to real shingles. Start at the bottom and work your way up.

Part way through, I realized it would work better if I also put shingles along the side before working upwards. This helped me plan the spacing. As you can see, you are going to work your way across the roof, placing the next row of shingles between the shingles of the previous row. Otherwise, it will look weird. Go ahead, go outside and check your own roof. The seams are staggered. They should be the same on a cake house, too.

Again, like a real roof, you have to cap it with a row of shingles:

While you have the teal out, go ahead and cut out the flower box. Roll out bits of white, yellow, and purple, and using a flower plunger cutter thingy, cut out flowers. Arrange all to your liking on the front of the house. Repeat for back, if desired.

So far, it’s been fairly simple: cut and apply, cut and apply. Now we’ll get down to the harder part: the bird. My bird is wacky, but that’s what the client asked for so that’s what he’ll get.  First the picture, then the explanation; at least as much as I remember. I used a picture to guide me and I found it on cakecentral in the galleries. Here he is in progress:

Roll one square teal oval for the body and head. Use the non-pointed end of a skewer to make his belly button.

Roll 2 white fondant balls for the eyes and cover those partially with teal for the eyelids.

For the feet, I used orange fondant and a flower cutter and removed the extra petals.

The wings were created from a rectangle. I rounded one end then used a pointed fondant tools to push in 2 areas on the other end to make it look similar to a wing.

The tuft of hair was created with a clay gun. I made a thin round strand, cut it in pieces, and then joined them together by squooshing.

The beak is 2 triangles of fondant. Before placing one triangle on top of the other, roll teeny balls for the teeth. Place the teeth on top of the bottom triangle, then place the top triangle and lightly press the whole shebang together. Press the non-pointed end of a skewer lightly into the beak to create the nostrils. After that, let it dry with 1/3 of it hanging over a low edge so it dries with a slight curve.

When all that is complete, mark the pupils with a black food marker and join all the pieces with piping gel. Keep the extra hair tufts in case of breakage. Let the food marker dry before you put it all together or you may be giving your bird the bird if it smears.

All that’s left now is put your wording on the board and place the bird. Ta-da! Not exactly a Rockin’ Robin in his ‘hood, but it’ll do.

To answer your remaining questions, the weather played a huge part in the pain-in-the-behind-ness of the creation of this cake. The frosting made everything slide. The fondant stretched out of shape and didn’t want to stay put. It was cream cheese frosting so I had to be very aware of how long it was out of the fridge, too. I kept putting the cake in the ‘fridge to harden, take it out and work on it for 5 minutes, repeat ad infinitum. It took a lot long longer than it should have, it became and stayed shiny, and I never did get it to look as professional as it should have looked. The weather is totally beyond my control. I have no idea what the weather is going to be when I agree to make a cake, so it’s a crap shoot. Nice clients understand this. Not-so-nice ones get their cakes from someone else. 🙂 My client, and his mother, was very happy with the cake, and in the end, that’s all that counts. That doesn’t mean I won’t harp on getting central air, but it does show you that sometimes all you can do is all you can do, and no amount of complaining is going to make it perfect or make it take less time.

Happy Dry Cool Weather Caking!

Monkeying Around

15 Nov

Dedicated to all those with a monkey on their back, tattooed or otherwise.

Sometimes, life stinks. There’s no getting around it. Nothin’ you can do about it but make some cake and have a party, right? Let’s get baking. Spatulas up, everyone!

Bake a square cake. Shush. Put aside those corner phobias and just relax and bake the cake.

choc cake in pan compressed

Looks a bit crispy around the edges, but who isn’t a little fried these days?

Cool the cake per usual.

choc cake cooling compressed

Yep, definitely crispy. Eh, more cake scraps for me.

Print your picture and outline it on the back (see the sax cake for more details).

monkey template compressed

(My apologies for the glare. I ironed wax paper onto it to make it food safe.)

Cut out your pic and lay it on the cake to check for size. Very important step, don’t skip it and don’t go forward until you do it. Fo’ reals. Avert disaster, test it out.

fitting monkey template compressed

Whew! It fits. Not only that, the crispy edges will go bye-bye, too. What is it about chocolate that does that? By the time the center is done, the edges are hard enough to throw at hubby in a fight. Sorry, didn’t mean to give you ideas. 😉

This is the point I choose to torte and fill the cake. If you like, you can do it after you’ve cut the shape, but I feel more secure if I do it now. One of my many cake security blankets, if you will.

torted choc cake compressed

You like my awesome big cake transfer tortey thingys? Me, too. Both Wilton, thank you very much (http://www.wilton.com).

Get your cake filled and get back here. We’re gonna get out the shiv and do some real damage.

Lay your template back on the cake and begin carving. (Again, see the sax tute for in depth instructions. It’s Friday, long week.)

Partially carve:

first carve monkey cake compressed

Aaannnd fully carve:

final cut monkey cake compressed

Now you can see my real reason for torting and filling first- cake samiches all around, folks! Guess what’s for dinner?

In between bites, crumb coat.

crumb coat monkey cake compressed

Ooh, he’s a bit fugly now. Let’s move on and final coat before I panic.

final coat monkey cake compressed

Okay. Now he’s a bit funky looking. Hmm, I hope this works.

Clean up the frosting stuff, and take a few licks for me. That buttercream is good stuff, ain’t it? Nummers.

Once all the evidence, I mean mess, is cleaned up, get ready to fondant. The colors I used were lots o’ brown and flesh, with a decent amount of red. I think it’s time for a Timely Tip from Timer. Remember him? Hankerin’ for a hunk of cheese? No? Here ya go:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=U3jgo5ea_zc

Yes, I’m old. Shut up.

Annnyway, a timely tip. I used Hershey’s dark brown cocoa to get the right brown without emptying the entire bottle of gel color into it.

(http://www.hersheys.com/products/details/specialdark/index.asp?name=Cocoa)

 It’s delicious. I need to diet now, but it’s still delicious.

Now that your fondant is ready, let’s get rolling.

Brace yourself against the counter, Effie; we’re going to go fast for a bit. The pictures should be enough description. 

laying brown fondant monkey cake compressed

first brown fondant trimming monkey cake compressed

final brown fondant trimming monkey cake compressed

Monkey cam shot:

monkey cam shot compressed

Get it? Got it? Don’t forget it.

Yeah, I’m old. And tired. Don’t forget tired.

Now, we’re going to dissect. The good kind of dissect. Not the kind where you pretended to be sick in 7th grade so you didn’t have to go to school and tear apart that poor dead frog. Paper dissecting only here, if you please. Forget if you please, I please. Blech.

Trim away the top of the head and the ears from the template, like this:

removing top of head stencil monkey cake compressed

We’re not going to do what you think we are. Nope, we’re not. My way is easier. Yes, it is. Stop arguing. Whose blog is it, anyway? That’s right. Mine. Look, if it’s not easier for you, you can always stop and do it your way, k?

Set aside the big piece with the face on it. Think it out for a minute. The entire bottom half is going to covered with flesh fondant. It’s the top half that is bi-tonal. I said tonal, not polar. Leave your coworker out of this. More cake for us.

Roll out your flesh fondant and gently lay it on the cake. Do not adhere it anywhere but the bottom half. All you need to do for the top is make sure it’s not going to tear. You’ll peel away a lot of the top and it will be much easier to do if it’s not adhered.

laying flesh fondant monkey cake compressed

That wrinkle on the right looks like the back of my knees. Don’t tell anyone.

Place the top part of the template on the top part of the cake, like so:

placing top of head stencil monkey cake compressed

He, he. There’s a funky hair-do idea, huh? He’s got kind of a bee-hive thing happening up there.

Pick up your shiv and carefully outline the inner arch. Carefully. Remember, there’s another layer of fondant under there that you don’t want to muck up. I’m too tired to start over tonight so if you mess it up, yer on yer own.

Remove the template and check out your work.

cutting flesh fondant monkey face compressed

Make a second, deeper cut that goes all the way through just the top layer of fondant. Once that’s done, make a cut from the each side of the bottom of the arc you just cut, across the face and down each side. Refer to the next picture before you do this, because I’m not sure I described that correctly.

Once your cuts are made, peel away the excess fondant and adhere the fondant to the cake.

fondant base complete monkey cake compressed

Hmm, he looks more Princess Leia than monkey now. Maybe if she and Chewbacca had a baby? I think I may have slipped over the tired hill and fallen into delirium now. Maybe if I keep typing, no one will notice.

Dipping further into the dissection arena, cut out the facial features. Better stick to template unless you’re really good at eyeballing. I’m not, therefore I cut.

monkey facial features template cut compressed

Hang in there, we’re almost done and then we can all get some beauty sleep. According to what I saw in the mirror this morning, I can use all I can get right now. Oil of Old Lady just isn’t cutting it lately. I blame the kids.

Using the pieces you just cut, roll out fondant and cut the following:

Flesh for the inner ears

Brown for the eyes and nostrils

Red for the mouth

(I know, it seems obvious. One never knows who’s reading one’s blog, though, does one?)

Adhere the features, and declare it, “all done!” in your best speaking-to-a-toddler-high-pitched-voice.

One last picture, then let’s all hit the hay. In our own haystacks, of course. Don’t be gross. I’s tired and not even in college, k?

completed monkey cake compressed

(T- hug those lil monkeys for me tonight.)

‘Tis the season for ghosts and goblins!

26 Oct

It’s also the season for busy chicks with colds and assorted nastiness dwelling withing our sinuses!  Plus I seem to spend most of my ‘free’ time keeping my son, Crazy, away from all of the Halloween anamatronics we have out.  So forgive the usual tutorial, as I, the Frosting chick, have decided to share with you some cakes of the season that folks have shared with me.  A lot of these look like they were made by home bakers, so don’t expect clean lines and fancy piping, it’s Halloween for ghoulish sakes!  I’ve also thrown in one of my own, see if you can guess which one! And if you happen to know who made any of these scary creations, drop us a line so we can give them props!

First up, grab a plate and a spoon and dig in!

noname

*channeling my best Eddie Murphy* “Dead bird, gonna put it on YOU!!!!!!”

crow

Did grandpa lose something?

choppers

Rocky Horror or just horror?

P1010932

I think I might have dated this guy in high school

igor

Jason seemed a lot scarier in the first flick…

jason

Innards anyone?  There’s plenty….

innards

realistic

What’s up, smokers?

ash

They only come out at night!  Now if they can just make it out of the box.

 

 

 

eh

Nothing wrong with a little holiday head

head

Honey, time to change the litter box

gross

I’m not sure what the hair is made of, but I AM sure I’d never, ever take a bite

really gross

Let’s give ’em all a hand, shall we?

hand

Here Kitty, Kitty!

26 Oct

Sheeee’s popular, sheeeee’s cute, sheeee’s copywrited, she’s Hello Kitty!

Yup, can‘t do Hello Kitty. What you can do is make a Kutie Kitty, not to be confused with the copywrited Hello Kitty. Got it? NOT Hello Kitty. It’s a different bow, so it can’t be. It’s Kutie Kitty. Got it? Got it?

Alrighty, then. Let us proceed to make a Cute Cat Cake.

I’m a slacker at heart, so my kitty starts with a shaped pan you can find here:

http://www.wilton.com/store/site/product.cfm?sku=2105-4945

bear cake compressed

Using a sturdy cake recipe, make a bear cake. Yup. Bear. Not cat. Bear. S’alright. You’ll see.

Now, in a grown up, cake addicted, adult version of Operating Table, we’re going to perform a lil non-plastic surgery on Mr. Bear ‘cause his whole life he’s really felt like a cat inside. Who are we to stand in his way? All you need for the surgery is a knife and for the kids to be out of the room. Unless you want to traumatize them. If you do, that’s a whole other post on a whole ‘nother blog.

 creating kitty ears compressed

Slice the roundness off the ears by cutting a straight line perpendicular and a straight line horizontally. Don’t know your perp from your vert from your hort? Memorize this song and you’ll never have that prob again:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=spaw8bCZMHc

Wow! Those were the days, huh? I can hardly remember what it was like to be that cool.

crumbcoat kitty compressed

After you’ve run a towel into one ear and out the other to clean those images out, crumb coat the bearcat. This time, keeping the facial details is not important, so slather away at it.

final icing coat kitty compressed

You know the drill: final coat and smooth.

Geez, that song is still playing in my head. I think I’ve aged at least 30 years in the past 1 ½ minutes. Can you believe leggings are back in style? No, you cannot wear them. Remember: if you wore it the first time, you cannot wear it the second time. By the third time, you’ll be so old people will accept your little quirks as age issues, so don’t toss your originals just yet. But I digress….

Where were we? Let’s see: carve, crumb, final. What’s next? Oh, yes! Fonnnnddaaaaannntt!

rolling kitty fondant compressed

The rolling pin (found here: http://www.wilton.com/store/site/product.cfm?id=B46C2136-802D-F658-044AFB328E609BEE&killnav=1) was left in the picture as a guide for you. Okay, I really didn’t think about it at the time, but it is a happy circumstance, isn’t it?  The pin is 20 inches long, for those of you too lazy to click and look right now. Roll your fondant and prepare for launch- onto the cake, of course.

cover with fondant kitty compressed

Cover your kitty (insert your own joke here). Adhere and smooth the fondant to the cake. Ignore that it’s not quite kitty kat shaped. Again, s’alright. Your friends won’t notice. Or coworkers, in this case.

adding kitty details compressed

Begin adding the details. The nose and eyes are ovals, not circles. You can use an oval cutter- or a round one if you’re good at that kind of thing. I’m not. Those things only happen by accident in this kitchen. The bow you add is up to you. Consider your time, skills, and tools at hand and go bow-making-crazy.

Awww, ain’t she adorable? She still needs whiskers. We wouldn’t want her to get her head stuck somewhere because her curb feelers are AWOL. I used 3 long black coffee stirrers cut into halves for my Kutie Kitty. You can try dying spaghetti black or getting string licorice stiff enough if you like. My time, talent, and fear of color bleed kept me firmly on the coffee stirrer path; but hey, you may be superior to me.  😛

The final touch was a dusting of white pearl dust to make her shiny. Every gal needs a little glitter for her big debut.

Red carpet, errrr, office pod- here we come!

finished kitty compressed

Happy B-day, J!

(P.S. I told you it would be alright. When will you learn to trust me? Yeesh, some people. )

Wasted Away Again- *Slightly Mature Content Ahead*

12 Oct

I’m using a new laptop and the newest Office so please bear with me while I curse new things. Additionally, the color and shading on some of the pics looks weird to me but I don’t know if that’s new laptop related or because pink is hard to photograph or what. Just know that I know and I’m doing the best I can at the moment. Change is not easy. I miss my old laptop. *Sigh*

 If you’re a regular reader, you will recognize part of this next design. If not, shame on you. Haven’t heard of our fame? No? Hmm, we’ll have to work on that, I guess. In the meantime enjoy the saga I call “Conflicted”- making your child’s 21st Birthday cake.

Since I’ve already shown you the Margarita glass cake earlier­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­, I’ll concentrate on the flip flop portion of the evening.  You’ll need various supplies along the way which I’ll discuss as we get to them; mostly because I’m too lazy to make a list right now. Dilbert life 5 days a week and all that.

batter in pan compressed

The first thing you’ll need is a 13X9 cake- your choice of flavor.  If you want to be really frustrated, try a new recipe. Perhaps  when you level the uneven beast, you’ll discover what I did:

leveled cake compressed

Yeah, this is gonna be just peachy. Try as dust to boot.  Ever the hardy pioneer, we press onwards. Torte the cake and fill it if you like. Set is aside to settle while you mess with the template.

For the template you will need:

Cardstock (preferred), paper, or waxed paper.

Flip flops

Scissors

Marking implement such as pen, pencil, marker, white out- you know, whatever’s handy

Trace the flip flop shape onto the cardstock and cut out the template. Yes, you need a right and a left. Otherwise the world will know that you are a freak with two left feet or two right feet or whatever. Cut carefully around the big toe joint area. There’s no need for the guests to know about your bunions.  For those of us who catch on quickly; yes, it’s gross at this point. Hang a sec. We’re gonna fix that. Once the first template is cut out, place it on top of another piece of cardstock and do it again. There- gross factor is all gone. No feety germies left.

 template compressed

Place the template on the top side of the cake and, using the pointed sharp instrument of your choice, carve the cake.

placing template on cake compressed

half carved compressed

carving completed compressed

Hindsight truly being 20/20, realize you should have used a dense cake recipe but once again channel your pioneer ancestors, continuing with the pressing onward stuff.

Crumbcoat the floppers.

crumbcoat compressed

Final coat the flippers.

final coat compressed

Worry and complain about the cake texture and about how the frosting refuses to smooth in 90 degree heat. Worry and complain some more until you give into to “whatever shall be, shall be” and press onward once more by telling yourself that most everyone at a 21st birthday party will probably be less than sober and won’t notice anyway. What about the pictures that will exist unto eternity? Tell them inebriated hands cause bad pictures. Yeah, that’ll work. Onwards, pioneers!

Here’s where fondant enters. You know there had to be fondant somewhere, right? Right. So, fondant waltzes in, pushes aside the buttercream, and takes over the counter. Hello, my friend!

You need 2 strips of fondant for the thong portion of the evening.

fondant strips compressed

I cut mine 18 inches long, AKA way too long; but better too long than too short, right?

Now you need to mark the holes for the thong. You can either eyeball it (guess who did that?) or use the first template to mark it and then transfer those marks to the second, germ free, template. To make the holes, I used the blunt end of a skewer.

thong holes compressed

Yeeeaaah, that final buttercream coat looks bad. The birthday girl doesn’t want much fondant. Dilemma. Say “21st birthday” aloud and move on.

Try on the thong for fit. On the cake, not your foot. Geeze.  Whack off about half of it so it’s the proper length.

thong placed compressed

If you have time and better weather than I had, you can shape the thong for authenticity by letting it dry over a covered paper towel tube.

drying the thong compressed

I did not have the luxury of time. Of course.

Insert the thong into the holes using your fingers, the skewer, or anything else you think will work.  I pinched the ends, meaning not the part that goes between toes (if it were a real shoe), to help with insertion.  Add any other décor as needed/wanted.

All done. Simple, Easy-peasy. Piece o’ cake. Flip flop cake, that is.

flip flop margarita cake completed compressed

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