Sunday, March 30, 2008

Weee! So. We are now officially done with the "Wedding Cake" class at school. I had a little bit of a soap opera, but in the end I think it turned out rather well.

A. Lets not be silly. I did not make a full out real wedding cake. This is a Styrofoam dummy, covered in fondant. The stripes were more of a pain in the ass then I thought they'd be. Of coarse, I've been staring at this thing from it's inception so I can see (quite clearly) every dent, every curve that should be straight, and every smudge. Errr. Make no mistake! I am excited about this cake. I think it turned out wonderfully, but I am my own worst critic.
The fabric-like stuff you see going down the side of the cake is fondant that's rolled out thin, covered with lace fabric, and spread with a thin layer of colored royal icing. Then you pull up the lace and it creates the pattern (just like a stencil).
So, ya. Pretty good for a first timer?
The last few days I've been volunteering at this seminar going on at my school. It's really fascinating and there are lots of awesome chefs doing workshops. I've only been there 2 days and I've learned loads of things and gotten tons of ideas for my next project (which will be sugar and chocolate work). The pictures are of a sculpture one of the chefs did this evening. It's awesome. She did it in about 3 hours. I've been very impressed with all the chefs I've worked with so far, and there are still 3 more days of the program! Eeee! (I'm a nerd)

Friday, March 14, 2008

Settlers of Catan

Let me just say, I am always willing to make cakes for friends and family. I enjoying it immensely. The featured cake for this post is a birthday cake I made for my friend Matt. His favorite board game is Settlers of Catan. So, having absolutely no idea of the mechanics of the game, I decided to make a cake replica. Apparently, I was able to grasp the concept and feeling of the game because everyone was super amazed and impressed at the likeness. All I can say is Got save Wikipedia. If you look up Settlers of Catan on wikipedia, you will see the picture that I copied, start to finish, on this cake.
The cake itself is a chocolate cake with butter cream frosting and fondant. All the little pieces are fondant as well. I was actually disappointed with the taste of this cake because I was originally going to make a German Chocolate Cake, but I was running short of time, so I used the cake recipe for German cake, but not the filling. Turns out that makes a way less awesome cake. So that's too bad.

Wednesday, March 5, 2008

Woo! Fondant!

It's really amazing what fondant can do to smooth out ruff edges of a cake. Everything looks so much cleaner and neater. Granted, it isn't always the best tasting, but if you're looking for perfection, this is you game. Actually, I realized this past week that it isn't that fondant is disgusting, it's that what I've tried of it is disgusting. I had only tried Neutral fondant, which does taste like butt, however the chocolate and white chocolate varieties we get in from school are actually fairly decent (also pretty freakish expensive).
I've been enjoying myself quite a bit the last week. We've learned how to fondant cakes and decorate them in various ways. We're spending the rest of this week working on making gum paste flowers, which should be interesting. Also, our portfolio's for our wedding cake final is due on Friday and I'm pretty excited about what is going on. I think it'll be awesome!!
Cake decorating has turned out to be not quite as annoying as I'd originally feared. I still think I'm more comfortable with platted desserts, where the important part is the flavor combination, versus cakes, where the most important part is to make the flowers look real. I am enjoying myself, though. I might even like to do wedding cakes for a side business. :)
Anyway! You probably want to look at some pictures, right?!
First up:
This is actually just a butter cream frosted cake with a pastiallge plaque (sugar plaque) with a cocoa painting. I stenciled the cartoon I found online. This thing is so cute! I tried to make a film wheel looking design with fondant around the side of the cake, but it didn't turn out so well...thus the pictures don't really show the sides.
I also did a painting from my favorite childhood book, The Sweet Touch, but I decided not to use that one.
Next we get into fondant cakes. This next one I did for a contest we had that day on who could come up with the best cake design for an 11 year old boy. Now. I will say I was surprised at myself for making this design. And while I don't actually condone this hobby for small children...I thought it was a cool cake!
Long story short, I did not win the competition. A cake in the shape of a Turkey Sandwich won the prize, which, you know...totally makes sense. Hhhem! And, if I might also say, it is probably a little silly or weird to take this cake to a classroom with 2 French chefs in it who immediately giggle at the cake and make "silly American" comments. My bad. :(
And lastly! We were taught how to make silly ridiculous bows that I may never use in the rest of my career, but hey, this cake is cute!