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Archive for May, 2008

The type of cake I never thought I’d make… But then I volunteered for the smash cake for a friend’s son’s birthday before knowing the theme, so here comes a sports cake! Wasn’t sure how ‘smashable’ fondant would be, so I made an extra cupcake in buttercream only, but smashed by the little guy that big ball was!

Used Wilton’s ball pan set, with my most favorite wet towel strips wrapped around each pan, resulting in two perfectly leveled, evenly baked half-spheres! (My two previous Wilton ball pan attempts have been disastrous, as without the strips cake bakes to a crisp on the edges while the middle is still wet and mushy.)

Dr. Oetker organic chocolate cake mix with chocolate buttercream (melted Belgian chocolate with 54% cocoa content, organic unsalted butter, Ghirardelli chocolate power, a touch of powder sugar and organic heavy cream) in 8 tortes — birthday boy, I was told, was very fond of chocolate! That fairly small cake took 1lb of butter for filling and frosting…

The baseball had some unintended but very realistic texture… I wasn’t sure how easy it would be to smooth fondant over a sphere, so to prevent overstretching, cracking and tearing,  I rolled the fondant (Choco-pan) on a thin piece of plastic (in retrospect, I don’t think I would have been able to do it otherwise, the shape is very tricky…).  Then, I flopped the fondant, with the plastic, over the sphere and proceeded to smooth it on, still without removing the plastic. It resulted in tiny, little, uniformly shaped, very shallow indents/folds, all around the ball – just like leather! “Stitching” those baseballs was very time consuming as I rolled fondant very thin and cut it in tiny little pieces for each stitch… I’m pretty exited about how the cake ended up, considering I’ve never seen a baseball up-close and personal… Giants logo was free-handed on fondant. My Halloween serving plates ended up the perfect match!

Oh, and The Statement of The Party – according to birthday boy’s mom:
I don’t want that one because it has chemicals in it” – my 4 1/2 year-old precious exclaimed, rightfully refusing a bottle of flavored water! My friend shrugged to the greatly amused crowd: “His parents are vegetarian.” – and understanding nods followed… Should we be afraid of creating a monster or give ourselves a deserved pat on the back for raising such a reasonable offspring?! 🙂 

 

 

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Yup! Made for my very close friend (who’s obviously very passionate about penguins) and her twin brother (unfortunately several thousand miles away). I’ve only known them since… hm… all my life – I was almost two years old when our parents first became friends and the then-crawling duo invaded the house, only to spend our entire childhood adventuring together… I *think* she liked her cake very much!

I intended to make 30 penguins, but realized cake was too small to support so many – plus at 2am, that sounds like an impossibly numerous waddle… I made two batches of my flourless walnut cake recipe (by my friend’s request) in 10-9-8” layers, about 1.5” thick. First, about 1/3 of each layer was cut to make another layer, then each layer was torted under an angle similar to the topsy-turvy cakes, for the slope effect of a total of 6 layers in 12 tortes (whew, did I get all those numbers right?). There was a small setback mid-way though the assembly, with the top 6 tortes sliding off as a whole from the bottom group, but such sliding disasters usually prove quite agreeable after sticking butter-based filling in the fridge for a few minutes! Swiss meringue butter crème snow – can you tell I was out of white fondant?!

I had a blast making those little penguins. They’re not hard at all, but they are time-consuming. I’ve seen several penguin cakes and fondant/gum paste penguin figures on my favorite cake website, so I took ideas from there… Each penguin starts as a black ball, gently rolled to shape. Eyes are a heart-shaped white cutout, with black straw-cut tiny pupils. Noses are little tiny dark orange cones. Belly is a white ellipse. Wings/flippers are two leaf-shaped side cutouts from a circle. Feet are also a heart-shaped cutout, in pale orange. Then hats, scarves and earmuffs are just pure fondant fun! I prepped everything first, then just used egg whites to glue the pieces together – line production rules! When deconstructed like this, anyone can make a little cute penguin!

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