Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Cake skills coming along...

My classes at ICE were. awesome. I especially loved the second class I took- we learned more advanced techniques in that class, and it was so fun to just get lost in what I was doing. We did this technique called Australian string work, and you have to concentrate really hard on it, so it was nice to clear my mind and not think about anything else but that. It was actually kind of relaxing. I am SO proud of my final product from the second class. We covered styrofoam cake dummies with fondant, did Australian string work and lace work on the bottom, free hand designs on the sides, and gumpaste flower sprays on the top.  When I showed Nate the cake, he had to touch the flowers to see if they were real or not. :)  I love it!

The first class was fun as well, but much more basic. We learned mostly piping skills as well as chocolate roses and marzipan fruit.
The peach was my favorite!
Aren't they so cute?

Barbie Cake

My neighbor Clare's little girl Addi turned 4 this week. Her girls saw this cake at the Chelsea Market, so she took me there to show it to me to see if I could make it for Addi's birthday.
I thought it would be a very fun project, so I said I would do it. I hate putting this picture in the same post as my cake, because it makes my cake look pathetic. :( Even though it is definitely not as good as this one, I thought it turned out pretty good, and it was definitely a lot of fun to make. I started it on Tuesday and worked all week on it and added the final touches on Sunday, the day of the party. I actually didn't have time to add a few more things, like making the center flower thicker so it would stand out more, or the dots on the skirt, but I was ok with that. Here it is in the first stage. I used rice crispy treats, because I knew it would take me all week, and I don't know how good a cake would have tasted after being out all week. Plus it was way easier to form, and sturdier.
Here is Asher on the way to her party, dressed as a "beautiful princess" in her honor.  In his hand is a valentine/birthday card that he asked me to help him with.  It is a heart with a picture of him and Addi dancing and hugging.  It was the cutest thing listening to him tell me exactly what to draw and write.
And here is the finished product. 
I really should have taken more pictures of the process because it really was a process.  I did the rice crispy treats then frosted it and let it dry over night.  Then I piped the skirt with pink royal icing.  Then I used flood royal icing to paint over the piping to even it out a bit.  Then I drew the design for the dress on parchment paper.  Then I pin-pricked it onto the dress, then I piped it on.  Then I used petal dust to add a little shimmer.  Yeah, it all took a lot of time! 
So I had made cupcakes to eat instead of the "cake", but Addi said she wanted to cut into it, so cut into it we did.  Thankfully her dad cut from the backside.  I was shocked at how yummy and soft the rice crispy treats still were.  I guess they had been covered in frosting from the beginning, and when royal icing dries, it gets really hard.
Anyway, I got a lot of compliments on it, which of course made me happy, and I had a lot of fun making it.  I had a few issues and there are definitely some things that I was not happy with and that I wished I could do over, but it was definitely a great learning experience.  I think I can call it a success!