Q: What do these 4 cakes have in common?
A couple of my most clever cake friends, let’s call them “Falyssa” and “Fesley,” have been telling me for ages to take a stab at making strawberry reduction to incorporate into my buttercream. Recently, Falyssa sat down with me (well. virtually) and walked me through exactly how she does this. With her permission, I am now sharing it with you (with a few minor tweaks that worked for me). Trust me, you NEED to make this. Continue reading
Last year for my little girl’s 12th birthday, she wanted a “simple” chocolate cake. I felt awful at the idea of making her a “plain Jane” cake when every other cake I was working on back then was getting 20 hours worth of attention… each! This year, as her 13th birthday approached, I encouraged her to dream up something BIG that we could do to celebrate this landmark occasion. But she didn’t want me to have to slave over a hot turntable all week, so she kept insisting she just wanted plain chocolate again. “Nothing fancy; don’t go to any trouble, Momma.” She couldn’t be coaxed. But no, I wasn’t having that. I can’t recall my 13th birthday, and I certainly can’t recall the cake (if I even had one?). No indeed! We were going to make a memory, by God. And we did! We had a beautiful birthday weekend. So many things about it were wonderful, cake or no cake. Uh, but yes, we did have cake.
When she couldn’t decide what she wanted, I decided to surprise her by using one of her most cherished possessions as the inspiration for her cake: a serving tray with bare tree branches silhouetted against a brown background that was given to her as a gift by someone she adores. I put the cake together in about three or four evenings, working at least 2 nights until the wee hours of the morning (3 a.m.-ish). But it was all worthwhile. She loved her cake and the look on her face when it was finished was PRICELESS. (But then, who doesn’t love their own birthday cake?) Double chocolate chip cake, whipped hazelnut-infused butter cream filling and icing, covered in chocolate ganache, and decorated with homemade MMF. Thanks to my wonderful caking friend, Lisa Randolph-Gant, for the fantasy flower tutorial earlier this week. I couldn’t have made these floppy “scrap book”-look flowers without her.
Sorry for the long post, but on a final note, I think karma gave us one last little gift tonight (Sunday evening, April 17, 2011), as right this VERY moment, my cake (fine, Molly’s cake) is the #1 “most saved” cake of the day on the home page of Cake Central (only my favorite website in the world). I know it’s shameful to be proud, but the #1 spot on Cake Central is a spot typically reserved only for my biggest cake heroes. Awesome!
This cake was based on the “Rocker Girl” party decor and invitations. I was asked to include the heart with wings and the guitar, so I kicked it up a notch and decided to make those two elements the superstars of this confection. Cake was WASC filled with a whipped butter cream that was lightly infused with caramel, but was iced in a more traditional “crusting” butter cream. The pink stars (and pink several flowers) were covered with edible pink disco dust (one of my favorite things in the WORLD).
Happy birthday, Charlie! Nobody “parties like a rockstar” better than a bunch of 7 year old girls!
I really wanted to slap some whimsy on this Dr. Seuss-themed cake via making it a topsy turvy, but alas, I was too chicken. The last time I tried one of “those” cakes (insert sneer and rolled eyes), I made a terrible mess. I WILL conquer that technique in the near future, though. That’s a Promise with a capital P – and I don’t use the “p” word lightly, much less capitalized. Cake was WASC with vanilla buttercream filling/icing. All accents were fondant. As always, everything was 100% edible. The idea of all the blue, obviously, was that the fish was supposed to be splashing around in water – but I think I got a little carried away. A bit of blue overkill perhaps? Other requests for the design included a fish on top, red and white striped bottom tier, and a funky candle on top.
Once you have your shiny new tip in hand, couple it with this brilliant tutorial (from the fantastic “I am mommy” blog) to ice a perfectly elegant cake in butter cream roses: http://iammommy.typepad.co
Here’s my version, which I whipped up, first try, in about 15 minutes. TOTAL. Voila!