Archive for November, 2010

Typewriter Cake



My husband wanted a typewriter for his birthday…this is how I provided it.  I had a few issues arise during the making of the cakes this year and was not fully pleased with the end result on this cake, but at least I did get to try a few new techniques and to hone other skills.  (Please note that this photo makes it look very lopsided, but in reality it was not.)

My darling husband does not like marshmallow fondant, so this year I experimented with a different product – homemade modeling chocolate.  I LOVE working with that stuff!  Super easy to make with just 2 ingredients and just as versatile if not more so than fondant.  Both cakes were made exclusively with the modeling chocolate (M.C.) as I did not want to deal with making fondant once I had tried the M.C.  The one time that I can say for sure that I will use fondant in the future is when I need a pure white covered cake since the lightest color achievable with the modeling chocolate is a nice ivory color as seen in this pic.

Some of the techniques that I experimented with did not work out at all and luckily I started working on the components for these cakes weeks ago so that when things failed (or…ummmm…got destroyed…oops!) I had plenty of time to repair the damages or try a new approach.  This is why I ask that people give me about a month notice if possible when they want me to make a cake for them, so that I can design the cake and take my time getting things just right, although I will not turn away someone who only gives me a week or two.

Tropical Island Cake


Island Cake Details


This year his cake was a little more formal with a set color palate (chocolate brown and ivory) and a design that needed to stay somewhat true to form.  My cake, on the other hand, was a more free-form piece which left a lot to my imagination.  I have been stressed out a lot this year and the kids seem to be stuck in crabby mode, so it didn’t take long for me to decide that the theme for my cake was to be, “Deserted Tropical Island for One.”

I made the shelter, trees with coconuts and leaves, discarded sandals, and tons of fish ahead of time using modeling chocolate and royal icing.  I ended up accidentally destroying the first set of royal icing fish (ALWAYS check your oven before preheating just in case you are hiding something from children/hubby/dog/etc) and remade them as a set of modeling chocolate jellyfish (grape, strawberry, and raspberry jelly fish to be exact) which were then left in a too warm location and forgotten resulting in my abandoning of the fish totally.  😦

But even with the fish abandoned, I was extremely pleased with the final cake.  The shelter and coconut trees look pretty real for being made of chocolate and the rose bush on the side of the hut resulted from me playing around and having tiny flowers on hand to decorate an errant blob of homemade butter cream frosting (new recipe this time and can I say YUM!!!!!).  I had hoped to make a tiny crab for the beach, but did not have the time to accomplish this, so maybe on a future cake.

And why, you may ask, do I make 2 cakes for our dual birthday party (our special days are 4 days apart), especially when the gatherings are relatively small?  The answer is that he likes chocolate cake and I prefer white or funfetti cakes.  This year my cake required 2 boxes of funfetti cake mix while the main body of his took up 2 boxes of devil’s food cake.  In addition, the round component of the typewriter (I think it is called the carriage, but feel free to correct me if I am wrong) was a Swiss Cake Roll made from scratch and filled with a combination of raspberry jam and fresh whipped cream then covered with frosting and modeling chocolate.  I was not very pleased with this, my first attempt at a Swiss Cake Roll, as the cake was unreasonably dry and crumbly.  If I had more time, I would have made a second one to try a different recipe/method but there was no time so I had to go with the one that I had.  The only thing that I liked about this portion of the cake was that I created a structurally supportive system of straws to keep the Swiss Cake Roll from collapsing the back of the typewriter.

As I said, I used a few new techniques for these cakes, some with great success and some which were miserable failures but in the end everyone was pleased with the look of the cakes and enjoyed eating them and that is what matters the most.


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Well, since my hubby guessed what his cake is going to be, I can now talk about it openly.

There will be two cakes for our party on November 20th.  The first is for my husband.  It will be a chocolate cake with chocolate filling.  It will be decorated in dark chocolate and white chocolate, and will be designed to look like a typewriter.  I even plan to make a large Swiss Cake Roll for the round barrel portion of it, and each key is being individually made.  I will even make a piece of white chocolate “paper” to put into the typewriter for the realism.

My cake, will be a funfetti cake with buttercream frosting.  It will be a small sheet cake with a mound in the middle.  The flat portion will be decorated in blue frosting with assorted fish “swimming” around in the water.  The mound will be decorated as a tropical island with palm trees and a small hut a la Gilligan’s Island.  A nice little tropical getaway for one.  Peace and quiet that I do not get normally.

So those are my plans at this time.  I hope that I can make my visions work.

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‘Tis the Season!

With my husband’s birthday and mine only 4 days apart, this is my favorite time for cake making. We have different likes and dislikes when it comes to cakes and so I always make 2 cakes. I am sad to report that we have only a couple of guests who are able to come to the party this year, and so I may have to eat most of the cake myself. Que lastima!

Anyways, I will give more details about the planned cakes later this evening. As it is, I have to clear my table of modeling chocolate and heat up some leftovers for dinner.

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