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Posts Tagged ‘Birthdays’

For my son's 2nd birthday I HAD to go with his favorite cartoon character.

This cake looks NOTHING like my original design, but I am not entirely surprised since I think that Blue’s Clues cakes for 2nd birthdays are doomed.

A friend of mine made a Blue’s Clues cake for her son’s 2nd birthday and at the last minute the nice royal icing topper that she had made for it broke and she was stuck with a very basic tiered cake.

I wanted to show that Blue is not adverse to royal icing toppers and with the help of the kids had designed  a cake which would have all of the main characters (Blue, Steve, Slippery Soap, Mr Salt, Mrs Pepper, etc) standing on top of the cake.  In order to be certain that the royal icing dried fully, I made them a month in advance.  There were a dozen characters each 2-4 inches tall that took me a couple of nights to make.  They were drying beautifully and all was good.

And then my middle kiddo ate them.

Grrrr!!!!!

So I remade them with a couple of changes.  I wasn’t as pleased with the results, but they would do. It’s a cake for a 2 year old after all.  He won’t really care.  But a week before the party, when I went to remove them from the wax paper and flip them over so they would be fully dry, about half of them broke.  So I changed my design and planned on sticking them around the sides of the cake with Blue and Steve standing on top with the candle.  I kept the cookie sheets of characters hidden in the oven so that middle kiddo wouldn’t get to them.  (He has a history of taste-testing my creations. )

When my landlord came over just days before the party, I took them out to show her.  I figured that they would be fine in the couple of minutes it took to walk her to the door when she left.  I was wrong.  I entered the kitchen and the HE was, hiding behind the table with a half-eaten character in each hand.  I was furious, especially when I saw that he had scarfed down all of the unbroken topper pieces.

So I settled on this design.  I actually found making the paw prints around the sides of the cake to be very therapeutic after the difficulties of getting the cake put together.  And it tasted great and everyone enjoyed it…especially the birthday boy.

Luke dives for his Blue's Clues cake

The cake is funfetti and the frosting is homemade butter cream.  The letters on top are the only original royal icing toppers that weren’t eaten or damaged.

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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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Here is what my daughter’s birthday cake ended up looking like.  Due to some family stuff that came up, I wasn’t able to be as OCD as I would have liked and the corner towers are not perfectly square and identical in size, but I am very pleased with the result.  And most importantly, MY DAUGHTER LOVED IT.  Actually she and her brother helped put on the life saver windows.  It is a little tough to see, but tucked behind on the right hand side was the tiara I made out of fondant and royal icing.  The Princess on top is made of royal icing and was drawn from a design by my daughter whose favorite stories all seem to involve a princess in the top room of the tallest tower (Rapunzel and Sleeping Beauty especially).  I even tinted the funfetti cake pink and purple and alternated the layers to make it more interesting when we cut into it.  A perfect cake for a girly Princess’ birthday, and even her 14 year old brother (partially shown in the pic) was amused.

The Birthday Princess With Her Cake.

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Stuff

Gloomy day today, so I am in the process of making some pita bread ( http://klutzychef.wordpress.com/2010/07/14/grilled-pita/ ) to go with the roast and veggies that are in my crock pot for dinner tonight.  Hopefully they last, but as I am craving pitas and the dough tastes so nummy, I cannot make any guarantees.

I have been playing with the royal icing designing the tiara for Lottie’s cake.  I am going to have to really crack down on it all very soon.  In the meantime there are all sorts of icing designs kicking around my kitchen.  Mostly of pink butterflies in matching with my current painting project.  (More on that later)

I should probably do some dishes.  Baking and cooking are my favorite activities that result in much time spent on my least favorite activity.  But instead of jumping into it, I am sitting her pretending things are clean.

So, that’s what I am up to today…if anyone is interested.

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Castle Cake: An Update

Well, our car has decided that it needs a bunch of work done on it.  That being said, I am going to change the design for my daughter’s birthday cake slightly to save money.

First: The cake will be comprised of two different sizes of round tiers instead of three.  I do not want to have to buy several new cake pans at this time if I can get away with just buying one.

Second: The sugar tiara will still be created but will be placed off to the side of the cake instead of on top of the second tier and wrapping around the third.

Third: The entire cake will be covered in fondant designed as a castle, rather than just the bottom tier.

Fourth: I will likely go without luster dust on the tiara and the “Sugar Charlotte” on the top.

Lots of changes but I think the overall appearance will come through better.  Plus, with a slightly smaller cake, there will be less cake to make disappear.  I know that I don’t need to be eating all that.  🙂

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