Mystery Machine Birthday Cake!

My niece Sophia turned four this year! So crazy how fast the time flies.
Last year I made her this cake:
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This year she’s obsessed with Scooby Doo. Some one suggested I make the Mystery Machine and as much as it stresses me out to make vehicles, I decided I could make this happen lol…
I baked the cake for the van in a bread loaf pan sort of like this one:
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Then I stuck it in the freezer for a while to let it get hard so that I could trim it down a bit without it falling apart on me. The cake itself was a hilarious idea that I had to add half a package of strawberry jello and a few handfuls of fresh diced strawberries into my cake mix! (IT WAS DELICIOUS)
The bottom cake was tiedye zebra cake :) (See how to make this type of cake here!)
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That cake was gone in like… a split second haha. It was eaten about as fast as I could cut it! I think I cut almost 30 slices out of it all and there were only two left over! I call that sweet success! ;)

ps… someone send me a google+ invite!! plasticshakeupsnow@gmail.com
LOL

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Tutorial Tuesday: How to Stack a Tiered Cake

People ask me all the time what they need to do to ensure the integrity of their tiered cakes. I’ll show you how I do it.

First I cover my cakes with fondant. This is a bit more tricky with buttercream covered cakes… but I do most of my cakes in fondant.

The bottom cake is given a support system. Honestly, drinking straws work awesome. I find the center of my cake and come out a couple of inches in each direction and insert a straw. Be careful not to put the supports out further than the next cake with overlap.
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Pull the straws up a tiny bit and cut each one so that once you push it back into the cake, it’s level with the cake and rests on the bottom of the cake board. The concept here is that the next cake’s weight will be supported completely by these straws and it won’t crush this cake.
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Now, sometimes when I do a tiered cake, I’ll add a center support to keep the cake from falling over or sliding around, coming off center etc.
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I usually use a wooden skewer in this case. Be sure that your skewer is cut to the correct height, you don’t want it tearing through the top of your top tier. That would be bad!
This cake is going to be a three tier.
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This next part is very important… you have to have a board under your other cake as well. The board distributes the weight across the supports. I usually cut a piece of foam core board into a circle slightly smaller than the cake is and cover it in foil. Also important… if you’re using a center support… POKE A HOLE INTO THE CENTER OF THIS BOARD BEFORE YOU PUT THE CAKE ON IT. (See how serious I am? I resorted to capslock…)
If not, you won’t be able to properly do this.
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Yeah, that cake looks a little wonky. Don’t worry about that bottom, that’s what boarders are for ;)

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I added a third tier on top of this, putting supports in this second tier the same way as on the bottom. Once you get the cake on, it might look a little rough from the handling, but you just need to wiggle things around a little and smooth things down a little and hey, decorating cakes is all about covering up imperfections with awesome little things you create.

Here’s a photo of it with the top tier on.
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Happy stacking!

Cricut Cake: Take Two

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I sat down with my Cricut Cake again this weekend (and by sat down with I mean stood in my kitchen for hours covered in powered sugar…) and I got down to business on how to get things going with it.

I really need to get some gumtex or tylose powder or get/make some gum paste, but ya know what, I’m a busy girl. I haven’t had time yet.

Anyhow, I incorporated as much powdered sugar into this fondant as it would tolerate in attempt to make it a but more stiff..

Now, when you grease the mat with shortening, don’t glop it on, but make sure you’ve got a nice coating. You want to try to make it as uniform as possible.
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If you’re seeing a lot of white, it’s probably too thick.

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I roll the fondant pretty thin and then slap carefully place it on the sheet, trying to avoid air bubbles. Then I cut it down following the guides.
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If the fondant hangs over that guide line, it’s going to get smushed by the roller thing and it won’t be nice. It’s happened to me several times. Jussayin.

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I pop the whole thing in the freezer for 10-15 minutes. Let it chill a bit… then load it in to the machine.

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I’ve had the most luck with medium pressure and low speed.
I chose my image and quantity and hit cut…
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Gibson was pretty unsure about the whole thing. lol

At the end of the night, I’d managed to cut out these things…
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Not perfect, but I’m still learning and hey, I was told that marshmallow fondant probably wouldn’t even work with this! So I think I’m doing alright.

Since these photos were taken, I’ve actually decorated two cakes using the machine! You’ll get to see them soon! I need time to get those posts together!

Meaty Cakes

Alright, I promise this is better than it sounds ;)

My wonderful friend Crystal Leisure was planning a meat themed art show! Fantastic. Now, before you get your panties in a bunch, keep in mind this was not some meat-glorification summer steak-fest lol. Some participants were vegetarians and some were for meat. There were a lot of different angles to the show. Very cool.

In any case, I made a few contributions.
My first piece was a lovely set of red velvet steak cakes: (I showed you how to make these here!)
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I even managed to snag a foam meat packing tray from the meat counter at the grocery store. Brilliant hahaha. I wrapped them in plastic, but I don’t have a photo. They were bright red velvet cake underneath. :)

My next contribution involved bacon… lots of bacon. I made chocolate bacon cupcakes.
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They were super dark, decadent chocolate with crunched up bacon bits baked inside, with super rich satiny chocolate frosting and topped with a nice crispy piece of bacon on top. Holy wow.
At first you just taste the chocolate because it’s so rich, but the aftertaste is all bacon. They were SO GOOD.

My third contribution was something Crystal convinced me to do… a painting. I don’t dabble much with non- edible art and I’ve never really painted anything before. So don’t judge me too harshly lol.
My piece was a commentary on America’s grain fed cattle industry.
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It’s a steak growing in a corn husk… the crown represents that corn is king in America.
I make all possible efforts to only buy grass-fed, free range, organic meat. Did you know that cows can’t even properly digest corn? If they eat it for too long, it will kill them. (Though most are slaughtered before that point…)
I won’t touch this subject for too long, but take a quick look at the ingredients on anything you’re currently sipping on or eating. CORN IS IN EVERYTHING. It bares practically no nutritional value at all, but it’s cheap filler. It’s in your soda, your meat, your juice, your chips, your dog and cat foods… it’s in a lot of things. It’s pretty gross, really. So fight the power. Buy 100% juice, buy grass-fed meat, read labels…
Okay, okay, I’ll climb off my soap box now :)
Thanks for checking out my meaty creations!

Cricut Cake Day One

Well, I got my Cricut Cake yesterday and started trying to figure it out! I’d read that there’s quite a learning curve involved.

All I had laying around to work with was some week old marshmallow fondant. The machine works best with gumpaste or fondant you’ve added some tylose powder to, so I’ve read.

Anyhow, I didn’t have nearly the disastrous results I’ve read about online. I think the people who have so many issues are either not familiar with working with fondant (and other cake decorating supplies) or not familiar with working with technology lol

There was certainly some set up confusion for me. I didn’t understand where to place the fondant on the mat.
The manual said the bottom left side… So that’s where I put it. Well, that’s where I thought I put it anyway. Evidently I put it in the top… Right? I’m still confused on that one. In any case, it need to be in the top right when you feed the sheet into the machine!

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I also found taking the note to stick your sheet in the freezer helped a lot. The manual says to “liberally” coat the mat with shortening… It took me a while to get the consistency right. Not so liberally, as it the case may be. Then I rolled my fondant out pretty thin. Minimum pressure wasn’t hard enough and I ended up doing most cutting at medium pressure and low speed.

I didn’t have much luck with the super intricate designs, but I think I was trying to cut them too small. I had great success with boarders and butterflies though :)
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I have to figure out how to make those boarders connect lol

I want to use the machine on a cake I’m making this week, so I might save myself some headache and make some gumpaste.

Overall, I’m very excited to get into using this! I can’t wait to get more cartridges and start putting out some awesome designs!

And also- mad props to wordpress for the update to their iPhone app. I can’t believe I was finally able to post a decent post from my phone without issue!!!

It’s here!

It’s here it’s here it’s here!!!!!!
Ahhhhhhhh it's finally here and now I have to go to work til 8:00!!

Squeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeee

I can’t wait to use this! I am stuck at work until 8:00pm, but I swear I’m going to run in that door and start teaching myself how to use this thing the second I get home!

If you don’t know what this is, check it out!
Cricut Cake!

Tutorial Tuesday: How to Make a Steak Cake

Okay, trying something new today. I’ve never done a video tutorial before. I’m also obsessed with this time lapse thing on my phone… so here you have it.

Alright, I start with one layer of red velvet cake. (duh), then I chill it in the freezer for a bit so that I can cut it without it falling apart. First I carve the shape of a steak, trying to trim off as little cake as possible. Next I iced the cake. After that, you’ll want to roll out your fondant. I used white because I hate making red fondant and I own an airbrush… lol
After covering, I sprayed the fondant red. Then roll out a small portion of white, cut out the “t-bone” shape and place it on the cake. Then roll out a long ribbon to wrap around the cake as the “fat”… roll the ribbon into a roll, brush the sides of the cake with piping gel or vodka and carefully adhere the ribbon to the side of the cake by unrolling it as you go.

And maybe… if you’re lucky, the guy at your local meat counter will be nice enough to give you a clean, un-used foam meat tray. :)
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There you have it… delicious t-bone steaks even your vegetarian friends will love!

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