Thursday, July 22, 2010

Circus Cake

From the moment I first set my eyes on a fondant cake I knew that if I can afford it, that's the cake I want for my son's first birthday! But...I couldn't! The oven intimidated me. I remember the first time I baked out of the box - brownies hard as rocks came out. In the Philippines, we had this saying "Kapag binato ka ng bato, batuhin mo ng tinapay" (If a rock is thrown at you, throw a bread back). Basically, it means always avenge yourself using kindness. But, if I used those brownies?! It's like getting even, man!

After a couple of practice cakes, the moment has arrived for me to make my official first birthday cake for public consumption! How nerve-wracking!

I didn't want just a pretty cake. I also want one that people will actually eat. So, after gaining 5 pounds from eating all my practice cakes, I finally found a great recipe.

When the cake part was covered I started contemplating on a design. I found a Circus-themed photo cake topper at Michael's and wanted to make sure my cake colors complement the topper.

Here's my initial sketch and the Photoshop version with the Wilton cake topper.
The fun part begins...Here's how I did it.

My First Fondant Cake

This is what started it all. My youngest son was turning one and I couldn't really find cakes at Safeway or cake toppers that will work to match his birthday party theme. So, I thought of maybe baking the cake myself. But, I have to practice first.

Here's my first cake. Yes..this is what a novice's cake looks like. I did everything from scratch. It's chocolate with chocolate buttercream and marshmallow fondant. I watched a couple of videos on YouTube then just attacked with no plan whatsoever.

What I learned right after I finished the cake:
  • Sift, sift, sift
  • Wear an apron
  • Pre-made fondant is looking so convenient
  • Should spend more time playing with my sons and their Play-Doh
  • YouTube every step of the way
I like the cake recipe I found. Not too sweet, very moist. My fondant is lumpy. I didn't sift plus I started making it at 10pm and it demanded a lot of kneading which I didn't have the strength for so I gave up. My husband came to the rescue. So, next time, I will sift. But I haven't tasted it with the marshmallow fondant.

I started on the decorations without a real plan in mind. I just took my cookie cutters out. I saw something like this on The Ultimate Cake Off. I'm so glad that I'm married to a guy who is so supportive of my crafty ventures.  He finished up on the decorations when I had to tend to the little ones.

I'm so positive that there are others who had way better first fondant cakes than me. If you are one of them, please share pictures! It will inspire and motivate other knowing and seeing what they might able to achieve if they just go ahead and take the leap to try baking and caking.

Friday, July 16, 2010

Fondant for Beginners: How to Make a Fondant Bow

The easiest and simplest way to add "wow" to your fondant cake is by adding a fondant bow. It is so versatile and is the perfect touch for elegant wedding cakes, baby shower cakes, wrapped gift-box cake and basically, any design needing that "celebration" feel.

Wilton Gum- TexThe bow can be done by using fondant or gumpaste. I always use fondant and add just a little bit of Gum Tex to help my fondant to dry quicker.

You can always color your fondant or gumpaste to the shade you want. Just roll fondant or gumpaste into a ball, kneading until it's soft and pliable. Using a toothpick, add dots of icing color in several spots.Knead color into your ball until it is evenly bleaded.

I was about to throw out this leftover chocolate fondant I made weeks ago but decided to play with it before I do. So, please pardon the cracks that you see on the photos.

Friday, July 9, 2010

Betty Crocker Bake N' Fill

Mountain House had a community garage sale last month. Out of all the houses who opened up their garages to sell their unwanted possessions, I only got one item. This Betty Crocker Bake N Fill set. Our neighbor said she got it as a wedding gift and have only used it once. So, I bought it for $5. It's really cool. The set includes:
  • A round layer pan
  • A dome shaped insert pan
  • A tall base pan
  • A dome shaped pan
It also came with a booklet complete with instructions and simple recipes as well as decorating ideas. Each pan is non-stick. I just sprayed it with my PAM baking spray when I used it. I forgot to line the pan with parchment paper like I always do and got worried. The cake came off easily after I cooled it in the pan for 10 minutes.

Friday, July 2, 2010

Fondant for Beginners: Covering Cakes with Rolled Fondant

So you got your tools, baked your cake and now ready to cover it with fondant. I recommend that you use pre-made rolled fondant for your first fondant cake. I've used two brands, so far. Satin Ice Rolled Fondant which I bought on eBay and Wilton Ready-made Fondant.

Satin Ice Rolled Fondant - White - Vanilla - 10 kg

 20 lb bucket I got online

Wilton Primary Colors Fondant, Multi Pack 
Wilton brand I bought online for decorations

I also make my own home-made marshmallow fondant when I need a big batch of the same color.
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