Monday, October 22, 2012

Birthday Cake Adventures Part 1

Hello all of you lovely internet folks! This post is going to be pretty long. I've been working really hard for the past two weeks on school, the college association I'm in, and my baking business stuff. So far in the past two weeks I've made a giant pumpkin shaped Spiced Pumpkin cake with cream cheese icing, a failed Angry Birds cake turn cute little girl's Strawberry Lemon cake, one too many pumpkin cupcakes, Strawberry Orange cake pops, Chocolate Halloween style cake pops, and a really awesome University of Alabama Birthday cake. WHEW.

I miss T.V. and lazy days!

Along with all of that plus homework for my classes, I've had a bunch of ups and downs. This weekend was a total shit storm. The Halloween cake pops I made took a very very VERY long time. I made them the night before they were due to ship and I didn't slow down and take my time working on them, so I burnt the chocolate bark. I had to pack everything up in a box so I could work on the cake pops at Le Boyfriend's house on my lunch break the next day. I swear those candy melts were created to stress me out! I think I had a nightmare about it! Candy melts all over the floor, flowing up my legs like dark lifeless melted chocolate SWALLOWING ME WHOLE! *DUM DUM DUM* The good thing is the cake pops ended up looking pretty cute and I got them all shipped off in time, thanks to many factors, including me skipping a very important class.

I had some family drama between me and my dad the same day. I'm a thickheaded Taurus and he's a stubborn Mexican so between the two of us it's like watching a bull fight, except he's the only one wearing the red cape. (It's not my color)

Also, my dog got bit by a rattlesnake and I couldn't afford to take her to the vet until two days 2 days after she was attacked. I thought she'd been bitten by a dog because of how far away the puncture wounds were (about 2-3 inches apart) I finally talked my dad into helping me pay for her to go to the vet, so we rushed her over there. They thought she'd be alright from how she was acting, but she died the next day. The vet said the venom from the snake bite kept her blood from clotting, so she lost too much of it. I buried her this morning. :(  Now we know we have at least one giant rattlesnake on our property. While my poor baby was at the vet, I made the coolest cake I've ever made. I'm really glad I enjoy baking so much. If I had to sit in the house just thinking of my poor dog, I would have been lost in a pile of snot and tissues and stuffed animals.

Don't judge me.

So here goes my actual baking progress. About time, right?

I tried to make an Angry Birds Birthday cake and FAILED COMPLETELY! It was my first time using homemade marshmallow fondant and I think my recipe was a lil bit funky because it was more like super thick icing instead of stretchy workable fondant. I'm going to try making more and see if maybe I added too much water or something, but for the Alabama Birthday Cake I used store bought fondant. I didn't want any unpredictable mishaps going on while trying to make that one. 

The Angry Birds cake was for my boyfriend's niece who has a thing for the game and all things Angry Birds, and likes lemon cake and strawberry cake. I thought, "Yeah, I'll be a good girlfriend and do this for his family. No big deal. I need the practice anyway. This'll be great!" PSHHH. yeah right. On the same weekend I had another birthday cake order to make prior to the Angry Birds one, so ALLL DAY Saturday I was on my feet, baking, rolling fondant, washing dishes. Never in my life will I ever, EVER, do that again. Two cakes in one day = catastrophe.  The homemade marshmallow fondant tore and cracked all over the place. I got almost everything on there and then when I rolled out the black fondant and tried cutting it for the shapes I needed, it crumbled. I threw it in the trash and ran into my room to pout, cry, throw a temper tantrum, and all around destroy my confidence in baking. I kept thinking about the little girl and her birthday cake, and how important it would be to her, and Oh! I can't let her down! When the black fondant crumbled so did my patience, my hopes for that little girl and her cake, and my confidence in what I could do. 

I wanted it to look similar to this:

I don't know who to credit for this image. I googled Angry Birds cake and it popped up, but it's NOT mine.

It came out looking like this......

The next morning I woke up, took off all that crazy stupid fondant and decided to make a simple girly birthday cake. I like it much better this way. Yummy lemon cake with homemade strawberry jam filling and homemade strawberry buttercream. 

The rest of the cakes and images will have to wait for Birthday Cake Adventures Part 2! I hope some of my readers were able to draw hope, inspiration, or comic relief from this blog post. Shit happens to all of us, but the show must go on. If we didn't fight through the hard times given to us, we'd never amount to anything. As always, please feel free to message me or comment below for questions, concerns, or feedback. 

Wednesday, October 10, 2012

Food Photography- Cupcakes

I'm extremely tired, so I'm just going to post some beautiful pictures of my most recent cupcake order! I'll come back and edit later :)

Red Velvet & Birthday Cake Cupcakes

Saturday, October 6, 2012

Let's go on an adventure! *Steve Irwin voice*

I've been deathly afraid of fondant.

If it's too dry, it cracks. If it's not dry enough.. it sticks like bubble gum. It can taste terrible. It can sag. It could probably take over the world if it had a brain. It's almost as evil and scary as candy making. (That's an adventure I'm also deathly afraid of. Worse than fondant...)

I finally decided to grow a pair and try it out. I purchased some pre-made fondant so that I could get a feel for the material. When I got it out of the package it was so hard I didn't think I'd be able to roll it out. It reminded me of my Intro to Ceramics class, playing with clay. It softens as you work with it, and hardens as it dries. I kept playing with the hard lump of sugary play-doh and eventually it became soft and pliable!

Next goal? Roll & dye! I got my Wilton fondant mat and taped it to my counter, then covered it in powder sugar. Next time I'll use a mixture of powder sugar and corn starch. I discovered it after my fondant experiment, but apparently a mix of the two keeps the fondant from sticking and also keeps it from absorbing too much powder sugar, which results in dry cracked fondant (like mine.) I decided to go with a Halloween theme, because it's Fall and I LOVE HALLOWEEN. Dye the fondant, then roll, roll, roll, roll, etc. until thoroughly incorporated.

Also with this practice cake, I experimented with buttercream icing decoration. I'm super excited! Obviously,  I'm a natural. A natural that needs a little more practice! Lol.

So here's the pics! As always, if you guys and gals ever have any questions you can message me or comment below! Don't forget to share the page!