Monday, September 22, 2008


I'm thinking about you, my Florida Bar peeps! It's results day, and my fingers are crossed for you!

Friday, September 19, 2008


So I didn't cake today - and I won't be caking a whole lot coming up, because I've got company arriving Tuesday for two weeks.


I got my car back from the shop... and y'all... it's purty!

Thursday, September 18, 2008

I finally did it!!

I played with fondant today. Man... that stuff will take some getting used to! When I took it out of the fridge it was a total brick. I put it in the microwave for 10 seconds... no noticeable difference, so I put it back in for 10 more. Still no difference, but I figured I could just get it going with the heat of my hands. I cut it into portions for coloring, and then began kneading.

Mom wanted an autumn themed cake, so we wanted to have the base icing in brown. Despite what the color wheel says: red, yellow, and a little blue, do not make brown.

After adding TONS of orange, they make:

I didn't have a big problem smoothing the fondant onto our layer cake. But there were little bits of powdered sugar in it... it's like I probably should have sifted it onto my kneading area.

After smoothing it on, we added a teal border around the bottom with some acorns and leaves.

Topped it with some more leaves... I wasn't really happy with how it turned out. Our other colors were kind of neon, so I wanted to use them just as accent behind the red leaves. Not the best.

And the top view:

As mom put it, "it was a learning experience."

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Marshmallow Fondant

Today I made marshmallow fondant. SO much fun - and extra tasty (tastier than regular fondant, I've heard - but I haven't tried regular fondant yet). Also, it's really easy and not as messy as people make it out to be. I've also heard that you can make it in a kitchen aid with the dough hook so long as you grease the stainless steel bowl with crisco.

That's the final product wrapped up in plastic wrap. I followed this video to make it. So much fun to squish the marshmallows and knead the fondant.

... I should really be baking bread instead of icing cakes ...

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

More Shopping

The best part about all this caking? Going to the specialty stores and browsing through fun knickknacks! Aside from ingredients, here was my loot:

Can you tell I'm gearing up for a Halloween cake. I got orange and black coloring as well as pumpkin, ghost, and bat cookie cutters. I also bought a cheap cake leveler, because I'm having a hard time using a knife to do the job.

I'm so excited for fondant!!

Monday, September 15, 2008

Best cakes to date!

So we decided to try our hands at a layer cake today. We chose mocha cream for our filling.

I built a dam around the edge of stiff buttercream frosting, to hold in the mocha filling.

After making the layers, I iced the whole thing with white buttercream, and did a yellow basket weave around the sides with a rope border at the top.

Mom also did a basket weave, but topped hers with a "grass" edge.

Running out of creativity (and icing). I topped my cake as follows:

Mom trudged on and got a little bit wild (as she always does).

I think I've graduated to "Publix Cake" skill level. Impressive for one full week on the job! Still dying to play with fondant!!! Maybe that will be an upcoming post!

Saturday, September 13, 2008

Search Term Update

Best searches from last week that led to my blog:

"I couldn't stay away from the bar"

I don't think they were referring to the bar exam...

"I've become boring"

Seriously?! I've become boring?! Sorry guys... ;)

Friday, September 12, 2008

Cake Decorating... I've lost count...

So today I hit the parchment paper with my new toys. I just wanted to play around with the different tips. While my icing was still cool (and therefore stiff), I took yet another shot at the Wilton Rose.

I think I'm getting better! Sorry the images aren't exciting. I didn't bother to dye my icing, since I'm just playing around. I've been reusing my icing and just calling it inedible. I might dye the whole pot tomorrow for images sake. ANYHOW.

I had success with these little stars (even though they aren't technically 'stars' - I was using the wrong tip). I've seen cakes iced entirely with these stars, and I'm thinking that might be the easiest way to go for now until I actually get some skillz.

And finally... I can't make a leaf to save my life.

I think it had to do with the fact that I practiced them right after doing roses, and my icing was still fairly stiff. I couldn't get the tip part... and then it just degenerated into frustrated squiggles. Who needs leaves anyhow... the flowers are what people care about!

Thursday, September 11, 2008

Cake Decorating, Day 4

So today, I didn't actually get any practice time in. However, I did make a run to Hobby Lobby where I racked up on some new goodies.

I bought:

  • Grass Tip
  • Leaf Tip
  • Medium Writing Tip
  • Super Fine Writing Tip
  • New (non-spice rack) turn table
  • Another book with instructions in it
  • Checkered Cake Pans
It took every ounce of self-restraint to keep me away from the fondant. I can't WAIT to get into it. They had all the little cookie cutters that you could do cut-outs with, and stamps to roll a pattern into it with. I really want the vine one.

Must.Perfect.Piping.Techniques.First! (else I'll never do them and just play with fondant!)

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Cake Decorating, Day 3

Today, we took a break from cake baking to focus on practicing our techniques - namely roses and basket weaving. Oh the patience!! Again, after a few minutes, my roses became droopy. Next time, I'll mix some powdered sugar in to the mix to stiffen it up.

Since we weren't using cakes, there weren't any exciting pictures. After I was already tired of it, I went back and did a quick basket weave to take a picture - you can see how careless I got toward the end.

And mom in action:

Tuesday, September 9, 2008

Cake Decorating, Day 2

Now that I know I can get icing onto a cake using a butter knife and ziplock, I decided it was time to make life a little easier (and more interesting). First thing this morning, mom and I headed to the cake store to buy some pastry bags, icing tips, rose nails, and yes - a huge HUGE tub of icing so that we could get right down to business. We also bought two books with pictures for inspiration.

Back home, mom got busy baking more cakes. Once cooled, I used my new spatula to slater on some icing. Oddly enough, I found the spatula much more unwieldy than the butter knife. Also, the icing was more stiff than yesterday's so I ended up with some crumbs in the icing. The final product?

Not the prettiest cake, but much more experimental. I shell piped the bottom, tried my hand at some rope around the bottom edge, an oversized version of cornelli lace, two zigzag puff leaves, and of course four alleged Wilton Roses.

OMG those roses!!! Well, I guess the main problem was that the icing was getting hot in my hands, so it became more fluid (and messy), and then a droopy mess to work with. I haven't got the knack of it yet. For the first several attempts I had my tip upside down... by the time I realized and flipped it, the icing was getting runny. The four above were the best I could pull off.

Mom also tried her hand at some roses.

She wouldn't claim title to her masterpiece, instead attributing it to Mr. Van Gogh. It may not be a looker, but I'd call that a vast improvement from Day 1, no?

What's that out of left field?

While I wait for my bar results (with very little hope, unfortunately), why not take a foray into something totally different.

As you all know, I've studied to become a tax attorney - a profession that (arguably) leaves little room for artistic self-expression. After a recent career chat with a friend, I decided to find an outlet. I've always been interested in cake decorating. I'm not talking about your average grocery store bakery cake; I'm talking about Charm City Cakes, Colette's Cakes, etc. That said, I've never actually attempted to decorate a cake before.

I tried to sign up for a Wilton class, but the woman at the store neglected to tell me that I had to preregister. I found out the day of, that the classes were full, and I'd have to wait until October. I'm already waiting until October for bar results, so I decided to take matters into my own hands regarding cake decorating.

Without further ado - what follows is my cake decorating self-education.

Day One

I've enlisted my mother into this journey for some companionship. Our mission on our first day was merely to coat a cake in smooth icing and to experiment with icing. We had not yet purchased any tools. I turned a spice rack into my turn table, used a ziplock bag for my pastry bag, and a butter knife for smoothing. End result?

Okay, so first things first, we can all agree my hand writing can use a little work. Given my tools, I thought it was okay. Mom's cake turned out as follows:

Yes, her hand is covered in icing... why? Because she doesn't know how to use a pastry bag.

And yes, you can see we're using store bought icing. BUT, as I said, this was on a whim - no tools! The cake, on the other hand, was from scratch. I should've taken a picture when we cut into it later that night - the inside had not cooked. Anyhow! Luckily the dogs were happy to help out, and the remaining cake was tossed in the garbage.

Yes, that's icing on her skirt - freshly (and promptly) cleaned by dog tongue.