Monday, December 12, 2011

If you believe in prayer...

If you pray, you know that sometimes prayers aren't answered in exactly the way you plan. Such was the case last weekend when I was finishing up on a wedding cake. This was a 3-tier 6, 10, and 14 inch cake. The top tier and the bottom tier were done. The only decorations on the middle tier were a swagged ribbon and large bow. I had originally planned to use SugarVeil to make these with, but for some reason (probably because it was so cold in the kitchen), the SugarVeil was not setting up as quickly as I hoped. Finally, I said a prayer that basically asked that the SugarVeil set up quickly so that I could finish the cake. I waited as long as I could, tried finishing up on the decorations, and I was just not happy with the way they were turning out as the SugarVeil was still not set up as well as it should have been. Next idea... make the ribbon and bow from fondant... too limp. Last resort, make the ribbon and bow with part gumpaste and part fondant for added stiffness. I rolled the ribbon out and placed it on the cake with a little water, then cut out the bow and tails and put them in a plastic container to put on the cake after the tiers were set up. Final result... so much nicer than I would have ever expected. So you see, the answer to the prayer was that the SugarVeil did not set up, but I was forced to use my creativity for something that turned out much better. I later said a prayer of gratitude for the help I had received.

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

And you thought I was on vacation...

In November I was in Hawaii, visiting my daughter after the birth of third baby...little Hunter Owen. While there I played maid, nanny, grandma, mom, and of course, cake decorator. I was able to attend Hunter's baby shower while there and this is the cake that we came up with...

Dad is in the Air Force, hence the little camo outfit and dog tag. We had extra cake, so we made a few cake pops for the kids also. I used the buttercream flow-in method for the design, and chocolate buttercream for outlining and trim. I grabbed one of dad's hats to use as a sample for the camouflage pattern.
Here is a picture of little Hunter in his Hawaiian outfit that mom made for him...

Saturday, December 3, 2011

I love my new KitchenAid!!

I know, you're probably saying "she bought another KitchenAid?" Well, I have had my other ones for an eternity and yes, they still work, but...this one was on sale at Costco for $50 off...and it's a professional model, so it's more heavy duty...and it has a larger, wider bowl...and it matches my KitchenAid food processor and my KitchenAid blender...and I used my cake money...and I think I deserved it...and, and, and... Anyway, I absolutely love it! It's very easy to work with, and the speeds start out very slow, especially compared to my old ones, which really means less mess. 

So I needed to make a batch of fondant last night for a cake I was doing today, so I thought I would check out how the new mixer would handle the job...oh wow! It was perfect! I first slightly greased the bowl, then put in 5 cups of sifted powdered sugar. I poured in the melted marshmallow mixture after putting on the heavy duty spiral dough hook, and on a low speed, let the mixer do it's thing. You will notice that part of the sugar looks like it will be stuck to the bottom of the bowl, but a little at a time the dough hook will pick up the sugar, and eventually incorporate all of the sugar into the dough. At that point, is when I transferred the dough onto my silicone mat and kneaded the last 1 cup of sugar into the dough by hand. It turned out so smooth and perfect after letting it set overnight, and no air bubbles whatsoever. I'm wondering now what would happen if I kneaded the final cup of sugar with the dough hook instead of by hand... I was always afraid to do that before because the dough gets so stiff, but with this pro model, I may be able to do the entire kneading with the mixer. It would sure save time. I will try next week with my next wedding cake. 

Just for the record, I now have 4 KitchenAid mixers plus my other KitchenAid appliances, and we just bought a classic KA mixer for my oldest son's family for Christmas. Both of my other children have KA mixers. I should have a share in the company.

Here is a picture of the cute shower cake I did today...just so happened that the shower was postponed until next weekend because of inclement weather, so we packaged it up for the customer to put in the freezer until then.