Friday, October 28, 2011

Transformers Bumblebee Cake

Hey everyone!  So this week, I got to make a cake for one of my favorite people... my nephew is turning 4!  He is such a "boy" and loves action movies and especially Transformers!  So naturally, he had to have a Transformers cake for his birthday party.  I can't wait to bring it to him!
The Bumblebee figure- I purchased.  I looked at countless photo's to see if I could simplify it enough to try and model one... but it just wouldn't look as cool!  If I had 2 weeks to work on just the figure, I might have been able to do it... but with my busy schedule, it just wasn't happening.  Besides, now he'll have a toy to play with after the party.  Besides, since this was not a "for sale" cake, and I purchased the toy I think I'm safe with any copyright issues. 

Besides the toy, everything else (besides the wires in the stars and the straws in the cake- wires should not touch cake), is edible/fondant.  I added disco dust to the black on the stars to make it a little sparkly.
I tried to make the top of the cake look like torn metal, like Bumblebee had just ripped through the top of the cake... I actually patted myself on the back on this one!  I put a small circle of black fondant down on top of the cake before I rolled out/covered with the yellow fondant.  Then, when I rolled out the yellow fondant, I added a small circle of black fondant to the underside and rolled it in... I dusted the black circle (already attached to the cake) with cornstarch so it wouldn't stick.  Covered my cake as normal, making sure the black fondant I rolled to the underside of the yellow was appropriately placed... then after my fondant was smoothed, etc... I poked a small hole with a knife, and used my small scissors to cute back the fondant and make small cuts to make it look jagged.  Then just shaped it a little.  Voila, instant torn metal and no seems!  I sprayed the black fondant with pearl spray (Americolor airbrush color) to make it look metallic.  I impressed myself with the effect!
I cut the Autobot logo out of black fondant, and also sprayed those with the pearl spray.  I though it would look cool to make it metallic instead of just flat black.  It was tricky getting the pieces sprayed and on the cake with the color drying enough to handle and the black not so dry it would crack.  I think it worked out OK, I got a few finger prints in a few spots, but brushed them to make it kind of look like beat-up metal.  *I used piping gel for the writing, I didn't feel like mixing up a batch of royal icing (what I typically would use) just for the small amount I needed.  The gel bled a little overnight in the fridge... oh, well... you live and you learn! 

Overall, I am thrilled with this cake.  I think it looks really cool... and even though I strayed from my mission to use only edible pieces on my cakes (for the sake of the toy), I think my nephew is going to be beyond happy with it!

Happy Caking :)

Friday, October 21, 2011

Cookie Dough Cupcakes!

I'm not sure if I had mentioned this in a previous post... but I am a self-taught baker/cake decorator.  Much of what I've learned has come from YouTube, as well as other blogs and Cake Central.  Well, it has been a while since I've browsed YouTube for new cake/baking tutorials.  So I was thrilled the other day, when I discovered a great "new" YouTube channel called "Crumb Boss."  They've been around since last January (I believe), I can't believe I hadn't found them sooner!  The two women who make the videos (The Crumb Boss and Steph the Producer) are a riot!  They have great introductory recipes for beginners as well as some very informative recipes for people looking to try something a little less basic (Zabaglione, anyone?).  I highly recommend you check them out!

Okay, so my post is starting to sound like a review and endorsement for The Crumb Boss... but the real reason for this post is the cupcakes I made, inspired by their video "Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough Cupcakes!"  The icing is what really makes this cupcake- an eggless cookie dough, mixed into her Swiss style buttercream.  I've made a cookie dough filling before, but it was with an American buttercream that was much sweeter than I prefer my icings to be!  I mix so many things into my Swiss Meringue Buttercream, I can't believe I hadn't thought of this.  The Crumb Boss is brilliant!
 So, when I had leftover vanilla batter from a cake I was working on, I mixed in some chocolate jimmies (or sprinkles) so my cupcakes would be chocolatey-chippety.  I mixed up my eggless cookie dough, and I was about to mix up my buttercream as usual (recipe here), but then I was inspired... I still had my brown sugar out from the cookie dough... brown sugar is a key ingredient that gives chocolate chip cookie dough it's flavor.  That's right!  I substituted the granulated sugar in my recipe for brown sugar!  It was a very subtle, yet yummy difference.  Next time (and there will be a next time), I think I will try part, if not all, dark brown sugar to give it a more noticeable brown sugar flavor.  As it was (with the light brown sugar) it paired SO well with the cookie dough, that I then mixed in.

The result, delicious!
Thank you Crumb Boss for inspiring this creation!  While I used my own recipes, I highly recommend checking out "Crumb Boss TV" if you want to try these and are looking for a great Vanilla Cake, Swiss style buttercream (Crumb Bosses recipe differs from mine), and eggless cookie dough... I can't wait to try some of the other recipes myself!
I couldn't resist taking some pictures of the cupcakes in these adorable "spider" cupcake stands I picked up at Michael's, I'm going to have to make some Halloween cupcakes just for these!

Happy Caking :)

Saturday, October 15, 2011

Gumpaste Hibiscus Video Tutorial!

Alright, I know I've been terrible about my blog posts and youtube videos in the past few months!  I apologize and my intention is to be back to posting regularly!
For my first post since my "hiatus" I made a (much requested) tutorial for Gumpaste Hibiscus Flowers.  After my post with the Hibiscus Baby Shower Cake I made at the beginning of the summer, I had quite a few people ask if I had or if I could make a tutorial... so viola!

I had to split this into 2 parts because it was too long to upload, but I didn't want to rush or skip past anything.  Despite the length of the tutorial these flowers are pretty easy to make and don't require a whole lot of special tools.  I do use a Hibiscus cutter, but you can probably use a tear drop, or rose petal cutter and just role out the tapered end to elongate it (as mentioned in the video).  All in all, I think this is a good flower for a beginner who wants to make something impressive!



Supplies I used in this video:
  • pre-colored gumpaste (hibiscus come in a wide variety of vibrant colors!)
  • rolling pin
  • hibiscus petal cutter (by Creative Cutters)
  • gumglue (I used gumpaste dissolved in water)
  • a 4"-5" 26 gauge wire
  • a thin or dense foam pad
  • ball tool
  • plastic to cover cut outs... 
  • and a jar and piece of foil to create a flower former
*If you are interested in purchasing flower formers like the ones I mentioned in my video, they are called CelFormers and are made by Cel Cakes.  You can find them at a specialty cake supplies store or you can find them on Amazon here.

I hope you found this helpful!!

Happy Caking :)