Monday, March 26, 2012

R2D2 Cake Round 2!

Way back (about a year and a half ago...) when I first decided to try my hand at decorating cakes, one of my cousin's asked me to make an R2D2 Cake for her son's birthday party...  The picture below is my first attempt at the lovable little droid :)

Everyone at that birthday party was impressed with this attempt... but all I could see were the glaring flaws.  Now, this was maybe the 2nd or 3rd cake that I had ever decorated, so looking back it's not so bad for a first attempt.  But I was never quite proud to display it on my website. 

Well, to my extreme pleasure, I've had a second request for this cake and jumped at the chance to redeem myself (if only in my own mind, lol!).  I am much happier with the result of this latest attempt!
Hooray for improvement!  This just goes to show how far you can come with practice.  Some of the improvements I made (beyond the generally neater work):
  • I cut out the panels from fondant, instead of feebly trying to outline them with royal icing.  Piping a straight line on the vertical side of a cake is NOT one of my strong suits, haha!  Plus, I think the cut outs give it a more "realistic" look.   
  • I also, have learned how to properly smooth icing on a round shape, so R2D2 did not come out so "cone-headed" this time! 
  • Another thing that I've learned (the "hard" way) is to properly measure for good spacing and placement.  Instead of just winging it.  It's hard to fight the urge to jump right in with decorating, but doing the preliminary work of measuring makes the job so much easier, and it just looks better!
  • Use a ruler!  Not only to do your measuring, but to cut straight lines, lol!  I know this should be a "duh" kind of thing... but as you can clearly see on the first cake, I thought I could eyeball it... well, I cannot!  So I always have my trusty straight edge nearby :)
  • And one final thing, that has made all the difference in the world in my cake decorating... always have Tylose Powder in my decorating kit.  When I am working on fondant embellishments, I always knead a little in... it helps stiffen up the fondant so it isn't so stretchy.  so when you are lifting a fondant ribbon, square or any shape you have cut out... it doesn't loose it's shape and sharpness... 
The problem with being self-taught, is there is no one to tell you these things that are now completely obvious to me!  Little things like using a ruler to measure and cut straight lines... well duh, how else are you going to keep your work clean and neat?!  So, if you take anything away from this post (besides maybe inspiration for your own R2D2 Cake)... let it be to slow down and take a few minutes to lay out your design and remember the simple stuff!

Happy Caking :)

Monday, March 5, 2012

Blush and Ruffles Cake!

I was so excited, when a few weeks ago I was invited by 5th Avenue Weddings & Events to participate as the cake decorator at an intimate bridal show hosted in conjunction with Simply K Studios. This was my first ever bridal show so this setting was perfect!  I cannot wait to see the beautiful photo's that Simply K Studios took of the beautiful displays that 5th Avenue Weddings created!  I designed a cake (and tasting samples) that were featured on a gorgeous dessert table!

I promise to share the pictures from the event as soon as I have them, but for now here is the cake I designed for the show!
Meena (the creative mind behind 5th Avenue Weddings & Events) suggested ruffles because they are very "in" right now.  So ruffles ended up being the basis behind my design for this cake.  I love how the layers of fondant ruffles look like delicate fabric and give the cake a feminine and vintage-y look! 
I didn't want to overwhelm my little cake with too many ruffles, so the middle layer is simply adorned with fondant, fabric-looking flowers, gumpaste "jewelry," sugar pearls and dragees... 
That is not a real jewelry piece!  This is a gumpaste sugar broach I made!  I added sugar pearls and silver dragees for a little extra shine and sparkle.  The broach itself is dusted with edible "Platinum Dust" to give it a soft metallic look.  People could not believe it wasn't real :)

I had such a great time, met some beautiful brides and some really wonderful industry professionals.  What an honor it was to be included.  If you are in the CT/New England area check out:

5th Avenue Weddings & Events for your wedding planning needs.  Meena is amazingly talented and hands on... she will help you create your vision!
Simply K Studios Photography, these talented ladies take really, really beautiful and creative photographs!  They will perfectly capture all of the special moments of your wedding day.
Larissa Lake Make Up Artist & Co if you want to look a little extra stunning on your wedding day!  This team of artists specialize in photography make up, so your pictures will look flawless.  They also offer a full suite of pamper-you services for your wedding day!

Happy Caking :)