"Hey, I can do that!"

Sunday, October 11, 2009

Mosaic Cake: Completed

Mark's Birthday Cake with Mosaic Fondant
+5 skill points -> 140/400

This weekend I met with my parents and brother to attend a baby shower for my cousin.  My brother's birthday is next weekend, so since we were all together we also celebrated that.  He requested chocolate cake and chocolate icing.  Here is the cake I made for him.
  • 8" round
  • chocolate butter cake (box mix)
  • chocolate buttercream icing (Wilton recipe with butter flavored Crisco)
  • marshmallow fondant tiles and letters
I had picked up this butter cake box mix a while back.  Be aware that in addition to the regular box cake mix ingredients, it also calls for a stick of butter.  Since I've never tried this before, I checked on the cake after 45 minutes of baking.  Regular cakes take about 45 minutes to bake, but when you use baking strips it seems to tack on another 15-30 minutes.  I pulled the rack out to look how it was coming along, but doing so shook the cake and caused the center to deflate!  The final cake had a little depression on the top.  When I torted it, I shuffled the layers so the dip would be in the middle.

I made a failed batch of chocolate IMBC.  Perhaps I didn't whip the egg whites enough?  I put the sugar in too quickly?  It came out soupy.  My husband said it tasted fine but looked unappetizing.  That batch of fail went into the fridge and a Wilton buttercream came to save the day.  Most of my chocolate squares went into the failed batch, so I ended up using 2 ounces of chocolate and 1/4 cup of cocoa.  The icing came out lovely.  It went on thick and tasted yummy.  I used butter flavored Crisco again since I wasn't concerned about the color.  My sister-in-law said she doesn't normally like icing but she really liked this one.

The cake design was inspired by a blue mosaic wedding cake posted on Cake Central:

Ready for the math?  I used my smallest square fondant cut-out, which was 1/2" wide.  This was an 8" round, so the circumference was around 24" (diameter x pi).  A row of squares would be 24" / 1/2" = 48 tiles.  Since I wanted 2 rows, that's 96 tiles total.  Between 4 different colors, that's 24 squares of each color.  I cut out 28 of each just in case some were ugly. 

Piping gel was brushed on to the cake to act as the glue.  Each tile was placed in a set color order (it went counter-clockwise as you see them on the cutting board above).  The bottom row was set first since it was easiest to line up with the edge of the cake.  The top row was the same color order except offset by one.  A clean brush helped place and press them against the cake.  I put the cake on top of the cake pan so it could be higher and easier for me to work with.  The tiles lined up well; 48 each row exactly!

I had a hard time getting the fondant out of the alphabet cut-outs.  You can see several indentations in some of the letters where I had pushed it with a chopstick.  Why did they make them so small???  I was too lazy to pipe on "Happy Birthday" with royal icing.  I really just need to buy royal icing in a tub so I don't have to make it myself for a little thing like that.

The cake was finished Saturday, but we were so tired and stuffed from the baby shower we didn't cut the cake until Sunday.  By then the fondant had softened, I guess because of the moisture trapped in the cake tupperware?  That made it shiny and easier to eat.  I wonder if that would happen if the cake wasn't in the tupperware for the same amount of time.

In the end, I was very pleased with the cake.  The simple design still had a great impact.  I minimized the amount of fondant used so the overall taste would be better.  It was exciting to be able to recreate something I saw done well from Cake Central.  I think this is a great design that could be used for just about anything.  All it takes is adjusting the colors.


1 comment:

  1. Another cool cake! I remember reading on cake central somewhere that you should never store a fondant covered cake in a sealed container. I guess it makes the fondant sweat and wilt. They say to store the cake in a cardboard cake box so it can "breathe." I have no experience in this, but thought I'd pass it on.


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