"Hey, I can do that!"

Monday, September 28, 2009

Little Big Planet Cake: Completed

Shawn's 29th Birthday Cake
Little Big Planet Theme
+10 skill points -> 135/400

See gallery of finished work here.

UPDATE (11/01/09):  Thank you, Kathy, for the wonderful comment.  I zipped up all of the reference photos I used in making the cake and posted it here: http://shinymetalobjects.net/cake/LBP_Cake_References.zip  There's some good stuff in there that never made it into cake form.  I can't wait to see what your daughter makes!  Good luck to her and I hope your son has a wonderful birthday!!!

UPDATE (11/20/09):  Kathy's daughter did a fantastic job on her LBP cake!  It's so impressive.  View images here: http://www.cakecentral.com/cake-photo_1521435.html

I'm giving myself 10 points for this cake because it was tiered.  What a week!  "Happy Birthday" to my hubby, Shawn, and a big thank you for letting me just destroy the kitchen while I was making this.  I learned so much and had fun.  I couldn't exactly surprise him about it since it took so long to do, but I didn't tell him what I was making.  He figured it out once I added the trees!  Grab a seat, this will be a long post.

Cake Stats

Bottom Tier
 Top Tier
  • 6" round
  • 4" high
  • French Vanilla Duncan Hines cake
  • cream cheese frosting as filling
  • buttercream icing
  • fondant accents
First up was baking the bottom tier.  This took 2 batches of Paula Deen's pound cake.  That recipe yielded the perfect amount for my 10" round pan.  They baked up nice and after trimming I had 2" high layers.  The bottom layers were separated with a buttercream filling.

The cake was placed on a glass candle plate that I had bought on sale.  I figured that it would be 1) easier than cutting and covering a cake board, 2) reusable, and 3) pretty.  It was all 3, but also very difficult to pick up once the cake was on it.  The little feet were pretty short; it was hard to get my finger tips under the plate.  I still like it though!  It will match any cake and will never be torn up or thrown away.

The theme was Little Big Planet, a PlayStation 3 video game that my husband really likes.  I wanted to carve the cake to have a sloping path so it could look like a level straight from the game.  The idea came from this awesome cake I saw on www.cakecentral.com: Hiking Theme Cake

A little math is required for this part.  If you have a 10" circle, the circumference is 2 x pi x radius, which I rounded to 31".  The bottom tier was about 4" high.  The template was made from taping 3 sheets of paper together and cutting out a rectangular strip 31" x 4".  Cutting that across the diagonal gave me 2 triangles.  When I was designing, I sketched out different elements from the game that I wanted to incorporate on those triangles. 

The path had to be at least 1" wide, so I cut out a 7" circle from a cake board and placed that on top of the cake.  The bottom triangle was attached to the bottom of the cake.  Using a pumpkin carving knife (resembles a little saw), I cut into cake from the side about 1.5" deep along the hypotenuse of the triangle.  After that I used a steak knife to cut downwards into the cake around the cake board on top to where it would meet the cuts for the slant.  Removing the cut cake left me with a winding path up my bottom tier. 

Buttercream then covered the cake, patching up any non-perpendicular areas.  The batch of buttercream was made with butter flavored Crisco.  Unfortunately Crisco insisted that if it were butter flavored, it must also be butter colored.  If you notice, the top tier looks a little green because of that and the blue food coloring.  However it did taste fabulous.

I made some green marshmallow fondant and rolled out a circle about 20" in diameter.  After draping the cake with the fondant, there was a long and arduous process of maneuvering the fondant into all the creases and sides.  There were several spots that had pleats.  One was pretty awful because the fondant had ripped without me noticing as I was peeling off the mat.  Another was unavoidable so I made it as large as I could to pick up all the slack from the surrounding areas.  That fold was cut off with some kitchen sheers.

rolled out to 20"

yikes!  the fondant ripped

here's where I cut the fondant off and tried to smooth it down

Various colored fondant were rolled out and cut to represent different game elements.  The overall theme resembles one of the first levels in Little Big Planet.  I played through it several times and took pictures for reference.  During my design process I separated out which items I wanted to make and then printed them as large as I wanted them in real life to help when I began cutting.  Most pieces where 2"-4" in height and width.  These pieces where stuck to the sides of the cake with piping gel.  I find piping gel easier to use as fondant glue than water because if your hands get wet, the fondant starts to break down and the color and goop gets all over your fingertips.  I used a stiff bristle brush dabbed in gel to coat the edges of the fondant pieces.


For the top tier I baked 1 batch of French Vanilla box cake in 2 6" round pans.  The pans were overfilled and batter dripped over them as there were baking, but ended up ok.  I was left with 2 2" layers that were stacked with a layer of cream cheese tub frosting.  That cake got put in the fridge to firm up.  Little did I know that buttercream cakes will sweat when you take them out of the fridge.  I tried to use a paper towel to soak up the water beads that I saw an hour after I had removed the cake from the fridge.  After it had sweat itself out, it eventually re-crusted.

I used fondant cut outs to make stars.  I bought some 20 gauge floral wire wrapped in white thread.  My book said to use "sugar glue", which is basically fondant mixed with a little boiled water until soupy.  Each wire was dipped in the glue and then carefully inserted into the star.  The stars were probably rolled too thin.  Some wires poked out the side or ripped the star all together.  For some I just laid the end of the glue covered wire on the star and mashed a little piece of fondant on top.  These dried for 3 days.  My book said to insert a posey pick into the cake and then insert the wires into that.  The posey picks I bought were way too long for the top tier.  I trimmed one, but then realized only one wire could fit into the hole on the top.  I said screw it and I stuck the wire stars directly into the cake.  I goofed and arranged them nicely before I realized it wasn't facing the side of the cake I wanted them to face.  I had to pull and sort them again, which made the hole in the cake bigger and allowed them to sag.  Lesson learned!

"sugar glue" (bits of fondant + boiling water)

20 gauge floral wire

The fondant modeled sackboy was fun to make.  I tried to copy the image that's on the video game box.  He was made entirely of ivory colored fondant.  An assortment of old clay modeling tools were used to shape his little fingers.  Toothpicks were cut in half and inserted them into his limbs.  A wooden skewer went through the body and into the head piece.  After a few hours of drying, the limbs were inserted into the body with a little sugar glue to seal the deal.  The little guy was supported with paper towels and left to dry for 4 days. 

His zipper was made of gray fondant.  His face and zipper was painted with black food coloring.  Ideally the zipper would have been made with itty bitty pieces of gray fondant, but I was really running out of time and knew I wouldn't be able to manipulate a millimeter of fondant correctly.  My hands where shaky at the very end because I was so hungry!  I think he was one of the last things to go on the cake.  We had to find a good spot for him to sit so his little legs could hang over.

Little Big Planet is a platforming game.  There are tons of pieces that your sackboys can grab on to or drag in order to get from here to there.  Some of those pieces were recreated using a slice of store bought Sara Lee pound cake.  This cake is really firm, dense, and fine.  It made the perfect sponge pieces that you find in the game.  One was cut one out with a circle fondant cutter.  The other was from an oval cutter, then split in half and topped with fondant.  That piece hid a particularly ugly spot of pleated fondant.

The game has a lot of cardboard pieces.  To recreate those, I rolled out some light brown fondant and cut out a star and free hand cut a teapot.  To create those line segments, I gently rolled a chopstick on top, pressing the edges into the fondant.  I saw this done on TV ... either Ace of Cakes or Cake Boss did it to simulate a bamboo wall for a tiki cake.

All of the letters and numbers were done with an alphabet fondant cut out set I had purchased earlier in the week.  It was difficult to get the fondant out of some of the letters, especially 'B'.  After pressing the cutter into the fondant, it would stick inside and I'd have to coax it out either by gently pressing a chopstick down into it or peeling it out.  Several letters were torn.  Maybe letting the fondant dry a little before cutting would help ...


I did cheat for the cake.  Those spheres (recreation of score bubbles in the game) were Christmas decorations I bought.  Plastic spheres were attached to each end of a wire.  I trimmed the wire about 2" from the sphere and inserted it into the bottom tier.  I didn't feel too bad for cheating because it looked so pretty and was so true to the game.

This was my first tiered cake.  Following the instructions from my book Celebrate with a Cake, I placed 4 dowels into my cake successfully.  The book suggested marking the dowel placement spots 1" from the edge of where the top tier would go.  I marked a 5" circle on the top tier with my compass and a clay modeling tool.

A dowel was inserted within the circle and marked with a pencil.  I figured a dremel tool would be perfect for cutting my dowels.  After marking and taping 2 together, I set off to the backyard with my dremel.  Cutting them didn't turn out as well as I thought.  The dremel can't cut perpendicularly for very long because the tool is too thick where you hold it.  My cuts became angled and couldn't even go all the way through the 1/4" diameter.  I had to cut inwards from several directions and then snap it off.  That left me with a jagged end that I had to sand down to make it semi-flat.  I e-mailed my Wilton instructor for help and she said:
The dowels can be cut with some sharp shears, but I prefer to use a sharp knife.  Once I’ve marked the line on one of them, I score all around with the sharp knife and then I slide the dowel to the end of the counter (exposed in the air) and give it a whack with my hand.  If you went deep enough all around with the knife you should get a pretty clean cut and will only have to lightly sand it down.  I have always used sand paper to get a smooth edge.  Then I use that dowel to score the others.

My dowels where then washed off to remove any sawdust.  They were inserted into the cake at four points, making a square support for the top tier.

Here's another website I found with very informative instructions for using wooden dowels on tiered cakes:


Using a cake turner, I carefully lifted the top tier and placed it on to the bottom tier.  Somehow during this process I smudged the buttercream on the top tier and was never really able to smooth it back out :(

  • cake batter in 6" rounds overflowed 
  • buttercream on top tier started to sweat
  • green fondant on bottom tier tore as it was being placed
  • put stars on facing the wrong way
  • fondant was riddled with little indentions that couldn't be smoothed out
  • color of butter flavored Crisco effected the overall blue color, making it greenish
  • literally rough around the edges; fondant accents needed to be smoothed right after cutting (it's impossible once it begins to dry)
  • difficult to remove fondant from alphabet cut outs; several ripped in the process
  • stars were rolled too thin; several ripped in the process
  • glass plate was difficult to pickup
  • couldn't cut dowels well
  • earned tiered cake badge
  • earned modeled fondant badge
  • earned carved cake badge
  • glass plate looked nice and is reusable
The birthday boy loved it.  We had his family come over for dinner to celebrate his birthday and eat cake with ice cream.  We sang "Happy Birthday" as a single long candle flickered on the top tier.  I sent my instructor a photo of the finished product and she said:
WOW!!!  Impressive . . . but not surprised.  You do great work on your cakes!!!
 The top tier tasted soooo good that when I tried the bottom tier I was disappointed.  Plus the fact that the bottom tier had been sitting out for so long, it wasn't exactly fresh.  We'll probably end up throwing that part in the trash.

Digg my article

Wilton Course 3, Class 3-4

Due to circumstances beyond my control, I had to miss my last 2 classes of Wilton Course 3.  I had the flu during class 3 and had to work during class 4 (we had a mega huge deadline that weekend).  My instructor said I'm welcome to come to class when she's teaching this course again, which I think is super nice.  I hope this doesn't make me another Wilton drop-out!

Work Rep

So cool ... a guy at work just stopped and introduced himself to me.  He knew that I was the one bringing in cakes and was impressed that they were covered with fondant.  That makes me happy!!!

Thursday, September 24, 2009

Cake Dividing Wheel: Review

Though not as cool as it sounds, the Wilton Cake Dividing Wheel is pretty handy.
Measures equal sections of your cake for precise placement of garlands, stringwork and other designs. Cake Dividing Wheel marks up to 16 divisions on cakes up to 20 in. diameter. Garland Marker adjusts to 7 widths. Instructions included.
This was included in my Wilton Course 3 Student Kit.  I assumed we'd use it for measuring decoration placement, but instead we used it for fondant.

Coat the wheel with a thin layer of shortening.  You can roll your fondant directly on to it.  Roll out until you reach the measurement that your cake needs (e.g. if it's a 10" x 4" round, roll to the 18" mark).  When your done, pick up the wheel (the fondant will stick to it) and lay it across your cake.  Peel the wheel away and BAM ... fondant covered cake.  This is MUCH easier than repeatedly powdering a smooth surface and fondant.  Since the fondant sticks to the mat, you don't have to drape the fondant on a rolling pin or quickly transfer it to your cake.  Take your time!

Mine came all folded up with creases.  My Wilton instructor suggested throwing it in the dryer for a few minutes.  I actually just rolled it up along with my long fondant rolling pin and taped it (I had no idea how else to stow and store it anyway).  That got rid of all the wrinkles.

It is a little unwieldy, especially when you've got a lot of fondant stuck to it.  Practice makes perfect, I guess.  Now, I don't know if this is a problem with rolling out fondant with this method or if it's a problem with MMF ... but these past few times I've been doing this, I'm ending up with not so smooth fondant.  There are little holes and imperfections that I can't really smooth out after I put it on the cake.  I'm not sure if I rolling out on a cornstarched surface would alleviate this.  I'll have to try it and let you know.

Maybe one day I'll use it for what the description says it's for!

Oh, speaking of cake dividing, I found this ridiculous thing at Bed, Bath, & Beyond:

Deni® LED Cake Tray
What's fair is fair. You just input the number of slices of cake you want to cut and LED lights around this equity-oriented cake tray illuminates the exact spots where you should cut, so each piece is evenly cut and nobody but nobody gets a bigger piece than anyone else. The tray will even play "Happy Birthday" (with volume control!) to the guest of honor. So let the party begin - with equality for all. Requires 2 AA batteries, not included. Measures 15 1/4" x 1 1/2" x 21 1/4". Spot clean only. One-year warranty.
Really?  You need an LED lit tray to help you cut cake?  I'm skeptical.  Maybe this thing is totally awesome.  Someone let me know.

Friday, September 18, 2009

Popcorn & Ice Cream

I found this darling cake posted on www.cakecentral.com that has a carnival treats theme:


She gives the following tips for making popcorn and ice cream scoops:
I just used mini-marshmallows and cut an "X" into the top of them. I painted the butter with yellow food coloring that was thinned in vodka. The ice cream- just let my bc crust a bit and then mixed it up so it had that texture. Used a mini-disher to scoop it out.

Thursday, September 17, 2009

Wilton Butter Cake: Review

Earlier this week I made a butter cake from Wilton's recipe site:


I wanted to test drive this recipe to see if this is what I wanted my tiered or sculpted cakes to be made from. 
This cake has a firm, moist texture that makes it perfect for tiered designs. We've added almond flavor to give it a richer taste everyone will love.
Everyone except me.  I don't like almond flavoring (e.g. amaretto).  This cake was very similar to the pound cake I made from Paula Deen's recipe (see review post), except ... um ... not as good?  My husband said it was too sweet and neither of us liked the almond flavoring.  It didn't have the nice crust like the pound cake.  But it wasn't mushy after chewing it like the pound cake.  The texture was ok.  It might have been a tad on the dry side.  This cake was sufficiently dense for tier cakes, but I didn't prefer the taste.

Bad Texture Cake: Completed

Bad Texture!  Another Dragon Age Inspired Cake
(+5 skill points -> 125/400)

I'm lucky to have an office full of hungry twenty/thirty-somethings that are more than willing to help me test drive my cakes.  And, after all the over time people have been putting in, expressing team appreciation is always a good excuse to practice cake decorating.

  • 10" square yellow butter cake (Wilton recipe)
  • Pillsbury Milk Chocolate Frosting
  • marshmallow fondant (tinted brown)
  • buttercream icing (print and borders)
A butter cake is very similar to a pound cake.  It was yellow and very dense, but lacking the nice pound cake crust.  Leveling and torting it was difficult because how firm the cake was.  This was a pretty short cake because I used a 10" pan with only one batch of cake batter (the recipe said it yields 7.5 cups).

My fondant, which I had made for my Wilton Course 3, Class 2, turned out to be dry.  Kneading in some water helped smooth it out.  I messed up putting the fondant on to the cake, though.  I need to get this whole aiming thing down.  When I first laid the rolled fondant (with the Cake Dividing Wheel mat) on to the cake, it was way off and one corner of the cake would have been totally exposed.  I tried to pick the fondant up and reposition it ... there's no turning back once you put fondant on to whipped store bought frosting.  It immediately stuck to the fondant, bring up frosting and cake when I tried to reposition it.  I cursed very loudly and repeatedly.  Luckily, it was mostly saved.  I repositioned it correctly and was able to use my rolling pin to smooth out the top again.  After popping bubbles and smushing things around, the top was almost flat.  There were still some indentations that were unrecoverable, but overall it was fine.  I got some more practice putting fondant on corners again.  You can use your rolling pin to help straighten out the sides.  Press the rolling pin lengthwise against the cake side and gently push and roll towards the center of the cake.  This was a pretty short cake for covering with fondant, but it still was a good learning experience.

The background was supposed to be solid black, but I didn't want to use up any food coloring.  Instead, I put the Color Mist Food Coloring Spray to the test (see review post).  An upside down bowl was placed in the center of a large cardboard box (lined with a garbage bag) and the cake was placed on top of it.  I sprayed the mist all over.  Make sure you cover anything that you don't want color on if you use this!  I put painter's tape on the exposed cake board by the cake.  Afterward I was pretty disappointed.  I thought this stuff would be a good alternative to spending hundreds of dollars on airbrush tools.  The color was pretty weak, and I practically used the entire can.  A lot of fumes came up ... the can didn't say anything about proper ventilation ... I didn't get high ... so I hope it's safe.  The cake turned out to look like a very dark brown, which was acceptable.

This was an excellent opportunity to test the piping gel image transfer technique.  My template was what I wanted my cake to show but in reverse.

I printed out the template and placed a sheet of wax paper over it.  After tinting some piping gel green, I thinly piped over all the letters.

Once complete, the wax paper was carefully flipped and placed on to the cake (I placed it a little lower than where I wanted, but there's no turning back).  The gel presses on to the top of the cake with a little help from a stiff paintbrush stroking the back side of the wax paper.

Tada!  The gel was transferred on to the cake and I had a pattern to trace over for all that print.

Betty Crocker sells neon food coloring gel, which I mixed in buttercream for the letters (it shows up bright green in the game).


The cake says "Bad Texture" all over it.  Why?  That's what shows up in Dragon Age if a texture fails to load on a model.  During development we'd see this all the time all over the game.  I think BioWare employees even have t-shirts that say this in glow-in-the-dark print.  Here you can see I rolled up a towel to support the back of the cake board, allowing the cake to be tilted toward me as I piped.  I printed an un-reversed version of the template that I could look off of in the places where the gel didn't transfer completely.

I didn't know what to do for the sides, so it ended up with bead border, dots, and a straight line on the bottom.

  • can't seem to place fondant down correctly on the first try ... that darn mat is big and unwieldy
  • foiled by my own laziness!  store-bought frosting sticks instantly to fondant
  • color mist wasn't as effective as imagined
  • piping gel image transfer worked well
  • neon food coloring was fun; came in very convenient tubes (instead of stupid jars that I have to get a clean knife every time I need more color or the Americolor tubes that require oh-so-much precision to get a single drop instead a blob)
  • good excuse to try Wilton butter cake recipe (see review post)

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Wilton Color Mist Food Color Spray: Review

Last night I used the Wilton Color Mist Food Color Spray (black) on a fondant covered cake.  My fondant was tinted dark brown (was using up some old stuff from a previous project).  I have to say I was pretty disappointed.  I thought the spray would be a good alternative to spending hundreds of dollars on airbrush equipment.  What I got was weak color and a lot of fumes.  I had put my cake inside a cardboard box lined with a white trashbag.  The trashbag got very little coloring on it, the heaviest parts were light gray at best.  After using almost the entire can, the cake just looked to be a darker brown (similar to dark chocolate).  I really thought I would use this like spray paint, but instead I got about 10% of what I expected.



I would like to try this stuff again, but with new set expectations.  I can't use this stuff for full opaque coloring, but I would very much like to try it for highlighting and adding depth to other colors.

I did a search to see what the interwebz said about this stuff:

Edible Food Coloring NEW & IMPROVED!  in a Aerosol can. Shake can, hold at a 45 degree angle, spray 6-8" away from item. One can covers more than a dozen 8" cakes plus dozens of cookies, sugar and fabric. This is a wide spray; if a thin line is required use stencils.
More than a dozen 8" cakes, hmm?  Perhaps I'm not spraying close enough.  I was about 8" away.  I found a few reviews by an obvious plant, Freak369, who suggests spraying it on cardboard and different distances for the desired color control.

One can will cover approx. (6) 8" round cakes, (4) 9" X 13" cakes or (4) dozen cupcakes

Monday, September 14, 2009

Wilton Course 3, Class 2

Wilton Course 3, Class 2

First up was learning how to make fondant roses.  These turned out just lovely, especially with my ivory colored fondant.  Hopefully I can find a reason to make a bunch of fondant roses ... perhaps for my final cake.  It was difficult to work with such a thin layer of fondant without tearing it.  My ball tool is a little disappointing because you could feel a line where the plastic was joined together. 

Next was rolling out the fondant to cover our cake.  It was evident that I hadn't properly kneaded my fondant before rolling it out.  There were little holes and cracks throughout.  What was neat was rolling it out on to the Cake Dividing Wheel that came in our student kit.  The wheel was really a plastic? vinyl? circular mat that had measurements marked on it.  My cake was 3" high and 8" across.  Once my fondant was rolled out to the 16" mark, my teacher and I lifted the mat (which the fondant stuck to) and placed it on to the cake.  Once properly centered, the mat was peeled off.  I was instructed to set the corners first before attending the rest of the cake.  She showed me how to gently press the fondant on the sides of the corner and avoid creating pleats.  No beginner's luck here; my cake had a couple of visible creases.  I popped some air bubbles with a sewing pin.  To hide some of the cornstarch and holes, she told me to spritz the top of the cake with water and run over it with her little wooden roller.  That really helped!  It smoothed out the top more and dissolved the white cornstarch specks.  The fondant smoother tools didn't help because they kept sticking to the fondant.  Again, if the fondant was properly kneaded, this would not have been an issue.

Once I was satisfied with the fondant, I took out my square cake topper that I had made earlier in the week.  I brushed on some piping gel on the top of the cake and gently placed the square on top.

Afterward, I piped some shell borders around the top and bottom of the cake to hide the seams.  My teacher reviewed how to make shells with me (since I never took Course 1), and I practiced before even touching the cake again.  She suggested starting with the back of the cake first.  Good call!  That way I could get the hang of it in the section that would be seen least.

I'm ok with how the cake turned out.  Not thrilled but not disappointed.  The sides seem to slope and bow out.  There was a line on the sides where the filling was separating the two layers.  I'm guessing the weight of the cake and fondant made the filling spew out the side, pushing the fondant away.  I really think I need a firmer cake for this (this was a Duncan Hines box cake).  Yesterday I baked a butter cake so I can practice all this again tonight.  I'd like to achieve those crisp, sharp, straight lines that the professional cakes have, but I need to identify what the problems are that need to be addressed.  I think I prefer buttercream to cover a simple, monocolor cake.  Hopefully this butter cake will taste good, or else my cakes will be more enjoyable to the eye than the tongue.

Saturday, September 12, 2009

Engagement Cake: Completed

Engagement Cake
(+5 skill points -> 120/400)

I finished Hang and Sandi's engagement cake in class today (Wilton Course 3, Class 2).  Hopefully they'll like it!

On Friday I made another batch of Devil's food cake.  This cake baked up much better than the last batch.  I'm assuming because I was well prepared this time around.  The oven was preheated and the pan was greased and floured before I started mixing the ingredients.  I actually followed the directions exactly.  After reading a page full of baking tips, I was reminded that these directions are not arbitrary.  Batter should not be over or under mixed and should not wait long to get into the oven.

As that was baking, I moved on to decorating the ivory fondant square.  The template I made was copied from their wedding invitations.  Doing all of those intricate swirlies would be impossible, so I broke the image down into simpler parts.  Here is the template from the original to the reduced sections for brown and orange:


I traced the orange template on to my ivory fondant square using an old-school ink pen.  Food coloring and gin were my ink.  It worked well, despite the fact that my food coloring set doesn't even include orange.  I used golden yellow, no taste red, and brown.

After outlining the design for the orange swirlies, I took the fondant off the light box and filled in those sections using a paintbrush.

While that dried, the icing needed to be prepared.  I used my first batch of IMBC for the filling.  Sandi likes coffee flavors, so I added 3 tablespoons of instant coffee dissolved in 1 tablespoon of boiling water.  Earlier in the week I had done some research for flavoring icing with coffee and several mentioned either instant coffee or instant espresso.  What slipped my mind was that it was supposed to be 3 Tb for a full batch, but my IMBC was a half batch!  My husband thinks that the chocolatey cake and other icing will help balance out the strong coffee flavor.  I made a full batch of chocolate BC to be used as the foundation and for decorating. 

On Saturday I finished painting the ivory square.  The lettering was done with a small batch of royal icing and the very last drop of my brown food coloring.  The table took on another stain.  Folks, when coloring, use protection!

I trimmed and torted the cake layers.  The coffee IMBC began to destabilize as I was spreading it.  That's not too surprising if it was due to the humidity.  It was raining cats and dogs outside.  More on that part in my class post.  The chocolate BC went on well and eventually I was left with a rectangular prism.


The fun part was getting everything to class while a monsoon was going on outside.  I found a cardboard box to stuff the cake into and covered it with a trash bag.  It was embarrassing to show up to class completely drenched, but the cake survived.

I learned how to cover a cake with fondant without making any pleats or trapping air bubbles.  Unfortunately I didn't want to hold up the class so my fondant didn't get kneaded properly.  That resulted in little cracks and blemishes.  My instructor helped me flatten some out by spritzing water on the top and rolling it with a little wooden fondant roller tool (which I now want to purchase).  I popped some air bubbles with a pin without an complications.  Here I am putting the ivory square on top (glued down with piping gel).


We had rolled out the fondant on to a greased Cake Dividing Wheel.  This was basically a plastic? vinyl? circle with measured markings.  I rolled out a blog of fondant until I passed the 16" mark (my cake needed at least 14").  The fondant sticks to the circle, so you just pick the whole thing up and lay it across your cake, then peel it off.  That was easy, and I was still able to make a correction when I found I had laid it off center.

Shell borders went on top and bottom to finish it and hide the seams.

  • visible brush strokes on the fondant painting (I think this can be reduced by proper drying and using more food coloring to less alcohol)
  • coffee flavoring IMBC was too strong
  • IMBC began to destabilize
  • fondant was not kneaded properly before rolling
  • out of brown food coloring! set doesn't even include orange! 
  • cake was too soft to keep crisp edges
  • filling is spewing out the side under the fondant
  • visible pleats

  • using ink pen to trace image worked well without damaging the fondant
  • cardboard box made for safe and secure transportation
  • water + wooden rolling thingie smooths out fondant
  • Cake Dividing Wheel made placing the fondant on the cake easy

As Seen On

As Seen On Capital Confectioners