"Hey, I can do that!"

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Crazy Pizza Cakes

"Crazy Pizza Cakes"
with Brian Stevens


Last Sunday I attended another Capital Confectioner's monthly class, "Crazy Pizza Cakes" with Brian Stevens.  Remember Brian?  He was on TLC's Next Great Baker.  Our cake club is fortunate to have him as a member and I learned a lot from class.

  • 12" round yellow cake, carved
  • iced with buttercream
  • covered and decorated with Fondx fondant
  • red buttercream "sauce"
Class topics:
  • the color wheel
  • color theory
  • airbrush basics
  • sculpting
  • using a torch

We learned a little bit about the color wheel and how to properly mix colors.  I haven't done this since grade school!  One important tidbit we learned through trial and error was that Americolor's airbrush red plus blue does NOT make purple.  It made some ugly greenish brown color.  Brian attributed it to whatever dyes they use.  I'll be sure to buy purples instead!

I bought an airbrush kit from TCP Global a few months ago, but never really used it.  As soon as our club announced that Brian would be doing an airbrush class, I signed right up.  My kit came with 3 airbrushes, the Master S68, Master G22, and Master E91 with a Airbrush-Depot TC-60 "Salon Air" compressor. I was not very pleased with the compressor.  It could not keep a low (~18) psi consistently; spurts of air and then nothing.  Higher psi's faired better, but I'm not looking to blow a hole through my cake.  Brian, of course, made everything look easy!

We carved and iced a 12" round cake for our pizzas.  This was my first time working with Fondx and it was really nice.  It was soft and pliable, no elephant skin ... I forgot to taste it though!  Oh well.

Brian had us airbrush the "crust" with shades of ivory, chocolate brown, and warm brown.  I made sure to make some irregular burn spots so it would look like pizza I'm used to seeing.

Close-up of my paint job

Close-up of our "sauce" (various red shades with buttercream)

Now with toppings!  All fondant

Of course Brian had to teach us how to use torches.  He brought a large, medium, and small.  Above are the larges, which made fast work.  The medium was like a creme brulee torch that you can buy at Bed, Bath, & Beyond.  The small was neat because it was like a pen, for fine detail work.

After torching

Yummy caramelized fondant!

Smelled like roasted marshmallows ...

Coming away from this class I want to airbrush everything!  Cake, t-shirts, stage make-up ... well, I'll try not to get ahead of myself.  I still have a lot of practice ahead of me before I can be where I want to be with airbrushing.  I might consider investing in a new compressor.  Thanks, Brian!

My coworkers enjoyed this treat!

Tuesday, August 2, 2011

Congratulations, Jeanette!

Congratulations, Jeanette!

One of my coworkers got married this weekend and my studio asked me to make a cake for her team to celebrate with.  Last Saturday my mother-in-law gave me some leftover wedding books and I found a design that I wanted to try out.

  • 8" round extended vanilla cake mix
  • iced with Italian Meringue buttercream
  • filled with whipped cheesecake flavored JELL-O pudding
  • covered and decorated with marshmallow fondant
Real Simple Weddings, page 111 (didn't see a caker listed to credit)

    Sure, I could do that.  It's just circles, right?

    I regretted not making fresh fondant for this cake.  What I had was about a month old and it was no longer very stretchy.  This was the longest fondant job I've ever done!  After I while I started pulling the fondant down so it could stretch over the sides faster.  It turned out ok at least.

    The cake was about 4" high so I cut some light blue fondant with my 1 7/8" circle cutter.  I think I need a better circle cutter set.  Mine don't give a very clean edge.  They're fine for cookies or biscuits, but will not suffice if I need to bring my A game.

    I had a difficult time keeping the circles at the same height since I didn't put in any guide marks.  Plus some of the circles stretched when coming out of the cutter.

    I brushed the back of the circles with water.  At first I started gluing them with piping gel, but they stuck too well and didn't give me any leeway to shift the circle into a better position.  Water let me slide them around a bit into place.  I used my wide pastry brush to support and press the circles on to the cake, reducing any chance for finger tip indentions.

    To make the inset sections, I placed 4 circles together in a square formation, then used the same circle cutter right down the middle.  Again I used water and my pastry brush to place them on the blue circles.

    Blue royal icing was piped for the "Congrats" and for the little dots on the white sections.  Not too shabby, huh?  Unfortunately not as good as the magazine, but I was pretty pleased with another "Hey, I can do that!" experience.

    As Seen On

    As Seen On Capital Confectioners