August 27, 2011

Cake Pops.. Trial and Error, right?

So you will remember that my part time job is as a Wilton Method Instructor for Michaels. Being an instructor means I get to enjoy not only teaching our three main Wilton courses, but I get to offer Project classes to my student as a way to get something new out of decorating.

In July Wilton FINALLY released a project class regarding Cake Pops, called POPS! You might remember a previous post I had on cake pops, but if not here is the link:) Now these ones arent technically pops, since they aren't on a stick, but you get the idea. Anyways, since then I have been wanting to teach this class ever since I heard about them when I was on maternity leave with my second child. So I was thrilled when I could finally get some class time to offer it up.

In getting ready to teach the course, I had to play around with my new supplies I got through Wilton, (serious discount.. LOVE IT!) in order to make sure I understood how everything worked and to be comfortable working with the candy melts.

So that meant, making some pops:)

Now, don't judge me on how bad some of these turned out. I figured out on a few of them that I should have made the balls smaller to make the decor in proportion, but it didn't work out that way.

Pretty sad looking, aren't they? Don't worry. My husband and I had a really good chuckle over the state of these pathetic creatures:) But they are cute in their own sad little way, right?
My Second attempt I was playing around with ideas from the Wilton POPS! Book. They turned out not too badly considering I didn't have a lot of decorating materials on hand.

My third attempt went a bit better. This time I made some pops for a demo I was doing in our store earlier in the month. I wanted simple pops, ones that showed how easy it was to make and look pretty. These ones did turn out a bit better.
Well, except for "Carlos" and "Rico Suave"...they are pathetic in their own right!:)
See, even his poor ears aren't good. Poor bugger wouldn't be able to hear all of the people laughing at him!

I do have a final display which is currently in my fridge awaiting for my concluding class in the morning. So once the class is completed, I can share the results of the fourth round of Pops..

(On a side note, I was told by my management, that apparently there is a huge demand in our store asking for another POPS! Class. Seems too many are interested, but my late Summer slot didn't work out, so looks like I get to schedule another one:))

August 1, 2011

Happy Birthday My Sweetheart!

My eldest daughter turned Three last week. I can't believe how quickly time is flying by! Hard to believe in three months I will be planning my youngest daughters first birthday!

My daughter is big into Toy Story lately. Ever since she saw the movies, she has been head over heels for Buzz and Woody. Back in the spring she had declared she wanted Buzz and Woody on her birthday cake.

So of course I had to oblige..

I had toyed with two ideas I had in mind to do, one being a stacked cake style with some very time consuming fondant work, the other being a "shaped" cake with a bit less decoration. My husband decided for me and chose the shaped cake, considering I hadn't done anything like it before.
I had decided to make Andy's Bed and have his toys, Buzz and Woody on his bed.

The cake started about two weeks before I actually made cake. First I had to make the bedframe.

It started off by hand drawing a headboard and footboard on paper.

Then I made some brown gumpaste and used my stencil to trace out my frames.

My last step which took place a week later was to lightly brush brown coloring with vodka to make the brown look more like wood.

Sorry, no pic of that one:)

The next step I had to do was make the hardwood floor cake board that the bed was going to sit on. For this I decided to try my hand at making my own fondant. I had tried this once before but I was less than thrilled with the results. But I figured everything deserved a second chance, so I tried again. This time I tried a different website.. I was pleased with the results of this Marshmallow Fondant recipe.

Making the wood look itself was a lot easier than I thought it would be. I took half of the fondant and colored it brown, left the other half white and then wrapped the two together like a rope. Then I made sort of like a coiled rug out of it, and the rolled my rolling pin over it. Once I got the marbling effect I was looking for, I glued it to my cake board with piping gel. Then I took a straight edge and randomly made the ends of my boards. I then added some wood grains to the boards to make it look more like wood and then finally took my vodka infused brown color and painted over it to give it another dimension of color. For a first attempt, I was overly joyed with how it turned out.

Finally it was time to put the cake on it... the night before the party.
Since I had good luck with the Marshmallow Fondant for the board, I decided to cover the cake in it as well. It was the first time I had tried covering cake, so I wasn't sure what to expect.
As I started to roll out the fondant, I realized that it was quite soft. It took me at least 45 minutes of swearing and cursing and re rolling and re applying to finally get the fondant on the cake the way I wanted it. First the bed spread had to go down..

Then I added the white sheet and pillow.

And finally, the headboard and footboard, Buzz and Woody with a few of their friends, and of course, the big Happy Birthday for my baby:)

The cake wasn't the only thing I made for the party. On top of that, I decided to make some Alien Cupcakes and "Jessie" Cookies for the goodie bags. These were super easy to make and a hit by all the kids (and Adults)

And the cookies

The cake and the cupcakes sat on the buffet table by the food. Everyone stared in amazement at my wonderful cupcakes.... Not realizing the Bed next to it was actually the birthday cake.. Until I pointed it out. It was the greatest feeling in the world to see everyone's face drop when they saw it...

Even better when the cake was pretty much devoured at the end!