Monday, February 20, 2012

Humble Beginnings - April and May 2010

Although I technically did not take a baking break this weekend (I made plain, lemon and chocolate meringues and Chinese egg tarts), I decided to continue my "Humble Beginnings" series of posts about some of my earlier projects.

My second decorated cake was for my nephew's 1st birthday in April 2010. Although I like the cleaner look of fondant on a cake, it was requested that the cake be covered in frosting and to have chocolate frosting in order to maximize the opportunity for chocolate-covered-face photos.

I had a really difficult time getting the frosting smooth on this cake despite numerous attempts at using a spatula with hot water. I have since learned to make my frosting a bit thinner when covering a cake and to use a pastry scraper to get my sides straight. Also making a higher edge on the sides of the cake allows you to sort of tuck the edges neatly onto the top of the cake making a straighter edge. Swiss meringue buttercream is also much easier to work with but it's not as tasty for a kid's cake.

This was my second attempt at figure modelling and I think it was a bit more successful as the characters did not end up looking obese. My favourite character is the zebra. The colours and theme of the cake were chosen to coordinate with the birthday party invitations.

In May 2010, my other nephew had his 5th birthday. The birthday cake was Super Mario.

I teamed up with my sister to make all of the figures for this cake. We made a plan by taping rough paper cutouts of all the characters, bushes, stars, clouds, doors and boxes to the cake tins and took photographs for reference. My sister, having never worked with fondant before, did an amazing job making Yoshi and the Koopa Paratroopa.

My favourite character was Lakitu. Apparently my photography skills were also not as good back in the day - I think the plate is in focus rather than Lakitu.

I also thought the Goombas were pretty cute. I remember working on Mario and thinking that it wasn't going to look anything like the character but it somehow all came together, especially once I got that moustache on. I opted to skip Luigi for two reasons 1) I thought that it would be enough trying to get one of the Mario Bros. looking correct and 2) I thought it would look weird with a big Mario on the top and a smaller Luigi on the side.

I was very proud of this cake. It was the first cake that I did where the figures actually had to resemble existing characters rather than random animals which could be more forgiving.

The cake itself was vanilla with vanilla frosting.

My nephew's reaction? "Where's Luigi?". Oops...

1 comment:

  1. I'm sorry, but Frosting rules (taste-wise). We loved the chocolate animal cake! YUM!