Monday, April 01, 2013

Welcoming a little peanut

I have no idea where the past few weeks went. Spring is fast approaching and while I am very excited about spring and summer (we kind of missed it last year with buying a house and renovating) I feel like time is flying a bit too quickly. Before I know it, birthday season in my family will be here. 
I'm also seeing deadlines quickly approaching for goals that I've set for myself for getting my thesis done. Scary. 

Carrying on with a baby theme, my last baking project was for a baby shower honouring my friend's sister. The theme was elephants and the colour palette was grey and yellow. 

I wanted the elephants on the cake to match the invitation, so in order to make a mommy and baby elephant, I photocopied the invitation onto card stock to use as a template for the gumpaste. One of the challenges with 2-dimensional elephants was figuring out the most stable way to insert these into the cake and ensure they would stay put during a car trip. Initially, I carefully inserted floral wire into each of the legs. I found that I could see the floral wire through the elephants and it did not have as clean of a look as I would have liked. Instead, I recut the elephants and made long and tapered legs that I could stick into the cake. After covering the cake in fondant, I lightly indented where each of the legs would go. After the fondant set and I had the cakes stacked, I made slits for the legs, filled them with a bit of royal icing for added stability and inserted the elephants. The balloon was made with gumpaste and floral wire. This was also secured with a bit of royal icing. I didn't think these elephants were going anywhere, but just in case, I made a few backup elephants for the car ride -- understudies, if you will.
I must say, stripes are not my favourite (translation: not the easiest) thing to do with cakes, especially with 3 alternating colours. My brain is just too tired in the evenings after work to mathematically figure out how many stripes I need to ensure that the colour pattern is continuous and I don't end up with two of the same coloured stripes side by side and how far apart to space said stripes. My math skills seem to be great these days (I really think that it was sheer luck) as the repeating colour pattern worked out perfectly!
I love polk-a-dots and I think it went nicely with the stripes on the bottom tier. I did a pearl border around the base of each tier to finish it off. 
The cake was chocolate with dulce de leche buttercream. I am still using Satin Ice for my fondant of choice. I find that it dries a bit too quickly and that you need to work really fast when covering the cakes to avoid an elephant skin look (would have been ok in this case!) but I love that it does not stretch as much when you are picking up the fondant and it dries to a nice hard finish which I think gives a cleaner look to the cakes. I'll have to see how it behaves in the warmer/more humid weather. 
I was really happy with how this cake turned out and really loved the colour combination of grey and yellow. I also loved the simplicity of the 2-dimensional elephants. My friend did an amazing job putting together the baby shower. Everything was so beautifully coordinated and I was happy that one of my cakes was a part of it.
Now let the countdown to birthday season begin. Will I reign myself in and keep things simple? We shall see.

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