Sunday, September 14, 2008

Back in the Saddle


The cake saddle that is.

It sure seems like it has been a while since I did any caking. I purposefully took most of the summer off to spend time with my kids, since D was going off to college. (sniff, sniff). We hung out a lot and went on a family vacation. I also needed to finish some long overdue house projects and yard work. But mysteriously, none of that got done. Hmm...wonder how that happened. Oh well, I'll get to it eventually.



Since I was refreshed and rejuvenated, I decided to upgrade my customer's simple small cake so I could make a design I had in my head. Well, the cake had other ideas. This cake made my hurricanoids flair. (In other words, it was a pain in my rear.)

First of all, it is not a good idea to have big ole honkin' chunks of cherries in a cake you know you are going to carve. I knew this was not a good idea going into it. But in my arrogance, I forged ahead. I was so cocky I even added more cherries than the recipe called for. I ain't a skeered of no cherries.

Then came time to carve. And it showed me who was boss. Even with my super sharp knife; it was a mess. Cherries came out in chunks, bringing precious cake along with it. Calling myself a few choice names, I proceeded on. I finally got the 2 tiers carved and patched up.


Then I scorched my first batch of cream while making the ganache to ice the cake with. After the do-over, I got them iced and let them set overnight to firm up.

The next day I got the bottom tier covered beautifully; but within 15 -30 minutes the fondant just started acting wonky. It was bulgy and kind of baggy and getting a lot of elephant skin along the bottom edges. It was morphing before my eyes! I have had this happen before on rare occasion, so I chalked it up to an "off" bucket of fondant. If I tried to take it off, I would have destroyed the cake. So I did what any good decorator would do in this case: uttered a few more choice words, and then I changed the design. The harlequin diamond pattern in fondant is a wonderful way to cover up boo boos or naughty acting fondant. So diamonds it was.

The original design was going to be somewhat musical. I was dying to use my new sheet music stencil I got at ICES. I got the upper tier covered and greased it down to get the corn starch off. (Cuz we all know I love my cornstarch, LOL). I was under an impending deadline and getting worried about finishing in time. For one nanosecond, my brain said, "Sharon, do not stencil on that freshly Crisco'd tier. It will not work." Obviously not having learned my lesson from the cherry fiasco, I blew myself off and proceeded to stencil. Folks, you cannot stencil with royal icing onto greasy fondant. You have to wait until it absorbs in. It was a smeary mess. Of course the black royal would not clean all the way off. It left a nice black stain. So I did what any self respecting decorator would do: after calling myself a new variety of very choice words, I changed the design. Hence the birth of the wacky black band around the top tier.

From there I just added the swags and the flowers I had made the night before. The cake no longer had a musical theme, but a gal has to do what a gal has to do. The customer loved it, so all is well that ends well.


Despite all my troubles, I thought it was kind of nice in the end.
And I very much love my array of fantasy flowers.


The filigree type flowers were made with cutters available here:



The trumpet like flowers were made with this petunia set:



The 2 white blossom flowers were made with the all in one rose cutter:




And I used various buttons from this mold for some of the flower centers:



The camouflage:








Moral of the story:

Listen to your gut;
never give up.








27 comments:

fix money matters said...

very nice! hahahahaha

Elaine said...

This is a beautiful cake!! I love the color scheme! And those flowers are very unique; some great cutters!

Mata Family said...

It may have not been your plan, but I love the end result of this cake!! You rock!! Thanks for the links on those cutters, cuz you know I NEED those now!! Don't we love making each other spend money??? Ha!! Love it girl!! Can't wait to see your next creation!!

NillaWafer said...

For all the trouble you went through you created a gorgeous cake! I will have to remember this cake next time I want to give up on a cake that is being unreasonable.

Heather said...

I love it regardless!

KB said...

Sharon - it came out really cute, even though it wasn't the original design. You went with the flow and you prevailed. That ganache job looks perfect! Thanks for the post and pictures.

Zoe Francois said...

What a fun cake, I just love the colors!

grgapch said...

Well, despite all of the problems you had, as always, the cake came out beautifully!

I'm constantly modifying the design of a cake while I'm decorating. It's just nice to know I'm not the only one!

sara angel said...

If I hadn't of just read all that, I would have thought that was your original plan! It's beautiful!

Ashley said...

Ok...so not fair that your cake messes end up like this! Mine either end up in my belly or in the garbage. Absolutely beautiful...love it.

requel said...

Awesome job if you had not tell I would have thought this was the original design thanks also for the link to new tools.And Please, Please, tell, how you got the whimsical cake done.
Thanks

SugarEd Productions said...

Thanks everyone for the nice words... more on the whimsical cakes will be coming in the future.........stay tuned!

ShirleyB said...

I'm constantly amazed at how you can make anything work...even mistakes! I bet when you were growing up, you were the kid who loved to play in mud and ended up building beautiful castles! :)

Anonymous said...

Sharon your cakes always look flawless. This one was a beauty - love the colors, flowers, etc.

Jacque said...

OMG! That is so very cool... and in one of my favorite color combinations. I think it's whimsical, or at least no serious, lol. Girl, you rock!

Oh, and what I don't get... how do you get the ganache so smooth? I've never tried to smooth ganache... only poured it.

SugarEd Productions said...

Thanks everyone!

Jacque, you let the ganache sit till it's a paste, and crumbcoat and smooth with your scraper just like BC! Technique coming up in a future DVD too! It's easy!

Jessica N. said...

Might be a dumb question ... Do you put the fondant directly on the ganache or do you put BC on top and then the fondant?

Sandi said...

Wow, I am glad you shared that you had bumps along the way working on a cake! It's nice to know that even my "teacher" has trouble at times! Now if I could just get my cake to turn out as great as yours when it does happen to me! I like that you also shared how you did the flowers.

~Amber~ said...

I absolutely LOVE this cake. Blue is my favorite color so this definitely fits my personality. I typically do not like frilly flowery things but wow, this is amazing!

SugarEd Productions said...

Thanks evrybody!

Jessica: no BC; paint ganache with piping gel or simple syrup and then apply fondant.

landa said...

Sharon, this is gorgeous and I love how you showed us what cutters you used.

mdotson said...

Hey girl, finally had a chance to check your blog out -- Love this cake - everything about it - love the colors - the flowers are my favorite -- I'll be sure to check back often

cakegirl said...
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cakegirl said...
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SugarEd Productions said...

Hi Kim!

I think it was sky blue and maybe a little electric blue and electric green. Thanks!

fabcakelady said...

I'm so glad I discovered you're blog. I've been a fan of your work since I've seen it in CC a few years ago. The cake came out great inspite of the boo boos. It just shows how creative you are. Thanks for sharing!

Bruce said...

Thanks for a great blog
Cherry Fruit cake