Wednesday, February 20, 2013

Kid Stuff

Did I mention I was thinking about my "new year's" resolution for 2013?  It's a little late, I know, but I thought that something easy would be to have weekly blog updates.  So far, I don't have a post for every week since January... maybe I should set up a reminder in my calendar... yeah, that can work! :)

* * *

Dedication Cakes

There was a lot of e-mailing back and forth regarding a dedication cake for baby Sydney.  Eventually, we settled on a design that mashed together several images found online. 

The chocolate cake was gluten-free, covered in dark chocolate ganache, then pink fondant.  The cake was flourless, but contained a lot of chocolate, making it super rich.  All the decorations were made with a fondant/gumpaste mix.

Sydney's mom was so impressed with the finished product, she requested to have a secondary fruitcake decorated.  I kept it simple, as I had a short time to complete it.  The embossing was highlighted with pearl lustre dust and the I wrapped a frilled fondant ribbon around the base of the cake.
* * *

Mickey Cake Pops

Cute little Mason turned 2!  He is a fan of Mickey, hence a Mickey-themed party happened.  I made chocolate cake pops (chocolate cake + vanilla Swiss meringue buttercream + dipped in dark Belgian chocolate + dipped in coloured moulding wafers).  These favours took me FOREVER to complete... the orange and yellow chocolate decided to not have the proper viscosity (not thin enough), so I only managed one cake pop for those colours.  I have great respect for all the cake artists that use the chocolate medium, because I had such a tough time and can't imagine it being my choice of decorating.  I am so happy the guests loved it (they were eyeing it when it first showed up).

Happy 2nd Birthday, Mason!

Monday, February 11, 2013

Owen's 3rd Birthday

Our little Owen turns 3 tomorrow (Feb 12)!  We had his birthday party this past Saturday and I made it a pirate theme.  Not because he was into pirates.  That would make sense.  It was because he has a new costume that I thought he'd be too big for this coming Halloween.  Practical mom, eh? :)

I made a banner via Vistaprint, that had a pirate ship (it was a template design).  I had little "booty's" for favours that included candy, chocolate gold coins, a map, an eyepatch, a bandana, pirate tattoo and stickers.

Luckily, I had booked the Friday off work, which was when the horrendous storm hit... I spent a lot of my party prep time shovelling snow!  The change in plans made me cut a lot things out, just because I didn't have the time (ie. helium balloons were out of the question with unplowed snow on the roads; no cake cannon-pops; no railing for the ship).  The pirate ship cake was a down-to-the-wire effort, finished at 2am on Saturday morning (the party was set at 10am).

I enlisted help from friends, because I needed it.  They helped me with some food prep and putting up streamers.  Thanks, Ya & Matt!

The majority of guests made it to the party despite the weather conditions.  What troopers! :)

There were only 2 activities... only because a) I was running out of time, and b) the attention span of little kids is extremely short. We played "X" Marks the Spot. The map was hand drawn by James and the challenge was to put the treasure chest on the X... blindfolded. In truth, I don't think anyone won.

The other game was a simple coin toss... get 3 coins in a bucket, you get a prize (candy). There was no limit on how many attempts you make, but it ended up with the kids throwing coins everywhere. The best part: bribing them with candy if they helped pick them up (which they did). :)

At one point, Owen had a bloody nose from bumping into another kid... how fitting for a pirate.  He didn't like us trying to stem the flow, though.

Let's get back to the cake... chocolate with strawberry Swiss meringue buttercream and strawberry crispearls.  I carved it, then ganached it, then applied strips of chocolate fondant planks to the sides and top.  Easy, but a bit time-consuming.  My chocolate cake is not ideal for carving, but for little projects, it's OK.  So, I had to add supports to keep the ends together.  I added  inedible masts and a little pirate gingerbread man, or "BBs" as Owen calls them (see, I didn't even have time to make royal icing).  Final touches: cannonballs (Whoppers), cannons (Rolos) and a turbulent sea (blue buttercream).  This little 9" cake was carved down, and it was enough for the guests (only maybe 6 servings left over).

Happy 3rd Birthday, Owen! <3

Tuesday, February 5, 2013

Let Them Eat... More Doll Cake!

This past Saturday, we celebrated the birthdaysO of 4-year-old twin girls with a pajamarama party!  Obviously, they like princesses, so their mom asked for Rapunzel and Ariel doll cakes (and she provided the dolls and design in mind).

The Ariel cake was chocolate cake with strawberry Swiss meringue buttercream and strawberry crispearls.  The "ocean" was the same buttercream tinted blue and had a few seaweeds, flowers, and pearls throughout.  The fin and scales were piped with green buttercream.

The Rapunzel cake was chocolate cake with chocolate Swiss meringue buttercream and milk chocolate crispearls.  Under the fondant dress was dark chocolate ganache.  It was a triple chocolate combo!

Transporting the cakes was fun... I had to actually hold the Ariel cake, since it was stuck on the cake stand.  Rapunzel sat in a box, so no worries there.  Good thing our friend didn't live that far.

The only thing I didn't really like about the doll cake pan (I've only used it once before) was the baking time.  My chocolate cake is pretty moist, so I was afraid of burning it by leaving it in the oven longer than the recommended time of the pan's manual.  Having said that, the concern was whether the cake would slide easily out of the pan without leaving any cake stuck to the sides.

I was happy that the girls and everyone loved the cakes... this will be the end of doll cakes for a while...
Happy 4th Birthday, Clara & Giuliana!