Saturday, October 16, 2010

Pumpkin-shaped cake

This cake is the exact opposite of the pumpkin cupcakes. Those: looked bad! Tasted good! This: looks great (though a crappy cell phone pic)! Tasted awful!

I set out to make this cake for no reason whatsoever. I simply wanted to attempt covering a sphere cake in fondant. So I made a boxed cake and frosted it with canned frosting. Then I got lazy and left the cake in the fridge for three days. Then I remembered that I was having my family over for dinner the next weekend, so I wrapped it and put the cake in the freezer. I took it out five days later. So...made, refrigerated, frozen, then thawed, all from a mediocre mix to begin with.

This cake looks great...from one side. See, I was a bit overzealous with the fondant and I rolled it out way too big. So it all sagged and ripped when I put it on the cake. Also, I don't think you can cover a spherical cake with fondant without making a seam. I read instructions on a website that were basically this: "Cover the cake in fondant." Okay! Reality: not that easy. So it was a mess. I covered one side with leaves, which disguised the woodginess. The other sides I was too lazy to cover. It's like the Ace of Base song says..."don't turn around!"

So! Looks good, tastes bad. That's the caveman verdict.

Pumpkin cupcakes

They're not much to look at, but they were delicious. I topped them with a mediocre chocolate frosting. Martha Steward failed me there. She fails me surprisingly often when it comes to baking. This frosting was kind of drippy and thin. It just didn't have a nice texture. The instructions said it was good for piping but if I'd tried to pipe this it would have looked like a big mess.

If I'd thought about it, I'd have tried a maple frosting. If there's one thing that can almost replace chocolate, it's maple. Or toffee. Perhaps I'll branch out from chocolate eventually...but don't hold your breath.

Saturday, October 2, 2010

Ding Dong...Pizza Delivery

Did someone order a pepper, mushroom, and pepperoni pizza?

I made this for a party, and put it on the counter when I walked in. Later on, someone came up to me:

"I said to Irving, wow, she should put that pizza in the oven! Who brings a raw pizza to a party?"

And upon cutting into it, he discovered that it was, in fact, a fully baked chocolate chip cookie decorated to look like pizza.

I liked it. It tasted good. I've also decided that I am a big fan of disguising food to look like other food. I made Bakerella's hamburger cupcakes this summer, but I didn't get a picture. Next up: spaghetti, I think. A bowl of spaghetti.

My only beef, so to say: for the love of pete, I cannot color frosting red. It's always pink.

Thursday, September 30, 2010

Maddy's Baby Shower Cake

This was for my teeny-tiny cousin Madeline's baby shower. I wasn't super thrilled with it. It was a tiered cake that I tried to frost in smooth buttercream. Buttercream! Tastes so good, looks so bad! Thus you're only seeing the top of the cake. I rolled up bits of fondant to look like rosettes and made my old friends, the chocolate butterflies.

I made a cake for Maddy's adoption day, too, but I didn't get any pictures. It was a sheet cake frosted in much smoother buttercream (hey, I've got to improve sometime) with ladybugs marching across it. If you can't tell, Maddy's nickname is "bug." I can't wait to do a tarantula cake for her 15th birthday party (she'll be in her goth phase then, I'm predicting).

Lauren's birthday cake

I made this cake for Lauren's birthday party. It's my second fully-fondant cake, and I liked how it turned out. It looks a bit lopsided in the picture, but that's partially because of the padded seat it's sitting on. It's also partially because I'm too lazy to level my cakes properly.

I thought this design was part mod, part classy. Inside was a slightly dry red velvet--my oven is annoying inconsistent on its temperatures.

Pacman and Friends

These were for an 80s party--Pacman, Ms. Pacman, and ghosts.

These were last-minute, so they were very easy. The ghosts are actually tulip cookie cutters flipped upside down.

Wednesday, January 6, 2010

Christmas Tree Cake

This was my first tiered cake. It was a red velvet cake with cream cheese filling, frosted in buttercream. I made several big mistakes. The first was in thinking that greasing and flouring a pan would be enough to keep the cake from sticking. I've had cakes stick before, but I never learn. This time, the cake layers completely fell apart when I took them out of the pan. Since they were so crumbly, I wasn't able to level them; hence the slightly wonky look to the cake.

My second big mistake: I underestimated the amount of frosting I'd need for the star tip layer of frosting I'd planned. I'd used a ton of frosting to compensate for the woodgy cake shape, so I ran out of green. You can see where I had to re-mix (cue record scratching) the green color. I missed the mark a little.

The fun part was doing the swags. I'd never done them before; they're very delicate. I broke a bunch of strings before I got the hang of it. They look a little bumpy, but that's because they're on top of star-tipped frosting. I finished the cake off with white dots painted with gold pearl dust and a star cookie.

All in all, I mixed six batches of frosting between the cupcakes and this cake. SIX!! By the end of my two-day baking binge, I practically had powdered-sugar lung.