Saturday, October 1, 2011

Stuff I made for the school bake sale...

I suffer from ongoing internet connection issues. This is a recurring problem that has never been truly resolved, mainly because the company that I pay to provide me with internet service doesn't really care if I have it consistently or not because they get paid either way. But I'm not going to go off on my Comcast rant here. All you really need to know is that last week we were without internet for a few days.

Not able to waste my hours perusing the web, I had some time on my hands, so I made a bunch of stuff for the school bake sale. Since it was to take place before the homecoming football game, I used a lot of blue and yellow, which are the school colors. I baked two 9x13 sheet cakes, one chocolate and one yellow. Both from a mix, sorry guys. When they were cool, I torted them and then cut them into quarters, giving me eight 4x6 layers of each flavor.

I made two football fields, which honestly didn't turn out all that great because it was trickier to pipe all the yard lines on such a small cake than I anticipated. But the footballs came out okay. I made them from chocolate candy coating. You just pipe the outline with melted chocolate and then fill it in similar to the color flow technique, only easier and the pieces aren't quite as fragile. And they taste better.
On the first cake, I was having trouble getting green to spread properly on the chocolate icing, so I piped the field with a grass tip. That made the yard lines impossible to get straight, which is why the second cake looks tidier. I was trying to do a cheerleader pompom thing in the corners using a grass tip and piping bag striped with blue and yellow, but the fact I had way more blue than yellow in the bag is obvious on the second cake. Same for the two-tone beaded border.

While I was in internet limbo I practiced making gum paste flowers. I recently acquired some seriously cool new daisy cutters, you see, so I was grasping at any excuse to play with them. I also had new gum paste I wanted to try out. And I can always use practice making roses. The roses, gerbera daisies, and leaves are all made from Choco-Pan gum paste. With a healthy dose of my beloved Super Pearl applied.
I only used two layers for the football fields, but I made the rest of these cakes with three layers, and I wanted a yellow cake to have chocolate icing. I decided to put the flowers on those cakes because I liked the way the colors of the roses and daisies contrasted with the dark brown of the chocolate icing. I also made two "gift package" cakes with the remaining 4x6 layers. They both looked pretty much the same: blue and yellow gum paste bow loops, lightly dusted with Super Pearl, and blue and yellow blossoms. I think I put strawberry jam filling in between the layers of the yellow cake.
Oh, and I also made cupcakes, using yellow cake mix. I needed something to put my smaller gum paste flowers, leaves, and bows on. The footballs and wildcats (school mascot) were made using melted candy coating. Just make sure to use oil-based candy colors if you decided to color the white candy. My son decorated the smiley face cupcakes, and he added a blue icing filling in keeping with the school colors theme.
Here's a better look... I made the primrose-looking flowers using a blossom cutter and Wilton's Flower Impression Mat Set.
I ended up with a few larger wildcats and some footballs left over, but they got put to good use because both of my kids decided decorate a cake for the bake sale. One went for a more 3-D effect, with the wildcat propped up by the football.
The other cake had footballs flanking the sides. They both wanted to use blue icing and have strawberry filling in between the layers.
I had a lot of fun with the melted candy. It's my new favorite technique, I think. I'm definitely going to need to play around with it a bit more to make sure. The Whimsical Bakehouse outlines the method really well. Don't worry locals, it will be back at the library in a few days.

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1 comment:

Carrie Phelps said...

Your cakes are so beautiful, I wish we lived near one another!! The best I can do is truly not picture worthy! Thank goodness I have a daughter in-law that bakes.