I’ve moved! http://flourplussugar.wordpress.com

July 16, 2009

Until I figure out how to completely relocate this blog onto it’s new location at flour + sugar, I will simply just post this message ūüôā

I hope you find it with ease – because it’s definitely a headache trying to find where to run SQL commands!

A pot of crawfish fondant cake

June 2, 2009
Pot of crawfish fondant cake

Pot of crawfish fondant cake

Made from scratch right down to the marshmallow fondant.¬† Here is a photo to share and more posted on my Flickr account.¬† I will definitely have to share¬†my “how to” on the gumpaste corn and crawfish in another post.¬† Initially, I thought that would be the hardest to execute but in fact it was quite simple and fun.

I¬†baked four 10″ round white cakes to construct¬†two 10″ tier cakes assembled on top of another.¬†¬†Three 10″ cake boards were used –¬†two for support and the other for the pot’s lid.¬† Four trimmed wooden dowels were inserted in the bottom tier for support of the top tier.

Orange buttercream was used as filling.¬† I used black¬†cake color¬†to tint my mm fondant¬†until a gray hue was achieved.¬† I do have to admit that¬†my second batch of¬†mm fondant came out to be a lighter shade of gray than my first batch.¬† I didn’t really pay attention to the exact amount of black cake coloring that I was using.¬† So beware!

I crumb coated the cake with a plain powdered sugar and butter frosting recipe.  With the help of some melted almond bark as glue, the gray fondant was able to wrap around the cake.  I opted to wrap the mm fondant around the cake instead of rolling out an enormous sheet of fondant to cover the entire cake because I simply did not have enough counter space to do this.  So I think it would work either way.

I rolled out more gray mm fondant and used the 10″ cake board to trace and cut out a circle to cover the top of the cake.¬† On top of that, laid the crawfish, corn & potatoes ( you can’t see my potatoes because they were placed in the back).

Then, I proceeded to cover the last 10″ round cake board with fondant on both sides with a little frosting to help it stick to the board.¬† I rolled some fondant in my hand to make a handle for the pot.¬† I used melted almond bark to glue it on top.

Overall, this project was a blast.  There are so many other things you can do to make it more unique.  Like add a beer bottle or a paper towel roll next to the pot.  Be creative and have fun!

My experience with making fondant look like wood

June 1, 2009

I’m in the middle of a “crawfish boil” themed cake and decided to make the cake board look like wood from a picnic table.¬† Taking¬†what I’ve read of how to do this in Elisa Straus’s book, Confetti Cakes, and observing other people’s work, I decided to give it a try.

Here are the materials that I used:

  • Marshmallow fondant
  • cake board
  • Wilton’s cake color in brown
  • thin paint brush
  • vodka
  • cornstarch
  • rolling pin

Step 1:  Make the MM fondant Рseparate into two batches, one plain white and the other brown

Step 2:  Roll each batch into a log.  Then twist the white with the brown. Depending on the size of your cake board, you can roll and twist in sections.

Step 3:¬† Dust your workspace and rolling pin with cornstarch.¬† Flatten out with rolling pin.¬† You will notice as the brown and white fondant flatten, the colors “swirl together almost creating a marble effect.¬† In fact, if you want a marble effect, you can use this technique!¬† Have cake board ready with some frosting spread onto it so that rolled fondant will stick to the board.¬† Trim excess.

Step 4:¬†¬†Dip paintbrush into the Wilton brown paint and slightly dilute with a little vodka to make the color more translucent, like watercolors.¬† (You do not want to use water because this will ruin or “melt”¬†your MM fondant.)¬† Using gentle, long strokes, paint the cake board, making sure each stroke varies in the depth of color.¬† Have fun with it!¬† You don’t have to¬†be¬†a Picasso to¬†do this.¬† Plus, wood¬†can have irregularities and so can your¬†painting strokes.

Step 5:  Let cake board dry overnight.  Viola!  A wooden cake board ready for some cake to sit on top of it!

Fondant wood cake board

Fondant wood cake board

The Taart van m‚Äôn Tante, a bakery in Amsterdam

May 24, 2009

Check it out!¬† While in Amsterdam, I stumbled across this cute and dainty bakery adorned with wax-like colorful decorated cakes.¬† Don’t get me wrong, they had real cake, too, but the fake ornate cakes on top of every retro table and window sill created a somewhat whimsical feel to the bakery that I just had to experience.

Welcome to The Taart van m‚Äôn Tante.¬† As I entered, I felt the magic of how cakes can bring friends, lovers, even a dog laying on the floor to take part in this affair.¬† A table opened up and soon I would taste the magic.¬† I ordered a slice of “Ann-Marie” and waited patiently, wondering if its frowned upon to flash my camera at every possible angle.¬† I opted to keep the intimate flow going and decided to burn the images into my head instead.¬†

Then, the light pink marzipan with mint green thin squiggles appeared on top of a plate with a dallop of white cream covered with colored sprinkles.  Underneathe emerged white, fluffy cake with strawberry cream so delicately layered.  Ohhh, I had a slice of heaven that day!

On my way out, I did snap a shot of one of the over-the-top decorated cakes as a keepsake.  Inside the Taart van m'n Tante

Inside the Taart van m’n Tante
Taarten van Able

I took this picture of the poster hanging on the window to remember to google Taarten van Able when I got back home

a “Did you know?” about wedding cakes

May 24, 2009

While I was in London this past April, I picked up an interesting “did you know” about the tiered wedding cake.¬† As our red double deck bus manuvered its way through traffic, the tour guide points in the direction of a tiered spire faintly protuding in the sky between two buildings.

“And there’s St. Brides Church to your right” he announced.¬† “The tiered spire is said to have been an inspiration for the tiered wedding cake design.”

Urgently, I pointed my camera towards the church while at the same time thinking, “I must get a picture for my blog!”¬† Unfortunately, the tour bus does not stop for anything except for stop lights and traffic jams and our view had already been obstructed by other buildings.¬† Nevertheless, I dragged my boyfriend the next day to revisit St. Bride’s church to take the pictures below.¬† Enjoy!

London, England

Tiered spire of St. Bride's Church, London, England

In front of St. Bride's Church

In front of St. Bride's Church

Future bride?? LOL! Hmm, would I make my own wedding cake?

I wonder if it's good luck to visit St. Bride's Church? LOL! Hmm, make my own wedding cake?

Making a dragon cake

March 12, 2009

This project was soooo much fun.  4 evenings, 3 sheet cakes, 3 batches of marshmallow fondant, 2 batches of white chocolate buttercream and an extra pair of hands (my sister) to construct and finish the cake.

The dragon cake under construction

The dragon cake under construction

I think I gained 5 lbs. while carving the cake because I would eat all the pieces.  I hate wasting good cake!  Here are the recipes I used as a guide:

Jeff's birthday dragon cake

Jeff's birthday dragon cake

¬†My sister helped paint the monster.¬† I think that was the most enjoyable part – watching it come alive with color!¬† You should’ve seen me carry this cake to my car by myself… not recommended.

My 1st competition cake

March 2, 2009
My 1st competition cake

Yellow Wedding Cake

Viola!  My 1st ever cake competition.  I entered the Adult Beginner division competing in the Wedding tiered category.  Although, I did not place, I did have the most enjoyable time with my sister, mom, friends and sugar art enthusiasts alike!  The cakes were phenomenal! I will post the pics from the 2009 Sugar Art Show & Cake Competition in Austin, Texas, later this week.

I already have to jump to the next project which is the¬†sculpted dragon cake for¬†Mr. boyfriend’s birthday this Thursday.

Newbie gumpaste flowers

February 27, 2009

Yes, my first time making gumpste flowers and working with this medium.   I watched several tutorials on YouTube but this is definitely a hands on learning experience.  Here is one of my favorites tutorials:

There are actually a series of them to watch from making a rose bud to storing your gumpaste flowers.  I love how they make it look so easy but in fact it is a pain in the arse!  My best words of advice Рpatience, practice and have fun!

Ok, so far I’ve made two roses.¬† They are both different from in each other in a way that one looks more modern and the other more traditional.¬† What do you think?

My first ever gumpaste flowers

My first ever gumpaste flowers

Now here’s a closer look at the modern style rose.¬† I dusted some luster on top of it.¬†

Modern flower

Modern flower

 It kind of resembles this Chanel pin that is to die for.  Maybe I should wear it? 

Chanel pin

Chanel pin

Martha’s turntable

February 26, 2009

Oh, Martha.  This is my first post of many more to come about her and her fabulous products.  Like this one!

Martha's turntable

Martha's turntable

I don’t even have a plastic one.¬† I turn my cakes on an upside down bowl¬†(tear, tear).¬† The silver finish goes well with the mixer of my dreams, too!

Marshmallow fondant project

February 18, 2009

I was at my sister’s when I spotted a bag of pink marshmallows.¬† Even better, it said “strawberry marshmallows”.¬† Immediately, I thought to myself, how wonderful would this be for mm fondant?!¬† It’s already pink and flavored, too!¬† Talk about a time saver!¬†

So this is my next project.¬† Actually, I have quite a few projects lined up (like the cake competition – eek, it’s coming up!) but I just had to share my new discovery.¬†

Oh yeah, there are¬†coconut marshmallows, also.¬† Wonder how that’ll turn out.¬† It kind of has this funky brown sugar color.¬† Funky because the color doesn’t look smooth and actually looks like the texture of brown sugar but I’m just judging from the images from Wal-Mart.¬† That’s where my sister bought hers and I have yet to swing by (if it’s ever possible to swing by Wal-Mart).¬† Check it out!

strawberry-marshmallows1coconut-marshmallow1