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Photo TR: Brandy makes a cake.


Brandy524
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So you may not know that I decorate cakes as a hobby. Usually this just consists of me making birthday cakes for my daughers, but recently I've decided to start doing cakes for other people on the side. So a friend of mine from high school asked me to do a Twilight cake for her daughter's birthday. She's picking it up on Saturday (Nov. 7) so I'm working on it a little bit each night this week, since I work a full-time job during the day. I'll update the thread as my work progresses. Only a few photos at the moment.

 

I'm doing the cake with elements from each of the book covers. I, myself, am not a Twilight fan; I've never read them. But I'm sure everyone knows what the covers look like. I mean, they're everywhere. If you Google Twilight cakes, this theme is very popular. So I'm running with it. Stay tuned for more pictures as I get more work done on it.

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And the completely finished flower. I am very happy with the way it turned out!

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The assembled flower, minus the red coloring. This was my first time working with gumpaste, so I was a little unsure how well it would turn out.

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Gumpaste flower petals drying on baby bottles. Since my daughter no longer needs the bottles, I've found a way to put them to good use!

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THe flower looks great after you painted it. I love watching cake decorating shows on TV but still struggle to even frost a cake without it looking like it was a 1st grade class project, though I am getting better.

 

I really looking forward to seeing your work, thus far it's impressive.

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I know you all are just hanging on my every word, on the edge of your seat in anticipation of learning to make fondant, right? So let's get right to it.

 

I could have saved a lot of time, and made a lot less mess, by buying pre-made fondant, but really, what fun is that? Not to mention that it's more expensive, and not really very tasty. So I'm making my own fondant. I found this easy, inexpensive, and actually quite tasty, recipe made from marshmallows. We're going to be making two batches: one white and one black. See on the bottom tier of the cake I'm going to do a chess board consisting of covering the whole tier in white, than adding the black squares.

 

I prefer to work with fondant over icing. It's like playing with play-doh, and you can eat what's left over.

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The ingredients: 1 lb. bag of mini marshmallows, 2 lb. bag of confectioner's sugar, and some shortening just to keep things from getting too sticky. Believe me, this stuff is very sticky at first!

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And finally, my hands after coloring the black. Thankfully it wears off after a few hand washings! Tomorrow's update: Baking the cake and covering it with our newly made fondant!

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The mess I left on our kitchen table. There was also confectioner's sugar in the floor all around the table.

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Sealed up and ready to use!

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Here's the finished black. It started drying out a lot while I was trying to knead the color into it. But I think I got it a pretty good shade. And I got it back into a workable consistency.

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Now to color it black. Coloring fondant is not easy anyway, especially dark colors; coloring it black is a nightmare. A friend of mine who is a chef (seriously, she went to culinary school) told me that if I was having trouble getting it dark enough I should add purple. And really, she was right.

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Here's what the chocolate fondant looks like during the kneading process. I also added two tablespoons of cocoa powder with the confectioner's sugar.

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For the black fondant we're making it chocolate. I reasoned it's easier to make brown fondant turn black, than it would be to make white fondant turn black. So I added 1 oz. of melted chocolate to the original recipe. I used unsweetened chocolate, but the recipe doesn't really specify. I figured between the marshmallows and the sugar it's enough to send you into a diabetic coma, so unsweetened chocolate would be wise.

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We're storing it for the night because I'm not making the cake to put it on until the next night (tonight actually). So to store it, coat the ball with shortening, wrap it with plastic wrap, and put it in a freezer bag, making sure you get as much air out as possible.

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Knead the mix like you would bread dough. Add sugar as you go, kneading it well in between additions. Keep at it! It takes a few minutes to get stickiness out of it. Re-grease your hands and the table as needed. You probably will not use all of the sugar. I made two batches and didn't even use the whole 2 lb. bag. This is how it should look when you're finished!

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Pour about 1/4 of the bag of sugar into the bowl of melted marshmallow and stir just a little, then dump it all out onto your greased work surface. This is where it gets really messy. But admit it, doesn't the child in all of us like to make a mess every now and then?

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Grease your work surface with the shortening. Grease it well! Grease your hands too. If you don't, you will have marshmallow sticking like crazy.

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Melt your marshmallows in the microwave at 30 second intervals, stirring between each, until they are completely melted and smooth.

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THanks for the tips on making fondant. I've always wanted to work with it but never liked the taste, I'll have to try this!

 

This kind tastes much better! I mean, really, it's just marshmallows and confectioner's sugar, that has to taste good! My husband has never liked the taste of fondant either, until the first time I made this. I've swayed him to fondant now.

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I am as excited for this "TR" as I am for an Amusement Park one! haha

 

Hope you didn't get your camera dirty with those purple hands!

 

Ha ha, thanks! Have to do something to keep people entertained during the off season.

 

Actually I did get my camera dirty! Not with the purple, though. My husband was perturbed that I was handling the camera with shortening and sugar all over my hands. But no worries, I cleaned it all off.

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I didn't get as much accomplished last night as I had hoped I would. See, I had planned on getting the cakes baked and covered with fondant/iced last night, then doing the detail work tonight. Alas, it was not meant to be, for I discovered my shortage of butter. Yes, butter. I need to make two batches of cake batter, which calls for 3/4 cup of butter, and I needed butter for the BUTTERcream icing. I had just enough butter for one batch of cake batter. So that means I will be working my butt...er (har har) off tonight to get everything finished for my friend to pick up the cake tomorrow morning. No worries...it will be done! So anyway, onto baking the cake that I was able to get done last night.

 

The birthday girl wanted a chocolate cake, so I found a recipe at Wilton. Chocolate fudge cake...yum! Let's get down to business, shall we?

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And finally, the finished cakes on the cooling rack. They smelled wonderful while they were baking. I hope they taste as good as they smelled! I'll finished up the whole cake tonight. I doubt I'll do an update this weekend, so you may have to wait until Monday to see the finished product. I'll know you'll just be so excited to see it come Monday morning.

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Ready for the oven! I made one 10-inch layer and one 8-inch layer last night. Tonight I'll make one more of each.

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Grease your pans. I use Wilton's Cake Release. It is awesome. The cakes come out of the pans so easily.

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Add the melted chocolate to your batter and beat thoroughly. Doesn't that look yummy?

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You'll need 3 oz. of unsweetened chocolate. My girls kept asking for some. I kept trying to explain that it wasn't very good by itself because it wasn't sweet yet. Notice Cammy's little chubby hand reaching for it! Melt your chocolate in the microwave at 30-second intervals, stirring between each.

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This is what it should look like at this point. Now it's time for chocolate!

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Then alternating between the two, add your flour mixture and 1 1/2 cups of milk, beating well between each addition.

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Cream together your butter and 2 cups of sugar until it's light in texture. Then add 3 eggs, and 1 teaspoon of vanilla and beat thoroughly.

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In a separate bowl soften your butter (3/4 cup), if it's not already at room temperature (mine wasn't).

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One teaspoon of baking soda. And a half a teaspoon of salt, which I didn't take a picture of. Combine the four together in a bowl.

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One teaspoon of baking powder.

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First, 2 cups of all-purpose flour.

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Everything laid out and ready to go!

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Ha ha...yes I baked the cake from scratch.

And thanks! I hope I'm entertaining y'all. I may get the final update done tomorrow, but I'm not sure. We just got a new computer at home and I'm not too familiar with it yet, so I may not be able to figure out how to edit my pictures to size.

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Bump. Hope the cake decorating went off without a hitch!

 

^ Thank you! Here's how it went:

 

I told you I probably wouldn't get the last update on here until today. Busy weekend. So let's get right to it.

 

Since I already posted about mixing and baking the first batch of cakes I'm going to skip rehashing that here. Instead we're going straight to icing.

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One more view. I am quite proud of how it turned out. The birthday girl loved it, so I'm told. And the chocolate cake recipe got rave reviews. Thanks for following the process! Hope you enjoyed it!

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Top view of the finished cake! I think it turned out very nicely.

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There it is! Still in the mold. The red one gave me fits. It kept breaking in the middle. I swear that was the hardest part of the whole cake!

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One chess piece on, but where's the red one?

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Writing on the top, and adding the flower. Notice my cheat sheet to the right of the cake! I found the twilight font style (Zephyr, by the way).

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Starting to assemble the whole thing. The red ribbon I made from the fondant I just colored. I just sort of draped the ribbon around. I hadn't intended on making it uniform or anything.

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Completely iced, but not quite smooth yet!

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Icing the top tier. I couldn't get the icing as dark as I wanted it. I had added so much coloring already, I was afraid if I added too much more it would make the icing taste bad. I got a deep midnight blue color, and it looked great anyway.

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Adding the squares to the cake. I just used a little bit of water and a brush to adhere the squares.

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Cut squares. I cut many more than that!

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Next I rolled out the black fondant and cut squares for the chess board on the bottom tier.

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And my hands, colored red. Hey, they match my shirt!

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Next, I colored the left over white fondant red for the ribbon. Looks kind of like a bleeding heart, huh? Ewww.

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I didn't take a picture of the completely iced bottom tier before I put the fondant on. But the above is the fondant-covered bottom tier. Looks pretty good!

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Second layer goes on.

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First layer gets a quick coat. Then...

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Before I iced, I wrapped the cake board with foil.

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The above is what is looks like all mixed up. I had to add a little more milk than it called for because it was too dry and thick.

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And I forget how much milk. I think maybe 3 Tbsp.

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We have to add 6 Tbsp. of softened butter.

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I know you're going to be disappointed in me for using a mix for the icing, since I made everything else from scratch. But it was more cost efficient. I found a great recipe for buttercream, but I didn't already have all the ingredients on hand, so it would have added a lot more cost than just buying the mix.

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