Sunday, November 29, 2009

Utah Chocolate Show

It's been awhile since I posted last, but I have been preoccupied putting together my show cakes for the Utah Chocolate Show. The annual chocolate show hosts a wedding cake contest in conjunction with the show and I'm thrilled to say that my cake won the grand prize! I was also honored to win the "Best Tasting Cake" category as well. The theme for the wedding cakes this year was "Italian Romance". My cake was inspired by Venetian Carnival costumes.

Everything on the cake, including the masks and feathers are edible.

I also entered a second cake based on the beautiful gondolas in Venice.

The bottle of "Prosecco" is actually molded chocolate that I airbrushed and decorated.

Susan Fox from Midway Country Corner and Lori Rees from Layer by Layer also placed with beautiful cakes which I encourage you to check out!

I had a lot of people ask me about the feathers on my cake. Here is a short tutorial on how to make the feathers: You'll need edible wafer paper (sometimes referred to as "rice paper"), white 28 gauge wire, pearl dust, and clear piping gel. You can get wafer paper online or at cake supply stores. It also comes in a few different colors.

First, make yourself a template shaped like a feather. Then, use the template as a guide to cut the feather out of the wafer paper.

Next, using small, sharp scissors, make diagonal cuts along both sides of the feather (the closer and smaller you can make the cuts, the more realistic it looks).

Coat the white wire with clear piping gel, using your fingers to remove the excess, and place the wire on the feather. Put the feather on a flat surface until the gel is dry (approximately 1 hour).

Gently dust the feather with pearl dust. Next, hold the feather over a steaming teapot (not too close!) to give the feather movement and shine. At this point, be very careful with your feather as it is very fragile. Here is a close-up of the feathers.

As you can see, the feathers are fairly easy to make and they are stunning on a cake when you don't wish to use real feathers. Enjoy!

Monday, November 2, 2009

Indiana Jones and the Haunted Mansion...

I hope everyone had a fabulous Halloween! I'm still reeling from the thought of taking down my Halloween decorations (we go a little overboard) and getting out the Christmas decor. It's okay though, I have plenty of excuses for making cake and ignoring chores. Here is a fun Halloween cake which also doubled as a birthday cake.

The "haunted mansion" topper is made entirely of chocolate. I colored and melted white chocolate and poured it into panels and different molds to construct the mansion. I airbrushed it and dry brushed it with dark gray to make it spooky. The "wrought iron" is piped dark chocolate.

This cake was for my "all boy" nephew Xander, who is turning 6. He loves Indiana Jones and wanted an Indiana Jones hat. The hat is chocolate fudge cake layered with cookies n' cream buttercream.

My favorite part of the cake are the chocolate snakes! I made a food-grade silicone mold using one of my son's plastic snakes. I used modeling chocolate to make the snakes in different colors and then dusted them with edible color. Happy Birthday Xander!