On Friday and Saturday, we did three more cakes - a 2-tier green and brown (odd) fondant-covered birthday cake, a 3-tier vanilla buttercream wedding cake, and an OSU groom's cake. Unfortunately I forgot my camera both days, so no pictures to show you. The OSU groom's cake was pretty awesome - it was a red velvet cake with oreo buttercream, which made it look quite authentically scarlet and grey on the inside, and the outside was just white buttercream piped with a giant red octagonal 'O', and decorated with the official buckeye and leaves. Cute!
Not so awesome was the fact that I made two cake boo-boos this weekend. My boss was ultra nice about it, but I felt bad about messing up her creations. First, I somehow managed to put too much filling in two tiers of the wedding cake layers, so that mine stood over 5" tall whereas her bottom tier was only 4 inches tall. Oops! I forgot all the tiers are supposed to be the same height. But it wasn't explained to me that the point of digging a little trench was so the top cake layer would sit flush against the second, and that the total height would not exceed 4". Oh well, I hope it didn't look too weird.
Then, the green fondant cake was giving me pain. Beginner's luck seems to happen to me a lot. Remember the first time I worked with fondant? I somehow managed to get it nice and smooth, and no pleats! What's so hard about fondant? Same for my first pottery wheel bowl. Well, the green fondant didn't go very well. I couldn't stop the pleating, and then it tore! We had to rip the whole thing off and start again, and I was too chicken to try it a second time so I asked A to do it while I mixed other fondant colours.
Clearly, I need to practice my fondant skills, and there's nothing like a little embarassing display of incompetence for motivation. So, here's a mini cake to start, one that looks like it belongs at a My Little Pony party.... I cut out a 3" circle from a lemon cake I broke a little while ago, and covered it with buttercream - note to self, buttercream has to be firm. Doing this small-scale cake was much easier, and I knew what went wrong on the weekend. I had rolled it too thin, and the fondant was a little dry, so it didn't want to ease into place. I had a bit of trouble with pleating on this little cake too, but I think it's also because of the fondant being too dry, and the cake underneath being too soft.
The star is just some strips of fondant pressed together and cut with a cookie cutter. Another thing I learned about fondant this week is that you aren't supposed to get water on it, otherwise it'll start to do weird things like dissolve, and also that you can't put fondant-covered cakes in the fridge or else the humidity will cause the cake to crack or dissolve or something. Who knew? Anyhow, I'll be practicing with fondant some more this week, since I am making a cake for D's lab party tonight and another one for the hospice centre on Thursday. And since it'd been a while since I had any fondant, I wanted to taste my handiwork:
Verdict: Bleh, fondant tastes kind of gross, like eating a chewy dough of sugar. The buttercream definitely helped it taste better.
Wait, there's more! I also pulled out the gumpaste kit I got from D's parents last Christmas. Although I didn't mix any gumpaste - I just used some fondant scraps to practice. I had read that fondant cracks when it dries, so it isn't as good for making decorations, but so far it's been about 18 hours and I still don't see any cracks. The flowers were fun to make, although the rose was the most tedious - you have to roll out 15 petals of varying sizes for it. I think the daisies are my favourite.
Last but not least, here's Gatsby at his finest, hogging the couch all afternoon, sunning his back and his belly in a sliver of sun coming through the window.