Sunday, February 27, 2011

A Joke in Cake Form

Posted by Jennifer at 6:56 PM 0 comments
What do you get when you cross a brown chicken and a brown cow? Brown chicken brown cow! (Picture someone saying it like "bow-chicka-bow-wow") In any case, that's the joke that Abbi wanted to share with her boyfriend for his birthday cake. I guess her boyfriend had never had a birthday cake (how sad, right?) and so she wanted to surprise him with this cake with one of their favorite inside jokes. We decided that it would be cute to have little hearts around the cake symbolizing the love between the chicken and the cow (although I'm not sure if they actually get together in the end of that joke).

Abbi chose coffee flavored cake layered with chocolate buttercream and caramel while the other flavor was Lemonberry (lemon cake layered with raspberry filling). The whole cake was covered in homemade marshmallow fondant and I cut the animals out by hand. Abbi was so happy when she saw the cake. I'm so glad she loved it and I hope her boyfriend did too :)

Alice's Toy Story Cake

Posted by Jennifer at 6:51 PM 2 comments
Laura wanted a fun birthday cake for her daughter, Alice. She was turning three and really loves Toy Story so we created this cake inspired by the movies. The cake was Ruby Red Velvet cake layered with cream cheese frosting and covered in homemade marshmallow fondant. The decorations were hand cut because I wanted the get the look just right and the clouds are not normal looking clouds. This cake was so simple and yet really fun to put together. Enjoy!

Saturday, February 5, 2011

2006 Mustang Shelby GT 500 (that's a mouthful!)

Posted by Jennifer at 12:51 PM 0 comments
Jodie threw a surprise birthday party for her husband and wanted the cake to look like his baby.... his car :) At first I was a little scared because the cake needed to look exact. Ralph loves his 2006 Mustang Shelby GT 500 and if it wasn't exact, he would notice. Here's what I did...

The cake was Brownie Lovers (chocolate cake layered with actual brownies and chocolate ganache) and it was covered in homemade marshmallow fondant. First, I went to the store and bought a small toy replica of the exact car. I had plenty of pictures that Jodie secretly took of the car but I thought a more 3-D replica would help. I started by layering the cake and brownies into a rectangle. I covered it in ganache and then let the ganache harden up a bit before starting the carving process. I carved, stepped back, carved some more, stepped back some more, and carved again. To get the dimensions just right, it took several hours of carving, frosting, and carving to get it right. Once I had that down, I added dimension on the cake like the spoiler and bumpers by rolling MMF and "gluing" them onto the cake with a little ganache. The idea here was to place fondant over these grooves so that they stuck out even further than the cake itself but could stand on their own. Then, I covered the cake in four separate pieces of marshmallow fondant (the front, the back, and the sides). Because this cake was so huge, I thought it best to cover it in pieces so that I could pay more attention to the grooves of each side rather than rushing through covering it quickly. I wanted the cake to shine like a real car so I painted the whole cake with edible red food coloring a few times until it shined. Ah, that was so much fun.

I cut out the windows and inserted black pieces of fondant to mimic tinted (yes, REALLY tinted) windows. I ran white stripes down the center of the cake (which was trickier than it looks because I wanted them to look just right). The wheels were made of rice crispies covered in MMF. I painted the rims with edible silver and waited until they dried before placing them on the cake. I added the rear view mirrors, and tiny details like the headlights, back lights, logos, and license plate. Wow, when I write it out like that, it sounds so easy! :)

When the cake was complete, it was so huge that I couldn't fit it into either of my fridges! To give you an idea, one of the guests of the party insisted on taking a picture of me with my cake (I rarely ever do this but here it is... me and Ralph's cake!).

Since it was a surprise party, I didn't get a chance to meet Jodie or Ralph but Jodie later wrote me this email:

Well, all I can think of to say is WOW. That cake was SOOO incredible! It got photographed more than Ralph did! You are truly amazing.....what was even more amazing was that it was unbelievably delicious! I actually think it was the best cake I ever had! Ralph had a seriously hard time making that first cut into it---in fact he tried his key fob first! I just can't thank you enough--you didn't have any cards left there by the end of the party! I was telling everyone how wonderful you were to work with--I soo appreciated your willingess to dive into the challenge, and it was just as amazing as I knew it would be. It was the hit of the party--there were lots of car guys there that were completely enamored!

Thank you, thank you, thank you again--the care and detail that you put into that work of art was so appreciated. I can't wait to take one of your classes!

Thank you so much, Jodie! I was so thrilled to have such a challenge and it was awesome working with you as well!

Friday, February 4, 2011

Gaming System Cake... Nerd Alert :)

Posted by Jennifer at 12:33 PM 1 comments
Corrinne needed a cake for the new Gaming department at the University of Utah and originally wanted it to be small. As we worked on the design, the cake got bigger and bigger going from just an Xbox to 6 different gaming systems. I wanted to go old school with a Nintendo and Super Nintendo and Corrinne wanted to represent the new generation of gaming like the Wii and DS. The "compromise" if we want to call it that, was that we do all 6 systems with four different flavors. (I must admit that I encouraged the growth of the design even more than she did :) I was so happy that she loved it in the end!)

Each of the cakes were covered in homemade marshmallow fondant with MMF accents. Because of the weight of the cake, I had to assemble it onsite so we wheeled in each tier and I stacked one on top of the other while a group of graduate gaming students watched. I don't even know where to begin so let's take it one step at a time.
The cakes were Banana Cream Pie Cake (banana flavored cake layered with banana cream filling and fresh banana slices), Mom's Apple Pie Cake (spice cake with baked apples layered with cheesecake cream filling and buttercream), Rainbow Bright Cake (vanilla cake dyed different colors to match the design of the cake layered with sprinkles and buttercream), and Mocha Java Cake (chocolate cake layered with caramel cream filling and coffee buttercream).

The bottom tier was an NES with the labels from the new Department of Film & Media Arts and Master Games Studio. The next "tier" up was an XBox and I have to admit that late into the night I realized that I had made the XBox upside down and couldn't do anything about it. I was nearly panicked because this was a cake for gamers. My man-friend and even Corrinne herself said "I'm sure no one will even notice!" Ugh, I still had lots of dissonance about it. So sad for me! Next up was a PS2 followed by a Wii. Next up was a Super Nintendo complete with the grooves and plug-ins and finally a DS on top. I made two DS's, one in Ute red and one that was blue. For those of you who don't know, BYU's colors are blue and the University of Utah's colors are red so there's a big rivalry. Unfortunately, the blue one was better looking (according to me) so I had to top the cake with the blue one. What can I say? For me, cake trumps colors.

Oh, this cake was SO much fun! I LOVED making each cake as perfect as I could (with the exception of that tiny little upside down cake... ugh!) and it really took me back to being a kid with all the gaming systems. All of us nerds out there can probably appreciate the combination of old school and new school gaming systems. Thank you, Corrinne, for being so open to having what was going to be a small cake turn out to be a show stopper. Good luck with your new position and know that we miss you already!


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