Sunday, September 27, 2009

Rodeo queens and everything in between

Batman and a desperate search for a pineapple upside-down cake
It's been pretty busy at the bakery lately, but that's a good thing because it means more business for Paige and more experience for me. I got to help out a lot on a Batman logo cake for a 16th birthday, which was pretty cool. I cut out a stencil of the logo for her and we cut it out in fondant. Plus, I got to frost the bottom of the cake with buttercream dots. Fun!

We also worked on a pineapple upside down-cake for a man who had ordered one for his birthday from another bakery but was so disappointed he ended up leaving it there because it barely had any pineapple and no cherries. So he asked Paige if she could make a good one with lots of pineapple as a birthday cake (this is two days after his birthday by the way — poor guy). So Paige made one with crushed pineapple and cherries in the cake batter, as well as tons of the fruits covering the top. It was great seeing his face light up when he saw the finished product and found exactly what he wanted.

Cupcakes galore!

We also got to make a bunch of cupcakes this week. One batch was for a Mickey Mouse-themed birthday and another was a simple cupcake wedding cake for a small wedding. For the Mickey Mouse cakes, I got to create Mickey silhouettes out of chocolate as toppers for the cupcakes while Paige made a more elaborate fondant Mickey face for the birthday boy. She let me make an elaborate Mickey too just for fun and practice. It came out pretty decent but he looks a tad crazy. I learned that even though fondant is a lot like Play-doh, it dries really quickly. That means you don't have a lot of time to sculpt before it starts getting dry and cracking. You have to almost constantly massage the fondant to keep it moist, but you can't do that when you shaping it into something. Lesson learned!

For the wedding cupcakes, the order called for a simple but elegant design of small dark chocolate-colored fondant flowers and silver dragees (edible metallic silver balls). I got to make all of the little flowers which look similar to the ones I made for the rodeo cake below. It's a simple technique to make the little flowers, but it has beautiful results.

Fit for a queen
The highlight of the week was making a 50th birthday cake for an ex-rodeo queen. Her friends wanted to get her a cake that celebrated those days that she is so fond of. They wanted a two-tiered cake that would resemble decorative stamped leather like you might see on a western-style belt. They also wanted a fondant sash that read "Rodeo Queen" and they requested colors that were feminine but not overtly girly and with a touch of turquoise. This would be topped with fresh flowers brought in from the client. I got to color all of the fondant (that's going to give me some toned arms) and make all of the little flowers that are dotted all along the sash. It took a lot of detail work to construct the cake, but the end result was truly gorgeous and fit for a (rodeo) queen.

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