Monday, January 18, 2016

The Making of a Minion.

Like many other cake decorators out there, I have been asked to do cakes or cupcakes for Minion themed parties a couple of times. Most of them were for cupcakes. Those are pretty straightforward to make and come out super cute.
Last summer I was asked to do a Minion cake for a little one. I wasn't exactly sure how to do it, but I kind of mapped it out in my head and figured I would go for it. I took pictures along the way, in case it worked, then I would have these to look back on if I'm asked to do one again. ;-)

Disclaimer: this is not the only way to make a Minion cake, it's just the way I did it. I started with 3 6 inch tiers and half of a Wilton Sports ball (ignore the chocolate layer, that was for another cake).
I then torted the tiers making 7 total layers of cake. I stacked 4 layers with buttercream in between, inserted 3 bubble tea straws (cut to fit) and placed a 6 inch cake board. I then continued layering cake and buttercream and finished off with the half sphere on top. Do you see that 1/8-1/4 inch space between the edge of the cake and the edge of the boards? You need that. The boards are the guides to help get the ganache nice and smooth. Then this was wrapped in plastic wrap and placed in the fridge for a while. 
After the cake was nice and firm, I covered it with a layer of ganache. Again, using the cardboard as a guide to make it nice and smooth. To smooth out the top I used a piece of flexible plastic. You can see a tutorial very similar to what I do here. (Look for step 12.)
Then I covered it with fondant. I will say that this step took longer than usual just because it is so tall and it took some maneuvering to get it to the bottom without wrinkles or tearing, but it wasn't as hard as I thought it would be since the top is rounded and doesn't have any sharp edges to tear it.
This photo looks funny, but basically I was making a template for his overalls. I wrapped the wax paper around and used my veining tool to mark how high and wide I wanted the front and back to be.
I attached my template to some rolled out fondant with shortening and cut it out. Here you can see that the front of the overalls is the higher rectangle with the smaller one in the back. I wanted the seam to be where a natural seam would be on the pants.
The benefit of attaching the fondant to the template is that I could use it to wrap around the cake with less chance of the fondant stretching out of whack.
I pressed some paper towels to the overalls to give them some fabric texture. I realize now that I could have simply cut out 4 rectangles and placed them on the cake instead of trying to do it all in one shot. I ended up making "seams" where the rectangles met anyway.
Then I used my veining and stitching tools to add details to the overalls.
Added straps and a pocket.
The hands started out looking like balloons.
I cut 2 slits and then shortened the 2 side fingers and rounded them out with my hands.
Legs and hands attached. Didn't take any photos of the legs or feet in production. The legs are fondant and the feet were modeling chocolate.
If you are doing this in the summer, do NOT do what I did. I chose to make the black parts of the cake (is. arms, feet, hair) from modeling chocolate because I could use pre-colored wafers and not have to worry about mixing the colors. However, the hair is very thin as you can see. I simply modeled some thin shapes over pieces of raw spaghetti. Modeling chocolate doesn't hold up well in high temperatures, my friends, at least not skinny pieces like that. You can check out my minions new 'do in the last photo.
Anyway, I put on his eye and was totally creeped out for a while. I was seriously worried for a bit. I was going for cute, not creepy.
I pressed on to make the goggles. I rolled some gray modeling chocolate about a half inch or more thick and cut straight down with 2 different size round cutters to get the main part of the goggles. I glued some rivets around the edges and 2 doodads (that's the technical term for it, I'm sure) on the sides to "hold" the strap on.
Sprayed the whole thing with some Wilton silver spray, let it dry, and inserted a couple of toothpicks in the back to help hold it on the face.
Voila! Added the goggle, strap and hair, and my little guy went from creepy to cute! Whew!!
As you can see, my little friend loved her Minion, and his slicked back 'do didn't look too bad. ;-)
What do you think? I'm always excited when the idea in my head actually works. ;-)

Well, I've got a cat themed cake to do this week and another Frozen one, so I've got to get busy modeling and baking.

Till next time...
God's love and blessings!

Tuesday, January 12, 2016

Frozen Cakes

Hello there! Hope you are having a warm, snugly kind of winter. We have had a late winter, but it has finally arrived. It was -32 windchill this morning, so I am currently sipping some hot cocoa and not planning on going anywhere.

In honor of our chilly weather, I thought I'd share a few cakes with a popular theme that I've done over the last couple of years.

The first one isn't actually a cake, it's just the toppers. I did these for a sweet friend whose husband makes their kid's cakes every year. I shipped these to them (with minimal damage) and he used them on the cake he made. I think this was one of my first times trying to model a specific face. It ain't easy folks, it ain't easy. I hope someday to get my hands on an Elsa doll so I can make a mold of her face, but so far, I haven't seen any the right size for less than $30, and I'm not willing to pay that. If you know of anyone who will let me borrow one for a day or so...

Here she is causing some havoc outside my kitchen window. 

This second one I pulled ideas from several other Frozen cakes I'd seen online. Olaf is so fun to make. I made him and the snowflakes from modeling chocolate. The hill behind him is rice crispy treat. I love this snow effect. It looks really cool, and it's super easy to do.

Like most decorators, even us hobbyists, I've been asked to do a couple of Frozen theme cakes, and I think the hardest part is coming up with new ideas. I don't like to do the same things over and over, so for my third one, I opted to hand paint a plaque with Elsa and Anna and make some fun snowflakes to go on top. 

The large snowflakes were cut from wafer paper and glued to candy sticks. Some of the smaller ones were modeling chocolate cut with a cutter, and some of them were royal icing. I used my Silhouette to cut out several different snowflakes from thin stencil plastic. I laid that on top of some wax paper, spread royal icing over it and then sprinkled edible glitter on top. They were SO sparkly, but also VERY delicate. Thankfully, I made a lot because a lot of them broke. 

What do you think? Which one is your favorite? Have you ever modeled a specific face before? I hope it gets easier as I do it. Well, I think it's time for me to go get another cup of hot cocoa. :o)

Till next time...
God's love and blessings!