Monday, August 24, 2009

The Wedding Cake

So here it is. It is marshmallow fondant with ganache accents and real flowers. I'm not perfectly happy with all the swirls. They could have been better, but for the most part, I'm happy with the cake. It looked nice on the stand and the bride and groom loved it.

I don't know if I'll ever get asked to do another one. This was a freebie for a friend. it was fun to do once, though. I doubt I'll ever feel like I need to do cakes for pay. It was a bit stressful and not something I would want to do on a daily basis.

I'm glad to expand my cake skills. It was fun to work with fondant and piping ganache. Those were things I hadn't done before.

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

New Territory--Marshmallow Fondant

A friend of mine has asked me to make her wedding cake for her. This is a new one for me. Around here, wedding cakes will consist of the main, three layer cake and two or three full sheet cakes. I've done the sheet cakes for three weddings now. Let me tell you, adding filling in a single layer of a full sheet cake is a interesting experience. I've never done a main cake before. I've also never worked with fondant before.

The bride wants a three tier cake with white fondant decorated with chocolate ganache swirls and fresh flowers. I have no experience in making something like that so I've decided that what I need is some practice before the big day. Yesterday seemed to be a good day for a practice cake because my oldest was coming home from her big trip. I baked a strawberry cake and hunted up a marshmallow fondant recipe.

Lesson one: check package sizes before making fondant. Big marshmallows are now being sold in 10.5 oz packages and small marshmallows are still being sold in 16 oz. I subbed a bag of big ones for small ones and ended up almost messing up my fondant beyond repair. It still ended up being very stiff and difficult to roll out.

Lesson two: make ganache well ahead of time to be sure it's the proper temperature for piping and make sure it's all the same temp. The cold spots/hot spots thing kept screwing up my piping. And of course I need practice shaping the swirls.

I tried making a fondant rose. It's ok. It needs work, but luckily I don't need to know how to make roses for the wedding cake.

A close up of the chocolate shell border on the bottom. This will be the decoration at the between the layers.

Monday, August 3, 2009

Pattern Alteration

My oldest is leaving for Chicago tomorrow. She's going to spend a week with a cousin, her grandmother, and an aunt and uncle. She's thrilled beyond belief and has spent the summer earning money to go.

I've done some prep work myself. I decided she needed another pair of shorts. Last summer I made her a pair out of this pattern:

The walking shorts length with the little fake pocket tabs and the cuff. She likes them well enough but there were a few things she wanted done differently with the next pair. Like pockets. Do you see any pockets on those shorts? yeah, me neither. There are the patch pockets on the capris, but when was the last time you saw a teen aged girl in shorts with patch pockets like that on front? The shorts needed a scoop pocket.

Like this:

Cute huh? well that cute took me over an hour to put together. First I had to dig up a pattern with a scoop pocket because I had no idea how to make one. Then that pattern was to big for my girl plus the scoop was more of a slant, more old lady slacks than cute girl shorts, which makes all kinds of sense because that's the pattern with the pockets was for grown up slacks. So I traced the actual front piece of the shorts to create the pocket and yolk, then I traced the scoop off a pair of jeans I liked the scoop shape on, then I made the front pocket piece then I cut the scoop out of the actual front leg piece, then I put the whole thing together. It took some mental calisthenics to make it work. But I'm happy with the results.

Then after all that I decided the shorts needed some back pockets too. I thought to myself welted pockets would be cute, then I thought, "Self, how does one make a welted pocket?" This is when Google comes in handy. I learned you make one like this.

So I made two.

Then I added darts in back to stop gapposis.

Then she decided she didn't want cuffs so I had to cut them shorter.

Then we thought the legs would be cuter if they were skinnier. But it couldn't just come in more all the way around. Nope. I had to take apart the leg and pull in more off the back to keep the leg from pulling weird. Then I had to resew the right leg about four times to get it right. Then I had to try and make the left leg match. That only took twice.

Then I hemmed them with a cute 2 1/2" hem. I love the deep hem with a straight stitch. It just adds a nice little detail to the leg.

Then I discovered I had screwed something up with the waistband or the fly or something and there was no overlap at the waistband. Since I had ripped out about fifty things already, I said screw it, and made a little tab to be my overlap for me. Then I sewed it to the wrong side and had to rip it off and resew it anyway.


Next time I'm going to take the 20 minute drive to the fabric store and get the pattern we want in the first place. ;)

It was a pretty good lesson about working with patterns and changing silhouettes and adding pockets, though.