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Monthly Archives: September 2011

Inspiration

My greatest idol is Duff Goldman, from the show Ace of Cakes.  Duff is the head chef of the famous Charm City Cakes in Baltimore.  I think that he is an amazingly talented decorator and I love how he goes about decorating his cakes.  and hoe hes uses power tools and lights and other cool stiff to get the full effect of his cakes.  I’m also pretty sure he’s the coolest guy ever.  You can see that he has a true love for cake, like myself.  One of my goals in life is for sure to one day meet Duff.  I think if I could somehow meet him one day, my life would be complete. 

Another idol of mine is Buddy Valastro, from the show Cake Boss.  Buddy owns Carlo’s Bakery in Hoboken, New Jersey.  He definitely has a different way of decorating his cakes than the way Duff does.  It seems to me that Buddy goes all out when he makes his cakes and to make them look really lifelike.  I also think that if I could ever meet Buddy, it would be an honor.

Because of these two amazing people, I have gained a lot of knowledge about cakes.  I’ve also gotten a lot of good decorating ideas from watching these shows.  Thanks to these two men, I have gotten a lot my creativity and inspiration and if I ever get the chance, I would love to thank them

This is Duff Goldman, my number one idol

And this is Buddy Valastro

 

 

 

 

Carving Cakes

Every now and then someone will come to me and want a cake that isn’t just a circle or square.  Sometimes someone wants a cake that needs to be carved out of several stacked cakes in order get a full effect.   The big burger cake that I posted in my last blog – the awful awful cake – was carved out of three separate cakes.  The bottom cake wasn’t carved at all and the middle one was carved around the outside to imitate a burger patty, while the top layer was rounded out to look like a bun.

Cakes are pretty simple to carve, especially if they are frozen overnight.  This also helps create less crumbs while carving the cakes.  The first step to carving a cake is to stack them with a frosting or pudding or other filling you want to use.  There is no need to ice the cake yet, because we ice the cake after it is carved.  Next, we freeze the stacked cakes overnight in plastic wrap.  Let the cake thaw for about thirty minutes before carving.  As you can all guess, the next step is to carve out the shape needed for the cake at hand, ice with frosting and cover with fondant and decorate!

Yes, it’s that easy!

This is a Lightening McQueen -from the movie Cars – made for my boss’ son.  I started with two 8×8 square cakes and carved out the car shape before decorating him

Another carved cake was for a friend’s nephew, who really wanted a Bumblebee cake -from the movie Transformers.  This cake was actually only a little bit bigger than a softball, but like before, carved his little head out

 

Fondant 101

Happy Friday Friends!!

For a long time I only decorated my cakes with frosting and sprinkles and although they looked pretty, they looked like your average homemade cake-not that there’s anything wrong with that!  Soon after, a little show called “Ace of Cakes” came to be known.  This has become one of my favorite shows and after watching so many episodes, I started to become very interested in decorating cakes using fondant.  For those who don’t know, fondant is a soft, dough-like sugary icing used to decorate cakes in more detail.  I actually found a recipe and have made homemade fondant myself.

The first time that I made my own fondant by hand, it became too dry and crackly.  The second time I made it, it was way too sticky to the point i had to use an abundance of powdered sugar.  The next few times, I managed the fondant to turn out pretty consistent.  Soon after, I discovered that I could buy pre-rolled fondant at a few local stores, which turned out to be pretty perfect to use.  I would definitely like to disclose that, as much fun as it is to make your own fondant, when you’re in a time crunch it is much more convenient to buy it

Here is the recipe that I have used for a homemade fondant recipe:

Ingredients:

  • 1 Tbsp of unflavored gelatin
  • 1/4 cup of cold water
  • 1 tsp of almond extract
  • 1/2 cup of light corn syrup
  • 1 Tbsp of glycerin
  • 2 lbs 10X confectioners’ sugar
  • 1/2 tsp of white vegetable shortening

Directions:

  • Sprinkle the gelatin over cold water in a small bowl and let it rest for 2 minutes to soften
  • Place the bowl in a microwave for 30 seconds on High, until the gelatin dissolves
  • Add the Almond extract
  • Add the corn syrup and the glycerin and stir until the mixture is smooth and clear (if the mixture is not turning smooth and clear, microwave it for an additional 15 to 20 seconds on high and stir again)
  • Sift 1 1/2 pounds of the sugar into a large bowl
  • Make a hole in the sugar and pour the liquid mixture to it
  • Stir with a wooden spoon until the mixture becomes sticky
  • Sift some of the remaining 1/2 pound of sugar onto a smooth work surface and add as much of the remaining sugar as the mixture will take
  • Knead the fondant, adding a little more sugar if necessary, to form a smooth, pliable mass
  • Rub the vegetable shortening on your thumbs and knead it into the fondant
  • Wrap the fondant in plastic wrap and place it in a tightly sealed container to prevent it from drying out
    If the icing dries out and harden it can often be revived by popping it into a microwave oven for a few seconds and then kneading it back to life

Some tips on how to make this recipe work:

  1. Always use powdered sugar or wax paper to foll fondant on, otherwise it’ll stick to the counter.
  2. When you make fondant, both the dough and the icing, make sure to make it in room temperature – Too cold or too warm room will hurt the dough
  3. When you calculate the quantity of fondant icing required, it’s better to have too much fondant icing rather than too little, as leftover icing can be stored and used at a later date, or used for extra decorations
  4. Make sure you make fondant on a clean and smooth working surface.
  5. Keep fondant in a sealed tight bag to avoid drying out
  6. Planning out designs make execution much easier
  7. Pre-cutting decorations is convenient to do, as long as you keep them in an air tight bag or covered with a very damp paper towel-so they don’t dry out

Have fun and Happy Decorating!!

Here’s an example of a cake that I made with a lot of fondant detail. The Awful Awful Cake  🙂

My First Baking Blog

Hi everyone!! Most of you probably know me but for those who don’t, my name is Hanna Marner.  I have always had a great love for baking and decorating cakes.  I have had no professional training as far as baking or decorating but have become a pretty skilled baker and decorator. Also, since I have discovered how to effectively use fondant to decorate with more detail, I have decided that I would really love to open my own bakery one day.  I was inspired to start a baking blog because I thought it would be a lot of fun, learn some new things and pass on some of the cake baking and decorating knowledge that I have come to know.

In future posts, I plan to add some tips and tricks that I have learned about baking and decorating.  I also wanted to start a blog to share recipes with my followers and maybe accept any other tips, tricks, or recipes that any followers might want to share as well.  I also plan to share photos of all the cakes that I have made in the past and cakes that I make as I decorate them.

Hopefully you’ll all enjoy my cakes and learn something new!

This was the first cake that I decorated 🙂