Originally posted January 30, 2008
Two cakes were on my to-do list for today. I started with an Exploding Stars cake for a 50th birthday party. This cake, along with the golf course cake, is one that I have done so many times now that I could practically complete it with both eyes closed…standing on one foot…and with one hand tied behind my back. Okay, okay, I’m not really THAT arrogant (thanks to my humble Midwestern upbringing). I’ll admit I at least need my eyes…just kidding.
My second cake of the day was a 2D Butterfly cake for a first birthday. Handi thinks this cake is a little bit “hippie” and I tend to agree…there is just something about those flowers.
Above is a picture of what I’m pretty generally given as a starting point for most of the cakes I work on each week. A shaped and ganached cake, along with the order form. I usually look over the order form first to determine whether or not there is anything out of the ordinary, and then ask questions before beginning. (Yes, although it may not always come across, I do have common sense. Asking questions sooner rather than later generally falls under the category of “smart things to do.”)
Since this cake is a bit of an odd shape I was worried about what would happen at the corners and hoped that the icing would not bunch together and cause me to run out the door screaming in frustration. I shouldn’t have even blinked an eye at it, because it turned out to be exceptionally easy. Blindfold, anyone? After the pink icing, the oval-shaped butterfly body was placed on top.
I made all the flower layers at once and kept them under plastic so they would remain pliable until I fit them in exactly the right places.
After that I began rolling out pink icing to make the twisted rope at the base of the cake. I had a little bit of trouble with it drying out at first, but Handi came to the rescue and showed me how to (in the words of Tim Gunn from Project Runway, currently one of my favorite shows) “make it work.” A little extra moisture, a pinch of technique, and ta-da! Runway-ready rope.
A few finishing touches were next: I piped on daisies in white royal icing, placed the antennae, and added a happy birthday message and candle to the board.
I learned from Handi and Paris that the light purple color starts to fade quickly, so I hurried to box the cake to prevent that from happening too much. Apparently there is a no-fade purple sold in the U.S. that I will be required to ship over here immediately upon my return to the States.