Thursday, June 24, 2010

Making cakes to fit the theme

A few weeks ago my critique group decided to have a dinner celebration in conjunction with our weekly meeting and I offered to make something cakish (as I almost always do when the opportunity arises). Since my friend Tristi had recently released her book Secret Sisters, and I hadn't been able to make anything for the actual launch party, I themed my cake around her book.

This was the first time I had made a ganache instead of using buttercream frosting, so it was a learning process for me on how it handles. I was really pleased with my ability to smooth and adjust the ganache to get straight edges. I was also thrilled because this is the first cake I've ever covered with fondant and had no troubels at all with the fondant buckling at the bottom instead of creating a smooth surface. I didn't have to do a border because the bottom looked perfect (and now I'm sure I'll never be so lucky again!)

Okay, so an explanation of the cake: I couldn't find a single theme in the book that I dared attempt on my tight schedule (for a carved or shaped cake), so I just picked the most obvious ones for decoration instead. In the above picture you see the can of baby formula, and a hand-knit sock in garish colors.

The top of the cake has the card the visiting teachers hand out with their names and addresses, along with the cute little flower magnet it was attached to (the flower in the book hid a camera--because these sisters are sneaky!) Oh, and a black sports car played a significant role in the book. I know, it probably should have been a two-door. I realized that after it was all finished and on the cake.

And this is the front of the cake with the name of her book piped in the font they used on her book cover-or a pretty close facsimile (she recognized it was supposed to be the font, so that's a good thing, right?). I had never used food writing markers before--they're totally food safe but I didn't have time to experiment writing on fondant with them for the baby formula can and card on the top.

Next time I'll practice a bit before trying it on the cake decorations. It was a fun cake to make, and the ganache made it absolutely fabulous tasting (as if a chocolate cake needed any help!).


  1. It was way cool, and that ganache ... oh, my. I want a bucket of ganache for Christmas. :) Heather was awesome to make this for me!