Fancy Cakes

I fixate on things. It's standard for me to cram a particular phrase into every conversation I have for weeks, or spend countless hours googling something like bokeh or cabinet cards or Tom Waits. Sometimes this tendency culminates in unbound creativity and wit. Sometimes it results in me not having any clean work clothes and annoying the bejesus out of my friends. Lately I have been obsessing over cakes. 

More after the jump...

It began when I was googling another thing I often google: Doctor Who. I saw someone had made a completely impressive gingerbread TARDIS (for those of you who don't know what I am talking about...I strongly encourage you to go here: your new favorite show): 

This amazing discovery compelled me to google other Doctor Who baked goods, then sci-fi cakes in general, (where I found this little gem)...
 ...until finally I was indiscriminately searching out "fancy cakes". 
I had to make one.

I am not going to lie and say what I am posting here is my first fancy cake. I did make one a few months ago for my brother and sister-in-law, but I don't have great photos of that one. 
With blogging, it's pics or it didn't happen.

The first component of fancy cake-making is the cake part. A good fancy cake has at least two layers. 
Here's the first layer being leveled: 
...and here it is being iced:
...and here comes the second layer:
The second component of fancy cake-making is the fondant. Fondant is a chewy, sugary, play-doh-like substance you roll out like dough and cover the cake with. 
I prepped by youtubing fondant: 
I rolled my fondant out, using confectioner's sugar on parchment:
 Artful closeup:
The instructional video advised me to cover the whole cake with butter cream to make the fondant go on more easily, but I forgot to do that. I always ALWAYS forget at least one step.
It still worked out. It just took some more patting and finagling to get it to the place I wanted it. thought it, too.

The third and most important component of fancy cake-making is the decoration. 
I made this particular cake for my old studio mate, Meghan, who loves Jane Austen. I didn't think I could do a butter cream Mr. Darcy justice (however delicious that may have been) so I stuck with the author herself.
I used baking gel to color the remainder of the fondant and cut out a cameo-pink oval:
Then I outlined Ms. Austen's silhouette to be filled in later:
I cut out and placed banners around the cameo to have somewhere to write a birthday message:
From there, it was a matter of cutting out some more fondant embellishments and carefully wielding an icing bag. Anyone who knows me knows I have the handwriting of a serial killer, so the lettering stressed me out. I tried to phrase the birthday message in a way one of her characters would.

Jane Austen:

And here it is, all done up:

Overall, I had fun making it. I think I'll keep this trick in the bank for the next time a special occasion comes up. 

Your Sister in Craft,


May 10, 2011

3 responses to Fancy Cakes

  1. Stephanie says:

    Your cake is adorable! I love it

  2. Oh gosh, I was looking for one of these cake dishes at a thrift store, but could not find one. Wanted to show off my Angel Lush cake.....see my blog on the April 19th blog. Wish I could have borrowed your lovely dish. Oh and btw your cake looks lovely!

  3. Thanks, Stephanie. That means a lot coming from you; everything you make looks so delicious!

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