Monday, May 26, 2008

The suffering of my Lightning McQueen cake

I have never thought I could feel so sick and be able to actually do a fine work as a fondant figure!
A friend of mine asked me to make her son's birthday cake and I was happy to do it, until I got sick( not contagious thing, no worries)! I could barely stand on my feet from pain, it was horrible!
I started the cake around 1 pm, from scratch of course and the cake is supposed to be ready for tomorrow morning. Nothing had the time to dry up, I really hope the cake can stay together before cutting. If I hadn't promised the kid, I would have just climbed in bed and would ask nobody to bother me, but that's what we do for children.
I am not happy with the result, because my initial idea was a little bit different, and I could definitely have made the car much, much better, but I was in pain and it is really difficult to concentrate and do stuff in situation like this.
On top of that we had a plumbing problem, so I couldn't use the kitchen sink, my washer almost died today...not a very good day overall.

Now I am going to show you how I made Lightning McQueen, and again, I apologize for the pictures quality, I couldn't repeat shots because I was so in a hurry to finish it and lie down.
Everything started with a big lump of red fondant:

I found it more convenient to work with my hands, rather with the tools, but they had their usefulness as well.
Then I made the basic shape:

Then I made the back of the car

And the front of the car again:

Then I made the windows and ceiling:

And the "eyes" as well:

And the "eye lids":

And at this point my camera died AGAIN.
But basically I looked the original toy car and I tried to make it look like it. The initial idea was to actually stand on the wheels, but the fondant was so soft, because it didn't have the time to dry up, so I had to "toothpick" the wheels ( you can actually see the toothpicks on the pictures, I am going to remove them tomorrow morning, when it is a little bit more dry).
As much as I was excited to do another Pixar character, I felt so sick, that unfortunately I didn't enjoy it very much.
And Lightning really has a lot of possibilities for making, it is a shame I didn't have the opportunity to make it a little bit better. But well, what can you do..At least I think the kid is going to like it :-)

I made chocolate cake with chocolate ganache ( an order from the little guy :-)) and almonds.

The idea about the extra wheels came up later in the making ( I can't believe I was actually able to think at the time), so we can place the candle on top of them tomorrow.
I know I could have done a better job with the words, but cut me some slack, I could barely see at the moment.
And Lightning up close ( and personal):
Left side view:

The black and white squares were easier than I thought to make, I am happy I didn't have trouble with that.

Here the toothpicks are almost invisible :-) I hope it is dry enough tomorrow to take them out.
My husband was amazed with the Rust.Eze sign :-)
Well, I hope Deni likes it :-) Will let you know! :-)

Friday, May 23, 2008

A Buzz Lightyear cake - tribute to Buzz, the best space ranger ever -Part 2

A little pre-history if you are interested in keeping the chronology:
- the first posting about how to make a Buzz Lightyear from fondant
- the second posting about the finished Buzz Lightyear figure
-the first posting about baking the Buzz space ship cake
Here you are going to see how I made the small parts for the cake. Before we start I should mention, that if you have letter embosser, your work is going to be much, much more easier. I don't have one, so I had to do each letter by hand. First I printed the picture of the letters from Internet, then with the needle tool I punctured trough it onto the fondant and finally I cut with bot small paper scissors and a palette knife. It was very difficult and frustrating, and the result is not satisfying for me, so my advise( and note to self)- buy an embosser!

Here are the ready letters and the small "picture pins" that I made for the wings:

You can see the "pins" up close here:

This part I cut out of fondant, added the "rocket" body so it would look like a 3D, then I let it dry for a couple of minutes and painted it with food colors on top:

Then I "glued" everything with water
I apologize once again for the bad quality of the pictures, I am getting a new camera soon!

I forgot to take a picture of the 2 black stripes on the side, the one has " Space" the other "Ranger" sign.

And front view again:

Side view of the finished cake:

Left side view:

Right side view:

Top view:

Up close view of the top:

Ladies and Gentlemen, now is the moment of truth, would Buzz like his new ship or not :-)

Light, camera, action:

Buzz sure likes to be a model ( a top model I would say ;-) )

And at this point my camera died and I couldn't take a single picture after that.

Now I am waiting my very good friend whom I called (again) at night time, to bring her camera and take couple of pictures. I will post them when I have them :-)
I would really appreciate your comments and if you want to know how I did this or that, just ask!
-How to make a Buzz from fondant
- The finished Buzz figure-
- How to make Buzz's ship ( this is the one I think would be most use for for you, because you can see the shape of the layers)
- Decorating Buzz's ship
- The cake recipes ( yellow all purpose cake layer)
- The cake recipes 2 ( the Devil's food cake layer)

A Buzz Lightyear cake - tribute to Buzz, the best space ranger ever -Part 1

In the first posting about Buzz I showed you how I made the "skeleton" for Buzz, in the second posting I showed you how I made the body and the whole shebang, now is the time to show you how I made the cake and then you are going to see the whole cake setting ( Buzz and all).
The actuall cake recipes you can check here( the first part) and here( the second part).

Let me tell you before I start, that Christopher Kimball is a genius! It's official! I am raving about his book the Dessert Bible again.
I have read almost every book there is about cakes and I have to tell you this guy is amazing!!! Well, if you are not " follow the directions" kind a gal, look for another book.
I love him turning the kitchen into a science lab! He explains what, when, where, how and why that there is not a possible way of you making it wrong!
I wanted to try his cake recipes, but I didn't got the chance until now, but this time I made even 2 :-)
For the first layer I made his " Master recipe for All-Purpose Yellow cake", for the second layer " Devil's Food cake". Let me tell you- I have never ever made these two before. I have used only my Bulgarian recipes that are completely different from what is used here as layer cakes.
Both cakes turned out to be AMAZING! I made the lemon variation of the yellow cake and I used "Baker's chocolate" ( unsweetened) for the Devil's food.
These were the best, most moist, most fantastic cake layers I've tasted!
For the cream I made chocolate ganache from semi-sweet " Hershey's" chocolate chips and heavy whipping cream. I use slightly different recipe then the popular one.
If anybody is interested, I will post the recipes later.

So, I baked the cake, I froze it and cut the layers and then it was time to make it look like a space ship :-) I have found only one version of Buzz's ship online, but I didn't like it very much so I tried to improvise and follow the pictures I have of Buzz.

Now, don;t think I "got" the cake from the top of my head. I made very nice and detailed sketches of it before I even started to bake. Again, if somebody is interested, I will post them.
So, dark-yellow, yellow-dark...the layers are going up and at that point I began to realize how big is actually going to be :-)
I used home made decorator's icing with lemon flavor.

I have never covered in fondant such a big and "bumpy" cake before. I was a little worried how am I going to do this, because rolling out such a huge piece of fondant in domestic setting is not an easy job. So I huffed and I puffed and ...I rolled it out :-)

Here my beloved husband is taking pictures of me at 12 am ( not very happy about it ;-)). What?? Try baking a cake with two tornadoes running around the house in bright daylight and then tell me I didn't have to bother him! :-)

At this point ( when I covered it completely with the fondant ) I left it overnight in the refrigerator and the next morning I continued working.
Now, whoever tells you a fondant cake is not supposed to be kept in the refrigerator, they don't know what they are talking about. The fondant cakes are not supposed to endure a big temperature change in a short period of time, that's all.

It finally looks a little bit like a ship:

Here is how I made the wings :

The wings are installed:

And the " exhaust pipes" as well:

The buffer around the ship:

Side view:

Back view:
View from the top:

And the back again:

In the next posting you will see how I made the "fine work" and the finished cake.
-How to make a Buzz from fondant
- The finished Buzz figure-
- How to make Buzz's ship ( this is the one I think would be most use for for you, because you can see the shape of the layers)
- Decorating Buzz's ship
- The cake recipes ( yellow all purpose cake layer)
- The cake recipes 2 ( the Devil's food cake layer)

Monday, May 19, 2008

A FrankenBuzz is born or how to make a Buzz Lightyear Part II

Here he is, ladies and gentlemen :-) He is born, birth certificate an' all :-)
To be honest, I think I could have done it a little bit differently if I had to start now, but we all learn from our mistakes, so next time I think I will do much better. Overall I am happy with the outcome, it wasn't that difficult to make. Well, I had to "come up" with a lot of ideas how to make this and that in the middle of the making, but this happens when you've never done anything like this before.
By the way I apologize for the bad pictures, at some point my camera didn't want to put anything on focus, and no, the lens wasn't dirty. :-)

So, to start where we left yesterday:

I added the buttons, the pieces on his fingers etc.

I've painted the logo with Lightyear and the blue square in the middle.
When my son woke up today and I showed him the unfinished Buzz ,the first thing he said was " but where is his space belt?!" :-) Sooo, the first thing I added today was the belt :-) I painted everything by hand.

Here is the smudged photo of the belt, and it is really accurate with the real one.

Then it was time go make the shoes, pants etc.

Here in the middle is the blue and white logo, that was so tiny, it gave me a lot of trouble to paint it, but it is again accurate to the real one.
And there he is, ready to " get dry" :-)

I'll keep you posted on the progress of the cake.
My, my my...I have 3 cakes to make this week, wish me luck!!!

-How to make a Buzz from fondant
- The finished Buzz figure-
- How to make Buzz's ship ( this is the one I think would be most use for for you, because you can see the shape of the layers)
- Decorating Buzz's ship
- The cake recipes ( yellow all purpose cake layer)
- The cake recipes 2 ( the Devil's food cake layer)

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