Sunday, July 8, 2012

Happy Sunday! Hope all of you here in the USA enjoyed a wonderful 4th of July! This week brought a birthday for a client who was born on the 4th of July. Like being born on Christmas you can either choose to remove your birthday from the holiday or completely embrace it. She completely embraces it! 

She's also a Betty Boop fan. When we were discussing the design of the cake she already knew it had to be red, white and blue. When she said she loved Betty Boop I just knew I had to go find the Patriotic Betty that I had seen awhile ago. I found her and let my client know that if she wanted to use that I could work that into the design. She loved Patriotic Betty and the idea that she could keep a part of her cake after the party.

I've mentioned this before but in case you are just "tuning in" for the blog I'll quickly cover it again. Each character created is copyrighted. I would need to pay licensing rights if I copied the character in fondant or drawings in order to use the copyrighted "image" and sell the cake. Now if I am just making a cake for a family birthday, like my granddaughters Mickey hat birthday cake, then I can make the character...I'm not selling it. But when it comes to a clients cake I have to make what is known as a "background" cake. So that is exactly what this one is.

The cake is a lemon chiffon with raspberry filling. The bottom is an 8 inch, the top a 4 inch. It feeds 32 people. The blue and white fondant covering it is my homemade fresh marshmallow fondant. I never make the fondant more than a few days ahead of time because I want it to taste as yummy as possible. A lot of the fondant you may have tasted in the past is a packaged fondant that is sold in huge tubs and could have been sitting on the shelf for months. As fondant goes stale it ends up being a sort of papery tasting gum. It's stale and chewy. Not good. Fresh fondant tastes like vanilla and sugar. It's delicious. 

Because I'm not a fan of packaged fondant I am extremely picky when I have to use it. Black and red fondant is very hard to make. It takes a ton of food dye which ends up making the fondant taste like chemicals. Not what you want going onto a cake. I have tried several brands and the one I fell in love with is Duff Goldman's. It doesn't taste stale or like chemicals. In fact, the black tastes like really good tootsie rolls! Whenever I need red or black I go to Michael's and use their 40% off coupon, it's $20 for about 3 cups of fondant so the 40% off is important!

A cake like this is labor intensive. All the stars have to be cut out and the lines all made and then comes the rolling of the fondant "marbles" for the trim. It isn't hard, it just takes a lot of time. Unfortunately none of this can be done ahead of time because it needs to be soft and yummy for eating. If fondant is set out too soon it begins to harden up. This is great for fondant items that you want to stand up or stick out but not for fondant you want to cut with the cake slices. 

As you can see, the cake is offset to allow room for Betty to take center stage. This is stacked just like a regular stacked cake with dowels under the cake board. It is also staked with a dowel right down the center to keep it stable for transport. What is different is the "fireworks". Those are metal so they can not come in contact with the cake. In order to use them you have to insert food grade holders down into the frosting and then insert the metal decorations down into those tubes. I use coffee stirrers but you can use cocktail straws or regular straws if need be. Fortunately these are completely inexpensive and come in huge quantities so I always have them on hand whether I need to use 2 or 20. 

The client was very happy with her cake. She loved Betty playing center stage as well. I have to say that, while the cake would have been a great patriotic cake all by itself, Betty made the cake! 

See you all next Sunday!


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