Creating Beautiful Things in Life: Welcome to Annie's How To

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Monday, July 30, 2012

Welcome to Annie's How To

Here it goes... my first post. Let me start by telling you how excited I am. I have so many things I would like to share, I am having a hard time figuring out where to start.
Lets start with my newest venture, becoming a Master of decorated cakes. As of now, I am seriously lacking the skills and experience needed. I've quit my job less than 3 weeks ago. Needed some time to myself. Too many hours and too much stress at work and home was starting to take a toll on my physical and mental health. Now that I have the time, I decided to fulfill  some of my dreams. Start my own Blog and learn how to decorate beautiful and awe inspiring cakes. 

Mandy's 6th Birthday cakeI

Logan 7th Birthday cake

These are cakes I did for 2 of my grandchildren's birthdays a little over a week ago. Not bad for someone who hasn't held a piping bag in almost 20 years; finishing at 2 am. This is after I spend 2 weeks watching videos on U-Tube and tutorials on many blogs about different ways of decorating cakes. When my kids were little my fanciest cakes were homemade butter cream, tinted and piped on with stars, onto cakes baked in character baking pans. Often times it was a box cake, store bought frosting and those sugar decorations put on top. After my kids grew up, I got into making cheesecakes. That is going to be another chapter. 

My son's Birthday is the end of next month. He enjoys fishing but hasn't had a chance do do much of it lately. I decided to make him a "Gone Fishing " cake.  Since I still have almost 5 weeks, it will give me enough time to learn how to work with fondant and gum paste. The cake is going to  have a butter cream frosting as a base. The way I picture it, it will have a fisherman in a boat, on the water with a fish biting the hook. I would also like to create a little beach with rocks and grass and other details found outdoors. All of the decorations will be handmade and edible. 

If you are interest in my progress or wanting to learn the craft yourself, stay tuned. I will be posting updates and step by step instructions as to how I am creating my first fondant scene. You can learn with me or get some encouragement to do it on your own.

How to make the Tinkerbell cake: 

1 Wilton Wondermold pan or 2 round 8 or 9 inch round cake pans + Pyrex bowl or other ovenproof bowl to match the size of the cake pans you are using.
2 boxes of cake mix. If making a cake from scratch you may want to double the recipe. You need about 6 to 8 cups of batter. 
Food coloring of your choice. 
For the frosting I made my own butter cream. I doubled Wilton basic Butter cream recipe. 
Ready made frosting is OK if you plan on just icing the cake. To pipe any decorations you need a a stiffer consistency.
Candies for decorating the dress, if you don't want to pipe your own. 

Bake your cake or cakes. To make sure your cake is going to be tall enough to accommodate the Barbie or doll you are using, stack your pans and bowl. Your doll needs to be buried up to her waist. 
Cool cakes, frost layers as you assemble the skirt. I crumb coated the whole cake. (Thin layer of frosting to seal in any crumbs.) I put my cake in the fridge for about 2 hrs to crust. This also gives the layers time to settle. Once the cake was ready to get the final coat of frosting I wrapped the doll in plastic. Carefully insert her into the top center of the cake. Making sure the doll goes in straight. For Tinkerbell I tinted about 1/2 of the frosting light green. Covered the whole cake in frosting. As I smoothed the frosting I tried to create a downward pedal effect. For the top of her body I tinted the frosting a darker green and piped the pattern on with the smallest star tip I had. Continuing along the top of the doll to create the dress. Before I started piping,  I used a small spatula to draw the outlines of the pedals into my crusted butter cream crumb coat to use as a pattern.  
My original plan was to make a bunch of small flowers with royal icing ahead of time. I wanted to apply a two inch border of flowers around the base of the skirt and as an edging for the board. Those can be made ahead of time and left to dry. Things don't always go as planned. I got busy with other things and ran out of time. Thankfully I had a couple of packages of ready made candy flowers to decorate the dress. 
This was my first experience making a doll cake. It wasn't nearly as hard as I thought it would be. To get me started and to find some ideas I browsed a few websites. Here is a link for the Betty Crocker site with a video guide on how to make a Princess Doll Cake. It helped me get the basic idea and was a big help.


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