Saturday, July 7, 2012

Let Them Eat Cake: Day One

(Gorgeous cake from Cake Opera Co.)
When I stared back to work, baking came to a complete halt. In fact, I haven't taken on a cake project in over a year! Can you believe that? Last year I made the mistake of taking on two cakes in the same weekend. Although both turned out lovely, I was exhausted. I also realized that I wasn't being compensated nearly enough for the amount of work that actually went into making a cake (A good article for those that really have no idea is THIS one from Mother of Cakes). I stepped away. I didn't think that I would be gone so long. There were a couple of times that I thought about breaking out the ol' cake supplies and building a cake just for the heck of it but ultimately I lost the motivation because I would remember just how time consuming it was.
For some reason now, in the middle of a valley summer in a house without air conditioning, I have found the motivation.
I don't know if you know this but Style Me Pretty has a cake gallery with over 1400 photos of different wedding cakes and today I looked at them all and saved some to my Pinterest board for inspiration. Towards the end of the album I reached these gorgeous cakes from Cake Opera Co. and knew that I would have to try to recreate them.

(I really LOVE this one with the white wig)
Now for those that have seen my cakes on this blog might be thinking, 'Jen, you're cakes are awesome but they are a little elementary to those edible sculptures that the Cake Opera Co. has created. Girlfriend, I think you might be out of your league on this one.' (I believe that all four and a half of my readers use the word 'elementary' in everyday conversation because they are all gifted and brilliant. They also are not so snobby to immediately follow it up with a 'girlfriend'.)
This is why I have to try.
I set aside my other little hobby and made way for cake to take over.
I started to crochet again and found a terrific toddler sweater pattern that I was able to use as a base for creating my own. The pink is for a 2T, the blue is for a 0-3 months and the striped one will be for a 0-3 month as well. These little puppies whip up in no time at all. 
I went on a little shopping spree today but found some great deals so I didn't spend all that much money. My eyes lit up when I found the Circle Cutter at the Hobby Lobby and using the weekly 40% off coupon (that can easily be pulled up on a smartphone) made it a steal. I picked up the CK Gum Paste Mix at Edward's Cake Supply. Wilton makes one as well but is a little bit pricier. I have several recipes for gum paste and have always been leery of using it. I love the way that it looks when done right. I bought the mix because it seemed simple enough to make (just add water) and the entire bag was comparable in price to the tylose powder (that would have to be added to other ingredients to make gum paste) that I had originally gone in for. See that figurine mold in the back there? That is my little secret weapon for the cake I want to make. I have a lot riding on that little mold, it better not let me down. 
The gum paste was a breeze to mix up and clean up was easy as well. I have read that gum paste, if stored correctly, can last up to six months. I made sure to date mine. Gum paste has to cure for 24 hours before using. Later tonight when it is cooler I will bake up the cakes and mix up my marshmallow fondant. I am going to try to make do with the cake pans I have for the body of the piece but I am thinking I might have to invest in a doll pan. I might have to make another trip to the Hobby Lobby. 

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