Sunday, February 23, 2014

Life is Partly Cake

I had missed Cat's birthday last year, because she was in London and I was on my trip up the Northern coast. This year, we were both in town, so I wanted to follow tradition and make her a birthday cake. 

I had found some black fondant and decided to design Cat's cake around using it. Originally, I was going to be a bit ambitious and do fondant ruffles with gold edges, but decided that I didn't have enough experience with fondant to make that happen. To avoid a fondant mess, I simplified the design by going with a golden, painted look. I first drew out a crown-like design by googling crowns and tiaras. I wanted to also include a quote that would represent Cat's 26th year. I thought about it for awhile before I realized it's been staring at me -- the quote Cat had used in her coaster favors for her 22nd birthday was the perfect quote.

She's been liking red velvet lately, so the decision on what flavor cake to make was an easy one. I used these cute 6 inch pans that my cousin had gotten me for my birthday. No more baking in a rectangular pan and cutting circles out.

After the cakes had been baked and cooled, I trimmed the edges. Minimal cake waste :)

I fashioned a cake board from some cardboard and covered it with plastic wrap. I put a pat of cream cheese frosting on the board before placing the cake on top to help keep it in place.

Then I crumb-coated the two layer cake.

I put the cake in the freezer to help it chill faster. About 30 mins later, I added a generous layer of cream cheese frosting, and then got to kneading and rolling the fondant with my new rolling pin and pad set I had gotten from my Secret Santa.

And my goodness, was that a workout. Also, I clearly rolled out more than I needed.

Placing this sheet of fondant on my cake was so unpredictable. I had rolled it onto my rolling pin, and then placed it over the cake. I was trying to gently place it on, but it kinda just fell. I had to then quickly arrange it and smooth it out. I managed to get it fairly smooth, but not without some folds.

The next day, I used some of the leftover fondant and rolled out a ribbon type strip to be used to cover most of the imperfections at the bottom of the cake.

Kinda successful.

To make my gold paint, I mixed some gold luster dust into some vanilla extract. Originally, I was going to use some vodka, but didn't want to buy an entire bottle just to be used for cake painting. Vanilla extract contains 35% alcohol, and is fairly inexpensive. Why do I need the alcohol content? It's because it helps to adhere the paint with a quick dry time.

I used clean make-up and paint brushes to paint the rest of the details.

If I had a steamer, I would have been able to get the cake to look darker and  glossier, but this will have to do.

As a finishing touch, I dry dusted the cake with a bit of white luster dust and gold disco glitter.

Cat swung by later that night to pick up her gift and cake. I'm glad my surprises got to kick off your week-long birthday celebration!

And the next evening, her actual birthday, she celebrated with her family :)

Happy birthday, Catherine Mary Cay Del Rosario!

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