Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Carrie's Diva Birthday Cake (2011)

This was Carrie's (my sister) birthday cake. It was also my first fondant shoe and my first pillow cake! I was really pleased with how it all turned out. Of course, I learned a few little tidbits to improve on my next shoe/pillow cake, but overall, I couldn't complain, and she loved it.

The cake is two pillow halves covered in homemade marshmallow fondant and placed together with buttercream. It's easier if you place the bottom, bottom side up, on top of a coffee can or some sort of raised base. Cover with buttercream, let crust, then cover with your marshmallow fondant. Trip excess, then put a dallop of buttercream in the center of your cake board, place against center of bottom, and then flip the whole thing over. Now your bottom is face up and ready for the other half of your cake.

I read somewhere that said to cover both halves before placing together. Let me suggest only doing the bottom first. Next make your dam of icing and fill with buttercream. Then turn top over onto bottom. Because you have to kind of smash them together to make your seam as small and tight as possible, if you cover your top with fondant first, you will leave fingerprints all in your nice smooth fondant (yep, I did as the instructions said and was very unhappy about that). While you can certainly go back and resmooth, I think it would be easier to just wait and cover the top half with buttercream and fondone after you've placed it on the bottom and completed your pillow shape. If the next trial proves otherwise, I'll be sure to come back and let everyone know.

Here's a side view of the shoe. I found a great tutorial on You Tube for how to make this using a cardboard template. You can make variations, such as adding a back or leaving the toe closed, etc. I wanted something "girlie" and chic so I went with the
pink and black color, and open-toed sandal. The gold cakeboard and gold dragees added a nice touch and really stood out against the pink.

Here's a closeup of the tassels, trim, and curls. The gold balls are dragees. Everything (except the toothpick holding the tassel on the cake and the cake board, of course) is edible. The dragees are a little hard so cruching on those might crack a tooth, but the kids liked them and the cat thought they were fun to chase, particularly when I dropped several trying to place them on the cake. I purchased a clay extractor from Michael's to make the tassels, curls, and cord trim. As long as you don't use it for clay and only use it for food products, it should be fine. It's also cheaper than buying an official "fondant" extractor. I loved how the cord seemed to pull the two sections together and covered the seam. I don't know if you can see it or not, but I also covered the entire cake with luster dust. Sorry, but the "girlie" girl in  me loves the sparkle.

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