50th Birthday Celebration Cake

Holy Cannoli! This is the cake that warranted the cannoli filling experimentation I wrote about here. I'm sad to admit that I was not happy with the taste of my concoction and had dumped too much money on ingredients to test it further. I was running out of time so I broke down and bought cannoli filling from Ferarra's. I know, I know - uninspiring... yet quite delicious!

I was making a stacked square cake to mimic something that was supposed to look like a bunch of presents. Chocolate fondant wrapped presents. Who said chocolate should be inside the wrapped box?

I read somewhere about hanging bow loops to dry over flower formers... so that's what I did.

I dusted everything with some antique gold luster dust and assembled the bow for the top of the gift stack.

Turned out that I didn't like the pinkish color of the luster dust so I bought a couple cans of Chef Duff's edible gold spray paint and covered everything in that as well. I used Chocolate Satin Ice Fondant for the top and bottom tiers and piped chocolate icing swirls on the middle tier covered in traditional rolled fondant.

Somehow I didn't measure accurately... I didn't want the boxes to hang over the edges like this. Oh well. I guess they look more like real presents this way?

The polka dots and ribbons were fun to make. The icing swirls proved to be a bit difficult... I need more practice icing a design on a vertical surface!

The Chocolate Fondant was fantastic to work with. It's texture was so smooth and stretchy that it made covering these square cakes a breeze. The only downside was how delicious it smelled... kinda just like a tootsie roll! I had to keep myself from eating the scraps!

I'd like to master the cannoli filling and make some more of this for myself!


(Lil') Monster of a Birthday

When I was first asked to make a Lil' Monster themed birthday cake, I was confused. What is this little monster? Is it a TV show? Is it part of a childrens' storybook? I like to do research to make sure I get an accurate depiction of any requested characters but all I got was a picture of the cake the client wanted me to replicate with a few requested changes. Most of the monsters on the cake photo that was e-mailed to me were easy to reproduce... the others were fun to create.

I hand-cut these "flat" little monsters from fondant a few days before I made the cake.

I also formed these fondant cupcake toppers to match Lil' Monster themed lollipops that the client purchased.

Two dozen Vanilla and Red Velvet cupcakes with vanilla buttercream and fondant decorations.

Two tiered double layer cake with colorful Lil' Monsters and polka dots. I used the Cricut Cake Machine to cut the birthday boy's name.

Lil' Monster cupcakes with the cupcake tower.

Birthday cake with the smash cake and cupcake tower in the background. [Photo taken with my cellphone camera]
Another photo from my phone... the buttercream smash cake with colorful fondant polka dots.

Happy Birthday Nicholas!! Hope you had a [scary Lil' Monster] good time!


Cannoli Sugar Bombs

 These were a happy little accident. I was experimenting with making my own cannoli cream cake filling when I concocted a huge batch of this cannoli-buttercream hybrid substance. It is some sort of sugary deliciousness but I'm not sure I could recommend my recipe to any sane individual.

I started with a simple ricotta filling recipe which came out a little too soupy for a sturdy cake filling... so after a second trip to the grocery store and 5 additional ingredients, I had a HUGE bowl of this stuff sitting in my fridge.

I don't remember when the idea struck but my roommate and I decided to use up some of the experimental mixture by making cake balls. I took some vanilla cake scraps and mixed them with about 1 - 1/2 cups of the cannoli cream to form cake balls.

Me and the roomie were anxious to go out so we stuck the cake balls in the freezer for a few minutes and then started dipping them messily into some melted white chocolate Wilton Candy Melts. We topped them with some mini chocolate chips and took a few to the bar with us.

My [Experimental] Cannoli Cream Hybrid

4 cups (30 oz.) Part-Skim Ricotta Cheese
3 tbsp. sugar
1-1/2 tsp. vanilla
1 cup whipping cream (whipped)
1 cup semisweet mini chocolate chips
1/2 tsp. cinnamon
2 lbs. powdered sugar
1 tbsp. meringue powder
1 pinch of salt
1/2 cup Crisco
Step 1
Mix the above ingredients [if you dare] with a paddle attachment for about 7-10 minutes.

Step 2
Place baked cake and about 1 - 1/2 cups of the above mixture in a separate mixing bowl and mix with wooden spoon until well blended.

Step 3
Roll cake mixture into uniform size balls (I used a cookie scoop). Dip each into melted chocolate and place on a waxed paper-covered baking sheet.
Keep refrigerated.

For better instructions and tips, see my Oreo football truffles here.

The recipe listed above makes a hefty amount... I didn't use a full cake mix to make the cake balls/sugar bombs but you certainly can make enough for an army.

Holy sugar-ness!


Rainbow Cupcake Toppers

I promised my friend I would make her something dolphin related for her birthday... I didn't. Sorry. Next year? I can't promise you though - since you already figured out that that's one thing I'm not so good at.

On the up side, I did make her cupcake toppers at another friend's request. Rainbow and butterfly cupcake toppers to be exact. Admittedly my first reaction was that rainbows and butterflies were for five year olds. I should've known better... there's a story behind the theme. Let's just say that the birthday girl is the sweetest girl I know and acts all "rainbows and butterflies" even if she isn't feeling her best.

The rainbow portion of this cupcake topper took forever. And by "forever", I mean I assembled these on the couch while watching "Easy A" and an episode of Buffy or two. Maybe I should invest in an extruder?

I used some white royal icing to attach the rainbows to the cupcake topper base.

To cover up the seams, I made some cloud puffs and then attached pink shimmery butterflies.

Cupcake topper complete.

My roomie baked the funfetti cupcakes!

How could you not be in a sunny mood with these?
Maybe rainbows and butterflies in our tummeh's will make the world a better place? Let's test it out! Yum!


Manolo Birthday Blahnik Cake

This inspiration for this cake from the Sex and the City movie. For those who love the main character, Carrie, the shoe should be recognizable as the Manolo Blahnik Something Blue Satin Pump that Mr. Big uses to propose instead of a ring. The actual shoe supposedly retails for $945 -- my cake version's a real bargain!

The order came from a friend of a former co-worker [I love referrals!] who asked for a Manolo shoe box cake. She didn't even care if I made a shoe to go with it! Since I had already tackled the edible sneaker, I figured I was ready for the edible high-heeled shoe challenge.

After much research about how to make a proper fondant shoe, I decided to wing it and just see what I could do. I'm pretty happy with my first go-around!

Here's the shoe drying on a Styrofoam block behind the Red Velvet shoe box cake. I shaped the box to make it look slightly opened and formed the roses from fondant [using the Wilton method].

 I used an edible marker to mark the Manolo Blahnik label on top of the shoe box.

Once the shoe dried, I added silver dragĂ©es to mimic the crystal broach detail on the real shoe.

 The birthday "price tag" and the inside shoe label were written with edible marker on rolled fondant.

 Of course I have to be critical... but I would change the shape of the heel next time around.

If you can't afford to wear the real thing... eat it! Ha!