Thursday, July 16, 2009

Portfolio: Bassinet Baby Shower Cake

My daughter's godmother requested a baby shower cake for a friend of hers this past weekend. From having worked together for a couple of years, she knows I love a challenge and simply told me she wanted a 3D baby buggy for a girl. Fair enough, I thought. While the other cake I did for her came out stunning in execution and design, this one was a nightmare. In the end, it came out beautifully, but it required re-sculpting and new supports and caused me no end of issues. This was also my first cake to use Satin Ice fondant and make bows, which in comparison were very easy.

My first major problem arose from the sculpture of the cake. I had a good basic shape and then crumb coated it and let it set for a bit. Unfortunately the weight of the cake was causing some structural issues, so I had to re-carve it some more, readjust the hood portion, and use new supports internally. By the time this was all done, I had barely enough icing to finish it, which led to my next mistake. Because I let so much time lapse between the crumb coat and placing the fondant on top, it was really hard to get the fondant to stick. If I'd had more icing, it might not have been so bad. I also had issues with getting the lace and the other details on there without tearing or cracking the fondant.

Front view of the cake

On the plus side, using Satin Ice was lovely. The taste isn't as bad as I imagined it to be. The lady at the bakeshop said it tasted like the inside of an Oreo and she's right. It really is very pleasant. I think I rolled it out too thin which is why you can see the bumps and ridges on the cake from the layers and sculpting. I also need to figure out how to keep it moist longer which lent to my issues with the lace detail cracking and breaking on me. The bows were surprisingly easy to make. The cake ended up with three of them because during the night, the cake settled and the supports in the hood broke through. Fortunately, I had brought extra fondant with me to make more (we spent the time before the party at my parents house visiting since they were on the way to the shower). Note to self: should have brought my fondant colors for painting as well!

Back and side view of cake

Even though this cake gave me lots of issues and became a bassinet instead of a buggy, it still tasted wonderful and the mama to be loved it as did my friend. I just have to keep telling myself that every baker has their bad cakes and this is one of my mine; it yet another lesson learned. C'est la vie!

Happy caking,

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