Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Castle Cake revisited, Under the Sea

Creating birthday cakes for friends and family is becoming a trend for me. I was just looking through pictures on my laptop and realized just how many I have done over the last few years.  When I was younger, my Mom and I always made cakes from scratch for birthdays and special occasions. They weren't always the prettiest cakes, but they were made with love. I can remember a certain Roland Electric Piano my Mom made for my 12th birthday.  Maybe the cake gene has been laying dormant all these years.

The first elaborate cake I was asked to do was the "Race Car" cake for my friend's five year old son. I blogged about it here.  I am not a big fan of fondant and have never used it even though you can create the most amazing cakes with it.  I prefer to stick to simpler ingredients.  I discovered I could make a "fun" cake pretty easily as long as I had some time to set aside and lots of online inspiration to get me started. The following summer that little boy's sister asked for a "Castle Cake" which led me to create this:

And then this year that same little girl asked for a "castle" cake again, but this time it had to be The Little Mermaid's castle.  I was stumped for a long time as to how to pull this off, and again went to the Internet to look for pictures of what other people have done just so I could find a starting point.  I ended up with this as my final creation...

I haven't blogged this cake yet as honestly, I am not entirely satisfied with how it came out. I love the details, and there were a lot of details, like these molded chocolate starfish, and the green seaweed that had to be made the day ahead...

I think it is the overall color that I just don't like. The blue is way too fake blue.  If I had to do it over, I would definitely work on that.

Both of those cakes were not my usual style, as I tend to stick to simple colors, straight lines. The cake below was my first cake after culinary school and the first time I played around with ganache.  I found an amazing peanut butter chocolate cake by Smitten Kitchen, whose blog I still regularly check out.  I continue to LOVE using ganache as a way to finish a cake.

And while we are on firsts, I made this cake for my fiance's parents' anniversary party.  These were some of the first cake flowers I ever made and I really needed a lot more practice.  They look more like an older, fading rose than the tight buds you would find at the store.  I still like them.

Next up, the cake I just made for one of my best girlfriend's birthday.

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