Happy Monday, love bugs!
Many of you will remember from this post that I've recently started my very own little cake business, Caketastic Confections. And you'll be happy to know that things are going swimmingly and I'm like a pig in shit. For cereal. There's something oddly satisfying about spending my afternoons covered in icing sugar, wiping splattered chocolate buttercream off the kitchen walls and swearing at stubborn fondant that insists on sticking to the counter tops. You may think I'm being sarcastic, and I totally am. Nevertheless, the truth is that while I do spend a fair share of my time swearing like a sailor at fondant that won't cooperate, or demented electric mixers, I really do love every minute of my baking experience. And it's genuinely rewarding to put your heart and soul into a cake, and see your customers eyes light up when they come to collect the finished product. There are few things that beat that feeling.
I spent the entirety of last Wednesday/Thursday in the kitchen creating my latest order for a 9 year old girl named Sarah (who just so happened to be my hubby's cousin. Sarah was one of our little helpers at our English Wedding, and I was absolutely tickled pink to be making her 9th birthday cake). Sarah has recently taken up dance and is infatuated (in the same proximity to my younger year Spice Girls infatuation) So, as you can imagine, she requested a dance/ballet inspired girly cake that was covered from head to toe in pink and purple. "No problem! I got this shit!" I thought as my virgin-ballerina-cake-making-self frantically flipped through Pinterest in search for ballet cake ideas to
Wednesday afternoon I spent baking 3 layers of vanilla cake (I use the Hummingbird Bakery Cake Days recipe's for all of my cake and buttercreams) and, once completely cooled, sandwiched/covered the stacked cake in a chocolate ganache buttercream. After smoothing the sugary tower the best to my ability, I quickly got to work coloring my white fondant (I always use the Wilton food colors) a pale girly pink. I dusted my counter tops (liberally, to avoid additional fondant-inspired swearing sessions) with icing sugar, carefully rolled out a circular layer, and practically crapped my pants as I made the transition from the counter top to cake. I knew I had one go at covering that bad boy as it was iced in a dark chocolate buttercream which would certainly ruin my pale pink fondant if shit were to hit the fan. Thankfully, with some 'I don't know what the hell I'm doing, babe' assistance from my husband (he held the cake still so that it didn't make a run for it during the fondant coverage episode) I successfully covered the cake, wiped my damp brow, and set it aside.
I made the decision (inspired by the pin above) to encompass the bottom of the cake in white fondant balls. In order to get a uniform size I used the fat round part of one of my Wilton piping tips and stamped out what felt like 804 million round discs. I then rolled them in my palms before 'gluing' each one to the base of the cake with some vanilla buttercream. Once I'd gone around the whole circumference of the cake, perfecting any pesky egg shaped intruders, I lightly sprayed each ball with a pearlized spray (I used the Dr Oetker Silver Shimmer Spray which is available in most grocery stores. It's amazing, smells and tastes good, and is also available in gold!) This spray is a God send and I was over the moon with how the pearlized glow transformed the plain white boarder into an edible pearl necklace. It was super cute.
The following morning I set to finishing my masterpiece. I cut out fondant daisies and hearts and carefully stuck them around the sides. I then piped Happy 9th Birthday Sarah on the front and placed a round purple disc of fondant underneath where I knew I wanted to place my fondant ballet slippers. It was then that I frantically searched through my bookmarks to find the two YouTube tutorials I'd discovered weeks before. And for a moment I doubted whether I'd actually be able to create the same cake I'd envisioned in my head. Nevertheless, I pulled my sleeves up, blared Journey from my computer, and set to work.
First, using this ballet slippers tutorial, I formed the pink fondant ballet slippers and left them to harden slightly while I began, using this tutorial, to work on the ribbons and bows (I knew the 3 pieces of the bow would need time to dry, so I intended to finish the trim on my ballet slippers while they were hardening. Multi-tasking, baby. Multi-tasking). Thankfully, with the help of YouTube, I had, within 20 minutes, created two adorable fondant ballet slippers, complete with bows, and stacked them 'nonchalantly' on top of the purple disk on my cake. At this point I did a small victory dance as the realization that I had actually created two fondant shoes that genuinely resembled ballet slippers. The last step was to effortlessly drop my fondant ribbons over the shoes and the honest truth is that this was the most difficult part for me as my OCD meant that I desperately wanted to re-situate them so that they were perfectly symmetrical. I twitched, people. Thankfully I forced myself to get a grip, resisted fiddling with them, and left them vicariously dangling. Looking back now I'm so glad that I did because they look so much more natural that way. The finishing touch was one final squirt of the glorious Dr. Oetker Shimmer Spray over the entire cake and a flick of edible glitter. This was what I marveled over when I stepped back for a bit of admiration. I may or may not have murmured a 'holy shit, look what I did!" And for my first attempt it ain't too shabby! :)
I am over the moon with how my very first ballet cake turned out, and I can confirm that little miss Sarah was mighty impressed (her Mum said she didn't want to cut or eat them. Ha! Result!) And once again, I have the big red and white P to thank for inspiring me. I seriously don't know how the hell we lived without that site.
If you too have been creating Pinterest gems, please link up with us here and share! :)
Enjoy your Monday!
Lots of love, love, love,