Friday, December 10, 2010

Toy Story anyone??

This was a kick-ass cake to make!! Britt's dance teacher turned 23 yesterday and her sister asked me to make a Toy Story cake for her family party. It seems "Miss Jackie" is obsessed with TS - and it was even the theme of the party!!

I wasn't fooling around with this one. The original idea put to me was a small cake surrounded by cupcakes with each character's face on them. Super cute! But in typical Lisa fashion, I couldn't shake the "too simple" feeling they gave me. Surely I could come up with something that would not only make me stay up all night long, but something th
at was also so far beyond my comfort zone. I think doing the Star Wars cake last month gave me the confidence to try anything. (Yes, a Star Wars cake -- you'll see that soon - PROMISE!)

OK - back to Toy Story....

Her favorite characters are the alien, Woody and Mr Potato Head... So I went to work Googling -- looking for some ideas - and decided upon a 3-tiered cake representing those characters. Did I mention this cake was for only 10 people? I know, I get carried
away sometimes. So they'll have left overs. I did use a 6" and 8" pan, so it's not like it's gigantic!!

For the top tier, I knew immediately that I wanted to make it the alien's head. I used my 1/2 ball pan (6" diameter). That was easy!

I wanted the middle tier reserved for Woody. How do you shrink an
entire character into a 3" tall circle? You focus on the costume -- the thing that everyone recognizes as Woody's. His shirt (and badge, of course). I even made a fondant "rope" to put between the first and second tier.

The bottom tier was going to incorporate a little more than the other 2 individual ones. So I went ahead and decided on a sky/clouds theme - and added some other fun characters around the base tier. Now, let me just say that MY favorite characters are those little Army guys with their feet stuck together. I'm actually giggling as I type that because they were pure genius to put in that movie!!!! I wanted Mr Potato Head to be in true fashion... missing some pieces. And what better way to display the Happy Birthday message than on an Etch a Sketch!!! I even tried to make the lettering square -- because I never really could master the art of Etch a Sketching... (Don't pay any attention to the chocolate cake on the Etch a Sketch... this picture was take after the cake was cut...)

I'm still working on perfecting the base of the cake in fondant. Not so easy to smooth out the fondant and not get creases/folds. I'm getting there -- slowly but surely!

This time around - and because I'm way too obsessive for my own good - I wanted to make sure that Mr Potato Head's "parts" looked authentic -- and I wanted to be able to capture the Army men in true plastic fashion -- but be edible and the same time. I ordered a silicone plastique kit to make my own flexible molds. You can pretty much make a mold out of anything. It's a process... but worth it in the end. I now have silicone molds for Toy Story parts - and can literally pop them out in seconds. Think about it... now I can make "Mr Potato Head Parts" cupcake toppers and have an ear on one, a mouth on another, etc. All without having to shape the actual fondant!! I have a feeling I'm going to be getting some silicone plastique for Christmas!!!

Seriously, doesn't he look all "plastic-y"??

Like I mentioned, this cake was so much fun to make!! I'm thinking I can come up with some other Disney tiered cakes for each movie!

Baby Shower Fun...

Making the goodies for Michelle's shower was so much fun! And if you know me, I tend to get a bit obsessive. Can you believe it? Me? Obsessive? Ha!

After I designed her invitations, had them printed, found a typo, fixed them, and had them reprinted and then mailed, I figured I had better get on the ball and do the edibles.

Let's start with the centerpieces and favors:
I purchased round galvanized tubs and wanted to make the centerpieces look like rubber ducks in tubs. Thankfully, Michelle's friend Allison came to the rescue and offered to make the "bubbles". We were up in the air about oreos or marshmallows - so she tried them both and decided that chocolate covered marshmallows were best. And so she made hundreds.... Yay!

I then wanted to put large duck cookies in each "tub". So I found an awesome cookie cutter in the shape of a large rubber duck and made those. I rolled them out pretty thick because I needed them to be able to stand up in the tub. I added a thick cookie stick and baked them to a light barely-golden brown. When cooled, I cut yellow fondant using the same cookie cutter and applied with piping gel. Easy as pie! At the shower, we stuck the duck cookie into floral foam to stand it upright, added some tissue paper and threw in the marshmallows. They were adorable!

For the favors, I bought a smaller duck cookie cutter, made thick sugar cookies and covered those with fondant, as well. Let me just tell you that "frosting" a sugar cookie with fondant is a gazillion times easier than frosting it with royal icing. And every one of them looks the same!

For the cupcakes:
I wanted to offer three different flavors of cupcakes, so I decided to differentiate between them with different cupcake liners. In all of my craziness, time was slipping away and I knew that I'd NEVER get the fondant duckies done in time - and that would have made me vomit. Sooooo I contacted a seller on Etsy and asked if she could make them for me. She was so awesome to work with and had them in the mail to me in a few days. She was truly a life saver!! Here's her shop if you want to take a look: I ended up making raspberry filled cupcakes, lava fudge, and peanut butter chocolate. I wasn't too fond of how the peanut butter buttercream was when it was tinted blue, but in the interest of time and sanity, it was what it was!! I frosted the cupcakes with a large round tip and made "bubbles" on top - then set the fondant duckie on top of the bubbles.

For Michelle's personal cake:
I wanted to make her her own cake to take home and enjoy - and she absolutely LOVES my raspberry cupcakes - so it was a no-brainer that she'd be getting a raspberry cake. I made a 6" round cake (3" high), filled it with my homemade raspberry filling and topped it with buttercream. Then I covered the cake with fondant. Let me just say that Michelle LOVED her cake. I gave her extra buttercream frosting, too -- and you know that baby Frankie was certainly pleased with Auntie Lisa that day!!!