Monday, March 5, 2012

Totem Cake and Teapot Cake

It's been a while since I've posted a cake blog, so here's one for my decorator fans!

Last year I made a cake with a chocolate topper made to look like a salmon in the style of Native American art, which was one of my first cake attempts.


I thought it turned out pretty good, especially considering melting chocolate is not the easiest artistic medium to work with. For his birthday a few weeks ago, I made another cake in Native art style, this time modeled after one of his favorite Ellen Neel totems.


I used green icing on a round cake to represent the earth, which is the middle part of the totem. Then I used melting chocolate again to recreate the "wild woman" character on the bottom of the pole and the eagle on the top. I must say, they were trickier than the salmon.


I also had an issue with this cake because it came out very crumbly and when I tried to apply the icing, bits of cake ripped out and got into the frosting. As a perfectionist of sorts, I was about ready to give up on the project, but decided that with cake decorating, at least mistakes are edible! So I took it to the party anyway and it tasted great. I'm still searching for the magic technique to make the icing smooth like the pros. No matter how many Youtube tutorials I watch, I can't seem to get it right.

The next cake I made was for my aunt, who is a Leap Day baby. She turned 16 this year! She loves tea, so I experimented with fondant modeling and brush embroidery for the first time. I covered a round cake in fondant draped to look like a tablecloth and brush embroidered the flowers onto it.
















Far from perfect, but it was reminiscent of a tablecloth, so I was satisfied. Plus, I really liked painting all the flowers on. When the tablecloth was finished, I wanted to find other things to frost so I could practice my new brush embroidering technique!

To place on top of the "table," I needed to fashion a little tea set from fondant, which I bought in a little box that contained 4 colors. This helped make the fondant more affordable, since I didn't need a lot of each color. I used pink to make a teapot, blue for mugs and spoons and yellow for plates and napkins.





For the finishing touches, I placed chocolate chips upside-down in each mug to be the "tea," and I painted one more flower onto the teapot.







Ta-da!

This was such a fun cake and I think the partiers at my aunt's birthday really appreciated it! I only wish the lighting in the photos was better so the colors of the icing and fondant showed up in its fully glory. Brush embroidery and fondant modeling are definitely techniques I am going to be employing in the future!

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