Friday, June 28, 2013

Friday Favorites!

Posting yesterday about my favorite tool, got me to thinking about all the other odd things that I use when working with fondant that weren't purchased for the purpose of cupcake decorating. So, since sharing is caring...I thought I'd roll out a 'Friday Favorite's' and share weekly the oddities that I call tools!

So today, I am featuring my absolute must have, all time favorite!
It's a 'pick up stick'! Yes from the childhood game pick up stix!

It's so useful, here are a few pics that I've used it in:

Unicorn noses, eyes and horseshoes

See the topper with the 'B' and that pretty detailing around the outside? Pick up Stix!

Band-Aid Centers
Ice Skate laces
Movie Reel Centers
Dots for bandanas
Eyes for Bodie
Favorite Tool!

Thursday, June 27, 2013

Bandana Makin!

To say I was intimidated by the thought of making bandana's is an understatement! Not the forming of it, but the notorious pattern. It has to be pretty spot on to not look a hot mess!

Starts with a basic square

Smooth your edges then gently take one corner to the opposite corner leaving the underneath corner showing a bit.  

Tuck your corners back. At this point, I let the fondant harden for about an hour. I find it easier to draw on firmer fondant than fresh.

With a black food decorator pen, make your designs.

Mix together a tiny amount of water and luster dust, white or silver will work. 

And now I'm revealing my most favorite tool! I use this in every single fondant piece I make...scouts honor! It is in fact a 'pick up stick'! I can write an entire blog post on how useful that silly thing is! But a toothpick would work just fine.

Just be sure to not have too much on the tip when making your dots.

Then viola! They're done. I'll allow these to dry for a few more days, then steam them just before delivery. Read about how and why I steam my fondant pieces here.

YeeHaw! Stay tuned for the completed order!

Wednesday, June 26, 2013

Get Steamed! It's all for a good cause!

As a self taught cupcaker, any hints and helpful how to's I've always appreciated. Whether it be from reading online, asking a fellow baker (the ones that would share anyhow) or seeing a step on tv. This little tid-bit I saw one day on that Cake Boss show. I don't regularly watch it because, well...I don't do cakes, but in this episode, he had one of those stand up steamers...the kind you'd use for curtains or clothing. I saw him 'steaming' his cakes and they looked shiny, and plastic almost. I broke out the ol' teapot and what do ya know! MAGIC! The purpose is to rid the cakes, or cupcake toppers in my case, of the cornstarch or powdered sugar that we use to work with the fondant....and it makes them all pretty and shiny like! I look back now at past orders and remember how frustrating it was to have to be so careful to keep the powder from being on the top! Silly me! I've also read that people lightly brush vodka to get the same effect, but being that most of my toppers are for kids, I haven't tried that. It could all evaporate for all I know, but didn't want to risk it! Talk about a party! Or Crisco can be lightly applied for a glossy none powdery finish. Is there any other methods that I don't know about?

Before Steaming


A few pointers though....

1. Let your fondant pieces dry for at least 12-24 hours. Otherwise they'll get goopey in the steam.
2. They only need a couple passes over the steam, just until your fingertips sting (for real, that's my method.)
3. I'd say do the steaming on the day of delivery/party/event because they do look their best!

Hope this helps!

Saturday, June 15, 2013

American Girl-Art Party

American Girl + Art + Girly glittery blue and purple fun was my instructions for this set. I have an aspiring cupcake maker on my hands! My 9 year old helped to make the paint brushes, she did a fantastic job!

Monday, June 10, 2013

Saturday, June 8, 2013

Love hate relationship!

I have a love hate relationship with cake pops. I love to eat them, love it when they're done...but boy do I hate struggle making them! Mine tend to crack, and ooze a little, which tells me that I am doing something wrong and I know what I need is more practice/research. BUT that means I have to go through the roller coaster of emotions that go along with the elusive perfect cake pop! It can be done...I've seen some beautiful ones (these people must secretly hide their frustrations because I can't be the only one...right...right?) AND, they must be using a forming contraption to make them so perfectly round. Maybe I'll label this one 'work in progress' instead of love hate. hate is honest, and raw and if there were recordings of the cussing that also takes place during cake pop sessions, you'd laugh and then suggest I also drink while making them! So know this...when I post pics of cake pops, giggle a little at the image of the scene that I can assure you took place!

A slew of graduations....

Friday, June 7, 2013

Busy as a beaver...or bee...or a baker during Graduation season!

Here is what tired looks case you were wondering! 200 toppers ready for the weekend! 


Wednesday, June 5, 2013

House Divided!

This was a fun order! I've been doing cupcakes for this family for a little over 4 years now, and now their son graduated 8th grade and is moving onto High School. He and a group of his friends are split between rivalry schools, Tampa Catholic and Jesuit, so their parents threw them a huge party! I was honored to be a part of it.

It's Graduation time!

As the graduation orders come rolling in, I still can't believe that I have a graduate! I never really believed that time flew like people have always said. Mainly because on the days when you just want to strangle your child, Senior year seemed like it would never get here. But here it is...and tomorrow at 1pm, he'll graduate...and by 5, I'll want to strangle him.