Tuesday, July 14, 2015

Babycakes Part 1

In the past several months, a few of my friends have celebrated the addition of babies to the family.  Two darling, delightful little girls.  The only unfortunate part?  They live so far away that I haven't been able to see the little cuties, to tickle their toes, or to wheedle a smile from their plump little faces.  In fact there's very little I can do from half way across the country, except ooh and ahh over the gorgeous baby pictures.  But. . . I figured out that I could provide some sustenance to the hard working parents.  And what do new parents need?  Lots of sugar.  So that's what I did.  Two cakes in honor of the appearance of two brand new people.  (Since all of you readers would need an exceptional sugar rush to get through one post describing both cakes, this post will be split into a part one and a part two.  Here's part 1:)

Bassinet Baby Cake

The cake flavors themselves were pretty basic.  Funfetti for one and vanilla for the other.  But for this cake, I got a little adventuresome and decided to try out a checkerboard design.  It requires a few additional steps, but, all-in-all, it's not that much work for a beautiful result. 

Here's how to do it:

Bake two layers of cake in two different colors (cake batter can be colored with any gel food coloring.)  I used pink color for one layer and left one layer white. 

Using round cutters, (biscuit or cookie cutters work beautifully) cut nesting rings into the cake.  Since this was a 6 inch diameter cake, I used approximately a 4 inch cutter to get the middle ring and a 2 inch for the smallest circle.

Nest the cake rings from both layers together, so the colors alternate.  Because the rings nest pretty tightly, there is no need to affix them together with frosting.  Place your filling on top of the first layer and repeat for the second layer.
Frost the cake as desired. I wanted to finish the cake with fondant, so I put a thin layer of frosting on top and then coated with a light purple fondant.  To make pastel fondant colors, it's important to remember that you need much more white fondant than the primary color.  Usually a 4:1 or 5:1 ratio of white to color. 

To decorate the cake, I used some Wilton silver pearl dust, mixed with vodka until the mixture reached a paint like consistency.  Then, using a fine bristled paintbrush, I painted the name on the front of the cake.  This would work better for someone with better handwriting than me. . . I must say, it looked more flow-ey and beautiful in my head than actually on the cake. . . ahh well, chalk it up to a career hazard.

To finish the side, I used different flower molds and punches with three colors of fondant, and created little bunches of flowers on either side of the name.

And now, finally, the most interesting part of decorating the cake -- the topper. (I'm excited!!)

I decided to make a baby bassinet.  And I get a little creeped out by the fondant figures of babies, so I used a pink candy heart to put inside (made by melted pink candy discs in a heart candy mold.)

I learned how to make the baby bassinet with these very awesome two part YouTube videos, seen here and here

Here's the step by step:

Roll out a pancake of fondant (color of your choice.) 

When rolled out to your satisfaction, place the fondant on top of a fondant imprint mat,and, using a good amount of force, roll on top of the map a single time.  This will give the fondant a texture and design.

Cut a strip from the fondant.  The width of the strip should be how high you would like the bassinet to be.  The length should be the same as the circumference of the bassinet.

Join the two ends of the strip, in an oval shape, and attach with a small amount of water. 

Cut an oval from a different color fondant (I just used white) which is the same size as the oval that you just formed from the designed fondant.  This will be the bottom of the bassinet.  Attach the bottom of the strip to the newly formed oval.

Mold a small ball of fondant to fit into the tip of the bassinet.  This should pretty much fill about 1/3 of the bassinet.  Flatten out at the top, so it doesn't pop up over the sides of the bassinet.

Using a flexible wire, cut three strips of different lengths and mold into a semicircle.  The longer the wires, the taller the draping of the bonnet on the bassinet will be. 

Poke the ends of the wires solidly into the ball of fondant so they make multiple semicircles in a row, and so that they don't move. The longest (highest) wire should be in the middle, with the other wires on each side.

Roll a thin layer of fondant in your second color. 

Carefully drape the fondant over the wire, trimming the edges and molding so that the fondant hugs the wire and forms a fold in the back.  This can take a little bit of time.  Just work with it.

To cover the wires, cut a square from your second fondant color and imprint with a design as described above. Using a quilting tool, run along the sides of the square to make it look like the seams of a blanket. Drape the blanket in the bassinet and nestle the chocolate heart inside.

For the finishing touches: roll a thin rope of the first fondant color and line the bonnet and a thin rope of the second color to line the bottom of the bassinet with it to form the trim.  Then, using a mold of your choice, (I used a bow) form two fondant decorations to affix to the spot on each side in the front where the bonnet meets the bassinet.

And, ta-dah!! The final product!


And out!

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